A Warning to Newbies, Oldies and Others!

by Elmer Hurlstone 43 replies
Three or so years ago I became a marketer's dream. It started simply and innocently. I decided I needed a website for my offline business.

I didn't have clue about how to build one, where to get the best deal on hosting--with a reliable host--or what sort of content to use.

Being a long-time purchasing agent I knew how to research. I went to the library. Everything there was a couple years old in real time and probably a couple centuries old in internet time.

So, I figured I'd go to the source--the web. On eBay I found a book about hosting and an offer for "all the e-books on eBay" for a ridiculously low price. I bought it.

Did you know that within those ebooks there were links to get--even more--free ebooks? Yep, it's true!

Before long I was on a blue million lists and my in-box was "full unto overflowing." And, would you believe, everyone that sent me a free ebook was offering to sell me something else that would put me on the "inside track" and among the top ranks of marketers who, for just a few dollars more, would make me privy to all their secrets.

Just like almost everyone else I wanted to be on the inside. I wanted to play in the big leagues too. So, I spent a little bit of money. And then some more and then...

Well, you get the picture. All of this because I thought I needed a website. I didn't start out to be a marketer per se; I just wanted a web presence for my small permitting and land use research business.

Suddenly there was stuff on my HD that I didn't have a clue about the why's or how's of using.

Since this is long enough let me cut to the chase...

Eventually I learned who the honest, forthright reliable people are and where to find them. A goodly number are right here at WF
Of equal importance I discovered I don't need everything that is for sale. I still buy products. Just not as frequently or as many. I ask myself a few questions before hitting the PayPal button.

Questions like, "Is this going to benefit me at this time?"

and, "Is this marketer generally perceived as knowledgeable and honest?"

or, if a tool or software, "How long will it take me to learn this?";

"How often will I use it?";

"Will it pay for itself?"


This has been and is an interesting journey.
I've met and enjoy the friendship of some fantastic people.

I didn't envision being here just because I thought I needed a website for a business I've since closed.

Now I market for a living!

I enjoy almost every minute of it!

Elmer Hurlstone

PS. The warning is implicit...
#main internet marketing discussion forum #newbies #oldies #warning
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Bravo Elmer...

    I always ask myself if a purchase will benefit my business.... spot on, fantastic post that will benefit many

    Peace

    Jay
    Signature

    Bare Murkage.........

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  • Profile picture of the author Chris W. Sutton
    Great post Elmer! You have such a way with words. It seems we all fall into the same rut so maybe your post will save a few people some of the hard knocks!

    PS. The warning is implicit...
    I have read your post four times and I STILL didn't find anything about sex in it!
    Signature

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    • Profile picture of the author zenmn
      Thanks Elmer! It's nice to hear a real down to earth story....I needed it.
      -zenmn
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      • Profile picture of the author Ken Leatherman
        Originally Posted by zenmn View Post

        Thanks Elmer! It's nice to hear a real down to earth story....I needed it.
        -zenmn
        You can't get anymore down to earth than Old Elmer. He's so old he's older than dirt itself. But even being Old doesn't stop the old boy from making sense every now and then.

        It took me a long time to reach the stage Elmer is discussing here. When I started asking myself basically the same questions (with the exception of 1 added one) I began to make progress and started making money, instead of spending it.

        BTW, the one added question which has really put me on the right path was this one - "Will my wife kill me if I buy just this one more thing?" :p

        Ken Leatherman
        The Old Geezer
        Signature

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        • Profile picture of the author Elmer Hurlstone
          Originally Posted by Ken Leatherman View Post

          "...BTW, the one added question which has really put me on the right path was this one - "Will my wife kill me if I buy just this one more thing?" :p
          Ken Leatherman
          The Old Geezer
          Ken,

          Since I still harbor--after 35 years of marriage--the illusion that I'm in charge I deliberately left that part out of the post.

          Suffice it to say that someone in this house (not me and the kids are grown and gone) got a bit testy on occasion...

          Elmer
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          • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
            Ken and Elmer

            If all your wife does is kill you when you "buy just this one more thing"
            (or 3), you're getting off lightly

            Martin
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            • Profile picture of the author Michael Shook
              Sigh, if I had only heeded this advice before. I might not have had to spend all those nights alone in my garage curled up with a printed copy of my latest "just gotta have it" ebook.

