Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Passage Through The North Pole

As an addendum to yesterday's post on
global warming
, it seems the evidence
is becoming too clear to deny.

Satellite pictures recently showed a
polar route going from Spitzbergen
(Norwegian territory up north) to
the North Pole. Yes, an open sea route
where a ship probably could sail... the North Pole!

Full story at Yahoo News.



Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Denial Industry

This blog is definitively about making money,
and there is nothing wrong with that. But all
the money you could wish for is no good if --

1) you don't have a good health to enjoy
it with


2) there is no world for you to enjoy it in

Usually I'm focusing on the first point, getting
my exercise, eating healthy and all that jazz.

But reading this article in the Guardian today
made me stop to think about point two for a while
(it's been a long time since I endulged in feeling
anything about environmental issues -- I guess my
inner teenager is waking up.)

It seems large companies like ExxonMobil (no
surprise) and Philip Morris (some surprise) are
funding a lot of people to dispute the common
scientific view that global warming is indeed

I don't like this one bit.


Friday, September 15, 2006

Runners Make More Money

Early May this year, my doctor told my I was
pre-diabetic. He said my blood sugar levels
were running wild, and it was all, he said,
probably due to stress.

He went on to say that if I wanted to continue
working as much as I did, both having a 100%
day job, and running my own business nights and
weekends, I would have to start exercising.

Now, I haven't exercised for almost 15 years.
So this was quite a bad shock.

But it was the kick-in-the-butt I needed. I
knew I had to start exercising. I'd known it
for years. We all do know that, right? It was
just that -- I had never done anything
about it.

I figured the only sort of exercise I could
even remotely have any sort of chance at
succeeding at, would involve being outdoors.
No gyms, no push-ups, no fake stairs or
bicycles that don't go nowhere.

I've always enjoyed walking, and so I thought
that if I could just think of running -- in
the woods -- as a form of walking-very-fast,
I'd be okay.

So I started, and the first day was a real pain,
and I mostly walked anyway, because I didn't
have the strength, the stamina, the breath,
to run much.

The next day was a pain as well. But I enjoyed
the scenery.

And with every passing day, the pain was
lessened, and the joy started creeping into
my body.

I couldn't feel it every day, but I could almost
see it on the bathroom weight -- I lost 1 kg
every week for the first 8 weeks. That's 2.2
pounds a week, or 17.6 pounds in 2 months time.

My body felt better. My days were easier. I could
walk to the store when I'd forgotten to buy
something, with the greates ease. Without thinking
"oh no".

I could run all sorts of errands without it costing
me a lot to do them.

Of course, my mood improved.

With my newfound strength, my self confidence
started rising. It was the weirdest feeling. Just
because I was running (by then 3-4 times a week,
not every day anymore), I could enter a room with
much bigger self confidence. You know, I didn't
sneak into a room anymore, I walked with solid

I know it sounds funny, but I'm not joking here.
The brain sort of learned that it was able to
do more. And the learning must have generalized.

There is something about the mindset of running
that translates well into everyday life. And
today, when I found this article that confirmed
my suspecion, I was tickled pink.

It is called Entrepreneurs Who Run Net More Sales.
And you know what? It is true. I have started
seeing more sales after I started running. And
there is so much to this, that I'll have to write
a book about it soon!


Note To Self On Time

Okay, as the business grows, I learn more and
more that what they same about time is true.

Time is your most valuable resource. And it is
very scarce. When your business grows, so do the
demands on your time.

Customer service, for example, is a big one.

Everyone who lost their download link, sends
you an email and need an answer.

Everyone who dislikes your marketing, sends
you an email and demand an answer.

Everyone who are thinking about buying your
product, sends you an email, and you really
want to answer them.

Everyone who has a problem sort-of-maybe-related
to your field sends you a question you feel you
should answer.

There are of course other demands on your time as
well. The server goes down and you spend the day
emailing your hosting company in terror.

You get spam complaints and have to defend yourself.

The payment solution changes and stops working.

The web log script crashes.


And all this leaves you with very little time to
actually build your business. To grow it.
It makes you stand still, right where you are now.

But there are solutions. Basically, they are two.
Systems and outsourcing.

1) Systems
Make everything a system. At least, you need a
system for day-to-day activities that need to
be done just to keep the ship sailing. You need
templates for the most frequently asked questions,
you need an easy way to refund customers, you need
a system that stops the spam.

You need a system to capture leads on your web
pages. A system that automatically follows them
up. A system that lets them unsubscribe themselves.
A systems that sells them, takes payment, and
delivers the goods.

But you'd also want a system for product generation.
A system for finding new keywords. A system for
content generation. I.e., you want systems that
don't just keep you afloat, but that actually builds
your business. Even when you're away. Even if you sell
the business.

2) Outsourcing
This goes hand-in-hand with the first one. Find people
you trust who do great work, and have them work
the systems. Have them do the things computers can't do.
Like product creation and keyword research.

What I've done

Thus far, all the lead capturing and follow up, sales
processing and product delivery is automatic.

I have a system for taking care of customer support,
that makes it easy to add support staff as more and
more customer come aboard. (Hm, there's a lot of
sailing-analogies today...)

I did outsource creating an audio book once, and had
great results, but haven't really turned that into a

So, I've freed up a lot of my time. But this is a
continous process. And my systems can only grow
when I grow, when I learn to trust people to do
great work. It's a fantastic journey.