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Family Alert – Internet Marketing Dream May Kill It

Thank you for reading this post. What a year it has been thus far. I really do not know much about you at all, but I hope this helps you as I write from my heart.

Let me explain….

It was in the winter of 2008 when I turned to the power of the internet to make a living online. My back was up against the wall. It was either “make it happen,” or dooms day for me.

I worked very, very hard. In fact, starting out I worked more hours, and harder hours, than any other career I had previously been in…and I’ve been in some tough ones.

By the end 2009 I was starting to find my groove and making a solid full time income. The year 2010 and 2011 has been equally rewarding. In fact, September 2011 has been my best month in my career.

Today I enjoy a solid online business, a great product shelf that I have created and am proud of, and a customer and subscriber list that I value greatly.

But let me be real. The life of the internet marketer is not a fairy tale. The idea that you will make a million online while you are on the beach in Cancun with a laptop and internet connection is sheer rubbish.

Because I have small children at home I built my career working when they were in school or sleeping, but sometimes more.

I was always tired. My eyes were red and had dark circles all the time. I was too tired to exercise and I was out of shape. My body suffered. My eating habits were the pits. My butt was glued to the chair and my eyes glued to the monitor. I was in bad shape, and I knew it.

My kids no doubt viewed me always on the computer, and what is more, I rationalized it by convincing myself that I was doing it ‘for them.’

I know of real good marketers, people whom I have respected, and yet, they have lost their spouses, their kids, and others, all because of a internet marketing dream. Don’t let this be you.

I mean, the reality is, my daughter would be trying to get my attention, and a customer would phone looking for service. What do you do? If your dream has you picking up the phone, you are losing your daughter.

True Story – I had a customer call me at home last Easter Sunday, demanding immediate service and support. If you are not careful, some crazy customer will try and suck the life right out of you all because they gave you a $47 payment.

Yes indeed, there was a time when I was not balanced, and I tried to satisfy everyone at all times, but this all changed this past summer.

Now, when a customer is demanding service, it is when I am available. When a project is due, and it is late, I’m not going to lose my family over it. It can wait, and so can everyone else.

Let me be very very clear….

If you are a internet marketer, and you are wanting the fame and glory of online success, at what cost?

The people you love the most will suffer and one day you most likely wake up all alone and regret all of it. If you are a online marketer, and the only love you have around you is a picture of yourself and a dog, then you are in trouble.

If you find yourself chasing the internet marketing dream and you have loved one’s, then stop and examine. Most likely, your loved one’s will think you are crazy if you make little income. Do not lose the relationship because of a dream.

Instead….

  • Take time to walk on the beach or along a wooded path
  • Go to the movies
  • Swimming is great
  • Time to get that gym pass out
  • Spend quality time with those you love
  • Go to all the parent-teacher meetings
  • Go paintballing with your kids
  • Go fishing
  • Play a board game

Do these, and you may find yourself enjoying life more, enjoying those you love, and at the end, you may even make more money online too. You see, when you are balanced in life, and good to those you love, the universe has a way of rewarding you beyond your wildest dreams.

Tell me what you think, and make a comment. I read them all.

About Mark Dulisse

Software Developer, Blogger, SEO Consultant, Internet Marketer

110 comments

  1. Hi Mark,

    The family is very important. It gives power and is also a target.
    Thank you for the nice article.

    Enrico from Germany

  2. Mark,
    That was truly a beautiful post. I started to notice how my online work was also affecting my family and started to make changes to fix it. This year has been different for me since making those changes and getting my life back into balance.

  3. I agree Mark! Achieving success always comes with a cost whether it’s money, time or relationships. It’s OK to be driven as long as a person understands how to segment their time. I too have sat my butt in this computer chair way too much! I’m pale from lack of sun, I feel out of shape and I know I am!

    Makes me want to create an IM kit that contains a bright lamp, some vitamin C tablets and a treadmill so us IM’ers get some exercise lol. I think this is a great post and it serves to remind us of the power of “outsourcing”. Get HELP where you can to run your business or your business will run YOU.

    My 2 cents

  4. I totally agree with you. I am now single and spend all my time at the computer!! I told myself the same thing, “I’m doing it for Her” She didn’t agree. Like Mark says, don’t let this be you.

  5. You are so right. Many people have obsessions, hobbies and workloads that take over their lives, spinning them out of control and leaving their friends and family neglected and hurt.

  6. Mark, Well said, Extremely Important, and Timely, especially for me. I know that many others could benefit from your words of wisdom from experience. Thank You.

    I have you on my radar, have learned from you, have purchased your excellent products, and know I respect you even more. You do represent the very best values in the IM industry. Honesty, Integrity, Fairness, Truth, and VALUE.

    Thanks again for the message and all that you do Mark.

    Sincerely,

    Roger L. Gill
    Founder/President
    MyBiz OnLine Services, LLC

  7. Wow Mark you couldn’t have said it any better. Isn’t the reason we work online from home to be able to have time when we want it. Family is why we do what we do. Great post.
    Website Design Greenville recently posted…Todd Jonathan HollisMy Profile

  8. Wow, scary…You described me.

  9. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for sharing and congrats on having September 2011 the best one yet!

    I agree that there is more to life than just $$$$. As for customers, I try to make it point to let them know that the weekends are off, unless there is a CRAZY emergency. (which hasn’t happened yet– knock on wood). Its about enjoying the journey with family and friends.

    Onwards and upwards!
    Anthony

  10. There is a saying… “no amount of success at work can compensate for failure in the home”. – very powerful. Words to live by for everyone!

  11. Right on the money mark. You need to live your life with your family – not your computer or business. Time goes by far to quickly.

  12. Right on, Mark! Internet marketing isn’t any different from “regular jobs”. It takes hard work and sometimes people get caught up inside that work, ignoring the parts of their life that they “need” to stay balanced and healthy. Your post should be required reading for anyone who spends as much time in front of their computers as we all do.

  13. Hi Mark –

    Very enlightening post. You are so right. If you don’t have a balance with your personal life nothing else is worth it.
    I am very encouraged to hear that you have managed to achieve success on the internet while enjoying a rewarding family life.

    I always learn a lot from your products and all the other great information that you share in your emails and on your blog.

    Thanks :)

  14. Great post Mark. Very true about at what cost people are willing to pay for trying to achieve their Internet marketing dreams.
    Gauher Chaudhry recently posted…Affiliate Marketing Strategies With Mark LingMy Profile

  15. Hi Mark

    It is so easy to become so fixated with making this “internet thing” work. Having spent 2 years working ridiculous hours (bags under the eyes to prove it) I’ve decided to follow your advice.

