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Fastlane 2k Challenge Record Thread

Anything related to matters of the mind


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Feb 23, 2009
Wichita, Kansas
For The Record


This thread is where we'll track the results of the challenge. I need each contestant to start their own post and update within that box. This will keep information from getting mixed up. If you want to comment on the contest or razz another player, please do it in the original thread. You can always quote this thread to post in the other one.

This thread is for record keeping only.

After you've claimed your space, please list your starting asset and action once taken.

Example: Day 1: Domain name..... listed for auction $50


Day 1: Sold Dvd's to Thrift Shop, $50


Day 1: Painting Jobs..... Paid $50 for leads

You can update whenever you want, but I would ask that you try to post something at least every 3 days, Even if that means "No Action Taken".

If you guys can't go back into your original post and add (edit) information, let me know. If you have questions, please ask them in the other thread.

Thanks and Good Luck! :fastlane:
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Josh Igoe

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May 21, 2011
Hey guys, Im going to start out with $6 on fulltiltpoker and play 5nl RUSH

There is a very high chance of busting early on such a small amount (just over 1 buyin), but if i can run good early and get to around 8 buyins im pretty confident I can make the 2k in 30 days.

I did it before when I made $1k in 56 hours starting from $5, so hopefully I can do it again!

EDIT: Busted my $6 on two hands

KK v AA preflop

and KJ vs AA on a KJ6r board.

May redeposit $40 and start over soon :S


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May 24, 2011
I'm still debating on a final plan (I have until tomorrow morning), but so I'm leaning towards selling an ebook that I wrote or selling a software for which I bought the license two years ago. I also created a home study course that I may use. Or maybe all three. Not totally sure, but will decide by tomorrow.

Hi All,

I apologize for the long silence. I think I mentioned on this forum that my wife and I own a car rental business in New Jersey. A few days after this challenge started something that I had been working on for over a year took place, which basically took priority over this.

I had been working with someone who wanted to become a partner in our business. We have finalized his offer to sell a majority stake in the business. I guess I could take $2000 from that and apply towards the challenge. But that would be cheating! So I will not be completing this. However, I will be reading the updates when I receive them in my inbox. I wish everyone lots of luck. It's the effort that counts, no matter how small it moves one forward!

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Apr 21, 2011
San Diego
This challenge came at a very opportune time. For the past few weeks I had been planning a couple shorter-term projects to fund my longer-term project (all fastlane). I just started to take action, and this will be a good journal to record my progress and keep myself accountable.

Plan: To use existing source code and release a new tool for Internet Marketers. I have a marketing partner that will take care of distribution and tool will be sold for monthly subscription packages. If work is slow after release, I have a few other things I will be working on to benefit future projects.

Projected cost: $10 and Time


Day 1: Coding

Days 2-4: More coding. Not much progress as I had hoped. Optimally the tool package would have been released this weekend, but I'm stuck trying to implement a certain functionality. The existing code was able to do it, so I know it's possible. I had to try and implement it a different way to add a certain feature. Quite frustrating, but that's programming for you; one little line of code makes all the difference. I'm confident I'll be able to get this ironed out. However I will be visiting family for the next few days and I won't have as much time to dedicate to work.

Day 5:
Looked for some programming advice from my partner's acquaintance. I confirmed some of the technical hiccups I was experiencing before as a bug in the 3rd party library I was using and that I wasn't going crazy. My partner ended up purchasing another developer's license and gave it to me for free.

Unfortunately not much actual programming was done as I will be traveling back to NJ for a graduation and wedding. I don't expect to have much time for work, but I'll make it up afterwards.

Days 6-7:
Minor progress, reading up on documentation for the new 3rd party library to use while getting ready for family functions.

Day 8-13:
Sorry for lack of updates. Continued to develop my tool. I made a decent amount of progress but had to redo some code in order to implement the new 3rd party library. Progress is about 90%.

Day 14-16:
I am spending time implementing a new licensing system for my tool. This is taking some time as I am revamping my biz partner's system and have to import existing subscribers for his product. Coordinating work to test the new system with his other developer partners has been an issue b/c of time differences and differing code implementations. It is a necessary headache now, as this will help the overall sales transaction go smoothly and increase sales for all.

I am aware time is ticking on this challenge and would have definitely thought my tool would be out by now. There's no excuse except personal matters and family that I had to attend to. I still have time and will work my but off to get it out this week so there is at least one week of sales to complete the challenge.
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May 27, 2011
Day 1:
I wasn't really expecting this challenge, and I have a full slate this holiday weekend. But I've taken some action at least... I moved $50 from my bank account into my PayPal balance - figuring that whatever I have to buy for this, I'll pay for it from PayPal (or refund myself the difference if I have to pay another method).

I then sat down and wrote my last paper for my Bachelor's Degree... my last class finishes on Monday. :)

I'm also not as far along as I would like in the book in order to maximize this challenge, so I made some time to finish the chapter I was working on - the Need chapter. I've been debating internally if I should go for the quick bucks or try to do this "the fastlane way" and I decided to go with the latter. I could probably find something to promote on clickbank, but I honestly hate Internet marketing, so I'm shelving that idea. I'm spending some time now trying to determine what NEED I am going to target. I'm leaning towards creating an infoproduct, something that's been on my mind for a while, but for the purposes of this challenge, I'm not sure I'm going to be able to start earning income from that fast enough.

The other idea currently floating in my head is to find a product to import and resell, possibly on eBay. Again - I'm not solving world hunger with this idea, but if I can fill a need...

More to come.

Day 2 / Day 3
I'm continuing to make a life choice to spend the majority of this holiday weekend with my family, but that doesn't mean that I'm not working on this at all. I've spent several hours trolling websites for chinese wholesalers, looking for something to import and sell. There are definitely some profits to be made this way, but with the starting budget we have, I can't afford enough units of the items I was looking at to reach the $2000 goal in 30 days. So this one gets filed away in the idea box.

I do have the idea for the item I've been thinking about creating and selling. I need to research if I can get the component materials in enough time to make it work for the challenge. I think I'll work on that some today, too.

Day 4: I read the "Entry" chapter, and realized why eBay arbitrage is a losing proposition. I searched for the component parts for my physical product idea, but I don't think it's doable on the budget for this challenge. I need a bit of inventory, and I can't buy it with $50. Though I sure could get started on $2000, so if I'm successful here then I know what I am doing with my profits.

Day 5: I finally settled down on a plan. I am a legitimate expert in a technical field. This technical field has a series of certifications that are quite complex, and quite well respected in the field. My plan is to write a series of "Amazon Shortcuts" style study guides for the topics that must be known to get the certifications. Instead of writing a whole 300 page book that covers the entire exam, I will get products to market quicker, and hopefully increase the size of my market by writing 10 to 20 page "deep dives" on one single topic or objective on this exam. I went through my materials relating to this certification and picked out 10 topics that I should write first. I will start to write them tomorrow. Also tomorrow I plan to get a domain and set up a CMS.

Day 13, time to get cracking...

