PP 588: Don’t Miss Out on Precious Opportunities with Chris Parker
“What opportunities are you missing out on because you’re busy doing other things or because you just don’t want to deal with it?” ~Chris Parker
How do you do smart business? Chris Parker, a serial entrepreneur, Website Monetization Professional, Online Safety, Security and Privacy Expert and Founder of My IP Address, is here to help. You’ve probably heard of or even visited his site. Even more than that, Chris has a lot more to offer!
One of the hardest moments in an entrepreneur’s life is deciding what business is scalable enough to pursue. Chris shares his early business models and how his altruism ultimately paid off. Listen in as Kim and Chris talk about creating a business framework that will help you rethink how you do your business. Subscribe today!
07:36 Early Business Models
17:40 How to Deal with Threats
21:09 What is Google AdSense and When to Use It
24:55 Hire A Coach
32:47 Don’t Mess Up the High Earning Season
37:48 The Value of Diversification
40:29 What is VPN For?
“There’s always mentally unstable people about out there. And we just kind of have to be aware of it and deal with it when it happens.”
“What opportunities are you missing out because you’re busy doing other things or because you just don’t want to deal with it…”
“I think it really matters on your intent.”
“think there needs to be a certain amount of diversification, … so I have that peace of mind that when something bad does happen, it’s not a total loss.”
“Develop processes… we need processes particularly as entrepreneurs of thinking things through of like, well, before I set up a new vendor before I send money to someone, someone needs to talk to me on the phone someone needs to get a signed form for me so that I don’t send all my harder money off to some scammer.”
What opportunities are you missing out on because you’re busy doing other things? Or because you just don’t want to deal with them? There’s this great service called ‘Help a Reporter Out’ and they’re a service that connects journalists with sources. The journalists push queries such as we’re looking for a cyber-security expert to talk about xyz. They have some question, but there’s also a hundred other questions about what kind of food should you feed your dog, for example. How to paint colors that impact your mood? I don’t want to read through a hundred of these questions every day, but I can pay a VA a couple dollars an hour to go through the list for me and whittle it down to ones that are potentially interesting to me. Maybe a couple slip through that don’t apply to me or maybe they miss one. That does happen to me, but I’ve taken that list of, say, a hundred things down to a list of two or three that takes me 30 seconds to a minute to read and decide if I want to act on it. This opens me up to a new opportunity to promote my business with very little time investment on the front end for me.
KIM: Welcome back to Positive Productivity! This is your host Kim Sutton and I am so excited to have you here today! I am super excited to have our guest, Chris Parker. Chris is the founder of whatismyIPaddress.com and if you’ve been listening to the podcast for a while, you might remember a few months ago something scary in my house happened and Chris actually – without knowing until we get to that story in a little bit – Chris gave me a lot of comfort. I just had to tell you that because I was able to use whatismyIPaddress.com to figure out what was going on and who was behind it. I just want to thank you so much for being here today and for those who haven’t heard of you before, I would love for you to share a little bit of your journey, where you came from and how you got here, because I know it is such a fascinating story.
CHRIS PARKER: Sure. I’m glad to be here. I’m really excited too, always excited to talk with people who have used my website. There’s a few of you out there, like 6 million a month or something like that. I wish I could say that my entrepreneurial journey started successfully, but a couple of my first businesses were absolute utter failures which I think is true for probably most entrepreneurs.
KIM: I just spit my coffee because I was thinking ‘oh my gosh, that’s me too.’ My microphone is now decorated, I totally feel that.
CHRIS PARKER: Well, I’m gonna throw it all out there. All throughout all my horrible business ideas, –
CHRIS PARKER: -I don’t think they were horrible ideas. I think they were great ideas that I just didn’t think them through all the way.
KIM: –Hmm Mm.
CHRIS PARKER: The first business that I did was called discountbibles.com. I was selling bibles online, getting them from the main distributor in groom books. I was competing against Amazon, this was back in the early days. This was back in the early two thousands and had a little bit of success with it. I was working a full time job and on my lunch breaks I’d be taking the boxes down to the UPS store, or FedEx, or the postal service and shipping stuff out. On my way home, picking up the new product that I was going to ship out, go home, pack it and run credit cards and do it again. The two things that I realized was 1) I don’t like packing boxes, I like having a life and 2) this is definitely not scalable. It was kind of a funny realization that I came up with this business idea but I needed to do something different. And –
CHRIS PARKER: -so I, –
KIM: Chris I’m curious –
CHRIS PARKER: –Yeah.
KIM: -how you even came up with that idea and I have to tell you to, before you get into that, I’m just happy to hear that you weren’t going to hotels, borrowing their bibles and then selling them. So, thank you!
CHRIS PARKER: Actually, I was running a book table for my church so I was already in the process of buying and selling books and bibles and stuff like that. I thought, hey, you know, I could put this online and you know, I was a church-going person. I thought, ‘oh, this is kind of right in my wheelhouse.’ It’d be something interesting and that’s how I got started with it. It was a horribly manual process. Like –
KIM: –Hmm Mm.
