Mike Filsaime is a well-known internet marketer, trainer, and all-round very clever chap who has made his fortune online over the last decade.

More recently, he has been moving away from the ‘traditional’ expert-trainer (ie being an internet guru) to focus more on developing 7-figure software online products, also known as ‘Software as a Service’, or SaaS.

His latest project is to open up the source code to one of his most well-known products, the Butterfly Open Source Code, which offers anyone the chance to download and use Butterfly Marketing code for their own use for free.

I’ll be using it on several of the websites I’m developing, including this one. If you want to know more details about this phenomenal offering from Mike Filsaime, visit the Butterfly opensource code website now.

Picture this: I’m on holiday in beautiful hill country in the North of England with my family, including my 88 year old father-in-law who is wheelchair-bound.

We all decide to go and see a water fall, which is nearly 4km (about 2 1/2 miles) from the car park. As it’s very hilly, the journey is quite a challenge for me. But we make it, and are amazed by the powerful noise of the waterfall running down a steep gully near the reservoir outlet.

Then I face the journey back. I am now tired, it’s evening, and the return trip back to the car is more up than down.

As we race back, trying to get there before sundown (there are *no* lights anywhere, as it’s literally miles from civilization), we reach the home straight and suddenly the sun breaks out behind some high cloud, glimmering late golden sunshine onto the reservoir, and us.

The sight, as you can see from the image above, is quite breath-taking. And I find myself saying the following to my father-in-law:

“I’m glad we went as far as the waterfall John. I’ve learned in life that if you want to get something special, you have to do something special. And I know we won’t be coming back here, so I felt it was worth going the extra distance.”

Not only did we get to see the fast torrent of water, but we experienced the awe-inspiring sight as we completed the final leg of the journey back.

The takeaway is very clear: if you want to gain something unique, something inspirational or special in life, you must be willing to do what other people might not be willing to do.

You will be richly rewarded (in the best and broadest sense of the word ‘rich’) as you do this.

In case it has been a hidden truth: the finest treasures always require hard and often unique work, plus a willingness to do things that others would not do.

One final thought: during our 3 hour round trip and tour, we only saw one other family. Don’t be deceived into thinking that because there are few treading the path you are headed, that it’s the wrong path. It’s more likely to be the other way around.

Are You an Artisan or a Hack?

In his book The War of Art, Steven Pressfield outlines and fleshes out the battle of creativity and artistry that any entrepreneur goes through in order to give birth the things of real value from which others will gain benefit.

Through his own experiences and reflections on humanity, Pressfield powerfully makes the case for the releasing of the artist (or artisan) that lies within the creative higher self we each have.

Although Pressfield doesn’t use the word artisan, but artist, in my book the only tangible difference is the territory traditionally ascribed to each.

And, it’s in the idea of territory that he asserts his premise that this is only real ‘place’ where every true artist can flourish, whether they are a fusion researcher, scientist, entrepreneur, body builder, fashion designer, or writer.

‘Territory’ in essence, as Pressfield defines it, is the region of expertise or influence within which the true artisan flows with purpose and energy, giving birth to what is hidden within, purely for the purpose that it must be released into the world.

On the other hand, the opposite of territory – hierarchy – is a stultifying and inhibiting framework of operation. In a hierarchy, the artist is reduced to being a hack: someone who produces only for affect; not for the higher ideal of releasing inspiration into the world, but for the egocentric accolades they wish to receive from others as a consequence of their creation.

As Pressfield defines it then, the hack has sold out on the higher goals of sharing their intrinsic creativity, to a baser version which is only interested in producing something that will promote the hack’s ego contra his or her peers.

In plain English: the hack does his or her work thinking of how their potential audience will or won’t like the results, but the artist does her work to bring forth of what is within, whether or not an audience exists to receive it.

The artisan gains his or her energy and sustenance from doing the work itself, and not from the praise they hope to receive.