I'm writing. It's slower and harder than I thought it would be, even though I'm not writing a full-length e-book. I downloaded a program specifically for distraction-free writing and compiling large manuscripts. Even though these are not going to be very large, I think an app tailored to this kind of writing, (unlike MS Word, for example) is a good idea. Of course, I spent 4 hours learning how to use it. :(

I'm also thinking about the distribution method for my little short-cut guides. I'm thinking that a fixed-price model would look attractive. Every short-cut is $3.49 (or something like that) kinda like iTunes used to be, where every song was 99 cents. I'd like to be able to let people buy a single guide, or pre-pay for "credits", where each credit is good for one guide. You'd get a bigger discount the more you bought, but you wouldn't have to use them all at once.

I need to start looking for a web application that will support this model. If I can't find one, then I imagine I'll have to write one... though that's not a bad idea for a future project either... create a software that lets people run their own store in the "fixed-price, bankable credits" model.

I also got a $100 AdWords credit, so I started to set that up - though I didn't get very far without a domain to point them to.

I really need to figure out what to call these things, and register a domain!

Well, my lack of updates should make it no surprise that I've had to move my focus away from this challenge for the last few weeks. I had a last-minute business trip sprung on me so I've been away from home for the last 2.5 weeks. And the last thing I want to do after a 12 hour work day is come back to my hotel room and write.

I think I'm too far behind in this challenge to make it possible to compete, so I'll officially bow out. But I don't think this has been a failure for me. On the contrary, taking part in this had two benefits for me. First, it made me really start thinking about all the little things that have to come together to make a business like this happen; all the little cogs in the machine. And second, it made me realize the difference that MJ talks about in the book between interest and commitment. I can look at myself today and say that at this very moment my commitment is to my current job.

That sounds deep, when I type it out, but I think it's an important revelation. I've been reading books and half-assing programs for years - today I figured out why none of them have made the slightest bit of a difference. I'm just not ready to commit. But I know the day will come when I am ready, and I think I'll be able to spot that day more clearly now.
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May 22, 2011
I have been reading about product creation, affiliate marketing, salesmanship, general marketing, entrepreneurship, success principles etc... for months (years even!) now but I have never taken action. This challenge will give me the opportunity to execute and actually do something.

I am going to use fastlane principles in order to make an attempt at $2000 in 30 days; starting Budget: $50. I want to create something that will not require much of my time once everything is in place. For this reason, I settled on promoting an affiliate product off of Clickbank. This is something I have never done before so it will definitely be a learning experience. According to the formula N.E.C.S.T. 3 of the 5 criteria can be met (Need, Scale, Time). Entry and Control are iffy. If there was more time, I would Research and create my own product which would fulfill all 5 of the criteria. Fastlane principles say that execution and marketing are the most important pieces to the puzzle. I hope to have my systems in place early (within the first 6 days) so that I can focus much of my time on marketing.

Day 1 - Saturday, May 28, 2011:
- Found a product to promote that maintains regular sales indicating that there is a need for it. [NEED]
- Read through website materials and offer. It seems like a good offer and sales page.
- Signed up to Affiliate Program
- Conducted: overall product research; preliminary keyword research; Market Research; User Intent Research
- Spent some time coming up with a general sales funnel and overall strategy. This is to get an idea of how my pages would be set up, where i would drive the traffic, etc. These are ideas on paper; nothing concrete yet.
- Started fleshing out an offer (something of value that the target market needs) and some ad copy for that offer.

Day 2 - Sunday, May 29, 2011:
- Worked on the offer and some copy. Running into writers block and feeling overwhelmed with all the things I need to do and learn but I'll work to simplify things tomorrow and make it easy on myself. I think I'm over complicating things too much.

Day 3 - Monday, May 30, 2011
- Started researching a simpler plan to implement
- Sent out query's to fiverr vendors.

Cant seem to edit previous post. I guess I ran out of space already. I sure do write a lot :). It's more fun this way imho. (Posts merged, got you covered. Sparlin)

Monday, May 30, 2011 Continued
- Signed up and created accounts on:,,,
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
- Replied to communications with one of the fiverr vendors.
- Purchased services from 2 fiverr vendors. Will use them to drive some targeted (hopefully) traffic to my link. Direct linking is supposed to be less effective than a link to a pre sell page; And I guess this particular application is not fastlane but it is only 10 bux and I am curious if I would get any results. Just one sale will bring my starting balance of 50 to almost double and I'll have more funds to work with. This little detour doesn't hurt as it took me literally 5 minutes to do.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - Friday, June 3, 2011
Updated budget: $50 - $5 = $45 (I have another 5 bux pending on a fiverr job)
- Only one of my fiverr vendors pulled through so far.
- Got about 35 hits but no sales.
- Through this 3 day period I learned a lot of things because of trying some stuff out and researching. I learned so much, that I had an idea explosion and came up with so many great plans for my real fastlane business. I ended up contacting someone in my family who I could trust who thought the same way I do. We are gonna meet up and start talking about business. While I have to admit that I took a detour in those 3 days and neglected the challenge, it lead to something great! Just taking action and doing something --ANYTHING -- has a snowball effect.
- Ok, enough said. I'm not through with the 2k challenge however, but my original plan will have to change due to the fact that a week has already passed and I haven't made any money. The real difficulty for me is coming up with a fastlane method to raising 2k in such a short period. I could simply do things the old fashion way but then it wouldn't be fastlane, or fun.
-Stay tuned for tomorrow. The pressure is on! :D


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May 9, 2011
Pennsylvania, USA
Day 1 (20110528): I figure that I have to maximize the oomph I'm going to get from my $50. So, the first thing I've done is to find out how to get one of those coupons for search engine advertising. They normally only offer them to new advertisers, and I've already got a Google AdWords account. So, I'm going with Bing AdCenter.

My hosting provider is offering a coupon for $25 if you sign up for AdCenter. But I did a quick search on Google for "AdCenter coupon" and eventually found that I could get a coupon for $200 if I bought the book Search Engine Advertising by Kevin Lee.

So, I've bought the Kindle version, and am waiting to get my coupon.

I have an information product that I sell via Clickbank. Clickbank only pays once every couple weeks or so, and I need my cash faster than that. So, while I'm waiting for my AdCenter coupon, I'm going to make a parallel sales flow that uses PayPal instead. That way, I can get my cash pretty much immediately after a sale, and reinvest it into advertising.

My current sales flow converts organic traffic at about 41% on the squeeze page, followed by 2.2% conversion on the One-Time Offer, and then 1.6% on a sales page that is promoted in the follow-on autoresponder series. I'm averaging a visitor value of about $0.20 on organic traffic. Not sure yet how well PPC traffic will convert.

To make the most of my advertising, I'm going to track which keywords make sales. Not sure yet whether AdCenter has a conversion tracker like AdWords does, but I'll figure it out as I go. Fortunately, I am now the proud owner of a book that talks about this very topic.

Total cost so far: $15.39 for book, $5.95 for hosting (paid 2 years at a time, so it was cheaper) = $21.34.

Back later - going to set up my site for AdCenter traffic.