    As you say, it’s easy to tell yourself that you are spending so much time on it for your families sake, but you have to live a little too.

    Thanks for the reminder

    John

  16. Mark,

    I am totally blown away at the sheer honesty and forthrightness. I would have to say, my family always came first. And my business is actually better because I was upfront with my clients about the times and days I would be available. Therefore, my recommendation is really start to set hours and days for work. It is too important to not do. Once in awhile, i have picked up the phone and helped the desperate or highly important issues, but if I felt they could wait, it did.

    If anyone can learn from this, be honest with your clients that you are a family person and they come first. The client will respect you more later.
    Shelbyville TN recently posted…Is Shelbyville TN a racist community?My Profile

  17. Hey Mark,
    My wife,Jana, and I have been chasing the internet marketing dream for about 5 years and the money is still just barely trickling in. I have had to resort to Offline Marketing and acquiring customers to get them ranked. We have been with you since Google Conquest I, II and all the other stuff. Still holding empty bags after getting slapped in many different forms. We have 3 kids, 2 are teenagers and they do not understand what we are doing, just as you say. In fact they don’t believe our dream and it eats away at your very soul at times. I have spent time with my kids and I do rationalize that I work from home so they see me all the time, but I am tired and in front of a computer most of the time with both of us putting in 15hours a day,6-7days a week…looking for a solution, badly!

  18. Hey Mark,

    I know exactly what you’re talking about and when you have some debt that you want to clear and a family that wants to “spend time”, the choices aren’t always so obvious. Managing both work & family effectively can be exhausting in and of itself, but it can be a canundrum (keep your home, with only you & the dog left or find a nice warm spot under a bridge for “the family” to spend some “quality time”). I guess that in the end, it all comes down to choices … what’s that phrase again … “you’ve made your bed, now you can lie in it”. It helps to have an understanding spouse & one that’s willing to get involved. Sometimes, you just gotta hope that those 4 words you uttered at the alter, once upon a time, still hold some meaning … “for better or worse”. A lot of people are struggling now and I’m sure everyone appreciates your advice. Thanks for taking the time.

  19. Hey Mark,

    Totally agree with you that family is very important and we tend to neglect on the them when we are so engross in work.

  20. Mark,
    Balance is key… but pursuing dreams often gives us the energy of life.

    I think the thing missing from your note is HOW to pursue an Internet Marketer’s life. Simply giving up when things get tough is clearly NOT what you’re saying (and it’s not what you did). Finding ways to make it all work is key, while keeping our eyes on what is truly important.

    When I was younger and selling investment real estate (OK… I admit it: the Internet wasn’t invented when I started my career!), my younger daughter used to ask me why I had to work so much. It ripped at my heart. But I knew that I usually worked from home, saw all the theater productions she was in, spent time on the weekends with my family, and was there to put her down for her nap in the afternoon and then kiss her “hello” when she got up.

    Fewer than two weeks ago that daughter gave birth to her first child. My wife and I invited the three of them to stay with us while my daughter recovered, my son-in-law learned what it takes to be a father (diapers, dishes, pump paraphernalia, and so much more), and baby Beckett gets used to spending time outside of the very large womb he lived in for nine months.

    I took much of the first two weeks off and am weaning myself of my first-granddad duties and getting back into my work. Truly I have my eyes on what’s important… but at the same time need to keep my successful business partnership growing as we help mid-career professionals zoom their profitable success online.

    And here’s a tip of the hat to you, Mark: your Traffic Player is a vital part of our sales funnels. We’re huge with video and when we need it to look its best, we use Traffic Player (and recommend you, as an affiliate, to our clients and students).

    Thanks for the post, Mark… and much continued success to you as we both grow our businesses and our families!

    Best,

    Charlie Seymour Jr
    http://ExpertMarketingAcademy.com

  21. I can so relate to this, my wife and son hardly ever see me when I am at home, instead I am stuck behind the laptop looking for that elusive programme that will allow me to pack in my full time job. I recently discovered how bad it was when I overheard my son tell a friend that “my dad wont play with me because he is always on the laptop”. Really made me sit and think about the time I was wasting.

    John, UK.

  22. Hey here Mark,

    I can so relate. Just the other day my daughter asked me to play a game with her (on Saturday) I told her I had to work…She said, “Dad you are always working.”

    She is right, however, I know that one day sooner than later, she will stop asking me. She will grow up and not want to hang out with Dad.

    Although she said this to me, I have over the past several months tried to balance my life a bit more. Apparently, from my biggest critic (and fan) I am not doing so well! :-)

    Timely post for me. Thanks!

    Greg

  23. Great post Mark!

    Being self employed can be a “double edge sword.” We dream to be our own boss, but we never know what is the correct path to take when managing our time, our life and most importantly, our family. We operate in “reaction mode” and put our “fires” in our business and giving so much time that we are unaware of our surroundings.

    You have found the right way to make it happen. Balance is always the challenge we have when running a business that we love.

    I congratulate you for coming to this revelation in your life. I run my own business and take care of my mother and I have found that balance to give me satisfaction in making gains in my business along with spending quality time with my mother.

    Keep up the great work and keep pumping out great products!
    Blog Marketing Experts recently posted…Three Most Powerful Social Network ChannelsMy Profile

  24. What a great post. Thanks for reminding me to keep “first things first”.

    There is no victory or success if you loose your family or loose the opportunity to build that special relationship with your children (They grow up so so fast).

    Thanks again and God Bless.

    Ken

  25. I am not usually let comments but…this is a great post Mark, I feel the same.
    I am a freelancer programmer and I got to the point of putting my health in danger because of too many hours of work.
    My eyes and head hurt, my back was suffering and for what ?
    You are right about those too demanding customers too… You sometimes feel the need to beet them to death :)
    Regards,
    Alex
    Alex recently posted…Monster HTS 950 8 Outlet PowerCenter with Clean Power Stage 1My Profile

  26. I look at it this way… the internet isn’t going anywhere. If it takes me 5-6 years to build a decent income online, then so be it. My family on the other hand, they very well may go somewhere if I don’t focus on them.

    Fortunately for me, I have a job that pays me well so there’s no rush. Besides, even if I was making 4 figures a month “on the side” with online marketing I would not quit my job. I would consider it all extra. The reason I am not speeding along the online marketing path and rushing to earn all kinds of money is because of my family. Great post and something that tons of people probably need to hear.

  27. Hi Mark

    Great post… and so true!

    I went through a phase of working all hours I was awake but eventually found myself becoming LESS productive. I have taken a step back and now make time for a conversation with my husband and a walk with my dog. I even watch a little TV and things are much better.

    I find your posts inspirational, Mark…. keep up the good work.

