Don’t Wait Again

Eight days ago, I published ‘Don’t Wait’.  It was at least partially inspired by my friend’s diagnosis with liver cancer, and the complications of that.

My friend Denny died Friday night.  7 days after I wrote it, 6 after publication.  God bless him, he was a good friend.  I’ll miss him terribly.

Do it NOW

The rest of the story isn’t about dying, it’s about living.  Don’t wait for ‘the stars to align’, don’t wait until you are certain, don’t make it be perfect.  Go for it.  Now is the time, the only better time is 10 minutes ago.

There are more ways to die than just for your heart to stop.  There is the personal and professional death of not being able to push your dreams and goals forward.  There is the emotional death knowing that you have a good product that you are afraid to produce.

Ask yourself this.  Am I really going to be more secure in this tomorrow?  REALLY?  Do it now!

The Other.

There is a thing you probably don’t know about me (there are others:)).  I am a recovering alcoholic, I don’t drink at all, haven’t for better than 23 years.  Not a good thing, not a bad thing, just a thing.

There is another thing.  I’m back on the Atkins diet (I lost 75# and kept it off for 3 years).  I got lazy and complacent and gained 25# back.  I have lost 8 pounds since the first of the month, it’s going really well.

What’s the point of these personal disclosures??  I’m going to eat ice cream.  I’m going to the store as soon as it opens (in a couple hours) and buy ice cream and eat every delicious morsel.  I’m going to eat ice cream until I founder.

I’m just sayin’

Average Kills

Standard Average Bell Curve
Standard Average Bell Curve

Average

By definition, all of us are average at most things.  Defined as the midpoint between completely awful and unbelievably good at whatever. No crime at being average, in fact, you can’t help but be average at most of your life.

Do you know that 95% of Americans say they are above average drivers?  95%.  Really?  How did Yuma, Arizona (where I live) get the entire 5% that is left?  It just doesn’t work out.  49% are below, 49% above and 2% are right on the number.  But the perception…

I suspect that it would depend on who you talk to, but I have always considered myself a better than average lover.  Who am I kidding?  Me.  If I’m lucky, I’m part of the 2%…So, reality is that I aspire to mid range in many things…

Average Sucks

The time to not be average is in your business…Good enough is just plain not good enough to make you stand out in a crowd.  And if you don’t stand out in an advertising medium, it’s going to be a long hard row to hoe.  Not saying it can’t be done, but you better have your ads everyplace and all the time.  Even then, your success will be no better than average.  As it were.

Go the extra inch.  Go the extra mile.  Do what it takes to make your product better than, make it excel.  Make it be perfect.  Make it stand out!

Law of Averages

Everything averages out.  It’s the law.  Except my effort and dedication.  I want to keep my effort and dedication at the absolute peak.  Then, and only then, will I be above the thundering herd.

And in the End

I’m ok with my place in the mob, average is just fine for the most part for me.  As long as my business effort is above, way above.

I’m just sayin’

 

Don’t Wait

Glowing and sparking Nike SwooshThis is not the column I planned for today, is in fact, not the column I had written for today.  It is so pressing and urgent that I put that other one on the hook for later.  It’s a good post, but this is urgent!

I got a call from one of my good friends yesterday.  This is a guy I have known since I moved to Yuma, spend quite a lot of time with.  He typically shows up at my place at 0500 to have a cup of coffee and discuss the world’s pressing problems.

It’s Liver Cancer.  Went into the week thinking it was his gall bladder and, well, everybody was wrong.  Made me wonder what Denny has put off in his life…

Don’t Wait

We all have stuff we put off until later, until the time is right.  “When I get _________ I’ll do ________.”  Sound familiar?  My friend is faced now with sorting through the list of things that he waited too long for.

Having watched others go through that list, I know that it can be a horrible, torturous time. Or it can be a time to say “Damn, I’m glad I _________ when I could.  I’m glad I didn’t put it off until the time was perfect.”

Where are you on your list?  This is important, there will be a test at the end.

What are You Waiting For?

Really.  What are you waiting for?  Perfect timing?  More time in your life (have you EVER gained time in your life??)  Money?  Fame?  What?

What ARE you Waiting For?

Big things or small, it’s time, right now.  Take something, anything, and do it.  Plan the trip, plan the finances, plan the deal.  But plan.  Now is the perfect time.

