Overcoming challenges: The 3rd anniversary interview of PLR Internet Marketing

In 2010, I received a call from someone who was looking to start a new online venture. His name was Warren Wooden and he had enjoyed some successful ventures in the past and was looking to start up a new business — online. In the earliest days of his business, I provided a bit of writing for him but after the contract was over, we remained in contact and became business colleagues and friends, and I have had the pleasure of watching Warren grow his business — PLR Internet Marketing.

PLR Internet Marketing helps entrepreneurs succeed online. The website has hundreds of blog posts with really valuable tips; there’s a forum where users can interact; there are free resources as well as products and services for sale.

Impressed by Warren’s drive and tenacity, I interviewed him for the first anniversary of his business in 2011 and again for his business’ second anniversary in 2012. He truly had a meteoric rise, gaining more in those short years than many others gained in decades.

Today, I’m publishing an interview for PLR Internet Marketing’s third anniversary. I can tell you that Warren’s business and his life have taken some surprising twists and turns since our last interview. He encountered many challenges this past year and yet he presses forward tirelessly. Keep reading to find out what happens and how he overcame these almost unbelievable obstacles, challenges, and detours.

What I always love about interviewing Warren is his total honesty and his positivity. If fact, knowing that Warren had such a tough year, I even gave him the option of skipping the interview. (I would be disappointed because I look forward to them… but you’ll see soon enough why he might not want to do the interview). I was surprised when he said we should go ahead and do it. I think you’ll be fascinated and inspired by what you read. I know I was!
 
 
Aaron Hoos: Describe your year this past year, including some of the key successes and struggles you faced.

Warren Wooden: Well, as Dickens once so eloquently said; “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” (There was more to it than that, but then isn’t there always?)

The Good:

  1. My daughter Cailynn Wooden was born April 22nd and she is just perfect. I still smile anytime throughout the day when I stop to think about her (which is fairly often) and I have to admit I think about life a lot differently now that I have her counting on me. She is the most amazing little person I have ever met, and while I’m sure I’m biased on the matter, I really don’t mind.
  2. I managed to pay off all my credit card debt this year, which was a nice feeling.
  3. I beat cancer.
  4. I did manage a massive Press Release blitz, but unfortunately the effect was lost on Google.
  5. I developed and launched a new site, which I’ll be building up this year (March 2013 to March 2014)
  6. Became a huge Tony Robbins student and believe I’m the better for it. Truly an inspirational guy!
  7. Bought two vehicles. A car for Daya, and a truck for myself.
  8. Picked up a couple of really great clients that I really enjoy working for.
  9. Studied just a ton of marketing, and business books this year and increased my knowledge and skills in that area, and am looking forward to another year of doing the same.
  10. Managed to stay profitable despite being sick for a large portion of the year.

The bad:
I was diagnosed with Kidney cancer, and to make matter worse, while they were telling me that they also let me know they’d missed diagnosing it 2 years earlier when I’d been in the hospital with really bad kidney pains. So basically it had free rein to do as it pleased for much longer than I would have liked!

Just before Christmas they went in and took out roughly a third of my right kidney (the first doctor insisted on taking the whole thing so I fired him and got a 2nd opinion). The surgery went well, and aside from a long recovery process things went extremely well, and I’m now on the mend.

The second major setback I had was getting penalized by Google during the infamous Penguin update that took place early last year. I go into more detail below, since it affected most of my goals I’d set out for myself for 2012. The biggest lesson that came out of all that was don’t put all your faith in one source of traffic (in my case Google).

Aaron Hoos: What a year! You had some pretty amazing high points and some very scary low points. So I’m almost afraid to ask this question… Last year, you set some goals for yourself:

  • PageRank 5
  • Alexa below 25,000
  • Major Press Release/Media blitz
  • 365 Blog Posts
  • Increase traffic by 10% each month
  • Increase income by 10% each month

How did you do?

Warren Wooden: I got on the bad side of Google by focusing way too much of my link building efforts on trying to rank the keyword “Internet Marketing” (which I did) that they stripped me of my PageRank 4, and stopped sending me traffic. Google used to be responsible for sending about 70% of all traffic to my primary site www.plrinternetmarketing.com and all of a sudden my traffic dropped from 15,000 visitors a month to less than 5,000.