So, is it better to be an artist/artisan or a hack? Clearly not a hack, because at worst a hack is a sycophantic people-pleaser, pandering to the perceived opinions of those the hack is trying to impress, with the hope of receiving some positive affirmation or recognition.

When none comes, the hack is devastated, not having any internal reference point from which to seek solace.

The artist/artisan, on the other hand, travails like a mother-to-be in labor, and as Pressfield beautifully describes, and cries in awe when the miracle baby is held in her arms.

So, can only the hack become wealthy? The answer I believe, is that the hack is never wealthy, even if they are a multi-millionaire, because their offering is never given: instead, the hack always remain the victim of the approval of others, always seeking to compete in a hierarchy rather than operating with skill in their own territory or expertise.

Can the artist/artisan be wealthy? My point is that they will always be wealthy, whether they live in a wooden shack in a shanty town, or in a grand mansion in Beverley Hills. What defines the artist is not the approval of of others’ praise or money showered upon them, but the satisfaction that comes from within at having completed the work that they ached to bring forth, regardless of onlookers’ nods or shakes of head.

Make up your mind then, to be an artist/artisan, and not a hack.

And if you are in any doubt, read Pressfield’s book, the War of Art.

Chris Pearson is a great model of what business should be like: he is using his skills to help others. Not only that, but he is willing to put himself out there and let other people know what’s happening. You can read more about Chris at his Blog here.

What I love about the video about is what he says (5:30 onwards) about Twitter (& yes, I’m an avid Twitter user, so I’m not shooting down what it offers, by any means!):

“The bottom line is, if you keep getting capital to the tune of $200 million, it’s much harder to make that money back- it becomes more and more of a speculative thing where you’re hoping to get bought out by one of the few players with billions dollars. And that’s a bogus play. Why can’t your goal with your business be to..make your business awesome and not rely on a buyout down the road?  What’s so bad about that – I don’t know….

He pulls no punches with what he says next – but you’ll have to watch the rest of the video to find out! What I particularly like about his diatribe, is that I passionately believe in the same model of doing business: aim for just offering a solution to your clients that is simply the best that it can be. And don’t be afraid to put yourself out there to promote it, because it’s no use waiting for an angel investor to come along and discover your talent. You are the best person to do that.

So, a big round of applause to Mr Pearson for ‘doing the thing’.

By the way – in case you are wondering how I know about Chris, it’s because I buy his stuff. In particular, the Thesis framework theme that this website runs on. Thesis is incredibly flexible, and customizable compared to the bucket-load of themes I’ve used before, that I’m now using it exclusively on web development projects for local businesses. Click on the image below to take a peak at what Thesis can offer. And yes, that is an affiliate link.

Thesis: An Elegant & Customizable Theme Framework for WordPress. Once you've got Thesis, you won't want any other theme.

If you’d like to learn how to generate more leads, and more cash for your Network Marketing or MLM business, without having to spend all of your valuable time reading expensive marketing courses, then read on..

Just click on the button the right and you’ll be re-directed to Mike Dillard’s GetWWN landing page, where you’ll need to fill in your contact details.

Mike is an expert network and internet marketer, who has gone from waiting at tables to a seven figure earner in the last 5 years.

If you want to shortcut the learning curve, be free from the multidude of confusing offers coming your way, and learn how to get the results you want faster, and cheaper, than you ever thought possible, then get “What’s Working Now”, and save yourself thousands of dollars in marketing training (yes, I know – I’ve done that, to my shame!). Click the button!
Mike Dillard knows what he’s talking about – but more than that, he’s pulling in the best of the best of the internet marketing world to help train you to become a successful marketer – whether you’re representing an network marketing opportunity, doing affiliate marketing, or CPA offers, you won’t want to miss out on what Mike will be sharing in this course. GetWWN: Click Here to Sign up to Mike Dillard's What's Working Now

Who are your Internet Marketing Heroes?This is a no-fluff, fun post! I want your feedback, so scroll to the end, past my mugshot/signature, and add your comment! If I start getting some replies, I’ll turn this into a Twitter poll, which takes about 5 seconds to do.

