The E-Myth Revisted – Book Review

Here’s the latest book I’ve scooped off my To Read pile:

The E-Myth Revisited
Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It
Michael E. Gerber

If you enjoyed reading Go It Alone, you’ll love this book too.

Quote from the introduction:

And what we have also discovered is that the people who own small businesses in this country work far more than they should for the return they’re getting.

Indeed, the problem is not that the owners of small businesses in this country don’t work; the problem is that they’re doing the wrong work.

The book starts with meeting small business owner Sarah from All About Pies (not real name). She’s doing all the baking, all the cleaning, serving the customers, doing the books, everything. And it’s not working. She’s a mess and her business is in a mess.

Right here the book grabbed me right by the throat, I couldn’t stop reading. Years ago I *was* Sarah with my small business. I knew she was one step away from a meltdown of epic proportions. Been there–done that–and it’s not fun ;).

Too many of us are Sarah. We’re the Technicians. Doing all the work ourselves and by doing so, we’re not building a thriving business. If we’re lucky we can maintain some level of profitability or even-out. We’re not growing though, and more likely we’re driving our business and/or ourselves into the ground.

The book talks about creating systems and putting them into place so that anyone can step in and do the job in exactly the way it needs to be done. Everything from the exact number of pickles to place on a burger and exactly where to place them.

Looking at my online work I can see I haven’t learned anything from my past. I’m still insisting on cheaping out and doing it all myself. I’m so smart and such a talented multi-tasker! But realistically, how can we hire out all the work so that we as the business owner can focus on what’s making money: building our business. Building traffic. Growing our sales volume.

It all sounds so wonderful! But who’s going to pay for this all? Staff costs money! Especially out in the real world where you have minimum wage costs, payroll benefits, vacation time, sick time, insurances, yada yada. It’s expensive to maintain a staff, especially if you see that you can carve out the time to do the work yourself.

The problem with this mindset that I see now is that by doing all the work yourself, you’re driving your business to nowheresville. If you’re cooking all the pies and mopping the floors and stocking the shelves and doing the books and serving the customers and cleaning the ovens and picking the fruit and rolling the dough and pouring the coffee … who’s out there marketing your business to generate the sales? Who’s building brand awareness? How is your business getting known? How are people going to find All About Pies so that they do stop in and pick up a fresh pie?

In essence: how is your business going to generate sales to generate cash flow? Who’s doing what needs to be done to create and grow sales? How will your business grow?

How does this translate to the work we do online? Ask yourself:

  • Who’s creating your content
  • Who’s designing your pages
  • Who’s examining your traffic logs to see what’s hot and what’s not and who’s coming and from where
  • Who’s maintaining your server
  • Who’s doing the programming
  • Who’s doing the copywriting
  • Who’s looking for niches and examining keywords and net hotspots
  • Who’s hunting for merchants and affiliate products to use
  • Who’s doing the link building
  • Who’s doing the article writing and submissions
  • Who’s listening to your channel/niche to watch for what’s needed and what’s missing
  • Who’s following the blogs, forums and newsletters to keep up with what’s happening in our work
  • Who’s maintaining your list and list building efforts

And that’s just some of the tasks involved with our online work.

Next question is: If you had all the above taken care of and the vast majority of your time was spent marketing your sites and building a deep presence online…how much money would you be generating?

Tricky question for sure. Some channels can produce higher income levels than others. It’s something you have to quantify for yourself. If you know your site generates $500 a month in income right now, you know you can afford to spend $x to outsource all the work so that you can free up your time to get out there and hustle your buns to triple your traffic (to increase your sales) and bring targeted, hungry buyers to your sites.

How to triple your targeted traffic? If you know the answer to that, you’re golden :P.

We’re not stupid people. It’s just that sometimes we’re looking and focusing on what’s right in front of us rather than what’s off ahead just to the right. Pick up the book and your mind will be introduced to a thought process that may never have occurred to you before.

Ultimately: create a system that costs $xx to create and maintain so that you can focus your efforts on generating and pulling $xxx out of that system and continue to grow over time.

208.66.195.x – Check Your Traffic Logs

This thing is a BEAST and gobbling up bandwidth like you wouldn’t believe. More info:

Psycheclone

Research on ARIN reveals that this web bot is owned by a company called Digital Infinity Ltd located in Moscow, Russia. The mailing address is listed as: Ostrovityanova str, 14, 200, Moscow, Russia.

IP number ranges from 208.66.195.0 to 208.66.195.28

A friend’s bandwidth was chewed up in two weeks, my directories are being eaten alive and it’s sniffing around SuperAff. How to see if you’re on its lunch menu?

Simplest Method:

Look in AWSTATS
Click Hosts
View the IPs

One directory of mine has a half gig of bandwidth chewed up just by this bot in the first two weeks of August.

Block that bad boy in .htaccess:

<Limit GET POST>
order allow,deny
allow from all
deny from 208.66.195.0/28
</Limit>

Thanks to DonSausa.com for the info.

Create Your Own Business System

I scooped another book off my To Read pile:

Go It Alone
The secret to building a successful business on your own
Author: Bruce Judson

The book pretty much deals with a one-man-show business and how it’s possible to build a lucrative business using automation (software, online services) and outsourcing. It’s fully applicable to both online and offline businesses.

