My Biggest Mistake on the Internet

Oops! There have been lots of small mistakes, like the time I forgot to renew my domain  Someone grabbed it, turned it into a porn site, and tried to blackmail me into buying it back.

(I refused and used it for laughs in speaking engagements.  Finally, after 3 years, they gave up. Thankfully!)

But my biggest mistake was this:   In 1994 an Austin “geek” who owned a tech company asked me to write a course that would be taught online.  Almost no one had done it before. At first, we were excited when a few people registered.  But then the company received an onslaught of hate emails.  “How dare you charge for this?!!!”

Remember, it was the earliest days of the internet…and up until then everything was free.  People had never heard of charging for things online.  The hate mail made the owner of that company cancel the course.  In fact, he soon closed his company and went to work for IBM.

Within 2 years, people were selling everything on the internet.  We had been just a little bit ahead of the curve.

I didn’t teach courses on the internet for 6 more years. By then a lot of people were doing it. My biggest mistake was not persevering and missing out on an early opportunity.  I should have gotten back in the saddle (as they say) immediately.

Last year I was fortunate to have one of those “early” opportunities again.  Another “geek” approached me about putting some videos up on YouTube.  The point was to increase traffic to my website.  The results have been amazing. (760% increase in visitors.)  You see, because Google bought YouTube, videos now make a huge difference for internet rankings.

Shar McBee

2 thoughts on “My Biggest Mistake on the Internet”

  1. I love stories like this – when faced with the opportunity and self doubt take over many opportunities pass right on by. I’m sooo guilty of doubting my ability to sieze an opportunity simply because I don’t know anyone doing “it” or I’ve not had any experience in whatever “it” may be. This helps me step back and ask myself – “Why not go for it?”. I hope to utilize this technique as soon as my Non-Profit is finalized. just waiting on the paperwork from the state now. I can hardly wait to get started! Thanks for the inspiration.

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