In summary I founded what would later become The Stirling Bridge Group in 1994. Since then I have had the opportunity to personally be involved in hundreds of web projects in multiple industries.
I’ve worn all the hats from founder, owner, general manager, coder, architect, project manager, SEO analyst and implementer to SEM manager.
Here’s the long version
It all started on Christmas morning In 1982 where Santa left behind a Commodore 64. I was 11 and I’ve pretty much been glued to the screen since.
Back then was the time of movies like War Games… The Cold War was upon us – and kids like me were doing everything we could to get into, but stay out of trouble…
From the ages of 13 to 19 I ran a computer bulletin board system, or BBS called Sesame Street. I was then known as The Cookie Monster. I did this for a few hacking/pirate groups – one being Rowdy American Distributors.
What was a Bulletin Board? Why is this important?
To put things in perspective, BBS’s were a lot like websites today, except rather than typing in www.whatever.com, you’d dial a phone number and connect directly to some other computer somewhere in the world.
Back then we had pages, links, forums and walls just like websites do today. People signed up and joined for access.
Ironically, it was the linking together of these bulletin boards that formed the modern day commercial internet – via CompuServe, Prodigy, Genie and even AOL along with other services.
My First Job in Sales…
After dropping out of college 6 times I started looking for work. I had many jobs but it wasn’t until I found a job in sales that I felt there was any real opportunity.
I went to work for a professional sales trainer and motivational speaker named Mike Ferry.
While working there and learning from one of the nations most established Real Estate Agent sales trainers, I was exposed to a marketing consultant named Jay Abraham.
Jay created a marketing system for Mike and the results were nothing short of incredible.
New clients were beating down our doors and I had never seen anything like this – AND…I knew I had to learn what he did – and how to do it for myself and others.
The Discovery? LEVERAGE!
Mike was a big fan of cold-calling. We had to make 100 dials per day to keep our jobs. I was told it was the best way to generate business – and there’s a lot of merit to this however – for me it wasn’t.
There were two other ways to generate business that were more effective for me than cold calls – and I was able to generate the same or more business than others were generating making 100 calls per day with less effort.
#1 – Referrals – I learned that I could call on past clients and those who I had a relationship and they’d make introductions for me. The social proof provided by the introductions allowed for quicker bonds and trust that I couldn’t get on a cold call. And using referrals really increased my sales.
#2 – Direct Response Marketing – I learned that with the right offer to the right list, direct mail could be used to reach out to massive amounts of people quickly, pre-educate them and turn them into ready buyers…
Best of all was combining direct response and referrals from past clients.
Going to Work for Jay Abraham & Company
18 months later after Jay’s campaign I went to work for him. And I was in for an eye opening experience.
This was where I learned about scientific marketing, testing and tracking the cause and effects of campaigns. It was also the first time my hybrid sales and technical computer/database skills would come into play.
I found myself managing and tracking the results of multiple campaigns while also getting on the phone with clients, prospects and joint venture partners.
At 22 I was working for America’s highest paid direct marketing consultant . At that time he actually charged $5,000 an hour for his time, in the early 90’s when the economy was horrible…and people were paying it.
While there I became very close with this business partner who is still to this day a very dear friend.
Then Web Browser Happened…
It was 1994 when Jay’s ex-partner gave me an early version of Mosaic (later to be known as Netscape).
After playing around with it I started building websites for friends and that led to the founding of the company called The Stirling Bridge Group.
At SBG we built websites, hosted, or consulted with dozens and dozens of Fortune 500 companies. (You can see a partial list of our them here) through our relationship with TMP Worldwide. In fact, in the early years before their acquisition of Monster, we were their sole outsourcing partner and a big part of their think-tank.
We helped many household brands get started online.
I sold SBG July 1, 2001 to an investment firm and stayed on board through September of 2003.
The End of One Life and the Beginning of Another
From 2003 to the later part of 2005 I didn’t do much.
But I once again found a passion in search. I met Aaron Wall and he lit the fire in me.
I now consult for a handful of select clients and own and operate a few of my own online properties.
One is a national directory of ice rinks known as RinkTime. Another helps companies establish marketing strategies that focus on best utilizing both traditional and online marketing methods as what I like to call a CTMO. What is a CTMO?