You can probably tell from what I've been writing and publishing lately that I'm in simplify mode.
I think I've made my business far too complex for me to run. It's simply not sustainable. It's no fun. Too many things to remember, too many “t's” to cross and “i's” to dot.
So I'm pulling back. Way back.
Always know that my main objective is to help you. I get a real kick out of helping people. It's why I started this site. And it's why I'll keep doing this as long as I can.
Now – to simplify.
I have too many domains. Every time I had a business idea, I got a new domain, built a site, and added some content. That is, if I got around to it.
Often, I never got around to fully setting up a lot of domains. Which resulted in wasted money, time, and effort. No more.
Hence, I'm selling a bunch of domains. I won't ever develop them, I won't use them, and they're up for sale.
I've written ebooks and Kindles and produced video courses. I've used various platforms (JV Zoo, Warrior Plus, and Zaxaa).
As you know, I'm all about content creation and repurposing. So I'm determined to make that work, BIG TIME now.
I will continue writing Kindles. It's a great source of recurring income and builds my authority in my chosen subjects (that's another thing – see below). But I will port the content of those Kindles into Udemy courses and value-added ebooks.
So, Kindle, Udemy, and Zaxaa (for product sales/delivery of the ebooks).
I spend way too much time being a Jack of All Trades – it's too much. From now to the foreseeable future, I will focus my efforts on blogging. Of course, I won't let my skill sets dwindle in other areas. I simply won't post much about those other areas.
I really do believe that your blog CAN BE your business. Or at least a substantial part of it. Content marketing is what we're all doing. My blog is a major component of that.
In fact, I've often said that “All roads must lead back to your blog.” And I believe it. And I (mostly) do it.
But now I have to focus almost solely on that and make sure I'm practicing what I'm preaching.
The game plan is as follows.
I will build my subscriber lists through content. I will keep in touch with my audience mostly through email. Those emails will link back to this site.
I will be accepting new clients only on a limited basis. My clients must fit me as much as I fit them. And only one or two at a time.
It's a simple plan. And that's the point.
Nearly everything I do, business-wise, will be conducted on this site and through email.
All of this, and more, is part of the “A Better Me” program that I'm putting together for myself. I may post “A Better Me” later on.
Until then, here's to simplifying and scaling things back.
I rarely talk about security stuff on this site, so when I do, you should know that it's pretty important. I take security seriously, and while I “get” most of it, I rely now on other trusted sources to do the security sleuthing on my behalf. So hat-tip to Kimberly Castleberry of Just Ask Kim for the heads-up on this. Definitely go visit her site for her perspective on this.
I will not be adding anything here that isn't already on her post, so, seriously, GO THERE NOW!!!
Oh, I will add this: There is an extension for the Chrome browser that you can use that alerts you if you visit a site that's susceptible to the Heartbleed bug.
And here's an interesting article: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/elements/2014/04/the-internets-telltale-heartbleed.html
Suffice it to say that you should heed this warning and protect yourself. Read Kim's post 🙂
I am a big fan of step-by-step training, from both the learner's side as well as the teacher's side. It just makes sense to me.
But I'm also a “big picture” guy – stuff just doesn't make sense to me until I can see the entire picture – from A to Z and everything in between (that's where the steps come in).
What I have found to be fairly effective is in looking at whatever “thing” I'm interested in from the end state. Where do I want to be when I do x? What should it look like? How should it feel? How much money do I want to make out of this (being totally and honestly realistic in my expectations)?
If you start with the end in mind, you accomplish 2 critical things:
Having that end point to aim for is vital. Have you ever taken off on a road trip without an end point in mind? Where did you go? How did you get there? Was “there” where you wanted to be?
I have actually done this. “Let's just drive down the coast and see what happens.” That experience is liberating and fun. Surprises are wonderful for the soul.
But it's not really a way to run a business or accomplish personal goals. After all, the goal is the end point.
If you want to get to Philly, you need to a) know where it is, b) know where you are, and c) devise a plan to get from where you are to where you want to be. Account for obstacles, delays, and other “life got in the way” stuff.
Let's start with a little example. Let's say you want to quit your day job. Well, how do you do that? You could just tell the boss that you're quitting. Mission accomplished, right? And then, those surprises will just pour in. The bill collectors will start calling, the landlord won't be very “Lord-like”, and your Momma may stop calling because you dropped your cell phone plan.
