Entrepreneurs, Shiny Objects, and the Internet Money Club

When I joined the Internet Money Club a year ago, I thought I was doing it to learn how to market on the Internet. But I discovered that the IMC is about much more than Internet Marketing and Business Creation. In addition to the specific skills and understanding necessary to build an Internet business from scratch, the program offers the means for experienced entrepreneurs to discover a precise direction within the feelings, hunches, and compulsions that made them want to create a business in the first place.

Before I became a member of the IMC, I had already accomplished a great deal. As a leadership consultant for the past 25 years, I had worked at all levels in every type of industry, including heavy manufacturing, mining, oil refineries, financial industry, food, and beauty. With a client list that included Kellogg’s, Amoco, General Motors, Pepperidge Farm, Godiva, Consolidated Energy, Cypress Coal, Avon, Microsoft, and many others, I had designed and run large training programs (over 30,000 people at a time) and had worked one-on-one with very senior executives in Fortune 500 companies.

I had published 11 books, developed videos, and had already established an Internet presence. What I was missing was focus. I was constantly being distracted by my next big idea. (My son, an F-16 instructor teaching Top Gun techniques, often said to me, “Shiny object, Mother,” as I veered off on yet another project.)

Then I read Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson. The book stressed the need to focus on marketing, and that led me to the Internet Money Club. The IMC, as promised, delivers a well-designed, comprehensive program on Internet marketing. They guide you through a logical sequence of steps, from soup to nuts, that any “would be” entrepreneur would find beneficial. The program helps you identify a viable product to sell, develop a website, and apply proven techniques for attracting customers.

The discoveries you make as a member of the IMC, however, go far beyond learning how to work the Internet. The concepts taught actually help you crystallize and direct your efforts, regardless of how far along you believe your business to be.

My first big breakthrough came soon after I joined. By making website design less intimidating and presenting websites as a means to test ideas, the IMC encouraged me to create a new website based on a subcategory of my expertise: relationship issues. So I began the discipline of testing response to a newsletter that focused strictly on that theme and building a list of people interested in the subject. After many years of working within the corporate landscape, my sense of my target audience began to shift.

Next, I applied the IMC’s concepts to my original business website. I was already publishing a newsletter titled “Don’t Look Down” (one of my many shiny objects), which furthered my agenda of helping business leaders identify obstacles to their courage and fight against them. As I began to build a list associated with that newsletter, I discovered that I could consolidate the lists from both newsletters. Directly due to the Internet Money Club’s systematic approach to building a business, the shiny objects I had pursued for years started to make sense in terms of an overall plan.

By tracking response to my newsletters through the simple techniques taught in the IMC program, I was able to identify the topics that captured the most attention. Then, inspired by an IMC seminar, I began to offer free teleseminars on those hot topics. My teleseminars (on Bullies, Life’s Scary Moments, Responding to Tough Times Effectively, etc.) garnered more names, more exposure, and more business.

As I continued to gather information, I aggressively sought out speaking assignments. My focus shifted from looking for paid assignments to building a bigger list, developing a broader following, and selling more of my books. With this change in perspective (directly attributable to the IMC), I began to book speaking engagements outside of my corporate milieu. I waived my $10,000 speaking fee and spoke for free in exchange for being allowed to market my materials to my audiences.

The success of these efforts confirmed my assumption that what I was doing could be applied to a much more diverse audience than the typical corporate client. And that helped me BRAND my work.

Over the years, I had created a comprehensive curriculum to help my clients handle tough situations and tough people. I had also written a book called Handling Critical Moments With Grace. Now, with an increased awareness of my audience, it became clear that all of my work fell under one umbrella: the idea that doing tough stuff takes practice. As a result of that insight, Practicing Grace surfaced as my brand.

I had found, as so beautifully stated by Rich Schefren at the ETR Bootcamp in November, my “sweet spot.”

With the evolution of my brand in the brief period of time of one year — through a program that I thought would only teach me to market online — I found myself reinvested in the work that has been my life for 25 y ears. And based on my experience, I am convinced that the Internet Money Club would be an asset for any entrepreneur committed to revitalizing his or her business.

[Ed. Note: As Toni mentioned above, she found success through the Internet Money Club. The program is designed to teach anyone, regardless of past experience (in business or online) how to start and grow a profitable Internet business. You’ll learn about e-mail list building, product and content creation, joint ventures and affiliate marketing, copywriting, and much more. But if you want to join, don’t wait. Once 250 new members sign up, the doors will be closed for another year.

Toni Lynn Chinoy is the founder of Harlan Evans, Inc. She has written texts on Leadership, Bullies, Personal Styles, Power Games, and other subjects, used extensively by her corporate clients. Now, with what she has learned from the Internet Money Club and ETR, she is bringing her work to a larger audience. Her websites include www.practicinggrace.net, www.shortcutstograce.blogspot.com, and www.relationshiprenovations.com.]