Later: Got an email back from the author of the book, with $200 AdCenter code. I set up my AdCenter account, and am busy setting up my site and learning about AdCenter. More tomorrow.

Day 2 (20110529): AdCenter account is showing that the $200 code was applied. I spent most of today learning about AdCenter and setting up my first campaign. I realize that while I've read a lot about PPC advertising, I have never actually created a proper PPC campaign.

Just getting my keyword list together was difficult, but I slogged through and got it put together. The rest of my time today was spent putting together a sales funnel, including a payment and fulfillment system using PayPal, so I could get my money quickly after a sale. Tomorrow will be spent finishing the sales funnel, and turning on the traffic from AdCenter.

I joined this challenge because it is forcing me to finally do the things that I've been putting off for far too long, and to step out of my comfort zone - and I'm off to a fair start.

Day 3 (20110530): I've been itching to buy EasyMember Pro to make the whole process of setting up my sales funnel easier, but I have resisted in keeping with the rules of this contest. It was $97, and that would blow my $50 budget and then some.

I spent today putting together and testing the sales funnel, making sure everything works right before turning on the AdCenter traffic. It is 10:24p.m., and I'm not yet done. I admit, I was not working on this all day - took some time to play catch with my 4-year-old son, and wasn't fully productive the rest of the time.

Just a few tweaks tomorrow, maybe 30 minutes, and I will turn on my first AdCenter ad group. The hardest part of this is deriving a system from what I'm doing. It is a lot of back-and-forth, not a very linear process.

Day 4 (20110531): As promised, I got my bare-bones sales funnel up and going, and my first AdCenter campaign is live.

MS AdCenter ads feed to a squeeze page, which feeds to an autoresponder and redirects to a one-time offer. The autoresponder will have a series of messages with a combination of information and recommended products for them to buy. And everything will be tracked so I can calculate ROI. I've already calculated my current per-visitor value, and based my ad bids on that.

The rest of this 30-day challenge will be extending the autoresponder series to maximize subscriber value, adding AdCenter ad groups for more traffic, tweaking the traffic I've got, and testing everything.

Sparlin, this is more than I've done in months, and I appreciate the kick in the pants. (YW Sparlin)

Day 5 (20110601): First AdCenter campaign has yielded one (1) click. I did a peel-and-stick on my top 2 keywords, making new adgroups for each of them. I also activated a second major adgroup that I had begun yesterday.

I went to a AAA baseball game with my family tonight, so I didn't have a lot of time to work on this. At this point, though, I'm working on getting enough clicks to test my sales funnel. So, my main job is keyword research and creating working PPC campaigns.

Tomorrow I will be sending an email to the people who have previously subscribed to my email list (about 2,000), inviting them to buy my product (a spreadsheet) at a discounted cost, with the promise that they will get an upgraded version for free if they give me their feedback on the current version. Not sure how much money this will generate, but I had planned to do it anyway.

Day 6 (20110602): Sent out the email to my email list. I will follow up on it Tuesday with a reminder email for those who miss or ignore this one.

I also noticed that my average cost-per-click was too high, so I adjusted my PPC bids downward so they're more in line with my current average visitor value.

Tomorrow's plan: Install better tracking on my organic traffic, and add tracking to my autoresponder followup series so I can tell which emails are making money and adjust accordingly. Also, add additional emails to my autoresponder series to increase visitor value, as well as increase the value I'm giving to my visitors.

At this point, I have not made any money...but I am focusing on this in a way that I haven't for a long time. My major stumbling block right now is figuring out this PPC thing. Once I've figured that out, I'll go far.

Day 7 (20110603): No action today, but I reviewed my metrics and have not made one sale from this PPC campaign. I may be going after the wrong search terms, because I'm targeting a market that is closely related to my product, but not exactly the same. My current spend on advertising is still covered by my previous $200 credit, but it is not yet making me any money.

Today's tasks will be done tomorrow, and I am considering the best way to proceed with getting traffic. I may start using the content network.

Day 8 (20110604): Still no sales from my PPC campaign. My email to my mailing list has had some effect, with several more sales than the usual. I will follow it up on Tuesday with a reminder email for those who missed this one or ignored it.

No change in total cost so far, but still under $50 spent, and I've made some money as well. I will figure out the totals later.

Got back late from an all-day event today, so no time to do the tasks I'd planned. Tomorrow I'll have all day to work on this, and will get it all done - pinkie swear.

Day 9 (20110605) : As promised, I have installed better tracking on my organic traffic. Now, my sales process from opt-in to sale is tracked.

The biggest hurdle so far is getting PPC traffic at an affordable price. I'm looking for $0.25 per visitor for targeted traffic, and it's costing me $0.50 and up. I need to increase my visitor value so I can afford better visitors. I have put my AdCenter traffic on hold until I can develop more targeted keywords and a better strategy. I have spent $50.39 of my $200 free promotional code.

I went through my autoresponder series, and noticed that the bulk of my emails are blatant sales pieces. No wonder people are unsubscribing. I will spend tomorrow revising my autoresponder series to provide more useful information so people will actually read them rather than unsubscribe.

Day 10 (20110606) : I have gotten a few more sales from my email to my mailing list. Total is probably around $100...far less than the $2000 I need.

On the plus side, I have come to the conclusion that my best-selling product is flawed, and needs a major rework. This is a good thing because it will reduce the amount of time I spend customer support.

I am stalled out with PPC traffic. I think I will have to bite the bullet and pay more per click than I want, and just optimize my whole sales process, including the autoresponder series, so it produces more money per visitor. I simply can't compete at the current per-click cost.

Day 13 (20110609) : My email to my mailing list has had good results. I've brought in around $345 over the course of this challenge, which is more than usual. Unfortunately, I did not set it up to see how much of that is from my extra efforts, and how much would have happened anyway.

Still working on getting PPC to pay for itself. I think the key lies in structuring my email list to provide more value to the readers so they'll stay on longer, and then giving them more opportunities to buy.

Goals for tomorrow: 1) Rewrite my autoresponder series to meet the new standard - I need a $1.00 per-visitor value from my sales funnel & list in order to buy PPC and break even.

Day 14 (20110610) : In parallel with my efforts to get PPC up and going, I am beefing up my affiliate program. Yes, I know that you need to have a solid grasp on your numbers (conversion rate, per-visitor value) before ramping up an affiliate program. But I know that this will be part of the evolution of my business.

Numbers so far:
Expenses: $15.39 for book, $5.95 for hosting (paid 2 years at a time, so it was cheaper) = $21.34.
Revenue: $349.01
Total: $327.67

Day 15 (20110611) : I spent today integrating a system that will remove some of the headaches associated with selling an information product. Namely, customers asking for me to re-send them the download link. This isn't going to directly help me get more sales, but it will save me some time in the long run.

Continued working on my affiliate program, but nothing else that generated more sales. No additional expenses, but I did make a few more dollars in sales.

Day 18 (20110614) : All the time spent integrating that system over the past few days? Wasted! I found out that it breaks my tracking software. So, now I have to either revert to how it was before, or install a different tracking system such as Google Analytics. This might actually be the smart thing to do in the long run...turns out that PHP tracking doesn't work in some situations where you might want it to.