I have to admit that this took the wind out of my sails, and I started to miss publishing times. My posts became less and less frequent, and I was spending very little time working on my site or promoting it the way I should. My goals fell to the wayside.

This one event caused me to come very close to giving up, but I pushed through and here I am doing another interview that is slightly uncomfortable because of my lack of progress over the last twelve months but I’m setting some new goals for myself and plan on pushing my way through this obstacle to the other side.

Aaron Hoos: I appreciate that you are willing to do the interview anyway and if anyone can turn things around, you can, Warren! Your theme for this past year might be called “overcoming obstacles” or “persevering through the challenges”. Were you able to keep a positive attitude this year in the face of those challenges? If so, how?

Warren Wooden: In many ways, the cancer was easier for me to overcome than the Google hit. With the cancer I simply knew that I now had my daughter needing me, so overcoming it just HAD to happen!

As far as the Google hit, I lost a lot of time, but finally came out of my funk and sat down and wrote out some daily “habits” that I committed to doing each day that I knew would help me grow both my personal, and business life to a higher level. I guess I can share them here.

  1. Do my morning routine. (I’ll include it below if you’re interested)
  2. Set goals daily, monthly, and annually.
  3. Ensure that my daily “to do’s” are in alignment with my monthly and annual goals. (Often your daily tasks become the norm, and the goals that are important slide).
  4. Read 2 business/marketing books each month.
  5. Listen to, or watch Tony Robbins or other motivational speaker daily.
  6. Simplify my life

Here is my daily morning routine; I do/say it to myself at the start of each day:
Incantation:
I now command my subconscious mind to direct me and my actions throughout this day toward producing massive positive results and forward progress within my life and business, and acting as a constant reminder to keep myself in a peak state and to take continual massive action toward my goals.
Morning Ritual:

  1. Smile, Stretch, and breath
  2. Say my incantation 3 times
  3. Visualize my richness and success
  4. Read my 6 quotes
  5. Read my 10 principles to live and work by
  6. Record my morning greeting
  7. Plan my day

Quotes:

  • “Life isn’t something that happens to me, but something that happens for me!”
  • “The past does not equal the future!”
  • “What’s talked about is a dream, what’s envisioned is exciting, what’s planned becomes possible, what’s scheduled is real.”
  • “If I can’t – then I must. If I must – then I will.”
  • “In order to take our lives to the next level, we must realize that the same pattern of thinking that has gotten us to where we are now will not get us to where we want to go.”
  • “Money is nothing more than a representation of the exchange of value”

10 Principles to live and work by:

  1. A promise is a promise I will keep mine
  2. I will always expect more from myself than anyone else could ever demand
  3. I am resourceful – I have the ability to do whatever it takes to succeed
  4. I have a deep respect for myself and everyone I meet
  5. I feel strong and powerful
  6. I am eager to get into action each day
  7. I will exercise my personal power to ACT
  8. I am deeply grateful for each day and for all the abundance in my life
  9. My confidence is unshakable because I live each day with integrity
  10. I have tremendous confidence in my talents and abilities

Aaron Hoos: Those are some great habits to start your day. (I have some similar practices — stretching, reviewing goals, getting inspired, etc.). Based on the year you’ve just been through, what lessons did you learn from this year?

Warren Wooden: Well I was lucky enough to borrow a copy of “Ultimate Business Mastery”, a course by Chet Holmes, and Tony Robbins that sold for about $5,000.00! (The platinum members that attended paid $65,000 which gives you some idea of the content involved in the course)

This is one of the best courses I’ve even gone through, and I made a point of going through it twice.

A couple of lessons that I picked up (I picked up many) were:
1. Modeling – Don’t try and reinvent the wheel. Find someone who has already accomplished what you’re trying to accomplish and figure out what they did to get where they are and then model their behavior/actions.