That would suck.
So you have to make a plan. And that plan should start with the end in mind. Just how can I quit my day job eventually, without all those unpleasant things occurring?
You start at the end. Be realistic. How much do you earn right now? That's the very least that you should aim for with your new business. Remember, too, that you get tax breaks for running your own business (so you can earn less than you did at a job and still arrive at the same place), but you also don't have an employer sharing expenses like health care insurance, or social security taxes…so it could be a wash (or not) because you ARE the employer.
Be realistic about it. I'd aim higher rather than lower if I were you. For example, if you make $5,000 a month from your job, you should really start with the end in mind of making $7,00 a month from your business. That's a very rough guideline. Your mileage will vary.
Now, with that figure in mind, ask yourself how you can earn $7,000 in revenue – through products, services, both? Will this be passive income? If so, bank on the idea that it may take you months – even years – to earn that kind of income. It's a building process, for sure.
If you're selling services, how will you fulfill? Outsource or do it yourself? A little of both? If you outsource, keep in mind that your 3rd-party vendors will want to be paid. Strive for paying no more than 1/3 of your revenue out to vendors, but always remember that quality counts for a lot more than price in the long run.
The idea here really is to gradually replace your “day job” income with your business income. Once you reach a tipping point with which you are comfortable, you tell your boss to “Take this job and shove it, I ain't workin' here no more!” (One of my favorite classic country tunes.)
Remember this, too: While you're working your job and your business, you may become addicted to the “extra money”. Plan for that, too. When you quit your job, you'll lose every penny of that income.
Bottom line: Start at the end. What do you want to accomplish? Then work your way back to where you stand right now. Fill in the pieces, step-by-step. Build in some course correction routines (“Oh, that didn't work as I had hoped. Time for Plan B.”)
I have found this approach to work quite well. Give it a try and tell me what you think.
Below is an email I sent out to my “tribe” newsletter subscribers. If you like what you read here, please consider subscribing.
I had this conversation the other day with two great people
that I've had the good fortune of getting to know the past
couple of years.
We talked about the usual stuff in a business setting:
Do you do this?
Can you make that happen?
Can you help us with x?
Then we got onto “what makes people tick.”
I gotta say, I can be totally immersed in that sort of
conversation for hours.
I don't remember who said it or how it all got started.
But I do remember somebody (was it me?) saying that
all people are really pretty much the same:
We have the same needs, desired, wants, fears, hopes,
You know, it starts with Maslow's hierarchy of needs…
Our base needs are pretty much the same. The farther up
the pyramid we go, the more we become “different.”
In this land of plenty, we sometimes get lost in “who
owns what,” and forget that we're all on this same
rock. We gotta share it, not plunder it. We have to
conserve scarce resources, not use them just because
I don't give a damn that my neighbor owns a boat. Hell,
I don't like the water. The closest I ever got to owning
a boat was a $7000 fishing boat. Certainly no yacht.
It doesn't matter to me that your Lexus is worth more
than my two cars and two month's income (or whatever –
I didn't do the math).
What matters is that I am who I am. I'm not trying to be
somebody else. And neither should you.
Don't be a “sheeple.” Be yourself. You have unique talents,
skills, experience, knowledge, and–maybe most importantly
NOBODY has been in your shoes. You are your story.
Now, you may be asking why is Bill getting all philosophical
on me? He's an internet marketer. I want to learn how to
sell stuff, earn a living online, and make money while I
I get that.
But it took me a long time to get here. I'd like to save
you the time.
So, if you read nothing else, read this:
Follow your passion. Figure out a way to earn a little
bit of money doing what you like.
I will tell you – you can make a lot of money doing
stuff you hate.
Ask most (most!) prostitutes. Or strippers. Or drug
You can even make a lot of money selling crap to
aspiring internet marketers.
But you'll die inside. I know I did.
This is the part where I'm supposed to tell you that
I'm not faulting anybody for making money doing
stuff they hate.
But I'd be lying to you.
If you truly hate what you're doing, you gotta change
that. Like NOW. Better yet – yesterday.