    Margaret

  28. I STRONGLY DISAGREE! Here is why I say that. Now that I have your attention here are some considerations. While it is true that family is important, even more true is that you alone are responsible for using wisdom and it is exercised in setting up one’s business processes. It is very easy to make excuses in “working” when the truth of the matter is there is a lot of unnecessary work being done by the one who thinks, “I can do this better than anyone”, “It is easier to do it myself than to teach or trust someone else to do it” and so on.

    Many of us find our value in working and lead ourselves down that dead end road of saying we are doing it for others when in reality we are feeding our own egos. This causes that imbalance. We need to be smart in asking ourselves the piercing questions of “Who am I really doing this for?” We need to get real, determine our hourly value and outsource any and all things that rate that hourly rate. This is not a new idea but one to consider.

    As to value of family, I have been married 35 years and traveled a lot, worked long hours, sold myself to corporate world based on what I was taught while growing up. It was a lie. Fortunately for me, my wife held the fort down and decided I was worth keeping along with a little correction along the way. We both had commitment but my family did suffer some. My big bad!

    Finding balance requires a COMMITMENT. SO now my number one question that determines my priorities before I do anything is this, “Would this make a difference to me if I was on my death bed?” Of course that cuts everything out except relationships. After that then I do the work. So we need to take responsibility for our own actions. Yes I do agree with Mark on this one.

  29. Hi Mark – great post! I can totally relate.

    I started online in 2007 – and like you, if my eyes were open (or even HALF open), I was working with more drive and more passion than I have ever applied to any other “job” in my life.

    My work ethic paid off for me, too.

    Now, no disrespect to all the Dads out there….but you should try this when you’re the MOM. We moms can bake a cake, fold laundry, burp a baby, vacuum, AND build a niche site at the same time…lol! It’s exhausting…and we tend to find ourselves as the last one on the list of Things To Take Care Of.

    I think the biggest “problem” is that we work from HOME. Unlike a normal job where we GO to work and it is accepted by the family…we are home and are put into “choice” situations multiple times a day. Sometimes we make good choices…sometimes we don’t. We’re human. I’ve given up trying to be perfect.

    I think the biggest disservice we do to our families in this industry is not taking care of ourselves. We can provide for our families in massive financial ways – but no amount of money is going to keep us here on Earth longer. Rich or poor – or anywhere in between – matters little to kids. And it still takes two to have a happy and healthy relationship with your spouse or significant other. It requires a happy and healthy person to be able to nurture those that matter most.

    One thing that internet marketing has afforded me is the luxury to BE happy and healthy – to even be in the position to MAKE those choices that I struggle with day-to-day. To me, it really is a luxury to be “stressed” over choosing between a board game with the kids….or answering customer support emails. When I was living paycheck to paycheck it wasn’t a choice – the job had to come first or else there was no roof over our heads. I don’t miss that stress at ALL – or the gut-wrenching stress when I was a single mom and lost that job. That’s the kind of stress that can kill you.

    As you said, it’s a balancing act. Also, working from home and being our own boss is unfamiliar territory for many of us so that requires a whole new set of skills that have to be self-taught (I don’t recall learning anything on this topic in school or growing up with those around me that had these skills. Everyone worked for someone else…and considered that way the SECURE way).

    I could go on and on about this, but I’ll stop taking up so much space on your blog =)

    Thank you for a great post!

    Jennifer
    ~PotPieGirl
    PotPieGirl recently posted…We The People… In Order To Form a More Perfect GoogleMy Profile

  30. Mark
    you hit the nail on the head.
    one could spend 12 hours a day and not know it

    what you expressed happens all too often
    Balance
    work,,run on the beach, see a movie,,dont isolate yourself
    Thanks for your time writing this
    Don
    Don recently posted…Profile of a Search Engine ConsultantMy Profile

  31. Hi Mark,

    Very thoughtful comments, I was a cop for 22 years, getting called out all hours, it was a real strain on my family, missed assemblies, school concerts, sporting events just because of serving the public. I have left that now and internet marketing full time. Why, because of the freedom to work anywhere. Whilst it is still early days and I have yet to make anything significant I can see the benefits. So now I work when the kids are asleep and I now have all the time in the world to do the kiddy things and I put the family first now. I know eventually that the income will start because I learn something new everyday but I like the freedom and I hope that the elusive ‘six figure’ will eventually happen, why, because I believe it to happen.
    Thanks for your insightful post.
    Peter Davis recently posted…The Benefits Of Internet Marketing For Small To Medium Sized BusinessesMy Profile

  32. Mark ~ Great post! It is refreshing to read the honesty in your post and wonderful reminder about creating life balance. For me out sourcing has giving me the time to create balance for my 3 kids and wife. I would encourage anyone who is spending 6 + hour in front of the computer to stop and ask what daily task are they doing right now that someone else could do? Then create some short training videos and go out there and start with just one good out sourcer. I pay by the task(s) so there is never a battle between how much work they can get done per hour. Anyways.. thanks as always Mark I hold the utmost respect for you. You actually got me started with one of your first products a few years ago.. Thanks,
    Chris Winters

  33. I agree 100%. I have 4 kids and an awesome wife and for years I had to work 80 + hour weeks easy on the internet to make it work. It wasn’t until I found building subscriber lists around different niches until I found my freedom. Whether it’s email subscriber lists or direct mail. I now can shoot out an email and hang out with the family all day long.

    But it wasn’t always like that. It took years to figure out thats what I needed to do.

    God Bless and Great Post!

    – Bob Beckett
    Bob Beckett recently posted…How Great Leaders Inspire ACTIONMy Profile

  34. Good reminder. It’s good to be young and not tied down. It gives ambition a chance to flourish. It’s a mark of age’s touch to be able to juggle enterprise and family. And down right will to be able to pull away for life’s more pleasant aspects. Ironic a bit.

    “True Story – I had a customer call me at home last Easter Sunday, demanding immediate service and support. If you are not careful, some crazy customer will try and suck the life right out of you all because they gave you a $47 payment.”

    Whew, one reason to politely decline giving out phone numbers to customers, even ones considered friends.

  35. Mark,

    I am already at a stage I never thought I would found myself in. I was earning a reasonable 70k in job but once I got out of it instead of looking for another one, I have spend the last one year in IM working like crazy and spinning my wheels but haven’t gotten much far. Thanks to a couple of offline clients I didn’t end up in huge debt because of not working but I have literally lived like a hermit. I have alienated my girlfriend, have become a loner from being a very social person and recently have found myself studying for a certification that I should have been done with a year ago to go back to work. I have never felt so lost in my life b’fore and I am trying to find answers to figure out if anything good came out of all this. I figured I was so smart that I could figure this out, until the pressure built up and the spiral started. Now it’s back to rebuilding what is damaged.

