Friday, October 28, 2011

Are Instant Web Sites Really Possible?

May this newsletter find you and yours well. After a bit of rain
here in Tulsa, OK we now have a slight chill in the air and
beautiful sunny weather. Very nice Fall weather and a welcome
break from the obsessive heat that has occupied this part of the
country from last Spring to just a few weeks ago. The leaves are
changing color, and with that, so many ongoing changes are also
taking place in my life. I feel more blessed than I deserve.

The month of October has been the busiest month in almost two
years. It's exciting though trying to get back into the swing of
working 40+ hours a week is taking some getting used to -- but
don't get me wrong -- I am very happy to be so busy again. What
are people buying? Everything! Small web sites, big web sites,
sales copy, ebook covers. You name it.

One of the things I find interesting is the growing expectation
that you should be able to order a web site and have it up
instantly within a week. I'm not sure where this comes from, but
believe it may have something to do with commercials from Intuit
which show happy couples designing and launching their own web
sites with the click of a few buttons.

Now reality and past experience would indicate it really isn't as
easy as all that unless you have very simple needs, all of the
text and graphics lined up ready to go, and some sense of what
you are doing technically. Yes, you can get a site up in a few
hours, but you tend to get something that either looks lackluster
or a templated clone of hundreds of other sites. Frankly, when you
take the instant web site approach, it's hard to look or sound

Of course, getting the site up and running is only one third of
the battle. You still need to do the promotion in order to
generate awareness and traffic. That's the second third. And then
you need to convert your visitors into leads, subscribers and
sales. That's the final third. So a 1-2-3 job it ain't!

That said, if you know what you are doing ... and I think I do
most of the time ... you can get a simple site up quickly using
tools like XSitePro. If you haven't looked at this tool yet, I
strongly urge you to do so now. It is easy-to-use and the most
powerful product of its kind on the face of the planet. You can
read more about it here:

Why do I like it? Once you get the hang of its interface, you can
select a template from its library, customize it, add a search
facility, a subscribe box, a contact form, navigation, ads, etc.
all within the matter of a few minutes. I had an interesting
challenge about a week ago, and XSitePro saved me hours of time.

A friend for whom I did a site for about a year ago called about
a small problem. I decided that rather than tinker with old code,
I would rebuilt the site in XSitePro and handle it all from
there. Within an hour, I had rebuilt the site -- everything from
the content to the navigation and the contact form -- in less
than 60 minutes.

I had another new client ask me to design and launch her site by
middle of next week for a major networking event she was planning
to attend. Truth is I am a little backed up with projects, and
there was no way I could go through the normal process of
gathering design and functionality specs and create what she
wanted in less than 7 days. Then I decided to see how fast it
would take me to prototype the site in XSitePro.

I found a formal looking template in their library that I felt
would be suitable for a small, one-person law firm. I removed the
original graphical header and created my own. I added it back to
the site template, created the pages she requested, copied and
pasted the content she provided, clicked a button to design and
add a contact form and Google map, and clicked one more button to
generate and publish the site to my HostGator web hosting
account. Probably took me a little over 3 hours. In fact,
creating an appropriate graphical header image was probably the
most challenging task. The result? I over-delivered and exceeded
my client's expectations ... and brought the originally estimated
cost of the site down from $1500 to $500.

If you need help getting a site up and running quickly, I would
be pleased to help you, but if you would prefer to do it
yourself, then please do click on this link to learn more about
this incredibly powerful and simple tool:

Until next time,

P.S.: Have you visited the God Moments site yet? I want you to go
there and buy my client's $10 book or ebook. It is a fast read,
will make you feel good about life, and may get you to think a
little differently about God.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Too Much Time On My Hands

And so as this newsletter arrives, we all put another notch in
our desks, signifying the end to another week in our lives. I hope
yours was productive. I spent my time writing an email series for
a book about our relationship with God, completing a makeover to
a corporate web site, converting my own consulting web site from
FrontPage to XSitePro, writing sales copy and doing SEO analysis
for a bunch of marina web sites, and doing research on a bunch of
fire prevention and suppression companies. It's been a busy, busy
week. Howze bayou?

It's easy in all the busy-i-ness to lose sight of more important
things like your relationships with others and making sure you
have some downtime for yourself. I know I tend to fall short on
my own downtime between work and family. I could use an eighth
day in my week, one reserved strictly for my own selfish needs to
chill out and relax and do something fun.

