Pour yourself an e-cappuccino and c'mon in. This is the spot for idle chat, gossip, rumors, and personal news. If it is personal, it belongs here, as long as it's done well and stays friendly. :-)

Moderator: Carol from East Anglia

#1369429 by ken-admin
Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:49 pm
Hi to all,

Sometimes my rambles go a little, well, overboard.🚣🛶

You may have noticed? ;-)

So when one of my favorite companies and Mike and I talked about writing a post for them, we were thinking along the lines of something tight like, oh, "the state of solopreneurism, today and in the future."

Image
The company is Social Quant. We'll be telling you more about it and its tool, and how to use it, in The Twitter Action Guide - it's an advanced technique, to be employed when you have found your voice and have discovered what works.

But back to solopreneurism...
Image


I could write whole books on that topic!📚📕

So we cut it down to "Why Every Solopreneur Should Succeed (And Why Most Don’t)."

I told myself, "OK, Ken, keep this nice and tight."

Their guest posts are usually a few hundred words, up to 1000. Their head of content, David Boutin, knew that I'd have trouble sticking to 1,000 words, so said that "a bit more than that would be OK."

THAT told me that 2000 might be OK. ;-)Image
We are building friendships with influencers in what I call "MikeSpace" It reminds me of the affiliate marketing space of 15 years ago.

Folks in the more modern areas of Net marketing (social media, mobile, etc) are busy honing their craft and learning - pushing the envelope. They're working to be the best in their spaces, much like folks like Danny Sullivan and Allan Gardyne did "way back when."

They're the type of people we want to work with today. Sadly...

I'll be posting a series on the dark side of affiliate marketing, something I first touched on over 10 years ago as a potential problem. It's becoming such a problem that they are on consumer groups' radars, with pressure for much tougher legislation, not just for affiliates who write fake reviews, but on companies that encourage it.

It's important for 2 reasons...

1) FOR YOU - There's content about how to keep it real, earn income ethically by serving your reader's interest first and foremost. It may earn you less than an inferior company that increases its price so it can pay you more. But you'll last forever if you accept less money by recommending the best for your readers.

2) FOR US - I've had it with unethical marketers in our space. I'm not talking about IEDs ("Irrationally Exuberant Detractors"). They were as far from honest as it gets and the motivation was anger.

Now we have a new group doing the same, but with a different motivation. This one is "just business" but it's a dirty business. If they made honest claims, I'd accept it as good, aggressive marketing.

But when they claim that this product is way better than ours, well...

We'll be publishing about a rigorous, detailed study comparing our results to theirs, apples to apples., comparing results at Alexa, SimilarWeb and SEMrush. I don't want to be the spoiler, but I can say that only thing they do better than us is failure (Alexa > 30,000,000). They do that 4x "better."

It's one of the only ways we can deal with this. You've never seen a study like the one that we're about to publish. The outcome is so clear, I wish we had thought of doing this before. Here's the thing...

We're at a substantial disadvantage because these folks have sites about affiliate (and other types of) "make money" marketing. Their motivation is to "make money online," period.

Some of them, I'm hoping, don't know how they've been taken for a ride. We hope to open their eyes with flat-out facts and bar charts that show the truth. If they still want to recommend a product that they'll soon learn is way inferior, that's on them.

We are also at a disadvantage because you, to my great pride, have stayed out of "make money" niches. You are in niches that you know and love. You generate your income honorably - value for value.

"Make Money" affiliates (the few who succeed) suck money out of suckers (or is that "suckees"?). Not only is it non-productive, it's immoral.

OUR problem, though, is that visitors to your niche are not looking to start a business online - not at the time of reading, anyway. So there's no financial reason for you to talk about SBI!, which leaves the field wide open for the fake reviews to dominate search results.

But all that's for another day in the near future.

Suffice it to say that our focus is on building WIN-WIN relationships with good people, influencers with kindred spirits and similar values, who are great in spaces that have not devolved the way older areas have. In short - honorable people.

But I digress (which is why I "invented" the Sidebar, though... ;-)
Image


As promised, the article answers "Why Every Solopreneur Should Succeed (And Why Most Don’t)." AND it also discusses, um well...

"the state of solopreneurism, today and in the future."

So yeah. I sent them 9000 words!

There's that.

What would they do with it?

--

I rarely read my own writing once I've let it go. I cringe too much when I see spots that I'd like to improve. But I wanted to see how much they chopped, out of the almost 9000 words that I sent them.

The answer... none. I couldn't spot anything important, so I did a word count on both documents. They were within 50 of each other.

I was sure they were going to chop it down to ONE topic that they liked. And we'd use at least half of it for our own blog.

