Category Archives for "Internet Marketing"

The $15,000 Mistake That Could Have Been Avoided

12:18 pm
Austin, Texas

Did you know that I have failed more times than I can count?

My first “real business” was with a direct sales company back in college. I spent a few thousand dollars buying the product (a home cleaning product) because I thought it was an entire no-brainer for people to buy it.

Turns out, I had no idea how to sell the product. I was just getting started with my business and hadn’t spent years studying and learning about marketing, sales and how to run an actual business yet.

It was pretty devastating realizing I was a failure. I mean, I got good grades in high school, I played sports and I was on the honor roll. Everything seemed like it would just go along perfectly.

Turns out that my potential customers for that original business didn’t care about me. I walked around door-to-door in my neighborhood in Binghamton, NY trying to sell the cleaning solution. Sometimes it worked, other times I got the door slammed in my face.

I don’t talk about this much, in fact, I don’t even think my parents knew about that particular time in my life.

You see, when I walked up to these peoples houses… none of them gave a shit about my high school or college grades. No one cared that I was in college and just starting my business. No one cared that I had a dream to be rich and have my own island.

Not one person cares until you do something for them.

It’s a harsh reality. We don’t live in a world full of sunshine and unicorn rainbows with people just giving you money because they liked how you said “hello”. People are busy. People have their own problems to worry about.

It was a rough time period for me. 

I considered myself a failure.

Man… I feel weird writing that.

Don’t worry though, the story gets better… but at times it also gets worse.

like the time I spent over $15,000 trying to build a business in a niche that I knew absolutely NOTHING about.

$15,000 on something you don’t understand? WTF?

Crazy, right? I mean… what kind of an idiot thinks he can build a business in an industry where he knows nothing about the niche?

THIS GUY!

How did it happen?

Well. I didn’t have a clear image in mind of what I needed to do. I knew I needed a “team”, but I had no idea what that meant. I mean, with entrepreneurship, we’re often doing this all on our own.

It sometimes looks like this…

Photo from the Internet Business Manifesto by Rich Schefren.

That looks terrifying, doesn’t it? If you’re the one doing all of that work, it IS terrifying.

The truth is that…way too often that’s exactly what happens when we’re building up businesses. We try to bootstrap everything because money is tight and we think we can’t afford to hire people to handle other tasks for us.

I made the opposite mistake with this particular business. I hired people before I had the system in place because I had built the same type of business in a different industry. So, naturally I felt like a genius and that nothing could go wrong.

I know, I know… what a silly mistake.

The truth is, I was all jacked up and excited after going to a mastermind that I just kinda jumped in headfirst before taking the time to build up the systems first. When you surround yourself with others who are at levels way above your current level, you sometimes forget to drop back down to where you’re currently at and reflect from that position before making decisions.

I am 100% for surrounding yourself with people who are doing bigger things than you currently do and especially for masterminds and hiring mentors. It significantly cuts down on your learning curve and as you know, you become like the 5 people you spend the most time with

In that image that you saw above with “You” in the middle and all the tasks around it, you see all of the different day-to-day things that happen in a business. That report is from I believe 2012 so it’s a little out of date for the current reality, but the concept is the same.

Little Things Make Big Differences

If you’ve been running your business for a while, you know that you have little things that have to operate each and every day to make your business work. Everything from writing blog posts like I am doing right now, to emailing your list, to posting all over your social media properties. Every single thing comes down to a system you create and follow.

Each and every single thing in your business should have a process map.

Ideally, a step-by-step checklist that you can use so that when you get ready to grow your business, you can hire someone and have them come in, follow your process and produce a similar result each time.

Here’s just a brief look into one of the systems I have, this doesn’t show the video tutorials and emails/chats about the system… but you get the idea.

You see in my trello board that it starts off with the mindmap, showing what the structure for the template should look like. It then includes 3 attached images to show the process and at the bottom, there is the checklist to follow along.

This is the type of systems you want to have for every step of your business. Here’s just another example of process mapping, this is a proces for my team members who are uploaded blog posts to a particular site I own.

