It has been, to quote a favorite old rock band, "a long strange trip." But an exciting one,
every step of the way, and one I highly recommend. Let me tell you a little about myself,
and that journey, in the hopes of starting you on your own equally exciting e-business experience.
I am a medical doctor who formerly taught and practiced emergency medicine at McGill University.
I realized early in my medical career that doctors were doomed to be slaves to the government in our socialized medical system. I still wanted to practice emergency medicine, but as a hobby that I loved.
And that is what I do today... although I don't have as much time
as I'd like for medicine... due to the worldwide success of SiteSell, ironically.
My first business venture was toy design. My wife and I built a
successful toy & game design business. Before becoming "Web-sessed,"
that company licensed 23 toy and game designs to large companies around the world,
generating hundreds of millions of dollars in sales,
and millions of dollars in royalty revenues along the way.
That business has been featured in many regional and national media. Anyway, thanks to toys and games, medicine did indeed
become my "part-time hobby" that I still love and practice...
In late 1996, I "accidentally" became interested in the Internet. I had started writing a computer program for an investing hobby that started from a rather unusual theory...
In the six years before that, I had developed a successful investing strategy in a highly specialized "niche" market. Due to time constraints, I used the strategy infrequently. Despite that, this "occasional hobby" grew an original $5,000 experimental stake into more than $150,000. But by late 1996, my strategy could not identify any strong investment candidates.
So I decided to use the Internet (my first experience with it) to broaden the choice. I gathered all my loose-strewn notes and rough database... and converted that chaos into the "ultimate software." Originally intended for my own use, I planned to use the software and the Internet to generate more high-potential investments.
However, like a lot of other people, the Internet absolutely captivated me. It's the digital Wild West. I realized back then, and it remains true today (no matter what the cynics say), everyone has the same chance to successfully market a product or service on the Web.
While learning about the Internet, I realized that the Web was really the ultimate "high-density marketplace." What do I mean?...
Manhattan can sustain high-niche retail stores because millions of people are on one tiny island. Well, with the Internet, you have hundreds of millions of people sitting right inside your computer!
I figured that if my "niche-investing" software product was of interest to me, it would also be of interest to others on the Web. So I said, "Let's see if it's actually possible to sell something on the Web"...
I knew it would not be easy...
I realized that my investing software would be virtually impossible to sell, unfortunately! You will never have to sell a product as difficult-to-sell as my first Web product. Here's why...
- It was in a little known investing niche -- not many people know about it.
- Those who do know about it, have a negative impression about it (rightly so).
- I am an "unknown" in investing circles -- not only was I not Warren Buffet, I was a doctor -- much worse!
- I could not even permit a trial download (due to the unique nature of the niche).
- We were selling it at a high price. People think hard and long before spending $1,000 on anything.
The Web audience is notoriously hard to convince, at the best of times. This little experiment promised to be a most interesting and difficult challenge!
But it was a challenge that intrigued me, for two reasons...
First, I could see immediately that I could control the result. If I...
1) had a great product and then
2) designed a site that would sell effectively, and then
3) attracted targeted traffic to the site, well...
... then the project must succeed. (After all, what else is there?)
I knew that I had a great piece of software (I loved and used it regularly, and made money with it). But there were still two big questions...
- Could I design a site that would sell this near-impossible-to-sell project?
- Could I attract targeted customers, people interested in my niche?
I was not sure about the answers to these two questions at that time, "way back" in late '96. But I am now...
Since our launch in November, 1997, we have proven (and so have thousands of others, through
the use of SBI!) that the answers to those two questions are resounding YES's! That "challenge" netted (after expenses, which were minimal) my wife and I over $1,000 per day, up to $5,000 some days.
The second reason that I loved this challenge?... I love to teach. I have taught...
- a championship, elite-level Little League baseball team. Twenty years later, one of the stars from that team, a man who has made tens of millions of dollars by selling his successful Web biz to a major e-commerce company, wrote the Foreword to my first book, Make Your Site Sell!
- a professional touring golf pro -- my most exciting moment in sports came in the summer of 1996 when he won his first tournament and publicly gave me the credit! He was the most improved player on the tour in 1996.
- medical students at a McGill University teaching hospital -- pure scientific, up-to-date knowledge can be learned from journals and books. Instilling common sense, good judgment, patient empathy, and diagnostic skills was my main mission.
- a startup toy manufacturer in Hong Kong, someone who grew to be one of my closest friends. And who also grew into one of the very best toy makers in the entire Orient. Tony Kwan, owner and president of Pointsder Manufacturing. Tony credited me
for his success, but I only opened the door -- and that's an important point...
I can only "open the door" for you and the world of e-business. SBI! gives
you everything you need to succeed... but you have to open that door, run through, use the
information and tools...
And you will, indeed, be as successful as anyone I have ever worked with. But are you willing?
SBI! is not "get rich quick" -- it is not for everyone. Maybe it is not for you -- please click to see.
Sorry... I digressed a bit. To return briefly to our first Web venture...
In keeping with my teaching inclinations, this Web venture would be a terrific opportunity not to "sell tips," but instead to teach people how to do exactly how I was investing... totally via the Web.
In any event, here's the bottom line....
While marketing that first product on the Web, a 2-year trial-and-error process developed into a tight, battlefield-tested, Net-selling system that worked. We sold out the 1,000 copies of my software
at $1,000 per copy, in less than two years, despite all the reasons that it should have
(Those who use it continue to rave after how profitable it has been for them. But
that's another story.)
That battlefield-proven process will work for any small business person, no matter what
product or service you want to sell on the Web... whether your business is offline or local.
That process initially became Make Your Site Sell!. And to make a long story short,
Make Your Site Sell! became the "Bible of Net-selling." And it became
the foundation for an entire range of "Make Your ____ Sell" e-commerce books from SiteSell.com.
I still think back to that first, "impossible-to-sell" product. It forced me to learn
all this, the hard way, from the ground up. That knowledge led to the books. And the books
led to the ultimate product, a combination of process/information, all-in-one tools, constant upgrading/updating and personal guidance, that we originally called "Site Build It!" (now shortened to "SBI!" since it does so much more than just build sites).
Whatever it is that you are selling, your product will be far easier to sell than my first product. You could not possibly have a tougher product to sell... an expensive investing software,
written by a "nobody" (worse, by a doctor!), and for which I
could not even give a trial download (since that would reveal the entire system)!
SBI! takes everything that was in all the books that we had written, adds easy-to-use building, hosting, and promoting tools to execute, constantly updates to keep up with the fast-changing Net, and ties it all together with the best online business-building forums in the world.
It short, it enables you to build a professional, popular, and profitable business. Nothing else comes close to its track record of success. And the funny part is..
If SBI! existed way back then... I'd be playing more golf and practicing more
medicine right now.
What a long, strange trip it's been.
Wishing you success and happiness in your online ventures,
Founder and Chairman of the Board, SiteSell.com