Nope.

And then Yuki called, asking if I had seen what their CEO had to say about the piece... "Check your email, Dad."

Now, I have to say, and I hope it doesn't come off as bragging, but as I read this piece before seeing that email, I thought it did a really great job. It pulls my most recent thoughts, the way that I think about solopreneurship and where it's going online, all together into one article.

For 9000 words, it's a good "summary" of where we are heading. It's some of my best stuff.

Now, you'll already know quite a bit of it, but you haven't seen it all organized into one, cohesive piece like this. Please do read it - it's well worth the 15 minutes...

https://www.socialquant.net/solopreneur/

--

Anyway, so I checked my email, per Yuki's suggestion. And sure enough, CEO Mike Kawula, in his email today, said this about the post...

It’s NOT a hodgepodge of tips and advice to get you jazzed about some fad or chasing the newest shiny marketing tool.

It IS an invaluable resource that will fundamentally change the way you think about your online business.

Ken is also giving away a 3-year membership to Solo Build It! ($997 value)

In my honest opinion, Ken is a genius when it comes to entrepreneurship and has an amazing entrepreneurial history of success in various businesses.

I’ve respected getting to know Ken the last 2 years here at Social Quant and his advice has been some of the best I’ve received (so I know you’ll love this 8500+ document you’ll treasure from him).
...

P.S. Seriously, read today's post, it’s one of our best I truly believe.



Wow! That's over-the-top generous. I'm really glad they liked it and that we had a chance to get our message out to a wide audience.

And, oh, did you notice the chance to win 3 years of SBI!?...

https://www.socialquant.net/solopreneur/

While you're there, please like and share the post, please?

--

On the lighter side

You know, we all need a little recognition from time to time. And I ain't no exception. So Mike's comments meant a lot to me...

My only complaint?

They asked for a photo so I sent them three to choose from, something more recent and, well, dressed the way I usually do now (t-shirt and shorts). They went out and found that old suit-and-tie photo instead, from the office in Montreal.

Those clothes, the office and its location are long left behind...

Can't win them all. ;-)

--

Let me know how you liked the piece? Leave a note over there, perhaps adding a bit about your experience with SBI!? With a little luck, it'll help generate some ongoing SE traffic.

We need to be doing a lot more of this to get back to building WIN-WIN relationships with people who I respect. Of course, they can't all be 9000 words and CMO Mike (well-respected in this field - voted in the Top 10 Social Media Bloggers) will be doing most of them.

Or I'll collapse! ;-)

Onwards and upwards (with your help)!

All the best,
Ken

P.S. We also announced the post in...

Our FB account...
https://www.facebook.com/solobuildit/po ... 8888406377

SBI! Twitter...
https://twitter.com/SoloBuildIt/status/ ... 7961948160

Spread the word, bird!🐧 (Is that still a saying?)
#1369461 by Mary from Mico
Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:27 am
Congratulations Ken!

And "Good eye!", Yuki.

'Commented and left it up for more tomorrow. Well, today now that midnight's past.

Must quit reading and "do". :-)

Mary
#1369466 by Vivi from danish-schnapps-recipes.com
Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:46 am
Bravo. Very impressive. Everyone should read it.

- Vivi
#1369780 by ken-admin
Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:50 pm
Thanks everyone! :-)

To those who haven't seen the current article, it's at...

https://www.socialquant.net/solopreneur/

--

It's good to take the pulse of solopreneurship every now and then. We all get too absorbed in the minute of the day-to-day. So it's fruitful to take a step back and look at the big picture.

That's what that article does. The bottom line of it all boils down to this...

Solopreneurs (well, SBIers anyway) should do better and better in the coming years. Here's why...

- a leveling off of the total number of sites coming online (Netcraft's web survey)

- the increasing importance of Google RankBrain - better content will be better rewarded. Poor content from BigCo's that get "automatic links" will slowly erode due to that AND due to the concomitant decreasing importance of links in Google's algo.

- the solopreneur's natural advantage, and the opportunities of, social media.

Image
Social Media is the only area that SBIers are what I'd call "solopreneur-average." We want to change that.

We're working on the creation of Action Guides to change that. Two are waiting for my detailed review - just need to find the time because "it ain't read-and-approve." ;-)

The SM articles are solid, but that's not the point. We know all too well that articles don't get the job done for BIG initiatives. A step-by-step PROCESS, from optimal setup to basic to advanced levels, in the form of Action Guides is a must.

As usual, it's about optimizing the use of your time so that you nail the 80-20. It's not to learn as much as a social media pro.

