Read an Excerpt
Welcome to the Internet “Gold Rush,” Take Two!
CONTRARY TO popular wisdom and what the media tells you, the Internet is not “over.” The years 2001–2004 were tough for Internet businesses, but the development of the digital economy is still only in the early innings of a nine-inning ball game.
Online sales are continuing to explode and could reach more than $300 billion in the United States alone by 2010.1 This is more than 12 percent of overall retail U.S. sales from a new category of business that hardly existed ten years ago!
For entrepreneurs like you, numbers like this mean that new online business opportunities are actually increasing. That’s because the Internet continues to change so many of the basic assumptions that you were taught about business as its technology gets easier to use and more widespread.
Whether you are a high school dropout or hold an advanced degree from a prestigious university, you are a product of the twentieth century’s “industrial age” education system. This means that (like me) you were probably taught to see corporate employment as a more desirable path than taking the risks of starting your own business.
In fact, when surveyed, 58 percent of Americans say that they’ve dreamed of starting their own businesses, but almost half (49 percent) of them cite “insufficient financial resources” as their primary obstacle.2
My number-one “Internet Millionaire Secret” for you is that the Internet has significantly reduced the costs and even eliminated many of the risks of starting your own business. The arrival of e-business has changed the rules of business so dramatically that now is the best time in history for you to take charge of your life and start your own business.
You should read this book if you are one of the millions of people who want to:
• Change careers
• Exert more control over your career and lifestyle
• Experience the flexibility of being your own boss
• Explore the potential of working from home
• Pursue a creative business idea or two (or at least try to develop one)
Times Have Changed (in Your Favor!)
In the twentieth century, starting a business was risky and expensive, but the Internet has changed the equation. Unfortunately, the bad first impression left by the dot-com collapse of 2001 still dominates popular understanding, our education system, and media coverage of e-business. The opportunities to start profitable new e-businesses have never been better. Yet lately, when the media covers e-business at all, it’s usually to scare you with stories about computer viruses or identity theft.
Think about how the Internet has continued to grow, improve, and penetrate your daily life in the years since the dot-bomb crash. Hasn’t it made shopping more efficient, keeping in touch with friends easier through e-mail and instant messaging, and probably improved the productivity of the business where you work, too?
The result of this disconnect between popular perception of the Internet and its daily reality is that today few people realize that e-business now offers greater potential rewards with lower risks than any type of business at any time in history. Additionally, because the Internet directly reaches a larger audience of consumers than any medium in history, any e-business has the chance to generate enormous profits if it can convert just a small fraction of the online audience into customers.
Internet Riches is the first “how to” book to introduce you to e-business in an easy-to-understand way, complete with dozens of specific examples and interviews with “regular people” who have accomplished their dreams by building online businesses.
”How Can I Make Money from the Internet?”
There are millions of people like you asking this question today. They want more out of their careers and are intrigued by the self-employment opportunities offered by the Internet, but they don’t know where to go for answers.
I wrote this book to help you answer that question. In it, I share with you the specific strategies that I’ve developed in order to help you improve your life and career. You’ll see that the detailed, practical, current advice in this book—from me and dozens of top Web entrepreneurs—offers proven secrets of Internet success that can help you “reboot” your life and career. As a result, once you have read Internet Riches, you will be one of the few who has a personal action plan for Internet millionaire success.
I also promise that this book can help you find and start your own e-business, even if you don’t know much about technology.
Yes, that’s right, no technology expertise required. One of the principal reasons I wrote this book was to help the nontechnical audience (maybe that’s you?) understand that the Internet has advanced to the point where it is more user-friendly than ever. With all the new web-based tools and services available today, even a nontechnical user can set up a worldwide Internet e-business for less than $25! In this book, I’ll show you how.
Who Is Scott Fox?
I’m a highly successful e-business veteran and director of The Liminal Institute (www.LiminalInstitute.org), a California-based think tank dedicated to promotion of entrepreneurship. Based on my own success in e-business, I founded this organization because I believe that the secrets of prosperity offered by the new generation of Internet businesses deserve to be shared.
As a graduate student at Stanford University in the early 1990s, I was introduced to the Internet earlier than most people. In the subsequent decade, I’ve consistently been “ahead of the curve” and have gained a deep understanding of the great opportunities that the post-industrial economy is offering to today’s generation of workers. With this book, I’m inviting you to share in my vision should you choose to open and operate an e-business.
E-business today offers average folks everywhere the biggest profit and personal growth opportunities of our lifetimes. I know this is true because of the many successful e-businesses I have helped build, from my wife’s SweaterBabe.com venture to the e-retailing phenomenon loved by young brides nationwide (www.WeddingChannel.com) to the multimillion-dollar online businesses of celebrities like Bill O’Reilly (www. BillOReilly.com).
My expertise has previously only been available to top celebrities and venture capital-backed startups, but now I’m making the success I’ve enjoyed available to you through this book. Although it took me more than ten years to develop my techniques for e-business success, by reading this book you’ll soon see that today, you can start a new online business and begin changing your life in just hours!
Release Your “Inner Entrepreneur”
I was born an entrepreneur but didn’t realize it until well into my career. Our society, our education system, and my friends and family all consistently pushed me toward “steady jobs” rather than encouraging my dreams of personal and financial freedom. Yet when I landed prestigious and lucrative corporate jobs, I couldn’t understand why I was unhappy.
Perhaps like you, I eventually realized that I had been fighting my “inner entrepreneur” for years. Again probably like you, it was fear that had been preventing me from pursuing the entrepreneurship that is in my blood. I had been taught my whole life that starting a business was a risky, dangerous financial decision that should best be avoided in favor of “safe” corporate employment.
Then, in 1991, I decided to change my life and pursue my own dreams, not those of big corporations. Today, I refer to myself as a “graduate of corporate America” instead of its employee. If you chose to buy this book, you’re probably ready to release your inner entrepreneur, too. This book is dedicated to helping brave entrepreneurs like you to learn how to use my Internet Millionaire Secrets to build your own million-dollar business with minimal risk.
The E-Business Trend Is Your Friend
Since 1994 I have worked with dozens of startup e-commerce companies that have gone on to generate many millions of dollars in sales in a variety of industries. Every year I have found that it has gotten easier and cheaper to start an e-business: Online audiences have gotten larger and more familiar with online shopping. Online advertising and sales revenues have increased. Website-building tools have become cheaper and easier to use. Technical and content expertise has become more widely available and cheaper. And the software that runs websites has gotten more reliable, faster, cheaper, and more powerful, too.
In 1996, a company would have raised millions of dollars in venture capital to get started; today, that that same company can often bootstrap its way to success with minimal investment from its founders, especially if they follow the guidance in this book.
For example, in 1996 I founded my first company, which was a pioneer in e-commerce that targeted young music consumers. I started with six figures of my own money, added to that funding from supportive friends and family, and even received strategic investment from Intel Corporation and venture capital from a Seattle-based venture firm.
By contrast, in 2005 I partnered with a celebrity on a startup venture planning to offer interactive entertainment and online sales that were much more sophisticated than was even possible ten years ago. The amazing difference is that despite the 2005 venture being a much bigger company with a much broader reach and more sophisticated offerings than my first startup, the celebrity venture raised zero outside capital before launch! The partners each contributed a small amount for expenses, but many sophisticated technical, marketing, and merchandise services are now available purely on a pay-as-you-go basis. In addition, third-party providers are now so savvy and familiar with the profit potential of e-business that they offered services in exchange for participation.
This trend has the potential to benefit everyone who has ever wanted to be his (or her) own boss while reinforcing America’s greatest competitive advantage: entrepreneurship.