I don't own a television. For the moment, anyway. This is a conscious decision: there is a finite number of hours in a day, or a week, and watching tv often squanders precious time that I could be using for more productive purposes. According to Nielsen, the average American household has a tv on somewhere in the house for over seven hours a day! If that doesn't suggest addictive behavior I don't know what does. So my first and most obvious "Wisdom Tip" is this: if you truly want to succeed in starting an online business, concentrate your focus and cut the time spent in front of the "boob tube" in half.

Now before you write me off as a wacko, let me say that I enjoy tv programming as much as the next guy-- NFL games, HBO series, science & nature shows, movies, sure... but it's a Pandora's Box. Like a lot of things that bring short-term pleasure – eating fast food, for instance – there have to be LIMITS to our indulgence. The good news is now with DVRs, and archived episodes online, we can use discretion and still catch our favorite shows. In my case, I like the surprise of watching something that I missed when it originally aired.

Right now I'm thinking about The Boondocks, the funny, foul-mouthed, subversive cartoon series created by Aaron McGruder. I loved Season 1, but I'd never checked out Season 2 until recently. The first episode deals with the grandfather character trying to sneak the kids into the movie theatre to see "Soul Plane 2". There are bullseyes on lots of black stereotypes here; I laughed a little, but often I cringed. There is one scene in particular that really bugged me.

In the theatre lobby, there's a showdown between Grandpa and an usher named Ruckus, the most race-hating Uncle Tom you've ever seen. Uncle Ruckus hates his own blackness and ALL African Americans to the point of absurdity. He demands to see Grandpa's (nonexistent) tickets, but Grandpa claims that "uh, I-I got my tickets online." Then Ruckus pounces: "A-HA! A damn lie! I ain't never met a nigger smart enough to use a personal computer, not even a Macintosh."


I admit at this point I was insulted. Yes it's satire, and yes, Uncle Ruckus is supposed to be offensive, but come on, people, it's the 21st century! How is it that such an ugly notion still has any room in the public imagination, even as a joke?

To be fair, this show was nurtured in the "dark ages" of the previous presidency; this is before Barack Obama's historic victory, this is before President Obama impressed us all with his technical savvy, his beloved Blackberry, and his unprecedented use of "netroots" websites during the election campaign. I'm not even sure that McGruder would write a script like this today. That scene now seems grossly out of touch, and therefore, not very funny.

So here's the deal: I am a proud PC user who also happens to be a black man. And I'm not just a PC user, I'm a freakin' Power User. I was programming in 8-bit machine language when I was 12 years old. I got skills, I got game. And I got a powerful urge to prove Uncle Ruckus for a liar, so I'm gonna share my knowledge with you.

You don't have to be a prodigy or a computer expert to make money with Internet Marketing. You don't need an advanced college degree. You just need the native intelligence that you were born with, and a willingness to learn. Study the efforts of others who are getting real results.

How are real results measured? After all, anybody can make fantastic claims. Well for starters, I look at those websites that rank highly in Google's search pages for the specific niche I'm studying. They must be doing something right.

For example, the phrase "make money online" is an iconic one for folks in this business. So much so that the keyword is often abbreviated to "MMO". Here are the top 3 sites returned when you type "make money online" into Google's search bar:

#1 http://moneymakerinfo.blogspot.com/

#2 http://carlocab.com/

#3 http://makemoneyforbeginners.blogspot.com/

They've held their respective positions for months now. These three sites are the "Olympic medalists" for that keyword. I study these sites regularly. I encourage you to do the same. The number three spot in particular, Grizzly's blog, is a mind-blowing resource. Grizzly really breaks it down for the n00bs (beginners). It's a gosh-darn FREE ONLINE UNIVERSITY FOR INTERNET MARKETERS! Full disclosure: I don't know these people, & I don't owe these people. I'm not getting paid to pimp their websites. But as little Riley from the Boondocks says, "Game recognize game."

P.S. ~ Just so there's no misunderstanding, I really am a big Boondocks fan. Aaron McGruder's a super-talented guy, and his acerbic, politicized vision is one of the very few bright lights in entertainment today. You can buy his comic strip anthologies and the complete tv series from Amazon.com. The Uncut, Unrated Season 1 DVD is especially classic. Enjoy!