- emphasis on showing you how to monetize better. This is an ongoing priority. Speaking of which...
Image


Monetization

I have already learned a ton by helping Jacki with sponsorships (and we're just getting into it!). Working with her showed me that she needed more detailed step-by-steps.

Most of the AG is very detailed. DAYS 2-4 are hyper-detailed. There's a good reason for that - the less we leave you to figure out, the more you can focus on the business end of getting it done right.

It goes back to the 80-20. The "20" are details that aren't worth the time. The "80" is the 80% benefit you get with 20% of your time - nailing THOSE details down is full value.

SBIers do business-building better, from the earliest steps to monetization better than any other group in the world.

Image
That's not an overstatement. The full study comparing us to another company, whose affiliates promote it (all over the place, now!) as superior, is coming out the week after next.

The difference in success rates is beyond belief. Literally!

If I were to just tell you the difference, you wouldn't believe me. But it's all backed by a solid methodology and data.

We even provide the methodology for anyone who wants to do the same study. The conclusions are inarguable. Watch for my announcement on that one - we'll need YOUR help to spread that study.

But I digress (I'll pick back up on this topic in my next post).
Image

Bottom line: Success is in the detail, but the RIGHT detail. It's all about nailing the "80" of "80-20."

--

Back on monetization...

The thing with active monetization is that it's, well, active. That means dealing with humans in WIN-WIN deals instead of putting up AdSense and affiliate links and waiting for the money to come in.

Don't get me wrong - it DOES come if you have the traffic. And passive income is a good "starter monetization" because most of your time should be focused on laying the foundation of STANDOUT content (for search traffic) and then at least one active social account (for brand-building and some traffic (secondary).

Once a site matures, is getting good traffic, and you have more time to "go active," though, you're leaving so much money on the table if you stay "passive." It's time to shift a good chunk of your time, the same way it shifted from research in DAYS 2-5 to site-building in later days and then social...

At some point, you should be putting more time into increasing your $-per-visitor, sharply working to increase that ratio, rather than starting a 2nd business.

Image
One of my pet peeves is when SBI! critics say that you only GET 1 "SITE" with SBI!. Talk about missing the point!

Of course most hosts let you have countless sites. They don't care if 100 sites' traffic adds up to a negligible amount.

If we did that, though...

1) some would add more sites just because they can. It's free, after all (excluding the cost of the domain). Attention gets diluted, time spent on "2nd best" idea, etc.

It would go against some of our most fundamental advice, something we've spent much time to reverse in recent years...


2) we'd go broke on the bandwidth. Folks don't realize that when your traffic does grow to a certain level, hosts increase the price. We don't - even low-traffic sites (by our standards) are higher-than-the-average solopreneur.

Mostly, though, my pet peeve is about this...

Building an online business is NOT about "sites." Most solopreneurs still equate the two. Whenever I read that comment, it's almost always someone from 20 sites and no traffic (or someone with an agenda and who knows better).
Image


So...

No, you BUILD one BUSINESS. And if you do it right, that's all you should really have the time for.

It doesn't make sense to do multiple sites. For example, once you've built traffic to an authority niche site, increasing monetization makes 100x more sense than starting a 2nd site. I mean...

You already have the traffic. Why would you want to waste it by allocating time to building a 2nd site? Instead, invest that time in higher-paying income models.

The only exception? Starting a RELATED site. IF it's related in a way that you can pull over a good % of those who like what you've done so far, you can speed up the time it takes to build the 2nd business (yet one more reason to have a strong mailing list and social media - bring your most ardent followers over to the new site).

For example, if Nori were to start [Domain Private], she'd be able to leverage off what she has accomplished in Anguilla. They'd WANT to know what she discovers on the other islands.

Downside: You can't neglect your first business. So she'd need at least 1 full-time person, and that person would have to be superb, to manage Anguilla Beaches.

OK, wait... I just thought of a 2nd exception. If you simply HATE the idea of moving to active monetization, dealing with humans to cut deals, even the simplest of processes such as sponsorships, that could be a 2nd reason.

But realize the trade-off. You're "paying" (losing) a lot to avoid going outside of your comfort zone. Push yourself and grow personally, too. :-)

ONE business. That's my best advice for most people.

--

I know that advice hurts our own business. So be it! The existence of SBI! is sheer serendipity. I was retired and golfing. Then I heard about this interwebs thing. ;-)

Hobby > Experiment > MYSS! > SBI!. That's the 4-word summary and what a journey it's been. "Playing with toys" had been fun enough.

Don't get me wrong. A business needs to be profitable to grow, but it's never been about the money.

So yes, "1 business only" should have been in the AG from the beginning.

Heck, if it had been a core part of the Action Guide from the get-go, we would never have had so many people with 5, 6, 7+ sites who got banged up by Panda.

