Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Carbon Copy Pro: Answers to Common Questions

Mark Ohlhaver with Carbon Copy Pro here, promised.

I've had some
great conversations with some of you over the last few weeks, who are really excited about what I'm doing, where I'm going, why I'm doing it and how you can join me in securing your financial future and achieving your dreams...which I know are bigger than being rich.

Honestly, I've talked with people from
coast to coast...Alaska (Diane) to Florida (Cheri) and overseas in England (Greg) and Croatia (Branko), the Bahamas, Singapore, Australia...young (21 yr old Shaqs) to retired (77 year old Betty) and everything in between...everyone has a story and everyone has questions and issues before they'll commit their hard earned money to an Internet Marketing system, they found on the web!

Let's talk about them because it's smart to be skeptical. Be skeptical, but not negative.

How can I trust you?
  • Get to know me. Call me, blog me or email me. My phone number is 408-386-8850. It's my cell and I'll answer it, or leave me a message and don't be surprised when I call you back.
  • If you want to know, I've been with my wife for 30 years, have two kids, Diana and Jason, one still in College, in Montana, and I want to secure their futures and the generations to come.
  • I've been reasonably successful at business in the past, amassed a million dollars of debt and was staring into the abyss of Baby Boomer retirement without having any chance of living debt free in the home I built for my family, or achieving my dreams of establishing scholarship funds and running inner-city youth programs to get kids off of the street and back into a classroom.
What if I don't have any computer skills?
  • You don't need them. At least, not to start...depending on what direction you want to go: building a large organization for residual income; product marketing of Wealth Masters International products; affiliate sales. I've set this up so that you can start building your business without advertising, meaning you spend almost nothing, and I help you set up specific marketing plans and your own personal business plan.
  • I provide you with the links to download the two best Internet marketing programs I've found, to teach from start to money in under a week.
  • I help you with copywriting, ad placement, social networking, targeted audience approaches, viral marketing and attraction marketing.
How much is this going to cost me?
  • Cost is a relative term and in business you'll want to start talking about what your return on investment is.
  • It "costs" a minimum of $400 to get in and you can buy into the highest commission level at $20,000, if that's what you want to do, but I'll explain to you, personally, why that's a bad idea and a poor business decision.
  • If you have $400 and a credit card you can charge $200 a month on, I'll show you how to make the business work with that. If you're on a budget, I wouldn't recommend coming in higher than the m1 level, at $2000 and I'll explain why.
  • I spent $9,000 to come in at the m2 level, but that put me in the room with some very smart guys and gave me the opportunity to leverage my skills and earn me, potentially, millions of dollars in the next year.
  • The next opportunity like that is at the end of March, in Boca Raton, Florida, then Jamaica in July for the m3, and I can help you get there.
  • I'm even going to pay for 15 people in my business to be there. That means I'm investing over $100,000 of my future earnings in your success.
What if it doesn't work?
  • What are you doing now that's working so great? Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
  • You're either already broke, in the same sort of spot I was in with no work in a devastated economy, working in a dead end job, desperately afraid of getting fired or ready to take control of your own future.
  • All I can guarantee is that I can help you, give you stock tips, investment strategies to grow and protect what you've got left, or what you make in the next year, put you in the room with some really great people and teach you some skills you're going to need when the economy really tanks...which is coming, for sure.
That's all I have time for today.
Ask more questions, get more answers.
But if you do nothing, you'll end up with nothing.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Carbon Copy Pro: How It Works

This might be the single most important piece you ever read. It could change your life forever.

Do I have your attention?

This is Mark Ohlhaver with Carbon Copy Pro and what I'm about to share with you is big.

It's going to keep you awake all night.

I recently returned from Las Vegas after a four day Wealth Management Conference, hosted by Wealth Masters International, and I can tell you with unqualified certainty, that I will be a millionaire within the next six months. Not only that, I will be a multi-millionaire by the end of next year. (Yeah, yeah, I can hear you saying...I'll believe it when I see it.)

Allow me to elaborate.

