Jun 22

How I get so much done everyday.

By ted sikkink | Productivity

What’s your plan for this week?

I used to just wing it, and I hated the thought of having to plan anything. Planning was crushing my productivity.

It was restrictive. How could anyone create anything great?

Well times have changed. I know better, and I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did. It wasn’t until I became a project manager that I learned the value of planning.

I would plan out every part of a project down to the smallest details. This allowed me to pull off some crazy projects and meet deadlines that most people would call unrealistic.

But I would do it time and time again. It wasn’t until I applied this same method to my online business that things really took off.

I made a short video to show you how I plan everything out.

Click here to watch the video, and give me your feedback. 

Jun 20

Happy Father’s Day

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship

I’m still blessed to have my father with me. He turned 79 this year, and he inspires me with how he lives his life. While most people want to slow down and rest, my dad still works part time and is always looking to learn new things.

When he was 72 he bought his first computer and now he spends a lot of his time watching videos on his iPad. I grew up with my dad always learning to do new things. Just like my dad you need to look at how to maximize your time and productivity as an online marketing business owner.

That’s why I created “The Inner Guide To Online Success.”

Because your success depends on you learning how to get the most out of what you already have. Right now you can get the DVD for only $5 for a limited time. Get this DVD and learn from my mistakes so you don’t repeat them.

Jun 20


By ted sikkink | Business Leadership

I remember working like a dog trying to make this online marketing business work.  You know I can’t count how much debt I racked up on credit cards with interest rates that should have been illegal.

One night that stands out as the turning point for me was when I thought I was dying at my kitchen table.  I had been pulling 10 hour days for weeks as a construction project manager for a university in South Carolina.  Even though I didn’t do the construction work I had to stand around all day to make sure it was done to code.

For the most part I was bored out of my mind day dreaming of a better life. One of the things I hated most about that job was asbestos removal. In case you don’t know asbestos was used to insulate everything before it was outlawed in the US.

The university I worked at had asbestos everywhere.

One of my projects was to have it removed from the science building while the kids were on summer break. I would come to work and change into a white hazmat suit and wear a breathing respirator.  I looked like Heisenberg in breaking bad. Because we were removing asbestos the entire science building was sealed up with plastic and the AC was shut down.

Just imagine opening the door to find makeshift plastic rooms set up to contain asbestos as it was being removed.  Just imagine zero air movement in a building where the outside temperature was in the high 90’s. Inside it was like a oven, and I felt like a chicken at a barbeque.

I could not take a break until the workers did because you had to shower off and change into normal clothes to go outside.  The day before the project was to end I stayed up late working on one of my niche sites. Because I was so tired I drank a 2 liter Mellow Yellow to help me stay awake.

About 2:24AM my heart started racing, and I felt dizzy.

And that’s when it hit me…I was going to die.

This was how it was going to end. Dead in front of a laptop at a kitchen table was not the eulogy I dreamed of.  I was afraid to move and paralyzed with fear with thoughts of how my family would find me in the morning.

That’s when it hit me that there has to be a better way. I was praying in my mind for God to spare my life and give me a second chance. I would find a way to balance life and work and make a bigger impact on the world.  Waking up around 3AM face first on the laptop I knew things had to change.

That’s when I stepped back and realized that it’s about the overall plan and not about tactics or flash in the pan tricks. It’s about building a real business that works for you…not the other way around.

That’s why I created the “Inner Guide To Online Success.” You probably already know everything you need to create a successful business. You might just need some help putting the right pieces together at the right time.dvd

Right now you can get the DVD for only $5 for a limited time. Get this DVD and learn from my mistakes so you don’t repeat them.


Jun 16

The Biggest Mistakes I Made Starting an Online Business

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship

Not enough market research

As entrepreneurs it’s easy to fall in love with an idea about how well your products are going to sell. Just build a better mousetrap and they will come. Well, in the online world that’s like waiting up all night to catch the tooth fairy. It’s just not going to happen.

