I came across a very interesting article in the Harvard Business Review the other day. (Full disclosure: I wasn't reading the HBR, but I was reading a PDF that made reference to that article!).

The key insight behind the article is one I had come across before. It is described with reference to organizations, and implicitly large organizations, but it also has great resonance to us individuals working on our IM businesses. It is about Technical problems vs. Adaptive Challenges

This is all about recognizing the complexity of our environment and understanding it in a different way than we may be used to. The whole idea resonates very well with my Internet Professionals Master Agenda approach.

And by the way – there is no simple "actionable step" that comes out of this post that you can do to immediately to improve your business. That would be looking at things as technical problems whereas this different way of looking at your business is itself an adaptive challenge.

The insight is this:

If something isn't working out right, we always look for "a way to fix it".

"I'm not getting enough traffic" => Get more backlinks

"My conversions are awful" => Improve your headline / video / bullets

"I can't focus properly" => Shut down your email / Facebook / Twitter

The issue is in the expression of what isn't working. They are expressed as "technical problems". And when you express them like that, you come up with "technical solutions".

Sometimes that's all well and good, and exactly what is needed. But more often than not, the whole "system" under consideration is very complex, and simply changing one specific "technical" thing is not enough: in fact, it may even be counter productive.

For that reason, it is much more appropriate to consider Adaptive Challenges, instead of Technical Solutions.

In the UK, a classic example of this is our National Health System. It is a huge, complex and constantly changing organization. Technical fixes to improve elements of it rarely work (see examples below).

But you and I, and our IM businesses, are ALSO complex systems. Not as complex as the NHS, of course, but complex enough, because:

  • You are not a simple resource that gets jobs done – you are a hugely complex being and you have to always take into account your psychology
  • Even if you have no employees, you very often have to deal other complex psychological beings, such as JV partners, outsourcers and customers
  • You interact with highly complex technical systems whose behaviour often seems as complex and unpredictable has human behaviour: the prime example here being Google's search algorithm, but there are others as well. And these technical systems have to interact with each other as well.

The examples below are copied from the paper I read that referenced the HBR article. At the end, I have included examples from the IM world

Technical Problems

Adaptive Challenges

1. Easy to identify

1. Difficult to identify (easy to deny)

2. Often lend themselves to quick and easy(cut-and-dried) solutions

2. Require changes in values, beliefs, roles,relationships, and approaches to work

3. Often can be solved by an authority or Expert

3. People with the problem do the work of solving it

4. Require change in just one or a few places; often contained within organizational boundaries

4. Require change in numerous places; usually cross organizational boundaries

5. People are generally receptive to technical Solutions

5. People often resist even acknowledging adaptive challenges

6. Solutions can often be implemented quickly—even by edict

6. “Solutions” require experiments and new discoveries; they can take a long time to implement and cannot be implemented by edict




– Take medication to lower blood pressure

– Change lifestyle to eat healthily, get more exercise and lower stress

– Implement electronic ordering and dispensing of medications in hospitals to reduce errors and drug interactions

– Encourage nurses and pharmacists to question and even challenge illegible or dangerous prescriptions by physicians

– Increase penalty for drunk driving

– Raise public awareness of the dangers and effects of drunk driving, targeting teenagers in particular


IM Examples

– Buy a “proven” step-by-step guide to setting up an IM business

– Change mindset and working practices to focus on, and efficiently follow, a strategic IM development plan

– Implement an autoblogging system because you have been told it’s the fastest way to develop a portfolio of multiple sites and you have limited time

– Develop your learning about IM so you can make your own judgement about the best business model for you and your circumstances

– Get 100 more backlinks to each of your sites because none of them ranks well

– As part of your regular review of all your business processes, consider improving your niche and keyword selection process to make ranking easier

– Change your headline to improve your conversions

– Constantly test and adjust each element within your funnel to improve overall EPC

It isn't easy to put into words exactly what constitutes an adaptive challenge: often the best one can do is provide examples – so I hope those above help.

