Wednesday, June 01, 2005

New Beginnings

I'm just about finished reading "Rough Edges: My Unlikely Road From Welfare To Washington" by Jim Rogan, the incredible story of how Rogan rose from an extremely tough start in life - unwed mother on welfare, alcoholic step-father - to become a two-term Congressman from California and later Undersecretary of Commerce and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office in the Bush administration. Regardless of your political leanings (this book is heavy on the autobiography, light on the politics), Rogan's story is compelling and highly entertaining. This isn't a book for the prudish - many of the characters in Rogan's early life used rather raw language at times, and he quotes them accordingly - but if you can handle that, the book is by turns very funny, tragic, and inspiring.

I thought of this book when putting together my portal site for Web marketers,, because of two key lessons I took from it. One, that life throws all of us curveballs (though thankfully for most of us these don't include having to pull a gun on a drunken Hell's Angel, as Rogan once had to), always surprising, sometimes very difficult and downright unfair. We can't control these external events or circumstances, but we do have control over how we react to them. Two, that having a plan, and doing the research to back it up, are the keys to success in any endeavor, in politics, business, or life in general.

So, life having thrown me a nasty curveball recently in the form of an unexpected career change, I decided to build a site for Web marketing professionals; I hope that you find it of value. In doing my research before setting up the site, I found a few other sites that were something like what I had in mind, but not quite what I envisioned and felt was needed; one comprehensive site that included all of the resources needed by Web marketing and e-commerce pros.

You may find Rogan's book inspiring as well, or get your inspiration elsewhere. You may already have faced curveballs and taken a leap, or you may still be considering it. We are fortunate to live in a time and place(s) where we have the freedom to try to make our life dreams come true. There is lots of opportunity out there, so if you have an idea for a business, do your research. For example, unless you've got some really extraordinary "secret sauce," don't even think of starting up a Web hosting company (there are thousands of them out there).

Best of luck to you in dealing with the curveballs in your life.


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