What did you do before IM?

75 replies
I know that most of us (except for the very young) had lives before IM. I'm curious how your past careers prepared you for your online endeavors.

This is how being a birthday party magician helped me in my article writing business:

When you walk into a house full of 3, 4, and 5 year olds who are pumped up on cake, ice cream, and excitement; you had better be confident that you know what you're doing. They'll sense fear and eat you alive.

* The first trick you do needs to catch their attention quickly and tell them, "This is going to be a fun and entertaining show!"

This is exactly like the first paragraph of your article. Tell them quickly how your article will solve a problem or answer a question or give them information they need.

** The next few tricks need to involve the audience. Let them feel like they're part of the show. Each trick needs to build upon the next.

Your article needs to show them how this information is going to help them personally. It needs to build their interest.

If you give a 4 year old even 10 seconds of down time you've lost them. They'll be creating their own entertainment quicker than you can say "hocus pocus".

The person reading your article might not go running wildly through the house screaming if you lose their interest, but they will click away.

*** End with a big finish. Leave them with something they'll remember.

You dont' want them to think, "That was a waste of time". You want them to walk away with at least one helpful thought or idea.

And as they say in show business, "Always leave your audience wanting more."

This is the purpose of a resource box. To tell them where they can find out more.

(I'll save how my use of ventriloquism helps me as a ghostwriter for another post!)

So tell me, what did you do in your past career that has helped you in IM?

rose
aka ramblin' rose the magician
P.S. To all the other magicians out there, I realize the correct term should be "effect" and not "trick" I was just trying to avoid confusion.
#articles #magic #shows #taught #write
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    You always have something interesting to say on the subject; well done and thank you. Looking forward to the lessons of your ventriloquism experiences, too!

    (Before IM, I did a bit of currency trading, and a little bit of network marketing - for less than a year each, really, and some offline writing which got me into online writing, which got me into affiliate marketing.)
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  • Profile picture of the author cypherslock
    I did retail (BestBuy) and customer service (Xbox 360 tech support....on LAUNCH DAY)
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  • Profile picture of the author coffeecashnow
    I was an optician.
    That allowed to go work in an english country which helped me to speak english.
    a must in IM!
    The sales part of my old job is also always very helpful.
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    • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
      I worked full-time in an IT help desk for a chain of retail department stores. (Can you say "happy to be out"?)

      It helped me with my patience, creating clear explanations for non-experts, and appreciating the value of having my own business.
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  • Profile picture of the author magicmarcus
    i was a magician as well there are lots of us magicians in the internet marketing crowd now... its fun!
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  • Profile picture of the author danette77
    Before IM I worked at a call center doing telemarketing and customer service. I'm not sure if it actually helped me in IM, maybe the sales experience served as an asset, but I do know that it drove me to find a better way to make a living :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Santos
    Admittedly, several years back I was very involved in magic, juggling, hypnosis, sideshow stunts, et al. Some of the best people I've ever met come from that crowd! Great to see more of you around here.

    More recently, I've been working in food service as a bartender. Unfortunately, I was weened off the schedule (I'm technically still an employee of the restaurant, but haven't been given a shift in over two months now), so I figured I would use the time to really build a strong base for my own marketing endeavors.
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  • Profile picture of the author jazbo
    I was National Training & Development Manager, focusing primarily on distance learning systems as the sales centres were all over the UK.

    How it helped? Well apart from the tech side and learning how people learn over the internet, I also got to work with some of the UK's top motivational and NLP people, which really opened my mind.

    The training and motivational background is what I am more returning to now, affiliate stuff etc is mostly dead, I focuse more on my mentoring and my own products.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    I appreciate the kind words, Alexa.

    xbox360 tech support on launch day....UGH! I bet that was good times.