Whereas subscribing to my Internet Professionals Master Agenda is a worthwhile thing to do (in my opinion!), getting into the way of thinking that gave rise to much of the content is even more worthwhile. This idea of technical problem vs. adaptive challenge is a key part of that.

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I had the opportunity to examine in detail the contents of the Epic Firesale Package which has just launched.

I was impressed enough to write about it. Actually, I was very impressed.

There are many, many real gems in the package, any one of which is worth the price of the whole thing

(Note that there were a few products that I was less than impressed with, BUT the great majority you will very happy to use and sell.)

Eric and Jeff are very smart and very successful marketers. They are worth listening to, so go and watch this video – you'll be glad you did.

Epic Firesale


Epic Firesale – check it out NOW!       But just one thing – clear your cookies first!

Because I know you're going to find it very hard to resist this package, and if your sale is credited to me as an affiliate, I will give you this superb bonus: a "PLR Study Pack" of information (videos, transcripts and eBooks) about how to profit from PLR and resell rights content.

This information will perfectly complement your purchase….  BUT I will give this to THE FIRST 10 PURCHASERS ONLY (All Gone).

Once you've made your purchase, IMMEDIATELY send a support ticket with the email address you used to make the purchase, and I'll get this package to you within 24 hours.

But be warned: as I understand it, Eric will be taking the site down in seven days (or sooner).

Here is the PLR Study Pack  bonus you get if you buy through this link. You will get ALL these products as a Bonus from me.


PLR Tidal Wave

PLR Tidal Wave

This 12 part, step by step course shows you a simple (yet extremely powerful) method of creating profitable information products from other people's work.

Includes 8 videos and transcript





PLR Voodoo

PLR Voodoo

Some of the highlights of what you will learn from this eBook:

  • The Big Profit PLR "Broker" Strategy Exposed.
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  • The Real Reason Why PLR Content (Used Right) Can Be Even An Average Writer's "Secret Weapon"
  • PLR Flipped – Discover The Real Reasons Why You Should Consider Creating Your Own PLR Content

The PLR Handbook

Some of the highlights of what you will learn from this eBook:

  • Exactly what Private Label Rights is and how you can take advantage of it starting today
  • The different types of private label rights products, what to look for and which one to get
  • Where to find private label products – I'll share two best sites where you can get high quality private label products
  • How to profit using private label rights once you've acquired a PLR product. I'll show you 3 easy methods to get started
  • 20 powerful secrets you can easily do to take PLR to the next level so you can get maximum results
  • A simple way to profit from PLR ebook, report or articles you acquire. You could easily do with little effort and still get great results. I'll give you

    PLR Handbook

    step-by-step instructions on how to do it.

  • How to build a powerful opt-in list using PLR content.

Remember these three step:

  1. Clear your cookies (to ensure there is no confusion about which affiliate gets credited)
  2. USE THIS LINK (or the one above)  Go check out the video (and get your hands on this product!).
  3. Raise a ticket at my support desk and give me the email you used when you made your purchase. I must see this in the Clickbank records for me to send you your gift.

Do this now. Remember: the site will be taken down on the 22nd August, and my "Study Pack" bonus is good ONLY for the first 10 people to contact me with their email address who bought through my link. (All Gone).



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I will soon be offering a Trial Membership of my mentoring program.

This will allow you to experience the program for a week (probably 8 days) before deciding whether or not it's right for you.

You can read about the full mentoring program here.

I'll be offering the trial places first to people who register on this announcement list. If all places fill up, I won't be offering the places anywhere else. If you are interested, I recommend getting on this list now.

This is what you will get:

What you get as part of the Trial


Profile / Business Development Review

I'll give you a template to complete to give me information about you, your experience, your plans and your activities to date.

I will personally review this and provide a detailed review, using the concepts of my Master Agenda business development stages.

This is one of the most valuable elements of my Mentoring program. It takes me an hour or more to review and respond to each profile.


