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Letting Go Of Your Online Friends By John Reese

I recently got this email from John Reese about his personal transformation over the past year. He has gone through some amazing things that have given him as Anthony Robbins puts it – Breakthroughs. The personal transformation John Reese has been through is amazing. I wrote some more about his journey and doing a minimalistic adventure on a previous blog post, but as you can see, John really goes deep into his movements and what he has done. You can read the full email below:

If you’ve been on my newsletter list for the past year (or more) then you know I’ve got through quite a personal transformation…

In early 2009, I had moved from Florida to California.  I spent about 12 months there and then decided I wanted to go somewhere else.  And I decided to do it in a bit of a ‘dramatic’ fashion…

I decided to get rid of everything I owned (things) and just travel the world out of a small backpack with just my laptop and a few days worth of clothes.  I called it my MINIMALIST ADVENTURE.

I travelled to 3 different continents over the next several months, and technically I’m still on that trip — although, I got a bit burned out on living out of a small bag (and not having a home base) and so I decided it was better to set up a ‘home’ and then travel to and from there, and of course acquire some more clothes and normal stuff to be able to enjoy myself a bit more.  But I’m still going to keep things to a minimum and not acquire tons of things like I had in the past.

I’m back on the east coast and happy to be closer to my family.  But here’s my ‘point’ to this message today and what I’ve learned from my little ‘experiment’…

During the past several years, as I’ve talked about many times before, I failed to release many new marketing products.  Even ones I mentioned were in the works ended up fizzling out when I either changed my mind or got distracted with other things; such as working on unrelated business ideas.

I started out with a ‘bang’ back in 2004 when I released “Traffic Secrets” (that most people know me for) and then after that (I am willing to admit) my popularity pretty much went downhill from there because I did a poor job of releasing a lot of new stuff — I’ve made it known how much I hate product creation, and that had a lot to do with it.

I ended up working on a lot on non-marketing stuff during those years; I built a large content network of sites (driven by articles and syndicated content) and worked on some software projects.

But during the past 4-5 years or so something else happened that affected everything I was working on…


I used to be a “marketing junkie” and maybe you are too.  I used to read everything about marketing (online and offline) I could get my hands on.  I read Advertising magazines, Direct Marketing periodicals, bought all the new marketing books, you name it.  I lived and breathed marketing.

And what used to be a “fun” topic for me turned into something that I had lost my passion for. I felt like my creativity and the ‘fire’ that fueled me as a serial entrepreneur since I was about 10 (when I ran a BBS and other little businesses) was fading.

But then one day I really started to realize ‘what’ the problem was…


And this is the same premise as to why I decided to do my little Minimalist Adventure…

I was spending 10-15+ hours per day online.  Reading, researching, and communicating with people.  I was getting over 3,000 emails PER WEEK, and was involved in all sorts of ‘networking’ stuff with social networks, etc.

I quickly reached over 5,000 ‘friends’ on Facebook… over 25,000 ‘followers’ on Twitter.  I was getting hundreds of “direct messages” on Twitter and Facebook in addition to all the emails that hit my inbox every week.

The Internet truly is like drinking from a fire hose.  And I think it’s just becoming a bigger fire hose everyday!

To say I had personally reached ‘Information Overload’ is an understatement.  I had very little time to actually THINK and to be creative.  Basically, I was becoming a data zombie — like most people are today.

So I Decided To Make Some MAJOR Changes…

If you’ve been on my newsletter list for the past year then you noticed many of them…

1.  I deleted my Twitter account.

I came to the realization that using Twitter just wasn’t that profitable for ANY of the projects I was working on.  It was becoming more of a ‘chat’ service than anything and had me wasting a lot of my time.

2.  I deleted my Facebook account.

Facebook had me logging in many times a day. (Like most people are doing right now.)  It was like “Extended Email.”  Just another place people were bombarding me with messages.  And to be honest, I was spending a lot of my time filtering through information about tons of people that I didn’t care about.  I don’t mean to say I didn’t care about the people, I mean I didn’t care to see every ‘update’ that they were taking their kids to soccer practice, or how their dog just puked on their rug, or that they were excited that their husband was finally taking them out on a “date night” etc.  I’m sure you know what I mean.  Facebook is really the “TOO MUCH INFO” system of all systems.  It exposes you, at least in my opinion, to too much info about people’s lives.

3.  Several months ago, I left all the ‘mastermind’ and ‘brainstorming’ groups I was a member of.

I used to have regularly scheduled phone or Skype chat sessions, usually multiple times a month.  I had a little ‘brainstorming’ setup with a friend of mine that was in the software business (not marketing related) and we’d do a call together every other week to talk about our latest projects, what our bottlenecks were, and to encourage each other to keep staying productive (or helping solve problems).  But I realized this was taking up a lot of my time and after a few sessions, there wasn’t a lot to keep talking about.  So I decided to stop doing them, and my friend understood and actually was feeling the same way.