Success is reasonably defined as the culmination of opportunity meeting motivation. Being in the right place at the right time, with the right people, never hurt either! Many of you were previously invited to look at a business opportunity I got into about six weeks ago; some of you found me through on-line marketing and were brave enough to actually enter your name and email address; some of you are new to this because you need to see this and I respect you enough to wish you prosperity. Those of you who were "too busy" to look at it (how long does it take to enter a name and email?) are going to get another chance.

Where should I start?

About two months ago, a soccer acquaintance came up to me and said he'd joined some great new deal I should check out. After thirty seconds of appropriate questioning, I knew it was going to be some multi-level-marketing crap, and having been in Amway for seven years back in the 80s, and not making a penny, and getting audited, I knew I was going to look at it and shoot it down in under ten minutes. I think it took three.

But, because I hadn't had any real work in eight months, and I always liked the concept of MLM and residual income, I was drawn to an article that talked about the concept of GPT: Get Payed Today. It talked about how MLM is dying because you have to work way too hard, for way too long, and nobody you know ever seems to make any money. Why? Because the products are hard to sell and too inexpensive to pay out any real dividends. Preaching to the choir, brother.

What if you could be in a business that had a high quality, high priced series of products, that paid out really high commissions? What if you got paid for what you did and didn't have to work with any group lower than who you personally brought into the business? What if the company handled all of the sales, and all you had to do was generate qualified leads? This all sounded pretty interesting to me. After all, there are only so many crosswords in the paper that I can do every day.

The company is called Carbon Copy Pro and it's a Direct Marketing firm started by a couple of mid-twenty year old guys named Jay Kubassek and Aaron Parkinson, who had crappy jobs and tried all kinds of multi-level schemes that didn't work. But, they figured out why they didn't work, and decided to create a direct marketing company, based on the same pricipals, that would work.
  • People don't like to sell or be sold - remove it from the process.
  • People don't get enough information, training, support or motivation - put it in.
  • People have to buy their own product - encourage it through the commission structure, but don't force it.
  • People get bogged down with the negativity of working more than one layer deep where they aren't personally known by the audience and get constant rejection - focus only on one layer deep for easier access to mentoring, more personal comfort and new marketing ideas.
  • Products are hard to manage and too low cost to make any real money - get a high cost, high value product line that pays big commissions.
Okay, I'm sold.
I did about two weeks of due diligence. I checked out the guys who started it and they seemed like they were for real; I Googled the company scam sites to see what people were saying and I couldn't find anything negative, just people saying that their own system was better.
So, I got in.

