Post 1000 - Lessons Learned So Far

25 replies
The first version of this that I typed was going to be a funny post because that's my personality. I like to make jokes and be friendly with people, and I'm sure most of you have noticed that.

As I was typing and making myself chuckle, I realized something: It doesn't do any good to make people laugh because they soon forget what they were laughing at. So I erased the whole post and decided to go with a more serious tone and tell you what I've learned in my short time in Internet Marketing:

Lesson 1 - There Is No Autopilot
There is no instant money. I got a PM today from a nameless warrior (it's my choice not to name the person) asking me how to make money because he needed "urgent cash." Two weeks ago I got another email from someone who'd stumbled onto my personal blog and kept going on about way after way to make money, always wanting to know what methods would make him money the fastest and could be put on autopilot. I see this as I look through the threads here day after day.

It doesn't matter what business you're in, you have to realize that you're making a commitment. It's not much different from getting into a relationship with a girl or guy. You have to be willing to give part of your life to that business, and it's got to be a very significant portion of your life in the beginning.

If you walked up to the girl (or guy) of your dreams and managed to start dating the person, got the relationship going well, and then put it on autopilot, what would happen? (Hint: Watch the Adam Sandler movie "Click" if you want to see Hollywood's version.) Over time, that relationship would fall apart. A business is no different from this. You might start by putting in 2-3 hours per day and find, over time, that you need to spend 4 then 5 then 6 then 10 hours per day at some points to keep it successful.

Lesson 2 - There Is No Easy
You have a 1 in 10,000 chance of being struck by lightning in your lifetime, assuming you live to be 80 years old.

You have a 1 in 100 chance of starting a business and keeping it open for 1 year. If you make it 1 year, you have a 1 in 100 chance of making it for another year. (The odds get better after 2 years.)

If you do the math there, you have the same odds of being struck by lightning as you do of starting a successful business and keeping it running. Do you know the difference, though? It takes no effort to get struck by lightning. It takes monumental effort to keep a business running. I've done it twice now. The first business I had I kept open for over 5 years, and it took really bad decisions on my part coupled with the recent US Recession to kill the business. The second one is still rolling strong.

Lesson 3 - People Are Important
I lost sight of this a few years ago. I spent the first 15 years of my adult life in retail, and I let it poison my view of people. I saw nothing but liars and people who were out to screw me over, and I let it ruin almost every relationship I had. It soured business relationships, personal ones, friendships...to the point where I was 1 day away from being homeless in late November of 2009. Luckily my parents and sister didn't run off when I turned into an SOB and they took me in and let me start to rehab myself spiritually and emotionally.

It's taken the last 3 years, but I've gotten back to the point where I like talking to people again. I like networking here in the WF and other places online. I was recently invited into an awesome Skype writer's group where I really enjoy the conversations and I learn something almost every night.

When people send me a message through email, Skype, or PM here, I try to always be helpful. Sometimes I'll see someone make a post and, even if I've never seen them before, I'll send a PM to them and offer a little hope. I firmly believe in paying it forward...my faith tells me that, even if I never see a reward here, I'll see it Later.

Lesson 4 - Never Stop Learning
I came to the WF 13+ months ago to buy a plugin that someone told me about. I liked it so much I left a review for it. I came back 3 months later to get into a virtual fight with the owner of another product that I felt had ripped me off. In between those two visits, I never even thought about this place.

A few months ago, I was up to around 100 posts or so, and I decided I wanted to do my own WSO because I knew EVERYTHING and I could make MILLIONS selling WSOs here.

My plan was to start posting and build a reputation up.

Well, the more I posted, the more I learned. Instead of posting in every thread, I started reading more and learning who to pay attention to when they posted. Over the past few months, I have learned amazing offline techniques by reading posts from Martin Buckley and Brian Boyd. I've learned to hone my writing technique from great posts by Joe "The Almighty" Robinson, Alexa Smith, MYOB, Tina Golden, AmandaT, Tiffany Dow, and Ruth P.

I've gotten amazing information by reading the posts of Paul Myers, Big Mike, TPW (Bill), Kindsvater (whose real name I don't know), and the lady I call my "cousin on another continent" (even though we're probably not related), Noel Cunningham. (Anyone who shares my last name has to be good in my opinion.)