    Thanks for all the responses I knew there would be a lot of sales backgrounds, but I'm surprised to find other magicians. Who knew?

    rose
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  • Profile picture of the author BruceWood
    I formerly owned art galleries and upscale decorative accessories stores. Got used to selling luxury goods. The first IM adventures I had, getting $1 commissions (if I was lucky) made me feel like I had hit bottom. I wouldn't still be online at all if I hadn't discovered high-ticket direct sales!
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    • Profile picture of the author timsum
      I'm still living my "before IM life" as a market research consultant.

      Just started, but IM is a source to get me out of the grind and reach my goals.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dave Rodman
    Banned
    I was a commercial lender at a large regional bank. That job really didn't teach me anything directly about IM or prepare me in any way.

    The upside was that I was able to sandbag 2 huge deals that basically allowed me to hit my numbers within the 1st month of the year. That meant hat I could slack off the rest of the year. Which meant that I basically spent 2 years building my IM business while "working"
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  • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
    IT work and modeling photographer.
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  • Profile picture of the author igrowyourbiz
    I Did Offline Marketing (OM)

    everything in IM is simply an internet version of
    Direct Marketing and Mail order Marketing
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  • Profile picture of the author Adam Sussman
    Working for "The Man" I spent a few years in retail followed by a few years in manufacturing. Then I started working for myself. I started off as a freelance graphic artist. Then I owned a print & copy shop. After selling the print business, I was a print broker (thats the man in the middle). Then IM beckoned.
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    "He elicits the same kind of admiration one would feel for a streaker at Queen Victorias funeral."

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    • Profile picture of the author MarcoJardel
      I was an Online Business Consultant. Building websites & advising small businesses on SEO. Very much Internet Marketing related really.

      I don't miss the politics but I do miss the office banter.

      It's great to have the flexibility of working from home but when you're only communicating to people via text it does get a little bit lonely at times.
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  • Profile picture of the author curiousgirl
    I'm just starting so I am still a psychology student! But I really like the IM field, hopefully it works out!
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  • Profile picture of the author Terri LC
    I'm an Event Coordinator and do all the media, promotions and public relations for a large annual multi-cultural festival.........but I'm loving this on the side........
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  • Profile picture of the author Owen Mailer
    I was a Gamekeeper!!! lo
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Russell
    Cool post - the way you related article marketing to working as an entertainer was fun to read

    I currently work in Marketing for a candy company, and I don't want to give it up yet because it's a blast But before that, I've worked in HR and school administration, and my degree is in Environmental Science...
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  • Profile picture of the author Ernie Lo
    Well I use to do data entry and now have been doing nigh time cleaning for over a year. The hours are tough and its hard to sleep during the day!

    So IM is my only way out of a crappy job life

    Thankfully I'm making money now and its likely that this will be my last year working a job.
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  • Profile picture of the author MMWoodward
    Mostly retail, but the customer service skills that I've learned through hands-on opportunities are still more than applicable for handling IM business as well. I would just rather make IM my full-time income than the retail-ish stuff that I'm doing now
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  • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
    I was a field engineer, owned my own company for 12 years, computer consultant, and am now generally just a professional bum .

    Marvin
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    • Profile picture of the author JWatson
      I dunno...I'm still just starting so I'm only guessing what might be helpful. I was a psychologist, did research in psychophysiology and neuropsychology; college professor; went into industry doing programming and then marketing in technical fields.

      Must be something useful there somewhere. :p

      In a way I think what might help most is not so much any of the above, but in seeing first hand how bored or trapped people can feel and how devastating a layoff can be (though the second one definitely is easier :rolleyes and the opportunities that do exist if only we can center ourselves enough to really see them.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
        Banned
        Originally Posted by JWatson View Post

        I was a psychologist, did research in psychophysiology and neuropsychology; college professor; went into industry doing programming and then marketing in technical fields.

        Must be something useful there somewhere. :p
        You're telling me. My money's on JWatson for the win ...
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        • Profile picture of the author JWatson
          Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

          You're telling me. My money's on JWatson for the win ...
          That is so very kind of you Alexa.

