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Online Marketing and Ethics

I wrote an article just the other day about a so-called watchdog site that reports on “scammers.” The name of the site, realscam.com.

Now, I for one do not think that the folks over at this particular site are really concerned about the public’s well-being.

Nor do I believe they are doing a service for anyone. As a matter of fact, I do think that the folks over at this site may be actually hindering a great number of people in their quest for opportunity and disguising their efforts as being a watchdog sort of site against all of the “evil” marketers, programs, opportunities and sites out there on the Internet today.

While I may share in some of these ideas about the need for marketers to be honest in their representations of their products, programs and anything else they are marketing, I’m not sure that these folks are really acting that ethically in the first place either.

I’m not going to get into any playful or not so playful banter with anyone over at RS, but all of this got me to thinking about the responsibilities that we have as marketers…and I mean responsibilities of an ethical nature.

online ethicsMarketing and Ethics 101

For whatever reason, we as an industry are constantly having to defend our positions to many people out there that wish to attack our integrity based on an assumption that because we are promoting a MLM program or some other type of business opportunity program then we must be scammers or at least in the business of talking people into things that they do not need.


Yep, so many people believe that if you are promoting a business model that they disapprove of (and I’m NOT talking about gifting here) that you must be in the business of lying and taking money from seniors that have saved all of their pocket change during their entire life.

The truth of the matter is rather different.

For the most part, the people that are here online trying to earn an extra bit of income or even replace their incomes entirely, are good people. These folks are typically hard working, they set and often times achieve goals, they are ambitious and enjoy helping others.

These types of marketers want to take responsibility for their own lives and for their own economic outcomes.

When it comes to online marketing and ethics, most of the people that fall within this category are spot on and possess high levels of honesty and integrity. We may join a program or business opportunity that some would see as a scam of some sort and make it work for us and help others make it work for them.

We will offer our services for free. We provide free training to those that get involved with us.

We know that the “best way” is by helping and serving others.

The only litmus test that is required here in terms of ethics is whether or not the marketer in question is living by the “Golden Rule,”

Treat others as you would have them treat you

Is there anything wrong with that?

Of course not.

It’s Really Pretty Easy When You Think About It

If we sign someone up into our business opportunity and they are not successful with the business, does that mean we have somehow scammed someone?

Is that person even a victim?

How much responsibility does the prospect own when it comes to their own success and failure?

I would say that they have quite a bit of responsibility as we all do…


…I also firmly believe that we, as marketers, have an obligation, an ethical obligation, to make sure that they prospect or new member gets honest information as well as the most up to date training that you can possibly give them.

In other words…

…people that join your team, your opportunity, your program have every right to expect good and honest information from you as a mentor.

After that, the burden of failure or success is with the prospect.

After all, you can drag a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink and while you may promote the best opportunity and provide the most comprehensive and accurate training ever developed, you will never be able to insure or guarantee the success of anyone else.

The only thing you can ever do is be as honest, up front and as helpful as anyone could possibly expect from you.


Pocast: Being Thankful

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I just wanted to make a quick podcast recording for everyone and hopefully give you something to think about…

Happy Holidays to you and yours!


I love it when people start talking about scams and scammers.

I like it even more when they start touting their “know it all” position without really doing ANY real research.

I have been dealing with the folks over at realscam.com for a while…well, I say dealing with them…actually, no one has ever directly contacted me in anyway shape or form although they do have quite a bit of information (all of it can be found if you spend a whole 5 minutes looking online) about my Internet endeavors including many of the sites that I ran as well as personal information about myself.

I don’t mind these folks doing this at all, but I do want to make sure that you get, if not the “full” picture, at least my side of the story.

First…here are the screenshots from realscam just so you have an idea of what I am talking about…

real scam realscam.com realscam3 realscam4 realscam5

These are images from the website realscam.com (no, I’m not giving them a backlink) and as I said, they have quite a bit of information, personal and otherwise, about myself.

I believe this all started back when I was promoting a cash gifting program called The People’s Program. I am still a member of this program, although I have not promoted it in a couple of years and probably will never promote this program again…for many reasons.

