Choosing a path to follow in the digital marketing world

LiamGallagher

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I'm opening this thread because I feel a little bit lost; I know what I want but right now I'm feeling overwhelmed by all the information and the possibilities out there.

A brief background about me

I'm a professional web developer, living in a 3rd world country. I have a good job and I can't complain about my lifestyle. It's not what I want, but I live comfortably. I feel the corporate world is not for me, and although I love what I do, I want to live from my own businesses. I've been around internet forums for around 15 years, I was an active member of WF back in the day (I'm 32 now), I have learnt a lot but I've never been able to create a profitable online business.

I've read the crash course a lot of times, and I think that I'm going through an analysis paralysis case.

At this point it's clear to me that a real brand, with traffic leaking and string presence is what I should aim for. I've followed threads where people flip their properties for x30 multiples or more, and I understand that creating value is the key, however, I'm not sure what direction should I take.

Option 1
Should I devote myself to develop a brand for the next years? That implies that I would focus all my effort and resources to that project only, without knowing if it's going to work or not.

Option 2
Or should I choose a different path? For example: create affiliate sites, rank them and sell them. It could be profitable as Tavin has shown us already. I could try to create a few sites and try to flip them.

These are my skills

  • Fullstack web development
  • Web design, UX/UI
  • I know a thing or two about SEO (I haven't ranked a site in years, but I understand the basics at least)
    • I know how to do keyword research (Traffic think tank)
    • I know how to do onpage and offpage SEO
    • I know how to create fast websites, set up tracking codes, almost anything technical
  • Writing: English is my 2nd language. I don't really enjoy writing but I can write for myself at least during early phases.
  • Marketing: heat maps, A/B testing, analytics, CTR, CPM and all those fancy terms.
I feel pretty competitive creating web sites, however I'm feeling a lot of uncertainty right now. How do you guys cope with that? Do you invest your time in multiple projects simultaneously? or do you focus only in one project? I've been trying to stop chasing the money and getting distracted with the newest, shiniest method to make a quick buck.

I've seen lots of people with less technical knowledge, but with more action taking make a lot of money while I'm here, not in the spot that I'd like to.

What would you do?
Thanks in advance.
 

CCarter

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without knowing if it's going to work or not.
That’s life, that is literally ALL of life. You want a guarantee that you won’t waste your time in failure. But even life isn’t guaranteed.

You could walk outside your home tomorrow and get hit by a bus or a plane falls out of the sky and land on your head.

“How do you know going outside today is going to work out so you don’t die?” You fucking don’t!! Yet you still go outside.

The only guarantee in life you have is death. Then as you get a lot older you are going to regret more and more not pulling the trigger cause again you want a guarantee you will succeed off your very first venture. How?

Every single one of those “successes” you see have dozens if not hundreds of failures behind them.

Even learning to walk as a baby you fell the first several hundred times! But you were determined to walk and now you can walk.

Imagine how crazy it sounds that as a baby you had more courage to try something over and over and fail until you succeeded. And no one could help you walk, you were a baby that couldn’t properly communicate with your mom or dad yet. You literally had no one to give you guidance. You just saw other people walking and decided “I TRY THAT.”

But now here you are surrounded by people that you can ask questions to, guide you, help you, or partner up with you - AND now you are scared to “TRY THAT?”

Just Fucking Do it. It might take you 8-10 years to get to your goal. Is that a problem? If yes then you want a guarantee you’ll hit a home run on your first attempt, you won’t. Try your best, learn from your mistakes, then keep trying again. At whatever it is in life, whether creating a brand or creating a SAAS or some other entrepreneur route.

“You have to fail towards success.”
 

bernard

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If you can code, there's a bunch of data out there, in open APIs, in databases and on websites, that is just waiting to be repurposed into a consumer friendly web app, with viral potential.
 
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As someone who has failed at least 10 times in the past 4 years, my advice for you would be to pick 1 thing and go with it for 6 months.

I've achieved some success with freelancing/client work, and oddly enough, this is the only thing I've ever concentrated on for a significant amount of time.

Who knows, if I would have just kept writing content for affiliate website #1, #2, #3, or #4, maybe I'd be having success with one of them.

In my experience, it's a better idea to give 100% to 1 thing for 6 months than 25% to 4 things for 3 months.

However long you think it will take to achieve some positive results, realize that it will probably take longer.
 

Ryuzaki

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I feel pretty competitive creating web sites, however I'm feeling a lot of uncertainty right now. How do you guys cope with that?
Dude... I hate to say it, but from my experience this doesn't go away. It lessens for sure, but like @CCarter said, if you're the anxious type then every variable in life produces uncertainty. I've never been able to overcome it. Once you're awake to the fact of uncertainty it's like an imp nested in the back of your brain, and unless you're willing to lie to yourself or medicate yourself into oblivion, it's going to be there.

If you were to X then Y would produce uncertainty:
  • Start a web design agency - Will my client be happy? Will I get the next one? Can I scale?
  • Rank affiliate sites - Will Google destroy me? Are my networks shaving my sales?
  • Crush it on social media - Will the algorithms screw me? Is the PPC cost going to change?
There's no cope. There's learning how to rest in the groundlessness. People think they have a solid foundation underneath them with their day jobs, salaries, businesses, whatever. They don't, as we all truly know. That's groundlessness and awareness of it creates a generalized, free-floating anxiety.

If I notice it, I try to react like "Okay there it is again, my old friend who I'm not interested in because his presence doesn't change the facts, he only makes me feel worse. Instead of buying into his bullshit, I'm going to do some work that reduces uncertainty, or at least brings me more money before the impending doom strikes."

Everything is uncertain but the "cone of uncertainty" reduces in volume as you move forward on any sensible path. At the broadest part of the cone you might think "What if I start this business and it fails in five years? Or never gets going?" You start it despite that and your uncertainty instead becomes "Okay, this bitch might still fail but at least I'm sitting on a nest egg now." Then it's like "It might fail one day, but I have my nest egg and now a war chest so I can start another business when this one goes tits up." Or maybe you get ancy and sell it for 36x just to escape the uncertainty. It's always there, but you become more secure within the "cone."

It's like the saying goes, "the only way to win is to play ball." We could say, "the only way to avoid uncertainty is to never engage in life or business." You won't have uncertainty then. It'll be certain that you'll become and remain a loser. That's worse than feeling uncertainty.

