Once Again, I’m Still Alive

First of all I must apologize for my even-for-me unusual disappearance. This time not simply due to being over my head in my online business, but because first my cat was sick and then my husband fell off a cliff. And the dog ate my homework.

Cliff at Oceanside Beach, Oregon

First of all I must apologize for my even-for-me unusual disappearance … again. This time not simply due to being over my head in my own upstart online business, but because first my cat was sick and then my husband fell off a cliff.  And the dog ate my homework.

Actually, that’s not really true.  The dog didn’t eat my homework.

Well, my cat survived, without debilitating surgery. Yay!  Somehow – after a month – hours of scouring books and the internet for home remedies, dozens of scratch marks, two vets, plenty of dropper bottles, and lots of extra petting and tummy rubs, finally paid off.  KokoNut seems to be doing just fine now which is a solid relief.

And as for my husband’s feet, what I can say is that all the king’s horses and all the king’s men were obviously not trained surgeons.  At least, they didn’t have 21st century technology, or titanium pins.  The feet have been successfully put back together again and are now in welding mode.  25-hour-per day excruciating pain seems to only have been scheduled for the first month, so that’s out of the way now.  Miraculously, and thankfully, not another bone in his body was even mildly damaged.  And, as far as I’m concerned, rock climbing might be a great hobby but personally I would rather take up water skiing.  When you fall, you splash, you swim, you get up again.  And no $86,000 medical bills either!

Cliff at Oceanside Beach, Oregon
Cliff at Oceanside Beach, Oregon

Okay, with that out of the way – I’ve moved my place of business to a more feet-friendly location for the time being.  We are working out of beautiful Lake Oswego, Oregon.  And we absolutely love it here!  We are situated right between the Willamette River and Lake Oswego, each of which is a 5 minute walk from our front door.  Just about everything else you could imagine from hardware to groceries to banks and bicycle shops is also about 5-10 minutes walking distance.  Quite a big change after living in the forest for so long, 30 minutes from the nearest decent-sized town!  (The kind that is big enough to have a movie theatre and an emergency room).

Now this would not be a useful post if I did not tell you something worthwhile regarding the field of Internet Marketing.  So here goes.

  1. If you are self-employed, you have to have Health Insurance.  Don’t think you don’t.  Just, don’t.
  2. Never assume that your successful action for online business will be the same as someone else’s.  Sound obvious?  It isn’t.

You know all those emails you get that say this-or-that person makes tens of thousands with Adsense/Adwords/Niche Marketing/Affiliate Marketing/List Building/Viral Marketing/Blogging … or, oh, no.  It’s actually not any of those, the REAL way to make money online is to ______ (fill in the blank).

Well it might be one of those for you.  But it MIGHT NOT.

My husband and I, though in start-up mode, earn a full-time living while working online, while providing part-time work to plenty of subcontractors.  But not with any of the specific methods that I was taught to use as “the” way to earn money online.  Yes, we use everything we have learned over the years regarding online marketing, SEO, web design, WordPress, content development, pay-per-click, and on and on.  But our business model is our business model.  It works for us.  It is successful and is continuing to expand faster than we can easily keep up with.

What do we do?  Simply stated, we service individuals, organizations, and all kinds of small-to midsized companies around the U.S. and around the world with web development, web design, SEO, content development, and online marketing services.  We get one-time clients who need a website built, and we have ongoing clients whose websites and SEO campaigns we manage month after month after month.

Was that what I envisioned when I started?  No.  Does it work? Yes!  Am I happy?  Yes!  Would I have gotten this far if I had insisted on “making it” with a specific strategy or business model someone else told me I should use? No!

Yes, it’s a lot of work.  Yes, it’s not about overnight riches with 100% passive income pouring in out of nowhere.  Yes, I still have to work with clients on a regular basis.  Whether my office is in the city, at the coast, for two weeks out of the corner of a hospital room; or whether I’m working out of Ikea through a smart phone.  But it sure beats the chains and limitation of employment for someone else.

And, after all, this is only the beginning.

Thanks for all the comments (which I only saw just now! Oops.)  And sorry for my disappearance.  I still haven’t fully caught up with all my traffic since the hospital, but I am working on it.  I hope you can understand and not take it personally if I take some time to respond to you.

And most of all, thank you for continuing to come and read my blog, thank you for the comments that encourage me to continue posting, and thank you for being what you are and doing what you do.  If you are even reading this, you are most likely an independent-minded individual who is somewhat a cut above the rest; and I appreciate that.

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15 Responses to “Once Again, I’m Still Alive”

  1. Dave Doolin
    August 7, 2010 at 9:21 am #

    Glad to see you back!

    That passive income thing will come in time.

    Actually, I don’t believe there is really any such thing as passive income… no matter what, it still has to be managed. However, the work for the pay can be decoupled, sometimes highly decoupled. Which is what I’m working on: work now, get paid later and over time.

  2. Forest
    August 8, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    Ouch…. Glad your husband is slowly recovering, and your cat is well too.

    Business is going well for me, just shows how well you can do when you dedicate yourself to getting away from the constraints of the 9-5 drudgery!

