what’s the big deal with live events for Internet business builders?

It was November 2013…a large Orlando hotel conference room was packed with friendly faces. My best customers, students and partners had come from around the world at my invitation for a jam packed weekend of learning and growing together. There was no denying I was visibly nervous and you could tell I had barely slept the night before. In fact, I had never done anything like what I was about to do. Over 350 friendly faces were watching me step into a role I wasn’t yet convinced I was ready for.

Surely there must have been some doubt in the room as we started the event. Would it all be worth it?

I can count on one hand the times I’ve been more nervous in my life. I’ve been on stage in front of audiences before, but never anything quite like my first CES event where every person in the crowd was there because I had asked them to come see what my team and I had planned. Each attendee had decided to spend their money, get on an airplane or drive long distances, leave their families and routines in order to be there.

No pressure, right?

Let’s skip to the end of the story:

You can ask literally ANYONE who was there. It was powerful.

In order to get the true sentiments of those who attended we anonymously asked (via poll) all who attended a couple simple questions.

We asked “Should we do this again?” and, “Would you come back?”

The responses poured in – virtually 100% “YES”.

We listened -and we got a bigger room for our September 2014 CES event. Tickets sold out in under a day months in advance of the event. I didn’t even send the invite to my full mailing list before it was sold out. I’m still in shock.

None of us should be surprised at the power of face to face gatherings though – it’s actually a biblical concept.

I’ve learned recently that ancient Jewish wisdom has a concept that explains the value of live (face to face) interaction as opposed to the alternatives of written, phone calls or even live video chat. I learned of this concept from my favorite Jewish author Rabbi Daniel Lapin. In the Hebrew language, the word for “face” and the word for “inside” are the same word. The significance of these overlapping words is simply this:

You can’t tell what’s really going on inside someone until you see them in person – or face to face. With over 50 facial muscles, we communicate incredible amounts of information very quickly when meeting others. This helps us truly decide who we can and can’t trust, who we want to get to know better and who to avoid.

You can’t duplicate this with a phone call, an email or even an online chat.

Here are just some of the things I saw happen in front of my eyes at CES 2013 that NEVER would have happened otherwise:

  • the start of lifelong friendships between people who would have never met otherwise
  • the launch of biz concepts that would have never come about otherwise
  • new partners for my biz and for the businesses of many others in attendance
  • a literal LEAP in confidence for many who came and had their spirits lifted in a way no online experience can duplicate
  • the confidence of my team and I grew. We knew that we had something truly worth sharing. I became SURE of my mission.
  • my circle of leaders, coaches, moderators and advisors grew in numbers as some incredible leaders “bought in” to my shared vision for entrepreneurs
  • both my business and the businesses of so many who attended are reporting that their businesses are growing in every measurable way as a result of CES 2013
  • my kids got to see proof that their dad really is dealing with real people when he’s sitting in his office looking into the glowing screen. I’m raising entrepreneurs!
  • I got to shake hands and hug the necks of hundreds of people who I knew only as a customer, a reader or a Facebook picture previously
  • And that’s not even listing the incredible content, ideas and strategies that were shared openly by all the entire time – with NO big pitches for products to purchase.

    The September 2014 event is sold out, so this isn’t a ploy to sell you a ticket (although you can get the next best thing which is full access to all of CES via online live stream. It’s on sale until Aug 1st here):

    http://jimcockrumevents.com/ces-ii-dallas-tx-2014-live-stream/

    Instead, I want to reinforce the fact that there’s no replacing face to face – even in our age of virtual meetings, email and live streaming. If you aren’t “getting out” and physically surrounding yourself with real people who encourage and inspire you, then you are missing out on some of the greatest energy boosting opportunities you’ll ever experience. Come see the faces of my partners, students and readers if you get a chance. You’ll see we are on a mission and we want you to join us.

    Silent Sales Machine 8.0 just launched – Summer 2014!

    SilentSalesMachine.com has undergone a major makeover and the 8th release/update is ready!

    I started rolling it out FOR FREE to past readers and members of  MySilentTeam.com starting in March 2014, but we hit some delays in getting it out to the public.

    Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 2.39.27 PMI can hardly believe this book has been going strong since 2002! I’ve been updating and re-releasing what is surely one of the all time (if not the all time) best selling ebooks in the world – now in its 8th major makeover/update.

    What’s this book about?