And because I didn't respond to an ad somewhere and didn't understand how this stuff works, I ended up under the VP and largest producer, Andrew Cass. He makes over $16,000 per month, just on the residual income from the people in his business, not including any sales. That was on October 5, 2009. Andrew's extremely intelligent, and a pretty busy guy, considering he's VP of both CCPro and Wealth Masters, and it took a week to get first contact and a to-do list, then a rescheduled call, then a follow-up training call on October 17. The big plan: do a couple of marketing modules, set an advertising budget and start driving traffic.
Here's how it works.
CarbonCopyPro provides a Back Office where you access training webinars, videos, call archives and marketing information and training modules, suggestions, etc. It's also where leads are tracked and your business is centered. CCPro provides an on-call support staff, call center, sales team and a large variety of predesigned Landing Pages ("capture", "squeeze") and Banner Ads you can use to capture leads.
It's your job to advertise, wherever and however you see fit, because it's your business, and drive traffic to the landing page of your choice, where someone is asked to enter their name and email address to access more information about the company and the system. Once someone does that, auto responders take them immediately to more information, after which they are asked to fill out an Application for $50 to see if they are really qualified to be an Affiliate, and they begin receiving regular automated emails from Carbon Copy Pro.
If someone purchases an Application, they are given access to a back office where they can see how the business is run and shipped a DVD called Inside Out, explaining the business, invited to join in on daily live calls where they can ask questions directly to top producers in the business, and if qualified, invited to purchase a Business In a Box (BiB), soon to be known as the Black Box. For $400 they can become an Affiliate, and pay $150/mth for the system's maintenance, training tools, marketing tools and support, and are given affiliate rights to sell Wealth Master products. Each of those actions is a commissionable sale, which I'll detail later.
Okay, so far it sounds like a ponzi scheme, because all you're doing is bringing people into a business and getting paid. Where's the product?
Glad you asked. The product is a series of wealth management tools through WMI, called m1, m2 and m3.
  • The m1 is a series of DVDs and manuals covering different aspects of wealth strategies: tax planning, creating and building wealth, estate planning, asset protection, business incorporation, investment strategies, etc. Wealth Masters International was started by Kip Herriage who was formerly a VP with Oppenheimer for seven years, but lost all of his investments following Oppenheimer's own strategies and figured he could do a lot better by himself. (He showed us at the conference how, statistically, over the last ten years, you would have made 10% on your portfolio investments if you followed the S&P 500, while his client investment portfolios, over the same period, yielded a 600% return.) Smart guy. Really nice guy.
  • The m2 is the m1 plus the four day wealth conference, where you are given private access to an array of investment strategies you and I never conceived of, let alone had access to. An m3, is the m2 on steroids.
For example, some of the techniques and options I was given at the m2 Conference:
  • Most people buy high ticket items (cars, houses, capital equipment) using cash, leases or credit and pay interest to the lending agent, which on average, represents 30% of your annual expenses. Did you know you could be your own bank and pay that interest to yourself? That means about every three years, you just got an extra year's pay. Nice to know, now.
  • There's an oil man who thinks he has discovered an untapped oil field with reserves larger than Shell Oil's. Around 19.5 Billion barrels (bbl) and he's a geologist with the charts to prove it. That's about a 100 year supply for a large scale refinery. And then there's the natural gas below it, which is what he's really after, because that's the direction we're headed in for our unconventional fuel source. Anyway, he's a personal friend of Kip Herriage and will be going public next year, when he receives his funding. He's looking for seed money and is offering us shares at $1 or less, pre-IPO. Seen stock quotes for oil companies lately?
  • Same guy has two other oil companies that he started that are currently penny stocks. One is at $0.12 and the other at $0.03. When his new company goes public, these two stocks will skyrocket. In fact, I just checked and they're up 5% since I was given the information a few days ago. He did one of these five years ago that started at $0.07/share. Kip thought he'd done great when he got out at $7.00. That's a 1,000% return, meaning that if you bought 1000 shares of stock, $70.00 worth, you're return was $7,000. Imagine how Kip felt when it went to $200/share. $200,000 earned on a $70 investment.
  • With the inevitable collapse of the stock market and the falling value of the dollar against other currencies, do you know what to invest in?
  • Do you know what Index to short when the market starts to implode?
  • Do you know how to invest in a stock and hedge against the falling dollar to not only realize your stock gain, but currency exchange gain?
  • Do you know what commodities and precious metals you need to start moving your money to, now?
  • Do you, or someone you know, need a home loan modification? Intimidated by the process? Embarassed? Don't be. It's simple, quick and efficient and can save you over 30% off your current payment.
Well, I learned a lot, I paid a lot for it and I'm willing to share that information with you. That's a pretty good deal for reading this far down. Still got your attention?
Here's the Compensation Plan:
  • Every Application pays you an average of $20.
  • Every BiB (Business In a Box) pays you $200.
  • Every month you get a $50 residual for each person you have active in the business (paying the $150/mth) or $30 for a student account
That's all you need to get started, but here's where that encouragement to use the products comes in:
  • The m1 entry level costs $1995, and pays a $1000 commission, if you are qualified at that level. If you're not, your first three m1 sales pass up to the first qualified upline, then you're automatically eligible for the $1000 commission. If you purchase the m1 within ten days of the BiB, the cost of the BiB is deducted.
  • The m2 entry level costs $8,995 and pays a $5000 commission, if you are qualified at that level. If you are not, but you are m1, you earn $1000 for the m1 portion, and the $4000 flows upward, until you have sold 10. Then you are eligible for the commission.
  • The m3 entry level, which is usually on an island resort with access to people, investments and strategies that would make your mind boggle, costs $19,995 and pays a commission of $7500, if you're qualified, etc., etc. Next year it is in Jamaica in July.
  • Did I mention that every time someone you bring in buys or sells one of these you also get a piece? $400 to $2500.
Here are the conversion numbers, based on three years of statistics:
  • The number of leads you generate is dependent on how and where you advertise, and only you can control that.
  • The number of leads that convert to applications is dependent on the quality of the lead and how active you choose to be in bringing them into your business. Let the system handle them (passive), send emails to them personally (semi-active), or call them (active). What are you comfortable with? About 5% conversion seems to be a good rule of thumb, using passive techniques.
  • At least 50% of Applications will convert to BiBs.
  • 1/3 of your new Affiliates will enter at the BiB level. Most will upgrade to m1 within the first three months if they have any success.
  • 1/3 of your Affiliates will enter at the m1 level. Most will upgrade to m2 within the first three months if they're having any success.
  • 1/3 of your Affiliates will enter at the m2 level.
  • 1/2 of your m2 Affiliates will upgrade to m3 within six months, usually at an m2 event, if they are having any success, and the next one is at the end of March, in Boca Raton, Fla., and I want you to be there!
So, how can I guarantee your success?

