Time to Give Back: 2 Years Over, Over 6 Figures Each Year, Full Time for Over 3

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Hey folks. It's tax time and I was just going over last years earnings. I'm pleased to see what it says - and this will make the second year in a row that I've broken six figures. And this year is going to be a LOT bigger for me.

I don't throw that around to brag. Instead, I hope to part some wisdom to those who are looking for it and are willing to listen.



1. Probably the most important: Be prepared to fail.

This last year I suffered a HORRIBLE failure that cost over 10,000 dollars in refunds, the closing of a paypal account, the laying off of 18 people, and a damaged reputation among affiliates and customers.

While there were certain things outside of my control that hurt, the ultimate responsibility lay on me.

Poor planning, a poor business model, combined with inexperience caused catastrophe.

I took a risk. And yet 6 months later I'm back on my feet and making more than before.

The ability to take a risk, fail and survive is what drives success, ultimately.

I know that a lot of people fear failure. It's that fear that prevents us from making decisions - Lack of decisions = lack of action. Lack of action = no money.

So instead, recognize that failure is part of the game. You WILL fail. Bad things WILL happen. A site will churn and burn. You'll waste money on ads or outsourcers. Your paypal account will get shut down. Someone will steal from you. You'll have an off day and create a bad product.

Accept it. And start making calculated risks (not just dumb risks but calculate) and then go for it.



2a. Learn the Difference between "easy and simple".

Simple can still mean hard hard work. Simple can mean long hours. However, simple can also mean doable, repeatable, actionable.

2b. Leverage Simple as much as possible.

The path of least resistance to success is usually the simplest.

Take Kindle for instance. It's simple: You provide a good quality product, Amazon does the heavy lifting.

It's still hard work. You have to write. You have to write well. You have to know how to provide value. And you have to know what sells.

But, once you do - you can be off to the races. Amazon keeps it simple. They take care of everything. Traffic, sales process, refunds. You just write the books and upload them.

See? Simple. But not necessarily easy.



3. The higher in the "food chain" the more potential to make money.

You can be an affiliate and make a ton of money. But there is also more people competing.

You can produce products. You have affiliates promote YOU. (Higher in the food chain), but you still have quite a bit of competition.

You can be the middle man (affiliate networks like WSO Pro, JVZoo, RAPBank, or other places like Fiverr, the Warrior Forum, etc.), and collect money from affiliates, vendors, and possibly customers. Or clients and your outsource labor.

Each step is slightly harder to get into, but usually yields higher results. Almost anyone can set up an Amazon site in a few hours. Most people take months to prep and program a system like fiverr. Then there is the promotion there of. Of course, once it takes off...well then...money rolls in!


4. Have multiple points of monetization available.

Upsells/crossells come to mind. But more than that...

- If a product/site/project fails, perhaps you could sell it and recoup costs?
- Offer info products with physical products (like guides for products people purchase)
- Supplement income by adding paid ads on your site.

You don't have to do any of these - but it's important to keep in mind - if you have more ways to earn, you reduce financial risk and increase chances of success.



5. And finally - don't replace your JOB with another JOB.

Being an owner/operator is fine. But realize your time is valuable. YOUR job is to be the financing your operations and planning out future operations, ultimately growing your business and your income.

To be free to make those decisions requires you automate a lot of your business. This may require outsourcing. It may require more tools.

A lot of people replace working for their boss with another boss. Their business.

If you get your business working for you - you'll have a lot less stress.

This is one thing I'm still working on. And if you don't want to automate, outsource, or desire a nice income, more power to you.

But I learned that when I treated this as a business and lifestyle change, it meant hiring, investing, and growing. That helped free me.

Oh, one other thing.


In business there is no such thing as "spending money". It's "investing money".

If you never see a return on any of your investments, then you are not investing properly.

When faced with a buying decision - ask yourself: "Will this tool/course/object bring me a ROI and will it help me on my business path/model I have laid before myself."

If the answer is "no" - don't buy it.
If it is yes - invest and make it work for ya.


Hope this helps!

