Dear STM Diary,
Today is Thursday, August 22, 2013. It marks the 6 year anniversary of when I first came into the affiliate marketing industry.
I just read this article called "The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship". It hit me like a speeding train.
I can’t believe it’s been 6 years and I’m back to square one again. I still remember when I made my first affiliate marketing check.
Diary, can you believe it? Those were good times and it was EXCITING. That $911.56 told me that this industry was real. The money was real.
It was fun. All those Affiliate Summit parties. I still remember like it was yesterday. Affiliate Summit East was in Philadelphia a few days ago and yet again, I didn’t attend.
The networking was great. I remember when I used to be the Los Angeles Meetup202 organizer. It was fun meeting all the different faces and perspectives.
Diary, remember when I was known as the "Tracking202 LP CTR mod" guy? I was getting traffic from private forums that I didn’t have access to including this one! It’s cool seeing that people were finding success with my mods.
Ahh.. to be a noob again. I’m humbled. I remember those times. I was excited to share my journey. I was excited to create a future. I was excited to make some CRAZY money!
In those years, I hit some crazy highs. $xx,xxx+ days. OMG. Remember that? No way… it can’t be real. It felt like I was on top of the world. I felt like the next coming of the Affiliate Marketing Jesus!
But what happened?
Well, sometimes things don’t happen the way we want them to happen. As I write this, I think about the last 1.5 years starting from 2012. Knowing what I knew about the ups and downs of the industry, I tried developing assets and products in order to calm the fluctuating waves of affiliate marketing.
And now, after a string of multiple failed projects, I’m down to my last dollars.
I’m now paying the Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship and it is collecting it’s debts.
Am I going to drown in it’s pressure to take over my mental state? Should I get a job? That’s what being an entrepreneur is all about. The drive to be able to push against all odds to make it to the top. No one said this was going to be easy.
So I’m coming clean… and I’m starting fresh.
I just moved into a new apartment in Downtown San Diego and it feels like I’m born again. Am I going to be a crying baby? or Am I going to start crawling, walking, and talking like an ambitious infant?
I’m going to embrace the process that we all had when we first started.
That sense of uncertainty.
That sense of frustration after that 20th failed campaign.
That sense of "am I going to make this work?"
I’m familiar with the process, but those senses never really just go away. And I think that it’s good to keep those senses, because there were times where I was reckless with campaign spending.
These are lessons and scars that will help aid my new journey.
So what’s first?
One of my first goals is to get my mind back into the spirit of sharing and being positive. These past few months (years?), I’ve found myself spiraling down back underneath my rock. I’ve been hiding way too long and I’ve found it difficult to express these emotions publicly due to the lack of success.
This is the first step in "AMs Anonymous": admitting the problem. It starts with my mindset and I’m here to conquer that.
Starting all over again…
Thanks for listening,
P.S. This wasn’t meant to be my personal "pity party" post, but I need to be more accountable about changing my mindset. By putting myself out there, you guys know I exist and know that I’m struggling.
This means that I can’t just hide under a rock or lurk on STM for 1.5 years. lol. And it’s kind of funny that this is my first post since I joined in February, 2012.
I’m still a bit freaked out about putting myself out there since I’ve gotten into this depressive mental state, but in order to conquer your fears you just have to jump out of a plane sometimes.
STM is a good starting point for me, so let’s do this.
Anyway, looking forward to reinventing myself "Jasper v2.0"
P.P.S. If anyone wants to skype, my username is JasperP81
Welcome back Jasper! Plenty of info / people here to help you get back into the game…
Happy to have you back & ready to attack! Onto bigger and better things brother!
Let’s get to the money, JP! Stack
I read that piece on the psychological cost of entrepreneurship too – pretty powerful stuff, and I could empathise with a lot of it. ’tis a hard game.
Let me know if you’re having any trouble finding specific info you need on STM, and I’ll leap in to help out!
Jassperrrrrr!!! Been oh too long! We need to catch up!
Read that article on inc.com you posted. ""Entrepreneurs have struggled silently. There’s a sense that they can’t talk about it, that it’s a weakness."
I swear this is even more emphasized in the affiliate game. When do you ever hear an affiliate network saying an offer is bad, when do you ever hear an ad network say a certain placement is bad. The whole fake it till you make it mentality is ruining wild in this industry. In some cases affiliates "make it", but can’t sustain their image of buying expensive shit, so they "fake it" and end up broke.
@JaimmieBee My goal is to make it to ASW 2019, Let’s do this!