Growing up as an only child, I spent a lot of time by myself. I had
friends on the block and through school, but I really learned to
become comfortable in my own skin. I didn't really struggle to
impress or pretend I was something other than who I am, perhaps
with some exceptions when I performed magic. But by and large, I
was comfortable being alone. I grew to relish it at the end of
the day. Being alone made it easier to decompress, shut off the
world, and think -- or not think -- as the case may be.

Being an older Dad -- I'm only 53 but didn't marry until I was 35
and started a family right after that -- I sometimes find myself
having a hard time keeping up with my kids. Wrestling with my 12
year old son isn't as easy as it was even a few years ago, and
talking to my daughter about her iTunes songs -- what is it with
"screamo" that attracts 15 year old girls -- is almost impossible
for me to bear.

And having two teens also means that they tend to interrupt my
downtime with a variety of teen angst crises. However, there are
more and more days where they leave me completely alone. On those
days, while I am trying to relax, I suddenly feel lonely. I
realize my kids are growing up physically, emotionally, and
spiritually. And in a few years, they'll probably be thinking
about moving away to go to college. And then I'll have so much
time to myself, I've a feeling I won't know what to do with

Time is an interesting factor of life. And business.

I'm consumed by saving time. I tend to rush through things, and
not put forth my best effort. As Larry the Cable Guy says,
"Get'er done!" The only problem is when I rush, I make mistakes,
and then I make more work for myself.

Sometimes, I do use my free time well. Like this past week. My
wife purchased Lysol No Touch Soap Dispensers for every sink in
the house. These are battery operated soap dispensers. You hold
your hand in front of a little sensor and they dispense a squeeze
or two of liquid soap. They are very handy, but they cost about
$16.00 each with one refill, and then additional refills can run
around $23 for four of them. You can probably run through a
refill every month for every dispenser you have.

So I went to Walmart and purchased a large cheap bottle of Equate
liquid soap, drilled a hole in the top of every dispenser bottle
and filled them all up for a fraction of the cost. I was very
proud of myself. My wife looked at me like I was crazy, but I
told her we were going to save $200/year in liquid soap. You just
watch and see, lassie.

I told her I was going to write an ebook about it and sell it for
a buck just to show her how ingenious I was. Then I found other
people who had posted do-it-yourself videos on YouTube showing
the exact same process as mine. Intellectual property thieves.
They must have my house bugged. There's no justice in the world

Anyway, I obviously have too much time on my hands. Or more than
I thought.

Wanted to share with you a new graphics product you might find
useful. It's #4 in a series of professionally designed abstract
graphics. You can use these in your web site designs, ebook cover
designs, business card designs, the list goes on and on. Adding
subtle abstract backgrounds to your marketing materials can
really make a difference. Check out the example here:

While you're on that site, take a gander (I am becoming an
Okie) at the other hot graphics tools available. The site offers
many tools that can help enhance your marketing and raise it up a
notch. If you buy any two products on the site, I'll give you a
third of your own choosing for free! So check it all out and see
what floats your boat.

And here's one more special offer for the week. I've written four
ebooks this year:

Buy one, get one free. Just go ahead and make a purchase, and then
tell me which one you want for free! My gift for subscribers only,
and because I want you to have this information to improve your

Until next time,


P.S.: You know the drill by now. Click the link below to share
with a friend.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Living in the Moment/God Moments

Good evening. I don't usually write to you on a Sunday night, but
nowadays I need to grab the time whenever I can get it. About two
weeks ago, I discussed the concept of "living in the moment".
Like all of you, I have heard this concept for living many times,
and I know I have used it, too. I know that I have egotistically
told others they need to do it. I think, though, this concept of
living in the moment is often too simplistic. Let me explain.

"Living in the moment" means that you are no longer living in the
past or worrying about the future. That's a good place to be. You
want to be entirely focused on what's going on right now, about
the things you are about to say right now, the things you need to
think about right now, and the decisions you are about to make
right now.

But I think when most of us say this, we make the assumption that
we're living in this moment by ourselves, that it is still all
about us, and for me at least, that's where I have begun to
depart. We're not living in the moment alone. If you are married,
you are living in the moment with your spouse. If you have close
trusted friends who care about you, then they are living in the
moment with you, too.

And if for some reason you aren't married and don't have any
close friends, then you are still living in the moment with
someone else beside you. You might not believe in him, feel his
presence, or ever acknowledge him. But here's the ironic part. I
don't think he cares how you feel. I think he's standing beside you
right now, with his invisible arm around your shoulder, and he
is ready and willing to live in the moment with you. All you need
to do is invite him to join you.

It took me a long time to come to this belief, and it required me
to change my belief system, admit life is not all about me, and
that I need the help of my higher power to get by. I need someone
else to live in the moment with me. Without his company,
guidance, friendship, forgiveness, grace and unconditional love,
my life would be pretty lonely and boring.

