The older I get the more I realize that I’m coming full circle to where I began.
Here’s my story…
Back in high school, I discovered my love of computer programming on a TRS-80 hernia busting Radio Shack computer. Then I would go home and try to replicate what I learned at school on an Atari 130xe. Talk about retro and what a pain in the rear it was to cross code non compatible programs.
Hey, but that was my youth and programming was my escape, and kind of cool and sort of like a second language.
Yeah, I was a geek.
When I left high school I studied up on PASCAL and Cobol. Two similar programs kind of like our modern day HTML vs Java Script. I left college disgruntled. I knew more about computers than the teachers did and I wasn’t even majoring in computers. Back then programming was still considered a hobby and not yet a skill set. It was during college that I started tinkering with writing stories, but decided that although I liked writing it wasn’t the direction I wanted to take at the time.
In 1989, I started a video photography business and although I knew the technical side…that was pretty much it. I had no clue how to market myself or about business systems. I just knew that video was going to shape the world.
Hmmm…I was way too early.
My partner in this video venture cut out after a few months leaving me high and dry and causing lots of stress between me and my new wife. We had gotten married 6 months prior and now were saddled with thousands in debt.
Fast forward through the years (and the many jobs) and now I’m back to doing what I started.
Wait…I went to far… you don’t know the whole story.
Okay, I’ll get back to the story in a bit. Hang on!
I look at code. But, I rarely program now!
But what I do is important nonetheless!
So what do I do now that is so important?
Glad you asked!
I actually teach trust creation and how it can help transform your business from a struggling entity into a cash cow. Oh, yes, I also teach people the value of video and what it can do for them.
Yeah, almost thirty years to come full circle.
You see, I took all the experiences I discovered in that time frame and used them to become a consultant to entrepreneurs everywhere.
Now that journey wasn’t always smooth sailing and contrary to popular belief, being an entrepreneur is not a glorious thing.
Back to the story…
After my failure in the video photography venture it took me about 6 years to finally allow myself to venture off again into the realm of owning a business. This time it was different. Or so I thought.
Carpet cleaning is a far cry from video photography and I still didn’t have any marketing skills. But I was stubborn and I knew it could be done.
Three years passed and my cleaning business was failing. I had had enough. It was either fight or flight. I could close down with massive debt or learn how to do it right.
I scraped and borrowed and eventually came up with enough money to attend a marketing seminar in Arizona. I had never been to a marketing seminar or to Arizona prior to that point. But, I knew I needed to do something and this, as wild of an idea as it was, had to work.
And work it did. I took to marketing like a sponge to water. Within six months I was creating my own ads and writing my own copy. My business was changing. It was actually getting profitable.
Now we can fast forward about 15 years. I had been teaching other carpet cleaners the in’s and out’s of marketing and helping them get profitable. It was about this time that I discovered social media. Oh, I made mistakes with Facebook early on that caused my account to be suspended not once but twice and I really thought wow, this network sucks.
But, knowing what I knew about customer service, owning a business and how people think I was able to create a system of sharing posts that got people to like, comment and share…which led to followers becoming paying clients.
I started teaching these techniques to carpet cleaners, and writing about them in Cleanfax Magazine (a cleaning industry mag) then word started spreading about my social media powers…then it happened. I wrote an e-book, then six months later I wrote my very first print book, both were about social media. The e-book titled “Social Media Debunked” and the print book “Share: 27 Ways To Boost Your Social Media Experience, Build Trust and Attract Followers” were game changers for me.
I saw the writing on the wall…haha.
I was being asked to speak and teach more and it just wasn’t to carpet cleaners. Nope! Lawyers, Doctors, Speakers, Authors and professionals of all kind were coming to me for advice. Wild, huh?
It was the first time since I started the cleaning business that I felt I was “cleaning up”. The demand for my time, the price people wanted to pay for me to speak was beyond what I thought possible in the cleaning business. Oh, and so much easier!
A year went by and I was thinking up a title for new book based on my experiences creating SEO strategies for websites. The ability to SEO websites goes back to my coding days in high school and became something that I discovered I was very good at.
In September 2014 I reached out to another cleaner I knew who was also great at SEO. My strength was on-page SEO and his was off-page SEO and I knew if we combined forces the book would be awesome. And it was.
We started formulating a plan in October 2014 of how we were going to lay out the book. Then, being as he was in Winnipeg and myself in Pennsylvania, we figured we might as well use the technology available to us to expedite the process. We proceeded to use Google Hangouts video to record our conversations. We recorded 10 sessions then had those recording transcribed. We took those transcriptions and rewrote them into “Optimize This: How Two Carpet Cleaners Consistently Beat Web Designers On The Search Engines”.
But here’s the cool thing…we wrote the book in less than 45 days and launched it on Amazon Kindle where it hit #1 Best Seller in 4 Countries over a 15 day period.
No, I don’t clean carpet anymore. But thanks for asking. Twenty years was enough. But you see, if it wasn’t for my stubbornness to improve my cleaning business and that will to win…I would have never discovered marketing or social media or SEO or that my 30 year love of computers and my horrible experience owning a video photography business would play an impact on what I am now.
Well, that’s how I became a trust builder, storyteller, social media expert, SEO guru, author, speaker and yes, even coach to entrepreneurs across the globe.
Where does your story begin?
How did events in your past shape your future?
I would love to know your story. Honestly, it’s that story that you need to tell others that will help connect and bond you with your audience. And it’s that story that will make you human and create trust with your fans, friends and followers.