They were all "making money" in those "crazy easy" years, but my own thinking had not matured enough to realize that...

1) the quality of those sites could not possibly be high enough for traffic rankings to LAST. Google would eventually catch up with that. We didn't get hurt in the early rounds of Panda, but 2.5.2 took its toll, the first algo change to ever impact SBI!.

We've now trimmed down from 60% with more than 1 site to 20%. And most of the 20% have trimmed down, too.

Image
Despite these excesses, we weren't impacted as badly as other high-traffic solopreneur sites, but that was small solace at the time.

The saddest part was, between Panda and Penguin, losing SBIers who could have recovered. Recovery has been terrific, peaking at that 40% gain with Panda 4. I'd love to see that type of jump every time, but Google is done with "sudden impact."

As I said in mid-2013, it's going to be a steady upward trend line. The smarter RankBrain gets, the better you'll do IF your content OVERdelivers.
Image


2) a "site" is not a "business."

That entire line of thinking started as a seed, I'm not even sure how many years ago. It slowly started to grow a few years ago and has been picking up steam in recent years, signified recently by the rebrand to "Solo Build It!"

If you've missed previous posts on that, skim "Ken's posts" for that topic (it's important)...

search.php?keywords=&terms=all&author=ken-admin&sc=1&sf=all&sr=posts&sk=t&sd=d&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search

Or read the summary in the TNT HQ article...

http://sbitips.sitesell.com/importance- ... ndset.html


On Making the Transition

Sometimes it takes hands-on experience to modify important lines of thinking. And most recently, it has taken hands-on to remember something I had long forgotten...

When I first made the transition from ER doc to business person, I was more trusting. No one lied to their doctor, after all. Now I guess you could say that my philosophy, when dealing with others, is...

"Trust but prevent. And when you can't prevent, verify."

That's one small example of the fact that I was certainly not a "business person." I had to learn it the hard way, had to learn to negotiate, build relationships, etc. And on that note...

Business sense can't be instilled by an MBA or by reading books on business. You have to get your hands dirty and just get started.

However, that learning curve CAN be accelerated by providing more detailed "how-to" instead of feeling that the rest is obvious. It's not - not if you have never "done business" before.

It CAN be helped along, too, at a higher level, with mentorship - helping you learn to think in a more business-like way. That's the point of those "business mindset" posts, for example.

It's all pretty obvious - but only after you've read AND done it.

Bottom line for monetization coverage -> assume lower level of knowledge, which means less "figuring it out" (like the rest of SBI!).

So, as an example, you'll be seeing (in the next few days) more how-to detail showing up in the sponsorship section. Cath, our head of Content, has been auditing the emails to and from Jacki and will be integrating the nitty-gritty into our coverage of sponsorship..

http://mhq.sitesell.com/#SPONSOR

Nori's sponsors have been an excellent source of income for Anguilla Beaches, compared to Google Ads, as has her own simple little product, The Anguilla Card. BOTH of those active models have been helped in a big way by her social presence.

And on that note...

Social media is not so much about direct traffic-building, more about the power of brand-building by building a large, ENGAGED base. The P of C Image T Image P Image M really helps drive "active" models, especially.

Once you start to have site, search and active monetization going, everything seems to reinforce each other in a virtuous circle.

--

If you have high traffic, AND if you have some recognized presence in your niche (all the better if a strong social presence boosts that), you are READY for site sponsorship.

Sorry, I seem to be in the mood for digressing. Let's get to...

--

The Bottom Line

The Social Quant article was a useful exercise, a pulse-taking review of solopreneurship, where it is and where it's heading.

The future for solopreneurs is bright, for the reasons given here and in the article. It's brightest for SBIers because...

1) Traffic: If you follow the AG diligently, you already do all the right stuff to benefit from RankBrain. Challenge yourself - is your content better than competitors who rank ahead of you for your important keywords? What about those who are 20 spots below you?

2) Social Media Few solo's in "real" niches do SM really well. So the potential is there to beat out competition both big and small. The SMAGs will enable you to do what the AG does.

Image
What's a "real" niche?

I'm going to use this term more often, so might as well define it...

Folks who search on "real" niches are not looking for information to help them build an online business (e.g.., Caribbean cruising, exotic tortoises, debt consolidation). They are planning vacations or researching how to breed a specific type of tortoise or they want to know how to deal with debt.

All other niches are, one way or another, related to online business-building. These are among the hardest spaces to compete in and have different dynamics than "real" niches. NOT advised.
Image


Nori is an example of someone who does do SM well. The goal of the AG is to enable you to become the same kind of star that SBIers are in generating traffic.

