My Online Journey
Are You Making The Most Of Your Mastermind Group?
I mentioned towards the end of last week that I was off to meet my Mastermind Group on Saturday, this was a problem solving workshop and I put myself in the hotseat by going first, now you might think that’s quite daunting but I find it really helpful, I have a new project in final build stage and the feedback is invaluable
Judging by the responses I got when I spoke about building a Mastermind Group back in November and the number of comments I got on the subject it clearly hit a nerve in terms of people seeing the value in getting support and I think critically getting many fresh pairs of eyes over what you are doing
In the online world we are often working alone in an office and as Michael Gerber once told us the problem with the boss is the boss doesn’t have one, your Mastermind Group will form part of an accountability partnership that keeps you on track, makes you hit time deadlines and meet quality standards
There is however 1 highly valuable resource that you get from a Mastermind Group that I think is too easy to overlook, what is new to you is an everyday task to somebody else, don’t reinvent the wheel it’s already been done let somebody help you with the challenge and in turn make sure you do the same with others, in life we reap what we sow
Shared Experience Is The Real Mastermind Group Power That You Can Harness
Though shared experiences we grow as people, one man or woman is not an island, the power of attending seminars and meetings is not in the one time offer the speaker makes, the just twenty and we close this down at only $2997 Dollars hmm! no the value is in the group that meets for coffee, the networking opportunities, future Mastermind Group members, JV partners, affiliate managers etc
If I send you an e mail and ask for your help it will likely fall on stony ground if however we talk as a group and we get to know each other the opportunities are frankly endless, the real power of a Mastermind Group is in the contacts that you make, the friendships and the trust that grows from it and the sharing of successful ideas from that
The need to travel thousands of miles has gone although on a rainy February morning the idea of being in Florida or somewhere like Southern Spain in the sunshine would be welcome, online marketing is popular all over the world now so building your Mastermind Group within an hour to two hours of where you live should be easier than ever
One of our Mastermind Group now travels regularly and looks after the UK interests of a major Internet Marketer based on connections he made attending a seminar, instead of getting swept along with the hype at these events concentrate on what practical value you can get out of it, if that includes buying products that answer a pressing need rather than the latest magic button software then all the better
Resources To Support Your Mastermind Group Development
So what resources can you use to explode your Mastermind Group experience, well clearly there are many but I will highlight three key ones, number one has to be Outsourcing it releases your time to concentrate on the key areas of your business and stops a lack of technical knowledge getting in your way
I have included a video clip of Napolean Hill talking about what Andrew Carnegie taught him, how he overcame self doubt and went on teach the world about the power of a Mastermind Group, the idea is as powerful today as it was when the two men met, only we can set the limits of how much we achieve or how we get in our own way
Lastly I am going to recommend that of the modern day teachers Rich Schefren is really powerful, his free content is better than much by way of paid content and his founders club program is the best out there, his consulting clients read like a who’s who of Online Marketing success, we set the limits, don’t set yours too low!
As always at this point I ask you for your experiences and want to get your feedback, are you part of a group already or are you planning to join one? My recommendation, find or start one today, I can think of nothing that will power you forward faster than a Mastermind Group
Here’s Why I Think The Death Of Blogging Has Been Greatly Exaggerated!
Many of you will like me have read Ryan Deiss’s commentary on the Death Of Blogging yesterday, it was an interesting read and in part he has a point, there is a lot of poor content out there and it’s easy to get contaminated by what’s going on around you but the reasoning was also cloaking a secondary motive which we’ll come to later
He reasoned that we had to remember to visit these sites and that maybe it would just be easier to e mail thre whole content of a post rather than asking somebody to visit a site, giving that reasoning the Death Of Blogging may be coming but then so is Christmas and we have that once a year if my memory serves me well
For me that reasoning doesn’t really add up, I have the BBC F1 site on in the background as I write this to get testing times from Barcelona, having to make that choice is easy and I want to do it, countless millions are not interested in F1 and they won’t again their choice, so the Death Of Blogging is perhaps more than up for debate
I personally have a love hate relationship with Ryan, at times he produces great content and shares it, sadly at other times he gets involved with our favorite bottom feeding digital network peddling newbie traps, he has his own reason for wanting to see the Death Of Blogging but I suspect it’s end is not yet even on the horizon let alone in site
Is The Death Of Blogging Likely?
