If your reading this page, you probably want to know a bit about me and why you should take my advice. My name is Leo Fogarty and I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. My great grandfather and my grandfather ran The Irish Catholic newspaper for almost a century.
My First Successful Business
I first got the bug for business when I was 16 years old. In Ireland, in secondary school, we have whats called a transition year. Transition year in schools in Ireland goal was
to promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of pupils and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society
In my school they ran a programme called “mini-company” where the students got to create their own company and sell their own products and services. I had a very tight time frame as I only had 3months of the school term to run our companies.
At the time I was working in a bar part-time collecting glasses. One of my duties was to cut the fruit to garnish the drinks on the weekend, it was a task that was time consuming and I believed a waste of energy. I always thought there should be a better way for a bar to manage this job and thats when I came up with the idea to sell prepacked cut fruit to bars/restaurants.
Armed with this idea, I went along to my local supermarket and negotiated a deal with them to supply trays and use of their vacum packer to package my product.
The First Problem
As I mentioned before I only had 3months to run this project. After running a couple of samples of the product I came across my first problem, the fruit would sweat in the packaging. I contacted Teagasc (Irish Food Board), to find out the preservative that would keep lemons from sweating in the packaging. Teagasc told me it would take 6months of testing to find the right one. Immediatley my business idea was blown out of the water but I wasn’t ready to give up just yet.
I took the weekend to brainstorm and it finally hit me, Pancake Tuesday! Jif Lemon juice to be precise, every Pancake Tuesday I would put Jif Lemon Juice on my pancakes and the bottle would last for months. It had to have the preservative already in it! I bought a couple of cases of it and the business was up and running and made a tidy profit by the end of the school year.
My Introduction to I.T.
After leaving school I was very disillusioned about what I wanted to do with my life. I was offered an office admin job with a bank, so I decided to take their offer just to have a job. Most of my duties were filing but I was given my own desktop to keep track of files using excel. This was the first time I had ever used a computer and I was hooked. The job was quite easy and as long as I had my filing done in the morning it gave me plenty of hours to study and play with my new hobby which is computers. Pretty quickly I had become an expert and bank staff were coming to me to fix their computer problems before going to the I.T. department. The I.T. department took notice and offered me a transfer into their division.
The Next Few Years
The following years I worked hard to get my I.T. certifications and qualified as a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, Cisco Certified Network Associate and Citrix Certified Administrator. I had also worked my way up the career ladder, from computer operator to tech support, to systems analyst, then to network administrator and finally taking a job with an overseas property company as I.T. Manager.
My Introduction to Internet Marketing
While working as an I.T. Manager I found my skills for gathering data of the internet for developing targeting lists was being heavily utilised. Also over the years I had developed good skills with photoshop which my employers were aware off and began using more and more, initially for ezine design, web design and eventually for print material.
One of the first projects I worked on for this company was their website. They had just paid a substantial amount of money for a website developed in Joomla. This was my first introduction to content managed websites. I spent the next few months learning Joomla inside and out and began designing websites in my spare time as a hobby. I also began to investigate other cms such as wordpress, drupal, etc.
Even though they had paid a substantial amount of money for their website, I found that it was getting very little traffic from search engines. This had me intrigued and I began to research Search Engine Optimisation. One of the first resources I found was Real Estate Webmasters. I began spending many late nights posting seo questions on this forum under the profile Drang3d and implementing the good advice I received. My interest in the area quickly grew and I began using other resources such as SEOmoz.org , SEObook.com and irishwebmastersforum.com.
In the following years, after leaving the overseas property company, I took my i.t. and marketing skills and began working as an independant consultant. I have since worked on many successful internet marketing campaigns and have run my own successful affiliate sites. This blog is my way of sharing my knowledge back, so others can prosper in the ways I have.
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