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I'd love to hear stories/"case studies" of people who thought they had it all and then came crashing down, and why did that happen, lessons learned, etc.
Rather than wasting my money on luxury toys, I'm planning on buying real estate, probably some rental properties. That way you still have a passive income and own something in the future if this all goes away.
I personally hope to make enough to retire on and get out. I don't need big, fancy things. What I have right now suits me fine.
As with the real world, your best bet is to be sensible with your money. There have been a few excellent books recommended here on the subject. "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", "The Millionaire Next Door" and "The Richest Man in Babylon" were my favorites. But to tell you the truth, they all say basically the same thing when it comes to personal finances. "Wealthy people don't spend money, they save it."
I had to take him to court over it, during the court proceedings the sites were down and lost all search engine rankings. I basically had to start from scratch after regaining ownership of the websites.
Never at one time did I even consider the possibility of getting a real job. To me with a real job there's no incentive or motivation to work hard. The people i know are happy to get a raise of 50 cents after a years work... so they earn $7.50 an hour versus $7.00... not exactly what i look for. It's not going to buy me my one way ticket out of this country.
Each day you learn something subtle about it that only comes from experience. You know it can be done, you know you can do it and what you learn can be applied to most any business. As long as you are smart with the $$$ you make, you should have a decent stash that will get you through some lean times. The next boom or crash is always just around the corner.
If you go all out, it can be a one way street that may not always be paved with gold and might not always be AM but when you know you can do something and you've done it, you have a better guage of your value and you have more confidence and you can sell yourself better. You're not likely to end up at some low wage mindless job again or if you do you'll know how to make the most of it and bounce back quickly.
If you look at yourself/your company as a lead generation operation, rather than an "affiliate marketer", this may help in expanding your view of things and give you an edge in business.
It's funny how people here seem to equate "real" jobs with $7.50 per hour. My real job (years ago), at a VC/investment banking firm paid quite well. I am not arguing the merits of this vs. aff marketing, and I certainly do not want to turn this into another idiotic "how much ya make?" thread, but I can assure you at this particular wall street firm, the employees and partners were not paupers by any stretch. In short, if your friends are making $7 per hour, they certainly qualify for wellfare in America and probably do not represent...errr.... the educated folks here that may be making real decisions about this very matter :)
A more direct answer to your question might be that of course things can go wrong as with all business. Some of the folks who have been running their own show for a while may have the benefit of cash to fall back on, however, if you are just starting out and have family and bills to worry about, I would certainly have a back up plan for a bit!
Can things go wrong? Yes, of course. I believe though that all the skills one learns in order to reach a point where they are doing this full time are worth far more than the actual money earned on a daily/monthly/yearly basis.
Essentially, we are training to sell. There is always going to be consumers, and there are always companies that target these consumers. That's we're we step in. Maybe it won't always be as good as it is now, where you wake up with money in the bank after a good night's rest, but the knowledge gained that makes this possible today can be applied both in the cyberworld and the "real" world tomorrow if the need arises. Combine this with a fail-proof method of security such as good real-estate investments for example and I think you can be quite confident that you will be alright no matter what comes your way.
Just my opinion however.
I'd say it depends what country you are from. What I am doing now would not equate to a major salary in the outside world so to speak in my country (UK). I agree that this would differ for the US, the land of opportunity :)
So how do companies like Mercedes and Yacht brokers stay in business?
BTW, rich dad poor dad = fraud/mlm chump. He is/was not a real estate guru and never had a rich dad. Also, the advice is pretty much crap in there and total BS as the truth is over 95% of the wealthy hae over 50% of tehur cash in teh stock market....But go for it, retire rich and becomae a slumlord -the real estate market never goes down if you follow his simple advice! :)
In my own view, the single biggest mistake you can make in AM is to start winning and relax. The minute you have something working well, start working on something else in a completely unrelated field. This way, when the first thing dies from too much competition or whatever, you have the second thing to fall back on.
Take this approach until you have at least 10 different industries providing you an income, making sure to replace anything that's dying with something new, then you'll have a pretty secure future.
And, in my very humble but proven opinion, put any spare cash into real estate and low risk stock market investments. None of my expensive toys have ever made me a profit :)
mfishy - gotta say I read Rich Dad Poor Dad and agreed with every word.
There are lots of things wrong with that book, you should read some professional reviews on that book.
I don't think I will ever have a day job again because I have enough resources to acquire other well established sites that are ranking high at google and other search engine so I'm really not worried about google or any other search engine folding because there will always be another big search enigne that everyone will use.
And by the way, I also disagree about rich people saving their money, rich people make their money work for them by investing in other businesses and if you have a good budget in USA its relatively easy to make your money work for you. It doesnt have to be all online (ex: car selling, real estate etc...)
So my advice to everyone, especially for people who are just starting up is to invest as much as possible in knowledge and expreriment with everything until you figure out what really works. Remember, its not how much money you have in a bank account, its how you can make that money work for you.
Remember, its not how much money you have in a bank account, its how you can make that money work for you.
But you still need some meaningful amount to get things going.
I'm trying to plough back 50% of my net earnings into the AM biz every month - advertising, acquiring domains, marketing materials etc.
It is difficult because of other commitments but I feel that's way forward.
Need to diversify across industries, hosting companies, domains, traffic sources, merchants within same industry, etc.
All these need $
rich dad poor dad = fraud/mlm chump
Maybe he was, but the real estate stuff wasn't what I was talking about. (I personally would avoid real estate myself. Too many headaches in my opinion.) All the books that I pointed out all say the same thing in regards to money. If you spend more that you make with the expectation of making more, you don't get anywhere. You have to save it (and invest as well, if you would like) in order to be prepared for rough waters or even just retirement.
Many lottery winners go bankrupt after they win b/c they spend their money like maniacs. Sometimes it might seem a bit heady to suddenly be making much more than you were before, but AM is not something that you go out and take a loan out on a $50K car 'cause you expect to be making what you are now forever.
They stumble across their money making ideas doing their normal day job, they dont gamble (no horses or big risks), they occupy a niche market which they are experts on.
with regards to wealth management they are very conservative buying only businesses that are established and with a good reputation.
76% of self made millionaires had no advanced education.
just my 2 cents... I'm sleepy testing our application.. oh well back to work... :)