I was also a member of a mastermind group that mainly communicated via email — like an email discussion list where one person could post something and everyone would get it, then someone would reply and everyone
would get the reply, etc. etc.  This was a very influential group with some of the top marketing ‘gurus’ but it also included some other major infoproduct publishers – from fitness, real estate, stock trading, relationship
advice, etc.  The members in the same industries would try and support each other with cross-promotions and JVs, and the entire group would share test results and talk about their business goals, challenges, etc.  It was tough making the decision to leave this group, but it was just another thing adding to my inbox load as well as just being another ‘pipe’ of information that added to my overwhelm.  So I resigned from the group and everyone understood as I was moving on to other things in my life and was trying to ‘downsize’ everything I had going on.

4.  I changed my email address.

I just couldn’t take the amount of email I was getting.  It was just too much.  It gave me so much stress it wasn’t even funny.  Maybe you are dealing with the same thing?  So basically I declared “email bankruptcy” and just changed my email address.  And I only gave my new email address to my family, close friends, my employees & outsourced workers, and other ‘mission critical’ people. I still get ‘some’ emails from people that I had to contact for something (and they saw my new email address) etc. but overall I have greatly reduced my email load.

Today I get less than *20* total emails per day. :)

And considering that 50% are probably from my Mom (Mom, I do like your emails!) I don’t get a lot of email from that many different people.  And I’m glad.


I’m now 100 times more creative than I have been in the past 5 years.  I have less stress and most importantly I spend a lot less time on the computer.  I never realized how much I was using the computer everyday. It’s actually a pretty amazing thing to only be online a short amount of time each day. Go figure. :)

And as many of my long-time customers and subscribers know, for over 2 years I’ve been “in motion” of following a lifelong dream… to be in the Video Game/Entertainment business. I’ve talked for years about making games and working on other ‘fun’ projects.  It’s a much different business than an Internet publishing business, but I really enjoy it — even, though, the new company has been slow with generating revenue (we’re getting there, though.)  That industry has really changed in the past few years.  You still need some capital to build a business there, but you no longer need $20MM to create a ‘console’ game for the Xbox, Playstation, etc.  Small indie developers are finding success with iPhone games and Facebook too.  I’d love to create the next “Angry Birds” or “Doodle Jump” but we’ll see. :)  For those that don’t know, the 99 cent game “Angry Birds” on the iPhone/iPod Touch has now generated over $10,000,000 in sales!  I think that includes their $4.99 version for the iPad too.  But it’s amazing especially when the game has barely been out for one year. And they’re already talking about leveraging the game into possibly a cartoon and other merchandising opportunities.  And that’s just ONE game idea.  I have tons of them. :)

I now have a little ‘Game Studio’ in the Philippines, and setting that up and my experiences with it is what really motived me to do my “Outsource Force” class earlier this year.  I really think it’s a HUGE component to building a scalable business — leveraging labor costs and having others grow your business for you.  We’re also now in a position to do contract work where we build games (and other apps) for other companies — another
great opportunity. The demand for iPhone apps and other mobile application development is HUGE now. (And growing.)  In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing industries in the world. So I’m looking forward to our future.  This is a really exciting time in history — the ‘shift’ from desktop computing to mobile computing.

The outsourcing advantages are common sense really. Steve Jobs isn’t assembling iPads in a factory somewhere.  In fact, Apple itself doesn’t really build many of their own products. Almost all of their products are manufactured in China now.  It just makes the most financial sense.  We live in a Global Economy now and as a business owner you need to tap into all the resources at your disposal to have the best chance of survival.

So I’m spending most of my time on this little game/apps company now.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m now spending only about 10% of my time on this marketing business,and I’ll probably shut it down within 6 months — all my employees are in the process of moving over to the new company and I just have less and less time to spend teaching.  While I do love teaching (and of course all my great customers) I ultimately love being an entrepreneur myself. And I’ve made it no secret that I never wanted to be a ‘guru’ anyway.  Just not really my cup of tea.

* I’m still working on the TS2.5 update that all TS owners will get for free.  You’ll get an email when it’s done with download instructions. (Thanks for your patience.)  Aside from that I won’t be producing any new marketing products.

I recently signed a ‘brokerage’ agreement with Sedo, one of the top domain name companies in the world, and they’re in the process of selling my domain.  They’ve listed it at $1MM but think they can sell it for more.  We’ll see. I want to use the additional capital to build the game/apps company.


I know my ‘moves’ aren’t the best for everyone, but I do challenge you to think about minimizing your communication with your online ‘friends’ that you connect with on Facebook, Twitter, and via email.  They very well may be taking away from your life and your business rather than adding to it.  We really do only have just so many hours available to us in a day, and it’s really hard to reach your goals if you spend a large percentage of your time “communicating” and “researching” and not “doing.”

Yours For Online Profits,
John Reese

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    John is a class act. Any time I’ve sent him a message he has given me a thoughtful response.

    It’s easy to get lost in this shit, but it’s a rare few that will rise above it all and do something that’s cool and enduring. Reese is that guy. I wish him the best of luck.


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