So is the Death Of Blogging likely anytime soon? I think the answer is probably no but nothing lasts forever, as long as Google loves wordpress then blogging will thrive, people are quite able to decide what is a good quality site and one that is scrapped up content plastered with adsense hmm!
What was Ryan’s real motive for suggesting the Death Of Blogging then? well it was simple really, he want’s to convert his subscribers into paying newsletter customers, presumably because his conversion rates are dropping due to his going into the newbie trap market, so it’s more about the death of standards than the Death Of Blogging
And standards become more important in a paid model, expectations rise we demand quality, I suspect that’s the real reason behind the massive level of disaffection to the whole crowd of newbie trap peddlers and the huge unsubscribe rate I know they are suffering, go back to what you do best guys and the Death Of Blogging fades away like mist on a spring morning
Like all of you I have certain blogs that I read on a regular basis, I would go as far as to say that a couple of them educate me every time I go and I always end up on other posts finding out more, the art of a good site or blog is to hold your attention, at this point you are choosing to buy not being sold
So The Death Of Blogging Has Been Greatly Exaggerated
So if the Death Of Blogging has been greatly exaggerated what resources can you use to improve your Blogging? First off make the most of your Mastermind Group the power of many minds is always better than one, our Smart Marketing Warriors group meets up in London tomorrow and I always get a lot out of the day
With this guys support your Blog Success is pretty much guaranteed, his free content is better than a lot of paid stuff and the community of support is great, the Death Of Blogging is way on the horizon with this man supporting the development of new bloggers
Lastly but by no means least I would recommend you take a look at David Risley, this guy walks his talk his Blog Masters club is a great program and again his free products contain a lot of information, his style is very straight talking so if you’re a delicate type it may not suit but another example of the Death Of Blogging being greatly exaggerated
As always at this point I turn to you guys, do you think Ryan had a point or do you like me think he was just using it as an interesting preamble to sell people into his paid content, let’s hope it was the latter and that this isn’t the Death Of Blogging?
Is Too Much Information Giving You Technical Overload?
I was thinking over the weekend what would be the best topic to write about today without really thinking through the obvious, I am in the middle of a fairly major new project and frankly I’m experiencing more than a little Technical Overload
Of Course this should just be a simple case of post an Outsource project right? after all I talk about it enough but I wanted to first get a better understanding of what was involved so that I could then write a realistic task for my key outsource, trying to do it all myself would certainly be Technical Overload pure and simple
So what was the process that was troubling me, what was causing Technical Overload? put simply I have created a couple of new products and I was researching secure download sites and affiliate programs, I wanted to understand how they worked to ensure I had everything else ready before embarking on the task
Was it really sensible to put myself through this, could I not just let go and let somebody else take the strain, let them suffer the Technical Overload and leave me free to get on with the next task in hand?
Is Technical Overload A Self Inflicted Problem Then?
I personally think it would be to simplistic to think of Technical Overload as self inflicted but I also think it puts down a marker for me, as daily tasks build there will come a point where I need to let go to a greater degree, to Out Task whole areas of what I currently do
I think it was Jean Paul Getty who said I would rather earn 1% of 100 peoples effort than 100% of my own efforts,the same principal applies here in terms of time and efficiency, there comes a point where you exceed your capacity to produce, where true Technical Overload and information overload sets in
Why would we subject ourselves to Technical Overload when there will be an Out Task partner more than happy to carry out our tasks on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, he or she becomes an as required member of your team, you know exactly what to expect and they know exactly what you want, a real win win surely?
Unlike the wonderful cartoon character on Jim Edwards blog who insists everything is a secret, especially when it comes to explaining what he is going to do I have always found my Outsource partners both open and helpful both in terms of providing information and crucially in reducing Technical Overload
What Resources Will Reduce Your Technical Overload?
First off in my recommendations is to use some of the resources in my Dec 3rd post in which Looked at a number of key Micro Outsourcing sites, they all offer fixed price gigs and are all really simple to use and with gigs starting from as little as $3-$4 Dollars they are great value and will certainly save you from Technical Overload just don’t forget to use the feedback system first!