Do you invest your time in multiple projects simultaneously? or do you focus only in one project?
I currently have:
  • Main Project - my bread and butter, gets most of my attention (90%+). This is the one I intend to sell for 7 figures one day, which is why I started the side project.
  • Side Project - I'm trying to make it as passive as possible and get it earning something worthwhile, but it's slow because it's not priority. This is me hedging my bets. I'll end up selling it, I imagine, for a low-to-mid 6 figures, and use the cash to start 3 more like it. Rinse and repeat, while the main project grows.
  • Client Work - I take on full website design projects a couple times a year. I let this consume me for a 2-3 weeks and then the rest is slow-paced touch-ups. I tend to take on a few speed optimization and security projects which can take up to a week every year too. This keeps me sharp, otherwise my web design and development skills would wither since I don't start enough projects of my own any more.
Anything more than that and I go bonkers. I worked hard last year to close as many open loops as possible. Eventually I'll be able to have more and more side projects as I get the infrastructure in place for "in-house at a distance" writers and post formatters.

Ha! I got distracted with that question. You weren't asking for that level of detail but hopefully it gives you some insight into how other people might be thinking about their operations. Yes, I have several fires I throw irons into, but there is a main one and it's really the MAIN one.

I've been trying to stop chasing the money and getting distracted with the newest, shiniest method to make a quick buck.
That's the trap. Chasing money & quick bucks & get rich quick & shiny new methods and all of that tend to mean one thing: you are trying to extract money (stored value / green karma) out of the system (the economy) without providing real value first to those that choose where the money goes (the people).

You doing that is pretty goofy if you think about it, because you have a massive skillset that has endless demand and commands a high price. Not everyone wants a default Wordpress install and some theme they paid $50 for from ThemeForest. Find those people and serve their needs.

That could mean you actually do the work itself. It could mean you teach people want to do the work (a website, a YouTube channel, both). You could write and publish a book on the topic. You could do live webinar teaching sessions for $25 a seat. Whatever!

My point is, play to your strengths. That could mean that your project isn't about all this web dev & design stuff at all, but you use your skills to make your project the best in the vertical you choose. People like us can create next level link-bait, for instance.

Then again, all of this is making it sound way more complicated than it is.

You already pointed out that you've watched people with way less skill make way more money. Me too. That let's you know that we don't need more skill. We need more action. And eventually you run into a wall where your own action stops mattering and you have to use automation and outsourcing. Then we're talking about a business with cogs turning that need greasing and you become a manager.

I've watched people sell sites, more times than I can count, for half a million on some dog shit pre-made Wordpress theme with crappy, blatantly "made for advertising" content, and a lot of link building. I've watched people, more times than I can count, create the most amazing "web app" websites with all these features and killer content that go nowhere.

It always goes back to the fundamentals. If you're talking about SEO, for instance, it's:
  • Design: Make it acceptible and then move on.
  • Content: Make it above average and publish as much as you can.
  • Links: Build as many as you can for a foundation then become a real marketer.
  • Social: Pop up your posts as part of your publishing routine, and get back to more content.
  • Niche Selection: This is a make it or break it decision.
  • Keyword Research: This is an on-going make it or break it decision.
The red parts are the TRUE fundamentals, the 10% that guides everything else you do. The green part is 80% of the rest of the game. The last 10% should be marketing to help you rank.

That's for SEO, just to point out how simple it is and how complicated we pretend it is. We expect it to be super complicated because it's like a piece of mythology smart people have invented. "Success is complicated, and there's some secrets we can mine out of information to crack the code." No, it's really simple. Make the right decisions up front and then bust your ass non-stop.

Ask others who are in the game to help make sure your foundational choices are good. Once you're confident they are, put your feet to the pavement and your fingers to the keyboard and go to work. That minimizes your uncertainty and boosts your probabilities of success.

If every blog post has a 1% to make you $500 a month and each has a 0.05% to make you $5,000 a month, are you going to be like most people and publish 10 posts and complain that none of them are making you $5,000 a month? Not me. I'm going to publish 100 posts that gives me a 100% guarantee of making $500 a month, and then I've also stacked the deck in my favor, building up to a 5% of one post making $5,000 alone.

Those are made up (low) numbers, but it's another way to illustrate and reinforce exactly what you said:
THOSE THAT DO THE WORK GET THE MONEY.

I'd just add that you have to be working towards the right thing (niche selection and keyword research) with a lower amount of uncertainty that you can get by leaning on the experience of other people that are happy to help validate your idea.
 

LiamGallagher

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Wow, thanks for all the responses guys

You know how to build web applications, why not put that to good use?
That's something that I've wanted to do for a long long time, however I've failed because I haven't even tried. Once I tried to create a service for automatic reporting (think of ahrefs/SEMRush) for some clients. Unfortunately my local market is flooded with cheapskates who want to pay almost nothing. Never tried to expand to other markets since the service was not the big deal. I have to confess that I spend quite some time in pages like product hunt and indie hackers and that's enough proof to see that an idea can start a business.

That’s life, that is literally ALL of life. You want a guarantee that you won’t waste your time in failure. But even life isn’t guaranteed.

You could walk outside your home tomorrow and get hit by a bus or a plane falls out of the sky and land on your head.

“How do you know going outside today is going to work out so you don’t die?” You fucking don’t!! Yet you still go outside.

The only guarantee in life you have is death. Then as you get a lot older you are going to regret more and more not pulling the trigger cause again you want a guarantee you will succeed off your very first venture. How?

Every single one of those “successes” you see have dozens if not hundreds of failures behind them.

Even learning to walk as a baby you fell the first several hundred times! But you were determined to walk and now you can walk.

Imagine how crazy it sounds that as a baby you had more courage to try something over and over and fail until you succeeded. And no one could help you walk, you were a baby that couldn’t properly communicate with your mom or dad yet. You literally had no one to give you guidance. You just saw other people walking and decided “I TRY THAT.”

But now here you are surrounded by people that you can ask questions to, guide you, help you, or partner up with you - AND now you are scared to “TRY THAT?”

Just Fucking Do it. It might take you 8-10 years to get to your goal. Is that a problem? If yes then you want a guarantee you’ll hit a home run on your first attempt, you won’t. Try your best, learn from your mistakes, then keep trying again. At whatever it is in life, whether creating a brand or creating a SAAS or some other entrepreneur route.

