My epic f***-ups – take 1

Hey there,

did an interview with Mike Thomas ( today which was great fun!

One of the ‘themes’ of the interview was how I went from affiliate marketer to product creator (and these days coach & consultant) – and whilst we’re talking there was an interesting underlying theme:

there were far more complete ‘f***-ups’ than successes – and yet, each one led to something bigger and better.

So, over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing a few of the foulups, some more epic than others, feel free to use them purely for entertainment, or maybe see how they’ve helped me move to ‘bigger and better’.

Epic f***-up #1

Time/star-date: around 2008.

online income: pathetic. Done a few affiliate promotions (my first ever was a sale for Stompernet/Paul Lemberg’s Formula 5, on which I made around $650 – using nothing but free resources – I think it was a squidoo-lens I’d ranked in the search-engines that made me my first sale) – but started to figure out that product creation is where it’s at.

My first product was going to be a ‘classic’ “put together a 12 expert panel, interview them on their individual field of expertise, sell the recordings & transcripts to the attendees”.

Of course I checked that they all had a list, and that they were all going to mail.

Even got a top copywriter on board to help with the “go check out this awesome panel of experts – they’re giving you free advice” email-template that I provided to all 12 experts.

And, because the 12 had a combined list-size of 150.000 and because this was me being rather new to the whole get others to mail for you game, I ended up setting up 2 hardened servers, spending countless hours setting up (manually) individual landing pages for each expert, so I wouldn’t end up crashing the servers when those 150.000 hit the servers.

Launch of course coincides with me being at a conference (oh yeah baby, why not go to a seminar in the middle of your first ever launch…), so when I rushed home after the conference to quickly check if they servers had managed to withstand the onslaught …

… well, it’s hard to put that moment into words.

Despite all the checking and double-checking and checking again, it really was only 612 people who had signed up for this revolutionary, and world-changing and surely setting the foundations for my IM-retirement fund series of teleseminars.

612 out of 150.000

Now I can laugh about it, but back then, like I said, it’s a feeling for which I’m struggling to find words

Did I make money with this exercise?

Nope, didn’t sell a single copy … we never even finished the series of interviews.

Do I regret doing it?

Nope, there were so many lessons in there for me, it’s almost like I’m looking back at it fondly and thinking “ahh, that’s when I went from ‘thinking about it’ to actually doing it.”

What’s even better: I made some pretty terrific connections through that activity and even now, whenever I launch a new product or service, the learnings from that experience help me make each new one better.

Key message – and I’m trying to do this without the raised finger and the “and the moral of the story is…”-sledgehammer that’s no bloomin’ common with children’s books these days (whatever happened to good ol’ story telling – these days even the freaking little ghosts, once they’re done with scaring the livin’ daylight out of the baddies have to agree that it’s a good thing to brush your teeth – but only with an electric toothbrush, otherwise you might damage your enamel… you’re a freakin’ ghost fer crying out loud…)

… anyway, back to the key message sans wagging moral sledgehammer (WMS):

if you’re looking to get started with pretty much whatever, let’s just assume ‘online marketing’, then here’s a slightly uncomfortable truth:

the stuff that really matters, they can’t teach you. You have to experience it first hand. There simply isn’t a step-by-step blueprint that’ll get you past those ‘awww, I don’t know what the word is for this feeling’ moments – and there isn’t one either for “how you take the learnings and simply make the next one better”.



PS: I might of course be completely wrong;-) What do you think?




  1. I found the same thing Veit. It’s the day you understand that you need to take control, stop following and remove the expectation that someone else is going to hand it to you on a plate. It’s quite a moment that feeling.

  2. How does this sound: $ 14.68 Amazon commission over two years from 8 auto-splogs?
    Cost: 1500$ + Hosting

    Lesson learned 🙂

    Cheers, Alex

  3. Glad you started this “series” Veit – for ages i was really interested (and going to ask you) how you started and what path(s) did you take before i started following you some time 2010/11

    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to part 2

    • lol, too many Alex on this blog

      if I put out one epic foul-up per week, we’ll be busy for a couple of years … and guess what, every one of them is really only a learning experience (painful at the time, but once the 6-year old ego steps out of the way, the real learning begins)


  1. […] the other day I showed you one of my collosal Internet marketing mess-ups, so here is a  case-study of how to do it […]

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