    Quite simply, it’s about what works NOW and what doesn’t work NOW online. It’s about where to get started and what to avoid. It’s the story of my success online and the success of thousands of others that I’ve taught, but better yet, it’s how you can do it as well.

    Yes it’s true-  thousands of people have used past versions of this book to launch their online income streams.

    Here are the details on the “Silent Sales Machine 8.0″ ebook update:

    •   If you are a member of MySilentTeam.com log in to get the latest update at no charge (visit the “Start at the beginning” department for access)
    •   If you bought the book in the past, we’ll be sending you a link to version 8.0 again in July sometime. You may already have 8.0, but the “pretty version” with the latest updates is still on the way.

    If you are getting a free update to the latest version I have a favor to ask:

    • Read the new version
    • Send me your feedback (post it as a comment here)
    • If you have a story of your own success that belongs in the book send it to me! I’ll include it (once verified of course). I always have room for new success stories!

    Visit SilentSalesMachine.com to get your copy. There is around 30-40% new content in version 8 along with several updates of now outdated services,  links and strategies.

    Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 7.09.42 PMHave a question, comment feedback etc.? Please leave a comment using the comment button above! We will publish all comments that others might find useful, but if you have a private question you can leave it here as well and we’ll respond to the email address you leave us.

    P.S. Want to get paid to tell your friends about this book on facebook etc.? Check out the affiliate info at the bottom of the SilentSalesMachine.com page. Anyone you refer to that page (or any of my product pages) will be tagged as your referral for life (even if they don’t buy the product you referred them to!)

    I want an Internet business. Where do I start?

    I’ve been helping my readers and students launch successful online and Internet based businesses for nearly a decade. Even though I’ve been part of helping thousands of people achieve significant online incomes, I’m aware that much if not most of my audience is still stuck at square one for one reason or the other. This is a visual map to help you pick an idea to start with, or if you’ve had some success and want a new income stream you’ll find my favorites here.

    Welcome to my “Opportunity Landscape” or “Opportunity Map”. A lot of thought went into this – I hope you like it.

    This video explains the map:

    At the bottom of this article you’ll see an older version of my map. Here’s the latest version:

    Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 11.54.19 PM

    Did I leave anything out? Do you want more detail on any of these opportunities? Do you disagree with where I placed any of the opportunities? Let’s talk about it… (also – for additional reading check out this $5 book. It’s helped launch hundreds of successful businesses (if not more) online.

     

     

    Scroll down for the old version of the map…

     

     

     

    The Old Map:

    Old Opportunity Map

     

    Choosing an affiliate tracking & payment service

    I get asked a lot about my preference for tracking orders and making sales of digital goods online. There are numerous options available so I thought I’d start a conversation on the topic.

    Some other thoughts I left out & things I’m learning as a result of this article (help me add to this list and keep it current with your comments below):

    • Clickbank & PayDotCom – you don’t need a merchant account. I have one now, so that’s a non-issue for me.
    • If you want 2 tier tracking Nanacast offers it, but on orders placed using PayPal, they don’t allow it (PayPal’s rules are silly here)
    • Other options that probably belong in this article: Click2Sell.com (help me complete this list)

    Get access to my nanacast expert using this link. No links in this article are affiliate links. If you want to use my affiliate link to join any service listed drop a note in the comments and I’ll hook you up (and thank you!)

    I’ll try to create a features/benefits grid over time as I gather information on this topic. I couldn’t’ find a good comparison online anywhere, so this is my attempt to start researching while while letting you know what I’ve learned so far.

    Using eBay and Amazon to generate leads & grow your audience

    If you’ve read much of my material at all you know how often I tout the benefits of “Growing Your Online Audience“, “Adding targeted prospects to your email lists” and “EXPANDING your online influence“. Efforts along these lines are crucial to building and maintaining long term success – and that’s not just my opinion. Virtually all established experts in the Internet Marketing arena would echo my sentiments.

    Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 4.58.26 PM

    Perhaps you’ve heard marketing expert Dan Kennedy call your “list” your most valuable asset as a biz owner.  I agree, but I word my message slightly differently. I tell my students and clients that, “There’s no more valuable asset you can have than a large and ever growing list of people who both want to hear from you and who are also eager to do business with you.”

    Obviously, the easier it is to connect with such a list of partners/prospects the stronger the asset. This is why I love email as a tool of mass-communication and customer relationship building.

