Trying to find financial stability...
Scott said he would put in a good word for me with Mr. Christ, and eventually (and when I look back, not surprisingly) I got to the final stage where I was going to be accepted. I had my wife sitting next to me so that she could hear what was going on. They reckoned that I would need to do 15 hours work a week. It couldn't be skimped. It couldn't be left until the end of the week and then rushed through all in one day. I had to commit to making sure that I was doing this pretty much each day.
Over and over again I kept getting asked, 'did I understand what was involved ?', 'would I be able to keep to that level of commitment ?', 'what about my wife and kids, would it be ok with them ?'. I remember being told that they didn't want someone saying 'yes, I'll do it', only for them to do it for a week or so and then give up because it was too much like hard work. I also remember being told that they had to make sure that the person they got was the right person. Knew enough to understand what they wanted them to do. Not the sort of guy who 'thought' he knew it all, so that he wouldn't do what he was told to do. They needed the sort of person who was driven to achieve their goals.
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I had managed to convince them. I was willing to do ANYTHING . I NEEDED this to work. I was happy to work ANY hours. YES, I would do ANYTHING they told me. From what I was being told the only thing standing between myself and success or failure was myself. As long as I prepared to do what they told me, EXACTLY how they told me to do it, I could not go wrong. However, it was made very clear to me that they could NOT guarantee my success simply because they had no way of knowing whether I WOULD stick to what I promised to do. They had no way of knowing if I would do the hours I promised to do. That made sense. It wasn't a problem for me because there was no way I was going to screw up. I had years of internet experience and more than anything I wanted this to work. If I had to work 24 hours a day to achieve it I would. In fact I was determined to make sure I overachieved and make sure I did it well ahead of schedule. I was being offered a MASSIVE opportunity and I wasn't about to screw up.
As I've mentioned previously, all of this was about a year ago. I can't remember the exact dates and times of the conversations. I can't even rember the EXACT words that we're said. But I do vividly remember the gist and the general flow of conversation. When you want something as much as I did, you don't forget.
At some point I was asked what I wanted out of all of this. What were my goals ? What did I want to achieve ? Where did I want to be financially ? For me the answer was VERY simple. I'd spent the past 13 years in IT contracting. I was working in a niche skill which meant that when I was working the money was very good, but there wasn't many contracts around. I had to take the work wherever it was. This meant I spent a lot of time working away from home. I'd missed seeing my kids growing up. I only saw my wife and children at the weekends. I was working with complete nutters. I hated the whole existence. What was worse was that any idiot that could even spell the name of the skill I had was claiming to be an 'expert'. They we're happy to work for a quarter of what the REAL contractors such as myself would do the job for. Then throw in the downturn in the IT market in the UK, the encouragement from the UK government for foreign (mostly Indian) IT workers to come in and fill the 'gap' in the IT market (while approx. 25% - 50% of IT contractors we're out of work) and it wasn't difficult to see the whole thing was going titsup. I had wanted out for a while and NOW was definitely the time to do it. There was no work around and anything that did crop up was the sort of thing where previously a company would take on 2 or 3 contractors, but now they wanted one guy. He had to have all the skills and be an expert in all of them. The fact that to do that he would have to be at least 97 years old or a complete liar seemed to have escaped their notice. A classic example is the banks in the City of London. They are usually German, but almost always unrealistic.
Anyway, I'm deviating from the story ! The point here is that this 'opportunity' came at a perfect time for me. I just had to work, and work hard. No problem.
As for the rest of my goals, well obviously with a few months 'between contracts' we we're really struggling. I really do mean struggling ! There was the mortgage that we could barely keep up with, credit cards to pay (and they we're big payments), day to day living, food, and of course Christmas coming up. One of the biggest drains on us was the credit cards. When I was asked for the single thing that I wanted to achieve, what my real goal was, I said it was to pay off the credit cards. I was asked all sorts of questions about how much I owed, who I owed it to, how much my repayments we're etc, etc. These guys really seemed like they we're serious. they really seemed like they cared, and they definitely seemed like they we're going to help me. After all, why would they take such an interest ?
And then of course there we're the other questions. I was going to be working with Glenn Canady's people. I was going to be be setting up a successful business that, providing I did the work, was going to be bringing in big money. How much money did I want it to bring in ? It seemed they wanted to make sure I was setting myself realistic and achievable goals. I figured that if I was getting 125k a year from IT contracting then 85K per year from my internet business would be ok. No hotel costs or other expenses from staying away from home, my business would be a lot more focussed, plus I would be at home with my wife and kids ! It was agreed that the figure that I had put forward was both realistic and achievable and as such I had yet again proven that I was the right guy to be on the course. Of course I look back at this now and think to myself 'how the he'll could he say it was realistic or achievable without knowing what I was going to be selling !'. The problem for me at the time was that I had been fed, and swallowed, hook, line, and sinker, the story that Glenn Canady's Gorilla Website Marketing Course could take anything, any product, and make it into a success. After all, I just had to work hard and follow the instuctions exactly.