Opinions…Everybody Has One

Now, let me start off by saying this…

I have no problem what so ever with people expressing their opinion. If you believe that the programs that I have been involved with are not legitimate then I believe you have every right to express your opinion the way that you wish.

Obviously, I have not made a significant effort to hide from “Professor Higgins” or anyone else associated with the realscam site. My phone numbers are listed here, many of my email addresses are listed here and I have yet to receive a call from anyone that might be interested in asking me a question directly.

While I am no longer marketing The People’s Program, or any other cash gifting program, I am not one to say that those involved with cash gifting are scamming people, nor do I feel that anyone writing about it is “protecting” the general public.

So why am I even writing about this today?

Because I want people that come to this site, that place their trust in me, to do so knowing where I stand on these particular issues and to explain my side of the story so that maybe folks will have a more complete understanding of where I stand…even to this day….on these matters.

First, let’s talk about a scam, what it is and why I don’t think the programs that I actively marketed were or are scams.

What is a Scam?

According to freedictionary.com a scam is:

scam (skæm)
1. a stratagem for gain; a swindle

vb, scams, scamming or scammed
2. (tr) to swindle (someone) by means of a trick


scam (skæm) n., v. scammed, scam•ming. n.
1. a fraudulent scheme; swindle.

2. to cheat; defraud.


So basically, let’s go with fraudulent scheme designed to swindle others? That sounds right to me…

From Wikipedia:

A scam or confidence trick is an attempt to defraud a person or group by gaining their confidence.

Now I could probably search for more definitions of the word scam and find some more information, but I think for the sake of the argument here that the above definitions work perfectly well.

What I would like to understand from anyone over at realscam is how in the world did I or anyone else that was being honest with our site visitors “scam” anyone?And I must ask the following questions:

Was it possible to generate “gifts” with The People’s Program?


Was it possible for those that qualified with myself to generate a “gift?”


As far as I am concerned, if a person was willing to do the work, learn the marketing techniques and methods then they would have just as good a chance as anyone else to become successful with their program.

Are there some people much more successful than others?


Are there some people out there lying to get signups?

I’m sure there are or were, but that has no bearing what so ever on whether or not the program itself was a scam, i.e. designed to defraud the unsuspecting out of their hard earned dollar, that is a problem with an individual marketer.

If a program, any program, is designed to generate income or gifts or whatever through the successful efforts of someone promoting that program and it in fact does accomplish what it states it will then how in the hell is that a scam?

Honesty is the Best Policy? Really?

So am I to assume that those over at realscam are being absolutely honest about their reviews?

One thing that has always bothered me is the “emotion” that comes with some of the reviews. The over the top name calling and “finger pointing” that many engage in over there at RS. It reminds me of a story…Oh yes, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Crucible.

And is this just another witch hunt of sorts?

I would say yes, with the exception that there are and have always been marketers out there that do engage in fraud to cheat would be entrepreneurs from a dime. The work from home or home based business industry as a whole has always had charlatans that would promise anything that the reader wanted to read or the listener wanted to hear all in an effort to get the newbie to the game to open up their wallet and fork over the cash.

These people engage in activity based on human greed…on both sides of the issue.

The marketer is engaging in his or her greed by promising all kinds of rewards…much of the time with very little effort and the potential “victim” is actively engaged in their own for of greed by believing everything that they want to about a too good to be true image of online marketing.


…there are actually people out here that do care, that do want to help, that are available (that’s why my information is all over the place by the way), that do want to make a positive impact on other people’s lives  and we are genuinely interested in seeing our students prosper and succeed.

Are we successful every single time?

No, we are not, but does that mean that we have swindled the unsuspecting public? Hell no!

I think it would also depend on how you define success.

Yes, I Have Been Scammed

I can’t tell you how many times I have paid good money for a program or for some flashy software only to realize that it was not what was promised, that the product or the opportunity was never going to work like promised and what did I do?

Was I up in arms wanting to tell the world that this person or that person screwed me out of a dollar?

No. Caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware. I became more cautious, I became motivated to learn what was “real” and what was an illusion. I became smarter, not by being successful, but by being lied to, by realizing early on that there were no “easy” paths to success even though success doesn’t have to be necessarily hard.