Don’t wait.  The it’s too late moment comes at you way too fast.

And in the End

Nike said it best.  Just Do It!

I’m just sayin’

Bonus Time

Talk about ‘Don’t Wait’.  Thursday the TimTech guys announced the new badgehunt series at about 3:30 pm.  By 7:00 pm Thursday, my friend and partner, Sunny Suggs had a new and fully functioning website up and running.  We will be doing the Badgehunt Blog again, first score post will be Monday morning.  It took Sunny and I about 15 minutes to decide to do it, and 3 hours to get it ready.  Sunny is the perfect example of do it now.

You want to build your business?  Your list?  Your branding?  Someday?  Buy a badge, they are $25.00.  Start today.

All of My Links

All of My Links logo BannerI don’t know how you are, but I collect stuff.   Lots of stuff.  That part of my persona is reflected in my bookmarks on my computer.  I have over 5000 links in various and sundry folders and categories.  The problem is, how to organize them so I can find stuff that I want to see again.

I use folders in my bookmark bars, I use categories in my folders.  I have several spreadsheets that contain all manner of stuff.  I have little slips of paper coating the entire top of my desk.  Or, more correctly, had.  I found the answer several months ago…

All of my Links

From the mind of Sunny Suggs with technical assistance from Jay Hines, comes All of my Links.  It is THE answer to ‘where did I put that link?’  It started when I bellyached in public about not being able to find a link for a TE that I just knew that I had.  Sunny to the rescue.  She’s had this program out since 2009, and just now has completed a face lift on it.  It is beautiful.

It works.  First time, every time.  I have my home page set up so that the 8 websites that I visit most often are arrayed there.  I can just click on the image and I’m in.  All of my Links is my 3rd most visited website in the last 6 months.  I go there at least 5 times per day.  It started as a way to keep track of my TEs and Mailers, but has grown to much, much more.

What I Like:

I really like how easy it is to set up.  There is a huge list of TEs already entered, all you have to do with them is enter your ref id and done.  If you want to enter a site that isn’t there, click a tab, enter up to 3 urls (log in data, support data, referral link) and done. Quick and easy to set up.

Ease of use.  The sites are sorted alphabetically after you enter them.  If you can remember the name, you can find it fast.  If you can’t exactly remember the name, or have a really huge list, there is an easy search function.  No problem.

The new look.  Sunny (with tech assistance from Daniel Heyman) has really cleaned the site up.  It’s much more pleasing on the eye, and is even easier to use.  It really is an attractive package!

The downloads.  A great selection from Sunny’s collection is available as soon as you sign up.

What I don’t Like

That I don’t have even more links entered.  Every day I look for something that isn’t in All of my Links, and have to enter it.  I typically take the time to enter a whole category, if that’s what it takes.

That I didn’t start using it earlier.  I could have saved myself hundreds of hours spent searching over the years.  It is THAT good.

Tip of the Day

I have started using AOML for my current advertising links.  Name the ad carefully, then put the URL into the ‘ref id’ category.  That way, all of the links I need are RIGHT THERE when I am entering ads to a TE or Mailer or whatever.  If it’s a banner I’m working with, I put the picture URL in the ‘support’ category.  Really saves a lot of time if I am doing several sites at several TEs.  A lot of time!

Final Note

This is not a free service.  It is worth every cent, plus more.  But it is not free.  It’s a great deal.  I’d like to put the price in here, but it’s been long enough and the service is good enough that I just don’t remember:)

And in the End

All of my Links saves me time every single day.  It really is THAT good!

I’m just sayin’

Survival Marketing

Motorcycle v Car Wreck
Don’t be this guy.

Survival

OK.  I ride a motorcycle.  A lot.  Riding on the open road is all about me and my skill and choices I make.  Riding in traffic is a different skill set, I have to be on guard at all times for mistakes that other drivers make.  Anytime you tangle with a car, the results are almost always catastrophic for the motorcyclist.

It all boils down to survival.  In the case of my motorcycle, it’s about getting home every time.  In the case of Marketing and Selling, the threats are different but the outcome can be exactly the same.

First Look

The very first thing you need to ensure your survival in TE land is blink speed.  If your ads don’t survive the first 3 seconds you have no chance.  None.

1:  You need to be certain that your website loads quickly and properly.  Nobody, repeat, no one waits for a slow loading site.  Load quick or die.