All you need to do is use the text below as your template & you’re good-to-go.

My Internet Marketing Heroes are (in no particular order, you understand):

  • Frank Kern
  • Jeff Johnson
  • Mike Dillard
  • Jason Fladlien
  • Eric Holmund
  • Ryan Deiss

(I always open their emails).

Reasons why:

  1. They’ve learned the art of giving before getting
  2. Their emails contain useful, actionable content that I can use without having to buy any of their stuff.

There ya’ go. That was pretty quick ‘n’ easy. Now it’s your turn 🙂

If you found this post via Twitter, also please ReTweet it using the ReTweet icon.

I think you know the answer to the above question – this is a marketing blog, after all!

Before I give the answer you are probably expecting, I want to give you some history to search engine optimization, my reasons for being interested in this topic, and finally why I believe it’s so important to get this right.

Firstly then, the background to the article – how has search engine optimization (SEO) evolved from its humble beginnings?

SEO arguably started becoming really important at around the time of the “Dot Com” boom at around the turn of the twenty first century, when companies realised how easy (and cheap!) it could be to promote their products on the internet, compared to the more traditional off-line methods that had been hitherto dominant.

Initially, SEO was dominated by keyword stuffing of the key search terms, whether it was in the content of the article itself, or in the meta tags in the html header part of the page. A quick confession here: I remember putting several hundred keywords at the bottom of an article which were the same color as the background text. It worked as well 🙂

It really was a goldrush, with many pages ranking highly without much effort. The articles themselves were horrible to read however: the word repetition comes to mind.

When Larry Page and Sergey Brin came on the scene with what they perceived as a real gap in the market, they realised that search engines were lacking an obvious contender: search engine results that were actually useful.

From the get-go, Page and Brin developed their search engine based on the concept of Pagerank, which ranked content via backlinks. (See this Wikipedia article for more information).

Their Engine rapidly developed into the more refined ideal of: “give people results that actually help them find what they want”.

If you’ve read anything about SEO, you’ll hear the terms “Latent Semantic Indexing”, “silos” and many more…all used to described the way the googlebot likes to read your website.

But I want to put the brakes on here, and emphasize that although these things play a significant part to how well your website will rank with the search engines (and in particular the main player, Google), I believe delving too deep into the technical world of SEO can risk you missing the entire point of why it has been developed in the first place:

Search Engine Optimization is primarily aimed at helping the search engines (which use computers to attempt to find relevant content quickly) find your content as if they were behaving like an army of intelligent, super-quick librarians.

In other words, the search engines are attempting to mimic humans.

So, back to my original question (and by now, I know you know what answer I’m going to give here).

The answer is obviously, that you should be writing for your targeted audience and not the search engines.

Look at it this way: at the end of the day, if you can connect with your audience through what you write, then you’ve achieved your objective.

The search engines are trying to become as good as human readers at discerning what is relevant and good content.

So, if you’ve been to school and you can read and write, then you have a massive head-start over Google, Yahoo, and Bing.

They may be super-quick at finding the content, but you are always going to be better (OK, at least for quite a while yet, let’s be realistic!) than a bunch of dumb lumps of silicon at evoking the desired response from your audience.

And, finally, don’t forget, the search engine results only constitute a minority of the total ways that your website can get traffic (social bookmarking, communitiy websites such as forums, local directories, backlinks from authoritative websites being three other very significant sources of quality, targeted traffic).

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the SEO-game, and you haven’t got the budget to hire a bunch of tech-heads to optimize your site, instead, learn the skills of good copywriting, and finding obvious places to engage with prospects.

In the process, your value to others will increase, both in real and perceived terms….neither of which you would gain particular credibility for if you were just focused on the ‘backend’ of SEO.

Comment below!

If you be involved with marketing for sometime, you almost certainly have heard of Frank Kern.

Frank Kern is an Internet marketer who is famous for his surfing antics, but more importantly he has built an Internet marketing business over the last five years which is almost as legendary as his guitar playing.

