Who Do You REALLY Work For?

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by barsha, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. barsha

    barsha Registered Member

    Apr 9, 2008
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    Hey Stompers! This is an article that I wrote awhile back that I wanted to share ... my hope is that is deeply impacts at least one of you.

    I recently had a talk with a fellow SEO. He was frustrated. Upset, and rightfully so. He had just been fired by a few clients and with one in particular, they got out of the Google Sandbox just a few weeks after he was let go. The former client bowed down to the new SEO they hired. We all know that the reason they got out was not due to any work the new SEO did, but what he had spent months doing. Not only was there lost revenue, but his ego took an upper-cut to the jaw too.


    But that isn't the problem here. The problem lies in who you work for. Do you know? Do you really want to know? Many of us quit our 9-5 jobs because we were sick of being told how to do our jobs, when we had to have a project finished, and more importantly, we hated having the "do a good job or you are fired" hanging over our heads. So, we quit and work "for ourselves" so our clients can tell us how to do the project, when it needs to be done and if it isn't done right, they will fire us, not pay us and go with someone else.

    Sound familiar?

    Back in 2000, I had just been laid off from Netgateway (an Internet startup) and had an email conversation with an up and coming Internet Marketer. That conversation spilled over to the telephone. He gave me some advice that I thought at the time was not only foolish, but absolutely ridiculous. He told me that I needed to fire the clients that I had and not take another client. He said that I should instead build my own network of sites, build customer lists and sell other's products through affiliate networks.

    But how would I get paid? When would I get paid? What if the project failed? I would get nothing then. Fear consumed me. I needed that security blanket of the guaranteed "paycheck" that I got from doing client work. The reality was that I wasn't really working for myself, I was still in the "employee mind set", I just didn't see it then. I thanked him for his time and told him that his method just wasn't for me.

    Over the next five years, I had many ups and downs as an SEO, and it was quite the roller coaster. I had many nightmare stories of clients doing horrible, awful things. Mostly trying to get out of paying their bills. But the biggest issue was being tied down to a desk and unable to go on vacations due to another "project deadline" was always there. This wasn't what I had envisioned working for myself.

    I found the book "Clients for Life" at the airport while on my honeymoon in 2002. I revamped my client interaction based on the fundamentals of that book. Things got better, but I still wasn't happy. Then, about three years after that it happened. I saw the light. I knew what the problem was. The problem wasn't my business, it was me. I didn't believe in myself as I knew I should.

    I had the knowledge, I had the skill, I had the talent. I just didn't fully believe I could do this on my own. I heard someone say that the "employee mentality" is one that a person trades their time for a paycheck. But the "entrepreneur mentality" is one that a person trades their time for a lifestyle. I knew that the lifestyle I wanted wasn't the 60-65 hours a week that I was putting in. I wanted to live life and that meant putting in 30-35 hours a week.

    How would I get to the 30 hour work week? It meant facing my fears and then doing something about it. Now, because I was able to overcome my fears and reach the pinnacle of success, allow me to illustrate each fear and what you can do to move past the fear that is probably holding you from your own success. Now, you will not have every fear listed below, but you should have multiples .. at least I did!

    Fear of Loss: This is where you know what you have, and you know what you want. If you put what you have at risk to get what you want, you may lose both, and you can't fathom the thought of losing both, so you stay put where it is "safe". You play not to lose - therefore, you end up losing. You have an ongoing sense of "urgency" within you. Your "self talk" is "hurry up" but you never get to where you want to go because you are easily distracted and get interrupted often. You have no compass, no direction, and you are in a constant state of panic.

    Example: You have a 9-5 job and you current do your Internet business at night and on the weekends. Your goal is that once your Internet business is earning enough you will quit. But it is stuck and not getting there as you had hoped. You find you are more stressed, if you are married your relationship with your spouse is deteriorating, you aren?t sleeping well, you aren?t eating well, you are gaining weight, your productivity at your 9-5 job is suffering, and your financial outlook it unstable.

    What To Do: Use your business journal and create clarity of thought through goal setting. Slow down, remove projects or items in your life that are either non-productive or non-revenue generating. You must focus on clearing your head so you can focus clearly. Make a realistic plan to quit your job as soon as possible so you can focus on your Internet business full-time.

    Summary: Your Job (What You Have), Your Internet Business (What You Want) Risk (Quitting Your Job) Lose Both (Internet Business Failed and Lost Job).

    Fear of Failure: You are a perfectionist. No matter how good something you did is, it is never good enough. A great example is that if you receive a compliment on a website you designed, you immediately criticize it and being sub-adequate. The voice inside your head says, "Do better, do better, do better". You have to know everything about something before you can start on a project. You must always feel completely prepared in every situation. What often happens is that you miss the ?window of opportunity? or you never start the project at all due to you are still in the ?information gathering mode?.