In the same way that Nori used to be one of the highest-trafficked sites in SBI!, I'd like to see many SBIers pass her by in their own niches within a year or two of releasing the "SMAGs."

Image
If you think you won't have time, that's the point of the AG. Just follow it!
Image

3) Monetization We'll be placing more emphasis on detailed execution of more active models. We're not leaving passive behind, of course. You're ready for "active" though, when you realize, "hey I could/should be generating more $-per-visitor.

The answer to that is going to be here in more detailed step-by-step that assumes zero experience in dealing with people - help you cross over in mindset until it's natural for you.

--

Again, if you have not seen the current article, it's at...

https://www.socialquant.net/solopreneur/

While you are there, please like and especially share it. It already ranks at #39 at Google. There are a ton of good links back to SiteSell, so that post could become a solid introduction to us, better there than if it was on our own blog. :-)

To those who enjoyed it, thank you. And to those who haven't read it, it's worth the read (please don't take that for bragging :-) ).

All the best,
Ken
#1369782 by Jacki from Macleod
Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:33 pm
ken-admin wrote:I have already learned a ton by helping Jacki with sponsorships (and we're just getting into it!). Working with her showed me that she needed more detailed step-by-steps.
I have a confession to make; I was ready to throw in the towel, thinking that I must be a total dunce not to 'get' what the next step should be. Huh. Guess it's just my non-conforming methods that are getting me in trouble here, along with massive resistance. That's a whole other book...
#1369844 by ken-admin
Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:37 am
As the old saying goes, Jacki...

"It's not you, it's me."

Except we're not breaking up, we're just getting going. :-)

Your last "please take a look at this Ken" email did NOT show me that you were a total dunce. It showed that I was because I had assumed knowledge and experience that I had no right to assume.

With keyword research, we started from zero-knowledge base. Although there are a lot of little steps, anyone who follows them all will emerge with a strong niche, set of topics to write about, where they fit within a 3-TIER site architecture, etc.

We didn't do that for sponsorship. It's a superb lesson for the content team - always assume the reader knows nothing. Even those that do, often know some of it wrong.

We'll all be better for it.

All the best,
Ken

P.S. Also...

Anyone who can build up to 6,000 visitors per day is, by definition, not a dunce. So there's that. :-)
#1369849 by Jacki from Macleod
Thu Apr 27, 2017 3:55 am
ken-admin wrote:always assume the reader knows nothing.
Totally! I'm not a business person, I'm a horticulturist. :D
#1369977 by Mark from Utah
Fri Apr 28, 2017 7:03 pm
Superb article Ken!

In addition to all the jewels in the article itself, I thank you in particular for highlighting Why People Fail.

It is with a mixture of sadness, embarrassment, and relief that I say... I could be the Poster Boy for that book. And this is despite having been a SiteSell customer since 2002, and SBI! user continuously since 2004. (Some of us are 'thicker' than others...) :oops:

I might have read Why People Fail before, but if I did, Mr. Smarter-than-Thou enrolled the services of Mr. Nitpicker for a quick-and-sleazy rationalization that Mr. Get-Rich-Quick had it all figured out. After all, chimed in Mr. Entitled, "We deserve those riches!"

Naturally, the Failure Squad produced the expected results.

And, thank goodness, over the past few years I have (with lots of support from family, friends, mentors, and coaches) realized that I'm darn good at what I was trained to do, I love doing it, and I can leverage my Internet marketing knowledge to build a successful evaluation and consulting practice, which earns good income and builds equity.

Why People Fail reinforced--and added to--my 'lessons learned', and, after some initial sadness (grief), left me feeling even more hopeful and excited about my work.

I appreciate your tough love.

With gratitude,

Mark
#1370079 by ken-admin
Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:22 am
Thanks very much, Mark, that means a lot, since it's coming from you. Super letter! Somewhere in the remote recesses of my memory, I seem to remember that we had either some light run-ins and/or a "light version" of what we used to call "the speech" (mostly just a referral to "Why People Fail"). I could be wrong.

To all...

Image
That term "the speech" came from one of my favorite movies. Here's a short version of "the speech"...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duu0bCkSlUo

In the above scene, this version of the speech is given to Uncle Hub's nephew, who has heard about it and wants to know more. It's usually given by Hub to adults who needed it.

In a broader sense, the forum speech was also something that severely troublesome SBIers needed to hear. What they did with it was up to them.
Image

Old-timers will remember those, I'm sure, although they only happened a couple of times per year. They only occurred when Debs would write me...

She'd tell me about an SBIer who was persistently disruptive despite repeated off-forum communication. No matter what they tried, he'd be back into the forums picking fights or putting people down (or whatever the pattern of disruptive behavior was).