We both know that the answer to that is that I can't. No one can push a wet noodle. In my opinion, the major hurdles to getting someone to even look at this phenomenal opportunity are skepticism, distrust and fear. Be skeptical. Do your homework. If you know me, you know you can trust me.

If you don't know me, you will, because that's the way I do business.
Nobody trusts anything on the Internet.
That's why so many of you didn't even check this out when I sent it to you the first time! Fear comes with the unknown. You have to take a chance, and each step costs you more money, and you never feel like you're getting the whole picture. I don't know why they do that, which is why I just laid it all at your feet.
What's the big secret? It costs money to open a business and you might fail. This is news to you?
Businesses fail (97%, in fact) for two main reasons: lack of information and lack of funding. Nobody wants to take a chance with what's left of their money, and in this business, you can waste a lot of time and money if you don't know what you're doing. If you run out of money, you can't advertise. At least not the conventional way, which means you can't generate leads and you'll get discouraged and quit.
But that won't happen to my group, because I've taken the fear out of the equation, so you can evaluate the opportunity honestly. I've provided all of the information you need to make an informed decision, and I've provided, not only a means of making money in the business immediately, without advertising, but training to get you into making money on-line outside of the Carbon Copy Pro business, just in case your afraid to jump in with both feet, as well as wealth management strategies to protect the money you do make!
What kind of idiot does that?
I do, because it's not about me. I want you to have what you want, and I don't think there's time for you to get it your way before the economy crumbles, and you're stuck on the wrong side of the line. I have a lot of dreams and a lot of people to help, and karma is a powerful thing. I also know that your dreams are bigger than just being rich. Who will you be able to help with your wealth?
What church, organization, charity, school, family, friend, future generation...will you provide for?
Let me tell you what I know.

The m2 Wealth Conference has forever changed my life. The four day event was attended by 492 people who put up about $10,000 to be there to listen to the strategies I outlined above. Of those people, it's safe to say that 90% have done nothing to even start their marketing business. Amazing. Of the remaining 10%, half are trying half-heartedly, and the other half are succeeding in going completely the wrong direction, and getting no results. Big surprise.
Everyone I talked to was frustrated with something; lack of knowledge, lack of leadership, frustration with Google, frustration with the system, frustration with spending money for zero results, and angry that they were constantly being sold more fixes. The final day, Carbon Copy Pro had it's event for everyone lower than m2, and it was even worse, per-centage-wise. Most of my time was spent lifting people's spirits...mainly with spirits.
So, why is that a good thing?

Because those people are your competition...and they don't know what they are doing. None of them were generating any leads. No leads means no applications, which means no conversions to BiBs or m1 s or m2s. If you use the information I'm giving you, you'll be months ahead of anyone else.
And then there's me...