Above all else, though, I've learned that I can always learn more. I always thought of myself as a good writer, but my writer's group has blown away my idea and has started showing me how to become so much better than I thought I could be. Reading through Alexa's posts (and MYOB's posts) has shown me ways that I can leverage my writing far beyond what ever I knew was possible. All of them have shown me that my writing is worth a lot more than what is charged in any IM forum.

Lesson 5 - The Details Actually Matter
During all of my 34 years on Earth, I've never believed in details. I'm a "big picture" guy and I always have been. It takes a monumental effort on my part to dive into the details and sort them out myself.

Do it. They matter.

In Lesson #4 above, I struggled to make myself go through and find the link for each person's URL that I mentioned...part of me just wanted to tell you to use the search button and do it yourself. That's not fair to those people...even without meaning to, every single one of them has helped me grow on this journey and getting the detail of their URL was a drop in the bucket compared to what they've given to me.

Find out someone's birthday and then wish them a happy birthday on the right day. Guys, give your wife or girlfriend flowers one day just because. Compliment a random stranger on how nice they look today if they look unhappy...the smallest words mean the most.

Final Lesson For Now - Enjoy Your Life
My first business had sales of around $150K per year. I worked 80-90 hours per week, had no social life, no girlfriend, not even a dog. I would go in around 8 or 9 in the morning and not get off until 9 or 10 at night.

In pursuing an online business, it's so easy to forget how quickly the minute hand on the clock rotates. I've had Saturdays where I sat down at 7:30 with a cup of coffee and, when I got up to get my second cup, it was 2:30 in the afternoon.

Force yourself to take 1-2 hours at least 3 nights per week to enjoy your life. Go to the bookstore or the park or the YMCA. Again, speak to a random stranger. TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER ENTIRELY, NOT JUST THE SCREEN. Take a weekend at least once every 3 months, turn off all of your electronics, and drive to the beach/mountains and just escape.

Bonus Lesson
For the love of all things holy, please learn to use the search button!!!!

-- j
#1000 posts #1000th post #jarycu #learned #lessons #lessons learned #post
  • Profile picture of the author loi77
    Great post. Thanks for sharing!

    You have raised a few very important points.

    IM is simple, but never easy. Push button auto pilot softwares definitely do not exist.

    Even though the business is done on the web, it is still crucial to build trust and relationship to succeed.

    I wish I had read this post when I first started.

    Thanks again!
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  • Profile picture of the author fin
    Originally Posted by JaRyCu View Post


    In pursuing an online business, it's so easy to forget how quickly the minute hand on the clock rotates. I've had Saturdays where I sat down at 7:30 with a cup of coffee and, when I got up to get my second cup, it was 2:30 in the afternoon.
    Nice post, J.

    When I read stuff like the above I usually think people exaggerate, before I finally come to the conclusion I'm the biggest procrastinator the the world .
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  • Profile picture of the author David Keith
    Great post man.

    You know, reading this thread makes me think about just how much people learn here when they decide to stick around for a while.

    Another thought that just came to was that Allen should do another one of those "greatest WF posts" reports that is just a collection of all the milestone posts from warriors in it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jackson Tan
    Your lesson 3 struck me! I started working not long ago and always had problem interacting with people. The matter was made worst when my job deal with people directly. I start to think are people all 'bad'? But ever since I started seriously in IM, i started networking with people and loved the interactions! I learned from them and be exposed to things that I never thought I would be seeing.

    If you dont mind, I like to share this post with my friends.

    Thanks in advance!
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  • Profile picture of the author rrm
    Great milestone. Congrats!

    I, also, get lots of good information from most of the warriors you mention. Your posts are chock full of good stuff as well, and your advice and humor is appreciated!

    Ron
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    It's not enough to want it... you have to want it enough.

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    • Profile picture of the author MissTerraK
      Wow J!

      Although it's not really necessary to say how inspirational and valuable your post is, because anyone who reads it already knows, I'm going to say it anyway.

      Your post is truly inspirational and valuable and anyone who has any wisdom at all, should take at least one of those nuggets, utilize it and see a revolution in their efforts.

      But over and beyond that, I am impressed that you laid your heart open, put it all on the table for everyone to see. That within itself, in my opinion, is an attribute of a great online business owner. A very vital part of doing business is in building relationships and by revealing the real J, you've done just that!

      Congratulations on your 1,000th post and the success you've encountered thus far. Here's to 1,000 more!

      Terror
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  • Profile picture of the author DianaHeuser
    Inspirational post J

    Taking time away from my pc was a lesson that I only learnt a few months ago. The benifit to my personal well being and subsequently to my business is huge.