Access to my private e-mail address – for mentees only

During your 8 days, you will have access to this special email address. You can use this to ask me about my review of your profile.


Overview of the complete Master Agenda

The Master Agenda is the unique and hugely powerful framework which I use to guide people through the development of their online business.

It includes all the important topics which you never get with ready-made "business systems".

This is a recording of a 1-hour webinar where I go through each of the seven Master Agenda Stages.


E-Mail, Time & Purchase Management

This is the core content of the first Stage of the Master Agenda: the Asserting! Stage.

It explains in detail what you need to do to 'clear the decks' so you are ready to adopt the principled and systematic approach to creating an online business by going through the rest of the Stages of the Master Agenda.

  • How to manage your email

  • How to manage your time

  • How to control your purchases

This is a recording of a 1-hour webinar.


Invitation to attend the next live Webinar

Your trial period is 8 days so that you'll be able to attend one of our weekly "Group Session" live webinars.


Total Value


Cost To You Of The Trial



TBA -Very Low!!

This may be a once-off offer, so do take advantage of it when it becomes available.





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This sort of thing gets me annoyed, so this qualifies as a rant.


There seems to be a trend of internet marketing guru's inviting would-be internet marketers to "work with them" in a sort of partnership. It works something like this (there are variations on the theme):

  • YOU act as a lead-generator for them. Get the traffic and convert it to a lead. (You are given a website, a back-end system etc.)
  • You can earn in initial income by selling the entry-level product and keeping 100% of the profit.
  • THEY convert the lead who buys a high-ticket product – usually some form of 'coaching'.
  • YOU get a good commission on those sales.

In itself that is all fine, and in the "real world" it could be a great business venture. But the internet marketing world is all too often one step removed from the real world.

In the real world, you would be selected to be a partner on the basis of your skills, experience and track record etc. Here, you're selected to be a partner based on your ability to pay for the privilege (e.g. $497).

In the real world, you would expect to be shown something of the product being upsold so that you can be comfortable with and confident about what is being promoted to the lead which YOU generated and with whom you now have a business relationship. In the internet marketing world, you're not expected to be interested in that – or you simply assume the IM guru is above reproach.

Here are some things to think about with this business model.

Firstly – the upsell product costs several thousand dollars (perhaps $3,000-$5,000), which means that the client is going to expect to be coached by an expert in the field and to receive personal attention.

Secondly – because there is no limit on the number of leads which each partner can generate, the whole operation needs to be able to scale up potentially quite significantly. The only way to achieve that on the sales side is to employ hard-pressure telephone sales agencies. And these agencies charge a hefty commission on each sale: which is on TOP of the commission paid to you.

So – where does that leave the client?


For one thing, although you can relatively easily scale up the sales operation (you don't need a lot of training to switch from selling product A to product B), how can you scale up the delivery of the coaching if you are going to use people who are true experts in the field? You wouldn't expect there to be an unlimited supply of people who are true experts in a field that justifies charging $5,000 to learn about?

And for another, how are you going to be able to afford to pay those coaches given the two lots of commissions you've paid out AND make a profit yourself?


It seems to me that the only way this works is to minimise the cost of delivery. On other words, don't use experts for coaches, and minimise the personal interactions.

So the client gets nowhere near $3K – $5K of value.


I know that in the past, high-cost internet marketing coaching – sold through telesales – has been delivered by "coaches" who simply read to the client from a manual. That is certainly a way to keep the costs down and allow indefinite scale-up of delivery. I thought that practice had ended, but perhaps not.


The chess player here is the owner of the whole operation. He/she has two collection of pawns dancing to his/her tune: the lead generators and the clients.

Don't be either of them.

Be your OWN chess player (but play with a different strategy!).

Or, as I would usually put it: work to your OWN Agenda – not to someone else's.



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I logged in to my link/click tracking system the other day and discovered that another new feature has just been added.

And that has inspired me to talk about this earlier than I'd planned.