CHRIS PARKER: -every credit card had to be run manually in a credit card software package. It was just utterly brutal and automation was not involved in anything except the website itself.
KIM: I cannot even imagine. I do not want to imagine.
CHRIS PARKER: It was a good idea but not functional. Unfortunately, my biggest order – we’re talking about stealing bibles from hotels – my biggest order turned out to be a fraudulent order with a stolen credit card and they wanted me to ship the bibles internationally on a stolen FedEx number.
KIM: Oh my Gosh! They buy bibles with a stolen credit card and a stolen FedEx number?
CHRIS PARKER: Exactly, you know –
KIM: –What would Jesus say?
CHRIS PARKER: At the time, I was working for a mail order catalog company. It was just starting to go online and I was helping deal with fraudulent orders and to me, it was obvious on the computer side, gee, someone wants to buy $100,000 worth of computers and ship them to Nigeria. That’s a little fishy, yet when I got my biggest order on my website, I’m like, oh, this is awesome I’m finally hitting the big time. Not bothering to think it through and say, Gee, this one order that’s a month worth of business might be fraudulent. Yeah, that was a bummer.
KIM: –So did you ship it?
CHRIS PARKER: I did. I didn’t know until afterwards that it was a fraudulent credit card and I assume it was a stolen FedEx number. I never found out but once the credit card charge came back reversed by the credit card company, that was the … wow, this stinks!
KIM: Can you imagine the owner of the credit card seeing that the person who stole their card bought bibles? I would just be so perplexed.
CHRIS PARKER: I cannot imagine it. It just, it blows my mind. What? Okay. And we’re talking down the horrible, horrible people route. I had a big sign on my truck that said discountbibles.com and my truck got stolen.
KIM: Oh my heavens, that is so crazy. I had my credit card stolen once and, well, just the number. I had only had the credit card for two weeks –
CHRIS PARKER: –Uh.
KIM: -and I see this charge comes through for $75 at a ice cream shop. I mean, I can imagine with my family of seven that we can go to Coldstone and spend a good chunk of money on that type of ice cream. But I’m like, what do you spend $75 on ice cream? I just can’t imagine, I guess. I guess a few ice cream cakes could do that.
CHRIS PARKER: –Yeah, they took all their friends out to ice cream.
KIM: –Yeah. Wow, so what was your next awesomely bad or maybe not-thought-out-all-the-way idea?
CHRIS PARKER: Well, then I decided – because I didn’t want to deal with all the backend of doing bibles – I treated the Biblefinder.com which used to database. So if you said, I want a blue NIV imitation leather bible, I could get you the right Bible but rather than ship it myself, I’ll just send you over to Amazon and I’ll get commission off of it. I’m like, oh, this is awesome! It’s totally scalable, I don’t have to ship anything. I don’t have to charge any credit cards. This is really, really cool.
KIM: –Hmm Mm.
CHRIS PARKER: For a while, it worked until Amazon – back in the early days – they ran into what is referred to as a tax nexus issue. The state of California went to Amazon and said, you have affiliates in California. If you want to continue working with your affiliates in California, you need to start charging sales tax in California. Of course, back in the early days, Amazon goes it was one of the big selling points of buying from Amazon is you didn’t have to pay local sales tax. So Amazon, overnight, shut down every California affiliate of which I was one and all of a sudden my business model no longer works because I don’t have a way to fulfill the orders.
KIM: They have since gone back, right?
CHRIS PARKER: –Correct, yes they have.
KIM: Because oh my gosh, I was just doing my accounting and I see all this tax from Amazon. I’m a frequent, I should have a frequent flyer card, but okay, wow! I want to ask a question about that operation. I mean you are not manually connecting what they were searching for to where they could go get it where you are. Was that all systemized and automated so that when they put a search in your website or whatever system you had set up could do that for them?
CHRIS PARKER: It was all database driven.
CHRIS PARKER: A couple of the Bible book sellers of the Bible publishers had databases where they had all this type of stuff in there. I thought, wow, this is really simple and easy to integrate and Oh, you want an NIV/King James version? Okay, boom. It would show you a couple of search results for each one. I thought it was a really great idea until you know, you can’t fulfill the product.
KIM: Absolutely! Do you have any more awesome ideas? Yeah, I still think they’re awesome ideas.
CHRIS PARKER: I think they’re … I think they’re awesome ideas, obviously one was ahead of its time. One was actually – probably both of them – were a little bit ahead of their time. Let’s see, what else did I do that failed? I’ve tried a number of niche websites. I spent five, $10,000 building them and dumped five or $10,000 of advertising revenue that in order to make like $10 back.
KIM: Yeah. Do you want to hear my best story?
CHRIS PARKER: –Absolutely.
KIM: I bought a scrap booking magazine for my ex-mother-in-law thinking I would give it to her for Christmas and I found this little gadget in there to make dye cutting tools. I didn’t even scrapbook, but I wanted this tool and I felt bad buying it, which is funny considering how much money, and I’m sure you can understand this, how much money we put into the tools for our business these days. I felt bad for this $50 purchase, so I was like ‘I need to make this back.’ So I started selling die cuts, handmade die cuts on Ebay for way too little money. I mean, these one little pack of pink dye cuts took me two hours to make and I was charging the $3 for –
CHRIS PARKER: Oh.