              Most times though, my wife would let me in for breakfast.
              Signature


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              • Profile picture of the author Steven Wagenheim
                Elmer, you have certainly become very wise during your Internet journey.

                I was not so fortunate. It took me way too long to get a clue. But on the
                plus side, in addition to now knowing what TO do, I know what to warn
                others NOT to do, because I made every mistake in the book.

                Thanks for sharing this with us.

                As that old hillbilly said, you DO have a way with words.
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                • Profile picture of the author xmx
                  I agree too with your post, there are so many things
                  offered on the internet to people who wants to earn
                  online that anybody needs to make himself the right
                  questions about the new product/service that has
                  just been discovered before spending money.

                  And if it is possible to learn from the mistakes of the
                  others, like Steven said, you can save time and money,
                  always remembering that anybody has his own needs
                  and personal preferences anyway.


                  Gian
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  • Profile picture of the author John Rogers
    I hear you, Elmer. Without going into a lot of detail, I've gone down a similar path of where I was then to where I am now. Downloaded lot's of "stuff." I even remember a very old Mark Hendricks autoresponder series where after reading message #1, you had to send an email to a different email address to get message #2, etc. I was so hungry I was willing to jump through all kinds of hoops.

    I'm much more focused now, and if it doesn't hold some immediate benefit that moves me closer to a goal, I pass, even if it is free.

    John
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  • Profile picture of the author NewbiesDiary
    I'm there!
    My inbox was a disaster zone. fortunately I used one email addy for subscribing to all that "stuff" - so I went thru all the emails, picked out the ones I wanted to stay subscribed to & resubscribed under a dif email addy. then I just stopped bringing in all that "stuff" into outlook. Problem solved!

    As for the other "stuff" on my harddrive - well that'll take quite some time to sort out. I do have it sorted tho - into what category they are relating to.

    I've also started a blog making myself accountable to actually do what I say I'll do - thats pretty heavy. So when I see something new I ask myself if that is directly relating to something I'm doing now. If it isnt then I click "save page" & put it in a folder on my computer titled stuff I'd like to try later. Then I'm free to forget about it & its only a link to a webpage on my computer, instead of a whole heap of junk that I'll never read - much better.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Rogers
      A Warning to Newbies, Oldies and

      Undies and Ovaries!
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  • Profile picture of the author CSwrite
    Elmer, what an incredible guide for anyone that is serious about getting into IM. It should be made "sticky" for all newcomers. I wish I had seen it a few years back when I got started - would have saved me a lot of time and money!

    Thank you
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Riley
      IMO, the most important question to ask yourself is:

      "Will I actually use this? Will I apply it?"

      No book, video, course is going to do you any good if it only sits on your harddrive.
      Signature
      Kevin Riley, Kevin Riley Publishing, Osaka, Japan


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  • Profile picture of the author Lynette Crase
    Great post Elmer. I can relate to this as my journey has been somewhat similar and it took me a long time to get a clue, that is why I have a hard drive full of ebooks, reports, software, resell rights, plr etc. that I will most likely never use.

    Now I don't buy anything unless I take the time to evaluate whether it is something that I need to learn or use that directly relates to my business right now. I hate to think how much time and money I have wasted over the last three and half years.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rod Cortez
    Aww Elmer, we like you too buddy!

    RoD
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    "Your personal philosophy is the greatest determining factor in how your life works out."
    - Jim Rohn
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    • Profile picture of the author johnmiley
      I think it's good to do a Guru-purge and Guru-info-fast from time to time.

      Drop off of their lists, take a break. You can always sign back up if you find you're missing what they have to say.

      And, for me, I just tire of the pitch fests, so I do my best to keep a lot of those marketers off my list.
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      • Profile picture of the author dwshoup
        Originally Posted by johnmiley View Post

        I think it's good to do a Guru-purge and Guru-info-fast from time to time.

        Drop off of their lists, take a break. You can always sign back up if you find you're missing what they have to say.

        And, for me, I just tire of the pitch fests, so I do my best to keep a lot of those marketers off my list.
        I have just started opening some of the unopened emails so I can hit the unsub link.

        It will take time though.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Piteo
    It took me YEARS to get this into my head.

    I'm not buying anything else unless it will help me in what I'm doing right now, TODAY. And if it's anything that claims to make me $10,000 or more in 30 days, I'm never buying it.

    John P
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    Want to Create a Profitable Online Course?

    CrashCourseTraining.com

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  • Profile picture of the author Josh Anderson
    Now I market for a living!

    I enjoy almost every minute of it
    You are also a skilled writer.

    Great post.

    Been preaching it for years.

    Funny though how most of us still have to experience it first before we clearly see the big picture.
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  • Profile picture of the author warner444
    Questions like, "Is this going to benefit me at this time?" and,
    "Is this marketer generally perceived as knowledgeable and honest?"
    or, if a tool or software, "How long will it take me to learn this?";
    "How often will I use it?";

    "Will it pay for itself?"


    Elmer
    Very good set of questions. I like "How long will it take me to learn this?" a lot and need to ask myself that more often. "Will it pay for itself?" is one every business should ask.
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  • Profile picture of the author Elmer Hurlstone
    Thanks folks, for sharing your experiences.

    It looks as though many of us have taken the same twisty, tortuous and costly path. Yep, we've been there, done that and too many of us have the tee-shirts...

    We've learned and we're willing to share our sorrowful tales with others.

    Sadly, many will pay about as much attention to our cautions and warnings as I did years ago when my dad attempted to educate me with lessons learned from his hard-earned experience.

    The old railroad caution sign, "STOP! LOOK! LISTEN!", still applies to almost all we do.

    Our IM journey is not an exception!

    Elmer Hurlstone
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  • Profile picture of the author Elmer Hurlstone
    Originally Posted by onlinemarketer View Post

    wow thats a cool story, i know that there a more spammer/scams than the real thing, we really had to be very careful on what to do on the net this days
    Thanks for the compliment on the story. I appreciate it.

    While there are a significant number of both scammers and spammers online (in this context, where else would they be?) that wasn't the point of my sad but true tale.

    More oft than not we suffer from our own actions more than from the actions of others.

    While we're sometimes suspect of others we rarely suspect ourselves. After all, we're bright, aware and engaged people. How could we possibly be wrong?

    For many of us failure to logically, objectively and (this is the hard part) dispassionately look at our own habits and actions is the root cause of our marketing grief and problems.

    The bottom line: We can't buy our way to IM success!

    Elmer Hurlstone
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    • Profile picture of the author Jim M
      It's true - every word.

      You get an email ofer - go to the sales page - then - within seconds you find yourself rushing to the buy it now button with only one question - how much is this damn thing - because - if my card can stand it - I want it - now!

      Been there all too often - hopefully I am now older and wiser - most of the time ;-)
      Signature
      Jim Montgomery www.fivestarmarketing.eu - video tutorials and more DavidJamesPublishing.Com
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  • Profile picture of the author moodyresources
    It's always encouraging to know I'm not the only one!

    But, Elmer, you're sorely tempting me with your IM Research Power Tool. Maybe I should buy it before my husband gets home!!

    Melissa
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    • Profile picture of the author Elmer Hurlstone
      Originally Posted by moodyresources View Post

      It's always encouraging to know I'm not the only one!

      But, Elmer, you're sorely tempting me with your IM Research Power Tool. Maybe I should buy it before my husband gets home!!

      Melissa
      Melissa,

      I did not suggest marketers should not buy stuff.

      And far be it from me to recommend against purchase of my own products.

      If you intend to use IMRPT by all means buy it!

      If, on the other hand, you never search for information, articles, domain names, keywords or images--or don't wish to save considerable time doing so--don't buy it.

      And that, once again, is the bottom line. If a book, report or tool will benefit you by either saving you time or making money buy it--provided, of course, you're not spending the kid's lunch money or the rent.

      IM, regardless of niche, is a business! If we base the majority of our decisions on sound business principles we will succeed!

      Elmer Hurlstone
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  • Profile picture of the author Norma Holt
    Elmer, this is a very good post. It is part of the learning curve because we are all pie eyed at the supposed success people claim. It did not take me long, however, to realise that we can't all be millionaires, or even want to be. That's when I stopped being conned into every deal offered.

    What also became apparent in the early days was that products offered as 'best things going' with high price tags soon ended up on someone's bonus list for purchasing something else. Only buy what's important for your business and leave everyone else to there's is probably good advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author silkpajamas
    Well, here's another view of the same thing. I was seventy-seven years old (yep) and looking for a job (yep), and no matter how marvelous I was, my prospects were at best fair to poor.

    Since we were in the middle of a stumbling economy with unemployment increasing daily as businesses retrenched or closed completely, my chances of being hired were poor to forget-it. So I turned to the employer who really knew me and my strengths - Me - and to the business sector that was growing in spite of the downturn - the internet.

    I knew I had to have training to start an internet business, and I needed to train on line rather than in a brick-and-mortar school. I spent a lot of time searching the internet to find a trustworthy training program. I slogged my way through garish blinking ads for programs that assured me I could earn hundreds and thousands of dollars a day, even while asleep, have a villa in Tuscany, spend weekends on Anguilla, drive a Ferrari when I wasn't on my yacht, and have any other luxury I could think of. I read miles of advertising copy on site after site.

    If there was a program that looked like something real, not pie in the sky, I followed up with as thorough a background search as I could do. I learned that on the internet you could claim almost anything with no worry about it being true. You might put a disclaimer in the fine print about spectacular earnings not being typical, but you didn't have to. On sites "dedicated to exposing scams" it often turned out that the accused scammer would be the one who made the accusation in the first place so they could then write a rebuttal testimonial in their own support.

    Long story short: I did find several programs that I believed would give me the training I needed and honor their commitment to me for the long haul. I finally chose a company on the basis of the range of their teaching materials and their promises of long-term affiliation, mentoring, and support. I also appreciated their up-front business philosophy of enlightened self-interest: they will give me all the help I need, because if I don't make money, they won't make money.

    Starting a business is scary, even with the best help. For the first month after purchasing this program from I would lurch awake in the night wondering if I had made a huge mistake. Now two months later I am sleeping just fine. I feel like I'm actually in business school, and the knowledge and tools I'm gaining have enabled me to see how this business will work and what I need to do to make it succeed.

    To anyone of whatever age getting ready to start an internet business, but particularly to those of us whose span of earning years and cash available to get through them is a bit shortened, I say research, research, research. There are some very good programs out there, but there are hundred of scams for every one of those. Drill down into Google as far as you can go. Follow all the threads. Read everything you can find. Look into business forums for mention of any program you are considering. Read the scam reports (with a salt shaker handy). Ask for information from anyone who offers it, but submit everything you are told to a stringent reality check.

    Setting up this business has been an exciting late-in-life adventure. Don't let anyone persuade you that you are too old to do it. Age may have its disadvantages, but it has some maturity and wisdom that you can't get any other way. If you think your own business is the right thing for you, go for it. Use all your hard-earned smarts, make careful decisions about your resources (and I don't mean just money), choose an enterprise that you think will get you out of bed every morning rarin' to go, and you may find you are having one of the best times of your life..
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  • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
    Hi silkpajamas,

    I just wanted to welcome you to the forum... and say what a great first post. Looks like we're going to love having you here.

    Cheers,
    Becky
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  • Profile picture of the author Wizardofwisdom
    Wow! I so recognise that story!

    All I wanted to do was publish my self improvement books, so when the world wide wonderful web showed up there was suddenly no need for agents, publishers, long nail biting waits for the rejection letters - now I could reach the world in one swoop.

    That was easily ten years ago.

    Then marketers taught me I needed a website, then a website for every book and niche, (do bookstores do that?), then I needed to learn about PPC, traffic generation, SEO, HTML, squeeze pages, list building ...

    It's been a great learning curve, but the writing's still what I love.

    So, two lessons from all of this ... first, get someone else to do the slog - you do what you love! (You only get one life!)

    And second, there's no one "right way" to get noticed on the net. Find one "blueprint" that's tried and tested and stick to it like super glue. Then, as Elmer so rightly said, you can delete all those pesky emails - and never even SEE the Paypal button! One model - if it works, don't fix it.

    I really believe that the top marketers online have that, more than anything else, as their one "true secret." I bet Frank Kern doesn't copy Derek Gehl who doesn't need to use Armand Morin's strategy ... and so on.

    Just the one...

    That's it.
    Trev.
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    • Profile picture of the author daddyoh
      I only buy stuff that I have an immediate need for to help me with something I'm currently working on. If I can't find the information for free here on the WF or through a search engine, I'll buy it and I always look at the WSO Forum first for the best price. Why pay more?
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin AKA Hubcap
      Originally Posted by Wizardofwisdom View Post

      And second, there's no one "right way" to get noticed on the net. Find one "blueprint" that's tried and tested and stick to it like super glue. Then, as Elmer so rightly said, you can delete all those pesky emails - and never even SEE the Paypal button! One model - if it works, don't fix it.

      I really believe that the top marketers online have that, more than anything else, as their one "true secret." I bet Frank Kern doesn't copy Derek Gehl who doesn't need to use Armand Morin's strategy ... and so on.
      I totally agree. You really have to find out what works for you and the only way to do that is to actually do something.

      I spent a long time not doing things because I *thought* that Guru A would not do it this way until I finally realized there's more than one way to skin a cat (no cat's were actually harmed).

      Foe me, the biggest challenge has been getting rid of self limiting thoughts. They walk up and knock you down before you realize it.

      For everyone going into business...be you. It's fine to take tactics and strategies from others but ultimately you have to put them in play.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jamie Orman
    I always end up buying one more thing or one more ebook, convinced that it will have all the answers I need. Only to throw it away the next day. I'm starting to learn the value of asking those questions and getting away from impulse buys.
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  • Profile picture of the author elishahong
    Hi Elmer,

    Great post! Is it ok if I borrow your questions and post it to my group as to share it with them or perhaps, can I invite you to post at my forums as a "special speaker" . I do have some members within your age and I'd really like to be able to have them identify with your situation. The oldest member I have is 77 but they are interested in doing an online business as well, a little perspective from you would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks again!
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    • Profile picture of the author Elmer Hurlstone
      Hi Elisha,

      I suspect you've confused me with "silkpajamas" who listed his/her age as 77 at the point he/she began searching for online success.

      My age isn't listed. However if you looked at my avatar you probably, rightly, assumed I'm rapidly approaching "geezerhood."

      If it is me you wish to contact feel free to send me a PM and we'll talk.

      One thing we've seen from the responses to this thread is determining the correct approach to marketing is a process. Throwing money at it won't necessarily result in instant success.

      Due diligence is mandatory!

      Elmer Hurlstone
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  • Profile picture of the author successmindedgal
    You have a great post, thanks for this, I'm so inspired with this post.
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  • Profile picture of the author elishahong
    Hey Elmer,

    Haha. It seems that my eyes have reached geezerhood with that mistake. *embarrassed*

    Thanks. I'll contact you via PM
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  • Profile picture of the author ecoverartist
    You always hear those words of wisdom to clear out your hard drive on occassion and/or use what you've actually downloaded. But Elmer's version is much more direct and helpful!

    I'd like to add that before I buy any kind of product, whether it's a $7 WSO report or an expensive piece of software, I always ask myself, "Can I use this to get back my return on investment and then some?"
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  • Profile picture of the author elishahong
    Hey Sherice..

    That's great advice there. What's the ROI..yeah. That makes sense.

    On a side note:

    I like the title on your sig "Buy My Book! Get Niche Quick" -It's almost as if I can hear the word "Get Rich Quick" in my head ;p
    A little off topic but..just wanted to point out my observation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tom Sindoni
    I am such a sucker for good ad copy. If I don't buy this product NOW my life will never be great. As if...

    One of the things that I realized (after spending waaaay to much money) is that in a year there will be just a good if not better products, or in 5 years.

    If I decide not to get this now, there will be other products. No matter if this super spectacular course will only be available to the next 500 people.

    OH me Oh me please let me be one of the 500....Please Please Please!!!

    There will always be more.

    Determine if you really need it and if it is a credible source.

    We already have the information, all we have to do is apply it.
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  • Profile picture of the author lavaleekathy
    Thank you for your post Elmer, very inspiring! A great perspective and guide for anyone setting up in internet marketing. This will save me a lot of time and money!

    Thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author meisters
    Elmer, thanks for sharing your online business experience at this forum. Well I got same problem like you, " I always download or buy some ebook or software this past year but I don't know this stuff will usefull for me"

    He...he...he maybe some day I will be success just like Elmer.

    Learn. Act. Focus. And Get The Money.
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    • Profile picture of the author New Life
      Fantastic advice Elmer...2 years on and ive a HD full to bursting point and i couldnt even tell you half of whats in it...impulse buying...im worse than a women!!

      will definently start asking myself the same questions as you
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      Free WSO To Come!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jackbgd
    Good post. thanks
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