The biggest takeaways I got from the book are:

  • What key activities are most important for me to do so I increase and build my online income?
  • What activities are time suckers? Can they be automated somehow or outsourced?
  • My online business system is too complicated. How can I streamline it all and simplify it?
  • Think: Leverage and Scalability

Scariest concept for me:

Follow The 60% Rule

The 60% Rule holds that the best solution is to automate everything except the core focus of your business, using inexpensive plug-and-play services, even when these services only provide 60% of the functionality you want.

I do a lot of manual work online. A lot. Because I haven’t yet found perfect solutions. Two examples of what I’m talking about:

Datafeeds: I can’t figure out how to clean up titles and descriptions quickly and easily. Some merchants have Titles in all caps, some don’t. Some merchants have product descriptions that are filled with measurements and gobblygook in the first 200 characters. Some merchants have pic sizes medium, some merchants are large and some small. How to standardize everything nicely, neatly, and quickly so it all displays uniformly on my websites? Haven’t figured that out and not wanting to compromise that quality–I spend a lot of time tweaking manually.

Auto Content: Build some content using reprint articles and other free content sources. How to do that automatically without pulling in content that links to bad neighborhoods? The article marketing arena is filled with articles pointing to scraped content domains, black hat grodies, junk domains, etc. How can I bypass all that without manually checking links? I’m not in the mood to burn any of my domains by linking to bad neighborhoods.

I have good/great reasons for insisting on certain standards. However, does my manual setup justify the time involved? Keeping in mind all those hours of manual work eat up large chunks of time away from what’s really generating the cash: targeted marketing.

One of my goals for online income is to generate a hands free stream of income. Right now I can walk away for weeks at a time, and the income still flows in. However, nothing’s growing or building itself while I step away either. All building and generating stops until I log back on. Can I change that?

I don’t want to create just another ‘job’ for myself. What am I doing? And how could I do it better?

The book sheds light on traps we can put ourselves in as well as hammers home the importance of focus and simplicity. Right up my alley ;).

I scooped up the book for a few bucks over at bookcloseouts.com (not an aff link), but you can also read it online at BruceJudson.com.

Don’t have time to read the book? Print and Pin:

HOW TO CREATE YOUR BUSINESS SYSTEM

Is it really possible to magnify a skill into a substantial, thriving business? Yes. This chapter tells you how, following these principles:

  • Leverage your core competence through relentless repeatability.
  • Identify the important metrics.
  • Make time work for you—instead of against you.
  • Take advantage of the benefits of scale.
  • Follow the 60% Rule.
  • Build for flexibility.
  • Make your own luck.

I wonder how blogging fits into all this :lol:.

Taking A Breather From Online Work

Hey did anyone notice I was MIA for a few weeks! I lost complete interest in my affiliate marketing efforts for the month of July. Didn’t do a darn thing. Hardly blogged. Did a teeny bit of maintenance work, but other than that…nada.

But here’s what I found out. I’m on the right track with the work that I’ve done so far. At least for the most part. I can withdraw from online work, from my websites, read a book or two, catch my breath, fool around, watch some movies, and it’s all good.

The cheques still roll in.

In fact last month (July) was my record breaking month. And I didn’t do a darn thing in July to make that happen.

I guess ultimately that’s been my goal since day 1. Not create a system that I was enslaved to (read: another job), but something that will provide freedom when I want it or need it to.

I don’t worry about ppc ads and budgets. Or spamming blogs or cloaking pages. I don’t worry about rogue bots attacking my adsense pages. Cause I don’t have any. None of that jazz. Just simple affiliate sites and pages with simple link building methods that I can walk away from and still survive financially a month later.

Not sure how much I will be blogging this month, but I do know I need to get back to work with marketing my sites, building links and building pages.

Christmas is coming you know ;).

I hope you are enjoying your summer too :).

Internet Marketers Abusing Their Lists

I can think of three, maybe four Internet Marketers that truly provide a worthwhile newsletter. Yes some product recommendations, but nothing crazy. By crazy I mean constant bombardment of every new product that comes out, or daily/weekly spam, errr, product promos.

I can live with a few pitches within a weekly/monthly newsletter. It’s the price I pay for receiving their tips and information–and the info they provide is almost always worthwhile taking the time to read.

But what about the rest? The dozens of gurus who really don’t provide you with jack. You are blessed with the privilege of receiving their incessant sales pitches. And supposedly always for good reason…to help you. Groovy.

Are you buying into hype? What’s so hard about hitting the unsubscribe button? Is it that we’re afraid we’ll miss out on something?

Are you trying to buy into all the hype of how great and knowledgeable they are and desperately hoping somehow some of that will rub off?

I mean…everyone says they’re so great, that they are the masters of the game and walk on water. It must be true. We need to gobble down everything they say and promote. Right?

Pick a small, teeny handful of newsletters that you truly find offer you value. They are sincere and the info they share with you does indeed help you to grow in knowledge and in earnings. Not vague, useless fluffery that doesn’t really amount to much, but the real deal. And then support these guys.

For the rest–try unsubscribing for a month or two. See what happens. Do your earnings dive? Do you get the shakes? Does your entire web empire collapse? You can always join the newsletter again if you really feel the need. But I’ll bet more times than not that you’ll never look back ;).

F-F-Freedom, massive amounts of time saved and gee, your inbox never looked so good! And guess what. You’ll be more productive, getting things done and giving yourself time to absorb and focus on what the real Pros are sharing with you.