I was recommended during the backend of last week to another fixed gig outsourcing site, I’ve had a look over it, it’s not low cost in the way of the previous sites but it’s still great value and offers a great choice, it’s called Taskarmy I certainly think it’s one to have in your toolbox
Lastly there’s copy writing, the arguments will rage over how they pay for themselves but it’s all about conversions, if you’ve tried doing your own you are well aware of Technical Overload, none seem very good at divulging their prices but these come recommended 99Copywriters
So I think there’s an important lesson in today’s post for everybody and in part it’s let others shared the burden, just remember the words of Jean Paul Getty and relate it to your own productivity, let me know what you think, just make sure you don’t suffer Technical Overload
Can Outsourcing Prove A Major Time Saver Or Just Become Another Headache
I wanted to talk today about a subject close to my heart namely that of Outsourcing, I also wanted to ask if it really is the route to the beach or can it in fact be a source of major headaches, another opportunity to lose control of your already stretched schedule
If we look at what most newbie marketers do we can see a number of things happening to them, the first being classic information overload, the second being chasing shiny objects instead of staying focused on one task or one set of objectives, at this point they will be vaguely aware of Outsourcing but will have no plan on incorporate it into their business
The sheer amount of information available at this point is overwhelming and many try to research their way out of trouble, in truth the adage when in a hole stop digging is more appropriate here, there are many genuine newbie friendly sites online waiting to help, Outsourcing your research here would make sense, find one whose style fits and begin to digest some useful information
A word of caution though because in amongst these newbie friendly people are newbie traps offering push button solutions, thankfully Google offers us an opportunity to look at what others think, see what sort of feedback is out there for this person, is this the right choice for my first venture into Outsourcing?
All The Major Players Are Outsourcing Their Work
So if all the major players are Outsourcing their work it must follow that this is the solution, the key to working on the beach? like everything it all comes down to planning, write a clear plan, do your homework on your outsource worker and your most of the way there
But how do you do research on your potential Outsourcing partners? going back to what we said earlier research, all of the sites have feedback systems based on the experience of the buyer of the service, how long it took, what the quality of service was like, were they helpful? everything you need to know really
Low cost Outsourcing projects can cost as little as $4-$5 Dollars and yet can often be very good, you need to quickly understand the difference between Outsourcing and Out Tasking, the first being one off projects and the second being reoccurring tasks in your business that must get done week in and week out and for these you are looking for ongoing as required partners
What Resources Are Out There To Teach Me Better Outsourcing?
It’s an important question because it’s the key to more free time and yet to also being 3 to 4 times more productive than you are now, it’s a free MP3 and PDF guide called Outsourcing Made Easy it covers mind set, planning and covers some great sites to work with to get your work done
I couldn’t finish this up without mentioning the dirty little secret that so many of use and that’s a site called Fiverr it’s one of around 60 to 80 Micro Outsourcing sites and it’s packed full of great stuff that you can do for just $5 Dollars and before you ask I use it regularly
I’m about 10 days away from launching a best of Micro Outsourcing sites video that is going to sell for just $7 and I cover over 60 of these sites that you can use,they are based all over the world for just about anything you care to imagine, it will save you a ton of time, it’s a resource I wish I’d had at the outset
So in wrapping up I wanted to ask for your experiences, have you found Outsourcing a major time saver or a major headache? For me I would have to say the former but planning is everything when it comes to Outsourcing
The Real Value Of Working With A Successful Mentor
I wanted to look today at the amount of noise of distraction that is going on online and to really drill down to the importance of focus, of being absolutely clear on where you are going and the role of a Successful Mentor in helping you achieve that goal
The inbox of to many people will see dozens if not hundreds of e mails arrive each one promising instant overnight riches at the push of a button if you just buy their latest product or take their recommendation, the role of a Successful Mentor is to help you stay on track with what matters rather than being drawn into distractions
Does this suggest that all e mails are a distraction? no of course not but if they are stopping you completing your plan then to a large extent they are, like many fields online success is a question of following a formula, a plan, the role that a Successful Mentor will undertake for you is to implement that plan and to set up accountability
I have talked before about the role of an accountability partner, somebody who will both support you through some difficult times to ensure that you come out the other end stronger and somebody who will share you success as well, a Successful Mentor will highlight the value of a Mastermind Group for you