Most entrepreneurs start an online business with the belief that their idea is going to be worth millions right out of the gate. But if you do the market research and look at the facts, you might discover that your idea is not going to work. In this case it may be better to ditch the idea in the planning phase than to waste time and money trying to make it work.

When you are doing market research make sure you find multiple people selling something similar to your product. That’s proof that other people have made it work and you can, too.

Next, you need to visit their site to sign up for their email list and buy their product. Take note of the different products they offer for sale in their funnel.

Once you have this research together you will better understand the market dynamics and what you’ll need to have in place to compete successfully with them.

Not focusing on 1 thing until it’s done

Now that you have your market research done and have proof of concept that there is a healthy demand for your product, you need to focus on creating the product until it’s done. That means 100% done, not 99% done. As online entrepreneurs it’s easy to get sidetracked by bright shiny objects that are designed to make you part with your hard earned money. You can’t sell anything until you get it done. Don’t try to do multiple projects at once because it will just slow you down. Plus, you only need to have one front-end product completed to build your business.

Not using your own domain

You can’t judge a book by its cover, but you can judge an online business by its domain name. A lot of entrepreneurs will be pound wise and penny foolish by using a free hosting account or a shared domain name. That’s a sure sign of an amateur. Your domain is your storefront. Make sure you have a self-hosted domain that reflects your business. Plus, the right domain name will inspire confidence in your buyers.

Not building your email list from day 1

The lifeblood of your business will be your email list. Think of them as your own tribe and you are their fearless leader. It’s up to you to lead them to whatever results you or your products deliver. Never be afraid to email your list because you know you are providing value.

Make email list building your first priority as soon as your site is live. I would suggest you use AWeber for your email marketing. They have a crazy deal where you can get 30 days free. Even if you don’t have your products ready for sale, still get an email form to capture emails on your blog.

Not building out your funnel

Now that you have your email capture up and running it’s time to review your market research to see what and how your competitors are selling their products. You need to really look at how they are positioning their products to the market. Are they the Cadillacs of the niche or do they have the Wal-Mart mentality. You have to figure out your positioning before you create a product.

You also need to look at what types of funnels your competitors are using. Are they losing money on the front-end to acquire a customer only to promote high-ticket items to them next week? Do they make enough money from the front-end sales that they don’t have a back-end funnel. These are important details you need to consider.

Not focusing on recurring income

Even if you’re only selling 1 item, look at how you can take that one time sale and turn it into repeat sales. Or better yet, offer some kind of continuity program to create recurring income. Often this is done with a product of the month, membership sites, newsletters, or product refills. This will be the source of the bulk of your long-term income. Plus, if you consider selling the business the recurring income and the email list will be the assets that buyers want the most.

Not wanting to spend money on advertising

This is where most entrepreneurs trip themselves up. You have been willing to spend money to get your offer in front of your target audience. It is just like in real estate–location, location, and location. You can’t make sales if buyers never see your site. Paid traffic should be a line item on your cost of doing business. The entire internet is based on the model of using paid traffic.

Trying to do the techie stuff yourself

I’m a victim of this myself. I can’t count the times I should have spent my time growing the business instead of tweaking some code on the site or in the shopping cart. Don’t spend your time doing techie things. Technology is hard to learn, and often you will only use it once or twice. But technology is easy and cheap to outsource.

dvdI hope you enjoyed these tips. If you want to learn how to unlock your online success, let me send you the free DVD. You just pay for the shipping. Click here

Jun 11

5 Advanced Productivity Secrets

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship , Marketing

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””][fusion_text]One of the biggest keys to success is maximum productivity for yourself or your employees. Each year brick and mortar businesses spend billions looking for anything that would help them become more productive.

Online entrepreneurs face a totally different set of constraints than brick and mortar businesses. Because of that, I adopted the best of what’s working offline and applied online.

These are just a few of the problems you’ll face online plus the solution to overcome it.

