Lesson of Patience and Commitment

Google Analytics

Every morning, more or less, one of the first things I do is check my blog statistics on Google Analytics and Feed Burner to see how I’m doing. This usually serves as either a pat on the back or a slap in the face depending on the results.

Feedburner Stats
double ouch!!

The problem is, I focus too much on this and not enough on staying the course and maintaining a consistent quality blog. If I see that my numbers are way up, I can get a bit cocky and sloppy with my posts. If my numbers are down, I can get depressed and careless with them. This isn’t an exact science or anything, but checking these numbers regularly seems to cause me more harm than good.

Google Page Rank

All the ups and downs is just no way to keep a consistent blogging mood. Now I’m not saying this blog should be drama free by any means. This is the story of my first business venture and that would be neither realistic for me or entertaining for you. The point is that there are enough mood swings when starting a business, I don’t need any more fuel on the fire unless it’s going to do me some good. That being said, I do benefit from tracking these stats semi-regularly, so I’m certainly not going to quit all together. I’ll check them weekly from now on rather than obsessively.

This is something I’m learning as I read my new Guerrilla Marketing book by Jay Conrad Levinson. He writes in detail about the importance of staying committed to your marketing and keeping consistent rather than shifting from one message to the next. Marketing takes time to see results so while it’s extremely important to measure your performance, you really can’t expect instantaneous success.

Create a sensible plan, then stick with it until it proves itself to you. How long might that take? Three months, if you’re lucky. Probably six months. Possibly as long as a year. But you will never, ever know whether the plan is working within the first sixty days.

He goes on to talk about one of his clients that dropped a plan too quickly and failed versus a client who stuck out their plan, even though it wasn’t getting great results at first, and was a big success. It just goes to show that you can’t be too hasty to react and judge when it comes to seeing a marketing plan through. If you know it’s good, stick with it. I enjoyed the following quote from his book, so I’ll share it with you. This is me quoting him quoting Thomas Smith in London in 1885:

  1. The first time a man looks at an ad, he doesn’t see it.
  2. The second time, he doesn’t notice it.
  3. The third time, he is conscious of its existence.
  4. The fourth time, he faintly remembers having seen it.
  5. The fifth time, he reads the ad.
  6. The sixth time, he turns up his nose at it.
  7. The seventh time, he reads it through and says, “Oh brother!”
  8. The eight time, he says, “Here’s that confounded thing again!”
  9. The ninth time, he wonders if it amounts to anything.
  10. The tenth time, he will ask his neighbor if he has tried it.
  11. The eleventh time, he wonders how the advertiser makes a pay.
  12. The twelfth time, he thinks it must be a good thing.
  13. The thirteenth time, he thinks it might be worth something.
  14. The fourteenth time, he remembers that he wanted such a thing for along time.
  15. The fifteenth time, he is tantalized because he cannot afford to buy it.
  16. The sixteenth time, he things he will buy it someday.
  17. The seventeenth time, he makes a memorandum of it.
  18. The eighteenth time, he swears at his poverty.
  19. The nineteenth time, he counts his money carefully.
  20. The twentieth time he sees the ad, he buys the article or instruct his wife to do so.

So for now I’m just going to keep on keeping on and let the numbers do their thing. The stats posted above are pretty much live data. I suspect my numbers are down because I’m extremely busy and not able to post as often as I’d like. I’m not letting them affect me much though. Soo my subscriptions have dropped 50% in the span of a day, big deal, their just silly little naughty numbers, they’ll go back up. It’s all good. Could you excuse me a moment…


…Yep, I’m just going to keep on keeping on!

“Imaginary Business” Cards

business cards
a fresh batch of cards

Well, tomorrow is the big day (small biz fair) and I’ve been spending some quality time tonight prepping. I’ve thought a little about questions I’d like answered and how I will go about discussing my future business and promoting this blog, but today has be a very brain-dead day so I mostly just staired at a blank sheet of paper and drooled.

As you can see, though, I did summon enough brain cells to make some snazzy business cards for the occassion. Now all I need is a business to go along with them. Someday maybe I’ll hop off Mr. Rogers trolly and actually have a real business up and running. But for now, I just have to pretend. Hopefully, I’ll get in some good networking tomorrow and this event will learn me a thing or two. Wow, I better hurry up and finish this memo, I’m getting dumber by the second (brane is done overworked).

Anyways, being that time is such a valuable commodity to me right now (even moreso than usual), and this is an all day event, I sure hope it pays off. I’ll be sure to report back here on Sunday and let you know how it went and what I learned from it all. And that’s all i have to say about that.

Welcome Second Lifers

Second Life Screenshot
Second Life Screenshot

My girlfriend Misty is pretty hooked on the computer game Second Life and was kind enough to advertise my blog on there :). If you don’t know, Second Life is an extremely popular game/virtual world right now. I’ve never played it myself (no time) but like MySpace, I’m convinced they put crack in their code. I need to find out where I can get my hands on some of this virtual crack so I can sprinkle some on my appetizer. Anyways, in this game you can design characters, houses, clothes, storefronts, etc. and actually make real money in the process. From what I understand, people are making some damn good money selling Real Estate, if you can believe that. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There are tons of business transactions going on everyday on that game, if you can even call it a game. The line between game and reality is getting way too thin these days.