KIM: -so then I got contacted by a local craft distributor. Keep in mind, I wasn’t a scrapbooker, I still am not a scrapbooker. I think it’s beautiful when people do it right, some people don’t. And I got contacted by a local distributor and they’re like, yeah, we can sell you any of the physical products that you possibly want and then you don’t have to keep on making all these tools. I was like, that’s a brilliant idea. So their whole catalog was online. This is like in 2006 I was like, well, they’re in Michigan, I’m in Ohio. UPS can get it to me in a day, so why don’t I just start going through their whole scrapbooking catalog and put it on my site? Well, I didn’t think about the fact that customers are going to love it because they can get 50 different styles of paper, but they’re only gonna buy one sheet of piece. So, I quickly went $100,000 in debt because –
CHRIS PARKER: –Uh.
KIM: -when they bought one of paper, I still had to buy the pack of 50.
CHRIS PARKER: –Yup.
KIM: Yup and what started as a innocent home business, taking up no space except for a bag of paper, quickly took over my garage and then had to be moved into an office. And yeah, I’m still recovering from that.
CHRIS PARKER: That was similar to me selling the physical bibles in order to get the price discounts, the quantity discounts to hit the pricing I was selling it for, I had to buy a certain amount of units, not always the same Bible, but I had to order a certain amount of units in order to get the price discounts. So I had to often buy more than what I had orders for, hoping that people would come back and buy the extra ones.
KIM: Yep. I totally hear that. Oh in the previous business before that was I would go to – and this is about 2002 – I would go to garage sales and yard sales in Westchester County, New York – which was always really nice. I would buy books and I would sell them on Ebay. By the time we left New York, I had about 18 boxes of books that had never sold. I probably still have some of those boxes in my basement of books I will never read. But I thought, oh, I can sell this online…. So how did whatismyIPaddress.com come to be?
CHRIS PARKER: It was actually a solution to a technical problem I was having at my employer’s office. We were having an issue with our Internet connection and getting access to something and the vendor that we were talking with asked what’s the IP address of your office? We are all like, I don’t know, how do we even find that out? And so I went on Alta Vista or Yahoo, I think it was Alta Vista before Google existed to search and there was no easy answers and I searched and searched and finally found a solution. I thought, wow, you know, I’ve got an always on internet connection at home. I’ve got an extra computer that I could turn into a server. Let me just make a little website that will tell people that and that was what it was. You went to whatismyIPaddress.com and it just showed the IP address, no ads, no text, nothing other than that. And that’s actually how it was for a number of years because to me it was very altruistic. Hey, did this solve a problem –
KIM: –Hmm Mm.
CHRIS PARKER: -not even thinking it could ever even be a business or even a thought of a business, but it was like, oh, it’s just also problem. It’s helpful for other people and that’s how it started.
KIM: Wow. That makes me think of Pat Flynn, smart passive income with his green lead exam or whatever his site was. You know, he had a blog where he was helping people get through their, their lead exam, and then all of a sudden he, after he lost his job, he realized just how much traffic he getting in. Wow, this can actually make me money.
CHRIS PARKER: That was the exact same observation I had as at some point I started getting alerts from my computer saying the hard drive was just about full. And I’m like, how could the hard drive be full? It’s just a website. There’s nothing else on that machine. It was all the logs of all the people coming to the website.
KIM: –Oh my gosh.
CHRIS PARKER: And that was kind of the epiphany of like, Oh wow, I could actually start doubling. I’m helping people, let me just see what else I can add to the site. And so I added, –
KIM: — Wow.
CHRIS PARKER: -you know, I put an email address on there, hey, do you have any questions? Email me. And so every night I would be responding to emails with people that had technical questions and I thought, oh, this is really boring. I don’t want to keep doing this –
CHRIS PARKER: -ask, answering the same question over and over and over and then it became, well let me put some, you know, additional pages on the website with frequently asked questions and that reduced the number of questions I got, increased traffic even more because people were searching for those questions and finding the answers to them. And then, this great thing called Google AdSense came into being.
CHRIS PARKER: And that is the beginning of the monetization.
KIM: That’s amazing. So it’s funny that you said about the technical issue that your employer was having because that was actually why it was just on your site a couple of weeks ago because I got locked out of my own site. I was not white listed on my site and I kept on trying to refresh the page when I was building out a new page and it locked me out because it thought I was trying to hack it. So I had to go and again find out what my IP address was. So you’d give it to my hosting provider to white list me so I could get back in and keep on going. So, thank you!
CHRIS PARKER: You’re welcome. I love to hear like why people are actually using the site. Because for the longest time, that was actually in some sets of problems. I just didn’t know why people were visiting the site.
CHRIS PARKER: Hearing anecdotal stories like that confirms, okay, this is the right thing that I’m doing, this is the right type of traffic or the right people that I’m trying to help.