The True Strength Of A Successful Mentor
So what is the true strength of a Successful Mentor and how do you benefit? I would say that clarity is critical, their ability to cut through the noise and give you some clear ideas to work with, we all have our personal roadblocks and they are usually of our own making
In many ways we can be our own worst enemies, as our business grows we become project managers, a task we are not experienced in quite often, your Successful Mentor will have observed this many times, in fact I referred to this in my Jan 21st Post in it I talked about the man who mentored me and how he had felt himself getting off track and his reverting back his mentor
Often when we just look through our own eyes we see a part of a picture, a Successful Mentor used to dealing with other peoples businesses will see a bigger picture and how it fits into a longer term plan, this strategic thinking can make the critical difference between stagnation and the next burst of growth
In the case above my mentor Alex Jeffereys had seen that despite his helping develop countless successful online marketers himself that he had hit a roadblock, it is a sign of strength of character not a lack of knowledge at this point that he turned back to his own mentor to find the way forward
The Business Case for A successful Mentor
In my own field of Professional Golf it is a standard practice that players will have a coach, a fitness trainer, a mind coach, no longer is it good enough to be just talented now you need to be mentally strong under pressure and extremely physically fit, a few words from a Successful Mentor will make a huge difference
We don’t wait for our teeth to fall out or our car to break down before we take action, it’s just part of routine that we take care of these things on a regular basis, having a Successful Mentor as part of our continuing success strategy should be part of that same thinking
Can you learn from a Successful Mentor with little or no cost? well you can certainly mirror their ideas for just an investment in your time and as I think you know I think the best of these is Rich Schefren’s Internet Business Manifesto but at some point we still need to know how to drive these ideas, it’s no accident that in life the most successful people all have their own mentors, that person they respect and turn to for advice
In wrapping up today I would say that this is in my opinion the critical difference between people who struggle and those who do fantastically well, one group never see the full picture, the other keep seeing the latest ideas and drive them forward, so let me know your thoughts on having a Successful Mentor?
Which Is Better Setting Trends Or Building Timeless Value?
I wanted to look today at what is going on online and to ask the question is it better to be Setting Trends or building Timeless Value, clearly there are merits in both but from a business point of view which is the best path to follow?
I guess before we pursue this to much further we need to look at what’s gone on over the last 10 years, the online audience has in that time grown from just over 360 million to a figure today in excess of two billion, so a worldwide audience is Setting Trends by driving this huge growth
It might be a surprise that the market is still growing strongly in western Europe, it grew by over 62% in 2010 alone,according to the London School of Economics many children admit to missing meals or even sleep to make time to go online, clearly they are Setting Trends! whether they are desirable is another matter entirely
This same group who are Setting Trends say that they would be lost with access to the Internet and 46% make purchases online and again these are very recent figures dating from November 2010, you could argue that they are the consumers of the future but as their parents will attest to they are the consumers of right now
With This Group Setting Trends Is There A Place For Timeless Value?
So if this group or niche as we so often refer to them online are Setting Trends is there any place for timeless Value? I think the growth in demand for products and services in the developing world that is demanding ever more high quality products and services would suggest there is
Indeed the same Group that is Setting Trends is choosing timeless value, in 2010 the sales of Rolls Royce motor cars grew by 171% in a global market that was by all accounts in trouble, in the same period Ferrari saw sales grow by 10% in the US and by 20% in China, you could argue that these companies combine timeless value with certainly Ferrari Setting Trends with it’s new 458, it’s sold out for over a year and nearly new ones are changing hands for 20% more than they cost new
I talked earlier in the month on High Authority Programs about how certain people command high authority positions whilst others sell out and in the longer term do themselves more harm than good, how they lose the trust and respect they worked hard to build, if done well Setting Trends creates a tremendous opportunity but it can also be asking a question that nobody is looking for the answer to
This also tied in with my thoughts on whether we were seeing the death of Affiliate Marketing which I talked on a few days before again I felt that we were seeing people Setting Trends but sadly not in a desirable way, I also though pointed out that certain people were bucking that with timeless values and that in the longer term these were the people that would flourish
Setting Trends Is There An Opportunity In It?