2:  Be attractive.  It is absolutely critical in this business that your site is pleasing to the eye.  Includes, but not limited to, Font choice, Spacing, Color Choices, Pictures and Originality.  All play a part in overall attractiveness.

3:  Call to action.  You absolutely need to ask the viewer to do something and to do make it VERY clear what that something is.  Make the button big, make it plain, make it compelling.  Your survival depends on it.

Upon Further Review

So your site loads quick, it looks good, has a clear and present call to action.  If it can’t stand a second look, your chances of survival decrease suddenly.

1:  Don’t DUSAP (Don’t Use Standard Advertising Pages).  Being like everyone else is a sure way to turn off a potential buyer.  It may work to a degree early in a campaign, but nobody gets in THAT early except the owner.

2:  Be original.  Make your own splash pages and banners.  Put YOUR picture on them.  You are the one selling the product, not your car or teddy bear.  It only makes sense.

There a hundred places on the web to make your own splash pages and banners.  The prices range from free (where, generally speaking, you get what you pay for) to very expensive.  For my money and time, AdKreator is the best one going.  I own 6 pieces of software for the purpose, a couple of which were quite expensive.  AdKreator  beats them all, and so completely that I haven’t opened any of the others in over a year.  And there are several reasonably priced ways to have somebody else make your ads.  Rhonda Pizor at Make My Splash is excellent, I just happen to know.

Survive, Thrive, Win.  That’s the formula.

And in the End

You have to survive before you can thrive.  I sincerely hope you get it to the porch safely.  Don’t be that guy that ends up on the bumper of a Cadillac ¼ mile from home.

I’m just sayin’

 

Think this Through

A boy thinkingSeth Godin made me think this week.  Go figure.  He’s merely one of the best writers alive.  Publishes at least one book per year AND a blog post at least once per day.  The blog post that set this off is right here.  If you want to know the genesis of this post, you’ll have to read Seth’s post, I’m not giving away squat.

While you are at Seth Godin’s Blog site, sign up.  It’s free and it’s good.  Might even make you think.

Human Doing

Yep.  Instead of ‘human being’ I get into the trap of ‘human doing’.  I don’t think, I respond.  I don’t savor anything, I just want the next bite, right NOW.  Quicker, faster, better.  I get the idea that the more information I can collect, the smarter I become.  Wrong.  The more information I can DIGEST, the smarter I become.

Next page, next page, next page.  Maybe you can relate.  I get into that so far that it sometimes think that I HAVE to live my life at that rate of travel.  Do I?  Do I really have to live my life at full tilt boogie all the time?

Human Being

I have the ability to think, to plan, to act on those plans.  Be-ing instead of Do-ing.  I can do this this.  It’s simply a matter of priority, a matter of making the decision and sticking to it.

Here’s an idea.  Maybe I ought to try to learn more from one person rather than trying to get it all from a thousand.  Gain some insight and knowledge, slow my pace a little, at least at times.

I am a human being.  I just have to allow myself that.  Be rather than do.

Personal Responsibility

Uh oh.  Guess who is in charge of my being?  Me.  No one outside of my skin is in control of anyone inside.  It’s my responsibility who and what I am.  No one else.  Just lonely old me.  It’s easier to respond rather than think  It’s easier to go at the pace that I perceive everybody else is going.  (Now there is a topic for a blog post:  Perceptions of others.)

It all boils down to the same old thing.  I am responsible for my being.  I live life as I choose, not as somebody else chooses.

And in the End

I think I’ll go think about just being.  Maybe I’ll learn a little in the process…

I’m just sayin’

SurfDuel

surfduel advertising banner
SurfDuel Banner

Every now and again something comes along that just rattles my cage.  Totally unique, entirely new, chock full of possibilities. Did you ever imagine a traffic exchange with no credits to be earned or used?

Surf Duel

A brand new traffic exchange, brought to you by TechDime, the same folks that brought you Brisk Surf.  It’s like Brisk Surf in that it is very clean, a completely custom script, but the similarity stops there.  Surf Duel is like no other.

What’s Different?

Everything. Sites are shown side by side, two at a time.  You, the surfer has to choose one.  Sites that are picked are shown with greater frequency, those that aren’t picked are shuffled to the bottom of the list.  It’s a one on one popularity contest where the winner gets more views.

