01 Who is Mark Anthony?

Don't get caught plagiarizing

Here is the edited transcript from our first podcast with notes and links:

You’re listening to the  Ask Mr Mark Dot Com Podcast with your host Mark Anthony  – Episode One!

I am Mark Anthony – Your Business Improvement Answer-man. This podcast is all about US – my friends helping you get more business.

Or As I like to say – “Its My Business to Help Your Business to get More Business” Online and offline… That’s what we are here to talk about. All things that can improve your business.

Now before we get going, I thought it would be wise to do the first podcasts on Me. And how I came to be in front of this microphone and why I think you should sign up for our update newsletter and why you should tune into future podcasts

I am Mark Anthony – I own a little internet marketing company in Las Vegas called Tour Talk Media. We help tour and travel related business market and manage their internet properties.

I am also an International Certified Tour Director. Specializing in west coast tours and travel. I’m also a Travel videographer and travel writer. You will find my travel and business video all over YouTube.

BTW – This is called having Multiple Streams of Income

How did I get to this point? Well that’s where the story must be told…
Everything starts in Atlanta Georgia – My career can be divided into two parts. Before Atlanta and After Atlanta.

In the 80’s the company I was working for in Minneapolis, where I am from, sent me to Atlanta to help them open a new office.

Part of the reason for this transfer was because they wanted to get me away from corporate. I am one of those people who always want to know “why” I was raised to ask questions. To think.

The company I worked for loved what I did. I was good at it and I made them a lot of money with my skills. But they hated me always creating problems. Or what they said were problems. The problem was that I questioned management.

Employees are not to ask questions of management. Management are gods. They just naturally know more than the employees, that’s why they are management and I was just an employee. In their eyes, you can’t be management without the proper pieces of paper. The proper degrees. Its not about skills, its all about formal education.

In Minnesota and a lot of states, its understood that the only way up in the world is by a formal education and the more degrees you have, the smarter you are. That’s the only way to success is by getting more formal education.  – Sorry, I never shared that same belief…

However, my new boss in Atlanta welcomed me because of the fact that I questioned management. His thoughts were that management was there because of the employees.  Management was there to help – guide and direct. Their job was to help the employees do a better job. So ask!

I may have to add that at this point in my life I was a serious stutterer. I mean Mel Tillis bad. Ok??  I could not talk in a group of more than 2 people. Even then, it took me a long time to get my point across.

So I joined an organization called Toastmasters so I could learn to talk and to better communicate my thoughts better with people.  That’s how I ended up being self-employed!

I soon left Atlanta for Phoenix where I was managing a start-up limousine service that was becoming the talk of the town and gaining rave reviews. Pissing off our more established and more experienced competition.

So I was asked to give a speech to the local lions club, a civic organization, – To talk on how we achieved such stellar results in such a short amount of time using almost no advertising budget.

That got me into a question and answer session on customer service and business predictions.  That led to other speaking gigs and soon consulting and training in the areas of customer relations for call centers and small businesses.

My clients went from fortune 500 like Sprint communications to JC Penney credit card to mom and pop start ups.

In 1994 I was running my consulting company in back Minnesota. I got frustrated being self employed – Not frustrated being self employed, I was frustrated at not being able to find support that understood those like me – a self employed professional  – the people who worked from home.

I would go to places like Chamber of Commerce meetings or even SCORE and start talking about working from home and immediately get shut down because “You have to have a real office to be considered a real business”

BULLSHIT!

So I started The Home Based Business Association of Minnesota. (HBBA) The very first nationally recognized organization for the support of the work at home professional.

By starting this and being able to name myself president, I got to meet some amazing people running the most amazing businesses from their home based office or production facility.

These were not multi-level marketing; I banned MLM’s like Amway reps from my meetings for a very specific reasons. These were real business owners or those dreaming of being in business for themselves and wanting to meet others who were already following their dreams.

Entrepreneurs who had the same questions, concerns, needs and dreams as any other business owner. These just happen to be people who have a mobile office or a office from their home. We connected, we bonded, we grew and we prospered.

Thanks to organizations like the HBBA , the term today “working from home” is no longer a bad name and is championed by those who used to dismiss it.

This Thing Called The Internet

In 1995, a small group of small business owners including myself were invited to a special presentation in downtown Minneapolis. The demonstration of how we will harness this thing called the Internet..

A lot of people do not know this, but the Internet was not always this easy to use. It was a University of Minnesota project that conquered what used to be all codes, digits and numbers.

Podcast Correction:  The University of Minnesota helped create what we now call a “browser”  and it was named “Mosaic” (not Mozilla)– one of the first graphical web browsers that turned those large string of codes into words and pictures.

All of us walked out of that demonstration thinking “That’s cool. Maybe in 10 years we will find a use for that”

Surprise!! 6 months later I had my first web page and email address.

Making Money Online

In 1996 I was introduced to “affiliate marketing” Basically that’s the ability to get paid for promoting a product or service on your website.

One of my first affiliate checks was a clickbank check for $16.32. Why do I remember that? Because I always got excited to see that check every month and thinking “ I’m getting paid for doing nothing” I got that same check every month for almost six years. I have no idea who bought or what they bought other than it was a subscription service!! I just enjoyed seeing that check every month for doing nothing.

Every month I would look forward to seeing who paid me for what and how much!

That’s when I got hooked on Internet marketing and affiliate marketing.  Learning everything I could about Internet traffic, search engines and content. Making money online

Ever since then, no matter what I was doing for other work, I always had something going on the side. Always had that “extra” side money or at time it was my only money. It freed me to do what I wanted to do. And that was to explore other opportunities.

The companies that would hire me for various jobs or tours, I would always sit back and see if I could do it better. What would happen if they changed this or tweaked that, what it would do to their business?

I also surrounded myself with like people. People who enjoyed being challenged. Being on the outside looking in. Being adventurous, being alive and enjoying what we do.

I have built many websites, edited many social media profiles, helped many others improve their website traffic and to understand the changing dynamics of the internet to capture more business.

Those that took my advice would always see an increase in quality traffic, those that dismissed my advice always suffered the consequences as their competitors did what I said they would do and ate their traffic for lunch.

Some clients coming back to apologize and ask me to give them more help and pointers, while others would just close up shop and say the internet just wasn’t for them.

My experiences with business improvement go deep and far. Sports teams, small eCommerce, large credit collections, have all gained from my advice and expertise.

The people I surround myself with at Tour Talk Media are true professionals who walk the talk. Fixing, building and repairing internet business problems for our clients is what turns them on! Yes… Really

In 2005, I dipped my toe into podcasting. With my best friend, I started a Las Vegas focused Podcast that still runs today. The Vegas Tourist Podcast is not as active as it once was, but we still get great feedback and traffic from the site as well as the podcast. Proving once again the power of the internet. Do it once, reap the rewards for years to come.

At Tour talk Media, we manage websites that get 20-30,ooo hits a day, we have some that get 100 hits a day. All doing what they are supposed to for the clients we serve. Its about quality not quantity.

On the  Ask Mr Mark Podast we will talk business. How to get more business, how others get business.  What works, what doesn’t.  Why. We will talk technology, society, social media. We will have interviews and reviews. At times it will seem like a mixed bag of chaos but it all has a purpose I promise. To keep you better informed to run your business better and to get more business with less work

The thing I ask of you is to listen to the weekly podcasts, ask questions on the website and to post your comments. Love what we do and respond. Ask!

Any questions?? Comments or concerns?

Hit up the website Ask Mr Mark dot com

Listen to the Podcast and leave us your comments!

 

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