I would read the threads, consider why someone was acting out as he was (I don't think it was ever a "she") and write a very personal note about the behavioral patterns and what they meant, how they were impacting his life, not just those who he hurt.

These folks were almost always highly intelligent. They had just developed a flaw in behavior that held them back. For example, no one likes the "Smarter-Than-Thou" because they are always pointing it out, even if it's in subtle ways. But when it crosses a line to making fun of how dumb someone is, it's intolerable here. Some were just flat-out angry people - this is your classic troll.

Regardless, I would take a couple of hours to write a totally custom letter to that person. I'll skip the contents because, well, I don't remember them, but I'd point out how their life has probably gone up to that point (this was not really a prediction, it was an inevitable consequence of what I had gathered from the posts).

That was the most important part...

Most folks never draw cause-and-effect between behavior and consequences to themselves. They are too wrapped up in ourselves.

Now, the same is true for all of us, of course. It only really matters, though, when you are gravely getting in your own way, which begets frustration, which worsens the behavior.

--

The results of "the speech" were dramatic, splitting into two groups about 50-50 and there was no in-between...

1) Half the people took it in the constructive spirt it was intended. The most memorable response... I will never forget the SBIer who started his reply that went like this....

As I type this, tears are flowing onto my keyboard.


As I read his letter, tears flowed onto mine. He totally got it. I don't remember who it was because it was never personal, just a person who needed to be told something no one ever told him.

It was a last-ditch attempt to help someone while also protecting the atmosphere of the forums. This group pledged, now that they had insight, to monitor themselves for that reflexive behavior and to manage it, both here and in "real life."

Wow! Those were really gratifying. Not so much so for the rest...


2) The other half? They told me, in no uncertain and nasty terms what they thought of me. The "f-word" was repeated pretty often.

I don't know if they later thought about it and acted upon the advice. Sometimes, the self-defense mechanisms are too strong to connect. Others are sociopaths. Whatever, if you can't gain insight, you can't work on improving the problem.

Those folks received a polite letter that let them know that we no longer wanted their business and that a full refund would be forthcoming. I think we tried a ban from the forums later, but all that got was another rude letter and a refund.

--

Wrapping up...

The bottom line is that we all have flaws. Janice would be glad to bend your ear for hours if you ever want to do a Facebook Live with her. ;-)

But seriously, that's just "range of normal" stuff (well, mostly!). In a sense, they kind of define us, which reminds me of one of my favorite scenes from Good Will Hunting (one of my Top 10 movies)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7d0h7pgHdU

As Robin Williams says in this powerful soliloquy, "None of us are perfect."

Self-help books are probably a billion dollar industry that feeds off that, but like diet books, it can all be put into a few pages. After that, it's up to the person.

--

I wish I still had the time to give the speech, but time became a rare commodity after several years. And luckily, it has not been needed in many years.

I suspect that's because the culture here is so obvious that most would-be trolls can feel that they won't get away with it. Either that, or we just got lucky!

Mark, thanks so much for writing! :-)

All the best,
Ken

P.S. There was a negative fall-out from firing SBIers who simply insisted on disrupting these forums. Several joined the group that we call "IEDs" ("Irrationally Exuberant Detractors" and waged a very angry, dishonest but efficient campaign against us.

"The speech" became "censorship" and I became "Hitler."

Ironically, it was one of my very best friends who pointed out a flaw in my personality that saved their leader from a catastrophic legal experience. We had spent $30,000 and had tons of legally-usable screenshots of their defamation before they softened it all.

There were pros and cons to suing. My friend (on our Board of Directors) asked me just one question...

"Think about this before answering. Why would you really be suing, if that's the direction we take?"

The answer was, to my surprise, really simple...

"I'm angry."

He knew that was the honest answer because he knew how personally I take SBI!, how outraged I was by them, and how impotent we were. Replying was futile, just made things worse.

His reply was something like "For THAT you want to ruin this woman's life?" (The legal bills alone, years of stress, and a near-certain loss would have done that.)

There were other pros and cons, but as soon as he said that the whole thing was ridiculous. Now, I can't say that there aren't scars.

And I regretted the decisions when they gloated about the statute of limitations on a lawsuit running out. Imagine that...

She didn't know the real story (which is true for most of their accusations). And she also didn't know that the statute for tortious interference was 2 years.

But I digress. I never looked at another post. Sooner or later, they would get tired of being angry and would fade away. The scars remain, like I said, but it helps to write about it - it helps to push it a little farther back.

So Mark, to bring this full circle, yessir...

