Today, while at Oktoberfest in Munich, I will raise a toast to Al D. and Len J (and to the fact that I didn’t die while racing Porsches yesterday on their private test track in Leipzig, Germany).

It was over 11 years ago, on June 28th, 2001, these two guys, Al D. and Len J. (complete strangers to me) bought my first manuals online.

That was the day of my first sale. I have the entry recorded on a massive “book-keeping” spreadsheet that I still use to this day.

And last week, after seeing Virtual Mastermind member Marshall Lowry record his first sale, it motivated me to go back and look at exactly when I did the same.

A little history…

It was in late 1998, when I had just started Graduate School (my Masters Degree in Exercise Physiology) at McMaster University when I first stumbled across a website called, Testosterone.net (today known as tmuscle.com). The website was full of articles on training and nutrition and my first thought was, “I could do that.” And so I did.

I immediately began my career as a fitness newsletter writer. You can even read all of the archives of my first business incarnation at www.cbathletics.com. There are over 101 issues of my newsletter, and they are a great example of what NOT to write if you want to sell something. The articles are heavy in science and big words.

In fact, I didn’t even try to sell something for a long, long time. I spent the first nearly two years of that newsletter just writing and growing my list through word of mouth. The emails were sent manually by copying and pasting addresses into the BCC line, 50 at a time. It grew tedious as my list approached 2500 people in 2001.

It wasn’t even until late 2000 that I even had a product completed. And my first product only came about because I got tired of creating almost identical workout programs for all of my busy friends that no longer had time to workout 2 hours per day (as they now had real jobs, wives, and even young families).

So that’s a short description of how I stumbled into the Internet Marketing world, if you want to call it that.

I did a lot of things wrong.

But here’s what I did right.

Once I had the manuals done, I told my list about them. I was also being paid $300 per month by Men’s Health magazine to answer questions on their website forum.

I didn’t push my manuals there, but often people would contact me privately to ask if I had programs or even did program design.

And that forum approach could still work today for people. Don’t be a salesman, just provide great content (and today you can also do this on Facebook groups or Fanpages devoted to your topic).

Like Marshall, I also told all the people I knew (through word of mouth and through my manually-delivered email newsletter) that my programs existed. And slowly the sales snowball started to roll.

Momentum was built. And because I was pioneering the path, things went a little slower than I would have liked for the next year, but eventually Turbulence Training was released in September, 2003.

Next year will mark 10 years of the TT program. That’s like 120 in Internet Years. It says a lot about the staying power of a big idea.

But back to Marshall. Like VM member Nick before him, and VM members Mike and Rick before him, and everyone that has ever experienced a first sale, a mindset shift has begun.

Marshall now sees what is possible and can dream bigger – and better.

Marshall has confidence, momentum, and he has you – his peers and fellow VM’ers here to help him succeed faster than I ever could dream of while doing this on my own in the Wild, Wild, West of the early Internet info world back in 2001.

The Virtual Mastermind is a tremendous place to be, and a first sale is a tremendous thing to experience.

When you do, raise a toast to Marshall, Al D., and Len J.

I know I will.

You can do it.

I believe in you.

Now get out there and do it,

Craig Ballantyne

PS – We’ve re-opened our Virtual Mastermind program…

…for the next 48 hours to celebrate the progress of so many members.

Some folks are making their first sale, while others are preparing for their first $100K launch.

Join us and build your online business faster than ever here

It’s guaranteed to get you more results in the next 60 days than you have in the last 6 months.

Soon we will raise a toast to YOU.

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift to high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com

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