          But I'm not at all sure I'd have gone into internet marketing if I'd known that certain credentials include being shot.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike McAleer
    I am very young so this is my first job really but it doesn't feel like one. I quit video games to do this so it is more like a hobby. Also, I do caddy in the summer and make good money there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr.Wright
    Freelancer, then found IM and stuck with it for 2 years now. Also, do some things on the side to get the right balance.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jake Gray
    Interesting thread.

    Before any of this really happened, I was doing IT work.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnny_h
    I was the manager of a finance company for about two years before IM. Basically, I was a bill collector, which helped me develop a nose for finding money! lol!

    Seriously, though, the business side did help me develop a good sense of how to run a successful business - I literally spent most of my time there looking at it from the angle of "where is the money?", which taught me almost everything I know about seeking and finding success (in business at least). Find the money, and you've found the right direction!
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  • Profile picture of the author Launchevity
    I went to law school, got married, started a family, decided I'd rather be a writer at home, worked for 8 years, got really sick and tired of clients who wouldn't pay and marketing guru clients bragging about how they'd found this really good and cheap writer they could pimp and then started IMing. Haven't looked back since. : )
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  • Profile picture of the author RizenKJ
    I'm a high school student taking my junior and senior year at a university program that only selects 200 or so kids per year. Focused on math and science, the academy that I attend is focused on bringing in major contributors to the field of science - However I, myself, wish to be involved in business as well as science so I decided to give a run at this internet marketing stuff. So far, though I haven't been totally successful yet, I've learned many lessons and will learn many that have yet to come. Hopefully in the future these skills ranging from creating websites, trying to sell products, SEO, outsourcing and the whole online business experience helps out where ever I try to go.

    Everything I was before I started I still am and more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sheryl Polomka
    I worked for 12 years in various admin roles including marketing and accounting roles. I have an Associate Diploma in Accounting.

    I don't think my accounting background really helps a lot with IM, other than keeping my taxes in order and I don't even do that very well.

    I think the general admin and computer work that I did certainly helped.

    I've spent 13 years as a Mother which has helped my IM career because that was my motivation to do it so I could stay home with my kids and not go out to work and have someone else raise them!
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    • Profile picture of the author inter123
      I studied Computing and was a Programmer for a couple of years before moving into Field Sales. I suppose both of these combinations help when it comes to IM.
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  • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
    Let me see:

    teacher/theatre critic
    technical translator
    brush maker/novel translator
    (immigrant)
    journalist > editor
    salesman
    sales manager
    humanitarian worker > mission leader in war zones
    (immigrant again)
    insurance agent
    MA student
    (cultural) interpreter
    trainer for cross-cultural communication
    security guard
    financial advisor
    webmaster/WP theme designer

    Add to the mix the years of being a single father and (when working from home) being the homemaker... In the meantime got 3 citizenships and 4 bullets in my car; lived and worked in several countries; had to learn languages - and had a lot of fun!

    Life is one big adventure
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    • Profile picture of the author robert_aus
      I worked as a public servant with foreign affairs here in Australia for 20 plus years. I worked in admin roles such as managing the desktop publishing unit, managed the intranet unit and ran the payroll system.
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      • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
        I used to work in the direct mail business.

        I still use direct mail, conversion rates shoot through the roof when you add direct mail to the online stuff if it's done correctly.

        Very few internet marketers do it, they're leaving money on the table.

        Black and purple envelopes with picture stamps on them work great and get attention, brown and white envelopes don't stand out and look like other typical mail.

        Adding SMS/text messages to promotions is also very powerful, pushes up the conversion rate even higher.

        Online > Offline > Online works really well, leading with offline can work too but is tougher to pull off.

