Some Ramblings About My Recent History

I was thinking back on some of the things that first inspired me to start an internet business back in late 2005.  One of my motivating factors besides freedom was getting rid of my various forms of debt.  At the time I had two credit cards totaling around $10,000.  My student loans were another major source of debt that was draining my account every month.  I’ve never been a real fan of having debts lying around and it really irritated me that I allowed myself to build up this debt.  Sure, it was relatively small compared to many people, but when you’re living paycheck to paycheck with little to nothing (sometimes a negative balance) at the end of the week, even the "smaller" debt load is a biggie. 

Here’s what my first strategy was in my quest for getting into the internet business game.  I created little mini sites made just for zapping certain areas of my debt.  Initially, I created PlayKillerGuitar.com as my credit card zapper.  My monthly payments totaled around $350 a month.  So if I could generate a minimum of $350 a month, then I would have the credit cards covered.  The AmazingCloaker was designated as my "student loan zapper".  If I could generate a modest $300 a month, I would have them covered.  For other miscellaneous debts I created landing pages for CPA advertisements via AdValiant.  I combined that with some PPC campagins and generated some profits that way.   I also paid dearly while figuring out Google Adwords.

Probably the website that boosted our finances the quickest and most dramatically was 1stClassReplicas.com.  This was a tangible items website where we sold replica designer handbags and had them drop-shipped from China.  Unfortunately we were compelled to quit after only a few months because we discovered that selling knock-offs was a no-no.  Call me naive, but I thought that you could sell knock-off items as long as they were clearly advertised as such.  I was wrong.   Mistakes are going to happen along the way when you get into marketing, and that was one of them.  The income was great though.

I’d like to clarify that I haven’t been making a tangible income via the internet all the way back to the fall of 2005.  I started with affiliate marketing, then added PlayKillerGuitar.com in May, 2006 while spending most of that year surfing the internet for information on how to get started.  This included researching and learning all that I could about marketing and ecommerce, but never taking any "real" action on promoting my tutorials beyond eBay or building a real business. 

I bought into all the guru hype, the latest and greatest opportunities, and hung out on those cheesy forums where everybody is an "expert" at nothing.   It wasn’t until early 2007 that I really began to get serious and start getting my game on.  I discovered James Brausch’s Internet Business Blog back in late 2006 while searching for copywriting "how to" info.  There was a reference on some forum to a 24 hour special for Glyphius (that was long expired), but that was the day that changed my future.  It was James who showed me the light and help to shape my future as a real internet entrepreneur.   I haven’t attained James’ level of freedom yet.  I am still on the path to it. 

Comfortable?  Relatively, but not really free yet.  I promised my wife that I would remain at least partially enslaved until my internet income was consistently double my District income.  Free, yes in another sense of the word.  I can now drive to my office everyday knowing that I can walk away anytime I choose and still be fine with my income.  It’s a good feeling to know that one person can’t take away my entire income just by uttering two words… "you’re fired!" 

If I want to travel back to China for a visit, I can buy a ticket, update my travel visa and go.  My wife, Tingting is Chinese so her values of going to college and getting a J.O.B. and keeping it for life are strongly ingrained into her mindset.  This is the way that you maintain respectability among your peers and family in China.  She has been in the U.S. for almost 2 years and is only now beginning to see the light.  I have a feeling that she will be releasing me from my promise before we hit the "double" mark. 

Once you hit that level of "critical mass", it becomes more expensive to trade your valuable time for money at a J.O.B..  In reality, it’s more expensive to keep your J.O.B. long before critical mass is reached.  This is much easier to "see" once your over the fence, so if you’re still employed, have debts, and not prospering on your own yet, then this is a very difficult concept to grasp or even believe.

Internet business is a fun and exciting journey.  If you are still stuck in "learning mode", caught in the TV vortex, or a terminal forum and info junkie, you have to bust out of it before you can even consider starting!   Take it from someone who has been there.   These habits and traits are only self-defeating excuses that your old (or present) self is using to keep you from succeeding.  These habits are comfortable. 

As a continuous researcher, or forum junkie, you can justify to yourself why your business isn’t running yet.  You are still "learning", and market researching, and making sure everything is perfect first.  What you’re really saying is that you don’t believe that you are good or worthy enough to do this.  You don’t want to fail or screw up at it.  Well here’s a reality check… you WILL screw some things up and make some bad decisions.  You WILL make mistakes!!!  Get over it.  Did the Olympic figure skaters never fall down while perfecting their art?  You only see the end result, not all the times that they face planted themselves into the ice.  Throw away those excuses.  Start today…no, I didn’t say tomorrow, start right now!

5 thoughts on “Some Ramblings About My Recent History”

  1. Hi Jack,
    What an excellent post and well worth the read for anyone venturing to start an internet business or even for anyone who has started but has not yet achieved the success and freedom they are striving for. You shared so much detail in your post that I could visualize your journey. You mention surfing the internet to research and learn as much as possible with taking any “real action” – I think this is reflective of a great many people. People think if they don’t surf, they might miss out on something that could be very useful. But there comes a time when you have to stop, take a deep breath, and make a conscious decision to take action, stay focussed and remain disciplined in order to achieve your ultimate goal of freedom through a successful internet business. I liked your expression – “everyone is an expert at nothing”. How true. Forums are full of people trying to convince each other that they have the answer and that they have made more money than they really have. In some cases they have not made any money at all. They just play the game because they believe it will work. Interesting that you mention James Brausch. Would you believe that it is through reading his blog etc., that I made a conscious decision to stop flapping around and knuckle down to getting serious about building an online business. I recently joined his Intern program. I love that you get to learn by doing. And he has some outstanding unique products. You mentioned Glyphius, which has had rave reviews. Some of his other products like MuVar, RaSof and Nemeas look equally impressive and I am so looking forward to learning all I can from James. I think his Freedom Business System is aptly name. After all, that is what we all ultimately want to create. It is wonderful that you have achieved freedom in part in that you no longer fear the words “you’re fired” and should they ever be uttered, you could sustain yourself and your wife. Internet business is an exciting journey and I am determined to make it to my destination. Your wonderful post Jack has inspired me and I look forward to returning frequently so that we can continue to share our experiences.

  2. Thanks for the awesome words Mary! I’ve always been a fan of James’ products. His intern program is fantastic. I’ve made huge strides in my own business simply by doing the assignments and then repeating the assignment for my own sites.

    I can tell that you have a great knack for writing. I can picture you with a successful blog sometime soon if you don’t have one already. You made my day with your kind & eloquent words. Thanks for sharing in the experience Mary!

  3. Jack,
    Thanks for sharing some of your story. I love to read how others got started in this IM thing. I too have been reading over Brausch’s blog and am considering purchasing MuVar because it appears to be such a unique product for optimizing sales letters. Do you have any opinions on that software. Thanks again.

  4. Pingback: Thanks Jack!
  5. Hi Jack,
    Thank you for your inspirational compliments. I must say, I do enjoy writing. I haven’t got a blog yet but I am looking forward to having one. I think that whilst I had the desire to start a blog, I lacked the confidence and didn’t really know where to begin. But I am really enjoying the Intern Program and feel driven to succeed. I know that there will be times when things will not go quite as expected, but that is part of the journey. You just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start again. I have been blessed in my career in that I have had the opportunity to work in many different areas of IT, and while some were daunting at first as they were completely new to me, I was determined to succeed. Deep inside I knew I could get there, might take me a bit longer than most, but I would get there. The internet is another new area, but with inspiring blogs like yours Jack, and James’ Intern Program, I intend to follow my dream to a successful conclusion. I look forward to visiting again.

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