Perry and the Pink KoolAid

Perry and the Pink KoolAid

My 5-minute audio shares Perry Marshall’s wisdom here:

Perry and the Pink KoolAid

Many of my readers have online businesses. This post is specifically for them …

I feel like a mama pit bull watching over the wallets of her online readers.  I don’t want to see any more of you throw your precious money down the proverbial drain.  So here goes:

Well, the Universe must have been listening.

Last week I wrote about how online business is not just a matter of pushing an Easy Button.  And one of two things happened.

Either (1) there was some strange energy wafting through the atmosphere that awakened several “gurus” to the number of people getting ripped off in the industry.  Or (2) like when you buy a new white XYZ car that you thought was unique, suddenly you see them on every highway, in every driveway and in every other parking slot at the mall.

I saw all sorts of people decrying how mean and awful the online arena can be.  And today I read an article that told me I had to write about the topic again.

An email popped up in my mailbox this morning.  It linked to an article by Perry Marshall about “KoolAid® drinkers” and he said all the right things.  So I’m linking to that article with two direct comments:  first, Perry is known for being an all-around good guy and, second, I know nothing about the product he is endorsing, so I leave it entirely to the reader’s discretion to decide if any further action is warranted.

What I most want to do is to dedicate just one more week’s article to the theme of online business, because the response to last week’s article was so strong.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I decided to summarize what Perry said.  And want to give him full credit for this content.

Here’s what his email said his article was about:


“Today I’m going to give you some straight talk about:
1) How ordinary real people get scammed out of their money online, and
2) How ordinary real people actually make money online, or in any new business for that matter.”


And here are ten things I gleaned from his article.

  1. You can make a little money as an affiliate marketer, selling other people’s products, but it will never make you rich.
  2. Too many people try to be in the “how to make money on the Internet” niche without the online skills to compete with the big dogs.  And they own the niche.
  3. How you’re taught to make it in that niche is the equivalent of a glorified chain letter, with everyone looking for more newbies to chop up as “chum,” bait for their next fishing venture.
  4. If you haven’t succeeded at something, you have no right to be trying to teach others how to succeed at it.
  5. The A-level “marketing and make-money” experts are happy to take your money, although they know you’ll likely just be another statistic … because they feel if they don’t take your money, someone else will.  And they’re probably right.
  6. Knocking off other people’s concepts or products only works for so long, even if you’re doing so at a lower price.
  7. Before you suit up to make a million dollars online, follow the solid, sustainable steps to make your first dollar there.  Then repeat-improve-repeat.
  8. Capitalize on your own individuality rather than buy into a pre-packaged business where you’re just one of many doing the same thing.
  9. Be sure you are totally inside your potential customers’ heads and that you really know your subject.  Otherwise you will miss the mark in your marketing … or  eventually be abandoned for being a lightweight.
  10. If you fail over and over again at some endeavor (and just thinking about it makes your stomach turn), let it go.  Something in your formula is obviously wrong.  Stop, clear your head and reassess where to put your energies.  And, should you decide to continue doing something online …

Lastly, Perry shares a simple-but-thorough exercise you can use to figure out what you truly love, know a lot about and will never get bored teaching and/or selling.  As he told his friend Anita, “From that you can form a USP [that’s a Unique Selling Proposition], determine something unique to sell, have a ready-made understanding of the customers who buy that sort of thing, and have a MUCH easier go of it.”

If this article tweaked any concerns about what you’re doing to build a business online today, let us know in the comments section below.  There’s no reason for false pride here.  After all, we can all learn from one another.

Thank you, Perry!


About Perry Marshall

Entrepreneur Magazine says: “Perry Marshall is the #1 author and world’s most-quoted consultant on Google Advertising. He has helped over 100,000 advertisers save literally billions of dollars in Adwords stupidity tax.”

He is referenced across the Internet and by The Washington Post, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune.


Bio: Sharon O’Day lost everything at age 53: her home, her business, everything. But how could that be? She’s an expert in global finance and marketing with an MBA from the Wharton School. She has worked with governments, corporations, and individuals … yes, she was the secret “weapon,” if you will, behind many individuals in high places. Yet she did! Since then, with her finances completely turned around, Sharon has gone on to interview countless women. She’s done extensive research to understand how that could have happened, especially with her strong knowledge of numbers and finance.

The surprising answers are shared in her posts, articles and an upcoming book. Today her mission is to show as many women as possible how to become financially free for the long term, through her coaching programs. She has developed a step-by-step plan to get past all the obstacles that keep women broke and scared … and from reaching the financial peace of mind they so deserve … if they’re willing to do what it takes!

  • Great article, Sharon. I particularly connect with #10. I had that feeling a couple of years ago about my business and eventually realized my calling was elsewhere, did a 180 turnaround and have never been happier. It’s refreshing to hear someone tell an entrepreneur it’s OK to drop an idea rather than tell them to buy one more program and see what happens. Thanks for sharing this!