    …but this isn’t an article about email marketing.

    This is an article about using eBay and Amazon to expand your online audience.

    Also note,  there are countless strategies for expanding your influence & growing your “list” using creative online marketing tactics, and there are numerous articles on my blog on that very topic. In this article I’m going to focus on two of the most commonly used platforms for gaining the attention of potential prospects. Those platforms are:

    eBay and Amazon.com

    Here are my ground rules for any discussion regarding using eBay and Amazon as a marketing tool for list growth and prospect generation:

    1. The rules are ALWAYS changing and out of our control – we all have to stay up to date (let me know if/when you find new relevant info and I’ll update this blog post!)
    2. I’ll never intentionally encourage you to do anything outside of the established eBay/Amazon policies (nor have I ever done so)
    3. In many cases the rules will be slightly confusing so proceed with caution no matter what the policies are
    4. You owe it to yourself to squeeze every penny of marketing exposure out of your activities on Amazon and eBay WITHOUT breaking the rules

    One of the best ways to do just that is to sell just about anything that is widely appealing to your target audience, and then while you have the attention of your prospects and customers you have an opportunity to invite those people to a mailing list. When they join your list it’s a chance to begin building a relationship with them over the long term.

    This is exactly how I’ve built much of my online success in fact. Many of my most loyal partners and successful students were those who first found me on eBay so many years ago and elected to join my email mailing list. It’s put literally millions of dollars in sales through my biz as a result.

    For nearly 10 years now I’ve done my best to stay on the cutting edge of what IS and ISN’T allowed in the arena of “pulling leads” from eBay and more recently on Amazon as well.

    Here’s a summary of where we are now with both with additional details on each point in the video below:

    On eBay

    • The eBay ‘about me’ page is going away (but it’s not a big loss in my opinion)
    • Profile pages are replacing ‘about me’ pages
    • Profile pages can include a link to your social media sites (Facebook for example)
    • This leaves you an opportunity to launch a FB group around your products. From there you can grow an email list etc. while you build a community!
    • You can automate the process of adding BUYERS to your email list on eBay

    On Amazon

    • Amazon is FAR more restrictive than eBay when it comes to connecting with your customers
    • The only 100% legit opportunity there is to sell information (i.e. inexpensive kindle books) to help grow your niche audience

    A video walk through of all of this:

    ===

    MORE IDEAS:

    EBAY: Here’s a video I made that shows you how to give every eBay buyer the chance to join a niche specific mailing list post-purchase.  You can grow multiple niche lists this way on auto-pilot. The full instructional video with full detail on integrating eBay with your email list building efforts (using a service called Zapier) can be seen using this link.

    EBAY: You ARE allowed to link from one eBay listing to another! This means you can sell a “high attention grabbing” product and link to a second listing such as an information product or big ticket item from within your popular listing. For example, if you are trying to sell a weight loss book, you might advertise a popular piece of exercise equipment on eBay and put a link to your book inside the eBay listing for the equipment. There are countless possible uses for this strategy.

    If I wanted to earn $5million this year here’s what I’d do…

    I’ll get to the “$5million” plan in a moment, but first some classic wisdom.

    Around this time of year a lot of people get really serious about their future, their physical and spiritual health, their finances, their relationships and their life goals – but I’m not big on resolutions at the start of each new year.

    Here are some year ’round rules of thumb that are far more powerful than any “big goal setting session” you might feel prompted to take:

    • slow and steady wins the race
    • commit to a proven strategy and work it faithfully
    • do a little bit (nearly) every day to work toward you goal – (always be establishing new good habits)
    • because massive changes are rarely sustainable, make small steady changes instead
    • listen ONLY to those who have PROOF that they are worth listening to (discernment and wise counsel are SO under-rated!)
    • surround yourself (even virtually) with likeminded people heading toward the same goals you desire

    Over the past 10+ years I’ve gotten better and better at taking the above classic (aka “boring”) advice in ALL areas of my life and WOW has it paid off!

    The above classic advice has lead to me having unbelievable success in multiple online biz models as well as an incredibly large (and growing) loyal audience that includes great people like YOU! In 2013 we blew past the 1,000 testimonials mark and they are still pouring in weekly.

    Now…Let’s talk about my $5million plan!

    Because my reading audience has grown so large, I could EASILY cash out, sell out, and get rich…(don’t worry –  I have bigger goals than that).