I'd been advertising for three weeks. People assumed I was doing the same thing as them, and was getting the same results as them. They were more than a little surprised when I told them that I had to suspend my current ad campaign after only three weeks, because I had overspent my ad budget by four times. Why? Because in three weeks, I had generated over 400 leads, had 7 Applications, 2 Student Accounts and 2 BiBs. My lead generation Click Through Rate (CTR) was 70%, with a 25% conversion rate at half the cost of what they were doing.
They obviously wanted to know how I was doing it, and I really didn't want to tell them. After all, it's my business. I only told them that I wasn't doing what they were doing, because I'm going to teach everyone I bring in to CCPro what I am doing and how to do it and make sure they don't head down the wrong path.
It's not about luck anymore.
You need to remember that, as far as I can tell, a whole bunch of twenty-somethings got kind of lucky, then taught everyone else how to be lucky. There was a great formula attached to a great principle, at a particular point in the evolution of on-line marketing. Surprise...the Internet changes...daily!!

What worked then, might work today, but it takes a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of training...and still some luck! All I know is, I didn't have the time or the money, and it's really difficult to teach luck! I went in an entirely different direction, because I didn't know any better and had enough success that I was one of the top producers in Applications in November, and on the company's List of Rising Stars, in under two months!
So, here's the deal.

This is a great business opportunity, with a great commission structure, desperately seeking someone to drive it with new ideas that really work. I'm that guy, and you can have me and everything I know. Aside from the investment opportunities,
  • I set up the oil guy with my dad in Houston, because my dad designs refineries, something the oil guy needs. Probably worth a ton on the back end, if it goes through.
  • One of the people I brought into my circle is a capital investment banker for projects over $50M. She liked me well enough to tell me she'd give me 50% of any deal I brought to her, worth millions per year.
  • I'm partnering with one of the guys in my group to do a mass social media marketing campaign to sell the Wealth Masters series direct, worth probably $500K each, per year.
  • I've learned Affiliate marketing techniques that should generate over $50K per month.
That's a lot of money, and that's without Carbon Copy Pro, worth at least $500K per year. Get the picture?
I'm going and I'd like you to come along.

I learned all of this and set it in motion inside of six weeks. Entering at the m2 level and being in Las Vegas put me in the right place at the right time and I want you to have that opportunity, too. I'm working with a great group of people that need my skills now, and I'm happy to provide them because I'm going to need their skills later.
You get the benefit of me, and them.

We're not in the same line, so we don't make any money off of each other. It's cleaner and purer that way. But we want to become the largest mastermind group in the organization, started by a bunch of frustrated marketers and one guy who marched to a different beat. You'll have access to me and them, and everything we're doing. This business operates in 161 countries around the world, so if you want to get it to your family and friends overseas, I encourage you to do so.
The Pitch

I want you to go to my Landing Page and put in your name and email address. Then I want you to spend $50 and fill out an Application.
When you do, I'll be notified automatically, and I'll email you the Index that you'll need to short, along with the two penny stock tickers for the Oil Companies that could go big next year. For those of you who have already filled out your Application, email me and I'll send them back to you by reply email.
When you buy your BiB (Business In a Box)...

I'll be automatically notified and I'll give you the information on how to become your own bank, paying yourself all of the interest you pay others every year, and the links to the best two downloadable Affiliate Marketing training series available, so that you can start making money immediately and jump start your learning process. I even have one for people who have never used a computer before, so let me know if that applies.
If you buy your m1...

I will tell you where the big boys say you should start moving your money and how to capitalize on the fall of the US dollar. I don't think anyone needs to come in higher than m1, because I'm going to give you all of the information and you're going to make so much money, you can upgrade whenever you want, but since you are all business people and I've already told you that 1/3 of the people you bring in will be m2, you might want to keep that commission for yourself.
If you can go m2...

Without breaking the bank, your commissions will be higher, right out of the gate and I'll give you the information on the oil field IPO as well as who to go through for a home mortgage modification to save 30% or more on your mortgage and get paid $1000 per referral.
But that's not enough...