    • @ Vik – Thank you for sharing. It is during times of feeling lost that we find out what is most important to us in life, and learn wisdom.

  36. Mark,
    That was simply beautiful. It spoke volumes to me. I’ve always believed you are an extremely sincere person. More than most, I love your work. Thank you for everything!
    Lea

  37. Right on Mark!

    Thanks for the very honest gut check.
    I will tweet this and blog your sincere insight.

    cheers & thanks…Gary

    p.s. congrats on your success, may your blessings continue (and your balanced life)
    Mind Matters recently posted…Personal Insights of Depression and SuicideMy Profile

  38. Hi Mark,

    I have been a customer of yours for years. This is a very timely message. I attended LMASS with Ryan Deiss over the weekend and had the good fortune of spending the weekend with my outsourcing company’s CEO for most of the weekend. We traded ideas back and forth and walked away on Sunday with what I believe is a new direction for my business. The new direction is I manage the selling, he manages the fulfillment.
    I know how to do the work but time is my enemy, as it is for most marketers. On sunday during a Q & A time I stood up and announced to the crowd that if they wanted their life and family back that this company was the ticket to making this a reality. Jay, the CEO, was busy the rest of the weekend handing out cards.

    That is the proper way to thank someone for giving back your life. If you want to know more please contact me. Give Jay a week or so to get this past weekend’s activity under control and then email me. It is nice to breath again and not worry about the deadlines.

  39. Hi Mark..

    You deserve your success and you are fortunate that it hasn’t come at a high price. Just goes to show you perseverance pays off even in the darkest days when you are literally hitting brick walls!!

    At time you have to really dig in deep but I agree with you, not at the expense of family life after all that is the reason why we do what we do but NOT at the expense of the love and support of your family..

    It’s tough and I do try to spend my time balancing work/family life..difficult at times but when you get it right..FINALLY..there are rich rewards.

    This is one reason I shelved offline marketing for local businesses, they just don’t understand and placed unreasonable demands on me and my time as if I owed them a living..

    Be lucky

    – G

  40. Wow! Great post Mark. Am I guilty as charged? Yes I am. You are talking to me Mark, yes directly to me. Google+ for this

    Thanks for this post!
    CFA recently posted…4 Reasons why you should create a website for small businessMy Profile

  41. mark,

    thanks for this awesome post, now I got to look back, re-balance my life with it as well…

    Cheers :)

    Han

  42. Hey Mark,

    Good post. Unfortunately, I don’t have a family or a girlfriend, so all time is spent on internet marketing…..Where will the balance come from ???

    -Tony.

  43. Mark,

    Your post really hit home. I can truly relate to everyone in the industry that has lost. My house, my wife and my children(50% of the time). I can only take your advice and move forward, it seams the thing that we may be chasing is already there, or was. Thanks for the wake-up call.

    Sincerely,

    Brian

  44. Oh man what an article!
    The danger and fear of the scenario you painted above rang so true with me mate.
    I’ve lost count of the countless arguements I had with my wife since I turned my back on my IT career to concentrate on “making money online”.
    I became obsessed, checking clickbank every day to see if a miracle had happened and I was instantly rich.
    The reality being, it’s NOT as simple as you first THINK it will be. These guru’s have no idea that their “inception” costs marriages and friendships to fail due to someone becoming obsessed with chasing the “IM lifestyle.

    Luckily I saw the error of my ways, and now balance the time I spend with IM and family time.

    At the end of the day, a million dollars in the bank is NO replacement for a wife you could lose, a family that could abandon you and friends that will never forgive you.

    Treat IM like a business, do NOT let it rule your life. Build it carefully, slowly and strategically and DOWN TOOLS at the same time you would if you were working for “the man”.

    Again, fantastic article, and thanks for the share!

    Paul.

  45. Thanks for sharing your story, but how do you get this so called work life balance, I have been running my company for 12 years, and I still find myself working when I get home and weekends. One it will be worth it, I just hope I will be able to enjoy it.

    Wayne

  46. Hey Mark.

    I guess we should be brothers. I am a single dad, with 2 small children 9 and 5. I work full time at home, and have been working at this internet marketing thing for 5 years.

    We all learn a lot of skills marketing, however since the real model is to get us to buy more stuff all the time, many become confused and never break out and be independent.

    And that’s what it really takes, a belief in yourself, knowing you can be successful too.

    I finally had my break out this summer. I too had no choices. None. I spent 3 months on the couch, creating, changing, adjusting etc..The only thing that I knew, is one way or the other something was going to work.

    That’s all I had.

    The, as I felt, all the pieces started coming together.

    How do I balance it? I only seek the truth. When I need to work I work. My kids get that. When I need a break I break. We went swimming all summer at one of the amusement parks in California.

    That was my goal this summer. That is how I gauged my success. I wanted to pay all my bills, have fun with my children and go to the amusement park and swim whenever we wanted.

    Mission accomplished.

    Now that my daughter is in Kindergarten, I have from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm to do whatever I need to do.

    So the balance comes from doing what is right at the right time. When money is important my children understand that. When I got the call to take and they need me, I tell them just a minute, then when I am done with the call I give them double time.

    Just about balancing it out, they know my intentions.

    That’s what makes life go around. Sooner or later you got to believe, and step out and do it.

    Thanks for a great post here.

    Eric Larson

  47. Hi Mark,

    Thanks for sharing it out loud and truthfully.

    What you share is real and true.
    You deserved to be where you are right now.

    I have a quote for the newbie who have been misleading since there were
    so many scam artists and unfaithful information all around the NET.

    Let others lead small lives, but not you.
    Let others argue over small things, but not you.
    Let others cry over small hurts, but not you.
    Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.

    You are where you want to be!

    Best wishes,
    Eric Destiny

  48. I totally agree with you Mark. Without family and time off, what’s it all for?

  49. Mark,

    Thanks for the post. I want to be where you are at. Unfortunately I am where you were. I look forward to learning more from you as I trust what you teach and I think you have great products. Let me know if you ever come to Chicago and I’ll buy you a beer.

    Jeff

  50. Obviously many of us reading your crazy insightful post can relate.

    Do you think you would be where you are now if you didn’t make the sacrifices you did?

    Do you think you would have the perspective you do now without having gone through the woods and now come out the other side?

    The thing about success is it only comes after you overcome your biggest obstacle which is invisible to you during the journey. You don’t get the perspective you have from being balanced the whole journey through the woods. Maybe some people are that enlightened but I think most of us eventually figure out the largest obstacle are the ones we self impose and can’t get past them through someone else’s experience.
    Thanks for the post, it truly did come from the heart and that seems to be a rarity in IM today.

