“Wow” I never thought I would be here: On the Internet building our internet marketing business within the digital niche – creating software products while working as an affiliate marketer (promoting other people’s products), and building our digital brand.
Until recently, my entire career followed the traditional path; put myself thru school working (UPS), went to school, (UT Arlington) and crammed a five-year degree into seven years, (and yes, there were many fraternity party’s involved) until I finally earned my degree (BS Architecture). I got a good job in my chosen field and thought that I would work there until I retired. Sounded simple right? It was until LIFE got in the way.
Turns out that one of the first casualties during the Oil and Banking crisis in the early ’80s was construction and gas & oil exploration. During that time, Texas was heavily dependent on both critical industries. So, right out of school I cycled through three design/build companies that went by the wayside in my first five years as a professional.
Desperate for a stable job, I went back to the recession-resistant trucking industry that generally paid well. And for a period, it did – until it didn’t. One of President Reagan’s campaign promises was to de-regulate the transportation industry and by the mid-’80’s it was fully implemented.
That is when the transportation industry turned into the wild west. Suddenly there was new competition everywhere. Start-up companies went public and with a war chest full of cash and unbridled with high driver cost we’re able to offer rates far below the long-established carrier rates. This caused freight prices to plummet, and with reduced revenue, the fat bonuses we had enjoyed evaporated. Thousands of trucking companies went bankrupt, mostly old school companies with strong unions.
Eventually, the landscape corrected itself and the new normal calmed the industry. For the next 10 years, I went on to bigger and better jobs and learned my craft. During the mid-’90’s I took a nice job in Miami. There, and this is important, I found my first mentor. My knowledge of the industry and specific business skills soared. It was during this time that I realized how valuable a mentor is and how to benefit from this critical lesson: learn how to stand on the shoulders of Giants. Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad said; “If you want to go somewhere, it is best to find someone who has already been there”
The first three years were a blast. Under his guidance, we had developed a knack for designing and implementing complex delivery systems on a regional scale. Working with Fortune 100 and Fortune 1000 customers, we developed a reputation for creative solutions in complicated delivery systems, flawless implementation, and strong communications with our customers. I went from a small footprint to expanding our reach to the majority of Florida. During this time, things were going great, we added a Fortune 100 Pharmaceutical company, a Fortune 1000 Office Products Company and a Fortune 1000 Bank delivery system to our operations – until we hit the wall.
The owners of my company (including my mentor) decided to join 12 other companies and band together to go public as a single entity. And here is the lesson; the owners of all 13 companies understood what they were good at, what their customers wanted, and excelled at delivering a high-quality product. But, under one management umbrella, driven by Wall Street financiers (who understood finance and Wall Street, but did not understand the transportation industry). In the very first month of being publicly traded, we missed a key financial objective and quickly lost favor and confidence of the investment community. The stock valuation went from $13.00 per share to less than $5.00 in 18 months. I knew that our company was floundering two years later when I was on a call with our entire senior management team when the CEO said, and I paraphrase ” I don’t understand the problem, a box is a box and delivery is a delivery. Why can’t we get this right” Now I knew why the company was in trouble; they made the critical mistake of not understanding our customers and what they wanted they wanted to treat every customer the same. I started to plan and execute my exit strategy based on this new revelation. Eventually, they crashed and burned.
With the blessing and support of my mentor, I made the transition from a company employee to the business owner when I moved to New Orleans and set up operations for my previous Fortune 100 customer in three new markets. We set up our shops, hired and trained drives, and started providing 400-700 pharmaceutical deliveries per day. Things worked out well and a year later we began to service an additional Fortune 100 pharmaceutical customer. Later we purchased a company in Tennessee and added two additional sites. Within our first three years, we had expanded to 10 locations in three states. We had a fleet of 90 drivers delivering over 1900 shipments per day of pharmaceutical products. Things were fantastic until we fell off the cliff.
The CEO of our anchor customer retired, and his successor decided to stick to their core competencies- flying airplanes. So, with the stroke of a pen, he eliminated a $50 million dollar division. We held on as long as we could, but within a year we failed. After a humiliatingly crash and burn, we came back to Texas to re-group. I took a menial job working for a retail operation. Forward-facing the general public forced me to reevaluate my position in life. I could not stand being on the sidelines and not making a meaningful contribution in life, so I decided to get back into the game.
I started reengaging with my contacts and one day a friend called me in to consult on his transportation operation. We negotiated a deal and our small startup begin a shoestring operation that consisted of 3-5 drivers. We delivering auto parts in the area and soon added a second and a third location. Growing from 5-15 drivers was a huge win. We eventually added air freight deliveries and pivoted the company to the time-critical air freight industry. We grew in this space and eventually added our own office warehouse.
Typical of many asset-based companies, we had the normal ups and downs; broken equipment, wrecks, damaged products, employees who wanted to give themselves a raise by borrowing our equipment, or flat out borrowing our tools forever. We pushed on and eventually built a company we were proud to represent. As our business grew and prospered, we thought we had found the secret sauce. But, once again, we learned that life has a funny way to get your attention. One key employee decided to start his own company and took over half of our customers with him. With greatly reduced revenue, we struggled to reduce our overhead to reflect the new level of revenue. Once again, we adjusted.