I think a look in your inbox any day of the week would tell you that Setting Trends is a huge market, with so many new products and new ways of doing things these people drive the market on, are they all what they appear to be? no of course not, but I read recently that for 95% of people if success knocked on their door today they would turn success away,now that is a frightening thought
So how do you tell which is a genuine product Setting Trends and which is just the work of a snake oil salesman? first of all is what is being suggested realistic, anything that is push button, a glitch, a loop-hole is generally a newbie trap but amongst those there are some great new ideas, test them, if they don’t do what they claim reject them but never close your mind to new ideas
When evaluating new products or ideas we must follow them to the letter, too many people try to shortcut the process only then can you truly tell if they work, is it an idea whose time has come? is it really Setting Trends? or is it just a rehash of something that stopped working years ago or just a theory that never worked at all, unless you test properly you will never know
Okay lets start to wrap things up for today, I think the answer to the question is we need both, if we are brave we can lead a market in a new direction as long as we know the market wants that product or service, other times we want what we want, what we aspire to, clearly that’s timeless, so which do you believe in timeless value or Setting Trends?
The Importance Of Getting Back To First Principals
I had the good fortune to join a webinar on Monday night with the man who was my mentor Alex Jeffereys, he had invited all of his ex students to an online get together and it was really enlightening, this is a man who earns a lot of money and yet he wanted to talk about his frustrations in the last year and why we needed to go back to First Principals
Personally I think it re enforces what I had always known that here was a man who would always go the extra mile, he talked about what he thought had gone wrong and he wanted to take us all back to First Principals as well, we could take the lesson of his mistakes and he added in a coaching session as well
Now he didn’t need to do this but he had chosen to ensure that none of the rest of us went through what he did, at first glance going back to First Principles sounds like a retro grade step but that is to miss understand the importance of having a clear plan and of working without getting diverted
But how you may be thinking can I get anything out of your get together on Monday night with your fellow students down the last two or three years, well I also happen to think First Principals are critical and I will explain why as this post develops, in fact I would go as far as to say without them we are all sunk
The Importance Of First Principals In Your Future Success
So why do I see this as so important, why should we all look at First Principals as part of our strategy? I see it as part of the importance of keeping focused, of keeping a longer term plan because without it you are basically like a little boat in a choppy sea, being blown around at will, with no real direction
You see First Principals says that you must link your day to day to do list to your One month and three month planning, it is the vital glue that keeps you in place, there are so many distractions, so many shiny objects to chase, so many glitches, loop-holes and magic buttons promising instant riches hmm!
The reality of First Principals is that you need accountability, an accountability partner to keep you on track, a clear strategy both day to day and a way of looking back and seeing what is working and what still needs to be done, otherwise we end up as so many do looking back at the end of a week and asking what have I actually achieved
Keeping your projects in a logical sequence is also essential, how many I wonder have 5 or 6 projects on the go but none finished, why is that a major problem? simple really, without a plan you wont earn any money, First Principals asks you the difficult questions that we sometimes try and brush aside
So How Can I Harness First Principals In My Business?
It’s a good question and one that the answer to will pay big dividends for you, you see when harnessed properly First Principals will increase your income whilst reducing your stress and anxiety, a true definition of win-win and one that you must pay attention to if you want to succeed
So what resources are there out there that can help you develop sound First Principals? personally I can think of none better than
Rich Schefren’s Internet Business Manifesto It’s been downloaded over a million times, it’s free but worth I think a great deal, you will see immediately why this man is the person everybody turns to when they get stuck
I would also recommend that you listen to his interviews with Mike Filsaime, Jim Edwards and Danny Johnson, I’ve had them for the last three years, I listen to them regularly, they always take me back to First Principals, I would put their value at around $297 Dollars but again they are free
So my message today is simple, without a clear plan and a way to put it into action you are sunk, the difference between a guru figure and everybody else is not knowledge it’s action a crystal clear plan of action and accountability, remember what Michael Gerber said, the problem with the boss is the boss doesn’t have one?
I will finish as always by asking for your thoughts, to see how you hold yourself to account, how you work your plan, how you stay on track despite all the distractions, how you manage to get back to First Principals