  51. Mark,
    The biggest challenge in a Dad’s life is balance. But more importantly is your ability to step back and see where you have lost that balance. Lots of us humans cannot accept how we really are or how we really live. This is the highest form of Dad maturity, being able to assess your own situation! My own experience relates to being a brick and mortar store owner for many years without relating to my family needs first. You are going to be fine! You have seen the “light!”
    Best Regards,
    Joe

  52. Mark, I am the same situation that you where a few years ago. I keep trying to make a living online but I still struggle. I guess it is time for some self-analysis. I am so tired of these so called guru’s and get rich quick schemes. I am on the computer 4-8 hours a day trying to keep my website SEO up to date. My wife tolerates me being on the computer all the time. I keep telling her that I am almost over the hump, and she always says you been telling me that for years now.I keep trying and try to judge the right person to help me. You sound like you have your eggs in the right basket now. My first priority is God, family, then my Internet business. Thanks for sharing thoughts.
    Jerry
    Jerry Standefer recently posted…Don’t Pay For Electricity Until You Watch This VideoMy Profile

  53. I started in internet marketing in 2008 and I’ve been putting in many hours. I haven’t seen a big payoff yet, but I can agree that we must not lose the things that are important.

  54. Hey there Mark,

    Haven’t been in touch with you lately but I have been ‘watching’. Your post strikes a cord with me as I’m sure it does many others. Working online can be intoxicating because we CAN accomplish a great deal in a relatively short amount of time – so why not do MORE?!? …and therein lies the rub.

    You are fortunate to have young children that ‘remind you’ of the world outside the flat panel.

    I have always been an outdoors junkie and a few years ago I had the same “awakening” you seem to have experienced. I re-devoted myself to being whole again via the analog world of hiking trails, rock climbing and lots of trail biking. I found very quickly that breathing deep benefited more than my lungs! I also find returning to work refreshed is doubly productive.

    Mark – are you saying your average response time to support emails will now be slower than your typical 7 to 8 minutes???? 😉

    Its good to hear you are both human and well.

    Paul

  55. Thanks for your post. It’s not always easy to keep a balance in life and posts like this are very helpful in reminding us of what life is really all about.

  56. Yip

    Makes sense to me am still doing all the hours under the sun , but my kids are up and away, and my wife plays games on facebook longer than I market. I do put it down sometimes to spend some valuable time with the grand kids, but 14 hour days are still the norm. Its just some damn addictive and fun.

    Mike

  57. Hello Mark
    You are my hero in IM.
    There is so much to learn and then so much to do. I still have not found My Path, what works for me, so to speak. I keep on trying, learning, doing, taking massive action. You can do all those things but you get just one thing wrong and the money does not come.
    I find the most difficult thing in Internet Marketing is which order to complete all the steps.
    Bless you and your family.
    I am blessed with a wonderful family and have always put them first.
    Esther Lesperance recently posted…Reverse Obesity, Diabetes And Heart DiseaseMy Profile

  58. Hey Mark,

    I love to spoil my website customers (you know, to get that “WOW” factor) by over delivering… but some business owners you cannot please no matter what you do.

    One local business owner literally demand that I attend a meeting at their shop with their staff. I simply returned the voicemail saying, I’d gladly attend one day next week… but they need to understand that my rates are $75 per hour. Providing this is acceptable, I said I’d call and set something up with the receptionist as was requested.

    Being in this business since 2000, I have learned that, as Abraham Lincoln put it; you can please most of the people, most of the time, some of the people, some of the time, but none of the people all of the time.

    Despite the few thankless business owners, I will continue giving great customer service and support to my website clients… but I DO hear and understand your frustration. Hang in there. I love the products you send to me in email. And, Thank YOU for your well stated rant… wait a minute… someone actually PHONED you about a $47 product… HUH? Now THAT’S weird or what!

    Thanks again,
    Trish

  59. Mark,

    I have enjoyed your latest product, the Traffic Player. Great work!

    I just wanted to comment on your post. I have been self employed for over 30 years, and have started several business from scratch in various industries. It doesn’t matter if it is an internet business or not, if you start a business with little more than a dream and determination, you can get so caught up in the process of “building something from nothing” that everything else goes on hold. I lost a $2 million dollar company as a result of poor partner selection, went through a divorce, filed bankruptcy all in the same 90 day period and have been rebuilding ever since. Trust me, my priorities changed dramatically in the aftermath. The company I lost was not in the IM world, but like I said, any business can take over your life if you let it.

    My current challenge may be different than others because I may have gone too far the other direction.

    After I went bankrupt, I decided I would never again let myself get so future focused that I would not be able to enjoy the present. I also said I would never let the desire for more money or a bigger company drive my decisions and priorities. I have chosen to pursue the IM world because it lets me work from home and it provides the flex time that I now crave. However, I have lost some of my drive to succeed in the hopes of creating a more balanced life. So for me, I have spent more time with my family, and have volunteered more for ministry and charity work, but I am not making the kind of money I need to build back what I lost or to take the pressures off of making our little world go around.

    So, in the end, making enough money makes a balanced life more realistic. If working more hours to get there is what it will take, then so be it. Living a more balanced life while still under the pressure of barely paying my bills or occasionally relying on debt, makes me feel like I am neglecting my family in another way. My wife would rather I work 12 hours a day if that means she doesn’t have to stress about paying our bills and staying out of debt.

    So, putting the sweat and blood into building a sustainable business, that can provide consistent income is still the goal for me. There are no short cuts…. based on my experience…and in order to have what others don’t have have, you still need to be willing to do what others are not willing to do to get it. I hope I never live just to make more money, but making more money would make living more enjoyable….I am pretty sure about that.

    Thanks for the post and opportunity to share thoughts and view points.

    Blessings!

    Jim Fitz

  60. Great stuff Mark I do understand, I am still working full time and trying to get my small business off the ground as well. You gotta have family or all that’s left is a shadow of what you use to be.