Rob
#back #figures #full #give #time #year #years
  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

    5. And finally - don't replace your JOB with another JOB.
    Preach brother preach!
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  • Profile picture of the author Dan Allard
    Great advice Rob, can't believe you kept going after such a huge 'failure'. 99% of people would of thrown in the towel at that point, but you kept going and it's paid off. That's what separates the entrepreneurs from everyone else.

    Many of us experience smaller 'failures' every day, I know I do! So this advice is extremely helpful.

    Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

    So instead, recognize that failure is part of the game. You WILL fail. Bad things WILL happen. A site will churn and burn. You'll waste money on ads or outsourcers. Your paypal account will get shut down. Someone will steal from you. You'll have an off day and create a bad product.

    Accept it. And start making calculated risks (not just dumb risks but calculate) and then go for it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
      Originally Posted by Dan Allard View Post

      Great advice Rob, can't believe you kept going after such a huge 'failure'. 99% of people would of thrown in the towel at that point, but you kept going and it's paid off. That's what separates the entrepreneurs from everyone else.

      Many of us experience smaller 'failures' every day, I know I do! So this advice is extremely helpful.
      It was a nasty time. Nasty time.

      The constant insults, threats, refunds, disputes nearly killed me. And I'm being serious here. The stress was almost intolerable. And I was just a few weeks away from complete bankruptcy.

      But I couldn't concede. I had to push through and continue on. To concede was to accept defeat and I had already tasted so much success I knew giving up would be the dumbest thing in the world.

      So about 2 months later I'm back on my feet and better than before.

      And something definitely has changed in me. For the better I believe. While it sucked at the time, I learned some of the most invaluable lessons in business I ever have and was humbled like never before.

      Rob
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      • Profile picture of the author 1Constant
        Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

        It was a nasty time. Nasty time.

        The constant insults, threats, refunds, disputes nearly killed me. And I'm being serious here. The stress was almost intolerable. And I was just a few weeks away from complete bankruptcy.

        But I couldn't concede. I had to push through and continue on. To concede was to accept defeat and I had already tasted so much success I knew giving up would be the dumbest thing in the world.

        So about 2 months later I'm back on my feet and better than before.

        And something definitely has changed in me. For the better I believe. While it sucked at the time, I learned some of the most invaluable lessons in business I ever have and was humbled like never before.

        Rob
        What lessons did you learn?

        Thank you for this post.....nice lift on a low day.
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        • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
          Originally Posted by 1Constant View Post

          What lessons did you learn?

          Thank you for this post.....nice lift on a low day.
          1. Overconfidence can kill a business. Be prepared for all situations if possible and have stringent processes in place for many aspects of your business.

          2. ALWAYS attempt to understand your market BETTER. I knew what my market wanted...or so I thought.

          When I figured it out (which was too late), I knew exactly how I could've done it differently and the result would've been much, much better.

          3. The bigger the reward, the harder the effort.

          4. Communication is much better than no communication.

          5. The thicker the skin, the better.

          6. Be prepared for "Acts of God". My entire outsourced team was temporarily wiped out by a typhoon. Had I been prepared, I would've had contingencies in place.

          7. Don't use paypal for recurring subscriptions! lol

          8. Charge MORE for MORE VALUE. I was literally too cheap. This was the #1 reason why I failed. Had I doubled my price, I would've gotten 1/2 the clients but made the same money.

          This would've allowed me to give the value promised.

          My goal was noble - provide a service in which everyone could afford. But by doing so I failed to be able to provide anyone much of anything!


          Rob
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      • Profile picture of the author ShaneGorry
        Wow you've put as much fear into me as you have taken away. lol

        Seriously however, have read your other thread about "Is it REALLY possible for everyone to make money online?", I see even more context to what you have discussed other there. Even people who have a lot of what it takes to make it may have lost it if faced with such a difficult period.