How Can You Get Sites in Rotation Without Credits?

Easy.  If you are a free member, you have to view 150 pages (300 sites) to get your site(s) in rotation.  First upgrade, you have to surf 50 pages per day.  Premium member does not have a surf requirement.  Nothing to it!

What I Like

I love the ‘dueling’ aspect of SurfDuel.  I have been using it from the start to ‘split test’ splash pages.  It’s pretty darn easy to see which page wins, it’s chosen more.  Fast and colorful works here, cluttered and long does not.

I really like the uniqueness of the site.  It is different from everything else you have seen. The two sites sliding up side by side is just plain different.

The responsive owners.  This site is still in Beta, it is NOT a finished product.  Contact the owners through support, and you will get an answer to your question or suggestion very promptly.  It’s just great to be listened to…

What I Don’t Like

This is a Beta site, not a finished product.  I get it.  Still, there are some things that should be addressed sooner rather than later.

‘Report Site’ button.  This is a real need.  The owners are diligent and vigilant and have made huge strides on eradicating junk sites, but one still slips through now and again.  You need to be able to report these.

Easier Navigation on/off the Surfbar.  You have to click the SurfDuel logo to go to stop surfing and go to the home page.  A button here would make life easier and less confusing.

The Logo.  Nit picking.  A little more pizazz would not hurt this site at all.  It’s pretty bland looking but isn’t bland at all.

Final Thoughts

I really like the concept and design of the site.  There are some things I would change, for sure.  But the idea of going head to head with another website suits me well.  I give the overall project a huge ‘thumbs up’.

And in the End

I’ll admit.  I’m a junkie for the place.  My morning just isn’t complete until I have gotten my SurfDuel fix.

I’m just sayin’

 

Winning is a Small Thing

Drive it Deep

Nascar Race Photo
Racin’ and Businessin’ are about Winning!

The idea for this comes directly from Day 15 in Justin Ledvina and Patrick Griffin’s new book “Inspiration Beyond the Quotes”.  The words are mine, the idea, find a little extra, is theirs.  Yes, I am absolutely shameless.  You should buy the book and see it for yourself.  It’s really worth the price for the work the guys have put into it!

On the Gas

I am a big NASCAR fan and a fan of racing in general.  Have been for about 50 years. There are a good many ways to win a race, but the easiest is to make more power than the rest of the racers.  It’s up to the off track team to give their driver just a little bit more than the rest of the competitors.  It’s not always the fastest car that wins, but that’s a good way to bet.

The same is true in business.  The ability to find that ‘little extra’, the one degree of separation from your competitors, is often the key to success.  Often that little extra is already in you, all you have to do is find it and you can zoom away from the pack.

On the Brakes

One way to pick up position on a racetrack is to ‘Drive it Deep’ into the corner, brake impossibly hard, and get back into the throttle before the car you are racing can match your acceleration.  It is the timely application of brakes that is key to this strategy.

Sometimes, winning in business is the same.  Being willing to take the high risk/high reward option has it’s place.  Like the racetrack, you can’t do it all the time, or you will wear out your equipment and tires and slow down.  But once in a while, you need to take that chance and go for it.  Don’t miss it…

On the Wheel

It’s a physical fact that the shortest way around any racetrack is the white line at the very bottom.  If you don’t have the fastest car, you probably ought to be able to stick right on the bottom and go the shortest distance.  It’s really the only path to winning with a slower car.

First.  There is a huge advantage to having your product or service in the market first. Generally speaking, nobody gets it right from the start, so waiting until your product is perfect and ready to ship is like taking the ‘high line’ on the racetrack.  The competitor that gets to the market first and is willing to ‘fix it’ has a huge advantage.  Don’t wait until your car is right, get out there and get in front.  You can fix it as the race progresses…

In the Lead

Nobody ever wins a race driving in the rear view mirror.  Once you have the lead, once you have your product viable, keep your eyes on the track ahead of you, and don’t worry about your competition.  Make them pass you when you are driving well, not when you are watching their every move.  That’s the way of winning, in business and in racing.

And in the End

“Boogity, Boogity, Boogity.  Let’s go businessen’, Folks!”

I’m just sayin’

 

Whining: A fine Art

Whining

A young boy whining
Overall attraction of Whining

I’m struggling a little with a topic for today.  I’m going to one of my tried and true favorites, whining about other peoples behavior online.  It at least keeps me from looking at my own deficiencies.