And then he dropped the bombshell. Of course there would be a cost associated with all of this. Hang on a second ! Up to this point I thought I was helping Glenn Canady out ? I though that there was a mutually beneficial arrangement that we had been discussing. Glenn Canady helps me and in return I give him a glowing testimonial. It was explained to me that yes, that was the case, but there was still going to be some small admin costs, expenses etc. that needed to be covered. After all they would be dedicating people to me, giving me software, tools etc., and all of that costs. So OK how much was it going to be.
Then he tells me. It starts at $5000 !!!
I virtually slammed the phone down then and there (and to be honest I should have, and I wish I had).
Somehow he managed to keep me on the phone for another few seconds. By this time my wife's head nearly explodes. Were are already 000's in debt and this idiot is asking us for $5000 !
His quick (and obviously well rehearsed reply) was, but what if you didn't have to pay that ? What if I could show you how to do it using other people's money ? What if it wouldn't actually cost you anything ?
NOTE - again, the wording I am using may not be exact, but the gist of the message is EXACTLY as I, and my wife, remember it.
My brain is still reeling from the bombshell that he has dropped on me. So OK, how do I manage to do this using someone elses money ? It was such a stupid statement I had to ask ?!
Given everything I have already said, and given the problems my wife and I had with repayments etc. see if you can guess what his answer was. Yes, it was stick it on a credit card !
I nearly fell over ! This was the very thing I was saying that we were struggling with and this guy was suggesting I put this on a credit card !
He went on to explain that there would be no problem doing this. That this was sensible business and that I was basically using the credit card company's money to get the business of the ground. He said that there was no risk doing this as I would be earning money before the first credit card bill for it came in . My earnings from my web site would cover the repayments and I would just be using the credit card company's money to my advantage. After all this is the way business worked. You used other peoples money to build your own business.
I've got to say I was highly sceptical, but by this time I had swallowed so much of it, and REALLY wanted it all to work that despite every bit of common sense telling me to say 'no' I found myself still listening and soaking up more of it.
I had to make a decision, 'yes' or 'no'. Our gut reaction ? We couldn't afford it. No way. It was simply impossible. What did we do ? We discussed the situation we we're in, we agreed that this is what I had been working towards for years. We agreed that something had to change. We agreed that it almost seemed unbelievable that an 'opportunity' like this would present itself just at our greatest point of need. It was a make or break situation. Shit or bust. When you we're (are) in debt as much as us what the he'll is another $5000 you can't pay ?
We talked it over, and reluctantly said 'yes'.
I was then asked what package I would like to go for. There we're 3 levels, and whichever one I went for decided how serious I was about the whole thing. OK, so what we're the packages and how much we're they ? The answer was that the basic package started at $5000, (I can't remember the exact price of the middle package), and the top package was $8000. Well ok, but what are the differences ? Now this is where myself and ABDevelopment have an argument. I had my wife with me and I have a vivid recollection of what I was told. It was my money that was getting spent here ! You would assume I would have a reasonable recollection of the difference in features between the top and bottom package in terms of features ! I've never been a middle of the road kind of guy. It's the most expensive or the cheapest every time with me. Best product or best price.
What I vividly remember getting told was that the difference between the packages was explained by the size of the email blast that they came with. The bottom package I recall having no email blast, the middle package I recall having something like 1 million, and the top package I recall as having 2 million. Of course it was explained to me again that it all depended on me and how serious I was about about the business and quickly I wanted to get my money back. The 2 million email blast package was the one to go for if you we're really serious and wanted your money back as quickly as possible.
I've got to say that the email blast worried me. It sounded far too much like spamming, or certainly something that was going to leave me open to accusations of spamming. No, don't worry about that I was told. What about the target audience ? Would they be able to deliver to whatever target market I ended up going for ? I could tell he was getting frustrated with the questions about this. Basically, whatever I wanted, I could get from this email blast. There was no problem hitting my target market. No problem with spamming accusations, and generally no problems with the email blast at all. Whatever I wanted from it I could have. It wasn't a problem.
Guess which package I opted for. Yes, the $8000 package. But hey, I'm going to be getting my money back on this before the first credit card bill even gets to me.
I was already getting promises to tell me that there was NOTHING to worry about. I would NOT be left high and dry. In the HIGHLY unlikely event that I had not recouped all my money back by the time 6 months had elapsed then they would work with me, and keep working with me until I had got all my money back.
When I look back at this now it really makes me want to cry !
I parted with the $8000. They took it from my Visa account in 3 chunks 'to ensure that it went through with no problems'. Because it went through in 3 chunks Barclaycard rejected it as it triggered their fraud alarms for 3 big payment going to 1 company in quick succession. I cleared that up with them and that was that. I'd paid my money, I just had to wait for them to be in touch, do my work, and I was a made man.
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Posted in Financial Services Post Date 08/01/2017