Project Transparent

07 May Project Transparent

I’m exhausted by the lies, posing and bullshit.

I look around at the 2.0 landscape and I see a few cold hard truths:

everyone is broke.  Even people that have big damn successful blogs, even people that are “famous for blogging” are broke.  And yet we are to believe if we buy their product, do their thing we can have success like they do.

Please spare me from success like some A minus-list wanabloggers.  I have a family to feed and a business to grow.

Hugh pointed out on his Copyblogger post

A surprisingly high number of blogger rock stars (some who I know personally) are actually dead broke.?

I know this to be true.  For a couple reasons: #1: I’ve been dead broke before–twice.  Both times, from the outisde you’d never know.  In fact, I had the Charlie Croker? problem.  You have to keep up appearances.  You are grasping and dying and suffocating, but your business depends on it, so you don’t admit it.  Starbucks and restaurant meals hit the snooze button on reality for a while….and you can hide behind potential for a while.  You can hide behind your contacts for a while.

But the rubber hits the road someday.

There’s a time to prove it, seriously prove it.  To make it nigh unfakable.  For my own sake and for the sake of others.  I’ve gotten something close to fan mail off and on throughout these last 3 years for some of my projects and writing.  People say I’m honest/breath of fresh air.

Not hardly.  I’m doing the best that I can, but I still have cash crunches, I still have customer service issues and projects I only mostly finish.  I’m ending that.

I believe that transparency create accountability, which creates action.  I believe that if I had to justify myself in front of people, about 30% of the actions I take would be different.

I believe that if I share my goals, my progress and really prove it.  Nothing is impossible to fake, but my ideas are close.

So I’m going to…put my money where my mouth is.  In fact, thanks to the geniuses at Less Accounting, I’m going to transparentize my businesses–all of ‘em.  You’ll see no bullshit from me.  If you donate money to my button, you’ll see the transaction the next day.

You’ll know if I’m hitting my goals, if I’m not.  You’ll know if I sell or if I don’t.  You’ll be able to see it all in real time on a daily basis.  Bank info from a 2.0 marketer.  Nobody does that.  They show you nice cars, but they don’t really show you if they are merely test drives from the Bentley Dealer.

I know I can do better than I am, and If do everything in the light of day, you’ll know where my business is spending money.

I’m also going to post traffic stats, outbound call logs, and anything else.

In cases whee clients don’t care to have their names up, I’ll protect your confidentiality.  Other people’s privacy is not mine to waive, and I do not expect anyone to do this. Mine is waived.  If I say something to you, you can post it to the world, my wife, whomever.

I’m going to prove it.

I’ll define this little project as time goes on, but I’m going to post–at a miniumum:

  • Business Checking – Both Businesses
  • Paypal Balances – Both Businesses
  • Reports on YTD Income/etc
  • Balance sheets (business)
  • How much I’ve paid myself.
  • What my income and other goals are
  • Affiliate commissions paid and to whom (that will be public info).
  • Refund reports (explaining al)
  • Post delivery reports
  • Traffic (numbers)
  • Calls made
  • Leads generated
  • Sites Deployed
  • Content done
  • PPC done

All that.  I’m not buying that there’s a security risk in doing this because I’m going to force registration to share more than summary data.

Because it’s the best way to get better.  It’s the best way to learn and frankly, I need to prove it .

I’m going to automate as much of this stuff as I can–using tools to help do it.  I’m not going to waive other people’s privacy or hold others to this type of standard.

It’s time to prove it  July1.  Get your affairs in order, fix your issues and have a real business.

5 Comments
  • Phil Gerbyshak
    Posted at 21:54h, 09 May

    Nobody but you would have the balls to do this Chris. I’m behind you brother. Congratulations on being fully transparent! I can’t wait to see you succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

    Let me know how I can help you brother!

  • Phil Hodgen
    Posted at 12:42h, 10 May

    The broke A-list bloggers are like the real estate experts on late-night TV selling you a method for making millions in real estate with no money down. Same animal, different subject matter. “Make millions on the web!”

    Remember Dave Del Dotto and his ilk?

    The broke A-list bloggers are like the investment advisors who say they can make 10% a month profit trading foreign currencies. If they could do that they’d have all the money in the world in short order. Just do the compounding math and you can prove it to yourself.

    From the gazelles.net email newsletter I get (April 30, 2010):

    5 Techniques to Win Over the Masses – Dr. William Horton, author of Mind Control, keynoted the “Taipan: Making of Asian Giants” program this week in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. After showing various debate
    clips featuring Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Obama, he outlined five techniques for winning over (manipulating!) the masses:

    1) Encourage their dreams
    2) Justify their failures
    3) Allay their fears
    4) Confirm their suspicions
    5) Create a common enemy

    So this is how it’s done – cold and calculating. We’re so predictable. Keep this list handy.

    That’s why I said on Twitter that these people don’t have a real business. They’re selling propaganda. Sooner or later people tire of hearing it and move on. @gapingvoid has a real business. You can see that — consciously or unconsciously — he has used many of the listed techniques to generate interest. Now he’s selling real things to real people. And those things have real value to those real people.

    The world of business is a self-weeding garden. :-)

    @philiphodgen

  • Phil Hodgen
    Posted at 12:45h, 10 May

    Followup to give Verne Harnish credit via a linky-poo for the quote I gave above:

    http://verneharnish.typepad.com/growthguy/2010/04/index.html

  • Jesse Petersen
    Posted at 22:58h, 10 May

    Looking up cajones in the dictionary now brings up your name and errrr…

    I know I don’t have time to track all of that, let alone make it public, but you’ve inspired me to take some steps to doing something like that. After all, I did it with my weight gain goals on my other site.

  • John Sullivan
    Posted at 22:35h, 11 May

    In two years of blogging there have been days were I had to much money and many none. I would like to see these numbers to gauge the business at hand because of my own interest but I wouldn’t reveal my numbers and think it is something that is exclusive not inclusive.
    Last year when I was banging it hard it weird writing on a blog and pretending I wasn’t making 5000 a month smoking weed all day the reason I stopped was I didn’t want to do ops that had auto billing which all of mine were and looked to sub that money with doing sites for people and found that can be more trouble then it’s worth. This year has been hardcore for me as I sacrificed money for people and I’m back to knocking out some sites when I feel like it and working, money is a problem and I don’t measure my success by sales because I’m not into that racket of selling worthless products and refuse to offer things like that crap OUTSOURCING and other JV ops, so I kept working and am far from done.
    We all have our own way of doing things. I didn’t feel better or flaunt it on my blog when I knew the people coming were struggling in fact the opposite and one clown got me for 543.00 another just over 5,000 in accounts we had. I was going to go to Kentucky but who wants to be on death row there so I didn’t even mention it when it happen I just moved on. Success comes and goes. I have seen countless hotshot bloggers come with the ME and money game and now see a GO DADDY banner on their former blog. I think it’s important for me to be me and share my success if sharing the numbers works for you then it would be cool to check out if your going to wave a banner saying I make 10 k a week and you don’t be careful with that one because it may come back to bite you like it did me.
    Peace and best wishes to your continued success.

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