  61. Glad to hear someone in IM who isn’t spouting the crap that so many others are. I’ve been trying to capitalise on my IT skills and turned to marketing with virtually no available marketing brain cells available. OUCH! The learning curve has been hard and has had me re thinking many values in that time. However despite how close I sometimes sail to that edge, there is 1 non negotiable – and that is live for your kids NOW, because they are grown and gone in the blink of an eye. As I struggle to earn a living I am approaching that deadline of my daughter’s 18th birthday. It would be lovely to treat her to something extravagant after 4 years of making do and putting up with a more or less cashless home. Sadly it is unlikely to happen that I can do that, but what I can do is give her my time. I’ll come up with a treat that doesn’t need cash. I am grateful that I have 2 children who we have managed to teach that the material things are not the be all and end all. In the murkier corners of marketing that is a value that is so frequently ditched – to the detriment of so many people’s happiness. Nice post Mark. Just echoing Paul’s comment, I am an outdoor junkie – but a very frustrated and jaded one at the moment! However – never give up no matter how squeaky it gets … We will triumph over ourselves. :-)
    Ray

  62. Mark, your candid sharing of this issue is much appreciated. I’m a big fan of yours, and I knew your were burning the candle at both ends on many webinars … we sent you many good thoughts. I’ve cut down work hours recently due to burnout, and my children kept having health or social trouble every time I overworked online at nights.
    The internet poses special self-discipline issues – we’re on our own to set time and other parameters. So tempting to work that 1 more hour, the interaction and work opportunities are limitless in this medium.
    Ultimately, we’re left to learn from our mistakes and from each other. Cheers for sharing your experience and lessons.
    Much love, Ariana
    Ariana recently posted…Eliminate Acne and Acne Scarring with Skin of Gold™My Profile

  63. Hey Mark
    I am on your list, for all your products, have used the free version of traffic player, will bee looking to grab the paid version soon if all goes well in my latest venture.

    Best Mike

  64. Hey Mark,

    You are so right. Family should always be your first priority.

    I have the same problems you faced but now I am trying to make more time for my family by outsourcing a lot of stuff. The problem now is that I have to manage a bunch of different people and make sure that all work is completed on time which is a nightmare in itself.

    I haven’t yet found a way out where I am able to spend more time with family and at the same time justify the time I am spending in my business.

    Hopefully, there’s a way out. Just have to find it!

    Brevin

  65. Mark,

    Thanks for this latest email/post. Like many others, I can see many similarities with my own situation. I have been in a self-imposed limbo for the last year or so. I told myself that I am not going to spend time doing xxx and yyy, which are two of my favorite things to do, until I crack this IM nut. I am now thinking I am being too tough on myself, and for many of the reasons others have commented on, I am going to head out this weekend and just enjoy myself.

    Cheers!

  66. Mark,

    Your post was a shot in the arm…it was like looking in the mirror. I guess you just have to do it, make it happen otherwise another year will go by and it was wasted chasing the dream. Thanks for the reminder!

    Rich

  67. Well said, Mark.

    When building an IM presence, there are plenty reasons to stay in the trenches and neglect to come up for air or have a life… and yet me must, for the reasons you so eloquently pointed out.

    The “gurus” don’t emphasize this nearly enough. Thank you for underscoring the importance of balance in life, even for tech-y or not-so-tech-y, IM-ers.

    Blessings!

    ~Christiana
    A delightful Christmas Nativity Play

  68. Straight from the heart, thank for the motivating words Mark. It’s very true that online marketing, just like any other entreupreneurial job for that matter, requires a big initial investment, in time, health and nerves. Make it all worth it in the end by enjoying life instead of letting life enjoy you 😉

  69. Mark,

    I knew I was right about you, this post confirms it.

    Thanks from the bottom of my heart for reminding me to pay attention the real important things (people) in my life.
    You’re the best.

    Bill

  70. I subscribe to several of your products. 1st off they really work and do what they are supposed to do (most of the time, if not your updating it to make it work).

    Secondly, it is important for most of us to hear these things from a peer as it is easy to burn hours away in front of the computer and not pay attention to the things that are genuinely important. Thanks for the post.

  71. Mark,
    Nobody ever attempts to tell you how really challenging and intense that IM can be, especially through a blog post like the above. Hooray for your candid and sincere observations.
    I just received an email proclaiming $12,000/ day for only 30 minutes/day work, and this was a video referred from a respected online marketer (Sean Donahoe). I guess I should pay my $49 and live the good life?

    Thanks again for your story!
    Jeff B.

  72. Hi Mark,
    Thank you for Tube Fool and Dominating Videos…. and thanks for the advice to remember our families and ourselves first in a business that can be all consuming.

    Best Wishes,

    Mike Marino

  73. Hi Mark,

    Thank you. I’m Chris from Philippines. I just want to let you know that I’m happy to have someone I can trust and learn from.
    I just started my internet marketing career and turns out to be my passion. Please continue adding more blogs.
    Your articles are great and very inspiring.

    To your success,

    Chris

  74. Awesome post

    I have family and kids

    You have opened my eyes and could not have said it better Mark

    Nothing is worth losing our family and kids

    Steve Reh

  75. I have encountered similar challanges. I have built and sold several businesses. My focus was always on the what was next. Totally out of balance. to counter this I have helped develop a tool to bring balance back. Kinda like a fung shui for your life. It has helped me get balance back by looking at my ideal future AND bringing balance to my life. Unlike “the secret” it helps balance out your dreams with a reality check on more near term goals in a balanced way. Anyhow I mention it here incase anyone needs some support like I did to get it back in balance. It is called the living compass puzzle . Feel free to contact me if you want more information.

    Alll the best Mark. Thanks for being so honest.

    Jeremy

  76. Thank you for a truly heartfelt and insightful post.

    In a sense, I too am now with my back to the wall, though not for the same reasons that you had.
    My Granddaughter has been diagnosed with a rare condition which means she is going to need life-long
    care and her parents don’t even earn half of the financial resources needed.

    Needless so say, my efforts have suddenly become remarkably focused.

    At the same time, I am fortunate in that I can work uninterrupted throughout the day, but when my
    husband walks in the door after work, I down tools immediately and do not touch the computer again that evening
    unless he has work to do as well.

    I could do with a lot more exercise though :)

  77. Mark,

    I know exactly this situation and I have been working hard at this for some time. Without making a large amount of income online for some time and the economy taking a dive I lost my job and my family. I still have relations with them, but it is nowhere that I thought I would be at this stage of my life.

    As time passes, the kids get older and you need to stop and realise that those moments are precious. And you could be wasting hours upon hours at your computer to make a few affiliate sales and possibly create your own product, but I would rather do that than 60 hours at a corporate desk job any day.

    I understand about the ballance aspect as well. It is so easy to slip into this lazy, inactive life that only involves working on the computer, eating and then a little sleep. Not a very healthy life to put it lightly.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your story and I hope I was able to add to the conversation.

    GOOD THINGS!
    Ryan K

  78. Hello Mark,

    Your post told me nothing I didn’t already know… But I do need reminding off!
    It is very easy to let what needs to be done online take an inflated importance in one’s life!

    Thank You. Sean.