I don't want to see you doing things you don't really
get a tremendous bang doing. I mean, metaphorically
speaking, I'd like you to orgasm doing the things you
love – and earn decent money doing it.
Don't confuse the above with the prostitute line farther up…
Anyway, be yourself, do what you love, and figure out
how to earn some cash doing it. Even if it's just a little
You can always leverage later.
If you are a subscriber on any of my marketing lists, then you got the message below in your email inbox yesterday. I'm republishing my email note in its entirety here, for the benefit of all my readers who aren't subscribers. I apologize if you've already seen this.
WARNING: This is a LONG email. If you're one of those TL;DR sorts, just click the link immediately below and you'll keep getting my silly emails.
Today marks a change. Monumental to me, maybe not to you. I'm turning my whole business upside down, or as I like to say to my kids, downside up. You know, just to get that quizzical look your canine gives you when you try to speak “dog.”
You may have noticed that I've been AWOL for quite some time. It's a long boring story but it goes something like this:
I'm *done* with internet marketing. Over the past 5 years, I really tried to “fit in” and be like Mike. I've met nearly every well-known internet marketer on the planet, from Frank Kern to Jason Fladlien, Brian Johnson, Wilson Mattos, James Jones, and a thousand others. Most are good guys. Really.
But I don't fit in. I'm a square peg in a round-hole world (you don't know how true that is)…
I'm not a marketer. I'm a regular guy, doing regular things, that any regular person can do. It's just that I'm doing it and you may not be. I write. I blog. I am involved in social media. I'm a tech guy. At least I used to be 🙂
So I'm shirking the hypey, overblown bullshit that goes on in this arena. I cannot tell you how disgusted I get with the two-faced crap my *former* peers put up. For example, they will tell you that your biggest problem is “Shiny Object Syndrome” (you buy too much stuff and you never put it into action–it's true) but then they go on, often in the same breath, that you need to buy their crap.
You know, because their crap is better than the next guy's crap and their crap isn't really crap.
You need their crap. And you need to buy their upsell, downsell, sidewaysell, etc.
But don't buy the other guy's crap. Unless I recommend it (because I get a fat commission if you buy it)…in which case, buy 3.
Sense a theme here?
Yeah, I really don't like the way internet marketers work. Many are “churners and burners.” I've never been that way and I never will be that way.
I want you to be my friend. I know that sounds like Mr Rogers (trust me, I'm NOT wearing a sweater), but it's so true. I value the relationships I build, even if they're “virtual.” One day, we may actually meet.
And I know that I have met some of my subscribers, live and in the flesh. Heck, some were my friends before they signed up to any list.
So you can tell that I have a bitter taste in my mouth for the way this “industry” works. But make no mistake:
I'm not going anywhere. Au contraire. I'm going to do more of what I like to do and what I think resonates with you. Most of you got here because of my WordPress tutorials. Some joined because you saw me at a Meetup or other speaking engagement. Still others just stumbled on by one of my websites, liked what you saw, and signed up.
It's all good. I'm totally inclusive. If you want to learn about how to get stuff done on the internet, I will help you to the best of my abilities.
All that said, what I'm going to do is stop sending emails out to all these segmented lists. You are on one of them (maybe multiples, in fact).
No longer – I'd like to build my “tribe.” You can join up by clicking the link below or you can simply ignore all this and go about your merry way. Over the next several months, I may remind you that I now only have ONE LIST that I'm regularly emailing and that you should sign up.
In building this tribe, you must know what my commitment is to you. And I'd like to get a commitment from you, too.
First, here's what I endeavor to do. I will keep creating content, training courses, and educational materials. I will only mention specific products (mine or others') from which I think you will derive some real value.
What do I need from you? I need you to read my emails and give a look at whatever I'm sending your way.
My “virtual door” is always open – if you ever have a question or need to talk about something, email me (reply to this email – that's the easiest way). I'm also quite easily found online on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Skype.
That's it for now.
PS – Here are some YouTube links, in case you're a music nut like me:
–> (The Times They Are a-changin') http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCWdCKPtnYE
Truth be told, I'm more like a Rolling Stone:
PPS – Yes, I know you didn't come here for the music (or DID you?), and I know some of you probably hate Bob Dylan and his hippie ways…well, sorry.
So that's it. I hope that you come join me.