No change in expenses, and some additional sales.

Day 21 (20110618) : I haven't made much progress over the past few days. Things aren't working out as planned, and I'm having to adapt and overcome, mostly mentally. No new sales since last update.

Day 24 (20110621) : I've been seriously derailed here. I am going to do a serious reboot on my approach to business.

I have come to the realization that my current level of effort, including during this Challenge, isn't sufficient to get me where I want to go. You know the saying, "Keep doing what you've been doing, and you'll keep getting what you're getting." I'm tired of that.

So, for the next month or so, I'm going to try an experiment. I'll write out the details in another thread.
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Aug 28, 2007
ok, since sparlintacas asked us (is it ok to call you sparlintacus) to take 3 spots in a row to better organize, please delete my previous post and I will use this to go live

my plan- mashing together to linkbuilding services I use and like into a mega linkbuilding service and marking it up.

Day 1-Decided to make a poor competition choice but a better life choice and spent the day with my family. I figured the rest of the group could use and extra day to get ahead of me.

Day 2- did most of my keyword research and created one of my landing pages. I will have about 5 or 6 different landing pages once I am done, one for each major keyword theme I am advertising under. Plan to finish keyword research, depends on when family picnic ends. heading there now.

Day 3- Finished all landing pages, reduced to 3. decided to only target the top three and spend more money to reach them. Created 2 of the 3 adwords ads and started running them. Now I will either crap out in a couple days and be out of money or I will start building.

day 4- after seeing my cpc and my sales conversion rate (0%). I decided to focus all my money on one keyword. At previous burn rate, I would need to make 1.5 sales/day to justify. At my current rate of 0 sales/day, I would be out of the game in 3 days. Yup, 33% of my ad budget blown today.

So, took out the most expensive keyword and kept the lesser. ctr is about 2.5% right now. Will start tweaking the landing page to try to shake some money out of the money tree. At current burn rate, capital will be gone in about 10 days.

Day 5- almost half of advertising budget is gone and no sales. Spent day trying to learn about landing pages etc. Will likely copy and tweak a competitors. ctr on adwords still around 2.5%

Days 6-13

ok, sorry for the delay in my update. Currently blew threw 75% of my ad budget with 0 sales. Clearly we know where I am weak now.

So I have since turned off the adwords and bought a domain. Tomorrow I will set up the domain and try again.

Total invested $10, my current hosting package is unlimited, so no charge for hosting, just the domain.

My final post- Well as much as I hate to say it, I have to lay this down. I came to this realization this weekend. I had a choice. Put 10 hours into this for fun and challenge or put 10 hours building my estore I have been working on and is the direction I am focusing right now.

Since the ecommerce store is part of my plan, and this is not, I chose the ecommerce.

To be honest, had I converted some sales early on, I probably would have continued, but since I had not, it is best to cut my time loss now.

My biggest regret is I know I need to work on landing page conversion which was my goal through this, but I will practice on my store rather than on something that I am not passionate about.

My apologies to all for being a quitter, and good luck to the rest.


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Day 1: Got back into NZ, been away for a week, so delayed start, ho-hum. Plan nearly complete, so will begin implementation in ~2days.

Days 2 - 4: Minimal uptake from businesses contacted for our service, so reformulating to a different approach to try and increase the results.

Ok, so it's been an unfortunately quiet week business-wise, had my son's 2nd birthday etc to organise. We're getting back to hitting the phones this week to drum up some more interest, we need about 15 - 20 businesses to partner with for this to work, so we need to call through about 150 - 200 or so by initial response figures.

Well, keep hitting snags with the initial plan - lack of uptake from businesses basically.

Day 12

So while I rework the approach on that one, I've partnered with a friend to do a simple web development project. No costs for either project so far, though the newer project is looking to be about $35 for a domain, hosting, and a few bits n bobs to get it going. Will spend the next 4 - 5 days setting it up, then that still gives us a week or so of promotion to get a few sales.

Day 14

Yay, some real progress. Kind of. Billed out $450 today. No costs yet. However, it was far more time-intensive and less scalable/replicatable than expected, so will have to have a rethink. Costs: $0, Profit: $450.

Day 21 Update
Well, spent $10 on some PPC advertising, but resulted in no additional profits. However, was able to reuse much of the work from last week to another customer, so billed out another $375. It was less time-intensive this time, but still not really scalable and requires a site visit to the customer. Anyway, totals so far are costs: $10, revenue $825.

Hmm, no additional costs incurred this week, and one consulting session. Timesink though, although it could be scaled by hiring others to do it. Totals so far - Costs: $10, Revenue: $1155

Day 30

Ok, so with $567 in affiliate sales during the period as well as the work already discussed, brings my total profit to $1722, with $10 cost. Not a bad result, though I can't help but feel I could've done this much better.
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Apr 2, 2011
Bellevue, WA
I am so exited to do this. With all this competition and motivation, I feel that I would be able to pull this off.

I had a bunch of ideas bouncing around in my head. I have thought out buying some junk on ebay and then reselling them, but that would most likely exceed the 30 day limit.

PLAN: Now this niche is totally new to me. I dont have any experience in baking, but I am good at selling. Have a 1 month bake sale selling cupcakes. We have tons of office buildings here in Bellevue so that is where I will start. Monday morning I will contact 10 different office managers saying I will bring in cupcakes for charity fundraising. Instead of physically selling each cake, I will ask to put the cupcakes in the refrigerator in their break/lunch room and set a box next to it to collect the money then collect the money every couple of days and refill the cakes. BTW; Is a dollar for each cupcake reasonable?

Now, This is just for fun. I am not planing to spend more then an hour a day on this gig.
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Jul 9, 2008
Plan A: Purchased domain and hosting for Plan A, developing products, sending emails, and launching marketing campaign

Week 1 summary for plan A:

Finished initial blueprint for the site

Finished first product

Landed a celebrity interview

Created blueprint for sales and distribution

Created relevant content

Week 2 objectives:

Improve look and feel of site

Produce more quality content

Initiate PPC campaign now that at least 1 product has been developed

Continue to build traffic

Continue to produce products and deliver value

Lesson Learned:

For a lot of my execution, I tend to test several different methods, and treat the results fairly scientifically. Then I simply do what works. I was reminded this week, that sometimes the bigger goals are actually easier because you have less competition.

Week 2 summary:

Completed sales page, logo, odds and ends of first product, and put it on the open market

Initiated PPC campaign using only free adwords coupons

Completed and posted celeb interview (which Google already loves)

Began focusing on building social networking and found model to build upon

Week 3 objectives:

Now that basic architecture has been built, apply leverage and increase traffic: work with people who have similar niche products and sites who already have a good customer base

Add email marketing component and build list

Continue to improve look and feel

Continue to produce blog content

Continue to grow social media

By the way, I've spend $0 of my own money. I've accomplished everything through bartering or by using freebies (like adwords coupons). Now that I've got a product up, I can begin tracking sales.

