I got an email recently that changed my life. But not in the way you might think. Let me explain.
It was from a famous internet marketer that I follow. He is a brilliant marketer and product developer, more than a household name, he is a legend. His products are great and inexpensive. And his sales copy good. Usually.
The email went something like this (I parody): “I was hanging out with my internet marketing friends at this resort. We had been skiing all day. And guess what? We were making so much money! I cannot believe how much money we were making as we were skiing! And you can too! Just come to my program on such-and-such a date and will teach you how to be passionate and live like me”.
The mail irritated me at so many levels. To begin, I have no interest in how much money his buddies make. Secondly, I had been writing him for a year trying to affiliate with him, and hadn’t heard back. Third, being passionate is not something you want to do solely or primarily for the purpose of income generation. Being passionate is something that is its own reward, and it may or may not lead to business success (let alone passive income). I don’t think Mother Theresa ever made much money, but she was very passionate, and she changed many lives.
Not being the type of person who keeps my feelings to myself, I replied to him (Note: I am not suggesting you adopt this tactic. I was just being passionate .
I replied: “Feedback to your copywriter: the lifestyle hype is getting annoying. What is the value to me? Lead with that.”
And I nearly fell off my chair when I got a reply:
“I write it all, so if you don’t like it feel free to unsubscribe. I sent you content with ____ which if you apply the info will help YOU build your biz. if you aren’t interested, then I’m not forcing you to stay my friend”.
To which I wrote back: “That’s what I figured. Judging by your response it seems like I hit a sensitive spot would you not agree ”. And then I pitched him on my product, and was able to get a response – a negative response, but it was informative.
I want to share something that I have said many times, but is worth repeating.
Taking an existing business, one that has clients and revenue, what we call a “validated business model”, and then using web marketing to grow it, is not difficult. Most people can learn in a few days to a week, including making a website, which is what we teach at WP Academy. Taking a new business to the web is much, much more difficult. And taking a new business that sells information products (or an affiliate marketing site) to the web and creating passive income streams is even more difficult than that. It takes enormous amount of time and dedication – and some talent – and maybe a good dose of luck as well. Anyone who tells me that the secret to it all is being passionate… is going to get a piece of my mind. More so if they suggest that anyone can do it. I believe that passive-income generating internet business is a path for the very few.
And yet so many internet careers are based on this idea – including the career of this particular marketer, and legions before him (Timothy Ferriss et al). To my mind there is something… at best… a little “off” here (incomplete perspective); and at worst, a fundamental inauthenticity.
It’s like this guy is saying: “I am passionate and it made me rich, and so can you, and you know you want to”. mm, let me think.
Mulling over this incident – and why I was triggered in the first place — has been even more enlightening. I had to ask myself: why am I pursuing a career in internet marketing? And why am I seeking affiliation with people that I don’t have natural affinity with (and at some level even question their integrity)?
Why am I engaging? (the finger points back at oneself). It was a hard question. But now I know…
I am done with “internet marketing”. I just want to create a business that has products and services of outstanding value that I am selling at a fair price. And I should do it because I want to and because I enjoy it regardless of passive income opportunities or how fast it’s going to go.
And from that decision I am expanding my ideas of the type of network that I should be pursuing… maybe even drop my aspirations of joining the “old boys internet marketing club?”
Moral of this story: stay passionate! But remember that passion can take you in many different directions, and that income may or may not be a side-result.
PS: This story in no way a discredit to the value created by this particular marketer or to his integrity. I have simply given a single perspective on this complex problem. I still want to be his friend and I would never dream of unsubscribing