For the first 10 people in my group at BiB level, who bring in (3) m1s and (2) m2s, I will pay for your $8,995 upgrade to m2, no strings attached, so that you can be at the next m2 Wealth Conference and put yourself in the same position I found myself in Vegas.
For the first 5 people in my group at the m1 level who bring in (5) m1s and (3) m2s and I'll buy your m2 for you.
That's a $134,925 commitment to your success. Sounds like a nice round number, to me!
The biggest problem with CCPro as I see it, is sponsoring.

If you can't generate leads, you can't get Applications and you'll get discouraged. What if, while you were learning how to do that, with my help, you used this email and modified it for you and your landing page, again with my help (if you want it) and sent it to every person you knew who could use some help? Would that be a powerful, money generating, sponsoring tool? You'll have all of the things that I talked about. You can rearrange them, offer more, offer less, pay for the upgrades or not.

It's your business. I just want to help you succeed, because you deserve it.
I'm going. Are you coming with me?

I understand that this is a lot to grasp and you are going to want to think about it. That's fine...but, the clock is ticking. Not on the business...obviously, you can get in whenever you want, but on the financial information that I'm incentivising your offer with, potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars, sitting on the table. Also, once I give you this information, your 100% money back guarantee is out the window. I think you'll agree that that's fair.
That's the only way I can be fair. After all, I have 1000 other leads to send this to, and I know I'll have another 200 the week after that. But I won't send out the next round for a week, giving you another advantage,time... in getting your free m2.
If you're still skeptical or afraid, I understand completely. That probably means you aren't cut out for this business and you're saving us both a lot of time and aggravation.
But if it's not for you, maybe you can think of someone else who needs it. Forward it to them. You may change their life forever.
Good karma.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Welcome to Carbon Copy Pro

Thanks for joining me on my blog. I just wanted to introduce myself.

My name is Mark Ohlhaver and this Carbon Copy Pro business is taking me places I never dreamed possible. I've only been here for less than two months and my results have been phenomenal.

Since you probably reached this blog from one of my landing pages, I want you to receive a little more information direct from Carbon Copy Pro. Then, within about a week, I'm going to send you an invitation.

Take it very seriously. It could change your life, the way it's changing mine.

Frequently, this very long email that I'm going to offer to send out, if you ask for it, ends up in your spam or junk folder and I don't want you to miss it because it has time sensitive information in it. So, if you can, either check it regularly, or put me on your safe sender list.

I know you expressed an interest in making money from home through
Carbon Copy Pro by filling in your email address on my site and I wanted to commend you on taking the first step toward an exciting on-line business opportunity.

Not long ago, I was exactly where you are, looking for a better way to make money. Looking for something that I could do to rebuild what the failing economy had done to my income, my lifestyle and my family.

I came accross this by accident, and even though I knew absolutely nothing about Internet Marketing, felt that it was right for me. I checked out everything I could find out about it...the owners, the system, the "Carbon Copy Pro scam" sites...and what I found was that, it's not a "get rich quick" thing, it's a get "rich smart thing".

Inside a week, I was on-line and generating business. How cool is that? I'm building a business with multiple income streams that I hope will soon replace my everyday job and provide a life-long residual income. I feel like I've regained my confidence and taken back control of my future. There's a lot to learn, but I'm doing it at my own pace and I have regular one-on-one conversations with great mentors making seven figures plus, and they give me all of the information I can absorb.

You'll be receiving some emails over the next several days giving you a better glimpse of the company and if that sparks more interest, I encourage you to return to my site and fill out the
Application. (No way around that, I'm's for thinning the herd of those who aren't serious.) At that time, you'll have access to a wealth of information, and if you decide this isn't for you, everything is 100% refundable.

no selling, no cold-calling and it's not MLM. This is about you.

Your ideas, your attitude, your time, your investment...your business.

We provide the leadership, mentoring, tools, hands on training and a proven system to make sure that your business succeeds so that you can realize your dreams.

If I can
answer any questions for you, please feel free to call me at 408-386-8850, or email me at, or leave me a comment...but, if you call, please remember that I'm on the West Coast, time-wise, and don't be surprised when I pick up or call you back.