KIM: Absolutely. That’s not even the best story that I have for you.
CHRIS PARKER: –Oh? You have another one? Awesome.
KIM: –Oh yeah. This one isn’t so happy.
CHRIS PARKER: –Hmm.
KIM: But –
CHRIS PARKER: –Now you’re scaring me.
KIM: Oh, in March, so just four months ago, I have a virtual assistant job group on Facebook that’s sort of like your website. I started never thinking that it would grow into anything. And now, six years later, it has 30,000 members and constantly growing. I mean I’ve had to hire team members just to manage the group because I never intended to make a business out of it, to be totally honest. Sometimes things get heated when they’re overseas VA’s or people looking for overseas VA’s because I have to say American VAs can have their own thoughts about how much VA’s should get paid. I stepped into a disagreement because my rule – just the same as with my kids – is if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Somebody did not like that and I got a few death threats sent to my email.
CHRIS PARKER: –Oh.
KIM: They were very graphic, like what they would do to my kids and everything. I ended up getting the police and the FBI involved because it was just very scary. But we ended up using your site to backtrack the IP address. Now –
CHRIS PARKER: –Oh wow.
KIM: -unfortunately there’s ways that people can mask their IP.
CHRIS PARKER: –Yep
KIM: So I’d love if you have any ideas how we can go find the route, because I still haven’t figured that out, but it was just comforting. I have to tell you, it was comforting to know that they weren’t in my backyard.
CHRIS PARKER: Yes, I bet. I’ve had a few of those myself and usually results out of confusion. People are visiting my site while they’re doing research about something. They think someone’s hacking them and they’re doing research on my site and they’re monitoring all the network traffic into their computer and they mistake their own queries to my site and the answers as being me attacking them. And so I’ve gotten, I think probably the scariest one was someone who called and left a voicemail and basically said, my brother lives down the street from you in Austin. I’m going to send him over there to beat you up and kill your dog.
CHRIS PARKER: And I was like, do I call … that was the first experience of that … do I call the police? I’m like, I don’t think it’s real, but also I don’t want to do nothing about it.
KIM: Right, exactly.
CHRIS PARKER: Of course I did a little research and found out that guy was in Florida and so I was not too worried about it. But yeah, there’s definitely a … when you make yourself a little higher profile, unfortunately it draws some attention that you don’t always want.
KIM: Absolutely. Well, I have to tell you after that, this was actually my 40th birthday when that happened, and I was like, are you kidding me? I’m turning 40, I want to celebrate, but now I’m dealing with this. I was about ready to just shut everything down. I was like, this is getting way too real! You know, when people –
CHRIS PARKER: –Yeah.
KIM: -are telling me exactly what they’re gonna do to my kids and they’re looking at my kids’ names, I was like, no. My husband actually, he was amazing. He said, you know, the bigger you get, the more this is going to happen. So if you can’t handle this, then you should just stop now. But you have to know that the greater your purpose gets and the more people you’re helping, the more it’s gonna happen. So, –
CHRIS PARKER: –Yep.
KIM: -either and it was not what I wanted to hear at that very moment. But either grow some thicker skin or give up because you got to get used to it. So what I ended up doing was – you might really appreciate this – I didn’t give up. I ended up putting a paid product into the site or into the group, which has sense made me some money. I was like, nope, I’m not going to shut down I’m not shutting down this group. I’m not going to stop what I’m doing and look, I’m even going to start making money off of it. I haven’t gotten any more death threats.
CHRIS PARKER: –That’s good.
KIM: Yeah. Yeah, so –
CHRIS PARKER: That’s unfortunately, those are always mentally unstable people about out there and we just kind of have to be aware of it and deal with it when that happens.
KIM: Yes, absolutely! Back to you… So AdSense got introduced and for listeners who aren’t aware of what AdSense is, can you give a little bit of perspective so they know what you’re talking about?
CHRIS PARKER: Sure. Google AdSense is an advertising platform that Google created, I think in 2006, maybe it was 2003, that allows website owners to put a very small amount of code on their website. Google matches ads with either the content of your traffic, this is what it used to be. Now that they also blend in ads that are of interest to your users. If somebody was googling Nike shoes, they might come to your website and even though it has nothing to do with Nike shoes, they might see an advertisement for a vendor selling Nike shoes because it’s displaying an interest based ad to them. So they either serve up contextually relevant as your site is about cameras and so they start showing ads for cameras or they start showing interest based ads, whichever they think is going to generate more revenue for you, and it’s all automated as a site owner. Once you’re approved for the program, you just stick in a couple bits of code and you don’t have to find the advertiser, Google handles all that for you.
KIM: Now I know this is not, you know your business. Are you still using Google AdSense?
CHRIS PARKER: It’s part of the mix, yes.
KIM: Okay. So I have contemplated in the past and I have contemplated putting AdSense on my site, but I was always concerned about how it wouldn’t necessarily be in line with what I was doing. What are your thoughts about when entrepreneurs should include or not include AdSense on their site? [inaudible]
CHRIS PARKER: I think it really matters on your intent –
KIM: –Uh Huh.