“You have to fail towards success.”
Thank you CCarter. As I grow older I tend to overthink every thing, and that results in me doing nothing at all. I've been immersed in the get rich fast/easy fantasy that thinking in the long run would discourage me in the past. Work for 4/5 years before seeing good results? Hell no. And that's why I feel so much uncertainty and paralysis. Being an adult now has changed my perspective; I'm not 20 anymore, so that's why I fear spending time in something that would not be a success. Sadly and ironically, I always end up doing nothing, wasting all that time that in the first place I wanted to use to create something.

All the things that you just wrote are nothing but the truth: failure is the knowledge from a past experience, not a bad thing.

After reading my original post I realize how scared I am and how I've stopped doing a lot of things without a good reason. I feel lucky to have successful people like you around this forum, thanks a lot for taking your time and drop this awesome piece of advice.

If you can code, there's a bunch of data out there, in open APIs, in databases and on websites, that is just waiting to be repurposed into a consumer friendly web app, with viral potential.
That's true! With a developer-first mentality is kinda hard to realize the potential that all those resources have. We're privileged to live in an age where we have access to all that information, for free. I'm kinda tired of the 9-5 journey, and that's a reason why I've tried to create a service or an app. I love coding, i'm just bored in my current job I guess.

As someone who has failed at least 10 times in the past 4 years, my advice for you would be to pick 1 thing and go with it for 6 months.

I've achieved some success with freelancing/client work, and oddly enough, this is the only thing I've ever concentrated on for a significant amount of time.

Who knows, if I would have just kept writing content for affiliate website #1, #2, #3, or #4, maybe I'd be having success with one of them.

In my experience, it's a better idea to give 100% to 1 thing for 6 months than 25% to 4 things for 3 months.

However long you think it will take to achieve some positive results, realize that it will probably take longer.
Thank you man, I appreciate that you shared your experiences here.
I'm in the same wagon when it comes to focus: I'd rather do 1 thing for x amount of time than trying to spread all my resources among several projects. Something that I've always suffered from is lack of focus. If I perceive something as boring or repetitive, it's hard for me to concentrate and keep going with that thing, however, I realize that the grind is part of the success.

Dude... I hate to say it, but from my experience this doesn't go away. It lessens for sure, but like @CCarter said, if you're the anxious type then every variable in life produces uncertainty. I've never been able to overcome it. Once you're awake to the fact of uncertainty it's like an imp nested in the back of your brain, and unless you're willing to lie to yourself or medicate yourself into oblivion, it's going to be there.

If you were to X then Y would produce uncertainty:
  • Start a web design agency - Will my client be happy? Will I get the next one? Can I scale?
  • Rank affiliate sites - Will Google destroy me? Are my networks shaving my sales?
  • Crush it on social media - Will the algorithms screw me? Is the PPC cost going to change?
There's no cope. There's learning how to rest in the groundlessness. People think they have a solid foundation underneath them with their day jobs, salaries, businesses, whatever. They don't, as we all truly know. That's groundlessness and awareness of it creates a generalized, free-floating anxiety.

If I notice it, I try to react like "Okay there it is again, my old friend who I'm not interested in because his presence doesn't change the facts, he only makes me feel worse. Instead of buying into his bullshit, I'm going to do some work that reduces uncertainty, or at least brings me more money before the impending doom strikes."

Everything is uncertain but the "cone of uncertainty" reduces in volume as you move forward on any sensible path. At the broadest part of the cone you might think "What if I start this business and it fails in five years? Or never gets going?" You start it despite that and your uncertainty instead becomes "Okay, this bitch might still fail but at least I'm sitting on a nest egg now." Then it's like "It might fail one day, but I have my nest egg and now a war chest so I can start another business when this one goes tits up." Or maybe you get ancy and sell it for 36x just to escape the uncertainty. It's always there, but you become more secure within the "cone."

It's like the saying goes, "the only way to win is to play ball." We could say, "the only way to avoid uncertainty is to never engage in life or business." You won't have uncertainty then. It'll be certain that you'll become and remain a loser. That's worse than feeling uncertainty.



I currently have:
  • Main Project - my bread and butter, gets most of my attention (90%+). This is the one I intend to sell for 7 figures one day, which is why I started the side project.
  • Side Project - I'm trying to make it as passive as possible and get it earning something worthwhile, but it's slow because it's not priority. This is me hedging my bets. I'll end up selling it, I imagine, for a low-to-mid 6 figures, and use the cash to start 3 more like it. Rinse and repeat, while the main project grows.
  • Client Work - I take on full website design projects a couple times a year. I let this consume me for a 2-3 weeks and then the rest is slow-paced touch-ups. I tend to take on a few speed optimization and security projects which can take up to a week every year too. This keeps me sharp, otherwise my web design and development skills would wither since I don't start enough projects of my own any more.
Anything more than that and I go bonkers. I worked hard last year to close as many open loops as possible. Eventually I'll be able to have more and more side projects as I get the infrastructure in place for "in-house at a distance" writers and post formatters.

Ha! I got distracted with that question. You weren't asking for that level of detail but hopefully it gives you some insight into how other people might be thinking about their operations. Yes, I have several fires I throw irons into, but there is a main one and it's really the MAIN one.



That's the trap. Chasing money & quick bucks & get rich quick & shiny new methods and all of that tend to mean one thing: you are trying to extract money (stored value / green karma) out of the system (the economy) without providing real value first to those that choose where the money goes (the people).

You doing that is pretty goofy if you think about it, because you have a massive skillset that has endless demand and commands a high price. Not everyone wants a default Wordpress install and some theme they paid $50 for from ThemeForest. Find those people and serve their needs.

That could mean you actually do the work itself. It could mean you teach people want to do the work (a website, a YouTube channel, both). You could write and publish a book on the topic. You could do live webinar teaching sessions for $25 a seat. Whatever!

My point is, play to your strengths. That could mean that your project isn't about all this web dev & design stuff at all, but you use your skills to make your project the best in the vertical you choose. People like us can create next level link-bait, for instance.

Then again, all of this is making it sound way more complicated than it is.

You already pointed out that you've watched people with way less skill make way more money. Me too. That let's you know that we don't need more skill. We need more action. And eventually you run into a wall where your own action stops mattering and you have to use automation and outsourcing. Then we're talking about a business with cogs turning that need greasing and you become a manager.

