What Adam Sandler Taught Me About Priorities

by Mike on October 21, 2008
in Inspiration

One of my favorite Adam Sandler movies is Click. Sandler plays a
workaholic who comes across a magic remote control that allows him to pause or fast forward over parts of his life. But he quickly loses control and discovers he’s missed out on most of the great moments of life. He’s also neglected his family…he ends up old, divorced, and alone, and he has missed out on his son and daughter’s childhood. They grew up without him.

Lying in a hospital bed after suffering a massive heart attack he realizes that his mistakes are about to repeat themselves as his son is going to skip his honeymoon to attend to business. There’s a touching seen at the end where Sandler is struggling to catch up with his son to tell him “Family comes first.”

When I first sat down to watch Click I thought it was strictly a comedy, but instead it ended with a powerful message that really struck me hard. As a dad I struggle to balance work and other responsibilities with family time. I’m sure you do too.

Our lives are so busy and full of chores, errands, and responsibilities that it can be easy to lose sight of what really matters. Nothing is more important to me than my family, but at times I still find myself putting other things before them…working, projects around the house, etc.

Then I have to sit back and remind myself of what’s important. When the kids are pulling at me to come play its easy to say “No, daddy has work to do.” But it breaks their little hearts.

Time moves fast and before long they’ll be all grown up. So I make sure to spend some quality time with them every single day now while I can. It doesn’t take much to make my little girls happy…it can be as simple as sitting on the floor coloring or doing a puzzle together. I cherish that time because I know it won’t last forever.

I hope you understand the importance of family and children. If you find yourself pushing them aside because you have to go to research keywords, download a new ebook, or write a new blog post…stop. Look at their little faces and remember they
won’t be little forever. If you don’t stop to enjoy them now you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.

What Batman Taught Me About Internet Marketing

by Mike on August 26, 2008
in Inspiration, Mindset

Batman has always been my favorite superhero. Don’t get me wrong…Spiderman and Superman are cool and all, but they pale in comparison to the ultimate crime-fighter…Batman.

photo credit: Hot Rod Homepage

Do you know why I love Batman?

Because he’s just like you and me. Sure he’s got lots of money and cool gadgets…but underneath the mask he’s just a guy. He can’t fly. He can’t see through walls. He can’t shoot spiderwebs from his wrists…

He’s just a complete bad-ass who succeeds through the sheer force of his will. You can’t help but admire him.

Batman displays a lot of qualities that internet marketers like you and me can learn from. Below I’ve listed 3 that I find particularly important.

An incredible work ethic. Batman/Bruce Wayne busts his butt day in and day out to achieve his goal. He trains himself and hones his skills until he is the absolute best at what he does. And he never takes a night off. He’s consistent and reliable.

This is an important lesson for you to learn. Many internet marketing strategies can be easy to maintain, but it does take some work to get them rolling. You’ll achieve your goals a lot faster if you take your work seriously and treat it like a business. Put time in every day in the beginning and you’ll soon see the results you’re looking for.

Discipline. Batman’s self-discipline is legendary. Not only does he take a physical beating without giving in but the emotional toll of living two lives must be just as brutal. And he always stays focused on the task at hand. To Batman…being distracted for an instant could mean death.

Focus and discipline are absolutely essential for any online business owner. Time and time again I see bright entrepreneurs undone by their inability to stay focused. They jump around from one “system” or “method” to the next. They become a jack of all trades..but a master of none.

There are 8 billion different ways to make money online. Pick one and go with it. Once you master it and are producing steady income you can look to diversify and open new streams of income. But if you are constantly distracted by the latest “sure-thing” then as Seven of Nine would say…

You will fail…

You must stay focused. Constantly ask yourself “Is this moving me toward my goal?” If the answer is no then stop and get yourself back on track.

Perseverance. Batman knows all about failure and pain. As a child he saw his parents murdered right in front of him. As Bruce Wayne he is forced to keep everyone at a distance. As Batman he regularly takes crow bars to his rib cage and sees criminals like the Joker escape his clutches. Yet he never, ever gives up. No matter how many setbacks he faces, he always come back stronger.

In the 2005 movie Batman Begins, there’s a line that is repeated several times to Bruce Wayne:

“Why do we fall? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”

As a fellow entrepreneur, let me tell you right now that failure is part of the game. Get used to it. The idea of being an overnight success story is a myth.