    But…

    Let’s just say I wanted to earn $5million in 2014 here are the simple steps I would take:

    1. sell my soul (can’t have guilt slowing me down now can we?)
    2. Next, I’d promote every “hot” internet program that launches. I’d easily be in the top 5 in total sales made on nearly all of those launches for the first several months until my readers started to catch on and I started losing their trust. That’s OK – I’d flash those big commission checks and gain even more zombies…I mean subscribers to my email list.
    3. Next I’d promote stuff I’ve never promoted before – stuff with “hot” themes like : “Simple Facebook ads = instant wealth”, or “Affiliate marketing riches in 5 easy steps” , “The exact Ten products anyone can sell on Amazon or eBay and stuff their bank account”, or  ”The top secret program that has cash flooding my paypal account every day” , or “how to get rich convincing people that you know how to get rich online” or “4 steps to automatic daily income online”…

    I can see it now…I’ll build sales pages where I’ll flash pictures of my family on vacations in exotic places, show a pic of a nice car (a rental with me in the driver seat will do nicely) and many people will fall for it and BUY IT ALL.

    THAT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

    Why do I point this out though? Because I’m sad to report that there is an abundance of “shiny  object” garbage out there that will take you down the rabbit hole if you are to fall for it.  It’s sad to see “experts” pushing garbage on their audience. In the end THEY LOSE  as do their customers. It’s so obvious to me.

    The classic (boring) facts are just as true today as they’ve always been:

    • Success requires work.
    • Success requires patience.
    • Success requires creativity, leadership and relationships.
    • Anyone offering short cuts on those principles is taking you down the rabbit hole.
    • As we sign off on another year I commit to keep on bringing you JUST the good stuff.

    My first live event. The results are in. We hit a home run.

    Last weekend was the first conference I’ve ever hosted.  Never did I imagine that my little online business which started well over a decade ago would eventually grow into this.

    Because we chose the location for the event months in advance, we had to guess about the expected crowd size. I secured a room that would comfortably hold 50-100 people with adequate table space for all.

    Screen shot 2013-11-17 at 8.04.55 PM

    Little did I know that we’d be turning away people at a sold out event as we capped attendance at 300+ well before the event date.

    If we do it again we could easily get 500-600 people or more there (wait until you hear the success stories!)


    We asked attendees what they liked about the event – here’s what they said in an anonymous “post-event” survey:
    *Scroll In Text Area To See More

    The relationships I have established with this great community.

    It provided actionable next steps. There was enough lead time.

    inspiring!

    1. No pressure 2. Excellent content 3. Honesty 4. Willingness to help on all levels 5. New friendships/contacts made 6. Community I could go on and on!

    The audience size made it great for getting better one on one with the speakers. I loved the real people that were represented on stage. I appreciated the fact that everything was kept down to earth and not flashy. I would be delighted to attend again.

    Seeing all the channels people were using to generate income. And of course the contacts I made.

    Practical aspects of the business

    I liked hearing the success stories and how they did it. I got a lot of value out of their stories of what they did, the problems they encountered, how they solved those issues etc.

    Lots of useful information. Awesome networking with people in all walks of online income.

    The tips and strategies from the experts and how simply they broke each step down.

    The agenda was perfect! The information that was presented was exactly what I was expecting and grateful to have gotten.

    1- Content of speakers 2- Networking

    All the wonderful speakers and the knowledge they shared.

    Ability to connect with people in person

    Real people making real money – humble; like-minded people who were believers.

    I liked having the opportunity to meet and talk to people that are being successful using various techniques that Jim Teaches. I made some very good contacts that I know will be willing to help me be successful. I also liked the fact that Christ was given a proper position at the event. I am a Christian and like working with Christians.

    Meeting face to face with highly successful people and being able to connect on a deeper level. And equally really enjoyed the presentations. For it being a first time event, I have to say overall a fabulous job was done by all involved!! It rolled very smoothly! Great job!!

    The variety of information presented and the heart of the people sharing.

    What I liked most about the CES 2013 conference was the variety of speakers and success stories.