Until we suffered our fatal act; One of our drivers went to make a delivery at a customer’s dock when he rolled up the trucks back door. He immediately noticed that three rollers on the driver’s side had slipped out of their track. Our customer warehouse manager stepped into the truck; he also noted the rollers out of position. He went to the site manager and informed her of the situation. She went to the dock and looked at the rollup door and ask the two “Can you fix it?” they replied that they would try. So, they started pushing and pulling on the door until it fell down. Our driver called dispatch and ask if we could send out another truck. “Why?” “The door fell down”. “Was anyone hurt”. “No, we just need another truck”. So we sent another truck, called a mobile mechanic to fix the door, they loaded the second truck and our driver left to make the delivery. The mechanic repaired the door and the first truck left to go make another pickup. No harm, no foul, right? Not so much.
A month later our customer called and ask me to send her our insurance information. “Why?”, “Our employee was bad hurt” “When??”, “that day the door fell down”. A month later, we received a multi-million-dollar lawsuit. I immediately called my agent and ask, “should I be worried about this?” ” Naw, I wouldn’t” ” How can you be so sure?” ” Ken, this suit smelled the minute we receive it, so we send a private investigator to investigate it. We have over seven hours of video of the plaintiff riding his bike, picking up his son, showing his son how to punch a punching bag inside a sporting goods store….” So, for the next two years, I ignored it, thinking that they would settle out of court and the whole matter would go away. A year later, I was sitting in my attorney’s office going through deposition and discovery. A few months later I was sitting in a Federal Courtroom defending my actions. Five days in front of a 12-person jury.
10 Highly qualified Neurological specialists, Neurological practitioners, Researchers, educators all testified that they could not find anything wrong with him. The plaintiff even took the stand and admitted that 8 months after his injury that had allegedly altered his life, he had trained and competed in an Iron Man completion. Prior to closing, our attorneys played the 7 hours of video. We got this, right. No. the jury was unanimous in awarding the plaintiff a $1,200,000.00 verdict!
Having lost confidence in our judicial system and recognizing the tremendous risk of owning an asset-based company that produces’ low returns, I decided to turn to a business model that has very low risk and potentially high returns: Internet marketing.
I began studying this space in November of 2019. I immersed myself in courses that I thought were ‘Done for you”. The first course claimed that you could be up, and running is little time and begin running your own webinars. After taking the course, it wasn’t as simple as that. Of course, the company called me shortly after and ask how it was going. Confusing at best. Their solution was to have one of their coaches work with me. For a huge fee. OR I could fly to their headquarters and take a weekend ‘get it done program’ The fee; $15,000.00 for two days training.
The second program I enrolled in was worse. It was content-rich and comprehensive to a point, with templets, done for you campaigns and a confusing over the shoulders step by step program, where the presenter kept telling the view “it’s super simple” well, I am no novice to training, but I was thoroughly confused and the help desk was of little use. So, I upgraded and joined his coaching calls. This was more discouraging. His weekly call with students was studded with people who had the same issues that I had; confusing instructions and the sad fact they were consistently having their Facebook Ad accounts shut down. His advice, well that’s Google – you just deal with it, I later learned that this is known as the Zuck Slap or the Google effect. Whatever you want to call it, these people were spending money to run ads only to have Google shut down their account with little to no explanation of why. I ask the help desk if their program would work on any other platforms, not possible, their system is Facebook or nothing. I didn’t want to take a chance that this single point of failure would determine my fate. I had been down that road before.
The third program was much better; A done-for-you website and an over the shoulder step-by-step instructions that you could do as he did the same. Very clean, the website was up in no time, a 60-day done-for-you email campaign using the Aweber autoresponder. The payment system that he, and I recommend is Clickbank. This payment processing system is the industry leader as well as the largest marketplace for buying and selling products, both physical products as well as digital content. John Thornhill’s Ambassador program clicked off all of the boxes except the most critical one; Traffic. He offered the 60-day email campaign, sending out prewritten email but I had no list. I later went back to the program and discovered that I overlooked the section on how to build your list but I was impatient to get something going and I suffered from shiny object syndrome, (going from thing to thing).
The next system was also a done-for-you system that was a step by step and comprehensive. Easy to follow and quick to go through. But this system promised traffic but did not provide it nor did they offer support. Pay up, then go away. And, he sends between 4-6 emails promoting his products, and he does create a ton of products. The only reason that I don’t unsubscribe him is I am still learning and by wading through his offers, I am learning a different system.
I am embarrassed to admit it, but there were several more programs, groups, and systems that I tried, all with little to no success.
I responded to an invitation to join one of John Thornhill’s webinar. This one on his Partnership to Success. I had thought about his offer several times but felt it was too expensive, but in his offer section, he had lowered the price. After the offer stack, it was an irresistible offer. P2S is a completely different platform from his Ambassador Program but they complement each other. First, this is not a website-based platform. The core of this system is based on a Blog system. Your blog is the hub of your entire system. And second, John has over 3,000 graduates who may be willing to support your launch with their list. The training is based upon the daily task with easy to follow instructions. His video training, like the Ambassador Program, is short clips with one or two tasks to complete before moving on, the vids are from 1-9 minutes. Each day should take between half an hour to two hours. If you work on this exclusively, which I now recommend, (I have dropped all other programs – everything), and work on it like a full-time job, which it is, this should take 20-30 days to complete this program. And, you will have a product that you can launch. More on that later.
To our success; Ken L Davis
P.S. If you asked me to recommend one piece of information that could help you get started and become a success this is it. Attend the training and be sure to take notes. John Thornhill has helped thousands of people succeed and you could be next?