  79. I wish I had learnt this years ago. The internet has ruined my life. I believed those that said it could be done. This is the first bit of honesty I have read from anyone that does stuff online. I have had a compulsion to buying in the hope I could make something hapen. My latest venture isn’t working. My family have lost all respect for me. The hundreds of hours I spend a week at this computer. I have tried, I have acted, I have failed. I cannot pay my electricity and phone bill at the moment. I wish I never became involved in the internet after my company downsized and let me go. At my age nobody wants to employ me, its a young persons world and this is my only option to try and hope something somewhere will work. Now I’m beyond helping, my family are just about gone from me, my credit card is gone, my money is gone. Time for me to go!

  80. Hey Mark, very real and sad… You have hit it on the nail.
    Yes, family, health comes first and how many of us can read between the lines when a loved one retorts or remarks in jest?

    Heck, I even laugh at a comment from a family member in another part of the world…
    saying that… “she pictures me as a corpse, with my eyeballs glued to the computer”

    Not so funny now, huh?!

    Anyway, great post and thanx for the share…

  81. Hi Mark:

    Absolutely 100% right. I struggled for many years myself to get this balance in my life and finally achieved it about 7 years ago. Since then the quality of my life has improved and I am also making a ton more money. In addition, the money is much more fun when you have the right amount of time to spend it with and on those you love and care for.

    I wish you well Mark, may you and your family continue to prosper and have all the best that life has to offer.

    From one Canuck to another.

    Bill

  82. This is why I always read your emails. You are real, ethical, likable, and someone that I would love to call my role model and mentor. Your products are awesome and you raise the standards to how internet marketing should be done and can be done.
    Someday I hope I am at a level where we can work together in some kind of joint venture and mutually beneficial way.
    Thanks for the post, we all need to have balance and remember why we do what we do(family), Thanks Mark.

  83. What a great blog post and what a deep scary insight into real life of a very successful business man. I really love the warning that you should not neglect your loved ones or risk your marriage and family because you are always at your computer. Indeed wise words.

    But let me add something. I think there is a time for everything.

    If you want to become successful you have to focus on it.

    The difference between beeing mediocre and successful is that you not only have to focus on it but you have to be addicted to it.

    All succesful people I know – artists, politicans, businessmen, doctors – were addicted to their profession. They didn’t have hardly any ballance in their life. They neglected their health, family and social environment before they became successful.

    So if addictedness is the only road to high quality and success you have to travel it.
    And you should have the right to travel it. At least for a period of a few years.

    And if you have ever experienced or lived together with a work addicted spouse you know that he/she is rather willing to risk the marriage than think about ballance in life.

    Therfore it would also be great to have a roadmap for spouces which suffer from an addicted partner. I believe it would save more tears and marriages than talk to an addicted person about a ballanced life when he/she is trying to become successful.

    Thank you
    Raphaela

  84. I totally agree with you about balancing out your life.I’ve been working to build an online business and have struggled balancing time. I work a full time job to help with cash flow and try to work my internet business around familly commitments….YOU HAVE TO DO IT…. if you don’t you’ll lose your family and your health. You have to make time to exercise also… fortunately the job I have gives me some good exercise but I still manage to get to the gym and play hockey a few times a week. Find a 24 hour gym memebership and use it in the off times. It will energize you to keep the crazy schedule.Hopefully with hard work, family balance and exercise the whole thing is going to come together for me in the next 12-18 months.

  85. So true what you’re saying..

    I’ve tried many ways, sometimes I worked hard and other times I slacked off a bit. I found that when I put less time on the laptop, the more it gets done, and the more I get in monetary gains and valueable time with the family.

  86. Hi Mark, thanks for the great post..It’s not always easy to keep a balance in life. I’ll keep my self under the radar

  87. You hit the nail on the head. I have caught myself many times being glued to that chair with bloodshot bug eyes while actually not accomplishing much of anything in that state except neglecting family and other important virtues which, in hindsight would have allowed me to be in a more clear headed focused state of mind to begin with.

  88. You have struck the right note with so many here. We are easily ensnared in the IM game of chance in a world of shrinking incomes. I still see a future using the internet to promote great ideas & products. Before I’ll do any of this I am mapping a life that INCLUDES

  89. You have struck the right note with so many here. We are easily ensnared in the IM game of chance in a world of shrinking incomes. I still see a future using the internet to promote great ideas & products. Before I’ll do any of this I am mapping a life that INCLUDES this, but is not run by it!

    Any worthwhile idea takes a lot of effort to find a receptive market. If we can learn how to plan to live our lives while we take that time to find that receptive market I think we can enjoy the journey of a successful internet marketer. Certainly your example is a great inspiration for me to continue this effort.

    If you have a chance could you please send me a new set of contact details to link to your wonderful new website?
    Cheers Phil Tozer

  90. Hey I have downloaded SEO Power, and it is a blast! Furthermore, I have been reading your blog posts these days, and I’ve learned a ton. Thanks!

  91. I agree with you, we have such a little time to live and we should never forget to take time out to enjoy life when we can!

    We can go on working till the day we die but we cannot get back the people we loose once they are gone~

  92. Daddy Is Always On the Computer

    Yes… Your post is dead on when it comes to family. My young kids often say I’m always on the computer, and maybe I am when they’re watching a cartoon that I can’t stand or some such thing. But the flip side is they don’t always recognize when I’m outside with them, or reading a book, etc. The problem is when you’re outside playing baseball with them, and you’re thinking that you should be inside cramming backlinks. I don’t do that, but I know people who do. We all need to live in the moment as much as possible. It’s all we have, after all!

  93. Hey Mark.
    I totally agree with what you’ve said. But the problem is i find being infront of pc more satifsying for me than anything else. I also feel the same what you said, people complain me you’re always infront of laptop but their is something which just drives me crazy and keeps bringing me to my laptop.
    I just want to ask you how do you attain your targets ? Do you make a schedule or what?

  94. I admire your courage to take on something like this. Not everyone would be brave enough to give up what they have been comfortable doing for Internet Marketing. And what can I say? You’re really good at what you do Mark. i wish you luck for the eyars to come.

  95. Hi Mark,

    Marvelous, great, touching and inspiring. I’ve been trying for a long time to get succesfull online and think that I’ve seen the light at the end of the tunnel. You describe my problem. looking forward is when you miss what is surrounding you.

    Only when you make the mistake you know you made it and are able to learn from it, you better make sure you be prepared for that what’s around the corner.thanks for a good article.

    That is another reason to set a goal in live, but do not try to reach that goal at any cost.