I've watched people sell sites, more times than I can count, for half a million on some dog shit pre-made Wordpress theme with crappy, blatantly "made for advertising" content, and a lot of link building. I've watched people, more times than I can count, create the most amazing "web app" websites with all these features and killer content that go nowhere.

It always goes back to the fundamentals. If you're talking about SEO, for instance, it's:
  • Design: Make it acceptible and then move on.
  • Content: Make it above average and publish as much as you can.
  • Links: Build as many as you can for a foundation then become a real marketer.
  • Social: Pop up your posts as part of your publishing routine, and get back to more content.
  • Niche Selection: This is a make it or break it decision.
  • Keyword Research: This is an on-going make it or break it decision.
The red parts are the TRUE fundamentals, the 10% that guides everything else you do. The green part is 80% of the rest of the game. The last 10% should be marketing to help you rank.

That's for SEO, just to point out how simple it is and how complicated we pretend it is. We expect it to be super complicated because it's like a piece of mythology smart people have invented. "Success is complicated, and there's some secrets we can mine out of information to crack the code." No, it's really simple. Make the right decisions up front and then bust your ass non-stop.

Ask others who are in the game to help make sure your foundational choices are good. Once you're confident they are, put your feet to the pavement and your fingers to the keyboard and go to work. That minimizes your uncertainty and boosts your probabilities of success.

If every blog post has a 1% to make you $500 a month and each has a 0.05% to make you $5,000 a month, are you going to be like most people and publish 10 posts and complain that none of them are making you $5,000 a month? Not me. I'm going to publish 100 posts that gives me a 100% guarantee of making $500 a month, and then I've also stacked the deck in my favor, building up to a 5% of one post making $5,000 alone.

Those are made up (low) numbers, but it's another way to illustrate and reinforce exactly what you said:
THOSE THAT DO THE WORK GET THE MONEY.

I'd just add that you have to be working towards the right thing (niche selection and keyword research) with a lower amount of uncertainty that you can get by leaning on the experience of other people that are happy to help validate your idea.
Wow, so much valuable information here. Definitely thank you for dedicating a piece of your time and going in so much detail about what and how.

I liked the analogy of the cone so much, because as a started we usually feel overwhelmed by all the factors that are in play to reach success. It's like fighting a dragon with a wood stick, but you're right: as time passes, things will start to look a little bit less intimidating and more doable.

I've read again the chapter #2 of the digital crash course and I found the answer to something that was really worried about. As I said before, English is not my first language, so the decision of either go local or international. I always "felt" that going the local way was not as good just because the US market is bigger, but I have to consider this again. My first language is spoken by more than 400 million people in the world: there should be a good market to go after.

Thanks again for the detailed answer!
 

LiamGallagher

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Print that on a t-shirt, fucking gold right there. This is what separates the 1% form the 99%.

I don’t remember who said it but, “hard work creates luck”
It took me several years to accept that. And it applies for every situation in life.
Loved the phrase you shared.
 

bernard

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I want to say one thing, to me Google seems to really prioritize unique data.

Just a few years ago, I would say Google having an algo to figure out what is unique data, would be impossible, but from personal experience, I've drawn different conclusions.

Google really, really prefers to rank data driven content over words, when it comes to buying and price comparison intent. You're just not going to cut it with 5000 words and "Cheap Widgets" in your title unless you have a ton of backlinks.

On the other hand, when I code a simple price/data/img collection and present it in a recognisable and searchable manner, Google takes favor to it quite quickly.

Now, I don't know exactly what the code behind such a thing is. Could be because feeds naturally have a lot of topically related queries and could be that google (definitely) know what a product search engine looks like or something else. In any case, it works.

In other news, when you code something that does something, and you're halfway competent with design, people like that. People want to comment, share, critique and praise you. Linkbuilding suddenly becomes a whole lot easier. Just drop a link and ask, "hey what do you think of this thing I coded". You'd never be able to drop "hey what do you think of my 5000 word guide" with the same ease.

So that's why I say, that if you can code, you're way ahead of the game. Just need to get that creativity flowing.

I'll give you an app you can make now, which I wanted to do for myself, but won't get around to.

Find or scrape data from Numbeo, AirBnB, Hotels.com price index, Xe.com and run that shit together, to create an up to date list of where the real cheap travel deals are right now, when corrected for currency fluctuations, AirBnB average price and current restaurant prices. Then find a feed of offers from someone like Expedia and cheap tickets. Voila!
 
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If you can code, there's a bunch of data out there, in open APIs, in databases and on websites, that is just waiting to be repurposed into a consumer friendly web app, with viral potential.
example?
 
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The Google gods gain their power through web scraping. Expedia and their related sites focus on airline api aggregation. Every single Web marketing tool is fueled or enhanced with web scraping in one way or another. Weather websites are all based on publicly available government APIs.

It's not that hard to find examples in the wild
 
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I was in the same boat as you. Now I'm in my swimming trunks, still learning how to swim and one day master. Get in the habit of doing something and hyperfocus it. Your marketing confidence/tactics/insights will grow and blossom. For example, I post a youtube video of me once a day and commenting on other youtube channels for traffic to my own channel. Change your mindset, change the game, change your life.
 
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BCN

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Do something not everyone can do. I.e. anyone can buy Facebook ads, if you're a Facebook affiliate you're in the same bidding space as all other affiliates and you don't have an edge. Anyone can build an MFA or Amazon website, and buy some backlinks at BHW and probably rank it and make money.

You can make money doing it of course, but there's no point of working online if you can't make real money. With the time invested, the risk, and the amount of time needed to keep up with the changing skills ... if you're just making OK money, you might as well just work as an accountant or engineer or something. It's also relatively easy work, and you make OK money.

The best is to be competent in marketing AND {sales|coding|ops|...} or any combination of two industries. I know doctors and engineers (I.e. geological engineers, not software engineers) that can code - they do all kinds of cool shit and make good money.

Excel at one thing, but know enough about I.e. coding to be able to bootstrap or layout an app, and manage the coders that put it together.

There are tons of developers (probably millions just in India), that can code better than me. But I can scrape data, cloak, automate, build apps, build backends and set up servers any day - and I'm mainly a marketer (I make money buying ads = marketer).

Most coders are too into coding to know real-life applications, and most marketers can't even change simple CSS or do a decent stats report because they barely know math.
 
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Do something not everyone can do. I.e. anyone can buy Facebook ads, if you're a Facebook affiliate you're in the same bidding space as all other affiliates and you don't have an edge. Anyone can build an MFA or Amazon website, and buy some backlinks at BHW and probably rank it and make money.

You can make money doing it of course, but there's no point of working online if you can't make real money. With the time invested, the risk, and the amount of time needed to keep up with the changing skills ... if you're just making OK money, you might as well just work as an accountant or engineer or something. It's also relatively easy work, and you make OK money.

The best is to be competent in marketing AND {sales|coding|ops|...} or any combination of two industries. I know doctors and engineers (I.e. geological engineers, not software engineers) that can code - they do all kinds of cool shit and make good money.

Excel at one thing, but know enough about I.e. coding to be able to bootstrap or layout an app, and manage the coders that put it together.

There are tons of developers (probably millions just in India), that can code better than me. But I can scrape data, cloak, automate, build apps, build backends and set up servers any day - and I'm mainly a marketer (I make money buying ads = marketer).

Most coders are too into coding to know real-life applications, and most marketers can't even change simple CSS or do a decent stats report because they barely know math.
This is what I am working on. I want to be able to scrape data, cloak and all the stuff you mentioned. I am studying like a beast to gain the knowledge so that I can accomplish my goals.
 
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Imagine how crazy it sounds that as a baby you had more courage to try something over and over and fail until you succeeded. And no one could help you walk, you were a baby that couldn’t properly communicate with your mom or dad yet. You literally had no one to give you guidance. You just saw other people walking and decided “I TRY THAT.”

But now here you are surrounded by people that you can ask questions to, guide you, help you, or partner up with you - AND now you are scared to “TRY THAT?”
I'd agree that the majority of people on Internet forums probably had some weird, neglectful childhood; but, I wouldn't agree that the methods posted on here are the right ones for OP, the methods posted here are the only ones for OP, or even the members here are the right ones OP should network with.

Do something not everyone can do. I.e. anyone can buy Facebook ads, if you're a Facebook affiliate you're in the same bidding space as all other affiliates and you don't have an edge. Anyone can build an MFA or Amazon website, and buy some backlinks at BHW and probably rank it and make money.

You can make money doing it of course, but there's no point of working online if you can't make real money. With the time invested, the risk, and the amount of time needed to keep up with the changing skills ... if you're just making OK money, you might as well just work as an accountant or engineer or something. It's also relatively easy work, and you make OK money.

The best is to be competent in marketing AND {sales|coding|ops|...} or any combination of two industries. I know doctors and engineers (I.e. geological engineers, not software engineers) that can code - they do all kinds of cool shit and make good money.

Excel at one thing, but know enough about I.e. coding to be able to bootstrap or layout an app, and manage the coders that put it together.

There are tons of developers (probably millions just in India), that can code better than me. But I can scrape data, cloak, automate, build apps, build backends and set up servers any day - and I'm mainly a marketer (I make money buying ads = marketer).

Most coders are too into coding to know real-life applications, and most marketers can't even change simple CSS or do a decent stats report because they barely know math.
Specialization is a fundamental aspect of capitalism. If you want to succeed in capitalism, you need to specialize.

@LiamGallagher It sounds like your conception of Entrepreneurship is revolved around creating sites, ranking them, and selling them. If that's it, you'll just be a talented craftsman. If that's what you want to do , go for it. If you have anxiety about it, know that, even if you do fail in your first website, it is not totally a failure. There are lessons you can learn from it.

Ask yourself questions such as: What caused the site to fail? How can I fix those problems next time? How can I improve my work process for the next site? What went good with the site that I should carry over to the next one?

They'll give you valuable insight into business and whatever endeavor you're undertaking.

Today, it might be building and ranking a site. Once the site fails, for example, you might realize, that sending PPC ads to the site had a good ROI but slim profits; so, you should try a new site that focuses on PPC to maximize the PPC ROI advantage you have. Keep repeating this a few times and, 1 or 2 years from now, you'd be someplace far, far from where you are now.

Entrepreneurship is a skill. It is not encompassed by propositional knowledge (knowledge that can be expressed in words; such as "trees produce oxygen"). It is similar to learning a bike. You learn by doing. You can read a guide which will give you a description of how to start a venture or ride a bike but you will not truly grasp the concept until you do.

I think you're expecting this to be like reading a PHP manual and, from that, learning how to write code. It's not.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need more guidance.
 
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Think about this one...

It's a very hot, sunny day outside. You're walking around and you suddenly face a crossroads. So many roads to go down, so little time. Which one do you pick? You decide to pick ANY of those roads and start walking. After walking for about an hour in the heat you suddenly wonder "where am I? Am I going in the right direction?". There's no signs, no people, no nothing telling you where you are, where you're going and how far it is. It's confusing, but you keep going.

Another hour passes and you're starting to get tired, frustrated even. "Does this road even go anywhere? Am I traveling down this path alone?" You're thirsty, you need water, so you call up some friends. They can't give you what you're asking for because they're not on the same road, hell, not even in the same state (of mind). You get desperate. "Why does no one help me? Hello?!" Then, suddenly, a Ferrari races right past you. Doesn't stop. Doesn't even look at you. You, the poor guy on foot. "Why is that guy going so fast? Why doesn't he help me out? What a d*ck!"

Three hours in and you're sweating like crazy, you're exhausted. There's no end in sight and you start cursing the road. Blaming it for your current conditions. Something needs to change and FAST or you'll never make it. You realize: "if nobody's going to help me, I have to help myself. I have to keep going." You start looking around you. Is there anything on or next to the road that can help? After 15 minutes or so, you see a pond. YES! Water. Finally. Hey, you're not where you want to be but at least you won't collapse from dehydration or something. You're amazed how quick you found that little, sh*tty ass pond once you actively started looking.

You keep walking and think "man, I gotta go faster but I can't afford me a Ferrari. Is there a way I can get someone's attention the next time they try to pass me?" And you see some pebbles on the side of the road. Tiny, tiny pebbles. They're not enough to make a driver come to a full stop but, hey, at least you can make 'em look twice. What do you have to lose?