        I would have to say self belief and belief in your vision are probably the biggest factors in success.
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  • Profile picture of the author Oliver Williams
    Excellent post, thanks for the share
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  • Profile picture of the author Ben Gordon
    Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

    In business there is no such thing as "spending money". It's "investing money".
    This is the $5,000 lesson that I've been teaching my customers and trying to get into Warriors' minds. Honestly, it may not be the 'biggest' part in internet marketing (well...for me it is but that's because my entrepreneurial career is based clearly on investments), but it is something that any true entrepreneur should understand and take into action.
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulyC
    Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

    In business there is no such thing as "spending money". It's "investing money".

    If you never see a return on any of your investments, then you are not investing properly.

    When faced with a buying decision - ask yourself: "Will this tool/course/object bring me a ROI and will it help me on my business path/model I have laid before myself."

    If the answer is "no" - don't buy it.
    If it is yes - invest and make it work for ya.


    Hope this helps!

    Rob
    Thanks for the great information Rob... I like the last point you made the best.. We all start out buying shiny objects that all require us to use a different 'technique', but that ultimately isn't a real business.

    I heard the same thing from someone a while back and ever since I've used it in every single business-related decision I've made - and your advice is gold - Will it bring me a ROI !

    Great stuff, thanks again for sharing!

    Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author jaiganeshv
    This is very encouraging on how one can come up after losing 99% like a phoenix..
    Rob, you a real hero
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Originally Posted by ccmusicman View Post

    In business there is no such thing as "spending money". It's "investing money".
    Amen brother!
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    BS free SEO services, training and advice - SEO Point

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  • Profile picture of the author temlawn
    Great Post and good points. Yes, been there, done that twice in 12 years... it is a vicious cycle, but successful entrepreneurs push through, and while most people would take the easy road and quit. Those of us with a deep down desire to succeed brush off the dust, get up, and keep going
    But yes it sucks and the stress levels are through the roof!

    I used to love to say "I make six figures" - until at the end of the year you get with your tax guy and he tells you that you are in the highest tax bracket and owe X,XXXX instead of getting back X,XXX ..lol.... oh well

    Great post thanks!!

    (updated)
    8. Charge MORE for MORE VALUE. I was literally too cheap. This was the #1 reason why I failed. Had I doubled my price, I would've gotten 1/2 the clients but made the same money.
    Plus had to deal with 1/2 the questions and 1/2 the headaches.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
      Originally Posted by temlawn View Post

      (updated)
      Plus had to deal with 1/2 the questions and 1/2 the headaches.
      Yup! It's amazing what a difference just a price point could make.

      Rob
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    • Profile picture of the author Karen Blundell
      great post. I especially can relate to point #5. Sometimes it's hard to relinquish control.

      As far as fearing failure, yes, I think most of us are indeed afraid of failure. I think it's quite normal. But not giving up after a failure or even repeated failures, separates the true entrepreneurs from the wannabes, doesn't it?

      I think many of us who have been doing this for any length of time wish sometimes that we could have done things differently at some point during the journey. But there's really no point in dwelling on the past, except to learn from it, fix what we can, and move onwards and upwards.

      I also agree with you about having back-up plans and multiple streams of income. So that you always have income if the unexpected happens or if one source dries up.

      Here's to a successful 2012 for all of us!
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  • Profile picture of the author temlawn
    Sorry to hear about your struggle, but very happy your still in the game! Thanks for the great post and hopefully you won't have to go through it again! Have a great week! THX.
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  • Profile picture of the author jivens
    Banned
    Very nice friend. It's people like you that keep the newbies motivated! What is your main income generator? If you don't mind me asking that is.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Rob, just out of interest mate, how many high end products are you pushing?

    Or perhaps give us an idea of your pricing points across your product range.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
      Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post

      Rob, just out of interest mate, how many high end products are you pushing?

      Or perhaps give us an idea of your pricing points across your product range.
      A few numbers:

      7 to 27 dollars.

      Average customer buys about 12 products.

      Average customer value is about 80 dollars to 150, over 6 weeks. (Not including affiliate sales)

      However, the reports only take me about 2 hours to write and I'm even getting that systemized (cost is about 100 dollars per report). The only thing left is to systemize sales page creation.