This is the real deal.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


It's been said that the only constant in life is change. That can be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on your point of view. Change is always interesting, even if it's not always fun. The Chinese have a curse that says "may you live in interesting times".

Well, we certainly are living in interesting times. I don't need to quote gloomy economic statistics here. I can do that elsewhere, and besides, they're everywhere. It's kind of like back in the late 90's when everyone was abuzz about the stock market. Everyone was talking about it. "How much did you make? How high can it go? How long can it last?"

Nobody thought about factoring in a guy named Alan Greenspan and the winch he was using to reign in the "irrational exuberance" with silken thread. Oops...! Pulled a little too hard. It was, to me, kind of like calling the cops to a party at 3:00 a.m., when everyone was already drunk and passed out. Haul 'em in anyway!

That was very real for me at the time, because I was trading options for the few months before the crash, making enough money that I thought I had hit the mother lode and closed my non-profit company that I had labored on for nine years. When I say non-profit, that wasn't the legal description, just a matter of fact.

I was good enough at it, that I taught my broker how to do it, figuring he would be able to give me a few inside tips. He did that, alright. Losers, every one of them. But he was making money, on both ends. It cost me plenty to follow his advice and it taught me a few things while I was being wiped out one fateful day: trust your own instincts and don't ignore the rules.

You see, I was trying desperately to recover for myself what I thought he had taken from me, and in the course of things, broke one of the cardinal rules of options play. Really, business in general. In the market, as the saying goes: bulls get fed; bears get fed; pigs get slaughtered. I got slaughtered. I over-leveraged and didn't protect myself, trying to wring every dollar of profit I could, winching ever tighter with a silken thread, and oops! Pulled too hard. Lost it all.

I mention all of this because it seems that we can't escape the bad news, and often we discount the effect of the media on the economy and our psyches. Collectively, we want to put a gun in our mouths instead of shooting the TV! Now, that's mind control. But that's the way we live our lives, for the most part. Waiting for someone to tell us it's all going to be fine and not to worry. We'll tell you when it's safe to go outside. We'll tell you when you can start spending money again, after we gave all of your money to the banks, politicians, financiers, lobbyists and shills that got you into this mess! Sit quietly and we'll take care of you and tell you when to take your head out of the sand.

Sorry, not my style! I've always been a risk taker, much to my wife's chagrin. If I see an opportunity, I check it out. If I get in, I get all the way in, because my instincts are usually pretty good, even if my application is lacking. Got into multi level marketing and pushed that, hard, for seven years. If you want to learn about facing rejection, get into an MLM. Climbed a corporate ladder in the moving industry and fell off near the top, without a net. Built the largest third party service company in the moving business on the West Coast. Went nationwide; went broke. Took a course on Real Estate Foreclosure sales. Laws changed, at least here in the golden real estate state. Bought a couple of properties the conventional way, because real estate is really the only "safe" investment. Values plummeted. Short sold one and wrecked our credit. Still losing money on the other. Went into architectural design and construction project management. Hardest hit sector of the economy!

It became a running joke with my friends that I should tell them what I'm planning next, so that they can get out!

Apparently, I just don't know when to quit. I just keep getting back up. I've been roasted, seared, charred and flat out burnt to a crisp. Hence the name. Rising Phoenix is about being reborn. Rising from the ashes. Starting anew. I've always been tenacious and success has always been just around the next corner. I can smell it and one of these days I'm going to taste it. Because, no matter what anyone says I can or can't achieve, at the end of the day, I have to go to bed knowing that there's a reason to get up tomorrow. Quitting isn't in my DNA. You might convince me to walk away, but you'll never convince me to stay down. I don't like the view.

So, what about you? Do you trust your instincts and have enough fighting spirit to fend off the bad mojo? Do you have enough faith in yourself? The way I look at it, life is all about give and take: you give it all you've got, until you can't take it any more. Life's too short not to try, and I'm too good not to succeed. It's what gets me up in the morning.

Yeah, I'm changing again. Change is good.