    It stops you from becoming jaded, allows you to tackle challenges with a far healthier state of mind.

    Di
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
    Originally Posted by JaRyCu View Post

    TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER ENTIRELY, NOT JUST THE SCREEN.
    I loved this part. You may turn off the screen... but that computer is still powered on, lurking there, sending you the vibes of a lover scorned.
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  • Profile picture of the author Joseph Robinson
    Banned
    Welcome to the 4 figure club my dude . Bad news is that they expect you to be productive now .
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    • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
      Originally Posted by Jackson Tan View Post

      If you dont mind, I like to share this post with my friends.
      Jackson, feel free. I'm honored that you got something out of it and feel my words are worth sharing. Thank you!

      Originally Posted by MissTerraK View Post

      Wow J!

      Although it's not really necessary to say how inspirational and valuable your post is, because anyone who reads it already knows, I'm going to say it anyway.

      Your post is truly inspirational and valuable and anyone who has any wisdom at all, should take at least one of those nuggets, utilize it and see a revolution in their efforts.

      But over and beyond that, I am impressed that you laid your heart open, put it all on the table for everyone to see. That within itself, in my opinion, is an attribute of a great online business owner. A very vital part of doing business is in building relationships and by revealing the real J, you've done just that!

      Congratulations on your 1,000th post and the success you've encountered thus far. Here's to 1,000 more!

      Terror
      I was going to do my *snip* thing on your post and say thanks (I hit the 'thanks' button too many times yesterday so I can't hit it today for a while yet), but I opted not to do it. From my first day in sales in Jan 2002, I always found that I could out-sell anyone when I just talked to people and told them straight. I didn't lie, I did fib, I didn't stretch the truth to make a sale. If I knew what they wanted, I gave them the answer; if I didn't, I'd tell them I didn't know and that I'd find out for them. As I grew into a business owner, I kept that philosophy and it made me successful. Now it's just how I am.

      I'm glad it still an appreciated quality Ms. Terror.

      Originally Posted by Jon Patrick View Post

      I loved this part. You may turn off the screen... but that computer is still powered on, lurking there, sending you the vibes of a lover scorned.
      My friend...you sound like a master copy writer. I love the way you worded that.

      Originally Posted by Joe Robinson View Post

      Welcome to the 4 figure club my dude . Bad news is that they expect you to be productive now .
      The really bad news is that I used the last 900 out of my first 1000 posts to be productive, so I was kind of already stuck in the expectation.

      Thanks to everyone so far for all of the comments!

      -- j
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      Posting About Life & Video Games:
      http://www.jarycu.com

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    • Profile picture of the author Sandor Verebi
      Hey Jason,

      Let me to thank you for that insight into the way you see yourself, the business and the world. Such milestones can inspire us to see ourselves from out of the box.

      It is useful you mentioned the sixth lesson - 'Enjoy Your Life'. In today's world, everyone tends to forget about that. Yet the 'escape' is good for your regeneration and your family can also require that you don't neglect them.

      Looking forward your valued contributions during the next thousand posts, and wishing you further successes,

      Sandor
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  • Profile picture of the author TorinoGray
    Excellent Post!

    You taught me my first lesson!
    A month or so ago before I saw that the SAME questions arise every few days, I saw you post a "gentle" reminder to someone to use the search feature and read the forum rules. I thought, "Wow he's kind of a grump, huh?" I clicked on the rules, and realized I was breaking some of them already! I was running around, asking newbie questions with a signature line, "NO AFFILIATE LINKS ALLOWED!" *Blushing* I just saw links in everyone's signature and wanted to be "one of you". In all honesty, If I had I read it that first day, I probably wouldn't have known what it meant. So reading the rules and returning to them until you understand them in their entirety was a big lesson.

    Now I kind of smile when I see a thread come up by one of my brethren newbie brothers and sisters that asks a question I have seen 2 dozen times, because I think, "Read the rules and use the search, people!!" GAHHH!
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  • Profile picture of the author Seatbelt99
    Nice post and congrats on making 1000 posts! WF is a better place because of it.

    Thanks for all your help over the past months.

    Michael
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Great job on #1,000, Jason. Well done.

      As for the 'being productive' thing, you've outdone yourself here. You gave people a two-fer.

      First, the content of the post is both educational and inspiring.

      Second, you provided an object lesson and great example of what people mean when they say "inject your own personality into your writing and write like you are talking to a friend."