Pride

As in have a little.  Some of the splash pages I see are little more than WYSIWYG editor pages.  Jeeze, can’t you see that they look terrible?  At least, at the very absolute least, change the font from Arial.  It is the default font all over the net, Please.  And listen carefully:  Highlighted lines just don’t get it, particularly when the font doesn’t change…There are so many options for you, just a little pride of ownership and workmanship would really go a long way.  I can do it, it’s not hard.  I actually own 3 pieces of splash page generating software, that I bought before I discovered AdKreator.  Now I use it almost exclusively…

Pictures

While I am whining…Please post a picture.  The Gravatar symbol, the blank egg, the human outline just don’t cut it.  For one thing, it makes me think you either don’t care enough to post something, or are too ignorant to do so.  Which one of those two options do you think I am going to buy from??  Right.  Neither one.

For the cheese with this whine, post a decent picture of yourself.  There is no real reason to use your DUI booking photo as your gravatar.  Really.  A good picture of yourself is not hard, even if you don’t own a camera or a web cam (really?  Your computer is THAT old??) one of your friends should be able to email you a picture.  They are all over Facebook for crying out loud.  Pick one and use it!

Personal Attacks

Get a grip.  These just make YOU look stupid.  There are several ways to get even in this business, personal attacks are not the way.  Somebody has pissed you off?  Out work them, out idea them, out last them.  That’s the way to win in this arena.  Attacking another persons work or ideas just doesn’t get it.  The only thing you do is give your enemy recognition and tarnish your own reputation.  Very unbecoming at the least.

And in the End

Sometimes whining is good for the soul.  Sometimes, whining is just plain offensive.  I hope this is somewhere between.

I’m just sayin’

CTP Click Track Profit

CTP

CTP Banner
CTP Banner

Thursday is product review day, if you will remember, and here is a product that everybody knows and loves.  Why would I review CTP?  I’ll tell you.

I am just almost a year into my membership at CTP.  I am pretty sure I joined on October 17, 2012, and upgraded on October 18.  I have said it a good many times, I say again:  “CTP is the best training available on the net.  At any price.”  I believe that completely.

What it Is

CTP is a ‘hub product’ from TimTech that is dedicated to training EVERYBODY in how to make money on line.  That part of it’s mission is wildly successful.  It is approaching 100,000 members and is a long term success story for TimTech.

It is fun.  Much of the ‘secret formula’ at CTP involves having fun while learning the ropes and starting your online business.  Badges.  Who would have thought that virtual tokens would become the centerpiece to a terrific training strategy?

It is ordered and ordered and orderly.  The training and certification here is first rate.  You can (and do) learn the basics for a wide range of products and procedures that will serve you well in the online business world.

It is expert.  Tim and Justin and Jon do a terrific job with their part of the program, and the ‘outside experts’ are just that.  Expert and informative.  A word here about the availability of training at CTP.  Upgraded members get significantly more training than free members.  The $10 per month cost of the upgrade is WAY worth it.

What it Isn’t

It isn’t get rich quick.  It is in no way to be confused with the ‘Make a Million this Month’ guys.  CTP stresses ‘get in line, stay in line’, ‘slow and steady progress’, ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint’.  Nothing fast about the training or the results.  But I can tell you from personal experience that the results do come!!

It isn’t one stop shopping.  CTP relies on many outside programs, and does it’s level best to steer you to the very best of these.  Find them, try them, use them.  It’s a smorgasbord not a single entry menu.  Taste it all!!

It isn’t the easy button.  CTP takes work and time.  It’ll show you what, where, when and how. You have to provide the passion and drive to do it.

Personal Testimony

I have clearly crawled over the first ‘Jon Olson line’ ($2.39 per day) and am in sight of the second ($23.97 per day).  That in itself is a wonder to me, I actually make a little money on line!!

Through CTP I have been exposed to TE Live and T3, the spreecast arm of TimTech.  Through those two programs I have been exposed to and actually made friends with some of the movers and shakers in this industry.  What a concept.

I have made more friends and contacts through CTP than the rest of my online exposure combined.  It’s just terrific.

And in the End

CTP is simply the best thing that has happened to me in my online career.  I am in awe of the vision and dedication it has taken to get it to that point.  Thanks, TimTech!

I’m just sayin’