This is a tool which has been working for me for almost 4 years. If you know about it, it's likely you also use it, because there has been almost zero promotion of it by anyone for about three years.

It is GoTryThis, from John Reel.


GoTryThis2 Screenshot


There's not much of a sales page there – but don't let the lack of hype fool you. If there's a product that justifies hype, it's this one!

GoTryThis was launched in 2006 with a massive promotion, especially for the more expensive "Black Hat" version that did clever (but slightly naughty) things.

It was such a huge launch that John was not prepared for the impact and the whole thing nearly knocked him out!

After some time, John started talking about GoTryThis-2 – and how great it would be… but the promises of the launch were never fulfilled, and the date kept slipping and slipping. After a while I seriously considered switching tool because for such a critical piece of my business, I needed a system that was being enhanced and properly supported (not that I ever needed any support or had any problems – but still…).

Eventually, my patience paid off and GTT-2 was launched, but only as an alpha version. Then quite some time later, as a beta version. That was months ago – perhaps a year ago (I can't quite recall). And STILL John does not have a fixed date for the official launch: the product is still in beta.

Think about it: this sort of software manages the pathways between your customers and your websites, so it is critically important that it works smoothly and correctly.

So I'm very happy that John is not rushing into anything: unlike far too many marketers, he is putting 95% of his effort into the product and (for now) 5% into the marketing, rather than the other way round.

I've watched as he has:

  • Adjusted his business model twice,
  • Handled the horrendous task of migrating everyone from GTT-1 to GTT-2 without losing any historical data (he's helped me out with this and I can attest to his professionalism),
  • Pioneered new auto-installation technology that can handle all sorts of standard and non-standard hosting accounts (if you understand about hosting accounts, you'll be impressed by that)- and
  • Developed a backend server that talks to and coordinates with the software that gets installed on your all your domains,

He's had to do all that just to get to the point where he can start enhancing the product functionality in his new business and technical environment. Impressive thought that is, though, it doesn't do anything to enhance his customers' business.

But he's underway on that as well.

Over the last month or two he's added some cool new features (including a link shortener that mirrors your cloaked links) and he's in the process of adding a "scarecity" link which redirects to a different destination after X clicks or Y period of time.

That is so neat, I'll be using it soon for sure!

For me, the two scripts that form the mainstay of my business are Delavo and GoTryThis. Although there are tools which you might consider as alternatives to Delavo (but not as good in my opinion), I don't know of any tool that stands comparison with GoTryThis-2 in its new incarnation.

I like this so much, I asked John to present it at a future Internet Professionals Webinars event. He has agreed – but only after he gets some more functionality in!

However, I can't wait till then to promote it to you, because I don't want him to run out of half-price subscriptions!

He has 19 slots left for this month (down from 50) at the time of writing, so GoTryThis right away! I know you won't be disappointed.


Oh – and I nearly forgot the whole point (and why using one of the hundreds of free link shortening services is NOT the answer)

Firstly – you can cloak links based on YOUR domain (see the above for an example), and

Secondly – you can use ANY domain that you own, and manage everything from one control panel.

There are stacks of other cool and clever features as well – but THAT is nub of the whole thing.




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The internet marketing world is choc full of guidance and blueprints and advice and step-by-step how-tos.

Ignoring the 90% that is almost content-free search-engine fodder or list-building reports whose purpose is to withhold the valuable information, that still leaves a substantial amount of material that genuinely aims to help the reader in some way.

Nearly all of this material is created by people who (hopefully) are experts in the domain, but who have very little understanding about how best to provide such guidance in a way that properly meets the users' needs. And sadly, it is often the case that such guidance is created in a form that is the most convenient and easy to create; the author decides that his or her convenience is more important than the user's real needs.

But let's start with an optimistic scenario where the author takes care to structure and organize the guidance properly, and to ensure it is complete, consistent, clear and logically organized.

Unfortunately, that is not enough.

