Category Archives: Uncategorized

What I Do When I Get Bored

Regardless of how motivated, dedicated, and focused you might be when doing a project, eventually you’re going to get… bored.

If I were a child nowadays, I’d probably be diagnosed with something like ADHD and pumped full of drugs. Granted, I’m 99.8% ignorant of the subject, but I think this hurts our society in that it prevents a lot of people from learning how to control and channel that kind of behavior into something useful.

In my case, I can focus for a while, but I’ll eventually get to the point where I need to work on something else. Thankfully, as a Passive PWAH quasi Internet Marketer, there’s always something to do. And if there isn’t, I heard that my house doesn’t clean and maintain itself…

I have a list of little projects that I’d like to turn into products. My plan is to throw them on a few special offer forums (like the Warrior Special Offer forum) and see if they sell. The cash will be nice, of course, but the main purpose will be to get to know some people and let them know about what I have to offer.

So what’s the first product I want to create this way? I want to show people how I manage stuff.

I’ve created a simple little system that allows me to create “Dashboards” that make accessing any of my sites extremely easy. And my so-called “upsell”…

I just hit on the idea to buy a domain to host these dashboards for members of my premium content sites.

So I’m off to create a product, along with all that premium content for my blog posts on The Business Protector. I’m a bit behind on that, primarily because I’m enjoying a few baseball games this afternoon while I write (and the background noise isn’t conducive to recording videos!).

Nobody Said It Was Going To Be Easy

As I look back to the days when I was trying to maintain multiple blogs (in a way, I still do that), I used to wonder why I didn’t really make any money. I think I know now; I didn’t allow any time to create products that would provide passive income.

Now that I better understand both passive income and Passive PWAH, I think it’s going to work much better this time. But the work…!

Even with only maintaining a handful of blogs, there’s so much work involved in just The Business Protector! It all goes back to the focus I briefly talked about in my last post.

You. Have. To. Focus.

  • Stop chasing every idea that comes down the pipe.
  • Once you’ve decided on a path and are confident that you can make it work, stay on it.
  • Work it consistently.
  • Work on it as if your future depends on it (because it probably does).
  • Know when to quit, i.e. if it isn’t going to work, throwing more effort at the same thing isn’t going to change anything.

So while this post was a fun little distraction, it’s back to work for me!

And of course I’ll post here when the product is ready…

All My Eggs In One Basket

Focus.

The more I read, the more I realize just how important it is, especially if you still have a job (like me) and have a limited amount of time to work on your business.

I’ve come up with a very intense, very slow growth model for my business. I’ll give you the basics here in a minute (including a link to the site) and I really don’t see it growing to the point where it will fully support me for at least another 2-3 years, but I’m satisfied with this model and am happy about the prospects.

The only “risk” (if you want to call it that) is that I’ll be putting most (not quite “all”) of my eggs in one basket. Some consider that to be risky, but since I don’t plan on using manipulative tactics to obtain and retain business — tactics that might cause companies like Google and Facebook and PayPal to ban me — I think it’ll work out just fine.

In other words, I don’t think anybody will be scrambling my eggs anytime soon.

Hey, it worked out pretty well for Bill Gates and Sam Walton, didn’t it? 🙂

“Path With A Heart” Passive Income

What do you get when you cross Steve Pavlina with Pat Flynn?

The above headline. 🙂

Sorry, not much of a joke, was it? 😉

I’ve already talked about my Path With A Heart post enough to nauseate some people. But in order to make PWAH work, there needs to be some kind of passive income model.

Of course, I’ve talked about Pay Flynn before, too (like here and here and here — speaking of which, it might be time for an updated “this is what I’ve decided to do for now” post — which this post kinda-sorta is. Like the 99:59 project. Oops… And I’m not going to pursue a Niche Site Duel site for now). I like his passive income model and he really does give away some awesome free stuff that’s actually useful.

So I’ve taken The Business Protector and I’m going to “rapidly and slowly” build it out to be what I call a “Passive PWAH” site. Here’s what I mean by that:

  • “Rapidly” means that I’m going to focus on creating large quantities of high quality, free (and premium) content.
  • “Slowly” means that the strategy doesn’t have to pay off for several years (i.e. I can focus on giving, not content).
  • “Passive” means that I make all of the basic content available for free. The income will come via other means, which I’ll discuss in a minute.
  • “PWAH” means that I want to get it to the point where it simply brings in more than enough money to support my desired lifestyle and I don’t have to “hard sell stuff” to pay the bills.