But with it, well, it's pretty downright amazing.

There is something else to be said about "living in the moment".
When we don't live in the moment, we waste a great deal of time
and energy fretting about either what we did or said or failed to
do or say in the past - OR - about what we're going to do or say
in the future.

Now I am the King of Worry, I admit it. When I die, I wouldn't
blame my family if they put on my tombstone, "Here lies Steven.
He worried about a lot of things, and most of them never came to
pass. He wasted a lot of his time and energy on things he could
not control."

I worry about my relationships with my wife and children, how the
kids are doing in school, my home, my car, my business and finances, my
lack of time for creative pursuits, the people I should have been
kinder to and the people who have hurt me. Does any of this sound
familiar, dear reader?

But worrying about the past and the future is a slap in the face
to God. He tells us not to worry in the Bible. He tells us he
will provide everything we need just as he does for the birds in
the sky and the lilies of the field. And he reminds us that
worrying never added one day to anyone's life.

When we worry, we are telling God, "You can't possibly fix this
problem, but I can ... just let me worry about it for a while and
sooner or later something will come to mind so I can fix it." How
egotistical of all of us.

So there you have it.

Stop worrying. About whatever it is that keeps you up at night.
Don't lie. I know you have something that keeps you awake -- we
all do. Relax. It's going to get better. Have hope.

I have a book I'd like you to read. It's called God Moments, and
it's written by a friend of mine, David M. Cornell. It's a quick,
easy read. It won't thump you across the face with Bible
scripture. It's not complicated. But it will make you think
harder about love, faith, and hope. And it may make you think
differently about your own personal walk with God. Go here:

Keep the faith,


P.S.: I'd be honored if you would pass this on to a friend.
Re-post it, share it, tweet it, or click the link below to
forward to a friend right now:

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Pass It On ...

Good afternoon. Do you know the commercial where somebody does
something nice for a person they pass on the street, and then
that person does something nice for the next person they meet,
and so on and so on, until somebody does something nice for the
first person in the commercial which starts the cycle all over

I noticed this happening to me this morning. As I got out of my
car at the local QuickTrip gas station, I noticed a baby's
sneaker under the car to my left. I noticed there was a baby seat
in the backseat and the Dad was busy getting ready to pull away.
I yelled at him to stop, he did, I reached down to retrieve the
sneaker and handed it to him through the window. He thanked me
and I walked towards the entrance of the gas station to buy some

Two guys were leaving the store, and one of them reached back to
open and hold the door open for me. He didn't have to do that,
but he did, because that's the kind of guy he was. I turned to
thank him and that's when I laughed to myself because I really do
believe that if you are kind to people, if you do good work and good
deeds, it does eventually come back to you.

So it's time to look at how I can help you with your business.
Over the past few weeks I have been posing challenging life
questions, and I've sprinkled some simple offers before you, but
to be honest, not a lot of takers. I don't know why. I know the
economy is in the crapper. I experience this everyday like many
of you. But I think there must be something more to this -- that you
aren't taking the time to answer the difficult questions.

For instance, if you are trying to sell your own digital product or
service online, is there a real need for what you are trying to sell?
Most product creators believe EVERYONE needs what they are
selling. I am guilty of this myself. In fact, when I first
returned to consulting full-time in 2006 I used to tell everybody I met
that they needed my services. How egotistical is that? I honestly
believed it.

Then I came to realize that where I could make the greatest
contribution was for a client with specific criteria: either a
"newbie" who had an idea or a developed product but didn't
understand marketing at all, or a founder of a small to mid-sized
company who needed someone with broad sales, marketing and
operations expertise to come alongside them to guide them towards

As a result my business model, services and pricing all evolved.
So who really needs your product or service, and what are your
criteria for finding new business? Do you really understand who
needs you, where to find them, and how to sell to them?

I want to help you. I want to good work for you. And then I want
you to pass it on.

My previously published offer has been taken offline to hide it
from non-subscribers. It is not open to the general public
because in all honesty it reflects the lowest pricing I have ever
offered, and at these prices, I am not making a great deal of
profit. Please go check it out one last time:

Nowhere else on the Internet will ANYBODY ever offer anything
like this. I defy you to find an offer from as experienced a
consultant at a price this low. It won't last forever. Take
advantage of it now. I may even throw in a freebie or two if you
close business with me by end of next week. Try me.

Now who can you do something good for today? Watch for the
opportunities. I do everyday. And they always pay me back.

Try it. I dare you.

All my best,