I am an adult. I realize that there is a significant amount of risk that one must deal with when it comes to opening up a business or joining someone in an already established business. I have owned my own businesses, whether it be online or offline, for most of my adult years, I still do and never once did I believe that my success was guaranteed or automatic. Why would I? Who in their right mind would ever tell someone that it was and more over, who would choose to believe that? The desperate? Perhaps.

What I do know was that there are principles at play here and these principles work in ALL business online or offline.

One of these principles is that if there is a market for a product or an idea or a method then you have a good chance of promoting that product, idea or method, tangible or intangible to that particular market.

If a specific market is larger than another market then it should be a bit easier to promote to the former due to the numbers, BUT you have to know how to promote, you have to know how to market and more importantly, YOU HAVE TO TAKE ACTION AND DO IT!

If a program works for one person, why will it not work for another? Why are we not focusing on this?

Because it is EASIER for people to blame others when things do not work out.

We live in a society where all problems, all things not perfect are the result of someone scamming us? That because we don’t come onto the Internet and succeed with an opportunity that somehow that sponsor, that evil marketer that got us to buy is to blame?

No. I refuse to believe that and will not believe that.

My failures are mine, my inability to successfully market, promote and eventually sell that product or program to another is MY problem whether it be a lack of knowledge or a lack of action.

I appreciate my failures, I learn from them every single time, which means that they aren’t necessarily failures in the first place, are they?

No, at the very most they are lessons of what NOT to do.

Making a Choice to Succeed

Success is a choice.

So is failure, even if it is due to a lack of choice, which is still a choice to do nothing.

If you truly want to succeed. If you truly want to make a difference in your financial life with an online opportunity then that option is available to you.

Will you automatically succeed with the “right” program?


Will you automatically fail with the “wrong” program?


You simply have to LEARN how to be successful with your program and with the marketing methods that you choose.

And guess what?

If those methods do not work well for you then you may even have to change things up again!

The only way, the ONLY way that you will fail completely is when you stop. When you stop trying, when you stop learning, when you stop dreaming.

As for you folks over at realscam…

I understand what your original motives are, I think, but in some ways you are doing much more harm than good. People need to be able to dream and hope and wish and sometimes people need to be smacked with the reality of failure of things not being what they thought they were.

Do marketers need to be ethical?

Absolutely, you will get no argument from me, but what you may want to do is realize that there are actually some of us out here that really do want to help, that believe that we can change things for the better, that we really do care about our fellow man.

I am one of those marketers. You want to know how to do something online?

I will show you.

You want to know how I market my programs?

I will show you.

You need help with marketing your program?

I will teach you.

As for you folks at RealScam.com, you probably should do a little more research, you probably should call up some of the people you attach the title scammer to. You can always call me and ask me directly how I feel about it. After all, you have my email addresses and phone numbers.


Getting Back to My Marketing Roots

I owe many of you an apology…especially those of you that have stuck with me through the years…


Because I have not scammed you, but I have done something worse…

I have “scammed” myself!

Yep, I have scammed, or lied, to myself for a few years now thinking that I could find a shortcut, a fast-track to wealth using the Internet.

I have written many articles and blog posts about finding “super” success with this program or that program or that strategy when in reality the things that have worked and have worked very well were not about techniques or strategies at all.

Yes, I still believe in doing things a certain way, but hear me out a bit longer…

I have found most of my success through giving to others. No matter what the program, no matter what the prize at the end of it all, my most successful marketing campaigns came from a time when I was focusing on helping people achieve within a program that I was a part of.

Sounds novel doesn’t it? Success through the service to others? Where have I heard that before? Hmmm

Anyway, I’m getting back to my roots, my roots of helping others achieve. Gee, sort of sounds like my tagline, right?

The Plan!

So what is my fantastic and awesome plan for getting back to those roots, for helping people into the magical world of online income generation?

Well…I really don’t have one yet…


I am working on it.

emsglogoSo far, I am thinking that I will start promoting my free training with the Elite Marketing Systems Group.