The Passive PWAH

OK, that all sounds good, but what is my overall plan? How is all this going to create that Passive PWAH income? Here’s how I envision it:

  • Give away everything — but in a basic format. If you go to that site now, you’ll see a lot of great content — but it’s all in a basic format.
  • Sell the premium version of content. While it’s not there yet, I’m creating “premium” content for each post I create. It usually consists of an expanded PDF version of each post and a video demonstrating the task at hand, where appropriate. Access will be via a low-cost recurring monthly “tuition” that will be low enough for large numbers of people to justify the cost. But I’m not going to offer it until I have more premium content ready for consumption.
  • Create ebooks and “premium-premium” content for each series I do, then sell them. This will enable people who are interested in a given topic (i.e. my current cPanel risk mitigation series) the opportunity to have all of the content in one place.
  • Consulting. I’m working on my service offerings at Protector Support (my support site). It’s still in a very basic state and I’m far from satisfied with it, but it will eventually (hopefully sooner than later) be optimized to the point that people can easily request certain services.
  • Traffic generation strategies. I hope that my main strategy will be “word of mouth” from people who see value in what I have to offer, but if need be, I do have some low cost traffic generation strategies in mind.
  • List building. I’d be silly to not build an email list, but I don’t want it to become the typical Internet Marketing “hit ’em with an offer until they unsubscribe” list. At this point, I think I want to use it to simply remind people of quality stuff that I’m offering at no cost, although I won’t hesitate to use it to promote products and services (both my own and others) that offer tremendous value to my “tribe”.

So that’s my current path, what I’m calling “Passive PWAH” (at least this week!). It all hinges on my cranking out great content on a consistent basis.

Since having a job for a while if necessary isn’t an issue for me, this will work just fine for me. While all of us would love to make seven figures from our business starting this coming Tuesday (speaking of which, I need to check my PowerBall ticket from last night!), I’d rather build a strong, loyal tribe that sees the value in what I have to offer and responds accordingly.

Even “get rich slow” isn’t accurate. All I want is passive income that enables me to focus on giving.

I’m not much of an Internet Marketer, I guess — which is fine with me! 😉

Obtaining Brand Consistency

Stephen Covey wrote about the incredible accomplishment of the Apollo 11 mission in his classic book, “7 Habits of Highly Effective People”. But before they could travel the approximately 250,000 miles to the moon and back, they first had to escape the tremendous gravitational pull of the earth. As he put it in his book:

“More energy was spent in the first few minutes of lift-off, in the first few miles of travel, than was used over the next several days to travel half a million miles.” (page 46)

I feel that way sometimes. Often. I’ve been expending energy on my business for quite some time now but haven’t really felt as if I’ve obtained “escape velocity” so that I can soar to the proverbial moon.

Part of this, I think, is due to who I am and what Internet Marketing is. We simply don’t quite line up all that well. It’s taken me several years to realize this.

But far from having “wasted” time, I have learned a lot about business and met some exceptional people — people who have helped me a lot and will continue to do so. A lot, but not all, of these people hang out at the Earn 1k A Day business membership site. In fact, as I write this, they are having their annual conference in Las Vegas.

I didn’t go this year, simply because I couldn’t justify the expense back during the registration period. I could easily afford it but didn’t really see a good “reason why” behind attending, primarily due to being stuck in the gravitational pull of a job and life.

A lot has changed over the past couple of months and I still have a long ways to go, but I think I’ve finally found a model that is going to work for me. I won’t say that Internet Marketing is broken; the “problem”, if that’s what you want to call it, is that, deep down, I’m not cut out for Internet Marketing.

I’m writing this because I’m certain that others find themselves in the same situation, and perhaps my experiences will help those people discover their own path to online success and potential financial freedom.

Opportunity For Whom?

Internet Marketing is based on “pulling” people into buying stuff. Take a recent email I received from a marketer; it was an “opportunity” to purchase a bundle of WordPress themes and plugins. And the email headline urged me to take advantage of this “opportunity”.

Let’s dissect this a bit. Just who really had an “opportunity” in this case?

  • First, the “opportunity” is for the person selling the bundle and his/her affiliates.
  • It could be an opportunity for a purchaser, but only if the purchaser is 100% certain that they can use the contents to recoup the selling price plus at least one cent.
  • It also assumes that the purchaser will actually take action to recoup the price.

So the opportunity is contingent upon financial gain, either by selling the bundle, (the product creator) promoting it (the affiliates), or actually using it to earn income (the purchaser).

Again, this isn’t “evil” or even “bad” — I think it’s just a bit misleading. Since I don’t need the bundle, I did not see it as an “opportunity”, which made the email a bit misleading in my eyes.

