The following is the text of my final newsletter to my list of subscribers.
“Good Night, and Good Luck” – It was a war-time phrase in England, heard often during the Blitz, even voiced by Princess Elizabeth in a broadcast to her country. Words of camaraderie with a touch of warning of danger.
Edward R. Murrow, the renown American news broadcasting pioneer, in England at the time of the Blitz, began to end his regular broadcast with the phrase. He then used it for years as his signature closing farewell.
I’m using it here as my farewell:
I am closing down this newsletter.
That includes ending the use of this list, and other smaller lists associated with my promotion of “internet marketing.” As time allows, I will take down my Facebook business page and some of my websites.
I have decided to stop telling others how to “make money online” even though I did that actively for three years.
These things enter into it:
1) I have lost a ton of money.
Once again, tax season has brought the truth to the front. Over the last 3-4 years I have spent much more than I have made. There was never anything that remotely resembled profit. As a result, serious credit card debt put our home ownership in trouble.
I warned others to avoid the shiny object, yet succumbed to it regularly. I am a teacher at heart, and that led to a long involved effort to write a book about “success online.” In my eagerness to recommend only the most cost-effective products, I bought way too many, as research, to try them out.
It is true that you have to spend money to make money, and many people fail at internet marketing because they don’t understand that basic truth about going into business. But that truism is widely touted by internet marketers because it benefits them. Other “start your own business” factors are perhaps more important, but are less evident, and certainly less touted.
In any case, I had to pull the plug on spending. And for me that means quitting my efforts at internet marketing. I might attempt to do some internet marketing in the months or years ahead, but it will have NOTHING to do with selling internet marketing products or information.
2) I am tired of role-playing.
So many people think I am “doing well” because I am an “action-taker,” create products, and actually go to various live events. If someone actually would tell me how wonderful they thought I was doing, well, I would try to set them straight: “I am really a beginner.” But I never went out of my way to tell others that.
It’s the old “fake it ’til you make it” conundrum.
It’s a precarious role, trying to claim knowledge on internet marketing without being able to show a profit. On the one hand, I thought all along (and still firmly believe) that you don’t have to have the experience in order to claim some knowledge. For examples: Napoleon Hill got rich from his research and telling others how to get rich (not by first getting rich). John Milton Fogg never made much from network marketing but became wealthy from his research and writing about network marketing. You don’t have to experience drugs to write about their ill effects.
In any event, I believe I had some value to offer. But at the same time became weary of the dichotomy of teaching about something that I was unable to perform.
3) I am really, REALLY tired of the hype and false promises that abound in this industry.
Assuredly, there are some exceptional people who present the internet marketing business in a balanced, sensible way, but they really are rare.
I have ended up with many subscriptions, and have seen the variety of emails that marketers send out and they substantiate my views. Well now, I don’t need to keep track of what industry leaders (and others) are promoting/teaching. Please do not take it personally when I cancel my subscription to your materials (if I’m on your list). But it will be a relief to de-clutter.
I have tried my best to reduce hype and be balanced in my own emails, but I admit to going over the top a few times. If you think that my messages have harmed you, I’d like to hear about it.
I have always greatly disliked mind-numbing hype, let’s-cheer-and-dance conventions, and set-aside-your-brain pitches. (Not just in marketing.) Some think they are necessary to success, and especially those of the network marketing persuasion, which is one reason why I have no interest in that form of business.
There is no doubt that email is essential to internet marketing success. But I’m not comfortable with it. Oh, I enjoy writing, but not the kind of writing (and the frequency of writing) necessary to make money.
4) It’s not fun for me.
I have always had trouble with those that talk about finding your passion — “passion” is just too strong for me. I worry about those who are “passionate.” Still, at least, you have to enjoy what you are doing. At first, building sites, posting articles, and making videos was fun. It involved a lot of creativity. It was… new! But it has become more like a job.
Sure. If I was pulling in the big bucks it would be more tolerable. But would it still be fun in the long run?
“How to make money online” is definitely out for me as a niche. Truth is: I have never liked selling. In my various enterprises in my long life, selling and promotion have been my weak leg.
I also have little patience for the constant software platform changes/upgrades which affect so many of the tools that marketers must use. In addition, I am not a people-person as most people who really know me can tell you. So, now I can finally stop trying to use one of the platforms I hate the most: Facebook! There. I said it!
That’s the “Good night” part of this message. But let me add the “Good luck” part.
With the right stuff, you might be one who can make a profit online. There are many good guys and gals out there that I respect, that are profitable in the “make money online” niche.
But to be successful like they are, you will need luck.
- Because the internet is full of scams – including and maybe especially the Warrior Forum and similar sites. And if you are new, how will you know a scam from the truth? (Don’t take my word for it. Seasoned veterans like Viperchill (Glen Allsopp) have written about this and how about this example: http://www.ericstips.com/tips/free-commissions-review/)
- Because the cost of something is NO indication of value. The Warrior Forum is awash with $10 products that are junk. Then again, fancy talk and double talk concerning $3000 products do not make them value-filled. One of the turn-offs for me was coaching a man last year who bought such an expensive package that really was not a fit for him. When he came to that understanding, he felt trapped. And I felt he had been scammed by one of my earlier mentors. I have watched helplessly as a young man quit his job and moved across the country, believing he would soon have his own business. It’s not that these people needed better luck at what they did. I’m not saying that – I’m saying they need better luck in running into better teachers/mentors, grounded mentors and coaches who will tell the truth about “starting your own business.” It’s hard to exercise good judgement on your own if you blunder into an almost cult-like group of internet marketers and their much adored leader(s).
- Because hard work and taking action is not all there is to it. That could be “who you know.” It could be having an attractive personality that is at ease with building relationships. It could be a willingness to take chances and buck the crowd of advisors.
It’s true, as I have often told others, you shouldn’t quit when you are just inches away from the vein of gold. And many will take advantage of these candid remarks to dismiss me as one who left behind the gold mine by quitting too soon. I feel differently. I should have quit much sooner. I’d be tens of thousands of dollars richer today. Maybe healthier.
Is it luck or wisdom to know when to persist and when to change course?
I learned a lot from the internet marketing experience, but I am changing course… to other endeavors hopefully more suited to me.
During the last two months I have been busy with other projects and wanted to write this letter sooner, but have not a had a chance until now.
That’s right, I didn’t want to just fade away and have you wonder what happened to me. I hope you find this message to be of interest.
So I say without any holding back – “Good luck!” to all my friends who are currently in this internet marketing thing. Having you as a friend has been the best part of the last few years.
I hope that some of these friendships will outlast this letter!
All the best -