You’ve probably worked out by now that I’m Martin Percival – I’m not the Irish dancer and I’m not the horse-breeder, so you may find this something of a shock if they were the ones you wanted!
Who then, am I and how have I ended up working in this crazy world of internet marketing?
By background, I’m a Londoner – to be exact, I grew up in South London (which should be pronounced “Sarf”) somewhere near the bus garage (“garij”) in Croydon. My life has bounced me around a bit since then, but I’m still in London, just out West now – handy for the airport….
I know stuff about computers
I’m old enough to have experienced the home computing revolution of the 80’s and I’ve also spent my whole working career in the IT industry. It’s been an interesting ride, working first on “mini” computers and then Unix boxes, supporting the growth of networking and the Internet and then up into the technical selling side of things in the Java and software infrastructure world.
Along the way, I’ve missed countless opportunities to make money from my knowledge – I guess I’ve just not been smart enough to value what I know until more recently. I got Mosaic (the first real browser) and a fully-fledged web server going for my company at a time when (apparently) there were only about 300 real sites on the whole planet. D’oh!!
I’ve been hugely blessed by the friends I’ve made and the people I have worked with in all those companies. I’ve had the chance to travel around a lot of this amazing world and eventually discovered that I love to stand on stage and talk about stuff to huge audiences…..talk about a mid-life change of focus!
What has kept me going through all this, is just a continuing sense of wonder at how cool all of this new technology really is. We have things available to us now that are starting to play with Arthur C Clarke’s law “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” – and it’s not slowing down….I find myself wanting a quad-processor in my phone, just to say I have one!
Here’s what I do now
Well, here’s the thing. I’m never going to be able to claim (like so many other internet marketers) that I’ve been destitute and up to my eyeballs in debt. Maybe that’s what really motivates folk to succeed – maybe I need to be that desperate.
That’s not to say that life is all roses. I chose to go it alone precisely 24 hours before all the banks collapsed in 2008 and since then I’ve seen many cases where my knowledge and expertise comes with an “age” tag that is just a little large for recruiting IT companies.
So I’ve felt some of that bitterness that many older out-of-work folks are experiencing and I’m sure that younger people of all levels of education are feeling as they discover there are no jobs to use their new talents and enthusiasm.
As a result, I decided some time back that the Internet ought to be the place where I made my living. I feel like I’ve built the stupid thing for so many others, it’s about time it worked for me too 🙂
Internet Marketing in London
So now, I help local businesses get themselves online and “found”, I run a few sites that promote other folk’s products and I’m just now starting to get to grips with the idea of creating my own material. All of that public-speaking and press training combined with all the technology tweaks stuffed away in my head ought to be useful for something.
I’m a gadget and technology lover (even though I’m also a really late-adopter). My pride and joy is my Nikon D300 as I’ve been a photographer for many years and so, at some point, I’m going to find a way to combine it all into one astonishing thing that I can do for the rest of my life. Once I’ve worked out how to get travel and exotic bars in there too, I’ll be a very happy man!
Along the way, I hope to bring a smile and some help to everyone that lands on this oasis of stupidity I’ve built. My headstone will read “At least he had a laugh – oh, and a beer”.
Let me know where you are on this path of life. Who knows, maybe I can lend a hand, or maybe just buy you a beer one day.