Week 3:

Full resign of site...looks 10x better

Added email marketing component

Produced blog content

Stimulated (some) social media growth

Increased daily traffic volume

Week 4 objectives:

Land more interviews and guest spots

Create more multimedia content

Leverage contacts to create win/win scenarios to get my initial product 'out there'

Since I've built this from the ground floor, I'm still not profitable...yet. This next week I may dig into my 'bag of tricks' to drum up some cash for the sake of drumming up cash.
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Ferrari Girl

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Apr 3, 2011
Still researching markets for several different ideas, writing content, learning about web hosting/etc. Had to discard some ideas for now as time/money limit would not fit, or ideas were not fastlane.

Sorry for not getting updates done sooner...I wish I had had more time to prepare for this challenge, but I am learning as I go and it has been interesting so far.

Day 10...

Took a few days off to spend with family and friends after hitting a snag in my research. Since I am new to all of this I started working through the 30 day Challenge to help me learn what to do. But my computer won't run the program and the Challenge seems to use that a lot so I quit that until I can upgrade my computer. Am still looking at creating my own site but now after losing so many days, I am also looking at sites that are already set up that I could buy that are within my limit. If I can't find anything I like, I can just create my own site and use content I have already written. I still want to learn how to do all this myself, but considering the time limits involved I want something I can get going as soon as possible, so I could have a chance of at least making some money. If nothing else, I figure it will be a learning experience.

I also considered publishing a kindle book. I initially threw this idea on the back burner for later, since I don't think I could write an entire book within the time frame and sell it, but I might be able to do something with work I have already done.


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Jan 16, 2011
Since my plan is to turn $50 bucks into 2,000 on the casino War Table at the Belagio.. It is really a wait and see type of game now..

Day 1 Thought about a betting system.

Day 2. Almost thought about a betting system, really thinking of buying in with $500, but I will stick with the plan, but since I bet 2 chips, which in this case is $50 bucks, I really ahve one big shot.

Day 3. Today.. Checked on my tickets, they are still there, Thursday I leave.. Anyone in Vegas want to meet up and watch?

Feeling pretty lucky.

Day 4.. Printed my boarding pass....

(update copied from comment thread)

Guys, I am out..

The $50 at the War table went fast.... To fast. I actually got over $200 for a few hands there. Then had a bad string of cards.. Oh well..

BTW: A good friend of mine has that exact Ferrari California in blue above, but has better tan Interior.
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Apr 16, 2011
Tacoma, Wa
Post 1
Ok. Finally have a chance to post something so here I am

Day 1 Wasn't near the computer at all.

Day 2 Did some keyword research and decided I have a domain name that will already work for one site

Day 3 Did some backlinking for an existing ecommerce site and plotted a more effective marketing strategy.

Day 4 Submitting account paperwork to expand ecommerce store product line. (a day late)

Days 5, 6, and 7
Nothing done as I've been down with a particularly nasty stomach virus.

Day 8
More research. Head wasn't in the game though. To use Sparlin speak, if I was on the bridge of a sinking boat, I'd have had the mental accuity of a hypothermia victim and thusly would have probably tried to swim for the life boat naked in the wrong direction.

Day 9
Worked on my PPC campaign. Not completed I expect this to be up and running by the end of day 10 as I hit a couple of speed bumps. So far, it's been quite a learning experience. I can certainly sympathize with UncommonWay's woes on click price.

Total Spent as of Day 9 = $18.18

The talk of starting this with under $10 would be very interesting to actually apply.

Day 10
Didn't get to work on things today. Did however clear several hundred square feet of blackberry bushes to clear space for my garden as well as planted my tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, and strawberries.

Day 11
PPC campaign started........ and (see day 12)

Day 12
And.....Google is a cranky mother. So, to reveal what I was thinking. I thought I might be able to get away with setting up a PPC ad for a clickbank product and go that route. The issue? Well, apparently, Google doesn't like the landing pages for any of the products I've attempted to promote this way. So, if I choose to continue this path, I'll have to make my own landing page. :cuss: I really really wish someone would oust Google.

So, contemplating my choices. I don't want to spend anymore than necessary, to include another domain name, but at the same time, I'm still mulling over other possibilities. My ecomm project is still waiting on the drop shipper approval. If it doesn't hurry up, Im not sure what I'll do as I don't have it in my $50 budget to go take the decision maker to lunch (yes, I know the employees, as I used to be one of them).

Never fear however, as I have a couple other potentials that I can have up and indexed in Google in days once I have pricing info in my hands. So, I'm not out yet, but the plans haven't worked out yet either.

Day 13
I actually discovered the info on Day 12, but I dug deeper into the niche I was looking at. IF I'm not underestimating the competition in the niche, I may have found a lucrative little niche. I'm looking at affiliate programs right now, but am undecided if I'll dive in as an actual ecommerce biz or just an affiliate site. Either one could potentially be lucrative, but I could offer some of my more specialized products if I make an ecommerce biz out of. Submitted affiliate paperwork to one vendor and am also waiting to hear from them on whether they have a distribution division. Already have paperwork from one distributor that carries the bulk of what I'm looking for. I looked at (the distribution arm of 4WheelParts Wholesalers) and found their pricing to be exorbitant to say the least. I know on some of the products, I can get better pricing from a local contact but going direct to ARB's USA arm costs (minimum initial purchase) more than I have to pony up right now.

Day 14
Still waiting to hear back from one dropshipper for one ecommerce site (marine products related). Waiting to hear back on the affiliate program from an automotive vendor. Submitted my Reseller Application to the state. Hope to hear back soon. All in all, this is taking a lot of time.

Total spent so far-
Approx $39.00

(My update Sparlin apologies for the late update)

Day 15
Tired of kicking accumulated scrap copper around the shop, so took it to recycling. Paid $30 on site with a $392 check to be mailed sometime around the 25th. (not sure this counts, but what the heck)

Day 16
No progress. Still waiting on the approvals

Day 17
Set up adwords for my ecommerce site. Waiting for ad approval.

Day 18
took advantage of some site relevant backlinking opportunities. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2100 of them. Waiting for them to show up in SEO.

Day 19
Still waiting on adwords approval.

Day 20
Adwords account suspended. This time something about billing. Good grief. How does anyone deal with Google?

Day 21
Approved by industry dropshipper. Time to add more stuff to the site. Yay!

Spent so far: $39.00
Made so far : $30.00
total :-$ 9.00

(Sparlin, add this on)

Well, I've sort of lost track of days but overall it looks like this.

Picked up a couple bartending side gigs for private parties

Recycle of scrap metal I had laying around my shop.

Phone call to a friend yielded a sale of a product.



Did not hit the goal and in actuality, most of it was not at all fastlane. Not particularly thrilled with how it went, but on the bright side, I did make a few dollars. Its been a learning experience. My next goal is to get some fastlane going. Though, as detailed in a separate thread I have a project in the works. Congrats to whoever wins as I believe I've been outdone by 2 if not 3 people. Potentially more than that.

