I was scheduled to train a leading website solutions company on SEO.

It had been set up months before, and I was getting excited to meet the company executives, learn more about their people, processes and specifically questions around search engine optimization and online marketing. They already had seen much success. The company had worked both hard and smart, and over just a few short years had built it out, and with impressive list of clients.

Jeremy Shoemoney & Jon Rognerud Picture

Furthermore, their leadership understood that money spent into learning and educating themselves, is truly a wise investment. My 1.5 days of SEO training would be a win-win: they would benefit from my years of online work within SEO, PPC, application development, and I would gain from their expert entrepreneurial thinking and ideas.

Millionaire Next Door.

At the same time, I knew that a powerful online marketer lived in the neighborhood, and how cool it would be to meet (made over 10 million dollars in the last 5-6 years). But, I was thinking – he will not be available to meet even if we had the chance. (And, I had met him briefly a few years earlier at SES San Jose, and he didn’t seem that friendly at the time (more on that shortly!)).

Expert Marketer.

And, because he’s very popular in the internet marketing and niche business circles, especially around affiliates, he surely would not be easy to locate. These people often like to lay underground. They get hazzled at lot at conferences, it seems.

The Encounter.

I boarded the flight from Los Angeles and direct to Denver. As the line started to form for the small (really tiny!) bi-plane to Lincoln, Nebraska, I was pondering: How cool would it be if I just happened to meet this guy right here, right now? You know what happened next. Yup, that’s it EXACTLY. I spotted a tall guy with his family, no hair, and it sure was Mr. Schoemaker.  Yup, again.

In a *really* professional manner, I ran up to him, introduced myself. He recognized me (sort of, maybe). We struck up a short conversation. Immediately, I noticed something. He was different from before (not that he was given a chance even then, but it was an impression that stuck). He was like, totally — cool!  Super friendly, and interested in what I had to say, curious and nice. He suggested we exchange phone numbers. Then, he invited me to his office the next day for an interview. Sweet. Locked In.

The Interview.

The next day, and after several great training sessions on SEO before about 60+ people in the organization, I brought the CEO with me to Jeremy’s “hideout”. In fact, it’s a professional office in a nice part of town, and we noticed the “Shoemoney Media Group” sign outside. We were at Jeremy’s compound, and as we entered the front office, we were greeted by an ever smiling Shoemoney, and the infamous T-shirt emblazoned with $ as the “S”.

We had a brief walk-around, and sat down in his studio, where he films most of his training videos. The Shoe Money System was created here.

As we were settling in, I learned quickly that Jeremy is an amazingly gentle, but direct soul. He has amassed a lot of wealth (his paid-for-in-cash, custom-plated Hummer outside his office is just a small prize for his work), and doesn’t beat around the bush about it. It’s hard work – and – there’s a lot of crappy people out there, who try to scam you. He’s tried a lot of stuff, but it’s his giving back, teaching others to be successful that stood out to me as his greatest contribution. He is a giver, but also very serious about making money.

Success Stories.

Here is a list of successes that has earned him a lot of money (not necessarily in order / timeline):

  1. Early adopter and implementer of ring-tones online. Still has it going, but made a lot of money with it from the early days.
  2. Adsense check from Google (Over $130,000 in one month). Had to copy-protect the image, lots of scammers out there, he says.
  3. Blogging. Started blogging about his life, struggles (overweight and broke), a very personal approach. Almost a “I do not care” approach. People loved it, but it took a while. (Tons of great tips and insights on the Shoemoney Blog)
  4. Started speaking and joining expert panels on Adsense and affiliate networks.
  5. Lot of work with eBay, and auction models. Developed AuctionAds.
  6. Exclusive, expert mastermind group – the once-a-year “Elite Retreat” (start at $5,000). Only the best in the industry attend.
  7. Shoemoney Tools – set of powerful marketers tools for Pay Per Click and Search Engine Optimization and more.
  8. Facebook advertising – serious lead generation for many businesses he owns, including a few select, high-end clients.

“What does it take to make money online, Jeremy?”?

I asked Jeremy the pivotal question.  I was surprised by the answer. It was not a list of tactics.

“Jon, here’s one word: CONFIDENCE“…

People just don’t think  that they can make money, or worse yet – they feel they are not entitled to it, so their mindset becomes one of non-abundance. What you think, you become. It’s an internal game. You have to change the way you think about money. If you look at successful people in history, they too start with nothing, very little. They build themselves up over time, and for every failure, they become stronger. – J.S.

All successful people believe in themselves, and while challenges are up ahead, they never once thought that it could not be done.

Your ship will come in. Just believe in yourself. You can do it!

He closes by saying that it helps if you have a supportive team around you. Your family, for example.

Jeremy’s wife instilled confidence in him, supported him 100%.

Get rid of any negative people in your life, and start surrounding yourself with folks who stand behind you, and hang out with others that have gone before you.


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.