[Tweet “5 Advanced Productivity Secrets”]

Lack of focus

Let’s face it. There are millions of things competing for our attention online.eyeglasses-698672_1280V1 Attention is the currency of the online world and everybody wants it…from FaceBook, Google, to the latest clickbait headline.

It’s so easy to get sidetracked with the latest and greatest BSO (Bright Shiny Object) offering to make what you are doing faster and easier while you spend your free time relaxing at the beach.

The problem is that without a clear focus you’ll end up going down a thousand rabbit holes or jumping from one idea to the next. Each time you abandon a half finished idea in favor of the next one because it seems better.

You have to have a clear written focus and stick to it or you will spin your wheels forever. Which leads to trying to do too many things at once.

Too many projects

entrepreneur-593372_640v1Multi-tasking might sound great in theory but in real life it’s a recipe for disaster. Online this gets multiplied by a factor of 10X.
Because it i so easy to start a new project, most people are planning the next 5 projects before they are even finished the first one.

All too often I see entrepreneurs divide up their time while working on various projects. This gives them a false feeling of movement.

In the end it just slows them down. Just stick to one project until it’s 100% done before you start a second one.

It’s OK to have new and exciting ideas. Instead of trying to do them all, write your ideas down into Evernote and save them until you really have the time.

Time management

Billions are spent each year in the name of time management.clock-407101_640v1

But people still struggle with it.

Poor time management often comes down to not having clear goals with a set deadline that is measurable. Most people start a project and underestimate the amount of time it is really going to take to complete it.

The best way to manage your time is with proper planning.

Start with listing out all the major steps and what it’s going to take to complete them. Then add a buffer factor of 10-25% of that. That will give you a more accurate picture of the time it’s going to really take.

Next, break each major step into smaller bite size steps and add a time buffer factor of 25% to it.

You have to add in the buffer factors or you will underestimate the time.

Be honest with yourself on how long things are going to take. In your mind it’s a 5 minute task. But in reality it could easily take 15 minutes.

The only way to manage your time is to know where it’s spent and then decide if that is the best use of your time.

Which leads us to working on technical tasks.

Lack the technical skills

office-620817_1280Because we live in such a hyper-connected world, it’s never been easier to find information on how to do about anything from setting up a server to configuring your own shopping cart.

So that’s a blessing, right?


These are all very valuable technical skills that are needed in every business. But the problem is these are just 1-off tasks that most online business owners will only need to do every few months at best.

Technical skills are hard to learn and easy to outsource. It really is a waste of your time to spend days trying to do any kind of technical task.

As a business owner your most valuable skills are creating a vision and making sales to grow your business.

Instead visit Upwork, Elance, or Freelancer and post a job to have somebody take care of it. Often you can attract high skilled technical workers who can complete your job the same day you post it.

So the next time you are tempted to try to learn some new technical skill, think about how much your time is worth and consider having it outsourced so you can spend your time growing your business.

Giving up too soon

man-597178_640Most people have the mindset that if something doesn’t work the first time that it is a failure, and they move to something else. This is very short-sighted because few things ever work on the first try.

How many times did it take to invent the light bulb?

How much time would you give a baby to walk before you gave up?

Then why do you expect that the first time you try something it’s going to work like a charm?

It’s not, but so many people have been seduced by slick marketing videos and sales letters to believe that success is only one button away. While that does make great stories, they are totally unrealistic.

The advantage of an online business is you can track everything back to a single action. You know that facebook ad “X” created a sale of product “Y.” Plus, you can have this data in real time. On the flip side, you can test and tweak and turn off things that aren’t working just as easy.

Offline this kind of data doesn’t exist. You have no clue if the sale was generated by a billboard, radio ad or word of mouth.

Online you can track everything which leads us to look at your results and then see how to improve them over time. So don’t just give up if something is not working. Instead, work to improve it.[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”” bottom_margin=”” sep_color=”” border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”” class=”” id=””/][fusion_text]dvdI hope you enjoyed these 5 advanced productivity secrets. If you want to learn how to unlock your online success, let me send you the free DVD. You just pay for the shipping. Click here[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Jun 05

Apple Pay VS PayPal

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship

Hey, this is Charles Kirkland. Welcome back to Inside the Mind of an Entrepreneur. Today we’re going to be talking about Apple Pay versus PayPal.
You’re a busy entrepreneur. You don’t have time for an intro. So, let’s go ahead and jump to the meat and potatoes of stuff here.

Now, as we all know, Apple came out with Apple Pay. And it’s going to be like the biggest thing ever. I mean, you know, this is going to like Visa, Master Card – man, just shred those things. I got Apple Pay. Well, how exactly did Apple Pay do? Well, trying to break into that market is extremely difficult to begin with.

First of all, we’re going to say okay, the percentage of people that have iPhones. Okay. We’re going to allow them to pay for things. It’s a brilliant idea. I think it’s come along. I think it’s great. But I think this is a big deal. There really wasn’t a lot of education about Apple Pay. Your phone now has Apple Pay. Great. What does that mean? Where do I use it?

And just the way Visa and Master Card – it took it a while for the option to kick in. We have the same problem with Apple Pay. They really did not educate the public about what it is, what it can do. I mean let’s face it. I’m at McDonald’s. I mean, it’s easy just to whip out the wallet, swipe a credit card and then use the Apple Pay for the most part.

But I do think Apple Pay is going to probably, I think within maybe two to three years, I think Apple Pay is going to be huge. As entrepreneurs and business owners, I think it’s going to make a massive impact.

You say, “Well what about PayPal?” First of all, PayPal has a massive, massive, massive head start. And the reality of this is it’s going to be very difficult for Apple to overcome that head start. The key is I think they’re better served by saying, “Okay, we’re going to be Apple Pay. We’re going to allow you use your mobile phone to do a lot of stuff.”

The reality of it is PayPal is so ingrained from eBay. It’s so ingrained from everywhere people still use it. This is the deal. Most people aren’t really fans of PayPal. They use it because hey, that’s just what it is. I personally dislike PayPal. I don’t like using PayPal. We accept PayPal by the way.

I don’t necessarily like it for a number of reasons, but with that said, if you put those two head-to-head I truly think that Apple Pay is going to come out ahead in about three years. I think they need to ramp up their customer base. I think they need to better educate their customer base, because I have the phone, and I still have no clue how it works. Educate that customer base. And I think the reality of it is, and this is just kind of a personal thing – PayPal has really kind of- they’re ingrained everywhere and I think they’ve gotten to the point where they’re just going to be kind of like trying to steer a big ship. It’s going to be very hard to change- not that Apple’s any smaller.

But I think that Apple will be a little nimbler when it comes to making these adoptions, because this is all about mobile payments. I mean mobile phones are where it’s at. I mean as you probably know, I’m the co-founder of the Media Buyer Association. And a tremendous amount of media is mobile. Mobile is absolutely the future of online business, online marketing.

As an online entrepreneur, you need to embrace mobile. That includes Apply Pay. That means having a lot of other stuff that you probably wouldn’t have to even worry about five years ago.

Anyway, this is Charles Kirkland. Hope you enjoyed it. By the way, head over to the CharlesKirklandBlog. Sign up for the newsletter. I’ve got a cool little newsletter where I’m always posting content. And grab your free DVD. Just help me with shipping here. It is the Insiders Guide to Online Success. Kind of help you unlock the things that are holding you back.

And by the way, we always make these podcasts short, sweet, to the point. If you enjoyed it, would you mind giving me a five-star rating over at iTunes, or whatever, you know. Whatever you think it deserves.

Anyway, this is Charles. Talk to you later.

Jun 05

Dont Let Your Email Take Over And Why Inbox Zero Is A Myth

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship

Hey, this is Charles Kirkland. Welcome back to the Inside the Mind of an Entrepreneur podcast. Today we’re going to be talking about don’t let your inbox take over. Now you’re busy. You’re an entrepreneur. You don’t have time for an intro. So, let’s go cut to the meat and potatoes of this.

Inbox Zero – that magical unicorn that would magically make your life better. I mean, it’s better than a trip to Disney, right. I mean inbox zero – we all want it. I mean the next best thing might be hitting the seven-figure jackpot or the weekly lotto game twice. But, most likely neither one’s going to happen.

You can say, “Whoa, Charles. Whoa. What do you mean it’s not going to happen? Inbox zero.” Look at this. I’m going to tell you this. Most people have let their inbox totally take over their life. It’s like their existence is dictated by the inbox. If the inbox says, “Charles, you need to go ahead and jump off the bridge there. Even if you can’t swim, it’s going to be okay.” Must follow the inbox. The inbox controlling my life.

We don’t need to have zombie mind control. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Unclear – 00:53] need to worry about. All they need to do is send more emails. We’ll obey the email box. That’s the problem. This is the deal. It’s not about having inbox zero. I know I’m going to get hate email for that. It’s not that. It’s about you understanding what the inbox is.

Your inbox is a communication tool, just the same way your phone is; the same way Western Union’s a communication tool; the same way telegraphs are; the same way direct mail is. This is the deal. Stop letting it take over your life. You’re and entrepreneur. You say, “But Charles, I’ve got to check my email because I’ve got to check on the latest stuff happening.”

Guess what? That’s fine. Go in that inbox. Check what you’re looking for specifically. I never go in my inbox unless I am looking for something very, very specific. If it’s not there, I leave it. I don’t care what’s in it. I leave it. I have a certain time that I check email.

Now I know, depending on your business you go, “Charles, I have to check email in the morning.” Great. That’s the first monkey wrench of the day. Check you email twice a day and guess what? You will find, hey, I’ve got a list of things that I need to do. They are priorities I created, not somebody else’s priorities. And because of that, I follow my list and get a lot of stuff done. I check my email around noon and I check it then when I’m ending the day. And guess what? You will discover everything in the world does not stop when that happens.

You’re, “But Charles, my entire business will collapse. I’d be a homeless hobo. And my neighbor Bob, who I don’t like, he’d have my VP job.” I doubt it’s going to be that way. Make sure that when people send stuff to your inbox, you know you can actually have a little auto responder that fires off “Hey, just want to touch bases and let you know that I’m prioritizing my time and we check our email at eight and at five. If this is an emergency and you absolutely need me, feel free to text me and we’ll get together.

Guess what? Half the people get that. “Well you know it really wasn’t an emergency after all. I mean it’s not like the building is on fire and I’m trying to email you to get out. Right.” Perfect. Good. Inbox zero just a myth. Don’t worry about it. Focus on controlling your email, because otherwise it will control you and take over your day, and your life, and your productivity.

Anyway, this is Charles. Hope you enjoyed it. Head over to the Sign up for the newsletter. And we’ve got a cool, free DVD if you’ll help me out with shipping, we’ll send it to you. And the DVD is The Inner Guide to Online Success, which is kind of like the lesson I just gave you. It’s how to unlock that online success.

And by the way, how did you like the podcast? I make a point to make these things short, sweet, to the point – no fluff. If you wouldn’t mind, give me a rating in iTunes. If you think I deserve it, I would love to have a five-star rating. If not, well, it is what it is.

Anyway, this is Charles. Talk to you later.

Jun 05

Where To Start When You Have To Start Over

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship

Hey, this is Charles Kirkland. Welcome to the Inside the Mind of an Entrepreneur. Now, we don’t have time for an intro. So, let’s go ahead and jump into it.

We’re going to be talking about what happens when you need to start over because every entrepreneur will eventually face this problem. Very few people don’t but most entrepreneurs will come to a brick wall, a.) when the business you realize is not working, cannot go further, or it comes to a point where you want to exit out of the business.

Now sometimes that’s an exit by choice. Sometimes it’s an exit because the business collapses. And sometimes, I hate to say it your partners may push you out. It happens. It’s just part of life.

Now with that said, where do we go from here? What do we do? How do we start over? First of all, you need to ask yourself would you start this business all over again of you knew what you knew now. Had you know that in the past would you do it? And that’s something you need to decide. Would you do that?

Second of all, you probably- this is the deal. Most people think, “Well Charles, I’ve got expertise in this area and that area.” That’s great. But a lot of times if that’s not worked before why is it going to be different this time? With that said, where do you start over?

First of all, you need to take inventory of your assets. What are the things that you’re really good at? Maybe you’re really good at managing people. Maybe you’re really good at developing software. Maybe you’re really good at online marketing, something of that nature.

First of all, this is what I’d tell you to do. If you absolutely have to make money now, go get a job. Even if you’re working for somebody else, in your mind you’re still an entrepreneur. Get out there and work for somebody else. Find what you want to do. Maybe you’re missing a skill. Maybe you’re great at doing everything, but you lack the managerial skills to make your employees do what you want to do. It happens all the time.

With that said, find a skill that you’re missing or either partner again with somebody who does have that skill. And please understand, the minute you partner with somebody, you’re giving them 50 percent of your business, or what percentage- every time I partner with somebody, it’s not been a, “Oh hey dude let’s partner- Oh, great. Let’s partner up and do something.” It’s been a long thought out process and one that I tell you- a business partner can be your greatest asset in business, if that’s one of the things that you want to do. Great.

But just make sure. Keep this in mind. It doesn’t do you any good if your business partner and you are 100 percent alike. If both of you are- “We don’t like actually doing the work. We like managing other people.” You better find some Indians. Too many chiefs. Not enough Indians. Please make sure somebody is willing to get their hands dirty and get the job done.

So, with that said take inventory of what you’ve got. If you need money, quick, get a job, whatever the case may be. Get out there and start planning your next start-up. It’s very easy to start up a quick overnight business. The reality of it, some of the best businesses ever- they’re the ones that can start up really small, don’t take a massive amount of money. We don’t need $5M in funding from Facebook to get started. All we need is a domain name, a website, a product or service to sell.

With that said, hope you enjoyed it. By the way, hop over to the blog – Sign up for the Inside the Mind of an Entrepreneur newsletter. Plus I’ve got a free DVD, if you’ll just help me out with shipping. I think shipping on that’s like $7 or $5. I don’t necessarily remember. I’ve got too many things going on.

So anyway, hop over there. We’ve got a DVD on how to unlock the inner guide to success, which typically means most entrepreneurs are holding themselves back and don’t realize it. Anyway, this is Charles. Hope you enjoyed it. Talk to you later.

Jun 05

Whats Stopping You From Success

By ted sikkink | Entrepreneurship , Productivity

Hey, this is Charles Kirkland. Welcome to episode number nine of Inside the Mind of an Entrepreneur. You’re busy. We don’t have time for an intro. So, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this.

What’s stopping you from success? Now I ask that question to all kinds of entrepreneurs. I get a variety of answers. Truth of the matter is, the thing that’s stopping you is most likely you. We could have a million reasons. We have like, “Well, you know Charles, if I only had this. If I only had that advantage.”

No. It’s not about somebody giving you an advantage. It’s you creating your advantage. But what I want to ask you is most of the time entrepreneurs are stopped by excuses. The excuses are, “I don’t have this resource.” “I don’t have funding.” “I don’t have people that believe in me.” “I don’t have this.”

Guys, the only thing stopping you from success is you. At the end of the day, it’s you. You’re the one steering the ship. You’re the one who makes that decision. You absolutely, positively have to be the one going out there and taking advantage of everything and make it happen.

So, next time you say well I don’t know or I’ve got something else, bull malarkey. It’s you. And when you finally accept that, you will be amazed at the results you can achieve.

Anyway, this is Charles Kirkland. Talk to you later.

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