Meet Willie Crawford
I tell you a little about myself hoping
understanding my background you will come to
better understand what motivates me. You will
see that I genuinely want both you and me to
succeed beyond our wildest dreams.
I was raised on a small tobacco farm in Fairmont,
North Carolina, by my grandmother. We were
relatively poor but never lacked the real necessities.
My grandmother always had a garden, and we raised
much of our own livestock. I went to work for
neighboring farmers when I was six and worked in
the tobacco fields practically every year until I
graduated from high school. This was how I paid for
my school clothes and supplies every year.
While growing up, my grandmother shared her basic
Christian values with me and my two younger
brothers. We learned to be fair, honest, and
self-sufficient. We learned to live by the golden
rule of treating others as we wanted to be treated.
We grew up relatively poor - but happy. My mother
and father separated when I was about four. My
father took my two older brothers with him as he
moved from Army assignment to Army assignment.
My grandmother took the three youngest boys so
that my mother could move to the northeast where
wages were higher.
Wages were higher in Connecticut where she settled,
but that didn't really help me and the family left
behind on the farm. We found ourselves on welfare
and struggling just to make a house payment of
$365 per year.
I would only later realize what we missed since
many of those in my community did not know what
luxuries others enjoyed. Now that I am upper
middle class, I choose to reflect - to appreciate
how far I have come:
Our two bedroom house never had air-conditioning
and often lacked heat.
I was 16 before I ever tasted steak.
I was 14 before I ever went to a movie theater.
When I turned 17 and got a part-time factory job
I bought the first car my immediate family ever
We did not have a telephone for most of my youth
and teen years.
We did not have a television for most of my youth
and teen years.
Dental and medical treatment was only when we were
really sick - there was no such thing as preventive
The farmers I worked for misused pesticides and
herbicides - exposing us to all kinds of poisons.
Yet, despite all of the hardships, life was very
pleasant. We had a lot of love and felt secure.
My grandmother made 1 very important purchase while
we were growing up. That was a set of World Book
Encyclopedia. In my spare time, I went through
practically every volume of that encyclopedia set.
Reading those encyclopedia shaped my future and
helped me to regularly earn outstanding grades.
By the time I was in 11th grade, my teachers
noticed the potential I showed and steered me
towards college. Fully 90% of the students from
my neck of the woods didn't go to college, so
I began preparing late. However, I applied to
and was accepted at 3 different universities. I
went to the only one I had visited (it was near
where they had the state fair every year.
I attended North Carolina State University. It
was a slight struggle in some classes because I
had not taken all of the right preparatory classes.
However, I persisted and eventually excelled. I
watched a lot of students much smarter and much
better prepared than me not survive the college
experience. I changed my major from biology to
business and economics my junior year. I always
planned on owning my own business some day.
I also enrolled in Air Force ROTC in my junior
year, and was commissioned an officer in the USAF
upon graduation. I was sent to flight school to
become a navigator. I was assigned to C-130
transport planes and got to see much of the world
over the next two decades. My travels took me
to Cuba, Puerto Rico, Panama, Honduras, the
Bahamas, Bermuda, Grenada, Antigua, Dominica,
England, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal,
Greece,Italy, Turkey, the Philippines, Japan,
Korea, Guam, Tinian, Saipan, Thailand, Vietnam,
Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Indonesia, and lots
of other places that have faded into memory. In
all of these places I felt that the people were
great and really no different than you or I.
I learned to love and respect all nationalities.
While in college, I discovered karate. It taught
me discipline and self assuredness. As I traveled
from country to country in the military, I continued
studying my beloved karate. Eventually, I
introduced my daughters to karate and they both
rapidly earned their brown belts. I earned the
coveted black belt. As I aged karate became my
method of maintaining fitness and tranquility.
Near the end of my military career, I decided to
pursue my dream of owning my own business. It
seemed natural to start something on the internet
since I was not sure where I would eventually
settle down and an internet business was so
I spent hundreds of hours surfing the internet
reading everything I could find. I also
purchased several books and courses. I printed
out hundreds of pages of articles. I subscribed
to over 100 ezines. I read and I studied. Like
most of you, I was looking for the secret to
success in this business. I would eventually
discover that they are no real secrets. It takes
hard work, persistence, and a worthwhile product
When I felt I was ready to take the plunge I built
several small websites. I built sites at Hypermart,
Angelfire, and FreeYellow. I signed up for about
15 affiliate programs and loaded these sites down
with banners and links. Then I sat back and waited
for the orders to flood in. They didn't. I got a
few orders every now and then, but not many. During
this same time frame I started a website mailing
list that I sent my ezine to. My subscriber list
Then one day I got an email accusing me of being
fly-by-night and asking why I didn't have my own
domain name website. This told me two things:
that people were interested in what I was selling
and that they weren't sure they could trust me.
After much soul searching, I took the plunge and
decided to build a website using a professional
host. I chose Virtualis and began building
my website and web presence. Business began to
grow and I upgraded several time.
During all of my online time, I noticed that business
grew fastest when I didn't really concentrate on
selling, but rather concentrated on trying to help
others who were trying to start businesses. When I
shared my experiences and advice freely with those
who requested it, I received a lot of unexpected
orders. This is perhaps the biggest key to my
online success. I discovered that you have to
give before you can receive. The things that I had
been taught on my grandmother's knee turned out
to be the things I needed to know for business
I am in business online to make a comfortable
living. However, I genuinely want to see those who
come to me seeking advice succeed. I have
struggled and succeeded. I want those who come
to me seeking help to do the same.
A few of my websites and projects for you to check out when
you have time :-)
In 2003 I hosted my first workshop which I called The Internet
Marketing How To Workshop. At this workshop we taught
people how to create and market their own information
products over the internet. This is now an annual event and
you can read about it at:
Since I learned to cook "country" foods while gowning up
on the farm, I've built a site around my "soul food." You
check out that site and even buy my cook book at:
After having a number of people ask me how I wrote my
cookbook and how they could do the same, I put together
a tele-class on the topic. It featured 2 other friends who had
also written and self-published cookbooks. We recorded
the whole things and now offer the recording at:
Noticing that the biggest problems with a lot of websites was
that they simply weren't making any sales, I sought and
found the solutions to that problem. The real problem was that
the websites were often so poorly written that they didn't motivate
anyone to make any purchases. I found a web copywriting
course that solves that problem, and offers it from:
I also found a report on how to increase website conversions
that allowed me to more than double my personal conversion
rates. I bought the reprint rights to that course and now market
it at: http://TheRealSecrets.com/thebook/
As you can see, I have a lot of websites. This would seem to
be an expensive thing to do until I share with you that I spend
less than $8 per year for registering each domain I own. I
have my own domain name registration service which I invite you
to use. You can read all about it at:
I also spend very little for full featured web hosting. I use a
company that charges me $25 per month for the first domain I
host with them. Each additional domain (sharing the same
web space) costs me only $5 per month. This is how I can afford
to have HUNDREDS of websites :-) You can check out my host at:
I have more projects going at any one time that you can shake a
stick at. However, I do make time for my friends. I host a free
weekly brainstorming session that you are welcome to join in on.
It's on a first come, first serve basis. You need to pre-register.
You can get full details on this call by sending an email to my
autoresponder at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I also do one on one consulting for a handful of clients. You can
get details on that at: http://WillieCrawford.com/consultations.html
Send me an email sharing with my your online aspirations, and I
will see how I can help you. My purpose is to help as many people
as practical build thriving online businesses.
Thanks for dropping by.
Copyright 1999-2004 Willie Crawford