    Example: You need to buy a new suit. There are four places in the mall that sell suits. At the first store you go to you find the perfect suit. The color is exactly what you want and the price is within your budget. Do you buy it? Of course not. For you have to go to the other three stores to ensure that you don?t miss out on something better. But what ends up happening? You go back to the first store and by the suit.

    What To Do: Time management is critical for you and you must get a grasp on it. Put time limits on research and decision making. Learn how to make the right choice based on the information you have gathered. Your business journal is another critical piece. With your business journal, do a brain dump of your tasks, and list a step-by-step process on how you are going to overcome your current situation or how you will finish your project and then plan your attack in full step-by-step detail. Leave no detail out. Then follow the plan to the letter.

    Fear of Criticism/Rejection: You are a people pleaser. You live to make others happy, therefore, your life lacks the substance you need to feel happy. You believe that anything that you do for yourself is selfish, and therefore, bad. You freely give away your time, energy and talents without asking for anything in return. When you don't get anything in return, you feel hurt and rejected. You don't know how, or you are afraid of saying "no" to others even if it is just an unwanted interruption or a "false crisis". You also don't have the capacity of asking for help and delegation is a major weakness.

    Example: You regularly volunteer to assist experts in your field without a clear understanding of your role or compensation. Due to the lack of communication and clear lines trust, you end up putting in a lot of time and effort into a project with very little, if any, return.

    What To Do: Get back to the basics of what you like - not anyone else, but you. Seek after those things that you prefer, have a passion for. Go back to your core values and remember: those things that you neglect will go away. So focus on what is most important. Example: if you ignore a relationship, it will go away. Ignore your car payment, your car will go away. Ignore a customer, they will go away for good.

    Fear of Future/Change: You are stuck in a rut and you may or may not realize it. The message in your head is "Be Strong". You can turn off your feelings and your awareness easily. You never can seem to have enough, you are often "all consuming". Addicts fall into this area, and it isn't just substance abuse here, it is all types of addiction.

    What To Do: Just get it done - plain and simple. Do something different, get a change of scenery. Drive to work or drive home a different way. Take your laptop and work in the public library. Shake things up. You need change and get out of the routine that you are in.

    Example: You do the same routine every time and for some reason expect a different outcome someday. It won?t happen. If you want a different result, you have to change your approach.

    Fear of Success: The voice in your head says, "Something is wrong with me", "I am flawed" or "I am not liked enough". You believe that the reason you cannot succeed is because of your flaws. What this often does is create a "glass ceiling" where you are capped at a certain level of income. I have seen this time and time again. Someone has a breakthrough idea and the payoff is in the mid-six figures but they stop and don't push forward. The reason? "I've never made more than $50,000 a year in my whole life, this is all I can do, I can't do more."

    This is also similar to the thin rope around the elephant's leg at the circus. As a baby, the elephant has a heavy chain around its leg to restrain it. The baby yells, pulls, screams, fights to get loose, and can't. It finally gives up. As an adult, a thin rope replaces the chain. The elephant could easily rip out the rope and be free. Why doesn't it? Because it has been programmed that it can't, so it doesn't even try. If you have fear of success, you have been programmed the same way. It is time to break out!

    What To Do: Use all the tools - business journal, time management, to do list, put your plan in writing and have a clear plan of action. Follow through, focus on achievement, and believe in yourself.

    After realizing my fears I then made a commitment to myself. I wrote a detailed plan in my business journal. And then one by one I called each of my clients and fired them. I told them that I was "changing the focus of my business and I was no longer doing SEO outside the company". There was panic in their voice, but I held strong and said "no" to their offer to "stay on until they find someone else". That first month completely client-less I made more than I ever had. I was happier. My family noticed reduced stress in me, and I did too.

    I haven't looked back since. Many people ask me for advice on the client-provider topic, and I tell them straight out - fire all of your clients and do SEO on your own with affiliate programs and AdSense. They often look at me like I am crazy.

    They too have a firm grip on their security blanket and they don't realize that holding onto it keeps them where they are and they will never reach their full potential. Funny, I shake my head at them and I think that they are crazy, but I then remember that I was in the exact place they were six years ago. It took me five years to realize that advice that was given to me that I thought was the worst advice I had ever heard was actually the best advice I have ever been given professionally.

    Who gave me that advice?

    His name? Michael Campbell.

    Best Regards,

    Jerry West
    • Thanks Thanks x 3
  2. Black&Red

    Black&Red Regular Member

    Mar 14, 2008
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    Simply Awesome!
  3. typo619

    typo619 Newbie

    May 16, 2008
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    Thanks for the post Jerry. I know I struggle with all of those fears. The one that I'm having a hard time with is "Fear of Loss" and getting rid of the "employee mind set". I know once I have come to terms with these issues I'll be more than on my way to becoming free.