At the time of writing this blog post, Frank is just about to release a new product called list building control. He outlines some of the principles that have helped him build a multimillion dollar business over the last few years in the following video: http://bit.ly/ds1CwY.

If you are a busy person like I am, perhaps you haven’t got time to watch the video right now. If that’s the case then here is a summary that I’ve done of Frank’s video which will help you understand the core principles that have helped him to go from rags to riches.

He calls these five principles the five pillars of kindness, and in essence the five pillars are all to do with giving people what they want, so that they move closer to their end goals, whatever they might be.

So without further ado here are Frank’s Five Pillars of Kindness that every Internet marketer should be focusing on as they market to their lists and provide value:

The 5 Pillars of Kindness

1) To know your subscribers’ desired outcomes – what they want to accomplish, and generate good will by giving them what they want.
2) Overcome their skepticism with shock & awe coolness: understand that they are likely to be skeptical.
People join your list because they want to get one step closer to their desired outcome. So lead with your best foot forward – give something of great value to your subscribers with something that will massively help them.
Give people the most valuable thing you have upfront.
3) Demonstrate that they can do it! Deep down inside, many people suffer from self-doubt which sabotages their success. It’s up to you to prove to them that they can do it…by showing them past experiences of others who’ve started exactly from the same point who have become successful.
4) Don’t just show them that they can do it: give them the tools with which they can actually succeed.
People are not on your list for fun. They are there to get help.
5) Motivate them to go further: make an offer to them which will help them accelerate their progress, and which will genuinely help them.
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Lastly, if you want to progress with your internet marketing skills but  can’t afford Frank’s price-tag (and it is still excellent value by the way), then  you have the chance to access free training every Monday (yes, I mean it!) from the community that I’m part of.
Yes, you will be asked to sign up for this training, but you don’t have to buy anything, and you can unsubscribe any time. Just click here to get started.

Integrity in Business

First Published in ArticlesBase

Why Integrity Matters

Integrity, as author Dr Henry Cloud says in his groundbreaking book of the same title, is important because “It affects our real results in the areas of our lives which matter to us most”. (Preface, Integrity: the courage to meet the demands of reality).

In other words, integrity is all to do with joining up the dots between personal character and the actions which flow out into the real world around us. Dr Cloud aptly describes how a right approach to dealing with integrity or its lack, both within ourselves and with those around us, leads to incalculable yet measurable benefits to all.

The pathway to producing people who have a firm commitment to following this path is one of the most important considerations in business and any interpersonal relationships.

So, what exactly is integrity? The bulk of this article will describe it different facets, or dimensions, leaving you with a very clear understanding of what you must do in order to realize and plan out how to foster a culture which embraces the values each dimension represents.

Let’s begin.

Integrity is Six Dimensional

Treating integrity as multi-dimensional allows us to map out each facet in a clear way. In reality, these dimensions are not independent of one another, but are inextricably meshed and intertwined within the very fabric of human relationships. I’m only separating out the different strands to help steer a careful pathway to make things easier!

Dimension 1: Establishing Trust

Being able to successfully follow through on what you say you are going to do is a significant part of trust-building. In old-fashioned language, someone who “is as good as his word” is a person who has a dependable consistency that others can rely on.

But establishing trust not only entails consistent actions, it also involves consistent behaviour. People trust others who they feel are stable in their response to challenges.

Trust runs deeper than this alone however, and it’s to do with the way in which we express understanding and empathy as we relate to others.

Cultivating empathy – being able to put yourself in the shoes of others, and being able to communicate that to them, is a sign of caring for others that I will examine in more detail when I look at transcendence, but for now, hang on to the fact that establishing yourself as a trustworthy person entails becoming a master of consistency as well as empathy.

Dimension 2: Oriented Towards Truth

This dimension is summed up in the phrase “actively seeking after and communicating the full reality of the situation”.

In other words, people who are oriented towards the truth aren’t merely those who don’t lie, but they have a tendency to be honest even when it might be painful to themselves or others.

