In this weeks interview we’re going to meet Tony Wang of GeniusProfits.com. Tony is a young blogger, internet marketer and entrepreneur. After graduating college Tony decided to pursue his dream of working for himself online and has now been doing just that for several years. Tony has a passion for helping others achieve the same success online that he’s had. His blog http://www.GeniusProfits.com is where he often shares his thoughts, ideas and experiences in building a successful online business.
Check out the interview below and I hope it will inspire and motivate you as much as it did me. -Josh
Josh: How long have you been doing blogging/internet marketing and how did you get started?
Tony: 5 years now. Almost 6. I got started when my dad gave me $200 for my 18th birthday. At the time, I was listening to a Tony Robbins tape set I borrowed from my library. Tony was talking about investment strategies or something. I started Googling stuff on investment and stumbled upon The Rich Jerk ebook.
It was an ebook on how to make money with affiliate marketing. I was so captivated by the sales page that I bought the ebook and read it in a few hours. I created a website on how to do street magic and promoted a couple of affiliate products. It ended up doing pretty well especially considering how clueless I was about internet marketing.
(I actually had no idea I that domains expire after a year and forgot to renew it. Dumb mistake.)
Even though I lost everything, the whole experience planted a seed in my mind that’s its really possible to make money on the internet.
Josh: What was your first big success and what keeps pushing you to continue going further. (your goals, motivation, etc..)
Tony: My first big success was actually my magic website I made back in 2007. It was the first site I ever created. It was making around $400/month in affiliate commissions. Until it disappeared because I didn’t know I was supposed renew it.
You can probably call it beginners luck. I think that the reason I actually made money was that I didn’t get stuck in over-analyzing or trying to learn everything before implementing. I just did the best I could with what I had and focused on taking action, even if it wasn’t perfect.
Magic was also a hobby of mine, so it was easy to create content for the site. I think that’s also pretty important because I’ve tried going into niches that I knew nothing about. It’s much harder to create good content.
What drives me to keep going further is my family. My dad sacrificed a lot to move to America. To make sure I grew up in a comfortable environment (he actually grew up on a farm in China and had to secretly study at night just so he could go to college). They moved back to China few years ago, and it’s hard living so far away from them. One of my goals is to buy my parents a beach house here in Santa Monica someday. I have a picture of my family ask my desktop wallpaper that provides constant motivation.
Josh: What types of marketing are you currently focusing on and where do you see that going in the future?
Tony: Currently I’m seeing great results with advertising on Plenty of Fish, although it’s starting to get more competitive. Recently, I’ve also been getting away from SEO and moving on to paid traffic sources. I’m also experimenting with YouTube, since video is getting HUGE nowadays (currently 60% of internet traffic after 5pm is video).
I wrote a blog post recently on how to make money by promoting Clickbank products on YouTube. Something you might want to try if you have time, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a long-term business model.
Josh: Working from home can be hard for some people, it takes self discipline and focus. A lot of times its easier to just have a boss tell you what to do or go into a job knowing what your supposed to do for the day. How do you overcome this in your own business to make sure that you stay productive and keep moving forward.
Tony: I agree. The idea of “being your own boss” sounds great in theory. In actuality, it takes a lot of mental discipline and focus to keep yourself on the right track. Especially when the money’s rolling in and you have little incentive to work.
I’ll admit. I’m not perfect and I do slack off every so often. But I also have rules and systems in place to make sure I’m as productive as possible.
Basic rules I follow…
- Check email no more than twice a day- once in the morning, once in the afternoon.
- Write down my most important tasks for the day and set a strict time limit for their completion. I can’t go to sleep until I finish everything on this list, so it makes me think twice about what’s actually important and what’s not.
- Work in a 55 minute chunk with a 5 minute break. Then another 55 minute chunk with a 30 minute break. Rinse and repeat.
- Working at my business partner’s apartment or Starbucks. While I work from home occasionally, I prefer to keep work and play separate.
- Not buying new products and courses unless they relate help me with something I’m currently doing.
There are a few more but those are the major ones. I revealed some of the top productivity tricks that have made the biggest difference in my business in my free “Internet Profits Fast Track” mini-course. If you’re interested in, you can sign up for that on my blog.
Also, just taking time to unwind. I hang out with friends on the weekends to recharge and take my mind off of work. Oh- and going to the gym to get swole
Josh: What mistakes have you made that have cost you time/money that if you could you’d stop other people from making?
Tony: Biggest mistake I made was not building a list from the get-go. A lot of experienced marketers will tell you the same. If you aren’t collecting emails currently, go sign up for Aweber right now.
I’m sure you’ve heard things like “the money is in the list” and “every subscriber is worth $1/month”. So true. I made a few thousand in a single day last month just by sending out a few emails to my list (which is pretty small). And yes, this applies to niches outside of IM as well.
I would say the other biggest “mistake” I made is focusing too much on making money quickly instead of building a business that offers real value.
See, after I saw some success with my magic website, I got greedy and wanted instant overnight success. I developed shiny object syndrome for a while and chased after every single magic pill system that was being sold. Although I had all the guides and tools, I couldn’t make any money online to save my life. This went on for years.
It was finally when I got back into the mindset of “giving back at least 10x the value of what you’re charging” that I started making money again.
Josh: Lastly I’d like to ask you what in your opinion is the main reason for your success. There are a lot of people out there that have been dabbling in online marketing for years but are still just chasing the dream. What would you say has set you apart?
Tony: I would say the biggest cause for my success is that I act on ideas quickly rather than trying to figure out all the pieces of the puzzle. Eben Pagan actually says that “speed of implementation” is the most important factor in entrepreneurial success. I think the best attitude to approach internet marketing when you’re new is to accept that you’re going to fail at some point or another, so you might as well get it out of the way now and learn from it, rather than getting stuck and chasing perfection (which isn’t attainable anyways).
The other thing I’d like to add is that everyone’s criteria for success is different. Everyone should have their own definition of success instead of blindly adopting other people’s or society’s definition.
Everyone once in a while, I’ll have a “Wow, I’ve finally made it moment”. Like when I was flying back from a month vacation in Europe. Or the other day when I tried my chef’s steak for the first time. While I enjoy these moments for what they are, I also feel humbled quite often, which motivates me to go after bigger goals.
For instance, I have a few friends that make 5 figures a day. Their business makes mine look like a lemonade stand. But rather than compare my profits to theirs, I simply focus on the actions I need to take. Because i know if i keep taking consistently, I’ll get to where I want to be eventually. So I allow myself to feel successful just by the mere fact that I’m doing the things I need to do to live the life that I truly want. I trust in the process and enjoy the journey for what it is.
I think this is a crucial mindset for newbies, since so many people get frustrated at their lack of results and feel “unsuccessful”. Success is relative. By simply taking action towards building an internet business and not being afraid to go after what you want, you’re doing things that the majority of people are not willing to do. To me, that’s also success.
Hope you found this helpful. I enjoyed answering these questions. I gotta go call my mom now and wish her a happy birthday.
If you want, can check more of my stuff on Genius Profits, my blog where I share actionable strategies for creating online profit from scratch.