CHRIS PARKER: -and does it work with your business model if you’re recommending products and services? Yeah, maybe an ad, maybe ads work in there. If you are primarily doing coaching, I’m not sure that it’s necessarily in your best interest because it might start showing ads for competitors’ coaching programs.
KIM: I love that response by the way.
CHRIS PARKER: It kind on matters, depending on what your value of any particular person visiting your website is. If you have high ticket items that are, for example a 10 or $20,000 a year coaching program, you probably don’t want to be making an extra three to 5 cents off of an ad because the opportunity costs is just is too big. You’re going to potentially send your client to another website. In my case, I don’t have an in-house service that I’m selling and I have extremely high volumes of traffic. To me, making that extra couple cents off of someone coming to the site actually works for me because I don’t have this high ticket item and I’m not trying to sell a particular service to those users.
KIM: Absolutely I love that. I’m thinking about my uncle back in New York who has a greenhouse. I mean if he put AdSense on his website, they could be sending the people who are visiting his site to other greenhouses, which wouldn’t be ideal, but if it was a general gardening blog, putting AdSense on there, it could be sending people to you know, seed companies or to local greenhouses or any other number of things and that would be ideal because you know, if they’re not selling the products right there on their site, why not make it a little bit of money from it? I love what you said about coaches, so, so thank you.
CHRIS PARKER: Oh good. I have one now, which is a good thing.
KIM: Yeah, yeah. Actually this is totally organic we have no idea where the conversation is gonna go, but at what point did you decide in your business that you should get a coach?
CHRIS PARKER: Probably 10 years too late. I shouldn’t say that it’s not that it was 10 years too late. I think in hindsight, I wish I had hired a coach much earlier, but I don’t know that I was in the mindset to really benefit from having a coach earlier.
KIM: I can completely understand that because I have been there at multiple points. So I’m curious and I’m just a very nosy person I have to admit that, what do you have to do on a day to day basis in your business or don’t you? and if you don’t, do you have other projects or I mean, you’re a serial entrepreneur, so are you working on other things at the same time?
CHRIS PARKER: So what do I have to do and what I don’t do? So I think that was one of the things that my business coach really started pressing me on early on. And I’ll give the analogy that he did it. He was on one of our earlier calls, he was asking them, okay, so tell me about how your business works. What are you doing? How do you do this? How do you do that? And at some point I was like, I’m superman. I do it all, it’s just me, I’ve got no employees, I have no obligations to anybody, it’s just me. And he goes, okay, so how much are you paying your accountant? And I go oh no, I don’t pay anything for my accounting. I do it all myself. And he goes, well, I know how much your business makes in a year, and I know how many hours a week that you’re working, so you’re paying your accountant x dollars a month, how much experience does your accountant have? And I go, well I don’t have any professional accounting experience and he goes, okay, so you’re paying an entry level accountant more than what a CPA would charge for the same work.
CHRIS PARKER: How was that smart business?
CHRIS PARKER: I was just like, oh, I feel so bad. That framework has really helped me rethink a lot of how I do my business.
KIM: You just gave me a good slap. I just need to let you know that.
CHRIS PARKER: Mind you, I still do all my own accounting because there’s some aspects of my business. I’m a little bit of a control freak about it, but it really helped me along with general productivity stuff. I used to deal with all my accounting, like oh, I got a letter okay let me, I got a a bill in the mail. Let me pay it right now. Oh, I need to send out an invoice right now, okay, let me do it right now. And it was very driven by my vendors to deliver them by my partners, people who are billing me. And then finally it was like, well no, I don’t need to be doing it throughout the day, every day, but okay, on Fridays I’m gonna, you know, up until Friday I’m going to pile up all my accounting stuff in a pile. And then on Friday, I’ll sit down for like an hour straight and just crank through all my accounting all at one time in one little block of time. So it’s of the same mindset it’s focused on, and it gives me time to not be distracted by my accounting other times of the day or other days of the week.
KIM: I absolutely love that. Now I need to tell you why you gave me a slap.
CHRIS PARKER: –Sure. You might, are you doing your own accounting?
KIM: Mm yes and I, as of the day of this recording, just this past weekend, actually finally got my taxes done. Two months late, people, okay and it took me all day Saturday, all day Sunday to get my accounts reconciled in quick-books. So we’re talking a minimum of 16 hours and I know my billable rate, the crazy thing is that I had an accountant give me a quote to do this work for me, and it was $500 now let me tell you that 16 hours of time is not $500 not anywhere close, much more but I didn’t want to spend $500 and now that you’ve said that I’m like, what a dope. You could have been doing about 30,000 other things that only you can do, and would have made a lot more money.
CHRIS PARKER: Yup.
CHRIS PARKER: So that’s probably one of the key learnings I’ve gotten from my coach is really starting to look at all aspects of my business. What opportunities are you missing out because you’re busy doing other things or because you just don’t want to deal with it. There’s this great service called help a reporter out, and they’re a service that connects journalists with sources. So the journalists push queries of like, hey, we’re looking for a cyber-security expert to talk about whatever. They have some question, but there’s also a hundred other questions about what kind of food did you feed your dog, for example? How do paint colors impact your mood? I don’t want to read through 100 of these questions every day, but I can pay a VA in the Philippines a couple dollars an hour to go through the list for me.
