Disclaimer: The following dissertation focusing on missed opportunities is my thoughts alone, and may not reflect the ideas, or operating procedures, of anyone else associated with the subject matter.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
It never ceases to amaze me when I see the great lengths people will go to remain where they were. They will take strides to avoid any potential opportunity, and not only continue as they are in many cases – but try to revert BACK to a point where any such opportunity was negated.
The desire to maintain the status quo, and nothing more, seems to have become the status quo!
In an environment where people . . .
- Call themselves business owners and marketers yet, seemingly, lack basic understanding of the concepts
- Are enthralled in the various games where pennies for their effort is more important than results for their business
- Consider success being able to surf 100’s of pages in a multitude of TE’s daily
- Would rather complain about a payment processors decisions than determine what THEY may be doing that contributed to the problem, and fixing it
. . . should it be a surprise that opportunities are passed over?
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Contrary to popular belief, opportunities are presented often. In some instances, almost daily! Most opportunities fall into two categories, one for greater success, or failure. Not every opportunity is one that should be pursued for various reasons, however, most depend on the actions you take (or don’t) to make that determination. It is the action(s) you DON’T take that can make most opportunities seem like they weren’t.
If your mother told you that “every opportunity in life is there for you to take” she was right, sort of.
Seeing an opportunity can require a LOT of effort. It may take years of training, working hard to place yourself in the position to not only see an opportunity but be in a position to be able to take full advantage of it. It is the rare occurrence where the Universe just tosses that one amazing opportunity into your lap without significant effort. And, alas, most people wouldn’t be in a position to recognize it anyway when it actually works that way.
Even when we have prepped ourselves to the level to identify the potential opportunity, that doesn’t mean the work is done. Not even close! That is usually when the real effort begins – and where most people stop!
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
It seems to almost be human nature to accentuate the negative when we are faced with the unknown. Most opportunities are wrapped in a veil of uncertainty and involve some form of change. What sets apart those that will benefit from that, and those that don’t is that the problems are faced head on and overcome. Rather than dwell in the potential abstracts dredged up from our own insecurities, we must set aside our doubts and search out the questions that will bring answers.
What did we do right, or wrong, as the case may be, that has brought us to this point? Many times it is not because we did everything perfectly that we now are presented with an opportunity to move beyond where we were. An opportunity may simply be the chance to correct our mistakes, reinforce the positives, and continue to move forward on the journey.
“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.”
Recently, what is seen as a ‘crisis’ within the Traffic Exchange model has, once again, reared its head. PayPal is limiting/closing accounts!
No, this is nothing new. It has happened several times, to varying degrees, over the past 15 plus years I have been associated with the TEs. And, as before, the majority of people – TE owners and users alike – rushed off to find an alternative to those ‘evil people that don’t understand what we are doing’ . . . and never questioned, much less looked, at what THEY were doing that may have added to the problems that brought forth the wrath of PayPal.
Only a few of the multitude of participants on all levels, here again, are discussing the issues and seeking answers now.
In the past, a mere handful of the 100’s of TE owners (and much smaller percentage of users) at that time identified some of the problems, took action, and made changes. They sought to create an opportunity from the ashes of crisis. And it worked! At least for a little while.
They changed key business principals, evaluated marketing procedures, and modified ad copy to remain a viable resource, improve the model, and remain PayPal compliant. Owners banned the PTC, blatant Ponzi, and scam programs. Users dumped the crap, provided viable content, and focused on improving THIER business. They took the opportunity head on and set their businesses aside from the masses. Those that did not? Well, they are no longer around for the most part.
Then, over time, it began to decay. What once set them ahead of the pack, became . . . work! Inundated with those that refused to adapt (on both sides), continued promotion of the programs and ideals that created the problems, TEs, and their users began to slide back to where they were – allowing the cycle to begin again.
Owners and users became more centered on the gamification of the TEs, rather than the business. With the exception of but a notable few, less focus was placed on business and marketing, and we are back in the environment we are today as a result.
No, this is not all about the mistakes made or placing blame, but rather, the OPPORTUNITY being presented once again.
Everyone here, owner/user alike, has been given a ‘do-over’. A chance to begin asking those hard questions once again that will lead to answers. And yes, I see that happening in some instances. But I also see an overwhelming degree of complacency, the willingness to remain where you were, as well.
I am as guilty of doing nothing to enhance change and improve the model as anyone else. Even though I am not currently active in the TEs as an owner or user, they remain a viable part of my past and what I learned will continue to influence my future. I have watched and said nothing. I have been given an opportunity, my own do-over, to speak out and, perhaps, by doing so, help others find answers and move forward – myself included.
Rarely do you get a second chance to fix a problem, this is the time to reach out and embrace that opportunity!
Yes, it will require effort. It will mean rethinking how you operate your business. Being realistic about your own limitations (we all have them), and seeking assistance to overcome them. Learning new skills, or dusting off old ones that have fallen by wayside. It may require you to cut ties with those that refuse to adapt and create new ones with those that do.