PWAH Style Marketing

Getting back to my “Path With A Heart” post, I can easily use an Internet Marketing tactic to put together some good reports and sell them. These reports will help people better recognize and manage the risk they face, and this information will help them save money.

But if I did that, would I be any different from the others? Wouldn’t the opportunity be primarily for me in that case?

I mentioned in my last post that I’m going to give the stuff away for free but will sell a premium, enhanced version. This is, in my opinion, congruent with, and integral to, my PWAH mission. The information will be available for free to everybody and the enhanced version will be available for those that, for whatever reason (and it’s their reason, not mine) choose to purchase it.

I’m OK with that.

But none of that really has anything to do with the title of this post. It was on my mind and I wanted to put it in writing. 🙂

Brand Consistency

What I want to briefly talk about today is brand consistency. When a person lands on one of my sites, I want them to know that it’s a unique, distinct site, yet I also want a consistent “look and feel”, to the maximum extent possible, so that they know that they are on one of my sites.

I want my sites to feel “comfortable”, kind of like putting on a pair of slippers after taking a 20 mile hike in Army boots. I want it to feel “good” to be on one of my sites. I want people to know where to find things; I don’t want them to open the cupboard to look for a plate, only to find dog food instead.

I don’t want one site to say that I’m still certified in, say, CompTIA’s Security+ only to have another site state that I’m not (for the record, I chose to not renew that certification back in April 2014 because I do not need it for my current job and didn’t see the point in paying the renewal fees for no good reason). If you go to Site “A”, then to Site “B”, I want them to be unique, yet deliver the same overall message in a consistent manner.

Implementation of Consistency

While I’m pretty sure more ideas will come later, for now I’m working on physical consistency. To that end, I’m going to be working on several things over the coming weeks:

  • Consistent terms of service / disclaimers / privacy statements / etc. I use Auto Web Law to generate these terms, so while there may be occasions when a particular site needs a unique disclaimer, all of my sites need and use the same basic disclaimers. So now I want to get them all looking the same way.
  • Menus. While menus are theme-dependent, I want all of my sites to at least have the same basic menus in roughly the same location.
  • Themes. WordPress themes are most definitely not a “one size fits all” proposition. Nevertheless, I have decided on a very simple, very basic theme that I will be using on most (if not all) of my sites. It’s very search engine friendly and was created by somebody who knows and understands Google. If you’re interested, you can learn more by clicking here (that isn’t an affiliate link, just a recommendation for something that’s helped me. His language is more than a bit “colorful”; you’ve been warned!).
  • Color. I haven’t quite decided on how to do this one yet. My concern is that identical color schemes could make all of my sites look too much alike, which could lead to confusion as to which site my visitors are on. It’s something to play with.
  • Links. I want my sites to have a place to talk about my other sites and I want that message to be consistent across the board. So I’ve created a “Links” page that I’ll slowly deploy across my network of sites in the days and weeks to come.
  • Procedures. I want a consistent way to build out my sites to help ensure this consistency, and procedures will help me to this. It will also speed up my website development cycle and will eventually enable me to outsource the production of sites once I reach that stage in my business.
  • Google Docs. I’m doing as much of this as I can in Google Docs because it’s so darn easy to simply copy stuff from a Google document to a WordPress page. Google Docs also has a global search and replace function, which makes it easy to change every occurrence of BusinessActionSteps.com with TomBrownsword.com (or anything else for that matter).
  • Message. Perhaps the most important one of all is my overall message. I want to ensure that I say the same thing on all of my sites. I almost said something in this blog post that would have contradicted a promise I made in my last blog post — imagine trying to keep that message straight across several sites! But it’s what I signed up to do and I’m going to do it. Feel free to let me know when I miss the mark; I am grateful for those who take the time to correct me and to point out inconsistencies.

Conclusion

I think you can see why “reaching escape velocity” is on my mind so much at the moment. I want to reach escape velocity. I want to create free content that will help people while knowing that my monthly cash flow from passive income is more than enough to meet my needs (and yes, in some cases, they are “very expensive needs”, as Bob Lachman said in “For Richer or Poorer”…).

I also know that I’m not alone; many of you who are reading this are in the same situation. Understand that you have to overcome gravity and inertia before you can fly. As long as you have a solid plan, I am confident that you will get there.

I hope you’ll continue to take advantage of the information and value that I create for you. I appreciate your continued support of my business.

My “Path With A Heart”

It was 2003 (or 2004) when, like many, I ordered a copy of the late Cory Rudl’s Internet Marketing course and decided to get started on a path to a business. For several reasons — laziness, contentment with my current situation, etc. — I never really progressed to the point where I had a full time business. There were times when I’d have a four figure month, but the “whatever” was never there to sustain it.