I will still be requiring that you join the All in One Profits program (it’s a whole 11.50 a month) and there is a reason for it…the training itself will be free.

So why require AIOP?

A couple of really good reasons that I can think of.

First, you NEED something to promote. We will have two somethings, the free EMSG training – that EVERYONE will benefit from! – and the All in One Profits opportunity.

aiop125image2Second, using AIOP as a common program, EVERYONE that is involved with our training will start from the same place and have the same amount of information that the next person does. This also allows for a training platform centered around a single program rather than generalized training attempting to help everyone with a variety of businesses…let’s just say it’s more efficient this way.

So yes, I will require that you get involved, after all, everyone needs a little “skin” in the game and if $11.50 is too prohibitive for someone then there is no way they can argue that they are serious about building an online business.

Business Goals

Our first goal will be to help each new addition to our program get a new member in their downline as quickly as possible…I hope that doesn’t sound too complicated…it shouldn’t, but this requires a commitment from everyone that is interested in getting going…and it’s important that people get their first sign ups right away.

And remember, signing up just one person will bring you $10 a month, which essentially makes your own membership fee $1.50…2 more and you are making money with the AIOP compensation program.

I will want to show people how to promote this program on FB or with inexpensive solo ads….(5 bucks an ad)….and some classified ad posting.

So it looks like facebook is the place where I am going to get all of this happening…primarily because it is so easy to use and everyone has an opportunity to get going from the same point. Facebook is a great place to network with other marketers and facebook is free!

For me, this is ultimately about getting back to my roots with very simple marketing techniques that work as well as helping others succeed online and make money themselves maybe for the first time ever. That’s exciting stuff to me!

So watch for some upcoming videos and make sure that you check out the Podcast as well…and remember…

I’ll see you at the top!


What is Your Why?

your whyReally, What is Your Why?

OK, I know you have all heard someone ask the question, “What is your why?” and maybe you’re like me and you wonder ifl people will just leave you alone about the why!!!!

The truth of the matter though is that you NEED to have a “why.”

Why? (not joking)

Because your why is what will keep you going when things get hard…your why is what pushes you through to the next goal when things get really hard…

Yes, I think many mentors probably wear this particular word out a bit, but you do need to know what your why is…

What Steve Jobs Said About Your “Why”

Steven Jobs, the co-founder and “brain” behind Apple, always had his “why” right in front of him at all times. He KNEW what he wanted to achieve. One quote of his that I like is”

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” – Steve Jobs

Mr. Jobs was always looking to do something more simple and elegant, greater than anyone else. He wanted to be the best. His “why” was to always do the best in whatever creative project he undertook or assumed. Why would you want to be different?

Your “why” is the reason for you getting out of bed and heading off to work everyday.

No, you might not be where you want to be at this moment in time, but you still have your dreams…yes?

Of course you do!

And if you’d like to think about it this way, your “why” is nothing more than your dreams and goals, your motivation for putting each foot in front of the other in an uphill climb to greatness.

Your Sense of Purpose

I’m a huge Tony Robbins fan as I imagine a lot of people are.

On his blog he discusses the importance of your purpose.

“Having a sense of real purpose, like compelling reasons, will provide you with the drive necessary to make your desired result a reality. ” – http://training.tonyrobbins.com/what-is-your-purpose-the-secret-to-meeting-your-goals-and-objectives/

“…will provide you with the drive necessary to make your desired result a reality,” that is a most powerful statement, but very true.

We must first have the vision, we must first know where we want to go…the “why” is simply the fuel to keep us after our dreams when things get hard – and they will!

Without a sense of purpose, without that passion in your life, chances are that you won’t make it to the next level, that you won’t push on when you are up past your normal bed time.

Not having a “why” gives you a great reason for sitting in front of that TV, for putting other things in front of your dreams.

However, for those with a big why, a compelling reason to do whatever it takes to achieve their goals, they become very difficult to stop. So difficult as a matter of fact that even the universe will make way to ensure that these individuals arrive at their destination!

There is a foundation that success builds upon and your “why” is the corner stone of that foundation.

Now go find yours!