Is it just me, or are people constantly running away from their past? Whether it is failures that took place or the steps that got them to where they are today, many people just don’t like discussing their past. I feel that your past is what makes you who you are, so why try to hide from it. By letting people know who you are and all of the things you went through, they will be more likely to connect with you.
For example, Patrick Gavin was the owner of Text Link Ads before he sold it to Media Whiz. No one really knew how he got there and many people thought he had an easy past. So he decided to break down the history of how he got there:
I got involved in Internet marketing in 2001 helping my family business, which specialized in buying and selling antique bricks. At the time pay per click advertising was very young. I was able to quickly and cheaply get exposure for our reclaimed brick business across the major search engines. That traffic helped turn what was a local business into a national business shipping these unique bricks coast to coast…
Now your story may not be as inspiring as Patrick’s, but nonetheless, it is your history. By putting your past out there more people will get to know you on a personal level. I know many of you may still be reluctant to go forward with your past, so I’ll take the first plunge by sharing my ‘shady’Â past:
As a little kid I always cared about money. I never knew what I really wanted to do when I grew up, but I knew I wanted lots of money.
So when I started high school I always looked for opportunities to make a quick buck. I noticed that students used to by CDs and DVDs, and during this time period I was able to download them on the Internet before they came out. At first my friends used to ask me to burn them a copy of whatever I downloaded, but then I started selling them for a few dollars to the public.
After selling pirated media to students, I then learned that many of the male students where looking for a constant supply of porn. Most of these students used the web to find porn or watched cable TV at night, in hopes that there would be naked chicks. To make life easier for these individuals I decided to buy black boxes in bulk from Ebay and start selling them to porn lovers.
Although the money from selling black boxes was great, I realized that this business was not scalable. So I decided to invest my money into a .com venture that would compete with monster.com.
Within a few months of launching my job board, I learned that you actually have to drive traffic to a website to make it popular. I did not understood how to drive traffic to a website, which lead me to hire an Internet marketing firm.
After paying an Internet marketing firm, I ended up getting no extra visitors to my website. And with very little money left, I picked up a job at Knott’s Berry Farm, which entailed picking up trash, cleaning restrooms, and sweeping up vomit. With all my money I collected, I invested in 2 more Internet marketing firms hoping that I would gain some results, but I came away with nothing.
I then became tired of being burned by marketing companies so I started learning search engine optimization and optimized my own site. Within a few months my rankings started to increase, but sadly my job board still did not make any money.
With no money left, I was considering giving up at this point. My new goal was to finish college as fast as possible and get into the work force so I could make more money. In that spirit I decided to take college classes at a community college while I was in high school so I could graduate faster.
The first class that I took was a speech class, which took place at night. One of the requirements in the class was to give speeches, so I decided to give a speech on search engines and why certain sites rank towards the top. Luckily one of the individuals in the class worked at a Power Supply manufacture called Elpac and he asked me if I was looking for a consulting gig. I gladly accepted and within a short period of time I was getting paid $3500 a month for a few hours of work.
When I got my first paycheck I started to think about how I could make more money by offering search engine optimization services to other companies. But the problem with doing so was that I was still in high school and companies would not take me serious.
I then decided to partner up with my brother in law (who is 4 years older than me) and start a marketing company called ACS And that is how I got to where I am today.
Hopefully Patrick’s and my story encourages you to share your past. Anyone else want to share their past?
P.S. We all learn from our mistakes. If you want help using your mistakes to grow your brand check this out.