Every time I have a new blogger come onboard, I have a series of video tutorials and checklists to follow to make sure that everything goes to plan…every time.

When I first started, I had no templates for anything.

I was just doing everything myself, not recording anything or writing out the reasons WHY I did something. I originally didn’t know any better. As a beginner, we’re expected to do it all. So, that’s what I did. I did everything in my business. I built the websites, I wrote the copy for the articles, I researched the niche, I set up emails, I, I, I…. it was miserable.

This stuff is an absolute pain in the ass to create, its extremely time-consuming and isn’t the glamorous side of entrepreneurship that is often marketed by people selling courses on being an entrepreneur.

But, taking the time to do this makes a major difference in your business and an even bigger impact on your life.

Think about this for just a second… McDonald’s was founded on May 15, 1940. Right now it’s the year 2017 and the McDonald’s system has been operating pretty much the same way for all that time.

It’s so easy that high-school kids with no other job experience can do it. That right there… that is how simple you want your processes to be. If your business isn’t at that point yet, you have some work to do. But don’t worry. I’ve got some recommendations to help you out.

What happened to that business where you lost $15k?

I’m glad you asked! Even if you didn’t ask, I’ll let you know.

Over the last few years, as my processes have improved, I applied some of them to that particular business… you know, to harden the blow a little bit of losing that much money. Since then, the business has been earning money every single month with minimal work from myself.

I realized I wasn’t meant to write about the niche, email people about the niche or even post pictures to the fans I acquired in the niche. My job was simply to identify opportunities and have my team handle the content and distribution.

The only reason that happened was because I spent the time to build the systems and partner up with people who are better than me with the work.

What To Do About It

The first recommendation is to get the book Work The System by Sam Carpenter.

The second recommendation is to actually read the book and apply what is taught in the book. Yes, it’s going to suck. No, it won’t be glamorous like the entrepreneur hashtag on Instagram.

It’s going to be work. Boring, tedious work. But, this is work that you only have to do one time. After you have written out the process and created the tutorials, someone else can handle the work so that you can focus on your strengths. The hours you spend creating these tutorials will save you days, weeks and even months of your time in the future…

and time is the only resource we can’t get back.

How to Find Great Outsourcers So You Can Spend More Time Doing What You Love

how to hire a great VA

How to Find Great Outsourcers So You Can Spend More Time Doing What You Love

Check out my recommended outsourcing site here (Click)

Let’s talk about outsourcing real quick. If you are running your own business, you need to start thinking about hiring a team sooner rather than later.

You and I both only have 24 hours in a day, and its impossible to work all 24 hours no matter how hard you sometimes want to.

Well, its possible. You’ll just be dead to the world the next day and will likely get sick. As entrepreneurs and business owners, you can’t miss days unless you have teams in place to handle the systems you’ve built while you’re away.

But Chris, hiring is hard!!! How do I find great outsourcers?

It’s not easy, i’ll tell you that.

But this little trick here will drastically improve the chances of you finding a great outsourcer. Is it going to take some work to sort and interview and hire? Yes.

Is it worth it? Well, when you’re out surfing and you come home and work has been done (to your specifications exactly) you’ll see that it’s worth every penny and every hour you spent designing your system.

The trick in this video here on how to find great outsourcers is going to save you a significant amount of time in the beginning stages of filtering these candidates.

Its such a simple little thing and you’ll notice that 90% of the people won’t follow the directions… guess what..

if they can’t follow this simple direction, they’ll struggle with the harder directions as well.

So use this tip the next time you are going to hire an outsourcer.

Mindset Hacks: The Difference Between ‘Have To and Get To’…

Mindset Hacks: The Difference Between ‘Have To and Get To’…

Let’s quickly talk about a subtle shift in the way you talk to yourself that can have a significant impact on your life. It’s often these little tweaks in our life that bring about the greatest rewards.

One of the simplest tweaks to implement is recognizing when you are saying “I Have to…” when doing something, such as “I have to go to work”…

and then simply just tweaking it just a little bit.