In spite of the lack of true desire to create a full-time business, the thought has never left my mind. I continue to buy “stuff” and study it. I’d say that my knowledge is above average, in fact, due to all that “stuff”. Yet I could never pull the trigger and actually build my business to the point that I could quit my job.

Just this past week, I found an article that I want to share with you in case you are in the same situation, i.e. you simply haven’t gone full time in your business yet in spite of wanting to — and you’re not sure why. This article helped clarify a lot of things for me:

http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2014/05/money-and-your-path-with-a-heart/

Put simply, I don’t want to have to have to do “stuff” for money. I want to do stuff and have the money come as an extension of that.

I love to give. I love to teach. I have lots of great stuff to teach people (i.e. how to best secure your business). But I really dislike hammering a list with promotional email after promotional email, posting a Warrior Special Offer a couple times a week (with the required product creation to go with it) to keep cash coming in, etc. I don’t think you want it and I definitely don’t want to do it.

So I’m going to take what to me seems to be a huge risk; I’m going to try the passive income route. I have a HUGE project mapped out in my head (soon to be mapped out in FreeMind). And I’m going to do it.

And I’m going to give it away.

I’ll have some affiliate offers for quality products and services and I’ll offer some services myself, including a low-cost premium version of what I’m giving away. But “price” is not going to be a barrier.

Everything I have to teach will be on that web site.

It might not be in the most optimal format and there may be ways to get it in a format that makes it easier to consume (for a price), but I’m going to give it away.

I want to connect with people.

I want to see 1,001 people with changed lives because I helped them make an extra $1,001 every month.

I want business owners to be able to focus on creating value and taking care of customers because I’ve taught them how to integrate the best possible, most cost effective form of security into their business and problems leave them alone.

Will this work? Well, I know I can create the content and deliver it. I’ll be honest; I don’t know about the rest. I’m trusting that people will see the value in what I’m doing and support it in the ways I’ve chosen.

But is it really risky? In the end, if I can’t support myself from the content, I’ll still have the content, which I can re-purpose and sell in more traditional ways. But I’m hoping I don’t have to do that.

Got an opinion or an insight about this or the article I linked to? If you do, I’d love to hear about it; please leave a comment.

How To Say “Thanks” For A Helpful Article Or Review

This post is a little different than most of the articles you’ll find on this blog. It doesn’t really talk about how to create value (and make money from that value). Instead, it talks about how to spend money.

As if any of us really need help with that! But stay with me for a bit, please.

I’m looking for a dehydrator. As part of my lifestyle changes, I’ve lost a lot of weight this year, have changed my diet, and am trying to be more active. As such, I’m eating a lot more fresh fruit and trying to stay away from those sugary snacks.

Somebody gave me the idea to eat dehydrated fruit instead of candy, and as long as I do so in moderation, it’s acceptable in my eyes. And while I can buy these fruit snacks at the store, many of them contain added sugar. Why do they add sugar to something that is naturally sweet?

I guess I could go to Whole Paycheck Foods or some place like that and find pre-packaged snacks that don’t have that added sugar, but I already don’t like the price of the mass produced ones that contain sugar. I understand that you pay for the convenience and that the manufacturer has to make some money, but there must be a less expensive way.

Take pineapple, for example. Dehydrated pineapple snacks are one of my favorites. I can buy a good sized pineapple where I live for about $3. If I could cut it up and dehydrate it, I’d have a lot more pineapple than I could buy for $3 in a bag at a store.

But I know nothing about dehydrators, so like many other people, off I go to my favorite search engine to learn about dehydrators.

Eventually I’ll find one that sounds good. The price is reasonable, the review says it works well and the quality is decent, so I’m ready to buy. But I’d like to say “thanks” to the person that wrote the review.

How can I show my gratitude for the review?

If the person has a link to a site where I can purchase the item, in most cases I can show my gratitude by clicking on the link provided and buying the article. That way, the person gets a commission for their hard work and it doesn’t cost me any more than it would if I went directly to the site.

(Sadly, in this case, I could not find a link to where I could purchase the reviewed dehydrators, so I went to Amazon to look. In the end, I decided to purchase a different one that, in my opinion, is a better “first purchase” model.)

That’s how many sites (including this one) make at least some of their money. We rely on people like you who find our information useful, then click on our provided link to purchase the product. When you do this, you help support our business and you don’t have to pay anything extra for doing so.

So the next time you find a useful article or review about something and you decide to purchase it, please use the link you find on the site. It’s a great way to help ensure that the site owner will be able to pay his/her bills — and to help ensure that your favorite, most useful sites will continue to be in a position to provide value to you for years to come.