I spent my childhood years through high school in a small village (less than 200 residents) in NE North Dakota, USA close to the Canadian border – at 18 years it was on to the University of North Dakota pursuing a major in psychology, with minors in biology and chemistry in a pre-medical curriculum.
I “discovered” computer science when that department began at UND my junior year. I started with general informational and beginning programming courses, however, with a mere 2 years of college remaining, there was inadequate time or funding to pursue that then as a career.
Toward Completion Of My Early College Days,
I found sales as a convenient and lucrative way to earn some extra cash. It provided for my new wife and later our first child and a move from our rural way of life to Minneapolis, MN – a metro area of over a million people.
We found our way south to Rochester, MN – home of the Mayo Clinic (healthcare) and IBM (mainframe computer manufacturing). That lead me to a sales position at a newly formed partnership marketing mostly Korean pc computer clones of IBM personal computers. That partnership failed but the experience and contacts made there proved invaluable.
I Was Eventually Able To Create My Own Shingle
at the home we purchased from a local retiring podiatrist (almost literally as it previously read “Podiatry Clinic”) with the inscription “The Computer Clinic” and ventured out with my own brick and mortar shop supporting & servicing personal computers and selling IBM PC clones – no internet yet, but we were able to support clientele with bulletin board software and 300 baud phone connections.
I began supporting, servicing, training clients and providing equipment for quite a wide variety of niches – lawyers, doctors, medical clinics, trucking firms, petroleum equipment suppliers, real estate firms and individuals, service entities for the physically challenged, manufacturing concerns, farmers, ag businesses – the list goes on and on.
The progress involved taking several additional college classes in the computer sciences involving programming, networking, systems analysis, and hardware as well as a multitude of vendor conventions, gatherings, and seminars.
These last 28 years has found the love of my life...
...(25th anniversary coming up), a decade and a half as the IT Director of a rural healthcare facility experiencing the growth from 4 computer systems in the business office and a couple of individual employees to a fully virtualized networked system of over 100+ systems with a complete medical record system online.
And now it’s planning my fourth year of full retirement from that healthcare position and looking to enhance our move to “Fun in the Sun” in Arizona for the winter months with financial supplementation from online marketing while making Arizona our permanent home.
About halfway through the second decade of the 21st century another fork appeared. This time it wasn’t on the road, it was life’s path. One direction was a dead end, the other full of excitement, opportunity, fun, and reward. Around 2008 or 2009 it became time to seriously plan for retirement. But I was thoroughly enjoying each day better than the last – a great marriage, rewarding and fulfilling employment, growing income and investments – easy to let days slip by.
As I looked back at the accomplishments our healthcare centre had encountered along the way, I began to realize how important it was becoming to record and transfer previous experience and information to a new directorship for our IT department. It was close to the middle of 2014 before personnel seemed to be in place and the transfer could begin in earnest. It appeared retirement was only 1 - 2 years away.
At the very end of 2015...
a colonoscopy discovered foreign tissue and the road I had been on abruptly changed to a path. Forthcoming analysis determined the newly discovered tissue to be malignant.
It was then back to Rochester, MN and the Mayo Clinic for consultations, advice, and recommendations. Extensive testing determined there to be a long dark tunnel, but some light toward the end.
Around the middle of May that year, the fork in the path became quite visible. The treatment recommendations had included radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, and post chemotherapy.
The first portions of the treatment procedures required about 10 weeks of daily Mayo appointments for chemo and radiation to be followed by 30+ days of “rest” before surgery.
The direction of the fork in the path ahead became very clear Bright
and somewhat consumed by the light of inspiration. Since each daily radiation appointment consumed only about 30 minutes each morning including travel time from (and back to) the hotel to the clinic, there was substantial “free” time to fill. Much was used for rest and attempting to eat – the rest was continuous laptop browsing and searching. Soon the decision was made to move to life on the internet – possibly a replacement income source possible during retirement?
I’m afraid I moved a little fast...
when settling on an opportunity to explore as a replacement. Most of what I had been doing as preparation for retirement was building a portfolio using mostly conservative online investments using TD Ameritrade as my online trading platform. After about a week and a half or so of treatments I happened upon a banner ad (I think it was on CNN.com) that caught particular attention. “Is this the new Apple stock of this millennium?” - or something close to that. It was an ad for a company called Digital Altitude and I found myself viewing a video by an x-marine named Michael Force. I listened closely to his presentation.
Ultimately, this may have been a misstep, however I did become enamoured by the idea.
I booked a trip to Las Vegas for a Mastermind Conference with my wife and I for the end of October. That move served several vital purposes: 1. Creation of purpose and goal for a short distance in the future. 2. Created a definite and quick convalescence period after surgery and 3. Established longer term retirement goals. Upon return from Nevada with a substantial set of new ideas and purpose I checked in at our cancer center to continue with post-surgery chemotherapy – only 5-7 sessions of a couple hours each over the course of 2-3 months – shouldn’t be very difficult.
it really wasn’t and I was highly motivated to finish my career at the hospitals and clinics at the health center and begin the move on to retirement.
Success in this new marketing online arena was already beginning to occur as well. Went to fiverr, bought a website, hired a designer for a logo and some company design and graphics done, had a thousand postcards mailed out, obtained clickmagick for tracking and continued to study Michael’s course on traffic – tested and then purchased a small solo ad contract (ending November 2017), secured tax id for iMarketingSuccess and my name, printed cards with new logo – all set!
Within four and a half weeks, several trials and a few sales were posted in my back office. Then, my very first customer from the post card mailing purchased an upgrade which made my first reported income amount of just over $1000. I’ll bet you can guess what comes next.
It appeared all had gone well in my nearly 3-month absence while in Rochester. My replacement-elect seemed to fit the position well and seemed to be near the end of replacement training. After a few days back on the job, I went home one evening and promptly purchased a residence in Arizona online. Fun in the sun had begun.
An Email Arrived Explaining That...
so much new activity had caused huge backlogs in processing time so our commission checks would be delayed. Aaaah, only a fifteen-day delay (but maybe should check further for any previous nefarious conditions or activities).
By the time that first check came as was indicated and the next couple smaller ones came on time, I was fully committed to learning marketing online as my newfound retirement hobby and possibly lifestyle.
The next several months were somewhat hectic but rewarding indeed: procedure manuals construction, finishing touches on security transfers to new staff, numerous training sessions, retirement preparations, and conventions in Hawaii, Disney World, and Las Vegas.
There were opportunities to say goodbye to long term co-workers, old friends, older habits
hello to new acquaintances, new potential habits, and aloha to both.
It became difficult for me to maintain proper focus on my new endeavour. Retirement was finally at hand. The final move was to travel to Arizona, inspect our purchase there, begin to get settled into our new surroundings and then back to Las Vegas for a mastermind presentation.
I had some “catching up” to do from the neglect of consistency to my new “hobby”. The speaker’s presentations offered deep instructional value and group follow up helped materialize future planning. However, there was a sense that something seemed amiss.
When back in Arizona, I spent more time looking and evaluating the opportunity at hand than actually making an effort to advance. I guess rightly so – in early 2018 the FTC “temporarily” closed shop on Digital Altitude for discovery of any violations. The action basically closed my progressive activity and efforts as well.
Initially, efforts went to help enhance Viewpoint Technology Club, our AZ 55+ community’s newly renamed computer club while standing by for a decision from the Federal Trade Commission.
As I recount all activity since the beginning of 2018...
it appears I was not totally idle, but I have generally been quite ineffective with marketing online since 2018. Following is a listing of a substantial part of my activity toward online marketing since first answering that ad in 2016.