Five hours in, you seem to have left "middle of nowhere land" behind you. The condition of the road has visibly improved, but you still feel like crap. You feel like you're going along with the road, almost as if you've resigned to whatever fate's waiting for you at the end. Then, you hear a whirring sound behind you. "Wait a minute... are those bike wheels I'm hearing?!" You turn around and you see one of those young, hipster-type millennials biking towards you. You're dead ass tired. You feel like you can barely stand and it takes every ounce of strength you have left to do it, but you knock his ass off of the bike. Duuuude. A bike! Start pedaling! You feel a bit of relief. You still don't know where this road is taking you exactly, but at least you're going faster now.

Eight hours in. You've put quite some distance behind you, but it's getting dark now. "Should I keep going? I can't really see sh*t!" you think to yourself, after you noticed the bike has no lights on it whatsoever. It's kind of slow, though, isn't it? "Is this really the best way for me to keep going?" You get off the bike because you forgot to tell your friends & family where you are so you call them. Their response when you excitedly tell them about the bike and how far you've come? "Meh, that's nice but I'm watching The Circle on Netflix." That's about the best response out of the bunch. At that point, you want to throw that damn bike into the bushes. Well @%%$^*! you -beep- -beeeep-. You're still at it alone, aren't you? After you've calmed down a bit, you decide to get back on the bike and start pedaling. "I mean, it's not like I can get some sleep anyways, right? It might as well keep going."

One full day in. Several people on bikes went past you, made fun of you even. You and your sh*tty bike. "Can't you go faster bro? Why don't you just get a car? Join my company and you'll get one." You refuse. You have to do this by yourself. Just. Keep. Going. Even if the bike falls apart...

Aaaand: flat tire. The bike's done and you're back to walking. You just don't get why everybody's so happy with these Google bikes. You notice an empty backpack. A big one. Then you spot a bunch of scrap metal next to the road. You put it in the pack, because you never know when it could be of use. You start to plan ahead. After all, you want to go faster and you need to stop somebody and take their mode of transportation to do it. Don't ask and wait, be polite. NO. Take. Take what's yours. Plan for that sh*t. You come up with ways to put the scrap metal together so it'll stop anyone. Rope and duck tape for the win, right? With your freshly made plans you start walking again.

Two days in. You hear that sound in the distance? Is that...? Is that an engine? You immediately drop your backpack to the ground, open it and take your scrap metal creation out. Put that b*tch on the road man! And you wait. The silence is deafening. "Was this the right move? Should I really do this?" That moment seems to last forever. You start to wonder if you need to get back to walking. You get up. "It's taking too long! This probably won't work!" You almost want to pack up your sh*t and go home, but you just wait a tiny bit longer... one more moment.

And BAAAM! Crash! You weren't seeing things. It WAS a car. And your weird, on the cheap scrap metal creation instantly knocked the driver out of the car with a loud sound. Get in. Get in now and start driving. You start driving and don't look back. You got everything out of that little (or)deal that you wanted.

One week in. You reach the end of the road and, even though you expected great things, you didn't quite expect this. It's awesome, amazing and, yet, it doesn't feel like it's not real. You went to great lengths. Your feet almost felt like they would fall off at some point. You deserve this, man, so enjoy it. You drive to your parents place, walk in, tell your dad all about your adventures and he tells you: "that's great son. I just finished all seasons of Dexter!" You smile. "That's nice, dad." He doesn't understand, but it's okay. You know what you did.

- WELCOME TO HAVING YOUR OWN BUSINESS -

What would you do?
No, what would you?
 
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Think about this one...

It's a very hot, sunny day outside. You're walking around and you suddenly face a crossroads. So many roads to go down, so little time. Which one do you pick? You decide to pick ANY of those roads and start walking. After walking for about an hour in the heat you suddenly wonder "where am I? Am I going in the right direction?". There's no signs, no people, no nothing telling you where you are, where you're going and how far it is. It's confusing, but you keep going.

Another hour passes and you're starting to get tired, frustrated even. "Does this road even go anywhere? Am I traveling down this path alone?" You're thirsty, you need water, so you call up some friends. They can't give you what you're asking for because they're not on the same road, hell, not even in the same state (of mind). You get desperate. "Why does no one help me? Hello?!" Then, suddenly, a Ferrari races right past you. Doesn't stop. Doesn't even look at you. You, the poor guy on foot. "Why is that guy going so fast? Why doesn't he help me out? What a d*ck!"

Three hours in and you're sweating like crazy, you're exhausted. There's no end in sight and you start cursing the road. Blaming it for your current conditions. Something needs to change and FAST or you'll never make it. You realize: "if nobody's going to help me, I have to help myself. I have to keep going." You start looking around you. Is there anything on or next to the road that can help? After 15 minutes or so, you see a pond. YES! Water. Finally. Hey, you're not where you want to be but at least you won't collapse from dehydration or something. You're amazed how quick you found that little, sh*tty ass pond once you actively started looking.

You keep walking and think "man, I gotta go faster but I can't afford me a Ferrari. Is there a way I can get someone's attention the next time they try to pass me?" And you see some pebbles on the side of the road. Tiny, tiny pebbles. They're not enough to make a driver come to a full stop but, hey, at least you can make 'em look twice. What do you have to lose?

Five hours in, you seem to have left "middle of nowhere land" behind you. The condition of the road has visibly improved, but you still feel like crap. You feel like you're going along with the road, almost as if you've resigned to whatever fate's waiting for you at the end. Then, you hear a whirring sound behind you. "Wait a minute... are those bike wheels I'm hearing?!" You turn around and you see one of those young, hipster-type millennials biking towards you. You're dead ass tired. You feel like you can barely stand and it takes every ounce of strength you have left to do it, but you knock his ass off of the bike. Duuuude. A bike! Start pedaling! You feel a bit of relief. You still don't know where this road is taking you exactly, but at least you're going faster now.

Eight hours in. You've put quite some distance behind you, but it's getting dark now. "Should I keep going? I can't really see sh*t!" you think to yourself, after you noticed the bike has no lights on it whatsoever. It's kind of slow, though, isn't it? "Is this really the best way for me to keep going?" You get off the bike because you forgot to tell your friends & family where you are so you call them. Their response when you excitedly tell them about the bike and how far you've come? "Meh, that's nice but I'm watching The Circle on Netflix." That's about the best response out of the bunch. At that point, you want to throw that damn bike into the bushes. Well @%%$^*! you -beep- -beeeep-. You're still at it alone, aren't you? After you've calmed down a bit, you decide to get back on the bike and start pedaling. "I mean, it's not like I can get some sleep anyways, right? It might as well keep going."