    The uplifting and inspirational success stories shared by all those that presented and participated

    I LOVED getting to meet and talk with all of the people I have admired and followed through the years! Jim & Andrea… you are an amazing couple! Your faith shines through in everything you do. This is why I think you attracted so many honest, ethical, and brilliant marketers to the first ever CES conference. Just to be able to go up to someone who could be a business contact or a JV partner in the future, meet them, shake hands, and even take them out for a meal opens the door for true friendships that can last a lifetime. I came away with so many ideas that my head is spinning! There are many things we now know need to changed and implemented. Most of all, we made lifelong friends! Thank you so much Jim for holding this conference – I know how draining it must have been for you and your family! Love to you all! Nancy I will definitely be attending the next one!!! 

    The success stories from people who started from nothing and worked hard to get to where they are.

    The most humbling experience to meet you and many of the others. So giving.

    The opportunity to learn from and meet like-minded individuals.

    It was local to me. There was a variety of speakers on a variety of subjects.

    The speakers and the closeness of the group

    I LOVED the speakers and the content. I LOVED the connections I made with others. It was a conference full of classy business people.

    It’s a good thing to gather with so many like minded people. The conversations, reflection on shared ideas, mutual encouragement, brainstorming – have I left anything out?

    It was not all about sales pitches and I got to meet Danni, I have been in her group for over a year and she finally made it to Florida

    Presentation, format, importance of faith in our lives & business’. Getting acquainted prior to the conference thru FB. The wonderful, sharing and giving people who attended and that same spirit from the fantastic presenters!

    The sharing spirit displayed by all in attendance. That speaks volumes of Jim’s character.

    I was able to network with the people that I communicate with online

    I liked the breadth of strategies and tactics that were covered.

    The inspiring real people real stories

    Having the extreme honor of meeting Jim Cockrum, and establishing new friendships with the others at the event!

    No pitch seminar . Very Christian based

    Excellent topics to help all levels of Sellers

    Meeting people who share my vision and know how to get there. I also appreciate the fact that they have no other agendas but to help.

    The excellent information and success stories shared.

    The quality of the people attending and speaking. I belong to the ASM group also. They have only one goal to make a ton of money, this group is about making a ton of money also after you take care of God and Your family 1st and 2nd

    The genuine feeling of an entire helpful community.

    Everything:). The panels answering audience questions. Real life stories of people’s journeys

    Being able to meet and interact with like-minded people. I also enjoyed the content related to product sourcing.

    The presenters. Each one of them was amazing. I took away so much from the event. Really a top notch conference.

    The energy in the room. The opportunities to meet people I know only online. The presentations .

    Connecting directly with others, the info on outsourcing and on offline businesses.

    Jim and team, the camaraderie was so explosive. Heartwarming, supportive and caring people. Everyone was there to share and help the other in any way possible.

    The relaxed, casual way the speakers were willing and able to interact with the attendees. No pitches, just content and real stories about success and what it looked like.

    1- Jim and his heart to serve. 2- The speakers and their willingness to give. 3- The fact that it was not a pitch fest. 4- ORLANDO!

    The group sessions – the professionals were on stage in groups of three

    out sourcing, Strip Business,

    I enjoyed all of the presentations but obviously some were more applicable to me than others. I had my eyes opened by the Virtual Assistant Program and I particularly enjoyed the “real” tales told by the successful entrepreuners.

    Hearing some of the success stories and good info about sourcing.

    All the info that was there.

    The wide variety of speakers and the different streams of income that we learnt about. The humility of the group was also awesome.

    Everything… New relationships, out-pouring of gratitude, educational value, live case studies, high ethic and personal values, meeting big hitters AND little hitters.

    The warm and inviting atmosphere

    The ability to answer the question I came to get the answer to: What do I do next? Now I know EXACTLY what to do next. Thank you Jim

    The stories behind every successful individual combined with the all star panel of questions.

    The authenticity of everyone there, especially those who shared the stage

    The awesome free giving of everyone in the room, plus of course the staff..I have been in Networking for a while and NEVER saw so much help giving so freely as it was at the conference.

    Meeting people face-to-face, networking, and hearing from such a variety of people with so many great success stories!

    Fast moving, very little selling, and the Christian atmosphere.

    There wasn’t any one thing that I like the most. There was so much wonderful information and people at the conference.

    Impossible to pick just one: 1) Jim Cockrum’s obvious ethical attitude; 2) topics and speakers that showed a breadth of ways to make a profit; 3) the general energy, creativity, entreprenerial and supportive atmosphere in the room

    Speakers

    The amount of information that was given in such a short amount of time was awesome. I also loved the fact that there were so many people that were willing to help each other. Loved the stories of everyone and how they overcame and succeeded with the help of Jim Cockrum, and I felt so privileged to have been able to meet and see that he is as genuine as I thought he was.