2. The importance of developing a “core story” around your business. The idea is to come at your marketing from an educational position rather than a selling or marketing position. Using compelling data pulled from an independent source you educate prospective buyers about the benefits or hazards facing them as it pertains to your industry, and by teaching them something valuable that they may not otherwise have known you’re seen as an authority and build credibility in their eyes. Since you’ve just spent time, energy, and resources toward educating them you’re a logical choice when it comes time to invest in a product or service within that industry.

Now there is obviously a lot more involved than that, but this just gives you an idea and I’ll be the first to admit they did a much better job of teaching the concept than I could ever do in a single paragraph. LOL

I also have to share a list of lessons that I have posted on my wall. Some of your readers will likely be familiar with them already, but it’s a great list and I have to say I read it often!
It’s titled 37 Lessons in Business.

Aaron Hoos: You’ve got some great lessons there from Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes (and I’m blushing a little that my 37 lessons is posted on your wall. Blushing… but pleased that you find it useful). So, how is your business changing? (And is this a permanent change or a stop-gap measure?)

Warren Wooden: I took on two clients (one not in my industry) and that has brought in enough cash flow to allow me to grow my business further. The tradeoff is the time I’m now investing in their business rather than my own.

Is this permanent? Well they have both offered me full-time positions with their companies as well as various other “perks” to entice me, and for the time being I’m attempting to do all three on a daily basis but since my resource (time) is limited, this will not be a permanent situation, and I’ll only do it as long as my body allows. (Sleep is a thing of the distant past!)

Aaron Hoos: All entrepreneurs face challenges. What ideas and tips do you have to help deal with the challenges?

Warren Wooden: Here are a few tips to help other entrepreneurs succeed:

  1. Model the successful men and women in your field. Do what they do, don’t try and re-invent the wheel.
  2. Focus on your business. Sounds simple, but how many of us know how much our profit increased over the last six months, or our conversion rates, etc. Choose the most important metrics within your business and study them daily and put action plans in place to improve them.
  3. Build some healthy “habits” into your routine. Habits aren’t like work, and if you choose them wisely can help your business immensely.
  4. Don’t be an island. Network with others in your industry, and stay connected. Brainstorm often, and build relationships with as many people as you can.
  5. Read and learn everything you possibly can on your chosen topic. Take courses, and attend seminars whenever possible. You never know when you’ll make a breakthrough in your thinking, or with something you can implement in your business.
  6. If you’re like me and you use a daily “to do” list, make sure that it aligns with your monthly and yearly goals. This way you know you’re making strides toward achieving those big goals that were most important to you, and your business. (Otherwise before you know it you’ve done a million to do’s and the year is up, but some goals still aren’t accomplished.

Aaron Hoos: These is great advice and it reminds me to rethink some of the things I’ve started doing in 2013 that I need to fix ASAP. So, what are your goals for coming year?

Warren Wooden: Rebuild Stage – Phase 4 (mar, 1 2013-Mar, 1, 2014)

  1. Buy an online asset -$10,000 – $15,000 range.
  2. Build a 2nd online asset.
  3. Perfect my back end sales funnel (know my conversions & stats).
  4. Keep my goals aligned throughout the year. My daily list should match up with my monthly/annual goals.
  5. Develop my online network (don’t try and go it alone basically).
  6. Take Blog Owner’s Manual further than PLR Internet Marketing (stats, traffic, and income).
  7. Fix my status with Google for PLR Internet Marketing (Traffic, PR).
  8. Email list over 10,000 (currently 2000).
  9. My own marketing/blogging product.
  10. Learn how to use Camtasia, as well as become comfortable with video/podcasting.
  11. Build a recording studio in my office.
  12. Break the six figure mark with my income.

I think that about covers it Aaron. I truly appreciate the opportunity to do this annual interview with you, and can’t wait for the next one! Here’s to an amazing year for anyone starting, or building a business, and especially those doing it from home!

Last word from Aaron: Warren, you are doing some amazing things and your story is truly inspirational to all entrepreneurs out there. Success isn’t easy and success in the face of trials is even harder. That connects closely with a theme I’ve been encountering over and over again this year: Calm seas do not make skillful sailors. I appreciate your candid honesty and your willingness to share your ups — and downs! — with us. I also appreciate your friendship. Here’s to a great year — a record-breaking, jaw-droppingly awesome year of higher heights!

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