I’m an evangelist. You didn’t know that already? Oh, no, I’m not talking about religion! I don’t have a TV show or anything. I’m talking about being an evangelist when it comes to the internet! I take advantage of every opportunity I can to spread the word about earning money online, promoting yourself online, virtually anything that you can do using the internet to promote yourself and your business.
Sometimes, being an Internet Evangelist is a tough thing to do. For somebody who lives the Internet lifestyle every day, sometimes I see and offer ideas and solutions that people don’t want, don’t understand or are even afraid of.
Recently, I was contacted by an older person, and he explained to me some things that he was doing, not really a job, but a passion of his. Currently, he was doing it because it was something that he loved doing, but he was hoping that somehow he could make some money out of his passion. When I looked at what he was doing, I instantly became very interested, because I could see a lot of potentials for actually making some nice money on the net with what he was already doing in another venue. He could keep up with what he was doing now, and expand his horizon on to the Internet, where making money in his niche would actually be rather simple in my opinion.
As I sat down with my new friend and started explaining to him where I thought he should be headed with his niche, I could tell that he was getting very excited. Later, though, after we went our separate ways, he started calling me with questions. From the questions he asked, I knew instantly that he didn’t understand a thing that I told him. Now, I was faced with some choices.
- I could continue helping him, but instead of him doing it, I would have to do it myself or offer some pretty extreme hand holding. Either of these options would require a lot of my time. If I give him my time, that means that I am not working on my own projects.
- I could just let him go on trying to implement my suggestions in his own way, although I know that what he does will be wrong, and won’t make much (if any) money for him.
Honestly, I am of mixed feelings on this right now. I feel that this fellow cannot be taught to do it himself, yet I don’t have enough of my own time to donate to him and take him where I know he wants to go. So, what do I do?
A number of years ago, I had another American friend who lived here in Davao. He and I were very close. We thought in the same way, and we had similar interests. It was to the point that we didn’t even have to finish our sentences, we both knew what words were coming next. We both considered ourselves to be Internet Evangelists. Often times, actually almost everytime that we found a person that we thought would be receptive to hearing our guidance or wanting our help, ultimately it never worked out. Either we were talking right over the top of their heads, or they didn’t trust us. You see, when you get very excited about helping people, it is my experience that the person you are trying to help ends up getting suspicious. They think that you must be trying to rip them off, because “why would somebody be so excited to help?”
Well, when you are an evangelist of any type, it is in your blood that you want to help people, and you want to spread the word of whatever it is that you are evangelizing about. That’s what evangelism is all about.
So, I am still unsure. What do you think I should do to help this new friend? Or should I help him at all?
Bob, I had to chuckle as I read this, becuase I was working on an article for my PhilFAQS blog and decided to take a break and see what new articles have flowed into my feed reader, and there this one was.
The question is indeed troubling, and I really wish I had the answer. As you know and a few of my readers also know, I have written extensively on PhilFAQS and other blogs about how you can earn a living, even build yourself a legacy business, online.
Yet people persist in asking for help in ‘finding a job’ and when referred to such articles just totally ignore the advice, or even worse come back with comments like, “Oh, I can’t do that, I am talking about a ‘real’ job, with an actual income.”
In addition to the fact that it sometimes gets me annoyed, leaving aside any temper fits, it depresses me. The entire economy of the world is changing. It’s not just the current headline financial crisis … that’s just a short term thing. But what is changing is the way things are done.
My son asked me the other day for my opinion on making an investment. he is computer literate but like a great many people believes the Internet is just a hoax or a bubble. His question was, “do you think I should buy some Best Buy stores stock … it currently seems a bargain, and when the economy p[icks back up they look poised to make money.
“Make money at what?” was my response. “Certainly not computers, you know how much better you can do buying direct online.”
“Media”, pop, “Media. Books, CD’s DVD’s. all that high markup consumable stuff.”
I responded with three words, “Kindle, iTunes, Torrent”, and then added a forth, “NetFlicks”. (which is rapidly moving into the zero-media down loadable world). “Call me back with a 21st century company and we’ll talk more’. Best Buy and some of their huge competitors like Circuit City who already went belly up remind me of that great Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn film, “Dead Man Walking”. The “economy” didn’t kill Circuit City, their last century business plan did. They were dead for a couple years before the credit crunch drove in the nails.
Books are dead trees and dead business. Amazon will sell you all the books you could ever want at $9.99 a title, delivered to your Kindle as you sit in your chair at home and read the last one you bought. CD-Roms with songs are already in the funeral procession. Many artists now release directly to iTunes or direct sales, record business execs are like buggy whip salesmen. Services like torrent and other P2P’s may vary in legality, but are impossible to compete against … who would buy a movie on DVD when you can download it for free?
Resistance to change is human nature, but those of you reading this who don’t want to acknowledge the distinct change in business are going to be left farther and farther behind … I kid you not.
Hi Dave – Thanks for stopping by. I think you and I had talked about this subject earlier today in e-Mail, but didn’t get quite as detailed.
The stuff you mentioned about Kindle/Media/etc. ties right in with my last article on this site about changes that I feel are coming in the publishing world. Those comments tie this article in with the last one, something I had not thought about, so thanks for that.
Change is coming, we all have to make adjustments if we want to survive!
Hi Bob –
If I was in your position, I’d give the fellow (and myself) a break and provide him with a top-level repeat of the info you provided to him earlier, leaving out the detail. Then, I’d finish up by discussing my time considerations (time=money; free time=hunger), and offer him a “discounted” coaching session or two at a reasonable $ @ hour rate.
If he says, “No, thanks,” then think nothing of it and walk away. He’ll be back sometime later after reconsidering your offer, then you can reconsider the “discount.”
If he says, “Okay,” then set establish everything in writing (without mentioning guanantees) and get him on his way.
You have a nibble there – gotta make the bait appear more attractive! 😉
Bob – Forgot to mention: This is pretty much how things go when providing solid tax consulting information to clients. They want as many freebies as they can get, promptly forget what you say, and either screw it up or return for a repeat of the freebies.
A client cherishes that for which he pays. The more the information is worth to the client, and the more you match your value to your pricing, the more he’ll be willing to “learn.” 😉
I would continue to help him. But instead of giving him detailed instructions on every topic, maybe you can point him in the right direction by giving him the location of the resources he would need to read. Since he seems to be enthusiastic about this project, tell hm he must try to learn the basics first by educating himself. Break the process down into a few steps and then learn about each step.
I would first show him how to do a Google search of a topic and then check to see if he knows how to do it. If he wants to follow through on his idea, he should invest the time to learn.
Hi Bob. I think he sounds like me. I need to have things written down in front of me as a reference I can go back to . Kevins idea is also good. But sometimes holding someones hand is counter productive. Help him for sure, but maybe at arms length.
Hi Daryl – Thanks for stopping by and commenting. The strategy that you suggest is what I am doing now, and I’ll see how it works. Hopefully it will be successful.
Hi Paul – I am sorry, I really could have sworn that I already responded to your comments. Either I am getting too old, or this software is acting up! Don’t tell Feyma, OK? She already thinks I’m aging a lot! 😉
I have been continuing to assist my new friend, and I am sure he appreciates it. We will be getting together later this week for some additional training. We’ll see how that goes!
Hi Paul – Regarding your other comment – I agree fully that people appreciate it more when they have to pay than if it is free. Somehow free advice is just “OK” when you pay for it, that’s “premium advice” and is listened to more.
Hi Kevin – Sorry, I thought I already replied to this comment, but I must have spaced it out! Your idea of giving him some pointers and letting him do the research is a good idea, and he might be able to do that, I’ll have to see.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts.