Click Millionaires

YAIBB — Yet Another Internet Business Book — arrived here on Friday, sent to me because it’s YAIBB that mentions me, This is True, and the GOOHF cards.

Looking at its Amazon reviews elicited a chuckle.

No Wonder They’re Failing

Sure, Click Millionaires (Work Less, Live More with an Internet Business You Love) by Scott Fox has quite a few five-star reviews there. More interesting are the one-star reviews, which (at least in this case) clearly show how some wanna-be entrepreneurs Just Don’t Get It.

“Ignore all five-star reviews” headed the first (of the two, as of this writing) one-star reviews. “The fact that ALL reviews were for five stars should have alerted me,” the reviewer said. “I read the entire book, looking for AT LEAST ONE idea I could use. Nada.”

The other one-star reviewer, a woman, complained, “There is no such thing as work less live more when you are trying to build an on line busines. The only reason this book was written was to send traffic to his web site!,,,,”

(Those commas are apparently not any sort of mistake; later the same gal wrote, “you would be better off doing so research on line and save yourself some money!,,, Even one star is to good for this book!!!!!!!!!!” If one ! will do, 10 are better, right?) Tip: if they can’t spell “online” right, maybe they don’t know much about the concept.

Oh, and Scott’s web site is ClickMillionaires.com. Yeah, we entrepreneurs spend months working on books just so we can get visitors to our sites, who pay nothing to see the content offered. Riiiight! Great business model ideas you have there, Miss Onestar!

Missing the Point

Business books aren’t about “ideas” — the homily “ideas are a dime a dozen” is absolutely true. Ideas are worthless. It’s the execution of a good idea that makes or breaks a business, whether it’s online or off.

How many “clones” of Twitter are there? Too many to count. And how many have gotten traction? Just Twitter itself.

Though first to market isn’t always best: MySpace launched in 2003 with a good “social media” premise (the idea), but the execution led it to only be adopted for the long run by kids and bands. When Facebook opened to the public in 2006, millions abandoned MySpace in favor of the better execution of Facebook.

Synthesizing Ideas

How “original” is Twitter? It’s “microblogging” based on text messages (160 characters, with 20 reserved for addressing = 140 character messages to anyone who might happen to be watching). Nothing original there: it’s “just” blogging with a texting overlay. The magic came in the synthesis of two old ideas into something new (the idea), and the execution of that idea (the work of making it happen).

Indeed, what is This is True? It’s “just” a newsletter (one of the oldest forms of publications!) overlayed onto a new medium, email — adapting an old medium into a new one.

The content is “just” an old staple of the newspaper business: human-interest “filler” items, plus some personality or “attitude” (commentary, turning the filler into social commentary). It was the execution — good old-fashioned work, including coming up with commentary on every single story — that turned those simple ideas into a business that has lasted 18 years, and still going strong. One which, yes, over those 18 years has grossed millions of dollars; as Scott put it, “click millions.”

Drawing the Conclusion

Click Millionaires coverSo what good is a book like Click Millionaires? It gives you scads of quick case studies showing how entrepreneurs synthesized new ideas out of old ones. Yes, it absolutely is short of the day to day, sometimes mind-numbing work involved to get there, but that is the kind of how-to tactical detail you research online, or get from your Mastermind group or a consultant.

Unlike what Miss Onestar thinks, yeah, I actually do get to pick and choose when I work, and as my assistant will tell you, I have long thought nothing of taking off hours for lunch, or taking off days for travel.

So Scott is correct: my online business does, in fact, allow me to “Work Less, Live More with an Internet Business I Love”. (And since I truly love my work, I don’t mind putting in long hours when I am here.)

Reading how others have done it allows you to create your own path — to synthesize elements of other ideas into new ones. That’s only phase one, also known as the easy part. The hard part is to then execute your new idea in a compelling way that brings in customers, readers, whatever — the income side of the business.

Books Don’t Give Ideas:
They Help You Implement Yours

By seeing what others did, you might come up with a new way of doing things. Mine was, “There’s software to create mailing lists! Instead of using it for a discussion list, I can use that to broadcast a newsletter!” (a radical idea in 1994; now there’s an industry around the concept).

Who knows what you might figure out by reading a book (or 10) about successful businesses, and how they got there? If you know that you want your business to be online, then yeah: read books about online businesses. They’re not all Facebook, Twitter, and Google: there are thousands of small businesses, like mine, that you can learn from. Where? People like Scott Fox, Jim Kukral, Paul Lemberg, and many others write books and articles to bring you the stories of the smaller ones, the ones you don’t hear about every day.

Those stories are there so you can read them and come up with a new idea or strategy. You won’t be creating the next Twitter or This is True, but you might come up with new ideas from reading about those businesses, or from the dozens of businesses you haven’t heard of before, but can read about in books; you can adapt the concepts that fit your idea, and then get started on your business execution.

Examples: A mailing list? An offline viral card that raises awareness of your web site? A spinoff site that brings an entirely different audience to your business? The concepts are endless, which is why there will always be YAIBB to read.

10 Comments on “Click Millionaires

  1. “…’you would be better off doing [some] research on line and save yourself some money!,,, Even one star is to good for this book!!!!!!!!!!’ If one ! will do, 10 are better, right?) Tip: if they can’t spell ‘online’ right, maybe they don’t know much about the concept.”

    Apparently some of them can’t spell “too,” either.

    Imagine if she put that much energy into her business idea. Why, it just might succeed! -rc

  2. I have a client who did this. Extreme hard work on the internet and the phone earned him nearly $1 million in his first year and well over that the next. I guess spending 18 hours a day in the beginning, then hiring assistants to do more work bringing in more income doesn’t work for these one star people.

    Yep. Hard work obviously doesn’t guarantee success: you need a good idea first, then the right hard work. I had some hit and miss in the early days, because I didn’t always do the right hard work. But I learned. Hopefully the one-stars can too, or they’ll never get there. -rc

  3. I see, too, that Scott Fox has personally replied to the two 1-star reviewers, explaining that the book is not meant to be what they’re complaining it’s not. (I hope I said that correctly.) And, he offered to refund their money.

    Thanks for letting me know that! I hadn’t bothered to look for any replies, in part because I forget that one can, in fact, reply to reviews (I never have). Good for him. -rc

  4. Does this mean that you are a millionaire because of True or in spite of it? Either way, you deserve more than just a million for all you have done for us over the years.

    For those who might be thinking I just skimmed, I did read more that the title of the book and the first paragraph above. I just chose to comment on the “millionaire” part instead of writing yet another comment about people who never got any stars when in school, who now also have trouble understanding when to give out stars.

    Heh! I’m not a millionaire in the sense that I have more than a million dollars in available assets. TRUE has “made millions” over the years, but of course I have a lot of expenses, too (“you have to spend money to make money”), and what’s left over — the profits — have funded my life. So while I don’t feel “wealthy” in the sense of having a lot of money, I do feel wealthy in that I have the lifestyle I wanted: a reasonably nice house on some acreage in the country, enough travel to make me content, and lots of intellectual stimulation from chatting with readers. And that’s pretty sweet indeed. -rc

  5. I once heard that the Gypsy definition of a millionaire is not someone who HAS a million dollars, but someone who’s SPENT a million dollars.

    You qualify, and as I near retirement age, I believe I do too.

  6. You wrote “I had some hit and miss in the early days, because I didn’t always do the right hard work. But I learned.”

    Maybe what’s needed is a book (or blog post) detailing the many wrong “hard work”s an online entrepreneur should avoid.

    And by the way, Firefox shows the word “online” to be misspelled and offers “on line”, “on-line” and “leonine” as alternates 🙂

    There are certainly several web sites about business basics. The hard part isn’t figuring out which are truly authoritative, it’s finding an authoritative site that’s relevant to your business sector. And that tidbit about Firefox is surprising. -rc

  7. I can just imagine the lawyers coming out of the woodwork over the use of “Onestar” and it’s similarity to Onstar®. But it IS truly descriptive of the mindset of the reviewer. I like it! Sort of like racking up a tally; already got One in a Row.

  8. “any fool can criticise…….and most of them do”

    I know some people just like to criticize, but I’m really hoping to help people succeed in getting control over their own destinies — there really is no “security” in the workplace anymore. I’ve got that kind of control, and am sad when others can’t get past their misconceptions lack of education so that they, too, can succeed. That it starts by confronting error and setting the record straight.

    Also, note that to communicate most effectively, there are grammar rules in writing. Examples: Start a sentence (and proper nouns) with a capital. Spell words correctly. An ellipsis has three, not seven, dots. Sentences end in periods. When you don’t follow the basic rules of your own language, you reveal yourself to be sloppy and uneducated. -rc

  9. Yes, an ellipsis has 3 dots and appears to have 4 if the ellipsis is at the end of a sentence (3 for the ellipsis and one for the end of sentence period). Since you explained that rule in two sentences, I’ll bet you there’s someone who won’t connect the dots, so to speak, and will write an end of sentence ellipsis with 3 and insist that’s what Randy said.

    Probably, but it’s still true that the ellipsis has three dots. The fourth, as you noted, is the period. -rc

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