The "support from family, friends, mentors, and coaches" is INDEED invaluable. :-)

Best of luck and continued success!
#1370142 by Andrew from Napier
Mon May 01, 2017 9:27 am
There was a negative fall-out from firing SBIers who simply insisted on disrupting these forums. Several joined the group that we call "IEDs" ("Irrationally Exuberant Detractors" and waged a very angry, dishonest but efficient campaign against us.

"The speech" became "censorship" and I became "Hitler."


I remember those posts. I even tried to share my experience on their forum to add some balance but I was shot down, without anyone having even listened to what I was trying to say. In the end I see why you didn't sue her. I too started feeling sorry for her - all that anger must have been eating her up inside.

I also felt sorry for you Ken, and for all the dedicated and caring people you've put together to make this company so special. Because you care I could imagine how painful it must have been.

I guess it is human nature to notice the negatives - On my Facebook page I sometimes get a hundred or so comments on a post and one will be negative. I'd forget all the great and positive ones and I'd waste time thinking about or replying only to that negative one. Finally it dawned on me - I was ignoring great people to dedicate myself to the nasty people of this world. Now I just ban them and move on.

To avoid rambling on I just want to say that I still believe that life is like the movies - most time good beats evil and most people are good. What you've done for so many people with his product of yours is to not make your dreams come true - okay you did that too - but mostly you've provided the roadmap to allow others to find the way to living out their dreams.

Sometimes I think you cared more about others achieving success than your company making money and for that there must already be a place in heaven reserved for you.

Andew
#1370223 by Mary from Mico
Tue May 02, 2017 3:52 pm
Andrew.

What a nice note:

Sometimes I think you cared more about others achieving success than your company making money and for that there must already be a place in heaven reserved for you.


Here's hoping the "virtuous circle" keeps spinning.

Mary
#1370249 by ken-admin
Tue May 02, 2017 8:48 pm
Andrew,

That's one heck of a nice note....

https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1370142#p1370142

... thank you very much! Makes my week! :-)

--

And this part of your post, how you got swarmed when trying to reply to the IEDs, just made me "smh" (I just learned that one ;-) )...

I remember those posts. I even tried to share my experience on their forum to add some balance but I was shot down, without anyone having even listened to what I was trying to say.


And even worse, they probably claimed you were part of an organized team, one of Ken's brainwashed culties, sent by me to swarm them... while THEY were swarming you. They were really talented, in a nasty kind of way.

It's why we told folks, whenever it was brought up in these forums, not to reply. It only encourages them to pile on. Anyway, I'm glad they are back to more productive pursuits.

--

The "Attack of the IEDs" was much harder emotionally on me than this attack that has been orchestrated through Wealthy Affiliate's affiliate program. This new one angers me more than anything else (I'm talking now about what I've been "Netflixxing" about here...

https://forums.sitesell.com/viewtopic.php?p=1369913#p1369913 )

It's about a company making money, whatever it takes. It's dirty business. I find the company's practices revolting - they seem willing to pull people away from the fundamental goals that we have at SBI!, in order to benefit themselves.

I don't think their customers or affiliates understand how much they're manipulated to the company's benefit, usually to their detriment. The product is so out-of-date, they don't even update info about some basic 3rd Party products that changed names years ago (meaning that the content hasn't been touched since then).

The deeper we dig into this company, the more we see how they make recommendations that serve them best, to the disadvantage of their clients or affiliates. We're also seeing how the savvier ones are seeing through it.

--

Their attrition rate is much higher than ours. That's the good news - its speaks to quality. BUT they sell a ton through their circular model...

It's buy-a-"make money"-product-to-create-a-"make money"-site-to-suck-yet-more-folks into-"make money"-schemes. They out-sell us like mad. They churn, but they still manage grow while offering a seriously inferior product for more money.

Worst of all, though, I see a choke hold on us that will continue to grow if we don't stop it. Because they will strangle us otherwise.


And on THAT note...

I've almost done with writing up The Study
- THAT will be the interesting test.

Once their customers understand how they have been misled, once their affiliates see just how much better SBI! is (after being reassured of the great service that they render to their visitors because "WA" is so much better than anyone else including us)...

Are they going to stand for that?

We'll see. It will be an interesting test of what folks will do for a buck. Right now, I believe they've been manipulated and believe it simply because it's been repeated, without proof, so many times.

--

Andrew...

I, too, believe that most people are good and that "good always (well, usually!) wins." We just need to really get the word out. Once The Study is out, it's full-steam ahead.

When I see some of their affiliates, in the reviews, regurgitating arguments and accusations that I know come from the IEDs, it brings back those same feelings from THAT (previous) attack. So yes, there's that.