@caurmen Thanks man. Yeah I read it twice. It helped me come to grips with my current situation. It’s tough making a lot of money only to see it just dwindle down a slow death. How has your experience been in this industry?
Welcome back to the game jasper hope you keep focused and there’s tons of info on this forum to help you do it
@Mr Green Yoo. Lozo, we definitely need to catch up! Did Nick tell you that he got a job working with Tshering at the LowerYourBills company? Seems like they’re impressed with his work so far.
That article hit home for me. As entrepreneurs, sometimes there’s that sense of personal responsibility to fix everything yourself instead of asking for help. For me right now, it starts with mindset, I’ve gone too far down the rabbit hole and just need to come back up to re-evaluate everything.
The "Fake it til you make it" mentality is definitely rampant in the industry. For noobs, it’s ok to be a bit naive and ask a lot of questions, but for those that have made a lot of money and got the world slammed down on them, it’s hard to show face again.
I’ll admit it, I was trying to "fake it" these past couple years. I didn’t want my friends to know what was going on. Although I’ve tried to explain my situation to some of them, I don’t think they’ll understand what it’s like to work plenty of hours everyday without pay.
I’ve always wondered what happened to all the affiliates I’ve met over the years that have came and gone.
You and me have been in this AM industry for several years and I bet you know some guys and are like, "What ever happened to XXX?" Shit, I bet some people have asked, "what ever happened to Nerdy Affiliate?"
Actually, it’s funny because I look at my facebook and see some of the guys that used to make it big in the industry and their facebook is like a ghost town with random posts every now and then. I guess it’s hard to socialize when your ego has been hit like a ton of bricks. I want to reach out to them, but my mental state makes me hesitant.
It’s damn embarrassing to do so well in the industry and people look up to you, then all of a sudden, it comes crashing down on you.
I’ve made over $1,000,000 in my AM career and I’m almost down to nothing. It’s insane what kind of mental stress being an entrepreneur can be.
But you know, me and Nick weren’t strangers to embarrassment. All the crazy shit we used to do back and the day. Justin Barr blamed us for all the "poo pranks" from his staff lol.
I still remember all the good times we had. One thought comes to mind was after XS @ ASW 2012, we were at a nearby late-night restaurant at the Wynn. We were having burgers and you were stirring my ketchup with your finger. WTF? Didn’t you just take a shit or something? hahah
Or what about the "Jordan derp" pictures?? I still remember how funny that was. Danielle was like, "Wait. what? why… is Jordan smiling like that?" I think we now have a collection of "Jordan themed" pictures now.
Oh shit, I still have the StackThatMoney business cards that Nick made, too.
Anyway, that’s why I’m coming out clean now. I feel like all that’s happened has sucked the life out of me and it’s embarrassing and it kills my ego, but I think admitting failure is healthy for moving forward.
Even though I feel these posts are coming out negative and nobody wants to be around a "debbie downer" or "sensitive sally", I think it’s a lesson to be learned for me and for others.
I still have a lot of great ideas, but my mindset needs an extreme makeover.
Anyway, let’s talk on skype or facebook or something.
Jasper, we go way back and I value anyone I know from the old days.
Feel free to hit me up and I will give you a quick crash course on Skype on what’s working now in the industry.
Hey charles, what’s your skype? I think I only have you on facebook
Hey Jasper, thanks for sharing your story. There are probably lots of other affiliates in the same boat as you but are scared to admit it because of obvious reasons. Respect to you bro!
What actually happened that made you lose all your money? Was it your niche? Focus? Perhaps we can learn from some of your experience!
I didn’t lose it all at once. I basically was bleeding a slow death for the last couple years. I was working on different projects that didn’t involve affiliate marketing as much since I was trying to develop my own products. I’ll tell you this, product development is a whole different ball game. They say you should be passionate about the product you create, well, "fake it like you love the product" doesn’t work if you’re not being honest with yourself.
Lesson #1: Be passionate about your product
I think some experienced product developers can get away with this since they know the game better, but I had no idea what I was doing. Maybe someone out there can shed some light into this.
Focus wasn’t the problem, though. You always want to go into a project thinking you’re going to complete it all the way through. You can’t just go into something and jump around to the next shiny object.
I would evaluate a project and determine if it something that I should go into. I would do my best due diligence to research everything before you go into it.
For all the projects I started, it was months into each of them and there were no breakthrough moments. As an affiliate, you experience that moment after running different tests and then finally BAM, it hits. Being a product owner is bit different. I think my lack of experience hurt me in those projects.
I’ve learned some lessons, but I have a better idea of how to create a product now given all those experiences. I’m probably going to mess things up, but I think it was worth it. I’m still alive, so it’ll only make me stronger.
Lesson #2: Diversify if you can or have multiple streams of income
During the time that I was working on these projects, I had no income coming in at all. What I should have done was develop multiple streams of income coming in in order to offset the costs of these projects, that way it didn’t dig into my savings.
I didn’t spend lavishly throughout the years, which allowed me to stay afloat without having to get a job. I’m not really into all the fancy cars and stuff, I’m all about fun and exciting experiences because they last forever.
One of my biggest purchases was my fully loaded 2004 Honda Accord. $11k cash in a briefcase. It’s hot stuff. Black leather. Tape deck. It probably goes 0-60 in 15 seconds. haha
Lesson #3: Buy a fancy 2004 Honda Accord
But in all seriousness, most of the money I lost came from failed projects. This is definitely a low point in my career, but I’m still looking forward to future success.
Shit happens right? Just need to get over it as quickly as possible and move on.
Lesson #4: Shit happens. Stay in touch with people
I’ve been struggling with this silently which was the wrong thing to do. All it did was drive me into this black hole of negativity. That’s what I’m trying to repair now. I basically disappeared and went into hiding. It really does nothing for your personal development.
Hey Jasper. I don’t know your pain, but I can sure empathize. I’ve been a Trader for 12 years and many go through the same emotional intensity highs and lows – it’s hugely energy sapping. Putting yourself out there is a great first step. As obvious as it may sound, working on your mindset is going to be as important as working on your business. I really suggest books from the big guys like Tony Robbins, Richard Bandler (have worked personally with this guy). Happy to provide very specific resources on here or via PM.
Holla at me on skype! Just PMed ya.
@JasperP – I’d strongly agree with you about diversifying income streams. That’s something that I’ve failed to do in the past and it’s bitten me hard. (I’ve been an entrepreneur since 1996 or therabouts, so I’ve had time to make a lot of mistakes )
so it begins..
Just signed up with F5 Media the other day.
I just need to add more zeros, a couple of commas and I’ll be golden.
I have 4 months until the end of this year to make it to ASW 2019.
Let’s do this STM!
On a side note: thanks to everyone that I’ve gotten in touch with. I deeply appreciate it!
I’m sorry Jasper, but this is going to be in my memory forever.
I couldn’t keep up with how many people left you hanging.
hahahah!! omg. What an awesome experience that was.
LOL, was that you in the show?
Do let us know if you manage to crush it again (and if possible make it to ASW 2019). Would be a great inspirational succes story for all of us!
I started posting here (Follow Along):
@JasperP : I just started today and I don’t have the experience some other members do in AM industry but I have been an entrepreneur for a while. And I agree wholeheartedly with your comments regarding MINDSET. It all starts and end with that. If we can keep things in perspective, and have a positive outlook on life, we can achieve anything. Law of attraction and power of intentions work! I am here to learn and grow with you guys. What you did here is super courageous – and I respect you for that. I have 2 quotes I can share with you that motivate me: (1) You can have everything you want if you help enough people get what they want – Zig Ziglar (2) Make the rest of your the best of your life!
All the best buddy! Sending good vibes your way.
100% agree with you. It definitely starts with mindset. I’m a big believer in being positive brings positive things. Being negative brings negative things.
Love this quote.. I was approaching rock bottom and I’ve always tried to help people in the past. I also hated asking for help too.
When I needed mental support, there were people out there to help me out. It really comes back to you if you’re honest and genuine.
Thanks for the feedback Dan
Here for ya if you need it brother.
Interesting story Jasper.
If you’ve had success before you can do it again.
And to make it even sweeter, this time round it will be that much better after having gone through the tough times.
Good luck with it all.
Thanks for returning my call old friend. Glad to see you’re still alive and kicking.
Thanks for the call man. we’ll keep in touch
In 2010 i had the worst 6 months of AM since i started. It was about 3 years in and i spent $XXX,XXX testing offers, and somehow just couldn’t get any big strong campaigns going! I must have tested 50+ campaigns and just had endless bad luck.
I sprung right back into though because i didn’t give up at all. I didn’t care about the $ i lost and i just kept testing and testing. That’s all it takes and you already know that, but though my little story would help.
That story helps for sure! I think we all have our struggles as affiliates and business owners.
It’s just one of those things where I put myself in the wrong environment for success. I got disconnected with people and stopped having that interaction to share with other like-minded people.
The skills are there, just the mind wasn’t. Sometimes when you want success so bad that you just neglect the other things in your life.
I believe that a good balance of health, wealth and relationships are keys to success.