One full day in. Several people on bikes went past you, made fun of you even. You and your sh*tty bike. "Can't you go faster bro? Why don't you just get a car? Join my company and you'll get one." You refuse. You have to do this by yourself. Just. Keep. Going. Even if the bike falls apart...

Aaaand: flat tire. The bike's done and you're back to walking. You just don't get why everybody's so happy with these Google bikes. You notice an empty backpack. A big one. Then you spot a bunch of scrap metal next to the road. You put it in the pack, because you never know when it could be of use. You start to plan ahead. After all, you want to go faster and you need to stop somebody and take their mode of transportation to do it. Don't ask and wait, be polite. NO. Take. Take what's yours. Plan for that sh*t. You come up with ways to put the scrap metal together so it'll stop anyone. Rope and duck tape for the win, right? With your freshly made plans you start walking again.

Two days in. You hear that sound in the distance? Is that...? Is that an engine? You immediately drop your backpack to the ground, open it and take your scrap metal creation out. Put that b*tch on the road man! And you wait. The silence is deafening. "Was this the right move? Should I really do this?" That moment seems to last forever. You start to wonder if you need to get back to walking. You get up. "It's taking too long! This probably won't work!" You almost want to pack up your sh*t and go home, but you just wait a tiny bit longer... one more moment.

And BAAAM! Crash! You weren't seeing things. It WAS a car. And your weird, on the cheap scrap metal creation instantly knocked the driver out of the car with a loud sound. Get in. Get in now and start driving. You start driving and don't look back. You got everything out of that little (or)deal that you wanted.

One week in. You reach the end of the road and, even though you expected great things, you didn't quite expect this. It's awesome, amazing and, yet, it doesn't feel like it's not real. You went to great lengths. Your feet almost felt like they would fall off at some point. You deserve this, man, so enjoy it. You drive to your parents place, walk in, tell your dad all about your adventures and he tells you: "that's great son. I just finished all seasons of Dexter!" You smile. "That's nice, dad." He doesn't understand, but it's okay. You know what you did.

- WELCOME TO HAVING YOUR OWN BUSINESS -


No, what would you?
Nice story but -- I'm sorry-- I know political philosophy and your story has so many flaws.
  1. Why must the entrepreneur go at it alone all the time? What's wrong with partnerships? Capitalism is about specialization. When you're specialized, you are the most efficient in the economy. Being a jack of all trades is not a valuable skill. If I were you, I'd open my mind up to working with others.
  2. Why must society be akin to a desert where, if you don't compete in the economy, you'll die? Why can't there be a social safety net so that having a failed venture wouldn't be so stressful? It wouldn't discourage entrepreneurship. In fact, it'll encourage it since more people are willing to take the risk, if they know that the downside is not so bleek.
  3. Why is the son trying to one-up his dad? What's wrong with their relationship. The story doesn't go into that but it's the driver for his entrepreneurship. What happens if the relationship with the father changes?
  4. Why must he have to steal to compete? Why must there be a loser in the entrepreneurship process? Why must he win and other people lose? Why must, in this story, society itself doesn't win at all and, in fact, it doesn't sound like society exists?
I'm sorry dude but you need to change your perspective on the world. It sounds like you have a chip on you shoulder which is preventing you from socializing with others. No one's going to partner with you if you're going to end up back stabbing them. It sounds like you have trust issues. I hope you get over it.

This is only my opinion and I most definitely can be wrong but that's what I get from your story.

Take good care @Janiform.
 
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Nice story but -- I'm sorry-- I know political philosophy and your story has so many flaws.
The story's an allegory that different people could assign different meanings to, so I find it entertaining that you're trying to poke holes with literal interpretations of metaphorically meant things.

Why must the entrepreneur go at it alone all the time? What's wrong with partnerships? Capitalism is about specialization. When you're specialized, you are the most efficient in the economy. Being a jack of all trades is not a valuable skill.
One of the things the story can point out is that no one cares as much about, and/or understands as much of, your business as you do. This realization can FEEL lonely, but isn't: the ultimately responsibility lies with you... including for creating partnerships. Taking extreme responsibility equals gaining control. It has nothing to do with being alone and everything to do with, ultimately, you being solely responsible. The fact that you are is GREAT, not a depressing thing. You simply have to come to grips with it.

If I were you, I'd open my mind up to working with others.
Uncalled for. You don't know me, AT ALL. I've started, expanded and ended many partnerships over the years I've been in this game.

Why must society be akin to a desert where, if you don't compete in the economy, you'll die? Why can't there be a social safety net so that having a failed venture wouldn't be so stressful? It wouldn't discourage entrepreneurship. In fact, it'll encourage it since more people are willing to take the risk, if they know that the downside is not so bleek.
Entrepreneurship should be encouraged. At the same time, though, there's something very powerful about crossing that bridge and burning it behind you so there's no way but forward. Scared money don't make money and too much safety can be limiting. It's the difference between "I hope I'll win" and "I must win, regardless of my (dis)belief in myself". Those are two very different sets of determination in my book.

Why is the son trying to one-up his dad? What's wrong with their relationship. The story doesn't go into that but it's the driver for his entrepreneurship. What happens if the relationship with the father changes?
That's a very different meaning than what I would see haha. It could also be about how you, as a business owner, achieve things that are significant... to you. Even though others might not see or understand the significance of achievements because they're not in your business day-to-day like you are... don't blame them for it or be less proud because of it. It's simply a matter of if a rocket scientist tried to proudly explain what he achieved to me I'd be like "huh? What?" not because I'm not happy for the guy, I simply don't understand it at his level.

Why must he have to steal to compete? Why must there be a loser in the entrepreneurship process? Why must he win and other people lose? Why must, in this story, society itself doesn't win at all and, in fact, it doesn't sound like society exists?
Again, very different. It could also be about how, at first, you don't have a clue about how to get the attention of potential customers and they fly right past you. There's some guilt there too in terms of how much you can charge, etc. and it FEELS like stealing. Then, with whatever you manage to imperfectly put together as tools along the way, you get your first big customer.

Other than that, capitalism equals economic freedom, willing exchange, private property rights, a profit motive and competition. Society doesn't always win in this system with either maximum competition OR minimum competition... or with outbreaks like the one right now with privately owned hospitals and, therefore, limitations on the # of IC beds due to the profit motive.