The nice part about this to is that it helps a person look at things in a different perspective. The perspective of someone trying to make some financial progress.
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Zoom! its going to be fun

day 1.
thought about things. well actually started to thing, took some time off, decided to come back to it later. went fishing instead

Day 2 I started calling some of my friends and see if they need help with anything.
I called a good friend from a few years ago, and asked if he had a project, that could use my help.
im in luck.
he does. the thing is he has 9 houses left from a larger purchase of about 150 houses a few years ago.
and these properties are the dogs.
since there is a corporate partnership involved, he has to do his fiduciary duty and keep the records on the corp, file its taxes ect.
they had exited the pool of properties a while back, but he had these stragglers, and just had not had time to donate them to various cities.
asked if i would be willing to do that, and wind down the corporation for him. I said sure, and he will be getting the paperwork to transfer them shortly. 9 houses, 3 of them are lots, 6 still standing. there is a 12K escrow that is involved that i will get to take over, and keep. I can use that to deal with the houses, anyway I like. Since I have donated several houses in the past, this should be easy, and probably cost less than 1K to do all of them.
transfer should be done next week? depending on his atty. there is an additional 8K in escrow for insurance for next 2 yrs.
once houses are gone, I will get a corporate refund of escrow, and get any unused portion of that. Winding down a corporation and filing taxes should amount to maybe 2K total. so im thinking there should still be some money left. I may or may not disburse 2K to me for management fee upon taking over them, we will see.

Day 3 day off.

Day 4. its May 31st. after a long conversation today, about helping some of my friends out, they decided to hire me on the spot. NOTE: I usually don't work for people, but hey they wrote me a check.

they gave me 3500 bucks, upfront. (already deposited the money in the bank) for some help starting up a supplement company, and launching it on the net. I am obligated to 2 hrs per week for the next month, as well, and will collect a total of 10K the check was a surprise, but it was fair dealing for what I had already laid out as their Plan. the next month will be a little more work just around 8 more hours, but I wont get paid the additional money till a few months for now, so I can only claim the cash in the bank.
(find a need, ask if you can help it out some how)

total In the bank $3500.00
Total Outlay $0.00

Day 5 nothing

Day 6. got the go ahead to start moving the houses and corporation into one of my corporations. I will be taking over the escrow by next week I think. also started changing my language to include "can I help you with any problem your having right now" and getting some great responses. I think if a person just took that "can I help you approach", and then got creative about solving a problem for others, you could literly write as many checks for your self as you wanted. this is an interesting experiment. should be able to produce a good ebook out of this when done.

Last week, update (wk2)

spent about an hr working with the attorneys coordinating the transfer of the properties and the money in escrow. should have it sometime next week, not much to update, but I guess that's because I didn't have to do much this week.

Sorry for not updating this sooner, But here goes

spent some time doing due diligence for the group that hired me to help them. (about 6 hrs)

spent about 40 min on the phone with the atty who making the transfers of the property. Should have been done, but its taking his office longer than originally thought. Escrow monies get transferred at the same time.

the escrow was for 15 houses for 3 yrs prepaid insurance. however in the prelim audit, Im finding there is at least another 3K that needs to be released for the houses that were already transferred out but no one notified the ins company. so will probably get the 3K back. the remaining balance of 12K is still 2 yrs of insurance payments. however if i can complete the donations of the houses or sale, in the next week, then I get to claim the pro rata share of the escrow.

at this point this challenge is taking very little time, since the balls are in motion, but beyond my direct control yet.

an occasional phone call moving things along, or checking on the status, is all I have done outside of the direct due diligence for my first group im helping.

business and Life move on, and has been busy. but its interesting to note, that when a direct money need is out there, I can move pretty quick. this has been a good exercise.

I have not broken this down into days, since most of the time, its a quick phone call, or email. im in the status of waiting :)
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May 20, 2011
Days 1-3 (28th May to 31st May)
-had not begun challenge.

Day 4 (1st June 2011)
- re-created a page offer for one-on-one coaching program in Internet Marketing. To be frank, I'm not counting on this as the main strategy but just to chance if anyone would like to engage me for personal coaching here. Might just be my fastest way to hit past $2000, and the fact that the page was fast to do. Took me a daytime.

Day 5 (2nd June)
- brainstormed a few offers on paper on what to sell on an online marketing forum. Will be setting aside $40 for this. Also shot a couple of question emails to some of my business associates for advice.

Day 6 (3rd June)
- did nothing

Day 7 (4th June)
- did nothing

Day 8 (5th June)
- crafted cheap $9 and $3 offers respectively
- also created an exit page to capture leads for people who will not buy
Will be getting partners to promote for 50% split payments into PayPal.

Day 9 (6th June)
- started writing the sales letter for a product I will be selling on another forum.
- I will be using a free service called DigiResults to handle my affiliate payments on my behalf. Frankly, I have better choices because it takes $1 (or a %) from every sale made but I'm using it only because it's free for starters and keeps within the $50 budget.

Day 11 (7th June)
- still on the sales letter. This is in its near finalization stage now but still could use some refinement. Will leave it as it is for now because I still have yet to tinker with digiresults. I foresee there will be some minor changes to it when I come back to it again. Need to focus on creating the product now. Since I can't outsource the creation of the product and graphics with the current budget, I'll have to do my own.

Day 12 (8th June)
- started work on the product; starting with presentation slides (in Powerpoint)
* OK this is unexpected. I got myself a one-time job to write sales copy for a marketing friend. This didn't happen in a single day; it's been an on-going negotiation for a while. Now that the payment had reached me I will count it in.

The total is actually $4000 for the entire project, but it's on a 50% upfront, then 50% on completion. That said, I already have this in my PayPal account now. (screen shot saved for final showdown)

Profit: $2000.00
Current Savings: $50.00 + $2000.00 = $2050.00
(since I have not paid for the forum listing yet; but am reserving $40 for that - by next week)

Day 13 (9th June)
- still at product creation stage. It's gonna be this way for a while; aiming to finish by this weekend. With the newfound profits, will outsource the graphic design to a friend in Indonesia.

Day 14 (10th June)
- was attending to matters that have nothing to do with the challenge
- but started writing a draft copy for my client. It's a big project but if I finish it real quick (actually, if he gives me the information faster) I can collect the other 50% quickly too, and within the next 14 days!

Day 15 (11th June)
- contacted my trusty graphics designer from Indonesia. Set aside $67.00 there in expenses. So:

BALANCE: $2,050.00 - $67.00 = $1983.00 now

Day 16 (12th June)
- rested the whole day. Did nothing for the challenge. Graphic designer doing the work right now. I can't complete my offer's sales copy without his graphics.

NOTE: Hot dang I haven't been updating for a while here! There's been a lot of development, in fact it's happening right now :)

Day 17 (13th June) - Day 22 (18th June)
To be honest, I really lost track on what I did around this time frame exactly. I admit I was away from the challenge at this time because I had been busy with other matters. But then, there wasn't much to do anyways because most of the groundwork for the forum sale had been done prior to this. I also attended a close friend's wedding on the 18th so most business and works were suspended until then.

Day 23 (19th June)
Yup I got serious now. It's Sunday and my graphic designer still hasn't gotten back to me with the work. Been more than a week! Got kinda frustrated, I asked for my money back. I got this back only like Tuesday. WTH man :mad: !!