The person interested in success has to learn to view failure as a healthy, inevitable part of the process of getting to the top.
Dr. Joyce Brothers

I failed many times before I really learned how to make money online. My first website was about wine, which is an insanely competitive keyword. I built a site of about 20 pages or so with the idea of monetizing it with AdSense units and affiliate links. It was a solid plan…but my execution was horrible.

I targeted all the wrong keywords. I knew little about [tag-tec]SEO[/tag-tec] tactics. My promotion and link building was almost non-existent. In the end I was lucky if I brought in $10 a month in AdSense.

Next I tried building a simple site to promote Site Build It. I basically took their sales pages, made a few adjustments, and quickly wasted a few hundred dollars using AdWords. The product was great but I had no clue how to run a successful PPC campaign and my sales copy flat out sucked.

My next project was a 10 page site about mesothelioma. I had read an article about keywords that earned between $50 and $100 per click from Adsense and jumped at the chance to make big money. But I never had a chance. Mesothelioma is an incredibly competitive niche and it would take a lot more work than slapping together a few crappy pages.

Next I decided to create my own ebook and sell it on Clickbank. It was a short but full of useful tips for saving money on just about everything. Unfortunately I knew almost nothing about copywriting and I positioned the ebook poorly. I targeted the wrong market and never recovered.

I sold exactly one copy.

But I learned from my mistakes and converted that site from a one page sales letter into a portal for people trying to save money or make extra money from home. I still earn AdSense and affiliate commissions from that site even though I haven’t really updated it in over 2 years.

I don’t fear failure anymore and neither should you. Failure is how we learn what works and what doesn’t. If you try something and it doesn’t work out as planned, don’t just give up. Analyze what went wrong, learn from your mistakes, and try again.

It’s what Batman would do.

Is It Too Late For You To Start Making Money On The Internet?

by Mike on August 25, 2008
in Inspiration, Self-Improvement

It’s a question that every newbie and wanna-be entrepreneur asks…

“Have I missed the boat? Is it too late?”

photo credit: bogenfreund

In some markets, it may indeed be too late. If your plan was to open a video store that rents VHS tapes then you’ve definitely missed the boat. And you might have a hard time releasing your own operating system now that Microsoft pretty much has a strangle hold on the market.

But as far as [tag-tec]internet marketing[/tag-tec] goes…we’ve barely seen a glimspe of the surface. There’s a whopper of an iceberg hiding out of sight and the market is set to explode in coming years.

If you had jumped into the world of online business in the late 1990’s (and survived the dot com bust) you wouldn’t be reading this blog right now. You’d probably be laying on a private beach somewhere being fed grapes and fanned by beautiful women (or men, for the ladies).

But you know what? I perdict that 20 years from now people will be saying the same thing about 2008. I really do.

The internet is still just a little toddler learning to walk. Its nowhere near its full potential. There are millions of people who don’t have internet access or whose connection speed is so slow that even routine browsing is a chore. And millions more are still too afraid of scams or identity theft to make purchases online (sounds ridiculous to you and me right?)

As more people come online and connection speeds increase there will be an incredible influx of business conducted on the web.

And the best part of it is there’s still plenty of time to position yourself as a mover and shaker. You see the mere fact that you’re reading this gives you a distinct advantage over 99% of the population. They have no idea what internet marketing is or how to [tag-tec]earn a living online[/tag-tec]. Heck, they can barely figure out how to add a link to their list of Favorites!

To them YOU ARE A GURU! Even if you haven’t put together all the pieces of the puzzle…at least you’ve started putting it together. Most people don’t even know the puzzle exists…

As marketers we tend to take our knowledge for granted and assume everyone already knows what we know. But it never ceases to amaze me how many of my friends have never heard of Google AdSense, affiliate marketing, ebooks, autoresponders, etc. To them I’m some kind of technological genius (trust me I’m not! ).

To them making a measly $200-$300 a month would change their lives. It would mean having some extra play money or a vacation fund or paying down some debt. And $300 a month is so easy a goal if you just put in a little bit of work.

Anyway, the moral of this post is this…

We’re only in the first inning here. There’s still a lot of game left to be played and its still early enough for you to jump in and make a killing. So what are you waiting for? Get off the bench and get in the game!

photo credit: frigante