I'm sorry dude but you need to change your perspective on the world. It sounds like you have a chip on you shoulder which is preventing you from socializing with others. No one's going to partner with you if you're going to end up back stabbing them. It sounds like you have trust issues. I hope you get over it.
This is drawing conclusions from the literal story rather than thinking about the allegory and I don't appreciate the ad hominems, dude. If anything, you read into most elements of the allegory in the most negative way possible instead of a positive way which says more about you than about me.

You don't know my perspective because you didn't ask, so I hope you get over yourself and your claim to authority because you know political philosophy... while I'm talking about how to run a god d*mn business.
 

eliquid

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The story's an allegory that different people could assign different meanings to, so I find it entertaining that you're trying to poke holes with literal interpretations of metaphorically meant things.
This is exactly how I saw it. Not sure why @Philip J. Fry is trying to poke holes either. When someone tells a story, it's not custom exact outline made per person. It's just a general story to relate an abstract idea.

I know political philosophy and your story has so many flaws.
This is a weak argument. I know 20 ways to make Shepards pie, but that doesn't make me an expert in it. I also know in-depth many lines and their true meaning from the books of the bible, but that doesn't make me an expert. As a carpenter, not everything is a nail that needs a hammer.


One of the things the story can point out is that no one cares as much about, and/or understands as much of, your business as you do. This realization can FEEL lonely, but isn't: the ultimately responsibility lies with you... including for creating partnerships. Taking extreme responsibility equals gaining control. It has nothing to do with being alone and everything to do with, ultimately, you being solely responsible. The fact that you are is GREAT, not a depressing thing. You simply have to come to grips with it.
Exactly this. I stressed this in another thread about COVID-19 and how I self research. Because the ultimately responsibility lies with you ( me ) and no one cares as much about, and/or understands as much of, you and your business as you do. Great post.

Uncalled for. You don't know me, AT ALL. I've started, expanded and ended many partnerships over the years I've been in this game.
Yes, many people just want to go alone. Many people have been with partners.

Some people like and love it, some don't.

It's just like burgers. Are you a McDonalds fan or Burger King?

Entrepreneurship should be encouraged. At the same time, though, there's something very powerful about crossing that bridge and burning it behind you so there's no way but forward. Scared money don't make money and too much safety can be limiting. It's the difference between "I hope I'll win" and "I must win, regardless of my (dis)belief in myself". Those are two very different sets of determination in my book.
Yes. Safety nets tend not to work. We have examples in other areas outside of entrepreneurship. To the victor goes the spoils.
 
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The story's an allegory that different people could assign different meanings to, so I find it entertaining that you're trying to poke holes with literal interpretations of metaphorically meant things.


One of the things the story can point out is that no one cares as much about, and/or understands as much of, your business as you do. This realization can FEEL lonely, but isn't: the ultimately responsibility lies with you... including for creating partnerships. Taking extreme responsibility equals gaining control. It has nothing to do with being alone and everything to do with, ultimately, you being solely responsible. The fact that you are is GREAT, not a depressing thing. You simply have to come to grips with it.


Uncalled for. You don't know me, AT ALL. I've started, expanded and ended many partnerships over the years I've been in this game.


Entrepreneurship should be encouraged. At the same time, though, there's something very powerful about crossing that bridge and burning it behind you so there's no way but forward. Scared money don't make money and too much safety can be limiting. It's the difference between "I hope I'll win" and "I must win, regardless of my (dis)belief in myself". Those are two very different sets of determination in my book.


That's a very different meaning than what I would see haha. It could also be about how you, as a business owner, achieve things that are significant... to you. Even though others might not see or understand the significance of achievements because they're not in your business day-to-day like you are... don't blame them for it or be less proud because of it. It's simply a matter of if a rocket scientist tried to proudly explain what he achieved to me I'd be like "huh? What?" not because I'm not happy for the guy, I simply don't understand it at his level.


Again, very different. It could also be about how, at first, you don't have a clue about how to get the attention of potential customers and they fly right past you. There's some guilt there too in terms of how much you can charge, etc. and it FEELS like stealing. Then, with whatever you manage to imperfectly put together as tools along the way, you get your first big customer.

Other than that, capitalism equals economic freedom, willing exchange, private property rights, a profit motive and competition. Society doesn't always win in this system with either maximum competition OR minimum competition... or with outbreaks like the one right now with privately owned hospitals and, therefore, limitations on the # of IC beds due to the profit motive.


This is drawing conclusions from the literal story rather than thinking about the allegory and I don't appreciate the ad hominems, dude. If anything, you read into most elements of the allegory in the most negative way possible instead of a positive way which says more about you than about me.

You don't know my perspective because you didn't ask, so I hope you get over yourself and your claim to authority because you know political philosophy... while I'm talking about how to run a god d*mn business.
I thought you were posting a journal. There are journals on this forum. My bad.

This is exactly how I saw it. Not sure why @Philip J. Fry is trying to poke holes either. When someone tells a story, it's not custom exact outline made per person. It's just a general story to relate an abstract idea.

Yes. Safety nets tend not to work. We have examples in other areas outside of entrepreneurship. To the victor goes the spoils.
I thought he was posting a journal.

As for the victor goes the spoils, I agree with that partly. @Janiform mentioned that for-profit hospitals are limiting ICU beds due to profit maximizing reasons. I'd argue that the pandemic shows that for-profit healthcare does not work. The country's hospitals should set its priorities based upon medical necessity instead of profit maximization. Only certain industry should be handled by the public sector and the rest by the private sector. Another one would be education.

For example, you, as tech entrepreneurs, would want an educated work force as technology is advancing and labor jobs are going away due to automation. A socialist country would produce an educated workforce. A free market country would leave the poor uneducated, because they were born poor and couldn't afford to go to college. This would hinder your efforts to find skilled workers, which would drive up the cost of highly qualified employees.

You're only hoping that, in a free market society, you're the ones on top. That's what everyone in the rat race is hoping. The thing is, the people at the top are magnitudes above you or me. We're just Sisyphus going through our daily routines compared to them. I'm telling you this as someone who makes six figures.

You'd want a safety net for uncertainties of life, such as a pandemic. You don't have to go it alone. You don't want to go at it with only the money available to you, your family, and charities that are willing to help you. Government can help you, that's what its' there for. It's the exact opposite of a business and that's great for the areas of society that's best run by altruism instead of greed.