The start of 2010 marks a decade of self employment. Way back in September 1999 I took the decision to quit geochemistry research and take Loquax on full time. Three months notice later saw the beginning of 2000 and the start of a new era. In all honesty going full time was going to happen sooner or later – I just jumped before I was pushed as it was plain to everyone my interest in academia was way ahead of Elvis leaving the building.

Although the business was generating enough revenue at the time to pay a reasonable wage (it had been running two years part time), I fully expected to be looking for a new job within 3 months. I even worked part time for wcities.com writing reviews “just in case”. Fortunately affiliate marketing kicked off in The UK and the rest as they say is history.

So as of 1st January 2010 I’m 9 years and 9 months ahead of where I expected to be! In that time the site has developed and grown as well as keeping a handful of us out of mischief work wise. In our eyes it’s been a successful decade but even so there are plenty of “what ifs” and “missed opportunities”.

I don’t think we’ve implemented, for want of a word, affiliate marketing as successfully as we could have done. However there’s always room for improvement, no matter how well you think you’re doing now! The industry changes all the time so it’s vital to keep an eye on what’s happening.

Talking to new guys in the business is always good, and even at the first Swansea affiliate meet we picked up some useful ideas. Most certainly since A4UExpo 09 there’s been some important developments for us, and it’ll be interesting to see what 2010 brings. Focus and organisation will be key!

Adaptation and motivation however have been the cornerstones of surviving the last ten years. It may seem odd to many new affiliates that someone would stick with the same site for longer than 10 weeks these days. However the desire to implement new ideas and try and make the service we run the best we can do is good motivation.

Another important ingredient has been knowing our own limits. That means recognising where we want to be and also how far we realistically can go. There’s occasionally a tinge of envy aimed in the direction at affiliates who have taken entrepreneurial risks or who have been super affiliate successful but then doing that kind of thing might make “our work” actually feel like “real work”.

It also does help that it earns us a living, mind!

Well that and the fact it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever have another site like Loquax. The lesson there is grab the opportunity whilst you have it.

And with that in mind, it’s interesting to read that Ray is umming and ahhing about going full time. He’s in a better financial position than I was 10 years ago so my advice to him is jump in and give it a try.

I never contemplated working for myself, let alone doing it for 10 years, but then if I can do it… so can Ray.. and so can you.

Happy New Year to you All!