Changing it to “I get to..” might seem a little weird on the surface. However, when your brain hears that you GET TO do something, it becomes more excited.

Yes, even if its something like ” I get to go to work…”

The thing is, if you have the opportunity to work and have a job, or business like myself, you are extremely blessed. Many people around the world don’t have that opportunity.

In fact, a large percentage of the worldwide population will never have the opportunities that you currently have.

Crazy to think about, right?

Well that’s what this little tweak is about. It’s a little way to condition your mind into being more comfortable with gratitude and will lead to changes in the coming months.

Don’t worry if you find yourself saying “I have to…” it still happens to me from time to time. When you do catch yourself saying it, recognize that you said it and then consciously make an effort to re-state the statement with “I get to…” or “I want to…” and re-state that statement with that intention.

I hope this helps! Have a great day,
Chris

7 Ways To Find Trending Content Ideas for Viral Bloggers

If you’re reading this right now, you probably are interested in viral blogging or learning how to find trending content so that you can capitalize on it while it’s hot and make some money from it.

I’ve done this over the last few years by capitalizing on some trends that I’ve noticed and it’s led to some pretty good pay-days.

One problem I used to have was actually finding content that was going viral and when it was on its upward swing.

If you catch something before it hits the critical mass, you can usually capitalize on it pretty well.

If you catch it at the end of its buzz, you’ll still be able to make a bit of money with it, but less than if you caught it sooner.

Here’s 7 Ways To Find Trending Content Ideas for Viral Bloggers

  • Buzzsumo: Analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. All you need to do here is type in a topic or keyword to search for viral contentbuzzsumo-finding-content
  • Ruzzit: Find the most shared content on the web. All you need to do is type in the keyword where it says “Search Keyword or Share a link” on their siteruzzit-finding-viral-content
  • Feedly: Compiles news feeds from a variety of online sources for the user to customize & share.
    feedly-find-viral-content
  • Google Trends: A new way of displaying trending searches.google-trends-to-find-viral-content

     

  • Hubspot Blog Topic Generator: Custom blog ideas.

    hubspot-to-find-viral-content
    hubspot-to-find-viral-contenthubspot-to-find-viral-content

  • Portent: Content idea generator. This tool is pretty cool, you can take some of the topics from the other resources and plug those keywords into this tool to come up with clever headline topics.
    portent-to-create-viral-content

portent-to-create-viral-content

What If Money Was No Object? Every Person On Earth Should Watch This Video..

July 18, 2016
Location: sitting on my porch listening to the birds chirp while I overlook the ocean in the distance in Bali, Indonesia Time: 1:45pm

I can almost guarantee that you have dreamed about living your exact dream lifestyle more often than not. I know that for me, I used to dream about living the exact life I live now.

In fact, yesterday I flew back to Bali from a weekend trip to Singapore with my girlfriend. Right now, we’re living in Bali, a place that both of us have dreamed about for years.

The truth is that my life wasn’t always like this.

…it all started a few years back when I came across a few different mentors who helped me to get more specific about what I really wanted out of life. One of the messages they kept saying to me was that “If money was no object, what would you be doing with your life?”

I know, it’s pretty cliché. But, it works.

There is an amazing truth behind this question. It forces you to get very specific about your life and what you truly want out of it.

Have you ever actually thought about what you want out of life? Not just the “oh, I’d like to travel more” or “I’d like to make $100,000 a year working a job I love” I mean the exact specifics…

Here’s an example of what I answered with this question.

I want to live a lifestyle where I can do what I want, when I want and go wherever I want. To do this, I will build a business that allows me the freedom to travel the world and have my business grow on auto-pilot, whether I choose to work or not that day. My intention is to earn $100,000 a month in order to achieve my financial goals. I intend to be able to spend my time surfing when the waves are good, and not worry about my business while I’m out catching waves, knowing that it will grow on its own without me. My life will be based around doing things that I think are fun and adventurous, in order to create memories that will last a lifetime. If I hear about something that is a “must have experience” I want to be able to do that. (This happened a few months back when my friends invited me to the Thailand New Year Songkran Celebration) I want to love the businesses I build and be challenged when building them so that I can use my mind to overcome obstacles to create solutions to problems.