        Anyway ... I've gone off topic lol
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        'If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.' Vincent Van Gogh.
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    • Profile picture of the author AEC
      Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

      Let me see:

      teacher/theatre critic
      technical translator
      brush maker/novel translator
      (immigrant)
      journalist > editor
      salesman
      sales manager
      humanitarian worker > mission leader in war zones
      (immigrant again)
      insurance agent
      MA student
      (cultural) interpreter
      trainer for cross-cultural communication
      security guard
      financial advisor
      webmaster/WP theme designer

      Add to the mix the years of being a single father and (when working from home) being the homemaker... In the meantime got 3 citizenships and 4 bullets in my car; lived and worked in several countries; had to learn languages - and had a lot of fun!

      Life is one big adventure
      Now that is what I call the voice of experience. I bet you could tell some interesting stories?

      Oh what did I do before... I was and still am owner in a construction/excavating business. Doesn't look like a popular past occupation here LOL.
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      If you place good service ahead of making money... opportunities to make money will present themselves.
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  • If you can count it a job. I was contracted as a professional PC player to compete and represent major sponsors such as INTEL, EA, DELL and Razer around the world. Free food money, hotels, travel and winning money if you won the tournament.

    Which at the time we were the best team in Call Of Duty in the world. Very few people get to travel for free, get given free sponsor gear and make money playing the games they love

    Infact here is a frag movie of our story as a team:


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  • Profile picture of the author Tim_Carter
    I was a computer programmer and systems analyst for 17 years. Got silver handshake and bought a video store.

    Ran that until 2005 when I went full time IM.

    This is the best job - er not job ever!
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  • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
    First real job was in a steel mill in Kansas City, Mo.

    Hard Labor.

    Most recent day job - web programmer/designer.

    With my background, the technical stuff is a whizz. It's the stuff that y'all probably consider easy that gives me headaches (copywriting, sales copy, etc.).
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    I just added this sig so I can refer to it in my posts...

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  • Profile picture of the author Jarrett
    Banned
    wow, that sounds like a killer job Jason

    so before IM.. I was actually a rapper. was doing some big things, touring all over.. ended up getting all my stuff stolen and fell on some hard times.. so that was when I turned to affiliate marketing.

    got some of my tracks here:

    http://jarrettstevenson.com/music/getlikeme.mp3
    http://jarrettstevenson.com/music/Gh...0it%20girl.mp3
    http://jarrettstevenson.com/music/gh...white-blue.mp3

    definitely gonna get back into music this year though.. really feel like I've been cheating on my first love. lol
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  • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
    I did many jobs but the most influential was working for the British government. I have been shot 4 times, stabbed twice, and that is just the good memories.

    What I learned? You have not failed until your body is cold and unmoving. Until that point you are merely slowed down. Well that and the fact the easiest way to travel between any two countries without leaving a trace is by getting a job on fishing trawlers lol

    I.M. is to be preferred.

    Cheers,
    Colin Palfrey
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    • Profile picture of the author Istvan Horvath
      Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

      I have been shot 4 times,
      OK, you "won".

      My shooters couldn't aim well, so the 4 bullets ended up in the car I was driving
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      • Profile picture of the author Colin Palfrey
        Originally Posted by Istvan Horvath View Post

        OK, you "won".

        My shooters couldn't aim well, so the 4 bullets ended up in the car I was driving
        Actually you won because you knew how to dodge LOL

        Cheers,
        Colin Palfrey
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        I write articles and eBooks - PM me for details!
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    • Profile picture of the author Steven Miranda
      Originally Posted by Colin Palfrey View Post

      I did many jobs but the most influential was working for the British government. I have been shot 4 times, stabbed twice, and that is just the good memories.

      What I learned? You have not failed until your body is cold and unmoving. Until that point you are merely slowed down. Well that and the fact the easiest way to travel between any two countries without leaving a trace is by getting a job on fishing trawlers lol

      I.M. is to be preferred.