      After that , it's purchasing advertisement - I plan on solo ads, banners, and getting on backends of other deals.

      Everything so far has been focused on just utilizing affiliates to send me traffic and leads.

      Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author gai001
    Very good points not replacing your job with another job and looking at spending money in terms of ROI - often overlooked.
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  • Profile picture of the author DianaHeuser
    Lack of action = no money

    Thank you Rob, that was my nugget for the day

    Off to do some calling.

    Di
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  • Profile picture of the author RealBusy
    Thank for sharing. Plenty food for thought.
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  • Profile picture of the author jivens
    Banned
    what do you mean you're getting the reports "systemized"?
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
      Originally Posted by jivens View Post

      what do you mean you're getting the reports "systemized"?
      A system is an effective, and repeatable way of doing things which gives you either 1 of 2 possible outcomes.

      Either = A, you get exactly what you expect or B = it doesn't work.

      If it's B, and you've systemized correctly, you can quickly break down into it's core components and figure out what has gone wrong.

      Think of an ignition in a car. You turn the switch, the car either starts or it doesn't. If it doesn't, something is wrong. If something is wrong, you (or a mechanic) will systematically find the problem and fix it.

      The same thing works in business.

      When you sell in volume, you do certain things that, to be frank, ends up looking like McDonalds.

      McDonalds produces products in the same fashion, every time. It works. It's efficient. It's the key to their cheap costs.

      Well, the same thing happens with reports. They are cheap, so you need to operate extremely efficient in order to make a good return.

      Everything from the way the product is written, to the format that is used, the sales page, the way you host the site, the way the sales page is written, everything uses standards - one way of doing it.

      By utilizing this method, you can quickly cut down on the time to produce a product.

      I can write a 40 page report, packed with good information, in about 2 hours because of this. Site setup and sales page creation only takes another 2 hours or so.

      So, in 4 hours, I have a product I can sell. (Not including upsells - but that is being worked on)

      Now I'm experimenting with passing this task off to someone else. They follow the same format as I do. And because they are trained writers (who I'll pay well - 25 dollars or more an hour), they only take 2 to 4 hours to write themselves. (With provided research material and, ideally, experience in the niche which you can find really easily)

      Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author J Bold
    Rob, awesome thread. You know I love your stuff, brother.

    I don't usually call people "brother" either, ha ha.

    I think one of the most insightful things you said in your first post is so "simple" yet so brilliant. I'll leave you to figure out why part. That realization is truly a remarkable one to make, though. Everyone's always looking for something "easy."

    Truth is, there is no easy. But there is simple. Spot-on man, thanks for the reminder.

    peace out
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  • Profile picture of the author World Marketing
    I really like how you emphasize prepare to fail...this is very true when it comes to IM especially in the beginning...Kudos to you!
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  • Profile picture of the author gvsridhar171
    Just wonderful story. Warriors are coming out with good success stories and I think we should make a collection of such good stories and give it to newbies free of cost. I am thinking of doing it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
      Originally Posted by gvsridhar171 View Post

      Just wonderful story. Warriors are coming out with good success stories and I think we should make a collection of such good stories and give it to newbies free of cost. I am thinking of doing it.
      Go right ahead! If my story can help someone else push through, then more power to you.

      Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeus66
    This thread should be required reading here, Rob. Thanks for sharing your experience, warts and all. Ever since I've known you on this forum, I've been impressed that you're one of the "good guys." The fact that it nearly killed you when things got ugly is a reflection of how much you care and want your customers to get value out of your offerings. I knew that about you the first time we ever talked.

    It's marketers like you - willing to fail but not willing to give up - that end up highly successful. And now you know it, too. I'm really happy for you, my friend!

    John
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    • Profile picture of the author MarkSalmon
      Rob,

      Thank you for sharing your experience - it sounds like your bad experience was 'an opportunity to start again more intelligently'. As they say 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger'. You also reminded us of the importance of systems in business. Great post and very thought provoking.

      regards

      Mark
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      You can follow what I am doing to grow my business at http://mark-salmon.com I've been self-employed for 13 years as a business consultant and internet marketer.