KIM: –Hmm Mm.
CHRIS PARKER: And whittle it down to ones that are potentially interesting to me. So maybe a couple slip through that don’t apply to me or maybe they missed one that does apply to me, but I’ve taken that list of a hundred things down to a list of two or three that takes me 30 seconds a minute to read and decide if I want to act on it. This opens me up to a new opportunity to promote my business with very little time investment on the front end for me.
KIM: Absolutely. You know, I’m embarrassed to say that I do not open the HARO emails just for that reason, because –
CHRIS PARKER: –They’re overwhelming.
KIM: They are and I get, it’s probably the same for you just maybe not the same divisions or maybe you’re getting multiple divisions, but I get two in the morning, two in the afternoon and what two at night? Or is it just twice a day? But I get one that’s like the, the whole list and then I get one that’s specific for business, so –
CHRIS PARKER: –Yeah.
KIM: It’s at least twice a day. That’s all I know, but I just –
CHRIS PARKER: I think I get the whole thing three times a day.
CHRIS PARKER: And I was initially kind of poking around looking at doing it for myself and it was just so I’m like, I’m going to spend like an hour reading this every day, to maybe find a nugget once a week. This is not a good use of my time, like –
CHRIS PARKER: I didn’t even, there’s some great nuggets in there and I’ve gotten some great opportunities out of it, but the initial thought of it was, oh my gosh, I don’t want to touch this with a 10 foot pole. I’ve got someone who’s happily providing for their family sorting through this for me, so I don’t have to.
KIM: I love that, I love that. Listeners, if you have not heard of Help A Reporter Out, there will be a link in the show notes, which you can find at thekimsutton.com/pp588 along with all the other resources that we talk about today, what are you most excited about Chris, in the next 90 days?
CHRIS PARKER: So there’s a project I have been kind of put a productivity thing. I’m a geek, so all my website is all hand built. It’s all coded by me, it’s all designed by me and that’s really cool when that’s a hobby. It even kind of works when it’s a side hustle, so, but it doesn’t work, work really well when it’s a business for any new content to go up on my website, it has to go through me and it has to be hand coded.
CHRIS PARKER: Which means if I’ve got, you know, multiple writers out there writing content for me, I’m all of a sudden in this spot where I’m doing busy work. This is not good use of my time, but I’m the only person who can do it just because I’m a victim of my own design.
CHRIS PARKER: And so I’m now having to, to pay substantially larger amount of money to Redo a very large portion of my website that will allow my writers to go in and actually post content and update content without me being involved. And uh, the goal is to get that launched before Q4 because I’ve learned don’t launch anything in Q four when it’s ad driven because you don’t want to mess with a high earning season.
KIM: Yeah, I totally hear that. And I’m not saying good luck in a sarcastic way, but good luck because I know what a huge shift that will be. I mean, I put up my last blog article last night, which published this morning and I don’t want to do that again just because it takes time from me that doesn’t need to be spent by me. Like I want my team doing it.
CHRIS PARKER: –Yup.
KIM: And I totally understand what that will mean as far as getting that off your plate. My podcast was another one of those learning lessons where I realized, oh my gosh, Chris, I don’t know if you realize, but I cut back from a daily show to a twice weekly show about a year ago and a year before that I had been editing and producing all my episodes myself, –
CHRIS PARKER: –Oh my goodness.
KIM: -hmm mm. on top of my client load. So when it got to be Christmas of 2017 then I realized, oh my gosh, the pink cup is empty. I looked back at all the time I had spent on podcast production instead of client work and I was like, well, no wonder you’re spending 75 80 hours a week doing podcast production when you could have been outsourcing that. So thankfully, I found an awesome team. You know who you are and I love you, but they’ve taken that off and they run with it now and it’s just so much stress went out the door.
CHRIS PARKER: Yep, I’m planning on launching a podcast later this year, maybe next year, and part of my requirements was finding a team that I could outsource the entire thing other than me being on talking with someone or doing my own my own bit because I was like, I can’t take on more production work. I can’t take on stuff that’s not gonna make me money. I can have a great conversation with somebody, but then I want to hand it off and not have to deal with it.
KIM: Absolutely. I don’t think that a lot of people who launch podcasts think about … Really, it doesn’t take a lot of work to launch a podcast. I mean it does, but it doesn’t. But it’s the work that happens after the shows are actually recorded. That is all the work, especially if you’re going to do it right. And I know, I mean, based upon the work that you’ve already done in your site to get to where you are today, you understand search engine optimization, you understand how to drive traffic to your site and when you launch a podcast with that goal in mind to actually be driving traffic to your site rather than just slapping the audio file up. You know, there’s some serious work that’s gotta be done there. If you want to do it right?
CHRIS PARKER: Yup, yeah.
CHRIS PARKER: But I even do that with being a guest on a podcast.