    • SharonODay

      Ruth, crazy, isn’t it?  Sometimes we get so engrossed (and invested, both emotionally and financially) in a decision we once made that we stay in it.  Even if there are flares going off all around us that we’ve either outgrown that decision … or it was based on false premises in the first place!

  • Thank you so much for writing this article! THAT is exactly why I am in the teaching field. I saw so many people taken in by scammers or people trying to teach marketing when I KNEW for a fact they had no idea how it was done. Thank you for pointing this out! Ask for proof is what I tell my friends or clients before they give anyone their money. I have my proof listed..on my Facebook page from the company. Make them show you the money! Great Article!

    • SharonODay

      As you say, if you can provide that same proof to your potential clients, then you too are working in integrity.  Don’t you love Perry Marshall’s clarity?

  • Some really interesting insight and tips here! It’s so easy to be caught up in the hugeness of internet marketing and media. As a newcomer to it all, this is great advice. Thanks!

    • SharonODay

      Carolyn, your area of activity is so vital that you really don’t want to dissipate any energy going down the wrong paths!  There are good programs and good people teaching the key concepts.  I hope this helped you be discriminating as you go forward.   

  • Love this article and the great guidance provided by both you, Sharon and Perry Marshall. Tip #5 is my favorite because it is this way of thinking that did “make me sick to my stomach”. It is this way of looking at business that made me figure out who I am, what am I willing to do or not to make money. My choice? I want to be able to get up in the morning, go to bed at night after looking in the mirror and love the person I see. I will not be part of taking someone’s hard earned dollars just so someone else will not. Relationships and people are more important to me than the almighty dollar. Yes, I am building a huge business, yes I need money just like the rest. But, the difference is that by implementing ethics and morals into my daily actions I am being all I am called to be…the real Fiery Grandma who loves and cares about people above money.

  • Great article, Sharon! I know you have a great heart of compassion for those of us who are stretching our wings online and this article is a treasure trove of solid counsel and wisdom! I appreciate you so much!

  • Hi Sharon…Thank you for once again for sharing your knowledge and the knowledge of Perry Marshall! A great read and 10 awesome ‘gleanings’ …Hughie 🙂

  • Nisha

    Some really good tips here, Sharon – thank you! I think we live in a world where people want to find shortcuts to making money, and that’s when it is easy to get sucked into a scam. It all takes time and effort, doesn’t it? 🙂

  • There is a lot of heartbreak and expense in trying out businesses online.  It can be addicting, like gambling.

  • Holli

    Great article Sharon!  I love the guidance Perry gave and your insights are right on. 
    I have to agree wholeheartedly with what he said.   In addition, everyone seems to be a “coach” online but nobody checks on their credentials or life experiences.  Would we hire a doctor or an attorney this way?  I don’t think so. Maybe the online world needs to move up a notch in professionalism… hmmm what a novel idea.  

  • Interesting and insightful.  So many are hopping down the online rabbit hole with false hopes and wrong beliefs. Thanks for keeping it real . . .

  • This is great, Sharon. I totally cued in on the A-level “marketing and make-money” experts are happy to take your money.And that can be true. Beware of the gurus ready to sell you the moon and the stars without real effort behind it. Thanks for the great information!

  • Your willingness to boldly share the cold hard facts that so many of us have spent way too many hours and dollars to learn is the most refreshing thing I have witnessed online in all the years I have been a part of it. And the most amazing part is that your insight and information is PRICELESS and yet you offer it for FREE! You are a true blessing to all…thank you for stepping up and delivering a powerful reality check!

  • OMG! This was such a treat to read, #4 and #10 are my favorite. I am so excited to share it with my network!

  • This is a most excellent article, Sharon, and in fact, I am going to share it with a firm that I met up with yesterday. They are looking for a social media consultant to help them get out of the “2000 unique page views per month” syndrome, and really play with the big dogs. It happens to be that they are seeking to make the world of high finance one that allows for a more sustainable ecosystem and replenishment of resources, which is a downright worthy cause, but I had to tell them the bad news just like you shared here. Which is, using a social media campaign to build a tribe is not going to work unless you have serious money to investment in content production and promotion, an honest concept to begin with, and a well-oiled machine –just as you said– that already is raising dollars to put in the till, to make the world a better place. The truth can indeed be tough. But no point wasting time and effort, putting forth a pipe dream.

  • I absolutely love your honesty and desire to help people. This is again one of those articles, which will open eyes and make people realize what the online business is all about! Perry is so spot on!

  • I am so happy to share this  spot on article! Number 10 is my favorite 🙂

  • Great advice, Sharon. If you’re going to go into business, do your homework and don’t just drink the kool-aid. Do you have the drive, determination, the patience–and most importantly–the skills you need to succeed in the world of entrepreneurship?

  • Great tips Sharon. My favorite is #8 because you have to be yourself. Trying to be someone or something you’re not just sets you up for failure. You are you for a reason, and that’s such a big part of your USP.

  • Mandy Edwards

    Great tips Sharon! I get approached all the time by people wanting me to sell their stuff to my clients but I do not find value in what they are selling!

  • Wow! I loved this article. You definitely helped a lot of people by writing this. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!