Adversity, The Catalyst for Change and Success
Sometimes, things just gotta change…
The Adverse Incident
On April 15th, 1987, I was told I had a life threatening illness and was given about 1 year to live. It was mind numbing. As the doctor handed me a packet of information, I got up and walked out of his office, as his voice slipped into that hollow sort of echo-y distance like in the movies. I walked out to the parking lot where I fell to my knees and started to cry. Life as I knew it, was over.
All sorts of things were going through my head – How long do I have? Is there a cure? Would anyone ever love me again? Would anyone want to make love to me anymore? Would they see past the scary, ugly monster and see the real me, a person, a real person, not just this scary dis-ease? Was I damaged goods? Will I be alone for the rest of my life? On and on ad nauseum.
After a year or so of living in worry about how long I had, I realized that things might be ok. I decided I was still alive and I should go on living. I was put on a medication that made things manageable, and told there was no time limit. So on I go, but still the questions persisted: Will anyone ever want to be with me ever again?
There was a time, after this diagnoses, I was seeing a woman for a short period of time, and I decided it was time to tell her about my illness. We were sitting in her car after having a date night, kissing and laughing and then I decided it was time. I got sort of quiet and then started to tell her, that there was something I felt she should know.
After I told her she sat there quietly thinking. She didn’t know what to say and said she needed to go home. Right then, she leaned over, opened my door and pushed me out! Can your Believe that?!? She pushed me out of her car and I fell on the ground. As she drove away I just sat there for a few minutes, wondering if this is what I could expect for the rest of my life.
The Catalyst for Change
Fast forward nine years, I’m in a relationship with a young lady I had been seeing for almost two years now. Previous to this, I had no real relationships to speak of, things were great, or so I had thought. Soon after the 2 year mark we broke up. I was heart broken to say the least. Was this to be how life was going to end up, alone, no one in my life to speak of?
The Move to Change
That’s when it hit me, a dating service was needed for people like me. What we needed was a place to meet where people were alike, where we wouldn’t be shunned, ridiculed or rejected for the illness we had. I didn’t know much about running a website, much less a dating service. All I knew is it had to be done.
I searched around on the Internet and found some software for dating sites, and started the dating site that I am still running today. At first I didn’t charge for the site, it was free, people loved it and I received emails of thanks and success stories. Then I noticed there were some other sites starting to pop up for the same health niche, and they were charging for their services. I was pissed. How could they do this to me, to us, to this niche of people?
A Business is Born
Then I was introduced to the Nigerian Scammers. Someone emailed me telling me how they met someone on my site and they sent them money to come see them. As soon as the money arrived, they heard nothing from this person ever again. They said I was responsible for this loss of money and what was I going to do about it. Thus was born the FAQ about Internet dating scams and how to safely date on the Internet. And that’s when I decided to start charging for the dating site.
I implemented the “Paid” dating site. You couldn’t send messages to anyone unless you had a subscription. This was in part to help keep the scammers off the site and to keep legitimate users on. Then it happened, I received my first few payments and I had extra money in my pocket to spend. Maybe I could do this for a living? Maybe I should have been doing this all along?
Since that time, I’ve been running the site for 14 1/2 years now, and was making a few dollars per month with subscriptions, and almost $100 per month in AdSense income. Not a whole lot but it was something. I then started hanging out in a private forum for Yaro Staraks BlogMastermind group, and after talking to a few people about the site, I did some serious optimizations. I also implemented “Recurring” subscription payments, and the site now pulls in a modest $1,o00+ a month in subscriptions, AdSense, and affiliate sales. The income has become a large part of my monthly income and has been much needed since the demise of my I.T. company due to the economy. While I still run the site as a place for people looking for a safe haven to date, with this certain health issue, I look at it as a business now, and have for some time.
What’s a good Niche? Where to find a Good Niche?
Since then I have been hitting up various health care niches for income and affiliate sales. This is a prime example of what Alexis Dawes talks about in “Desperate Buyers Only“, find a niche where people are desperately seeking a solution to something socially embarrassing, health related or a fear. Once you have this you have a niche to explore. When people are embarrassed about Acne or some other related “Socially Visible” affliction, they seek out solutions, this is what we seek for niches, the same goes for health issues, cancer, diabetes or hepatitis. The same is true of fears and phobias.
And that, my friends, is how I got my start in online business.
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