BALANCE: $1983.00 + got back $67 my refund = $2050.00 again now

Winded up doing my own graphics. Not the best but it would do, and it was only a book cover fortunately.

Day 24 (20th June) - Day 26 (22nd June)
Nothing happened for this challenge. Been busy with a back log of more urgent projects outside this challenge.

Day 27 (23rd June)
Finally! Launched the forum sale. I recorded my sales video presentation on Camtasia, and demonstrated my product walkthrough. I also paid for the forum listing and its plugin that would allow me to recruit other affiliates within the forum.

BALANCE: $2050.00 - $40 (offer listing) - $19 (the plugin) = $1991.00

The sale is currently in effect. Will update again in 24 hours.

Day 28 (24th June)
At the closing days of the war... It's been 24 hours since my forum sale offer went live and it generated $1,010.00!

I'm selling a book I wrote with licensing rights called "Email Marketing Blueprint" and it's going for $10. Real cheap, considering I don't price my products this low. But with the nature of the people at this forum, I need to hit the volumes.

I've also got a One-Time Offer kicking in; it's a monthly offer at $20/mth.

So as of now:

PROFIT: $1,010.00
BALANCE: $1991.00 + $1010.00 = $3001.00

I'm keeping the forum sale offer running until this weekend, which incidentally is the end of the 30 days challenge.

About the copywriting job, I'm also trying to secure the other 50% ($2000) quickly before the challenge days are up!

P.S. All screen shots of profits and expenses have been taken and will be revealed at end of challenge.

Day 29 (25th June)
Another $690.00 added from the forum offer sale since the last 24 hours.

PROFIT: $690.00
BALANCE: $3001.00 + $690.00 = $3691.00

Giving one last push to make this work to the max.

Day 30 (26th June)
Okay man. It's over. 30 days up. And this is the last recorded profits made since the previous day's update until now.

Another $800.00 squeezed on a Sunday.

PROFIT: $800.00
BALANCE: $3691.00 + $800.00 = $4491.00

The forum sale is still running, but this total is capped as of conclusion of Day 30 Eastern Time.

A bummer, the last $2000 from my (albeit fluke) copywriting job did not reach me in these days, or it would have been an extra $2K.

I just had a quick read on my previously documented days; realized that the information are quite shallow to the layman reader. So I'll compile a more detailed report in the coming post accompanied by screenshots of earnings as proof to my claims.
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Jack Stitt

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Apr 11, 2011
Fastlane 2k Personal Challenge

Some of us were a little late to join Sparlin's official Fastlane 2k Challenge. This thread is intended to have a place to document progress, for those of us (or at least, me :)) who want to do it just for the personal challenge.

(I am not in the official contest but I'm doing this for a personal challenge)

Day 1 - June 1, 2011

10 hour days for 30 days.

Long-term strategy web site.... (30% focus until the end of the 30 days)

  • Decided that I will make a web site to allow people to create one month challenges just like this one...
  • Registered a domain name: www . challengemonth . com (nothing there...YET!)
  • Did some architectural stuff to have a framework for future scalability
  • Did some creative thinking about how to monetize in the future. Probably allow free challenges but only paid challenges will keep the challenge info, including comments, etc forever after it's done. Something like that anyway. Brilliantly, anyone can pay this fee - not just the organizer (maybe they'll even get a super special badge by their name) :)
  • Created an initial database in MySQL including users, friends, favorites, challenges, comments, and join tables
  • Worked out some design logic... Challenges will be either fixed from a date or rolling (you can start it any time). Challenges can have multiple winners (bronze, gold, silver medals) and possibly, prizes...Definitely want to add some sort of badge system ala StackOverflow (Badges - Stack Overflow). Allowing for entry fees (another possible monetization method - taking a percent of that). There will be some bells and whistles ... various graphs, leader boards, etc. Voting or the organizer probably decides the winners...not sure just yet.
  • Started working on the PHP code ... users will login via Facebook (eventualy the app will also report back to FB)

The point of this is to get something out there and let the people decide what is great and what sucks about it and to iterate quickly and efficiently.

Short term strategy, the initial $2000... (70% focus)

  • Decided to write an info product/ebook
  • Contacting 10 people on the Warrior Forum whom I know have big email lists already...with a proposition
  • I will research and write the entire product, create the sales page and distribution funnel (using DPD, DPD Shopping Cart | The Easy Way to Sell Downloads, Keycodes, and Tangible Goods) ... I own a domain that the site will sit on. I'll probably do the mini-site creation myself or maybe use at least for ideas.
  • They get a review copy for free and if it's absolute quality they can promote it... In fact, I even asked what they think their list would like to start with
  • They get primary author and I get a co-author credit and 50% profit. All they have to do is send the offer to their list.
  • This offer is open to members of this forum too :)
  • I will wait five days before I start on this. If I get no responses, I will start writing a sales page first for a product about achieving any goal in 30 days :) (The reason I write the page first is to make sure the book later contains all the promises).
  • Initial plan: 5 days wait, 3 days research and outline, 12 days writing, 3 days editing / revisions, 3 days setup and split testing (with $100 adwords credit), 2 days pre-launch hype, 2 day launch.
  • At $9.95 I would have to sell 201 copies to hit $2000. That seems very ambitious but I'll be satisfied knowing that I have another incoming-generating asset either way. It really all depends on the product and market...hopefully someone will respond with a big list in the make money online niche.

Total costs so far:
  • $10.16 for domain name and whoisguard (Namecheap)
  • $7.96 / mo for web hosting (Hostgator "baby" plan to start with)
  • $5.00 / mo for DPD (10 product plan)

Other assets I already owned
  • Several web sites and domains (too many to list here)
  • $100 Google Adwords credit coupon ... got it for free, so I'm not counting it as a cost :)

I'm always looking for people to bounce ideas off of or JV with, feel free to contact me on Skype: jlstitt

Day 2 - June 2, 2011

10 hour days for 30 days.

Long-term strategy web site.... (30% focus until the end of the 30 days)

  • Setup a version control repository (Subversion)
  • Did all the various tasks related to creating a Facebook application (within Facebook), created a return URI for registration, etc
  • Registering and logging in via Facebook now works. Unfortunately, it doesn't take in registration details that are passed back from Facebook. Nor does it act appropriately when the user is actually logged in....
  • Still working on handling the signed request that comes back from Facebook - this is the biggest piece of the whole login and registration system for the site. Once it's done, adding challenge workflow will be pretty straightforward.
  • Modularized this login/registration system so that I may use it in further applications
  • You can actually go to the site now. Not that you can do anything. There are still no styles or images applied to the site either.
  • On a related note, I wrote the shell of the stylesheet
  • I broke the page into included sections (header, content, footer) so that they may be easily incorporated into the various pages.

