Thursday, November 26, 2009

200th Blog Post


So Blogger tells me we’ve hit the big double century mark. The first iteration of this blog was a simple white template with an aerial view of a glass of Coke on the rocks with a headline that read Creative Journal. The header kind of felt right at the time, these small islands of ice floating in bubbly cola fighting to stay afloat. Four years later not much has changed.

We’re still fighting to stay afloat. With any business in any climate becoming a market leader is incredibly hard, and keeping that status is even harder. While we are still the leading SEO article writing company, press release writing company, and social media management company in the world, it hasn’t been easy.

As the business has matured I have started to wonder more and more if we are at a critical mass, have we done as much business as we can for a self funded private company like ours? Would the next step be to seek investors? The answers are not clear to me, but the questions seem to enter my mind on a daily basis.

Surely we’ll be involved in affordably helping businesses and authors gain more exposure online in some fashion.

What’s Next

Clark’s Office is now in full operation, and the feedback from it has been marvelous. People genuinely seem to like the design of the place, and it has an energy that is as positive as it is productive. We’re looking into building a larger executive office in the old kitchen of the building, more to come on this soon if it materializes.

Protect The Flame should be published next week. More to come on this as it comes out.

A bevy of new services will come out of our company in the next several months, including a long awaited web design and maintenance business, a suite of services handpicked for auto shop websites, and a play on social networking that allows people to connect without pretense. All and all it should be a good final month of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving to all that read this blog, you small but growing contingent are wonderful in your support of all that we do.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Work of Summer


Let’s just say I had some time on my hands this summer. It wasn’t the best summer of my life, I was as antisocial as I’ve ever been, and most of my energy went into my work in some form or another. My way of dealing with loneliness is putting 200% into my work, and letting the feelings numb up until they disappear.

As a company we launched a few new websites, moved offices, and continued to grow. As an individual I spent much of the summer reflecting on the idea of success. What is success? How do you achieve it? Are you successful if you get what you want but lose other things you wanted more in the process?

Without having the answer to any of the questions listed above, I started to reflect on my on strategy on how to reach a seemingly impossible to achieve goal.  The more I thought about it, the more I realized that there was a fairly straightforward game plan to making a dream a reality. Work hard, sacrifice things you enjoy for things you love, and then double up and work even harder. Ignore naysayers, and push past self defeating attitudes, and never quit, no matter what others tell you is possible in your own life.

Feeling like a walking talking cliché, I took a step back and wondered if there was a way to punch through all the overused self help jargon, and offer up real advice that actually could serve a person trying to reach something monumental in their life. Protect the Flame was born. A simple book that tackles a tough problem in society today, staying focused in the age of distraction.

I’ve included the back cover copy below, the book is set to go on sale in two weeks.

The ultimate paradox of living in the information age is that with all the wisdom made available to us, it is as hard to achieve a dream as ever before. Could simplicity, hard work, and detailed planning be the answer to achieving a lofty goal? Author Clark Covington thinks so, and in his new book, Protecting the Flame: A Practical Guide to Making Your Dreams Come True, he describes the same detailed game plan he has used to make dozens of his own far-fetched dreams a reality.

Learn the real secrets to achieving lifelong goals by subscribing to the simple methods of getting things done illustrated throughout this book. It explores everything from the importance of the 10 Commandants to why eating fajitas on Friday night can help your dreams come true. The book intricately weaves instructional advice with relevant anecdotes that are sure to entertain, enlighten, and, most important, educate. No other book will show you how to achieve your dreams in such a candid, down-to-earth style as this one. For every dreamer in the world, this is your handbook.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thick Skin + Persistence = Results

If you want something bad enough, online or off, thick skin and persistence are the keys to making it a reality.

Period, the end.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Going Ga-Ga For Google


I’ve taken the first step towards doing something I’ve known I would do for over a year now, taking yet another step towards being a total Google business. Our company already relies heavily on the tools Google has created to run each day. We use Google Docs to share information each day, we use Gmail as our primary email server for our entire office, we use Google AdWords to bring in a large portion of our business, and now we’re making the move to use Google Checkout as our sole payment processor online.

While I’ve had a love hate relationship with PayPal over the past decade that I’ve used them to make money online, it is fair to say they are the most advanced payment solution on the internet. However, they don’t own a massive search engine that has helped fund incredible innovations in everything from mobile phones to VOIP technology on the web. It is for this reason, among others, that our business is going to make the big switch.

We sell over 100 different services online, so changing the structure of how we accept payments is no easy task. It will take time, there will be snags, and it might take a few customers by surprise when it goes live, but in the end partnering with the largest, most influential search company on the web is not a choice, it is a must.

More to come on this as we get our sites converted…

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chapter Next

Lunch1MFA1B One of The Pictures Made For The Walls of Clark’s Office

Book Complete

Finally finished editing the manuscript of Protect The Flame: A Practical Guide to Making Your Dreams Come True. I’m really excited about this book coming out, it was by far the most fun to write out of any of the books I’ve penned thus far. Now I’ve got a few more weeks to wait while the real editor polishes it up, and the layout people work on the interior and cover design. Another exciting thing about this project is the fact that this book will be printed in Charleston, SC. My publisher is owned by Amazon, and they happen to base their operations out of Charleston, which is awesome. This will be my fourth book published in 2009.

Time Won’t Slow For Me

As Halloween came and went this weekend I was quickly reminded at just how fast time passes by when you’re as busy as I am. In a way I still feel like its spring and summer is just around the corner, probably because I spent the majority of my summer working, without much time spent away with family and friends. Hopefully this fall and winter will be more balanced than the summer.

Let’s Hang Out

Speaking of work life balance, there are a bunch of great opportunities to get involved and spend time with me if you live in the area. We have a double dose of fun each Friday when we as an office hold a free day of coffee, doughnuts, and coworking at our office on State St. In the afternoon we volunteer at local charities throughout the city of Columbia. You are cordially invited to both events any week you’d like to come. I’m also toying around with founding a new meetup group for the Columbia area focused on internet based businesses, and those wanting to start a business online. Just call 864-641-1856 for more details.

PR / SEO / Social Media Work

Our company is in the fortunate position of constantly needing help with our business projects. We run a less is more operation, by charging less than our competition and delivering more we seem to have a good reorder rate among our 4,000 plus client base. The residual effect of this business model is an ongoing slew of projects coming through our company. With our office now open we’re starting to do more outreach to try to place some of the jobs locally. They mostly revolve around writing in some fashion or another. If that’s your thing and you are looking for work, reach out and we’ll chat.