KIM: –Hmm Mm.
CHRIS PARKER: I have one of my VA’s go out and do research on the podcast. I have got a company that does finds bookings for me because I don’t want to slog through that. So the VA will get all the social media accounts for me. They’ll listen to a few episodes, they’ll tell me which episode I should listen to. That’ll get me the best feel for the host you know, frequently asked questions that the host has so that I can reduce my prep time and also be really effective and help the host look good and represent myself well. And then afterwards, you know, it goes back to the production team of social media post and, and all that fun stuff.
KIM: Absolutely. So I must’ve turned them through a loop because I don’t have those frequently asked questions. I just have the frequent bloopers and typos. No, I look to have a good time. So you’re redoing parts of your website, but I want to go back to my earlier question with what is my IP address.com working and making you money. Do you find that hard to stay focused just in that rather than go back to your entrepreneurial side, your earlier days, where you had multiple different businesses and not try to start another business or are you really good about that or do you have another business?
CHRIS PARKER: I have a number of other things that I’m in the wet irons in the fire I think –
KIM: –Hmm Mm.
CHRIS PARKER: -is the expression, but the vast majority of time to spend on what does my IP address.com it is the, the vast majority of the revenue for me. But I realize just with my other sites that, you know, if Google comes along and decides we don’t want you in the search results for whatever reason, that’s gonna be a massive hit to my business –
CHRIS PARKER: -and I can’t, I can’t be reliant on just this one income stream.
KIM: –Hmm Mm.
CHRIS PARKER: I need to have other income streams in mind that they don’t, you know, they don’t necessarily need to be the same amount of revenue or scale up as quickly, but I think there needs to be a certain amount of diversification just so you I have that peace of mind that – well, something bad does happen – it’s not a total loss. It’s okay, well at least there’s other things that can cover bills in the meantime while I figured out how to ramp something else up.
KIM: Again, I love that answer. I actually just ran into a problem where I had all my eggs in one client basket, and there was a problem and I quickly realized, and I hadn’t had it in the back of my mind, this is not good Kim, this is not good. And I was thinking you know, this client could get into a car accident. Like I don’t like to think negatively like that, but I do like to be prepared. It was like this client could have something major happen in their life and then where does all my work go? I didn’t expect things to happen as I did and I am still working with the client, but it’s become abundantly clear that diversification is very important. But I love how you said, you know where your focus is because now it’s become clear. I can’t just be everywhere in every, in anywhere. Like I need to be focused on the work that I’m doing, but the diversification is very important, so thank you.
CHRIS PARKER: –Yup.
CHRIS PARKER: And for me, I’m just trying to reduce the amount of hours I have that I have a, you know an obligation to work or that I’d have my needs that if I can, you know, part of me is thinking along the lines of well, if I can make $50,000 a year more, spend that $50,000 on someone who’s working for me, but reduced my work by five or 10 hours a week. Hey, that’s pretty cool I’ve just freed up time to either pursue another project, spend time with family, friends, be less stressed out, exercise more. You know, there’s, I don’t want to be working 80 hours a week. It’s not a, I’ve done that in the past and I don’t want to do it in the future.
KIM: Hmm Mm. What are the most common reasons that you have found? If you’ve heard the feedback, what are the most common reasons that you’ve found that people visit? What is my IP address.com?
CHRIS PARKER: The one that kind of surprised me initially was that people are verifying that their VPN services working, and you’re like what the heck is a VPN service? So like you were talking about earlier, people can hide their IP addresses. And there’s good motivations behind that, there’s potentially bad motivations behind that. If you’re living in a country where your government censors, what a websites you can visit or not visit a VPN allows you to get around that kind of filtering in order. It kind of a anonymizes your traffic routes it through a server in the United States when you’re currently in, I don’t know, Iran, let’s say, probably not, but if you’re in China, that’s probably a more realistic example for a lot of people. Now you’re traveling in China but you still want to get on Facebook. Now you kind of have some problems getting on Facebook when you’re in China, sometimes using a VPN service routes all your Internet traffic through a server in the U.S, France, wherever you want it to be. And so that IP address that you see is, and the rest of the world when you’re interacting with websites, is that server address not the IP address of your machine in China.
KIM: You know, that’s really interesting because when I look at my podcasting stats, I have heard that there are countries that I probably won’t be allowed to be listened to in, but those countries, some of them, North Korea is still not on the radar. But there are other countries that I was told, you know, they won’t be able to listen to you, but they’re still getting through. So you might be listening with a VPN and I want to congratulate and thank you for this.
CHRIS PARKER: And then lots of people use VPNs because they just don’t trust their Internet service provider. I mean there’s a number of companies that were selling. If they can, in a sense, they can kind of see what websites you’re visiting, depending on your setup. And some people are like, well, I, I don’t want my ISP selling. You know what websites I’m visiting, what I’m doing online. That’s my business, not their business. They’re there to provide me connectivity, not spy on me. And so people use VPNs for that reason as well.
