I am a very old WF member. I used to post a lot, which also generated some money for me. And then one day, I just stopped. Couldn't tell you why if you asked me back then. But now I can...
I am not an internet marketer. I tried to be one, but it just doesn't sit well with me to promote dating sites that have unbalanced sex ratios, biz-opps that flat out don't work and can't work, weight loss pills that can't really substitute real dietary discipline and exercise routines, to be reselling insurance leads to ten different boiler rooms, and so on.
Not that I made decent money with it either. The only way I did make money was through incest. Teaching others how to get rich. Right here on the WF. Like many people still do.
Now - get this. I am all for feeding your family. If you gotta hustle a sucker by promising him riches to feed your daughter, go all in on it. So this is not me on my high horse. This is me on my most pragmatic one.
Back to my story...
I decided to go my way, and look for ways to own and run a real business.
I will be honest with you... I had to struggle some. Not a lot, but some. Nobody handed me a $20,000 check the minute I decided to learn something new. I couldn't really honestly say I had much experience.
Now, for my teenage self, it wasn't a question of ethics. I was hungry for money, and morals took a backseat for me back in the day. I'd lie if that'd get me more money. But it turns out, people are smart. Especially people who are successful, self-made and wealthy.
They are fiscally conservative no matter what their station in life may be.
And the only way I could get through to them was through authenticity.
It took me years to get where I am today. Today I am successful. Well, at least if the yardstick is made of my own goals when I set out for all this. And that brings me to the purpose of this post.
I learned long ago that a tenet of authenticity is never lying to my own self about my intentions. So let me start with why I am posting on WF again, after so many years.
Since I rely on radical honesty now, I'll give you all the real reasons why I am posting.
1. Nostalgia. I used to write here everyday. Now I write elsewhere. As a matter of fact, I am trying as hard as I can to write in a style emulating someone else, so as to not accurately represent my own writing style.
2. Hope. That at least one, two, or a few readers will rethink and analyze their paths just a little bit. and succeed faster.
You see, Internet Marketing is not all it seems.
You may or may not believe this... and I expect some people to violently oppose this. But it's not all it seems. It's but a shadow that you chase, and the odds of ever catching it are so slim that you ought to be warned.
So I'll be brief, and share what I have learned over my years in the world of business.
1. Succeeding online is significantly harder than succeeding offline. I know several dry cleaning millionaires, several laundromat millionaires, several gas station millionaires, and several restaurant owning millionaires. I even know several millionaires who have regular day jobs in the Corporate world. But I have not yet shaken hands, after all my years, and all my travelling and mingling, with three internet millionaires.
The world works the way it works. Not the way you want it to.
2. Every business must solve a problem for a group of people in a way other businesses don't, can't or won't. If there is no problem to solve, there is no business. And if someone else comes up with a better solution tomorrow, your business could start counting its days.
3. Everyone dreams to be rich, good looking, sexy, and attractive. Most people won't apply the readily available science of disciplined wealth creation, health preservation and strength of character. Dreams are cheap, and ambition is rare.
4. No market can contain two market leaders. And in the end every market consolidates to two or three major players, arranged in the ratio 4:2:1 in terms of marketshare, who own the lion's share of that market. All others fight for table scraps, and stay poor.
When Dan Kennedy books are selling for $19.99, trust me, I don't need yours. When Jay Abraham is showering his business wisdom for free, I don't need Kern or Walker. Breakthrough Advertising taught me more about market shares, persuasion and USP development than all the $2000 courses I bought put together. And I did buy a lot, and studied a lot.
You are competing with sharks with resources in these worlds. And you don't have the resources. Nor the know how. It's cut throat.
You might be bleeding, and still in denial.
5. Inflation is transferring your wealth to, well... my pocket. Inflation doesn't create wealth. But it doesn't destroy wealth either. It simply transfers the savers' wealth into the borrowers' pockets.
You can't change the system. You can't stop them from printing bills. But what you can do is stop being the sucker who pays for it all. And it's your own responsibility. Your obligation, if you will, towards your family's future in addition to your own. To study up on how the invisible economics work. To find ways to protect, preserve and even grow your wealth irrespective of political and economic climate.
6. The rules of Supply and Demand are still fancy. When there are too many lawyers in a city, many of them are forced to live horrible lifestyles. When there are too many "SEO and PPC" experts in a city bothering business owners regularly, guess what happens?
Worse, when there are too many internet gurus teaching "how to make money online" guess what happens?
7. Abundance is not just a state of mind. You need skills for being abundance minded. You need positive references for that. You can't just throw a switch over and say, "OK MIND, let's abundance". Never in the history of mankind has that worked.
8. Some people really need a job. If you need cash today, get a job.Flip a burger if you must. Mop floors. Mow lawns. Do whatever it takes to put dollars in your pocket first. A successful business can be borne out of any profitable endeavor given certain fertility of environment. But to chase after the dream that hundreds are competing with you for is folly. And a dream based in a world of lies? Well, you do the math.
If I lost my income today, I'd get a job. Never needed one after the very first freelancing thing I did before I'd turned 18. But I'm just saying. If I lost my income, and my savings, I'd get a job. I wouldn't start a "startup." I wouldn't do internet marketing. I'd save some money, and then go for a boring, proven old business.
I'd feed my family before my ego anyday.
9. Capitalism requires capital.
If you have $500K, I can show you in half an hour how you can make $200K per year sitting on your ass for the rest of your life... That too adjusted for inflation. Hell if you have $50K I can show you a reasonable plan to make $50k per year or more working way less than a full time job.
If you have squat, I'd tell you to go get a job, and save some first.
When I walk into a bank, and I already have $200k sitting in my account, it's not hard for me to get a $400k line of credit for a business. I still need to show them the business works and is profitable, but it isn't hard.
10. You are personally responsible.
The guru isn't. He's hustling for there's a sucker born every minute. The other guy who bragged on WF isn't. He's just trying to feel better for himself. Your parents aren't. You're alive and well. They did their job, no matter how shabbily. The government is, but you can't really do much about it except take responsibility for your own financial future.
You, and you alone are responsible. For any success you have, or don't have.
I hope I'll inspire at least some people to do some soul searching, and think about what they're really doing with their time, and by extension, life.
I see so much potential - squandered over a worthless dream that sucks. I don't want to be hiding behind a computer screen for the rest of my life. I'd rather outbid competitors in bidding wars. I'd rather close the deal on the phone.
I don't want to conserve my energy. I'd rather give so much of it, that every night brings in its womb the deepest sleep for me that any infant ever slept.