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|'Success Stories - 12 Doers Share Their Secrets'
|This week's interview takes us all the way to
Australia. Quentin Brown is 49 and lives in Brisbane.
His ultimate aim is to become a fully paid missionary
working with children around the world by using his
Internet business to support orphanages, mobile medical
centers and schools. At present he works for an
Australian-based international aid organization as a
network and administration manager.
BizE-zine: Quentin, when did you first get involved
with the Internet?
QB: In 1996 I moved to Brisbane from Sydney after a
failed business venture. Australia experienced a
recession where interest rates topped 24% and this
devastated me. I was nearly broke so I used the
Internet to investigate different ways of making money.
The skills I gained doing this helped me in my new job
and I started to build their web site. I found that so
many people were interested I spent endless nights
building web sites for free and learning all I could.
In 1999 I purchase my first .com called MSIncome.com
and have used it ever since. http://www.msincome.com
BizE-zine: What does the MS stand for?
QB: MS stands for Multiple Stream. I learnt very early
in my time on the Internet that selling one product
will never get you the income you need. I guess the
secret is to find a good product mix to cater to a
wide variety of people. You don't find many traditional
businesses just selling one product.
BizE-zine: Your site is very good, but how has it
developed since you started out?
QB: Initially, it was very simple. I borrowed ideas
from here and there. It was what we call a homepage.
Not very specific and advertised pretty well everything
I could find. I learnt fairly quickly that you don't
make money from these sites. They are good for the ego
but not the pocket.
I spent time learning how to make my own graphics and
develop my web site into a selling machine by looking
at the professionals. A selling web site needs to be
simple and load quickly.
There are some great tutorials around to teach you the
basics and then it is just a matter of trial and error.
One of the greatest problems is that we spend so much
time on our sites that we get sick of them. Or too
familiar. Then it's a good idea to get your peers to
evaluate it for you. My wife is also a great critic.
She is not very computer literate and if she can
understand and navigate through my latest creation, I'm
The biggest change in the site is not so much in
presentation, but in specifics. I don't build so much
to please myself now, but to sell. My backend is my
place to play. Once a person joins our program through
the subscription they enter a realm where I can play
and do all the stuff I love. We have time to try new
technology and bounce ideas off one another. It is a
community and everything is far more relaxed.
BizE-zine: What was the spark that pushed you into
starting up online?
QB: My first experience was with a program called
Alladvantage which was an advertising bar you ran on
your computer. My first check was $53 and took me three
months to get. It was so exciting because I hadn't paid
out anything to get it. It was particularly sweet
because a few years ago I had lost over half a million
on a traditional business and here I was making money
with virtually no investment.
In 1999 I was becoming more and more frustrated because
I wanted to be more involved in helping people with
their web sites, but my job with Global Care and an
International magazine was taking up all my time. I
decided that if I could write a book and teach people
how to do it themselves than I could be a lot more
After looking at how much it costs to publish a
traditional book I became very disheartened till I
found Allen Says's Internet Warriors site.
Here I was able to talk to so many different people and
I was introduced to Ebooks. I met Jimmy Brown who
produced an ebook compiling program for a price I could
afford. Then I started to develop "My Website".
I also developed a number of other programs in the same
vein such as "My Ebook" and "My Templates" which goes
through the whole process from writing to cover design
BizE-zine: You really went for it! Was there a defining
moment for you that put everything into place?
QB: I guess that happened when I met Robert Kiyosaki. I
had just read his book "Rich Dad Poor Dad" and had a
chance to have a very exclusive luncheon with him
through the magazine I was involved in. I was able to
sit and listen to him talk about the whole concept and
asked all sorts of questions. I started to apply the
principles he taught.
BizE-zine: I have read, and been impressed with his
book. Which principles of his have you specifically
found useful in Internet marketing?
QB: The concept of Robert's that I like the most is the
idea of financial intelligence.
"50% of financial intelligence is what you learn. It is
the so-called technical knowledge about money,
accounting, finance, investing and business. The other
50% of financial intelligence is knowing when you are
thinking rationally and when you are thinking
emotionally. To simply say, 'Play it safe.' is not a
rational thought because it is a thought that is
generated out of emotion. To say, 'Play it smart.' is a
thought coming from the rational brain."
I am continually amazed that when many people get on
the Internet they believe everything they are told.
$10,000 a month with nothing down and nothing a month
and people belive it. This goes against all common
sense but I have seen it happen over and over again.
Develop your skills and then work smart.
This was and still is great advice.
BizE-zine: Is your site earning well?
QB: It accounts for about 20% of my income at present.
BizE-zine: Has being outside America posed you any
QB: Living outside the US presented a number of
problems. At first it was really difficult because in
Australia there was no way to really sell digital
products on line.
The next problem that Internet non-US marketers face
is the simple conversion of all those sales into the
currency of your particular country. Here, the banks
charge $10 a check and take 30 days to clear. If you
are in a good affiliate program you can put a limit on
your account so you won't get paid until you reach a
certain amount. This buffers the expense a little.
