What My Father’s Early Departure Taught Me About Business

In many ways, I didn’t have a typical upbringing. When I was fifteen years old, my father passed away suddenly presumably after a stroke.

He had no life insurance or savings that could support his five children or widowed wife. For several months we lived relying heavily on our family’s and community support and for many years my mother struggled to put food on our table.

I’ve often reflected on what my life would have been like had my father lived, how different it would have been for me, my siblings and my mother who sacrificed much to be sure we did not go without. While I certainly was sad my father was not around, in some ways I felt my life was easier because with little or no choice left I had to suddenly grow up.

My dad’s business and entrepreneurial aspirations had a lasting and (I would like to think) positive impact on me. In my business, as in my life, when I find myself in a conundrum, I often default to asking, “What would my dad do?” Inevitably, I will recall one of these lessons:

1. Quit complaining. Complaining solves absolutely nothing. In fact, more times than not, it just compounds the problem. My dad was the most optimistic person I know, never uttering a negative thing about anyone or complaining about his work.

He always stayed neutral whenever any of my  four sisters would pick up a fight and had a generous helping of affection for everyone.

2. Appreciate what you have. One does not make a fortune fixing other people’s roofs for a living, though my dad always seemed to appreciate trivial things that made him happy. More importantly, his way of being made me realize that moments and all successes be it small or big are to be cherished, a sense of gratitude I still carry with me today.

3. Make time for those you love. It did not matter how many hours of sleep my dad had or how exhausted he might be, in our household he was the first one of his feet doing the morning shopping and preparing breakfast no matter how little time he had for us for the rest of the day. He always made sure we had food in our stomachs.

What I learnt from this experience is that there will always be time for work, but rarely time for others, and that when we die, we will not regret spending too little time at the office.

4. Give more than you take. My dad helped everyone, often at the expense of his business. I can remember when he was repairing a roof for an elderly lady and would then charge her less because of her advanced age.

Even at a young age, I understood that if you run a business, you should charge people money for what you do. He always made it known, however, that little displays of kindness go much further than nickel-and-diming people. Later, I understood this more, it was all about word of mouth recommendations.

5. Wake up early. My dad rarely slept in. Regardless of when he went to bed, he was always up before us. He was typically engaged in some household chore before he went to do some work. By doing so he made sure he was home by evening to spend time with his family.

6. Nurture close relationships. My dad did not have a great number of friends, but the ones he did have been around for as long as I remember. I learned from him that you should never take your closest colleagues or best friends for granted. They require just as much attention and respect as your family. Even years after his departure they still speak of him affectionately.

7. Keep your mind sharp. For as long as I can remember, my dad read books and newspapers to stay up-to-date and keep his mind sharp. When I was still a kid he would read us bedtime stories. The benefits of taking care of your mind, starting at an early age, are undoubtedly clear.

My dad and I share a similar background. We both graduated from a university but went on to start a business in fields not related to our degree. Neither of us had any experience in the industries or businesses we started, and for the most part, we both have had a bit of success in our entrepreneurial endeavors.

The difference is that I had my dad as a role model, and he had nobody — which in my mind makes his courage and accomplishments much more admirable.

Do you have a similar story? Please share with others in the comments section below. 

How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off When Buying Solo Ads?

How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off When Buying Solo Ads?

If you’ve ever tried using solo ads before, I’d be willing to bet money you’ve had some bad experiences. Some solo ad seller told you how great his list was… maybe even showed you some screenshots of previous clients back office stats, and how many sales they’d got.

So you paid them a couple hundred bucks (or in some cases, a few thousand) and they sent out the email.

You got lots of clicks.  Maybe even lots of leads.

And now, weeks/months later, you still haven’t seen a penny.

Not a single sale.

How to avoid getting ripped off when buying solo ads?

A good indicator of a professional solo ad provider is in the follow-up. The top sellers will send you a screenshot when your solo is complete showing the statistics. Most will be helpful if you have questions regarding your campaign as well as offering advice on how you can improve your squeeze pages, sales funnel etc. The bad vendors normally fulfill the click order (sometimes you have to chase them) but unless you initiate contact you’ll never hear from them. And, the really bad providers won’t email your offer at all. So pay attention after your solo advertisement has been sent and see how they treat you.

The bad ones will do the following:

  • They don’t have sales page
  • They don’t have someone reputable to vouch for them
  • They don’t have testimonials
  • They do have testimonials, but it seems fake
  • They offer ridiculously low price for their solo ad (like 0.20-0.25)
  • Overpromises (like “ultra super duper mega responsive high quality clicks”)
  • Send blind copy to their list to drive up the click-throughs for the buyer
  • Send deceptive ads to their list to ensure a higher click-through or sign-up rate
  • Send bot traffic to offer pages
  • Pay mturk peeps to subscribe to their customer’s lists.

Best case scenario they will send you legitimate but low quality traffic that is a waste of your money. Worst case scenario, well, they simply disappear with your money, leaving you bitter and frustrated.

Buying solo ads is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to get targeted traffic to your offer. Unfortunately there are many wannabes and scammers who will send you questionable traffic and run with your money. How to weed out bad solo ad providers and find reputable ones? Here’s how…

How To Avoid Getting Ripped Off When Buying Solo Ads?

1. Buy a small amount of clicks for test purpose. If you’re dealing with a solo provider for the first time, always opt for small amount of clicks like 50 or 100 clicks, for testing purposes. If the solo ad delivers good results, you can always buy bigger packages later on.

2. Ask lots of questions. Before buying a solo ad, contact the solo provider and ask them some questions, such as: How did you build your list? What kind of offer is suitable for your list? What is the percentage of tier 1 clicks can I expect if I buy from you? Do you have sales page? Do you have a testimonial or someone that can vouch for you?

3. Look for “Red Flags”. If it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. Use your gut instinct and don’t buy if you spot some of these bad signs from a solo ad provide.

4. Use a trusted solo ad marketplace. It can help you weed out bad solo provider and save you a tremendous amount of time.

Don’t forget to check reviews prior to purchasing any solo ads.

The 12 Most Important Things Everyone Should Know About Money

The 12 Most Important Things Everyone Should Know About Money

1. Don’t get a salary. A salary will never make you money.

2. Don’t invest any of your money. Investing is for wealth preservation, not wealth creation, so first you have to make wealth.

3. Come up with 10 ideas a day. This doesn’t seem like “personal finance,” but it is.

4. Don’t try to save money by not buying expensive coffee or taking subways instead of cabs. That’s a myth. The best way to save money is to make more.

5. Learn how to copywrite.

6. Come up with 10 ideas for how two people can help each other. Introduce them and stay out of the way. This is real networking. Not fake networking where people hand business cards to strangers.

7. When you have wealth, never invest more than 2% of your wealth in any one idea.

8. Don’t enter a business with a lot of competition. Enter a business with a monopoly. This means high profits, high perks, great education.

9. Read a lot about things that have nothing to do with finance. Then combine them.

10. Sleeping eight hours a day might be the most important personal finance rule.

11. Be around people who love you and whom you love. Eliminate people who bring you down.

12. Gratitude = Abundance. You can be grateful only for what is abundant in your life or what will be abundant in your life. So practice gratitude / abundance all day long.

Trust your body. With everything you do, everyone you meet, ask, “Is this good for me?” Your unconscious brain will tell you yes or no. Wait for it to answer.

Once it answers, follow the advice.

Look everywhere for what is hidden. The people who know personal finance hide the money very carefully.

The people who don’t know personal finance have TV shows about it.

Be skeptical. Even of me.