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Interview with Ira Pasternack of Clearly Internet

Ira Pasternack is Managing Partner of Clearly Internet, http://www.clearlyinternet.com/, which offers internet marketing consulting and related services. Ira also publishes Marketing Tip of the Day. To subscribe, go to http://www.listhost.net:81/guest/RemoteListSummary/MTOTD or mailto:mtotd-request@listhost.net MESSAGE: subscribe


Ira has been a 'Netreprenuer since the spring of 1995, and got hooked on the Net when he helped write a business plan for an ISP/Web Development company while in his last semester of graduate school. Ira instantly saw the potential of the Net and, he says, "the rest is history."


His advice for Internet entrepreneurs:

"The most important lesson I've learned is that the Net is just another way to reach prospects, and it must be combined with traditional means."

Ira keeps a file with hundreds of inspirational quotes to keep him motivated. One of his favorites:

"Persistent people begin their success where others end in failures." -Edward Eggleston


Q: Who or what motivated or inspired you to become a Netrepreneur?

Ira Pasternack: I was inspired by the "frontier" nature of the Net.


Q: Is this a full time job for you, or do you moonlight?

IP: It has always been full time, although I am entertaining some offers right now that might make CI a part time job for a year or so.

Q: How many employees/independent contractors do you have on your staff?

IP: Besides me, about 8-10 contractors worked for CI in 1998. More will probably follow.


Q: How many hours per week do you spend on the business?

IP: I average about 50 hours per week. Quality is much more important than quantity, but sometimes it takes a lot of hours . . .


Q: If you could name three of the most important marketing rules for small business owners on the Internet, what would they be?

IP: (1) Don't give up
(2) Have fun
(3) Make sure you know who your customers/prospects are, and tell them how you can meet their needs by talking to and about them, as opposed to talking about yourself.


Q: If you had to start your business all over again, what would you do differently?

IP: I don't have any regrets. Even if something doesn't work, I learn from it, and the lessons I've learned have made me who I am today.


Q: What is one of your favorite quotes?

IP: I have a file with over a hundred that I save.Here are a few that jumped out at me today:

"Man is unhappy because he doesn't know he's happy.
If anyone finds out he'll become happy at once."

"I am I plus my surroundings and if I do not preserve the latter, I do not preserve myself."
-Jose Ortega Y Gasset [Meditations on Quixote] (1883-1955)

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
-Albert Einstein

"Life's most urgent question is: what are you doing for others?" -Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

"Don't go through life, grow through life."
  -Eric Butterworth


Q: Please share with us some of your favorite websites.

IP: Cnet's News.com - I get great tech news there
Amazon.com - I use it to buy things (often that I can't find elsewhere), and it is also a great research tool.


Q: Please share with us a few of your favorite ezines -- and why they are your favorites.

IP:  ClickZ - abstracts of great articles every day
Seidman's Online Insider - great perspective on the state of the major online companies.


Q: Was there ever a point that you thought about folding the business?

IP: I have had to rethink my direction at times but I can't imagine just giving up. The key is to grow and evolve . . .


Q: What have been the most important factors contributing to your success?

IP: Persistence, encouragement from friends and family, and persistence!


Q: Could you share some words of wisdom for Internet small business owners just starting out?

IP: Find a niche, focus marketing efforts towards the niche, but consider any business that comes along while you are in the early stages. As you get busier, get more selective about what you will and won't do. Don't expect an Internet business to be any easier than a traditional business - the fact is, a business is a business, and success comes
from persistence.


Q: What are some of the marketing mistakes that you learned the hard way?

IP: You can't trust everyone, even some people who seem like they should be trustworthy. When working with business associates who you meet online,don't jump in too fast, and make sure you have a contract that works for all involved. Start slow, build trust.


Q: What are some of the means or modes of doing business that you predict will change next year for the Internet entrepreneur as a result of the shifting Internet times?

IP: More "2-tier" affiliate type programs, combining affiliate model with multi-level marketing. For those that don't go too far towards MLM, this will be positive. Overall, the affiliate model will be stretched to new limits. Sites that have truly unique and valuable content, presented in an efficient manner, will integrate affiliate-type commerce models that are negotiated on an individual basis.


Article courtesy of MediaPeak, http://mediapeak.com

Tags: Wisdom and Life Skills



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