None of this will magically fix the issues with PayPal. It will, however, place you in a much better position, prepared, for what may come next. There will be an opportunity to advance beyond a second-rate processor with a tacky history, will YOU be ready? Don’t overlook this opportunity to better your business, it may never present itself (to you) again.
Disclaimer Part 2: The following discussion will be far less PC. If you just want to continue as you have, it may be in your best interests to stop reading now.
The examples I pointed out at the beginning of this with regard to the environment within the TEs may have seemed somewhat mean or obtuse. Fortunately, I kept the list limited, and without delving further into the fallacies/fantasies being presented as business management and marketing by a rather large segment of those involved in the TEs.
It is simple to claim to be -in business- especially online. Most such claims are not backed up by any form of legal (DBA, LLC, Corp) structure, present no paper trail for people to investigate, or even have an income to substantiate business activities. It’s just a claim, nothing more. Fair enough, as most are NOT a business at any level.
In fact, in the majority of cases, it is people that want to somehow substantiate the endless hours they waste online with no realistic plan to ever reach the success they claim to seek. On the face, this seems harmless enough. And for the most part, it is. There is no malicious intent to mislead others, no subjective criminal activities, and for the most part, no chance of them directly affecting anyone else on more than a very small, almost statistically insignificant, level. No harm, no foul.
We see this every day. People show up, brag about their business acumen, then fade into obscurity in 90 days or less. They are (usually) not collecting private data for nefarious use later, just hanging out. Trying to find that place where they can live a dream, meet others, or simply bypass the limitations they face offline daily for a brief time. They are good people at heart.
Sounds “OK” doesn’t it? It should, as it is.
So why then, are so many others out to fleece these people, get their money by making false claims themselves about how much they -know- about business? Promoting programs that are blatant HYIP, PONZI, or simply unobtainable, to these people? It’s simple, really. It IS these people doing it!
I don’t think they do intentionally. It’s just that they don’t know any better. After all, they don’t understand business, marketing, advertising, legalities involved and so forth.
Now the hard question . . . where do YOU stand in all this?
Do you . . .
- Have a minimal basic understanding of business, marketing/advertising (here is a hint: they are NOT the same thing)?
- Do you advertise 20 different programs offering the same thing (mail list, traffic, SEO, etc.) hoping that ONE of them will get you a lead, regardless of the fact 19 of them are crap (and diluting your efforts)?
- Do you join the – latest and greatest – program, and then start promoting it without doing the due diligence first? Are you just interested in being the first to promote, and getting people on the list and hope they pay?
- Spend hours a day playing games and surfing dozens (maybe 100’s?) of TEs online to get some credits, regardless of the results of doing so? And encourage others to do the same?
- Is the focus of your activities promoting someone else’s business (regardless of proven worth)?
- Not track your activities, crunch the data, and prove viability BEFORE you waste hours of your time and that of others?
- (The list goes on, but you probably get the idea where I am headed)
I assume that by now, depending on your answers, you have determined where you are positioned in the group I mentioned. (Or maybe just a little pissed at me right now. That is not a bad thing by the way!)
Here is the -kicker- to all this . . .
Although there is no malicious intent or forethought, and people are doing what they do with the best of intentions, it is these very activities that allow those HYIP, PONZI, and other worthless programs to thrive. And yes, this includes the myriad of new/old TE’s that continue to allow (or in most cases, encourage) the advertising of them as well.
As long as this continues, YOU are risking the very basis of the – business – you claim to be in.
So, are you part of the problem, or the solution?
I learn something new about business almost daily. It is not some mortal sin to admit that you may not have all the answers. There is plenty of places to get assistance and learn how to operate on a higher, better informed, level.
Many things led up to the point we are at now with PayPal. There is no simple answer, no way to ‘make it go away’ painlessly. It is what it is, and what it was (and how we were a part of it) is why it is.
Oh yeah, simply changing the payment processor to some other, perhaps less stellar, one is not an answer to the problem. Merely a band-aid to prolong the festering sub-hematoma decay. Yes, I understand that you need the means to spend/receive money, but without real change, no matter the processor, the problems will continue. Every processor has limits, even the ones of dubious character.
The first part of this talked about opportunities, and how many people miss them. If you are not seeing this as one, then you are definitely in the later category. Stop reading now, continue as you are, and in 90-ish days, most everyone will have forgotten who you were. Ta ta!
If you have questions, need answers, or simply want to understand this better, good news! You are ahead of the masses, and there is hope.
But first, we ALL (myself included) need to undergo some serious introspection and see what role we may have played in all of this. Granted, it may not have been a conscious (or even recent) effort, but I would wager those reading this now have, in some way, added fuel to the fire that now engulfs the TE model.
As I have said, this is not new. As in the past, some will come out stronger as a result, while others will whimper their way to obscurity, clinging to what once was.
How well you take advantage of the opportunity presented is, of course, up to you. Those willing to examine the problems and admit what they see . . . they will find what is needed (either inside themselves or with the help of others) to move forward once again on this journey. I truly hope you all are around to travel the path ahead. It WILL be worth the effort!
With Sincere Thanks
“The only limits we have are those you impose upon yourself. Remove the limits!”
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