      Cheers,
      Colin Palfrey
      You have been through it. At least it is kind of hard to get shot or stabbed being an IM.
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  • Profile picture of the author alcymart
    I was selling vacuum cleaners on the road at one point and was eventually promoted to trainer where I formed my own team of on the road sellers. I also owned 3 retail dollar stores in which one I worked full time. Before that as a teen, I was delivering newspapers door to door...lol

    Bernard
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    • Profile picture of the author pringrod
      A Pro footballer, I wish!!! Field Sales, various products over the years
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    • Profile picture of the author shadow_wolf013
      8 years in the US Army, bounced between a couple jobs in retail and then security.. then ended up in IM.

      Diverse skillsets on the board so far, interesting to see where people come from so to speak.
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    • Profile picture of the author Steadyon
      I sold vacuum cleaners for a months! Or tried to!

      On one occassion, the vacuum cleaner (cost of $3,000) quite literally blew up during my demonstration. I didn't get the sale.

      Went into finance then sports, building trade, then became a fully qualified Chartered Accountant.

      Did the corporate thing for about 10 years, then had my own accounting practice.

      Then I realised it wasn't that much fun building up others' businesses and having to deal with all the red tape and regulations all the time.

      So I taught myself web design, html and programming during the dot com crash and have been doing well in IM ever since. It's far more fun and far more creative.
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  • Profile picture of the author ToniMaltano
    Washing dishes. Rags to Riches...
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    ...
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  • Profile picture of the author D111
    Catering and restaurant jobs
    -Customer service skills

    General laborer for a construction company
    -Made me appreciate sitting down more.

    Intern for Sheriffs department and then a Police Department
    -Helped me deal with diverse personalities.

    2 day stint at a temp labor staffing agency. First day started with pressure washing the garbage chute of high rise downtown condos. Second day of fun consisted of construction site clean up and moving dust around with a broom.
    -Use my brain as much as possible.


    Martial arts instructor for children and adults.
    --How to be entertaining and speak in front of a group. It helped me become a more disciplined and focused person.

    Retail Sales Associate
    --Made me more attentive to details, and gave me an opportunity to practice face to face selling.
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  • Profile picture of the author MKTaddicts
    Thanks to IM, i got my first job after I graduated from school and I have been in the market since then.
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  • Profile picture of the author supergenie13
    Marketing reading educational software to schools and parents in South Africa since 1990.

    Got involved with mobile marketing for the first time online last year August....got burned badly by this 19 year old "wonder kid"....then I found a mentor to trust and follow and I am learning daily!
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  • Profile picture of the author Casper C
    I was a student, and still am on a part-time basis. I'm already doing what I want to do, but dropping out of my degree all together just wouldn't feel right.

    Also, I used to do some freelance web design - I was never one for being employed. I've only ever had one job, and it's when I worked at a grocery store while I was still at high school. I hated it, and vowed only ever to be my own boss from then on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    How far back are we going????

    Cleaning up saw dust at a lumber company/saw mill. (Lesson - Little things can fit in the most unusual places on your body...)

    Indexing inventory for a photography store. (Lesson - Photography nuts buy the strangest things.)

    Grunt labor in a factory producing rubber conveyor belts. (Lesson - Working hard gets noticed.)

    Assistant production manager same place. (Lesson -People are your number one resource ALWAYS, thank you Charlie...)

    Production manager same place. (Lesson - Being the boss during a recession sucks, especially when you are laying off people you worked on the factory floor with previously.)

    Industrial sales same place. (Lesson - People care about quality, on-time delivery, and friendship more than the lowest price.)

    Technical education sales. (Lesson - Features are useless, Dreams prevail.)

    Computer Sales (Lesson - When your computer support person gets drunk all the time you become.......)

    IT Support/Business Consulting for 20 years. (Lesson - It is not being the smartest, most gifted, most knowledgeable person which wins, it is being the person who cares the most, communicates clearly, and TAKES CARE OF THEIR CLIENTS INTERESTS who wins.)