    Cheers
    Geert de vries recently posted…Your Guide To Successfully Setting Goals (Pink Panda Publishing) (Kindle Edition)My Profile

  96. Hi Mark.

    I was thrilled with reading this as well as many other posts of yours. You are someone in my eyes that I as well as other marketers alike can gain wisdom and insight like none other. I have a few projects that I’m involved with myself but I am always eager to learn more. I will gladly subscribe to your newsletter as I feel as though I will acquire more knowledge about what I’m interested in learning. Thanks Mark, please take time for your family, but don’t stop the awesome content because there are people who appreciate it.

    Cheers

  97. This is a great post to remind us that we shouldn’t put our projects above the reasons that we are working online. You need to have work time and family time.
    You may have to set online hours or outsource part of your support to make it all work.

  98. Hiiii mark,
    I love to read your blog because i am getting valuable information from your blogs,like Internet Marketing and seo related tips.Thanks for sharing these wonderful information.
    Diana recently posted…Luxury 3 Bedroom Villa with Pool in the Popular Area of Coral BayMy Profile

  99. Hello Mark,

    My awesome friend Mark Hodgetts recommended I check you out for SEO expertise. I already knew about you, but I hadn’t been here for a long time.

    Boy, am I glad I came and see this post.

    Right now, I’m not sure what to promote. I’m looking at TEs and safelists, maybe MLM. I’m trying to find balance. I have 9-year-old twin boys. I spend way too much in front of the computer. One of my boys has started having problems at school. I now try to be more present, to help my wife. But I use the excuse of asking my boys to do their homework sitting beside me while I do stuff online. :(

    Yesterday, it was their birthday. A few days ago, I had a good idea. I bought them snowshoes. They love to look for little creatures under rocks during summertime. I hope that we can go out in the woods when snow comes soon here.

    Thanks for that wonderful post. I will post the link in places, it’s worth reading, and rereading.

    Philippe
    Philippe Moisan recently posted…Email Marketing: Tips On Using SafelistsMy Profile

  100. This is really inspiring. I think working from home also needs a schedule. When you work from home, you are faced with more distractions than when you actually work in the office. But most of the time, we tend to focus more on work than on our own family. Work-life balance is really important.

  101. I am not sure, Mark

    I was (and still am) very loyal customer. I was recommending you and your products everywhere and to everybody without any affiliate commission. Just because I knew that you are the person I can trust.

    But not anymore… I never called you or sent mail to your personal email, but what can I do if I have purchased a plugin that does not work and nobody gets back to me when I open a support ticket? (you can check – #510982 ticked, issued on 20 of Feb 2011 RSS Bomber)

    When you set up your CRM, make sure distinguish between different customers type. You will find out that you want to talk to some of your loyal customers (20% as known) even at the middle of the night

    Liat

    • Dear Liat, thank you. Please use our support desk if you are having issues with any of your softwares. You are totally off topic for this blog post title and subject.

      Thank you

  102. Hi Mark,
    I have been a buyer and a follower of yours from close to the time you started. I think I have just about all your products too. I just say that to say I have followed your progress as I have been progressing.

    This is your best post to date, I have always admired your technical abilities now I admire your character. It also was a great reminder to me too. I am just now starting to get “somewhere” in my internet career and I see the time creep is taking a lot from my son. Like you I am a single father and it’s not easy at the best of times, and harder when you work full time at two jobs trying to “get ahead”.

    Thanks for your honesty and if I have a plug in problem I can wait till Monday morning – the internet will still be there on Monday.

    best regards,
    Robert Taylor

  103. Hi Mark,
    I just stumbled upon your post, and reading it made me very emotional. I have experienced exactly the same, just that I haven’t quite made it to a full time income yet ( 😉 ). The amount of hours sitting in front of the computer late at night, in every spare minute, have taken a toll. How many times did my 6 (now 8) year old daughter or my 8 (now 10) year old son come to me at night and wanted to have a cuddle, and I said “I will be down in a minute” but never made it because something on the computer seemed so much more important at the time. So when I came down (at 12am or later), all I found was my children asleep, of course.
    I had to realize that because I have the children and consider myself a single mum, Internet Marketing has to take a back burner to all the other joys and commitments that are in my life. That means, I have to treat it as a hobby and that’s what the income will stay like.
    I am having fun with the kids, get all my other stuff done, and still enjoy Internet Marketing immensely and do what I can, but can’t get too hung up about it any more.
    I still have the dream, but have to be realistic about it.
    Thanks for a great post!
    Petra recently posted…WordPress Classroom – Get On Board Before The Price Rise!My Profile

  104. All so true. And, amazingly enough, you get hammered for support in the midst of sharing your travails! I’m always reminded of a quote I read in a sales book many years ago. And I’m paraphrasing from memory so forgive me if you already know it. “People would love for you to give them something for free but that doesn’t mean they’ll respect you for it.”. The question you have to ask yourself is this: Do you respect someone else’s time as much as your own or are you a cheap selfish cad who doesn’t give a damn about anyone else but YOU. Set yourself reasonable “hours of operation” and make it a known fact. FAQ and user forums. Out of spec support requests? That’ll cost you and they have to check off the box ahead of time. Otherwise it’s death by a thousand tiny cuts.

  105. Mark,

    Been there and done that.
    This post is a wakeup call for me to take action and get my priorities right. Need to spend more time with my kids and husband… rather than romancing the computer :)

    I love my work but it is taking a toll. I guess this was the jolt I needed to realize it.

    Wishing you and your family lots of love and best wishes.
    Latha recently posted…Google Places for Small BusinessMy Profile

  106. I would only want to say that everything Mark said is true I know coz I’ve been there. I also started my internet marketing career in 2008. At that time I left my crapy day job and started independed internet music label. I started with my friends credit card and when i earned first 20 USD I had relevation…I saw the light at the end of tunel. I also read one article at that time about one musican who was making 65.000 USD per year over internet. I said to my self that I want to be just like him. Today I am making double like him and business still growing…but I also was paing the price. My loved ones suffered coz of my days spended behind the screen. Every one who is starting please take Mark’s words and do what he said. It is so true…and I did urchase his product and I think his work is amazing!

  107. Hi Mark, Brilliant post because it’s stating truths that go completely against all of the hype that is the IM norm. It’s important that aspiring internet marketers understand what they are in for and heed your advice about finding a healthy balance. I am only just starting out on my internet adventures but it has been a very slow start in part due to the fact that I work full time and I’m a single mum. Sometimes I berate myself for not working harder and faster and more but I also know that if I had, it would have taken precious time away from being with my daughter. Kids grow up very fast and before you know they are leading their own amazing lives. You only get one chance to have those moments with them when they are young and you are their whole world and so she has always been and always will be my priority and while I get frustrated that my IM business is not moving along faster, I know that in years to come I’ll be able to look back with no regrets and know that I got it right.

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