To fully address the needs of the user, the guidance need to have the same shape as the user's problem.

The following example will explain what I mean by "shape".

Suppose there are 10 steps to follow in the blueprint or how-to guide. Most likely the careful author will have created a guide with 10 sections – one for each step. The 'shape'  of the guidance is simply "10 steps" and the user is going to assume that all steps are more-or-less equal to each other in complexity and importance.


In reality, however, the 'shape' of the problem is very different. There are concepts to learn and become familiar with; skills to acquire and become proficient at; and probably a lot of simple procedural actions to take where there is very little learning or conceptual understanding needed.

For example, guidance on using PPC for affiliate marketing could be put together as a 10-day course (say): that is the implied 'shape' of the guidance. But actually, the REAL issues, where the REAL guidance is needed, are something like:

  • Choosing a niche (a skill that requires judgement – needs practice to get it right)
  • Selecting appropriaqte keywords (a skill that requires judgement – needs practice to get it right)
  • Crafting an effective ad (a skill that requires judgement – needs practice to get it right)
  • Understanding the relationship of all the concepts – Ad Groups, Campaigns, CPC, Ad positioning etc. (a conceptual model – needs to be carefully explained, needs time to absorb it, needs to be seen in practice several times to consolidate it).

Those four issues need to take up most of the time during the course. It needs to be made clear that they need to be practiced; that getting it right will take time; that you should EXPECT to lose money and make mistakes whilst you are developing those skills.

AND – there are ALSO many other steps which are very different in nature. Probably they can be explained simply by giving step-by-step instructions (e.g. opening a Paypal account, setting up an autoresponder account, registering a domain name, getting hosting, creating a squeeze page based on a given template, etc.). Those steps should not be put alongside the others which are of a different order of complexity.

So – the 'shape' of the problem is:

– Three issues that need skill and practice to get right

– One issue of conceptual understanding that needs a diagram, examples and time to be absorbed

– Many small administrative tasks that can be performed by following simple instructions (no learning or skills development needed)

And the 'shape' of the guidance should reflect that.

I know I'm asking for a much higher standard than most people can provide, and authors are going to question the business case for taking that much care about the structure of the material in their guidance.

What do YOU think?

  • Am I asking too much? Am I setting too high a standard?
  • Do you actually find that most guides DO fulfill their purpose – even without the idea of having the right 'shape'?
  • Do have any examples of guidance whose 'shape' clearly fits the shape of the problem?
  • … and examples where there is a serious miss-match?


I know that the route to maximum profits comes from having a better-converting website than better-quality guidance, so that's where most marketers will focus their efforts. So perhaps this idea has to remain a longer-term wish!

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Many business advisors talk about the importance of "systems" and how you should use them to reduce the effort you need to achieve your business (and personal) goals.

People who you have probably heard of who talk explicitly about the importance of systems include:

  • Rich Schefren (StrategicProfits.com)
  • Robert Kiyosaka ("Rich Dad, Poor Dad")
  • Tim Ferris ("The 4 Hour Work Week")

But someone who you may be less familiar with is Sam Carpenter.

The term "4 hour work week" has become a by-word for the ultimate in systematizing your business, based on the huge popularity of Tim Ferris's book. But Sam Carpenter claims he works only half as hard as that!

Watch this interview with Sam where he describes how he turned a 100-hour work week into a 2-hour work week….

….then go get the pdf version of his book….


I think Sam explains the ideas better than most in terms of mind-set and  practical methods to use. I've just finished re-reading his book, and I have made a very good start on following his recommendations for documentation.

I recommend this book to my mentees as background reading and guidance for both the Visioning and Planning stages of the Internet Professionals Master Agenda.

A word of warning, however. Sam's presentation suggests that his ideas can solve just about any problem. But there are no magic bullets in life, and his ideas do have their limits.

BUT that's not a reason to ignore his approach. Personally, I find it very helpful.





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How long is it taking you to get your internet marketing business off the ground?

3 months?

3 years?