Screenshot...The Incredibly Exciting Life of a Fastlane Entrepreneur ... The before pic


Short term strategy, the initial $2000... (70% focus)

  • Decided to forego waiting and make the information product, ironically, about making and selling info products online. It turns out not everyone knows how to do it.
  • Created the basic outline and table of contents for the ebook, which will be about 120 pages long and includes lots of info: why you should do it, where to get ideas, how to structure the content, how to setup the distribution channel, how to handle refunds, upselling, branding and product lines, how to setup an affiliate program, promoting the product, etc
  • Found some really excellent free graphics like ebook covers, buy now buttons, background images, and other images that would work well for selling an info product. Will bundle them with the ebook.
  • Plan to offer a bonus about outsourcing and maybe some outsourcing templates to use
  • If nobody is interested in promoting my product directly, I will offer it as a WSO on the Warrior Forum
  • While writing the outline I recalled several other things I could write about that I have experience with... website flipping, ecommerce sites, Adsense, Amazon affiliate sites...for future systems.

Bonus unexpected source...

A new partner and joint venture. We're doing a site about end of life management (as in, how you handle things when you or a loved one is about to die - usually elderly people). Hopefully this won't eat into my challenge time :)

Total costs so far:
  • $10.16 for domain name and whoisguard (Namecheap)
  • $7.96 / mo for web hosting (Hostgator "baby" plan to start with)
  • $5.00 / mo for DPD (10 product plan)

Other assets I already owned
  • Several web sites and domains (too many to list here)
  • $100 Google Adwords credit coupon ... got it for free, so I'm not counting it as a cost :)

And a motivational shot...The after pic


I'm always looking for people to bounce ideas off of or JV with, feel free to

contact me on Skype: jlstitt
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May 6, 2011
OK, this is totally going to be ambitious since I haven't gotten off my butt yet on this charllenge. But, what the heck. It's a great method to get me doing something useful.

So being one week late, here is my plan:
I have a successful commerical kitchenware store on both eBay and Amazon. I should have my own store. So I am going to do it.

June 6 - 12th: Find an eCommerce provider for a quick launch. Get domain straight out. Find out how to import my inventory listing

June 13 -20th: launch my best selling items and put it out there.

I know without the budget to buy Google Adwords since we are limited to 50 bucks only, at least what this charllenge can do is to force me to execute. So thanks for putting this together!

I can't figure out how to edit my original text so sorry about the double entry under my id. (I merge the posts. Sparlin)

Progress as of June 14:
I know it's a long shot to try to launch an online store from nothing at all to something. But I don't want to quit just because that. If I can't get the store to 100% perfect (actually any store will take long time to fine tune it). My goal is to just launch it!! A few things that set the directions and I don't want to compromise.

1) Branding
I finished the initial branding and got a logo going already. I have choosen as the platform to quickly launch the store. I have registered the doman name.
As of design, I just want something clean looking and simple, which is not hard to do with one of the default design.
Some template files need tweaking, not something I can't handle.
2) Products.
this usually take a boat load of time when anyone launches a brand new store. I have the products info. Working on exporting/importing. My goal is to launch the store with 150 items. My regular store has more than 3000 products.

By end of week, I will get the intial store layout completed and hopefully the first 150 items out.

The next week, I will tweak details such as payment/shipping/testing, etc...

I know it's not going to be perfect, but having something is better than having nothing. I will start from there and utilizing my existing customer base to drive some traffic and see how much I get at the end of the day...

If I don't make 2K mark, at least I can say 'I launched an e-commerce store in xyz days!!". Beats sitting on my butt doing nothing. LOL!!

Cost so far:
$12 domain name.
still on free trial of bigcommerce


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Jul 9, 2008
Challenge Recap:

This has been a great experience for one main reason: It caused me to take decisive action.

This past year has been mediocre for me, largely because I've been in a perpetual state of transition. I've had trouble letting go of my past business methods and practices that gave me huge success a couple of year ago, but are not 'Fastlane'. This contest pushed me over the line to committing to the PROCESS of building a Fastlane business...I'll explain:

The 'easiest' thing you can do is to keep doing what you are doing now. Change can be a real bitch. I've created a scenario that allows me to focus on Process, while eliminating my unnecessary gravity.

The solution is this: Sell my 'status' belongings, work on a part-time contract that pays my living expenses, and spend the rest of my time dedicated to the process of continuing to build a Fastlane business, while leveraging the knowledge I have acquired through taking action, and applying it as opportunity arises.

My challenge results, then, looks like this:

Sale of car: (in all fairness, this transaction has not closed at the time of writing, but will shortly) + $10,000

Chinese Contract (beginning Sept 1): + 11,000 yuan/mo + housing and 2 meals/day + airfare for 11 months

Website: Fastlane Foundation to build upon (Money, Power, Sex) and products to promote + ???, Immediate profits= 0

Misc Opportunity: +Import/Export/Trade Opps, Sourcing for American businesses, ???

Since I bartered all the web hosting costs, my costs were 0...

...So you're saying your answer to building a Fastlane Business from $50 to 2k is to get a part time job? WTF??

...Yes. I know it seems almost counter-intuitive, but my answer again is Process. If I never make arrangements and FIRM commitments to the process, how the hell will I be successful in the long run?

I've been down this road before. I built a Personal training business that generated approximately $50k/year, but it was not 'Fastlane' in its structure because it was closer to a traditional brick and mortar. To learn the business, I worked at Gold's for a year, but I never settled to be an employee and kept my eyes on the big goal.
So I'm essentially doing this again for my next business.

My parting statement is this: You've got to look at the big picture, and you got to finish what you start. Never ever, give up and if you are going to start something, finish it.
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San Diego
It's been quite a while since I updated here. I apologize.

It is a day after the challenge has finished. In short, I have not reached my goal. Things did not go on schedule as planned due to technical reasons at first. As the tasks slipped, my priorities had to shift as my dayjob and personal matters had to be resolved. As the software lead for 2 programs nearing completion, I had to dedicate more effort to meet deadlines for the projects that were already behind schedule. That, in turn with some life changes, caused my Fastlane challenge/project to take the backseat.

There is no excuse, and I'm disappointed with myself for not being able to complete the challenge. It was something I wanted to prove to myself and something I knew I was capable of. Unfortunately, shit happens, and it comes at the most inopportune times.

I approached this challenge with not only the intent to make $2k, but to make it using the fastlane mindset. There are definitely a lot of ways to make $2k, but in the essence of the forum, I wanted to really make it easily transitionable to fastlane. Like I stated at the beginning, the plan was to make a software tool for Internet Marketers and sell it for a monthly subscription. It is about 90% completion and I will still continue with the plan to finish and sell it. It's got great promise in a marketplace in need of this type of tool.

I've learned a lot about myself through this month, and learned some good skills that I can take with me going forward.
  • .NET development and debugging
  • Thinking outside the box to solve development issues
  • Balancing projects, work, personal responsibilities, and family life
  • Flexibility with planning and scheduling
  • Collaborating with other developers and partners
  • Managing stress
  • Crap happens, so try to get as much done when you have the time

I don't see this as a failure at all. I've learned a lot and will take a lot from it. Sorry to disappoint those following. But at least I have a plan going forward and will follow through with what I've started. Expect a separate thread from me in the future.

PS. Thanks to Sparlin for taking the time to organize the challenge and threads.

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