7 Things I’ve Learned In The Last 7 Years

Lynn TerryToday marks 7 full years since I brought SSWT online. That's short for Self-Starters Weekly Tips, which originally started as an email newsletter more than 10 years ago.

The discussion forum & website were launched on March 26, 2003. Prior to that the discussion was in my Inbox every week - and it was madness.

I opened the forum so that readers could communicate with each other and benefit from the discussions as a group.

At the time I was living in a remote cabin on Center Hill Lake, as a single mother to two young children. I home schooled them both, and I worked from home in web development. We had the ideal, laid back lifestyle. I worked poolside most days.

I had several success stories under my belt by then, and a lot of experience with early online marketing. In fact, the SSWT name came from a conversation with a client of my very first business. He knew my story, and called me a "self-starter".

But when I launched SSWT, I had no idea what it would ultimately grow into...

My goal was to share what I was learning along the way, with other like-minded entrepreneur types that were interested in working online. It was a labor of love, something I did in my spare time. I enjoyed helping others achieve the same life-changing success that I had, and I loved swapping ideas & resources.

The growth has been incredible.

I switched to the vBulletin forum platform last year. Prior to that we were using PHPbb and had over 13,000 members and almost 100,000 threads. I employed 4 moderators and a programmer, and the 6 of us combined still couldn't manage it all.

One of my solutions was to offer an upgrade option, so that I could continue to work directly with the action-takers on board. This group of Elite Members had a separate private section on the forum for live group brainstorming.

We're now in our 4th year as a Private Brainstorming Group.

I have never done an 'official launch' or even publicly promoted the option to join my private group. In fact, the option to upgrade remained closed more time than it was open. I would slip people through the "back door" from time to time, but kept the group small to start. For good reason...

It's been an awesome experience, and the group has now grown into an incredible community... but there have definitely been growing pains.

I was talking to a business consultant recently about some of those "growing pains". About the issues I've had personally managing such a large community. He brought up the idea of closing it down. He asked me: If you closed the community today, would you miss the income it generates? I answered without hesitation: No.

Then why do you run it? - Because I love it.

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7 Things I've Learned In The Last 7 Years

  • It's not about the money. You better LOVE what you do.
  • You can't do this alone. Join a group, hire a coach, get a mentor...
  • Create with growth in mind. Think scalability.
  • If it's broke, fix it. If it's not, leave it the heck alone.
  • People will not conform to your medium/platform. Conform to suit them.
  • Never back down from your beliefs or standards. It dilutes your brand.
  • CONSISTENCY IS KEY.

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The month of March has always been a time of growth and change in my business. I can't say why, really. Perhaps its New Year Procrastination on my part. 😀

In addition to the SSWT milestone, ClickNewz.com was also born in March. I've been blogging (here) for 4 years as of the 11th of this month. I've been actively blogging for almost 6 years total. Consistency is definitely key.

March 2010

This year I am making dramatic changes yet again.

I am going to close the option to join my Private Brainstorming Group before the month ends. It won't remain closed forever of course (I'm crossing my fingers on getting it reopened within a few weeks) but the membership dues will be increasing when we open back up. There's entirely too much value, with much more to come.

If you'd like to get locked in at the current rate, you'll want to join before we close to the public this month. /fairwarning

The public areas of the forum may also close temporarily while I update the community structure. I have not yet decided if I'll continue to run a public forum, or if that will close so that I can devote 100% of my time to Elite Members in the Private Brainstorming Group.

I'll have more details as the dust settles, closer to when we re-open.

What's in store for Year 8 ?

More step-by-step tutorials and how-to guides. Video site review sessions (live and recorded). Private brainstorming on your business model. Monthly challenges to help you grow your business. Live "Brainstorming Hour" calls and exclusive interviews with business & marketing experts. Access to my private affiliate program. And much more- some of which I simply can't disclose publicly.

But most important of all: More Success Stories

I've watched Elite Members go from "getting started" or "getting by" to growing their business to the 6-figure level. I've seen them create their first website or blog, get top rankings in Google, and make their first sale online. It's been incredibly powerful to watch (and be involved in!) their progress.

The SSWT Community is made up of a wide range of men and women, of all ages, newbies and seasoned marketers alike. And it's a group of serious action-takers! I often describe them as "some of the best people on the 'net".

As with any community, it's not right for everyone. Feel free to join us now - and be a part of the community changes as they're rolling out - and decide for yourself while the rate is still low. If you decide it's a great match for you, you'll get to keep that rate for the life of your membership.

http://www.selfstartersweeklytips.com/elite-members.php

For only 27 bucks, with no commitment to continue, you owe it to yourself to find out if this is exactly what you need to accelerate your online business growth.

Best,

p.s. Before you join us, you should know how we define a Self-Starter. This is for you if you're self-motivated, self-taught, self-disciplined... and are/want to be successfully self-employed. This is not a rah-rah club, and I reserve the right to boot any dead weight in the group to maintain the integrity of the community.

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn’s unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews…more»

Discussion

  1. Thanks again for your comments and all the feedback. Much appreciated! I have decided to keep a public forum open in some capacity, due to all of the requests. The updates and restructuring is in full swing, and I look forward to getting this phase completed so we can open back up for new members to join us! 😀

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