The reason for this is that they understand that the full reality of a situation is the description within which there is the best likelihood of a solution that will work.

Dimension 3: Getting Results

Finishing well is the best way to sum up this dimension of integrity. Those who finish well have a very good understanding of their key strengths, and at the same time they recognise where they require the help of others to manage those areas where they lack skill or experience.

Getting results depends on the awareness that to bring order, to make things work, you have to invest your and your team’s skills in a wholehearted and skilful way, matching each person’s strengths to the different aspects of the task in hand.

For example, you wouldn’t ask the creative director of a company to audit the company’s finances. Likewise, your finance officer wouldn’t necessarily be most suited to think of new ways to market you company’s products.

But getting results goes deeper than just skills or talents.

Finishing well is a character trait of someone who is mature – they are able to realistically assess what they can and can’t do, they are not afraid to be vulnerable to their team; they have confidence in their own strengths and yet fully recognise and validate the strengths of others around them.

Dimension 4: Embracing the Negative

When was the last time you welcomed criticism, even embraced it? How easy do you find it to separate out the message from the messenger?

“Tell me the last 10%” sums up someone who is willing to hear the valid criticisms of others, knowing full well that there is the real risk that the messenger may not want to withhold their grievances in a kind way.

But a person or business that has learned the value of not only allowing the criticism, but actively seeks it out gains immeasurably over those who would want to avoid the painful realities that encompass the untold 10% of any given problem.

As Henry Cloud puts it so aptly:

No Problem, No Profit.

Facing into the wind of a problem is a tough call, but for those people or organisations who dare, they understand the fullness of the extent of the realities surrounding them, and are in a much better position to bring real and lasting solutions that remain totally inaccessible to others.

Dimension 5: Oriented Towards Increase

Cloud beautifully sums up this dimension of integrity:

You will not grow if you do not attempt to do things you cannot yet do.

Being oriented towards increase means that you or your organizations are on a continuous pathway to learn, to develop, to want to be stretched and challenged.

Muscles that don’t get used eventually wither, and the effects they were intended to produce eventually die through lack of exercise.

Likewise, a person or organization that loses that hunger to develop, to increase – to become more of who they are, eventually loses those skills and abilities.

Conversely, those who have an insatiable appetite to grow, to become more of who they are finish up with a greater sense of mission, purpose and direction.

They surround themselves with others, who coach, mentor them towards excellence. They pursue this goal by allowing others the permission to have an important say in how they are doing.

Dimension 6: Oriented Towards Transcendence

Lastly, integrity has to do with cultivating an awareness that there is a bigger picture that you are part of, that you as an individual or organization are a necessary jigsaw puzzle within which to fit.

This last characteristic of integrity is perhaps the hardest to achieve, because it involves a willingness of self-denial, self-correction and the ability to adjust to the demands around us.

As Dr Cloud puts it:

The immature character asks life to meet his demands. But the mature character meets the demands of life.

Action: An Integrity Audit

If you have read the above and realise there are gaps within yourself or your company, now is the time to do something about it. Don’t let the experience of the past dictate the patterns of the future. There are many good organisations which can help struggling companies and individuals make the breakthroughs they know they need to achieve.

The key thing, if you lack integrity in significant ways, is to take action. Failure to do so will invariably result (sooner or later) in negative consequences that could otherwise be changed before they look imminent and unstoppable.

You owe it to yourself, and those around you to make those changes happen.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/management-articles/integrity-in-business-1820715.html

About the Author

Dez Futak, is an online entrepreneur, business owner and teacher who devotes his time and energy helping others achieve the results they want for their business and lives.

Visit Dez’s website now if you would like to find out more about training in online marketing.

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If You Want Access To The Top Training, Networking & Internet Marketing Education Then You Couldn’t Find a Better Place to Be on 31 March 2010

Want to know More?

Fill in the box above or opposite to find out more, or if you’ve got the message from Gregg, Andrew & Michael (and you want the chance to network with these amazing fellas like I did last November in Las Vegas), then click on the image below to get started.

Dez.