 

Do you see what I did there?

I was specific about what I wanted. It wasn’t just a generic answer.

Where are you now?

If you’re reading this, you’re probably younger in your career (18-35) and are looking for an answer for “how to live your dream life“.

You may have even asked yourself “How did I get here?” with your current life. If you don’t have an answer for that, it’s time you get specific about what you truly want.

I want to introduce you to a video and audio from Alan Watts that addresses this question.

Video About How To Live Your Dream Life

So now what? If you’re anything like me, you probably got a little excited feeling in the pit of your stomach. You know the feeling. The excitement. The joy. The air of mystery..

Well, what are you going to do about it?

Seriously. You have two choices. You can go back to your Facebook news feed and keep scrolling…. keeping your life exactly the same as it always has been…. OR You can do this exercise and start to change your life.

The exercise really is simple, just like the question it addresses. When you are answering these questions, it is important to go beyond just the shit you were taught to strive for…. you know the things.

Stuff that Hollywood makes you believe you want. For example, letting go of our ideas about ‘success,’ money, material goods, fame, etc. and instead looking at it like Alan says – if money didn’t matter and I could do anything right now… what would it be?

Don’t worry about the whole career or job thing right now, just begin with what you like. Then think about what you feel you can contribute to the world, whether it be to just one person or a whole community (or the entire globe!).

Educating others, contribution to a project, and bringing joy to others are all examples of ways you could contribute to the world. 
The next step is to grab a piece of paper and answer these questions:

“What do I enjoy doing? What makes me tick or gets me excited?”
“What would my ideal day look like if I could do what I wanted to do?”
“What is my ideal job? What does it look like?”
“What are my favorite hobbies or things to do?”

(if you don’t have a piece of paper and pen, go grab one right now and do this activity)

(seriously. If you are still reading this and didn’t get a piece of paper and pen, get off your ass and go get them)

(yes, I said ass.)

Once you start answering some of these more basic questions, we dive into things like:

“Why do I like these things I enjoy doing?”


“What about them are interesting to me?”


How are you starting to feel after answering these questions?

This is going to help you to start understand the things you truly love to do and things you enjoy. It also gets you thinking about why you enjoy these things, which is the truly important thing.

What you just found out is what you value in life, and this is important because it will allow you to make a more educated decision about what you’re going to do with your life.

If something isn’t in alignment with what you want, you don’t do it. Or you do it until you can find a replacement.

For me, I believe Entrepreneurship allows you to eliminate the shit you hate, and focus on the stuff you love. It provides the replacement.

These little details are going to help you create a life that you absolutely love.

In the end, it’s all about doing the activities that bring you joy and ignite your passion, even if it’s only a few hours a week. ….and don’t worry if you can’t find your passion or purpose immediately, it takes time.

Just have fun with this and be playful about the whole idea.

As you get older, your answers will probably change a bit. I know mine have over the years and they will continue to as I get older.

It’s part of the fun of living.

Now here’s a gift I want to give you that will help some of you to start to pursue your dream life.

Yes, I said some of you.

This isn’t going to be for everyone, because let’s face it.

Some people are fu#*ing lazy and won’t do anything.

If you are reading this right now and are thinking “I can create my dream life” and “damnit, I’m not lazy and I am willing to work my ass off to build something to help me live my dream life”, then this might be right for you.

I was able to get a 14-day trial offer to my blog readers here to something that I like to consider a “Internet Marketing for Dummies” course.

I’m not 100% sure how long it will be available to test out for the 2 weeks for free, but it’s still working at this point. Click here to claim your free 14-day trial

If you didn’t click the link above and are still reading, I’m just going to include the link again so you can click it now.

Here’s the link again –> Click Here

If you want, you can click on the image below this as well and you’ll be taken to the same page… so go ahead and CLICK ITclickhere