The Internet Entrepreneur And The Convertible
13 Jun 2013
What follows is a story from my formative years in college.
For a few weeks, I had noticed a brand-new red convertible sitting in front of the gas station next to the Burger King where I worked. During break, I would often head over to grab a snack. As I stepped inside that day, the clerk looked up from his Playboy and tucked his hair behind his ears.
Usually, I didn't have much to say, but this time I couldn't help but ask about the car. I assumed it belonged to the store owner, but I had never noticed anyone else at the gas station. Why would an owner park his/her fancy car and wander off every day?
"So whose ride is that?," I asked, setting my Skittles and Twister Fruit Punch on the counter.
"Oh, it's mine," he said nonchalantly, as if there was nothing strange about claiming to own the $50,000+ convertible outside as he labored inside for a third of that per year.
"I guess you are an owner-operator, then?"
"No," he responded, trying not to gloat, "This is just something I do for fun to keep busy."
It seemed odd to me that someone who was successful enough to own a brand-new convertible would choose to work at a small-city gas station for any reason, even to "keep busy."
"So what do you do then that buys you a car like that?" I asked, intrigued.
The words smacked me like a brick wall. I had been trying to make a buck off the internet for years - with zero results. How was it that this mysterious Allman Brother was driving a Porsche Boxster while I, even after years of reading, had nothing to show for it? Do internet geniuses hide in plain sight?
But something still seemed off...wouldn't a successful internet entrepreneur be spending his time hitting the books, traveling the world, or working on the next opportunity?
"What kind of website?"
He threw back his rockstar hair and drew enthusiam into his face. "It's a southern rock website."
Several years of internet-marketing brainwash led to my immediate internal reaction. How would a person go about making money with southern rock? What affiliate programs are available? What about drop shipping? Lynyrd Skynyrd coffee mugs?
I pressed on, hoping to glean some useful insight in my quest for cash.
"Well, it's a place where people who like southern rock can get together and, uh, talk about it. It's really great. You'll have to check it out to see what I mean, bro."
I got American Bang to write down his URL on the back of my receipt. To be honest, I was excited. Maybe the internet-marketing gurus were right. Maybe it really was easy. Furthermore, should I get the Lamborghini Murciélago or the Reventón?
The results on my monitor that night failed to surprise. The website in question looked like it was put together in 1999 with McRadicalBoard 30 Day Evaluation. It seemed to have at most 100 members, most of which were not active. I tried to figure out a monetization scheme, but membership was free, and there were no ads.
On the other hand, the marijuana that guy was selling was probably way better than his website.