      Can't wait to see what #2,000 brings...

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      • Profile picture of the author TheArticlePros
        Originally Posted by Sandor Verebi View Post

        It is useful you mentioned the sixth lesson - 'Enjoy Your Life'. In today's world, everyone tends to forget about that. Yet the 'escape' is good for your regeneration and your family can also require that you don't neglect them.
        It's not just for "regeneration;" there are those out there reading this who, like me, have never made the time to start their own family. I haven't even bothered to try to get a date in 2-3 years, so I'm learning this lesson daily and trying to transition myself into less work and more life...something that was never taught to me growing up.

        Originally Posted by TorinoGray View Post

        "Read the rules and use the search, people!!" GAHHH!
        Finally! Someone else who drinks my Kool-Aid!!!

        Originally Posted by Seatbelt99 View Post

        Thanks for all your help over the past months.
        NP Mike...I'm glad to call you a friend and that I've been able to help at all.

        Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

        *snipped a great post that made me blush*
        Thanks John! With my writing business, people always ask for samples...but no one understands that I write just like I talk. I think it's a sin to give someone dry, boring content that no one's going to read. It needs to have life and energy and...and...vivaciousness! Most writers don't understand how to make their words come alive and paint pictures that force the reader to imagine what's going in-between the words. Periods, commas, exclamation marks, semi-colors, periods of ellipsis...for an educated reader, they make all the difference in the world.

        It's up to us, as writers, to give them that world.

        -- j
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        Posting About Life & Video Games:
        http://www.jarycu.com

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  • Profile picture of the author netfisher
    That was a really good post. Got a lot out of it. Thank you.
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  • Profile picture of the author webpeon
    I think I wouldve preferred the funny version but thats not to take away from a great post with good advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author think more
    Great tips.Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    You are absolutely right JaRyCu -- there is no autopilot... only semi-autopilot.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheClarkey
    Great post here mate! Some of the posts are what is important to success! Congrats on your 1k post and here's to your next 1k!
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  • Profile picture of the author therichb
    Great Informational Post or we can say its more than a strategic milestone achieved....Best of Luck for the next...

    Learning from mistakes, getting details explained, never stop learning, enjoying every moment you live either working or doing something else... These words do change lots of minds here & started thinking, "Are we really doing things right"? Gone are the days when people follow traditional methods. Today people need more than one mind framework to get into success...
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    • Profile picture of the author jmerc
      Hello J,
      Great post. And you are so right about the Search Button! It makes life on the WF so much easier. For those who have not noticed, or are still not familiar with them, there are actually several ways to use the different Search Buttons.

      Here's the link about searching:
      How do I search for something?

      Thanks for your Words of Wisdom!
      Judy
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  • Profile picture of the author Will Edwards
    Good post J.

    I agree with everything you said (well ... except the autopilot).

    Will
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  • Profile picture of the author magiclouie
    You are spot-on with what you have written here, J. In fact, while reading your thread, I found myself nodding my head several times.

    I just love how clearly you stated everything.

    Thanks for putting this together.

    Someday, I could hone my writing technique as well.

    Sincerely,
    Louie Tugas
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  • Profile picture of the author Super Warrior
    Final Lesson For Now - Enjoy Your Life
    My first business had sales of around $150K per year. I worked 80-90 hours per week, had no social life, no girlfriend, not even a dog. I would go in around 8 or 9 in the morning and not get off until 9 or 10 at night.

    In pursuing an online business, it's so easy to forget how quickly the minute hand on the clock rotates. I've had Saturdays where I sat down at 7:30 with a cup of coffee and, when I got up to get my second cup, it was 2:30 in the afternoon.

    Force yourself to take 1-2 hours at least 3 nights per week to enjoy your life. Go to the bookstore or the park or the YMCA. Again, speak to a random stranger. TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER ENTIRELY, NOT JUST THE SCREEN. Take a weekend at least once every 3 months, turn off all of your electronics, and drive to the beach/mountains and just escape.
    Loved this part! Thanks for posting. Yes, I was also in the same boat, we months back.
    Just used to work for long 10-11 hours a day and also taking my breakfast, lunch and dinner
    in front of my laptop. But then, I changed this habit, now I switch off my laptop at a
    schedule time just to go outside and meet my friends or take my family out.

    If you're working for the money, then there's no end to it, the more you earn the more you want.

    Work for fun (or atleast do fun after the work), if there's no fun, then don't do it!!!

    Thanks
    -Steve
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