Odd, then, that so many "systems" promise us riches after just a few weeks of following "easy step-by-step instructions".

My introduction to IM was a LONG time ago – longer than I care to admit, because it took me YEARS before I settled down to set up a proper business.

But it wasn't for lack of first-class advice from a proven master: I went to conference in the UK, presented by the legendary Corey Rudl. Many of you won't have heard of him because, sadly, he died in a racing car accident in 2005. Google his name, and find out more.

However, great though he was as a marketer, and first-rate though his internet marketing guidance was – he didn't set me on the road to riches in the way I expected.

Corey was no different from other IM guru's then or now in that he (and they – well, some of them anyway) did his best to provide excellent internet marketing advice and guidance.

The problem for so many people trying to make a go of internet marketing, is that the IM gurus are working very hard to solve the WRONG PROBLEM!

The problems they try to help us with are:

  • Finding a profitable niche
  • Getting more traffic to our site
  • Improving conversions
  • Figuring out how to use cPanel
  • Using the right plugins for our blog
  • … and thousands of other details

But think about it: if it is taking us YEARS to get our business off the ground, is that because we can't use FTP or because we don't know how to convert traffic?

Obviously – NO!

So what IS the problem?

Firstly – you need to look at it from a much higher level than the sorts of issues which most IM gurus talk about. It's a matter of PERSPECTIVE.

Secondly – as with all such problems, there is no single issue, but to figure out what the problem is for YOU – again, you need to have the right PERSPECTIVE.

What I mean by PERSPECTIVE is some "model" of the process of setting up an online business. This is what I use as the basis of my low-cost mentoring program. I call it the Internet Professionals Master Agenda

  • Stage 1: Asserting
    Getting rid of distractions and asserting your OWN agenda
  • Stage 2: Visioning
    Stating what it is you want to achieve from your online business
  • Stage 3: Understanding
    Learning what you need to know about the world IM in order to be able to do the next stage
  • Stage 4: Choosing & Defining
    Picking your Business Model and Operating Model, and fully Defining your business, keeping in mind your Vision
  • Stage 5: Planning
    Working out and scheduling everything that needs to be done to launch your business
  • Stage 6: Implementing
    Carrying out your Plan and Launching your business
  • Stage 7: Operating
    Running your business

Of course, all the other issues I mentioned above (finding a niche, getting traffic etc.) are critically important – but with the above Master Agenda, we can put them into context. For example, we know:

  • WHEN to even think about each of them
  • WHEN to do anything about them – if ever
  • WHO should do something about them (based on our Operating Model)
  • etc.

What I do with the Master Agenda and the mentoring program around it is provide the sort of help that I know would have signficantly shortened the time it took me to get off the ground in the online world.

When you sign up, the first thing you'll get is a detailed analysis – by me – of your current situation using the Master Agenda framework. This has proved to be hugely effective for my current mentees.

Try it out!

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A recent Group Session on my mentoring program coverd the Assert! stage of the Master Agenda for internet marketers.

The point of the Assert stage is to regain control of time and money.

What we focussed on in particular was gaining control of your inbox, since that can be the starting point of so much wasted time. It's not not just the time spent processing emails, but – more importantly – it's the non-relevant and time-wasting paths we get led down as a result of processing those emails.

We also covered some some simple, but very effective time management techniques. You don't need a massively complex time-management system. Having a few different strategies in place to use under different circumstances is quite enough. We covered what those were.

And finally, we covered some simple strategies for managing your purchases. I know that one of my mentees has already put that idea into practice and was totally shocked by the result. His buying patters will change for sure.

Actually, one of the techniques for purchase control is to know very clearly where you are on the Master Agenda, and that will then tell you which purchases are and are not relevent. That idea is the basis for my Laser Focus Shield product.

Mind Map of Assert Stage Of Internet Marketing Master Agenda


If you register for my internet marketing mentoring program (if there are places available), you will be able to access all the materials and a recording for this session.



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