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      • Profile picture of the author EddieJunior1
        Very sound advice my friend. J
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        • Profile picture of the author Christines Dream
          Excellent success story. It's inspiring and sound advice from someone who is a success. A definite read for newbies!

          The ability to take a risk, fail and survive is what drives success
          You have the spirit I am modeling myself after.

          Thanks for the share.
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  • Profile picture of the author bushidosurfer
    Rob,

    Thanks for sharing your advice on how we should think about failures, esp. this bit,

    I know that a lot of people fear failure. It's that fear that prevents us from making decisions - Lack of decisions = lack of action. Lack of action = no money.

    So instead, recognize that failure is part of the game. You WILL fail. Bad things WILL happen. A site will churn and burn. You'll waste money on ads or outsourcers. Your paypal account will get shut down. Someone will steal from you. You'll have an off day and create a bad product.

    Accept it. And start making calculated risks (not just dumb risks but calculate) and then go for it.
    Accept it so that you can Face it and you will be able to Solve with it
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  • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
    Thanks everyone for your responses!

    It's my genuine hope that someone can learn something from this and it appears that may be the case.

    Rob
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Great post Rob. Tough to go through. Glad you made it out the other end.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ewan1998
    Banned
    Great post, thanks for sharing!

    An important thing though about failure there, and that most people will have to go through it at one point.
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  • Profile picture of the author tpw
    I for one am very glad that you did not give up, when the weight of the world was standing on top of you.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
      Originally Posted by tpw View Post

      I for one am very glad that you did not give up, when the weight of the world was standing on top of you.
      Yes, there are times when instead of encouraging you, people, even family seem to disagree with your choices and decisions. Just the thing you need to lift your spirits!

      I've had my fair share of this. But if you've done your research, consulted with experienced people, got references, verified things and you know deep down insde that you have the ability to do what you want to do then sometimes you've to make a stand for what you believe in.

      Yes, you've got to believe in yourself, not in an arrogant way but in a sort of a self trusting way because only you know what your capable of. No one knows you, like you. (hope that makes sense)

      It's good to get advice and feedback from people but ultimately you have a choice to decide if it's beneficial for you to act upon that advice or not.

      You have the final say as to which direction you want to sail your ship forward in life. Sometimes you have to trust yourself and go against the opinion of the masses and when you do you'll be surprised at how it can turn out. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

      One day, you'll find that goldmine that you've been looking for and when it happens, you'll be the happiest person.

      If anyone can relate to this please comment.

      Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author The Marketeer
    Thanks for the advice. It was very inspiring.

    I agree with all your points. They are very valuable pieces of advice.

    Fear of failure is a big challenge for many however it can be reduced as you rightly stated, by understanding that it's part of the natural process of learning. You win some, you lose some. It's part of life. You pick yourself up and carry on.

    We can do things to reduce the chances of failure like researching, feedback, advice, support and encouragement from others who have gone down the path you are trying to go etc. pretty much like what you can do on a forum. Then it doesn't feel so bad anymore.

    We cannot see into the future so of course whenever we take any action, there is a possibilty that it might not go as we expected. So do we just give up or do we keep trying?

    Of course, we must keep persisting and try different ways reach our goals or aim for different goals which are just as or more rewarding than the one we didn't reach. There are many different ways to climb a mountain.

    Giving up is NOT an option. It's too boring and a waste of the gift of life and potential talent.

    Thanks again for your advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Great advice and 'lessons learned' Rob....by the way, when you moved, did you notice the sign that said, "Will the last one to leave Illinois please turn the lights out"..
    lol!
    _____
    Bruce
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    • Profile picture of the author Rob Howard
      Originally Posted by Bruce NewMedia View Post

      Great advice and 'lessons learned' Rob....by the way, when you moved, did you notice the sign that said, "Will the last one to leave Illinois please turn the lights out"..
      lol!
      _____
      Bruce
      Yup!

      And boy, it's a LOT nicer here...State government, for the most part, stays out of my business.

      Rob
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