Perhaps I should say to hell with my first life and consider starting a virtual business inside Second Life instead. Somehow though, I’m pretty sure I would wind up in a virtual cube and my character would have to commute through virtual traffic every morning. Then I’d make my character program on his little computer all day. Course then when I wasn’t looking he’d probably download Second Life and start playing and put his character to work in a cube and, of course, my brain wouldn’t be able to process that so it would go ahead and explode.

Hmmm…on second thought, maybe I better stick to my first life.

Update: Second Life was recently hacked! The line between game and reality just got thinner yet ;).

Three Words

Video of Roller F****** Coaster

I’ve always said that even if I’m my own boss someday…I’ll still bitch about my boss. Well, I’m not quite my own boss yet, but here goes…I’m a slave driver from hell damnit! I started to watch a little TV last night, and “woop-ah”, I whipped the remote right out of my hands. I wasn’t too happy about that one. I’ve threatened to go on strike against myself at least a dozen times this week.

“That’s it! It’s a walk out! I can’t work under these conditions!”

I’m starting to think Zack might suffer from multiple personality disorder. But on a serious note, I wanted to let you guys know that this blog is definitely not going to be sunny-side up all the time. This is a true story of my journey, which means good times along with the utter crap. So, let’s dig into that a bit, shall we? It’s tough right now because I have a couple important deadlines that I want to meet this week. So, I’m really pushing myself to have my prototype complete and a web-commercial for this blog finished by Monday. Meanwhile, I’m having a hard time staying focused and can’t seem to fully commit myself to my current idea. I’ve found a couple similar ideas out there and it’s building some serious self-doubt. I need to regain my focus and kick that doubt to the curb, but that’s easier said than done sometimes.

There are days when I’m extremely optimistic about what I’m doing, and others I’m thoroughly depressed. Such is life I guess! It does suck though when you think you’ve come up with a truly original idea that you’re passionate about and someone beats you to it. I can’t stand being unoriginal and this is proving to be a huge obstacle for me. However, it’s one I will overcome. I keep reminding myself that there are good things that can come from being second or third or whatever and I can still be the first one to do it best. I can analyze the competition and market in order to differentiate and better satisfy my target. I can change the product into something that meets similar needs in a whole new and exciting way (which I plan to do). And as long as I stay on task and push forward, I can make this thing happen. No brainstorming new unrelated ideas! No over analyzing and perfecting every little detail! No more excuses! Just take action and get it done!

This is not the most fun rollercoaster I’ve ever been on, but it is one of the most important! I hope I don’t fall off.

The End of The Beginning

So, where am I at with this thing? Well, I set up this blog for starters. And, I think that’s as far as I’m willing to go. I’m scared to death.

The End!

Actually, it’s moving along quite nicely. My “homework schedule” is now posted in the home “office”.

I feel like I’m back at college. One of the hardest thing has been cutting out TV, but I think I’ll be alright once the shakes subside. Oh crap, the SEASON FINALE of Hell’s Kitchen is on! Where’s the remote? This is not a drill people! To be continued…

Alright, where was I? Oh right, let me fill you in on what I’ve done as far as setting up this blog and beginning the marketing process. This blog serves as a marketing tool for my business, so let me briefly talk about how I set it up. First of all, it is a WordPress blog that I installed on my web server at home. Something Ventured is a title that I felt nicely embodied what it is I am doing. As always though, whenever I think I’m being original, there’s a million people out there thinking the same thing. When I tried to register the name at GoDaddy I discovered there’s already a “somethingventured.com” out there.

As I did a little more investigating, there are tons of sites out there using this phrase. Go figure. I’m unique and original just like everybody else, right? So I tried a few others and finally settled on someventure. I think it works, what do you think? It’s all in how you read it. If you have a half-full glass, it’s “wow, that’s SOME venture you got there!”. If your glass is half empty, it’s “neh, that’s just some venture, who cares”. Or maybe you happen to be drinking a quadruple shot latte or mixed drink and it’s “hey man…some [people] venture…think about it?”. However you read it, it’s a done deal, and I am now officially financially invested in this puppy. A whopping $9.20 too!

Now, the next order of business is how to market my marketing tool. For starters, I setup an RSS News Feed (top right, if you haven’t already subscribed) to run through the all powerful FeedBurner, so I can monitor usage and enhance/promote the feed. I then setup an account with Google Analytics to help me measure traffic to this site. And the first wave of marketing is underway. The search engines are probably crawling as we speak, as I submitted the domain to Open Directory, Google, Yahoo, and other free directories. I linked to it from a few others sites that I own as well as blog search engines Technorati, Weblogs, and BlogSearchEngine. It’s been added to my list of del.icio.us links and I’m hoping others will follow suit (wink). If you use Technorati and want to add this blog to your profile, I added a link in my sidebar just for you.

So, my plan from here is to start participating more in other peoples blogs and get the word out that way. I am also considering posting links in MySpace and other social networking sites. And if you’ve ever heard of the game SecondLife – I may do some advertising there as well. I’ll keep you updated on how my marketing efforts are paying off and new tools I find along the way. If you have any good tips, please comment.


My lovely and talented girlfriend Misty helped me out with the logo. Although she’ll probably never help me again because I was such a pain in the process, right Misty? Misty? Huh, that’s odd, there’s just a note where all her stuff used to be?