KIM: Yeah, I can see that now sort of related to that, well, I don’t know. You’ll have to tell me how related to this, there’s so much happening, especially in Facebook with their ads right now, and I don’t know if Google is, it’s experiencing these same, same things, but Facebook has become more rigid on how you can target your people when you’re running ads. I don’t do a lot of Facebook ads, so forgive me if I’m just sounding completely uneducated. Is Google that well, I mean I know you’re doing ad-sense, but for IP we’re being pixeled by Facebook. I’m totally aware so they’re looking at the IP address, correct?
CHRIS PARKER: That in other things yes.
KIM: That another things, is that how Google does it, then as well?
CHRIS PARKER: Yeah. Google will look at your IP address. They’ll cookie you, you log into your Google, your Gmail account. If you’re logged in, they now associate all your surfing because everybody runs Google analytics on their websites. They know what websites you’re visiting, you use Google search, they know what you’re searching for. They potentially know what you’re buying because you use people using Google for conversion tracking.
KIM: –Hmm Mm.
CHRIS PARKER: So they can figure out an awful lot about you. And I don’t know that Google allows the type of refinement on the ad-words side that Facebook does. I know Facebook, you can say, I’m looking for people who have, I want to advertise for the people who have the job title of this, –
CHRIS PARKER: -that live in this state. They make this much money. They’re married, they have 3.2 kids and they have a dog named Bailey.
KIM: –Yup. Yup.
CHRIS PARKER: Which just a little bit scary.
KIM: It is, but it’s also awesome at the same time, but I –
CHRIS PARKER: –For the advertiser, it’s awesome.
KIM: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s, that’s why I say it’s awesome because that’s often who I work with. But I mean I’ve, I’ve had issues working with like divorce coaches or relationship coaches where we actually have a lot of struggle putting up ads just because they’re starting to crack down on how you can actually be messaging and they don’t like that type of specificity in your ads, which, I mean it’s tough but there’s ways around it.
CHRIS PARKER: I mean think of this, you are married to someone and you get on the computer and it was their Facebook account that was open and you see ads for divorce attorneys. You’re like, it’s my spouse looking to file for divorce. What’s going on?
KIM: I never even thought of that example.
CHRIS PARKER: I could think of it that way. It’s, you know, it’s, it’s, I mean I’ve seen those sort of things where people were looking for like, you know, drug rehab facilities and things like that. Then now start seeing ads for that do you want other people using your computer to, to know, Gosh, why there’s so many ants for drug rehab. Well cause there’s someone else using the computer researching for something related to that.
KIM: Wow. And in completely a lot more innocent is my husband was looking for a Christmas present for me and thankfully he has a different computer than mine, but all of a sudden he starts seeing ads on his Facebook. And this was like seven years ago for exactly what he had been searching for. So he was so –
CHRIS PARKER: –Yeah.
KIM: -panicked that I was going to get on his computer and see this. But I, I honestly didn’t even know about pixeling at that point so yeah. Well Chris, I want to thank you so much for, you know, just having, and I say this in the best way possible, the crazy idea of finding the solution that would help your employer because I know just like me, you have given piece to a lot of people and a lot of clarity and helped people get out of their website or get back into their websites and a lot, a lot of other purposes. So thank you for what you’re doing and, and what you’ve done and just keep being awesome.
CHRIS PARKER: Well thank you. It’s, it’s been a blast running the website and it’s kind of fun when you’re uh, can be altruistic and make money at the same time I guess.
KIM: Yeah, absolutely. Where can, I mean we know about what is your IP address.com is there anywhere else that listeners can find you online and connect?
CHRIS PARKER: Yeah, I’m sure if people are interested in kind of the online privacy, security and safety, they can always visit my personal website, CG parker.com and all the social media and stuff is on there along with what is my IP address.com.
KIM: Fabulous listeners, if you are trying not to burn dinner, if you’re driving or if you’re trying not to fall off the elliptical, you can go to thekimsutton.com forward slash p p 588 to find all the resources that we have talked about today. Chris, I just want to thank you so much again, you’ve, you’ve got me thinking about so much right now and which is never a good thing. I don’t know if you know, but I am writing a book called chronic idea disorder, so sometimes these podcasts can be absolutely dangerous.
CHRIS PARKER: Thank you. I had a great time being here.
KIM: Do you have a parting piece of advice or a golden nugget that you can offer to listeners?
CHRIS PARKER: How about a parting piece of advice for entrepreneurs?
CHRIS PARKER: Develop processes, earlier this week I had a support ticket where somebody was saying that a friend of theirs who was an accountant got a forged email from who were they thought was their boss and ended up sending several thousand dollars to a scammer. And so we need processes, particularly as entrepreneurs of thinking through things through of like, well, before I set up a new vendor, before I send money to someone, someone needs to talk to me on the phone. So when needed to get a signed form from me so that I don’t send all my hard earned money off to some scammer.
KIM: Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Positive Productivity Podcast. When I’m not podcasting, I’m supporting six to seven figure business coaches with their marketing automation and entrepreneurs. Like you through my coaching and mastermind programs, I want to invite you to visit thekimsutton.com to learn how I can help you take your business to the next level.