I sell a lot of my own products so I have invested in
Worldpay which allows me to sell in a number of
currencies. They deposit directly into my bank account.
It is a more expensive route but has proven a valuable
tool over the last few months.
Paypal also let you have funds deposited directly into
your account. I have used them for about two years and
found them very helpful.
Another problem is trying to allow for the differences
in language and culture. I try to Americanize my
spellings, but sometimes words and phrases creep in
that cause problems.
I remember I was talking about a boot in one of my
pages in reference to a car and I got quite a few
comments. A car boot in Australia is what Americans
call the trunk.
The secret is to see problems as opportunities for
success. If you can overcome them then you have a great
tool to sell to people in your specific country. I am
starting to do a lot more consulting because of what I
have learnt. I think it is important to remember that
your Internet business will build skills in you that
are very saleable.
BizE-zine: I notice that your site is geared strongly
for the Australian market, with pricing in AU$. Does
this, do you think, restrict you, or is it a successful
QB: Although we are now an International business, with
the introduction of Worldpay, I am still trying to keep
an Australian feel and culture to the business as lots
of people seem to like the more relaxed atmosphere. We
have a lot to offer.
BizE-zine: How long did it take you to start making a
QB: Because I developed my own products and web sites I
was in profit almost straight away. You see I have had
a shift in my thinking. I was bought up to believe that
you needed real estate and lots of money to make money.
Since I started working on the Internet this whole way
of thinking has changed.
BizE-zine: I'm certain that like most of us you are an
avid reader of ebooks and courses. Which have been the
most helpful to you?
QB: I'm almost embarrassed at how much I have bought. I
was reading your interview with Jim Wilson and like him
I have almost two hard drives full of ebooks and
In the early days I believed any email that told me I
could make thousands from nothing down and nothing a
month. Unfortunately this has not proved to be the case
and in most instances these companies are not around
One company I joined back in those early days was
called LEAP, run by Janet Wilson. It is now revamped
and called Empowerism. It probably taught me more about
online business than any other program.
Running a close second would have to be The Warrior
site. One other business that has influenced me a lot
is Sixfigureincome.com. I have been an affiliate for
nearly two years. They have consistently sent me
information when others have dropped off.
Finally I guess Eva Almeida of www.ebooksnbytes.com has
been a real inspiration. As I have mainly been involved
in digital publication I appreciate her site and
BizE-zine: What has been your most successful tactic
for generating traffic?
QB: Traffic generation is a tricky topic. My experience
is that you need a balanced approach. If you make sure
you control and track your marketing and try out
everything, you learn what works for you. Then you can
target your efforts.
I try anything to generate traffic. Lately, I have been
advertising in local papers. There are so many new
people looking for an Internet business at present, who
do not get emails, that you need to target them in a
different way. I give away a free ebook on disk in
petrol stations and libraries, I have developed a free
ebook all about Brisbane and give it to local
restaurants and tourist centers.
The secret is to be different and develop your own
unique way of driving traffic to your site. Your
readers may like to look at our book on Brisbane. It
really is a very simple concept anyone can do for their
specific area. Just go online and find all the local
businesses and services that are online and offer them
a copy. Make it as generic as possible and offer to
customize it for them. Download your copy from
BizE-zine: What has been your biggest mistake?
QB: The biggest mistake I have made is not believing in
myself enough when I started out.
BizE-zine: Which software packages do you use to help
you run your business?
QB: One I couldn't do without is Front Page 2000. I can
make changes and update my site in a matter of minutes
and then just click a button and it instantly becomes
I also use an old version of Paint Shop Pro which is
easy to use. For my covers I use Compactdraw and my
mailings I use Aurate.
BizE-zine: Do you have any plans to expand your online
business, and if so, how?
QB: Always! My desire has always been to help
Australians to develop local work. I am releasing a
subscription site early this year to help them
accomplish this and share my experiences and skills.
Later in the year we will open this up to the
International market. There are more and more
businesses looking at developing new strategies that
there is almost an unlimited potential to start a
business in any field you are interested in.
We have some local Aborigines that have a site that
sell didgeridoos. These are unique Australian native
musical instruments and we have been using their
affiliate program to sell to the Japanese. There really
is no telling what will be available in the next few
I am always developing new ebooks and spend most of my
time writing and developing new products or helping
people with their dreams.
BizE-zine: What one piece of advice would you give to
someone who is just planning to start out?
QB: The most important advice I can give to someone
just starting out, no matter where you live, is
passion. When everything is falling in around you and
you are so frustrated because nothing seems to be
happening you need something inside to keep you going
and this is passion.
It's got to the stage now that if I never made another
dime I would keep doing what I am doing because I have
grown to love meeting new people and seeing all the
different ideas that are being generated every day. So
many of the home based businesses have much more going
for them than the large corporate sites. The service is
better and you can actually talk to someone and get
To misquote the advertising campaign for Australia's
Northern Territory: "You'll never never know if you
never never (have a) go!"
About the Author
Turn Cents into Dollars
Secrets of Internet Business
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