  3. Victoria
    August 8, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    Oooohhhhh! What a challenging experience! I’m glad you are back on balance and on track. My day-job is in a hospital ER so I can relate to the fragmented foot story. I really enjoy your blog entries; they are a bit of a lift. Best wishes to you and yours. Victoria

  4. Anna
    August 10, 2010 at 11:56 am #

    @ Dave – I agree. I do have some streams of “passive income” which I suppose would be more accurately named as “now-passive.” A lot of work went into getting those going, way back when I was really still learning the field and experimenting with Adsense, blogging, and various affiliate marketing ventures. These days, even when I completely ignore these sites, there is still a steady stream of income. And these projects are definitely not off the stove yet! Even if not on the front burner.

    As it stands, I’m working on streamlining my “day job” business (my online day job that is) so that I can circle back around to work on my own websites again, for more residual income. I’m still grooving in my assistants on various aspects of SEO and internet marketing, smoothing out the lines as we go along, and gradually decreasing the amount of hands-on work I have to do on each individual task. Once that is all smoothed out and rolling, I’ll use the same set-up to get my own sites moving again (not just my clients’ sites) and start building up more streams of residual income.

    I was reading about retirement funds last night and realized that they were speaking in terms of setting aside enough money to live off of after retirement. How could that ever be enough?? If you want to live 30 years off of a savings account, IRA, or whatever, that better be a REALLY big savings account! Personally I’d rather have that as a supplement to the residual streams of income which I’m working on now!

  5. Anna
    August 10, 2010 at 11:58 am #

    @Forest – Good to see you here! I’m glad to hear that business is going well and you are right! Are you still in Egypt?

  6. Anna
    August 10, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    @Victoria – Thank you, I am glad you like the blog! And yes, you must have a pretty good idea what it is like. Well, I suppose shattering your heals is not the same as witnessing shattered heals, but you and I have probably at least both done the latter.

    I really admire that you work in an ER! That must be quite a job! I was so appreciative and grateful for the help we received that day, it made me really appreciate the American Health Care system. I still find myself internally hoping that it will be salvaged before it goes the European-socialist route – I have experienced European health care under socialism and there is just no comparison to what we have here in the US. None at all.

  7. Forest
    August 10, 2010 at 12:12 pm #

    Yep still in Egypt :)

  8. costa
    August 19, 2010 at 4:38 am #

    I really admire that you work in an ER!I appreciate your work. It was very challenging
    I really enjoy your blog entries; they are a bit of a lift. Best wishes to you and yours.

  9. Penny Holowitz
    August 25, 2010 at 9:47 pm #

    So glad to see you back Anna. I’ve missed reading your blogs.

  10. Anna
    August 25, 2010 at 9:51 pm #

    @Penny – Hello, this must be your first comment then! I have definite plans to post more often and am making progress in that direction :)

  11. Teatree
    September 5, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Kind of agree that there is no such thing as entirely passive income – you still have to maintain stuff at least once a month (either a content update or sending a new backlink to the site). The only exception is where you have set up stuff that is so valuable that you get spontaneous backlinks to your material sprouting all the time, which does the “maintenance” for you.

    Regarding your consulting business – I’ve thought of doing this over and over, but I am too scared to take the plunge, even though I know of one local customer who will definitely give me a contract. The fear is delivering for others. When I’m setting up my own sites, and occasionally meet with failure, I just shrug and chalk it down to a learning experience. But with customers sites, you can’t have failures, can you? How do you deal with that aspect?

  12. Anna
    September 5, 2010 at 9:34 am #

    @Teatree – I know exactly how you feel. I suggest you get experience with your own sites till you are confident in certain services and then deliver those services you know you can deliver. For example, if you get good at creating blogs/websites, even if you only use one platform such as WordPress, and if you consider you can deliver a professional product, that is a good start. It’s a clear-cut product that you can achieve without worrying about results (as you might for SEO, etc). Or if you are a good writer you can write/edit copy. Etc. In other words, start with something you know you can deliver and deliver that while you hone your other skills on your own time :) I also suggest you start building an outsourcing team, using them to help you on your own websites. When you find good reliable people, testing them on your own projects till you know they can be trusted, you can get them to help you on client work as well. You might train them to do certain tasks so you have more time to take on more work, or you might hire them to do things you don’t know how to do, such as certain types of coding etc.

    You might watch Craigslist’s web development for offers – you will see a lot of garbage in there but some of my best long-term clients came from there as well. You can subscribe to these by RSS, by area.

  13. Jeny
    April 4, 2011 at 2:20 am #

    Ha!

    I finally found someone who doesnt claim to be doing online full time and then spread the msg ‘If i can you can too!’ Now I feel so normal because I have a day job too and still blog.

    It is extremely downing to know that ‘everyone made it’ and you don’t ‘everyone gets it’ and you dont when reality is that most online gurus outhere are perhaps scammers in disguise or more of the exception than the rule.

    Thank you for this article.

  14. Luke Walker
    October 1, 2011 at 10:31 am #

    Hi Anna,

    I also believe that one should try more than one method when one is trying to make money online, you have to see what works for you and what doesn’t, because what works for others won’t necessarily work for you.

    But as in my case I am discovering new methods of online marketing methods and filtering out the ones that are working and putting them at the top of my marketing list.

    Thanks for your insight and point of view on this subject and all the best for you and your family.

    Regards
    Luke

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