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.