    The balance of panels, success stories and vendor presentations was a great mix. I also enjoyed meeting face to face many like minded people.

    Presenters and, of course, Jim.

    Panels were great. Enabled us to get diverse perspectives all at one time. Diversity of topics was good. I learned things I didn’t expect to learn.

    I liked the diversity of the group with the CES model.

    Everything

    The discussions were practical and on topic. Also everyone was given the chance to ask questions.

    friendly people, willing to share and help, variety of business models

    All the great people presenting their strategies and finding out that there were Christian homeschoolers like my wife and myself.

    I liked the fact that the presenters spoke from experience on their topics. Additionally I liked the combination of education and inspiration.

    Openness of the attendees AND presenters. Lack of sales pitches and abundance of content. Success stories. Wide variety of topics for diverse business models (FBA, ebay, offline, etc.). Panels with Q&A.

    EVERYTHING! Hearing about multiple streams. The successes. Meeting people.

    SMALL SIZE, being able to meet people easily (like JIM!) The panel discussions.

    Meeting everyone I work with and meeting people who I had helped on the forums. Learning new things and the steps I need to take next.

    Hearing the success stories and the LIT information

    Jim’s heart and vision. Big picture perspectives. Sourcing and outsourcing tips.

    Lots of great information – brain melting. I liked the success stories.

    Got inspired… Learning about sourcing and networking.

    There was a spirit of Selflessness that was evident all weekend

    The speakers, the fellowship and the energy of those relationships built there.

    Talking with successful Amazon/internet entrepreneurs. Lots of opportunities to ask those people questions. John Jonas’s presentation very good.

    Enthusiasm.

    The quality of information.

    The honesty and openest of everyone. The love I felt in the room and the willingness to help anyone that needed anything.. I loved the belt story. I loved all the presenters and their stories. I think I cried four times Saturday.

    The ease with which people were able to communicate and relate to each other – genuine friendly advise handed over leading to building & smoothing new relationships. Loved that it was n ot too large an event with the feel of it being more ‘personal’.

    I thought it was very emotionally touching, and learned how others grew their business.

    Regular every day people sharing their ideas and experience and their willingness to help others.

    The diverse topics and the real people presenting them.

     

    If you want the recordings of the event (they will be released asap), or if you want to keep up to date on future live event announcements please use this link to get on the email notification mailing list

    Here’s a link to the event info page which will be updated with info about the video recording of the event very soon. On that same page you can join the Facebook group for the event & see the list of speakers we had along with some resources from the event.

    A few pics:

    Some random observations and lessons:

    • It is quite possible to host an event in the Internet Marketing arena WITHOUT having a “pitch fest”. We had NOTHING for sale at the back of the room. No pressure to “jump up and act now” was allowed – all of my presenters agreed to this rule. It was 100% informational, and it was unlike anything I’ve seen done before in this industry.
    • Attendees were gracious, kind and gave GREAT feedback. Most telling statistic? With nearly 100 anonymous online survey results submitted so far from the attendees we’ve had NO ONE say they wouldn’t return if/when we do it again. Exactly 97 “YES” votes, and only 1 “not sure”.
    • It’s impossible to replace the power of face to face conversations with any other technology
    • The Silent Sales Machine book was mentioned as the core starting point for dozens of incredible success stories. I’m proud of the success of that book.

    Thanks for supporting CES 2013!

    Did you attend? What did you think? Have a question? Leave a comment.

     

    No, you aren’t crazy, you are an online entrepreneur (they are very similar conditions)

    I talk to Internet entrepreneurs (i-treps) all the time. That’s who reads my stuff and buys my courses.

    Many of them are VERY successful, and many are VERY confused…and most are a unique combination of BOTH

    …and it’s no wonder there are so many would be biz builders who are floundering and nervous while they swim upstream.

    The fact is, it’s a crazy arena in which we’ve chosen to pitch our tent and most of the risks are unique to the times we live in and the career path we’ve chosen.

    Clearly, building an online business is not for the faint of heart. The rules are a little different here, and it’s not quite as simple to protect yourself here as it is in the “real world” where an insurance policy covers most risks.