    Slave to Cute Filipina - Internet Marketing - Currently.....
    (Lesson - A 100 pound Filipina can have the temperament of a 250 pound linebacker...but is much cuter, wiser, and what else did you tell me to type honey???)
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  • Profile picture of the author KatieWilliams
    I was a legal secretary.

    And I actually learnt a whole heap about customer service, "leading" the telephone conversation, time management (from observing my 2 bosses - 1 who worked a half day and had laser focus, and 1 who worked 12 hour days in utter chaos) and lots of other things.

    Katie
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    Katie

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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    My last full-time job was as a sales manager selling supposedly "turn-key" e-commerce websites to customers. That experience has helped me in more ways than I can imagine, as this meant that I felt quite comfortable when first contacting and talking to business owners for my offline consulting, and also didn't feel too much trepidation when doing my first few webinars. It has helped not only in being able to build rapport fairly easily, it has helped me develop a straightforward, simple and non-intimidating approach when talking about websites and SEO, etc. as I pretty much dealt with computer novices and technophobes at my last job, and had to figure out how to explain things in an effective yet simple manner.

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author anthony2
    I worked at CVS (Stock Guy), Bloomingdales (Sales), H&M (Stock Guy), Studio Assistant
    all within a 5 year time. I couldn't stay at one place to long. I moved on to one thing then the next thing until I found the internet. My DNA isn't made to be an employee.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    Wow...thanks for all the responses. I didn't know the answers would be so diverse.

    Colin, I eagerly await the movie version of your life
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    • Profile picture of the author oneplusone
      Originally Posted by Rose Anderson View Post

      Wow...thanks for all the responses. I didn't know the answers would be so diverse.

      Colin, I eagerly await the movie version of your life
      People love to talk about themselves
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      'If you hear a voice within you say "you cannot paint," then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.' Vincent Van Gogh.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Franklin
    I still work part-time doing financial/accounting work along with doing IM currently but before I got into IM, I did my financial work in the daytime and played poker at night....At least now, I see my family much more often!
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  • Profile picture of the author JamesW
    Left university and struggled to get a job as an accountant, so this led me to:

    - Factory work
    - Stand-up comedy
    - Trading the FTSE on the betting exchanges
    - Investing in stocks
    - Trading the forex markets
    - Internet/affiliate marketing.

    I love affiliate marketing but stocks and forex is still my biggest passion, and almost everything I earn gets reinvested into boring long-term stocks that pay dividends.

    Hope to completely retire from internet marketing and forex trading before I'm 40 and preferably 35 (now 33) and live off dividend income and share trading profits.
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  • Profile picture of the author aduttonater
    email marketing and auto responder set up!
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  • Profile picture of the author JuliannaW
    Before coming into IM, I was making mad cash in the adult industry. Both as an affiliate and web cam personality.

    ...the adult industry went down the crapper over the last year, which forced my hand into mainstream. Still trying to figure my way around this neck of the woods.
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  • Profile picture of the author vilnwv
    Before finally making it in IM I was a lab technician analyzing blood, urine and stool samples. So you can imagine how happy I was when I was able to quit and just work from home The only stool I see is the one I sit on at the bar
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    AffConX is coming! Will you be ready?
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    Anyone gone from IM. to the offline world? I have been tempted for years to at least do something offline again if only to get out and about again...
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    15 Minute Forex Bar Trading System Free at
    http://www.fxscalpingmethod.com

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    • Originally Posted by sloanjim View Post

      Anyone gone from IM. to the offline world? I have been tempted for years to at least do something offline again if only to get out and about again...
      bootsales in the summer work pretty well
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  • Profile picture of the author CyberSorcerer
    Well let's see.

    - I've been a manager at a Subway shop
    - Forman for a concrete company
    - Telemarketing
    - Security Researcher/Consultant (which I still do today)
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