Let me count the ways!
by Cath Andrews
(Southport, UK, and Ripe San Ginesio, Italy.)
How did I find SBI? By pure good luck!
Like many people, I was in a job I had been doing for 32 years which had changed out of all recognition from the work I joined the organization to do. From being a supporter and motivator of people I had become a number cruncher and audit checker.
And like many people I browsed the web one day looking for something more. I admit it - I had in mind one of these 'get rich quick' things you see advertised. I was even prepared to lay out some serious money.
And then I came across this site called SBI. It talked about not being able to get rich quick. It talked about commitment and hard work, brains and motivation. And I thought well, I've got those, so I'll give it a go. As a bonus, it was only a fraction of the price of other stuff I'd looked at.
What did I find? Not get rich quick, certainly. But interest, motivation, confidence - and even the tools to help me make some money, bit by bit!
What did I learn? I learned how to build a website that actually gets visitors - lots of visitors, and growing every day! I learned that through SBI's amazing tools. When I first started using them I didn't even know what a keyword was. SBI's Brainstorm It! has become my best friend. It not only taught me what a keyword is, it taught me how to find and use keywords that build my business.
What have I gained? Immense personal satisfaction in creating my own website from knowing nothing at all about how to do it. Huge, huge enjoyment from seeing my site grow, and learning more about my passion in life to make it grow even more. An enormous adrenaline rush when my very first Google Adsense came through - for pennies really, but I'd done it myself!
And friends. Lots and lots of friends.
I made friends on the forums. I asked stupid questions and no one laughed at them. People answered them sensibly and with humour.
I made friends from my site. People wrote to me and said they enjoyed reading it. They asked me questions I was able to answer.
I made friends learning from my SBI colleagues how to use things like Facebook and Twitter to make my business grow. So from being Billy-no-mates I now have reasonable followings - and I know some Twitter language to boot!
And most of all, I made friends at the SBI conferences. I've been to three now and will be at my fourth in Tampa in April. That trip, including flights from the UK, is paid for by my site earnings - how good does that make me feel! At every one I have learned masses about how to improve my website from each and every person who's attended. I've learned during the formal sessions and I've learned over drinks with SBIers in the cocktail hour. In Chicago I learned over the most enormous steaks in the world and I kept on learning over my first dirty Martini.
But more than that, I've made friends. Some of them have become firm friends, for life. All of them understand my passion for building my online business. All of them share that passion. All of them give me support when I need it, and I return the favour when they need mine.
I've retired now from the job I had grown to hate. I've learned that life is too short to carry on being unhappy. I'm lucky to have managed to get a small pension from that job which means that I can now concentrate on work that doesn't feel like work. My site means that the small pension is now supplemented by my growing site income.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself. It's hard to believe that all this came from a random finding on a web search. But I honestly, genuinely have SBI to thank for all of it. And if you think I'm joking, write to me via my site (http://www.explore-Italian-culture.com) and I'll write back in person and tell you whatever you want to know.
So thank you, SBI. I owe you.