    Here are just some of the “scary facts” that i-treps like us face without a safety net (in other words, try buying an insurance policy to cover any of these very real threats):

    • The ever present possibility of our account going “poof” in the night with eBay, Amazon, Facebook, YouTube or even Google and other sites we rely on. While the risk is seemingly small, we’ve all heard the stories. It does happen.
    • Competitors or even one upset customer can go on a rant spree and spread any false info they want to – unchecked and without recourse in many cases.
    • We are at the mercy of our web host to always to keep our sites up and running. An expired credit card or a bounced email can create headaches that last days.
    • There are ever shifting legal policies, tax issues and terms of service shifts on the sites we rely on to help run our business.
    • There are countless distracting voices calling out to us claiming to have the tool, strategy or new idea that will take us “to the next level”. It’s called shiny object chasing and we all must face it daily. One misstep can put us way off course.
    • The field of opportunity seems to always be shifting in new directions, especially for the “casual” or unfocused online business builder.

    Should we feel sorry for ourselves? Should we just go get one of those “real jobs” like so many are tempted to do? Should we abandone the acres of diamonds that we KNOW are right under our nose and seek safer shelter? Are we just stuck going to bed nervous every night about the fact that the fate of our business very well could all be in the hands of a grumpy, pimply 21 year old new hire at Amazon.com?

    I say NO!

    Why am I so confident we can do this?

    Here’s why – as i-treps…

    • We make our OWN insurance by building multiple income streams.
    • We are pioneers who can show a curious world how it should be done (and they will pay us well to show them).
    • We are marketers who rely on and constantly build CREATIVITY, LEADERSHIP and RELATIONSHIPS and not even google, ebay or amazon can take any of that away from us.
    • We aren’t afraid to change directions on a moments notice when we discover a better way. We don’t fear change…change is the horse we ride into battle.
    • We understand that the INFORMATION AGE is fueled by CONTENT and we intend to be the suppliers of that rich resource.
    • We’ll take FREEDOM & a bit of UNCERTAINTY over MEDIOCRITY and “job security” any day!

    Who is with me?

    How I build multiple income streams without losing focus on what’s important

    Here’s a recent question I got from a blog reader:

    “Hey Jim,
    What is your personal strategy and mindset for making sure you don’t lose focus on any one of your businesses while creating multiple streams of income? ”

    I love this question.

    I’ll invent a new term as part of my answer:

    “Disciplined Distractibility”

    The top 20-30% of my priority list is non-negotiable. My spiritual walk, my family, my health, the daily/weekly/monthly “must do’s” to keep my established relationships, commitments and vital business responsibilities in clear focus.

    So what about the lower 70-80% of my priority list?

    My personality allows me to quickly adjust the lower 70-80% of my priority list from day to day or even hour to hour. I don’t know if that “flexibility of priorities” can be taught or not, but it serves me very well and comes almost instinctually now after doing it for 10 years+.

    I find most entrepreneurs don’t struggle with the ability to shift focus from task to task when required (yes – it can be done in a HEALTHY way). Sometimes it feels like a curse to be so easily distracted when performing “lower priority” activities, but I think it’s a gift if you use it with a dose of discipline.

    Some specific tips I suggest you keep in mind when managing the lower 70-80% of your schedule:

    1) Keep ROI in mind constantly in regards to your TIME
    2) Build stuff that lasts…don’t trade $ for hours unless absolutely necessary or VERY profitable
    3) Hire and pay great people to do just about anything that doesn’t 100% REQUIRE your presence
    4) In regards to #3 there is almost ALWAYS someone better, faster and cheaper than you unless we are talking about “the big three
    5) The “big three” are Creativity, Relationships and Leadership – be flexible, but focus on those once the “top 20%” is covered.
    6) If your biz isn’t profitable enough to do these steps it just might be a bad biz model or you are making bad decisions…or perhaps you simply lack…

    “Disciplined Distractibility”

    My definition of Disciplined Distractibility? A focused commitment toward maintaining a flexible enough schedule & a clear enough mind to allow nearly instantaneous shifting of the non-crucial elements of your priority list whenever it’s necessary to do so.

    Having DD means you are prepared for the opportunities that inevitably arise all around you…even if it’s a chance to go to the zoo with your kids on virtually no notice (like I did yesterday).

    Warning: To the casual observer it looks a lot like flying by the seat of your pants, but the results can’t be argued with!

    Care to comment? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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