But it's that link to their "#1 Recommendation" that misleads that person who was interested in SBI!. Heck, when 5 people (out of thousand(s)?) rank high enough to get seen by the same person - they do end up over at WA.

After the study...

Will that affiliate still do it, KNOWING he's misleading the visitor from a gigantically better product? We'll see.

--

Regardless, whatever the emotions I have over this...

I have to compartmentalize that IED-regurgitation and the company's self-serving action and lock it away, the way I did on the day that I simply decided not to read another word of the IED stuff.

It was ruining the fun of doing SBI!. When Yuki comes to me and asks, "Daddy, why does Google say "ken evoy scam" when I enter your name, that's beyond the pale. They learned SBI! well and put it to terrible effect.

THAT was never my dream - it had literally become a nightmare. I'm glad they lost interest.

--

And about this, Andrew - it resonated...

What you've done for so many people with his product of yours is to not make your dreams come true - okay you did that too - but mostly you've provided the roadmap to allow others to find the way to living out their dreams.

Sometimes I think you cared more about others achieving success than your company making money and for that there must already be a place in heaven reserved for you.


Did I EVER make my own dreams come true!

I have only two simple beliefs about life...

1) Live free.

2) Leave the world a little better off than when you found it. If you've raised your children well, great job. If you've made folks laugh, well done. Or in the case of SBI!...

If you've added to the diversity of the Web by sharing your own unique area of knowledge that others value, and along the way improved your own life, fantastic!

SBI! is the most I could have ever hoped for. Even those IEDs learned their craft HERE. Tens of thousands, over a period of 15 years, have acquired the knowledge and skill to live life on their terms.

Many have moved successful sites because they needed advanced technologies to grow a much bigger business - and some still keep an account just for the information. Even folks who've gone on to other types of Internet businesses have posted in one online forum or another that everything they needed to know, they learned here.

It's a framework that will always stand, can evolve with the times and changes. And it's left people's lives off better than if they had never known us here at SiteSell.

So yes, that's a huge dream. Heck...

I've watched my own daughter grow an amazing business, now looking to leverage that into something much bigger. Anguilla Beaches will be a springboard, but that new business will, if successful, dwarf it. Very early concept days.

But the bigger point is that she would never have been happy in the corporate world. So for sure...

I've made my dreams come true.

But money? No, I had enough from toys and thought I had retired when Nori was born. It was never about "making money." But don't get me wrong...

A company has to be profitable to reinvest in itself as it grows. SBI! will never have 500,000 people in it...

There just aren't that many non-conformists with the goals AND the BAM to go out and get them.

That's a sad thing to say, but it's true. The folks here are truly amazing people. They put themselves on the line in a way that few do.

That's why I feel we owe it to SBIers to make SBI! ever better, try to increase the SBI! Advantage continuously. And we are..

There are some major deliverables that are underway now (I've cover them in a recent post - BI!4 with tasks, SMAGs, etc.). There's much more that I'd like to do with SBI!

So when a sleazy little outfit sends folks out to spread untruths and choke us into submission, well, it's just not going to happen.

And I'm not going to debate it. NOT this time! You and I have both learned that the hard way.

We'll let the NUMBERS do the talking this time.

Of course, we have to get that truth out.

So we'll be using every way we know of, including help from SBIers, to get that information out there. To paraphrase Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, we'll be needing you to help us so we can keep on helping you.

It's super-basic...

What Wealthy Affiliate is doing simply can't stand.

All the best,
Ken

P.S. That reminds me - time for the next Netflix episode. Gotta write that one. And THAT bugs me more than anything.

It's time that is NOT going into SBI!. But if we don't do this, if we can't galvanize as a team, that choke hold on SERPs is just going to get tighter while their affiliates continue to believe that they do a "pre-SBIer" a favor by recommending Wealthy Affiliate.

As Cath (and any good Brit) would say...

Bollocks!

Thanks for the opportunity to vent, Andrew, AND all your support over the years! :-)
#1370352 by Mark from Park City
Thu May 04, 2017 6:10 am
Thank you so much for your warm, affirming reply Ken.

My memory is a bit foggy too, but I am pretty darn sure you (and others) gently encouraged me to thoroughly examine the pros and cons of the MLM/Network Marketing/Direct Marketing business model. So yes indeed, it was a light version of The Speech. I received many such tough loving speeches, e.g., from my brother, a couple of very good friends, and my sister. Finally, the Failure Squad mumbled some excuses and exited town. Goodbye old frenemies! :wink:

Thanks for the links to the videos too! Wow, love that speech, plus Robert Duvall is one of my all time favorite actors. And Good Will Hunting is IMHO one of the best movies ever made.

~ Mark

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests