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Success Advice

Plan for Failure on Your Road to Success



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The quality that separates success from failure is the ability to keep moving forward in the face of failure — or even many failures. We speak from experience when it comes from overcoming failure. For every success we’ve had in our business, there are probably 10 failures to go with it. We’re not ashamed of that in the least. We’ve come to understand that the failures are an essential part of our growth.

We’ve created a multimillion-dollar company and brought an industry perceived as dark, disreputable and dirty more into the mainstream. Our company, Club Tattoo, is a chain of luxury tattoo and piercing studios. This success did not come easy. 

Still, quitting has never been an option, even in those times when it seemed we were backed into a corner. If we quit, not only would we lose everything we’d worked so hard for, but we have a passion — even an obsession — for what we’re establishing. Success happens through hard work, endless enthusiasm and moving forward despite the fear. We also believe that in a business context, luck is just being ready when an opportunity comes along.

Other entrepreneurs experiencing bumps in their road to success can learn from the challenges we’ve faced and overcome. Here are a few tips to navigating the tough times.

1. Understand what makes a partner tick

Most people enter a partnership out of fear. They’re scared to take on the risk of whatever business they’re starting alone. Throughout our careers, we’ve had business partnerships and learned from some early ones that went south. Partnering with band members in a rock band and with friends in a recording studio taught us some tough lessons. The biggest contributing causes to the failures involved the lack of a foundation of solid communication, cohesive goals and strategies to reach those goals. Learning to trust in your partner is an essential ingredient in a successful partnership. Stay in your lane and honor your partner’s roles. Make sure those roles are well-defined so that conflicts over boundaries are kept to a minimum.

2. Harness the power of mentorship

We’ve both had mentors that weren’t experts in any one field per se, yet they had more life experience, and their guidance was invaluable. The people we truly feel grateful for are the ones who encouraged us to keep going when we felt like quitting. As busy business owners, we know it’s hard to dedicate the time needed to engage regularly with a mentor. But it’s crucial for small business owners to have one who can get them through the tough times.

“Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.”- Napoleon Hill

3. Communicate a consistent message to your customers

For a business to take hold within a given market, it must communicate a consistent message to its target audience over time. The consistency of your message will reinforce the dependability of your company, build trust from your clients and eventually develop brand loyalty from the consumer. Our message is that we are an upscale “studio” rather than a “parlor,” and our clients can see that we’re different. Pinpoint and focus on the one thing you do better than your competitors. Perfect it, call attention to it and make it “your thing.” When your customers routinely travel past your competitors to get to your business, you have a brand that people are seeking.

4. Realize that challenges are the times in which you learn

Most of us have hit low spots or been overcome with failures that at the time didn’t seem like they could be overcome. It’s the passion and desire of the true entrepreneur that will get them through the rough times. If you’d asked us in 2019 whether we thought we’d ever go out of business, we’d have answered with a resounding “Not a chance.” Then came COVID. When we were forced to close our Club Tattoo studios, we began to understand the economic impact was going to be severe and we needed to formulate a strategy to survive.

Receiving PPP funding from the government was pivotal and enabled us to keep our staff on payroll. We knew from past experience that we had to trust our instincts. We used most of our savings to remodel our studios to make a better and safer work environment. We kept our company’s mission of creating an atmosphere that made people feel safe and comfortable in mind, while focusing on our core concepts: art and expression.

It’s those rough times and failures that are the driving forces that cause successful entrepreneurs to rise above and, over time, become great success stories.

Sean Dowdell is known as the Tattooed Millionaire, which is also the title of his first book (2017). In addition to his role as founder and CEO of Club Tattoo, he is a drummer with Grey Daze. He is a frequent speaker to a variety of audiences and has been featured in Entrepreneur, GQ, Billboard, and on CNBC, A&E and more. Thora Dowdell was formerly in marketing and sales before becoming a business partner with Sean, initially in the music recording industry and later in Club Tattoo. Thora is passionate about empowering women business owners through her story. Together, the husband-wife team have authored the new book, Brand Renegades: Our Fearless Path from Startup to Global Brand (Entrepreneur Press, May 25, 2021). Learn more at

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Success Advice

Wealth Lessons Everyone Should Hear for Every Stage of Your Life

Do you have the courage to rewrite your story?



what i would tell my younger self

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Success Advice

How to Choose the Best Affiliate Programs for Your Blog

If you follow these steps, you can create an affiliate marketing plan that makes money, fits well with your content, and connects with your readers



how to choose the best affiliate programs for your blog

Picking the right affiliate programs for your blog is really important. It can make a big difference in how much money you can make and how much your readers get out of your blog. With so many choices out there, deciding which ones to go with can be tricky. 

This guide is here to make it easier for you. It will give you clear steps and helpful tips to choose affiliate programs that fit well with what your blog is about, what your readers like, and what you stand for. 

For more articles on this theme, please head over to this blog

Understanding Affiliate Marketing

Before you start picking affiliate programs, it’s important to really understand what affiliate marketing is and how it works. 

Basically, affiliate marketing is when you promote a product or service on your blog, and then you get paid a little bit every time someone buys something or does something because you recommended it. 

It’s great for both the person selling the product and the blogger, because the seller gets more sales with low risk, and the blogger can make money from their blog.

How to Choose the Right Affiliate Programs for Your Blog

1. Assess Your Niche and Audience

The key to doing well in affiliate marketing starts with really knowing what your blog is about and who reads it. Consider the following:

  • Your blog’s content: What topics do you cover? Ensure the products or services you promote are relevant.
  • Your audience’s interests and needs: What solutions are they seeking? Choose affiliate programs that offer products or services that solve their problems or enhance their lives.

2. Research Potential Affiliate Programs

Once you know what your blog is about and what your readers want, start looking for affiliate programs. Choose ones that are well-known for good products, great customer service, and helpful support for affiliates. Resources to find these programs include:

  • Affiliate networks like ShareASale, Commission Junction, and ClickBank.
  • Direct searches for “[Your Niche] affiliate programs” in search engines.
  • Recommendations from other bloggers in your niche.

3. Evaluate the Commission Structure

The commission structure is a critical factor to consider. Look for programs that offer competitive rates that make your efforts worthwhile. Consider:

  • The percentage of commission per sale.
  • Whether the program offers a flat rate per action (e.g., per sign-up).
  • The cookie duration, which affects how long after a click you can earn commissions on sales.

4. Consider the Program’s Reputation and Sureness

Join affiliate programs with a solid reputation for quality and sureness. This not only ensures that you’re promoting good products but also that you’ll be paid on time. You can:

  • Read reviews from other affiliates.
  • Check the program’s history and background.
  • Look for any complaints or issues reported online.

5. Analyze the Support and Resources Offered

A good affiliate program gives you things like ads to use, training on their products, and helpful managers. Having access to these resources can really help you do a better job at promoting their products.

6. Understand the Terms and Conditions

Before signing up, thoroughly review the program’s terms and conditions. Pay close attention to:

  • Payment thresholds and methods.
  • Any restrictions on how you can promote their products.
  • The program’s policy on affiliate marketing on social media platforms.

7. Test the Product or Service

If possible, test the product or service before promoting it. This firsthand experience allows you to offer genuine charge and build trust with your audience.

8. Look for Recurring Commission Opportunities

Some affiliate programs pay you again and again for subscriptions or services that charge fees regularly. These can provide a more stable income compared to one-time sales commissions.

Implementing Your Choice

After choosing the best affiliate programs, the next step is to smoothly include your affiliate marketing in your content plan. This includes:

  • Creating valuable content that naturally incorporates affiliate links.
  • Disclosing your affiliate affairs transparently to maintain trust with your audience.
  • Tracking your results to understand what works best for your audience and adjusting your strategy accordingly.

Picking the best affiliate programs for your blog involves careful planning, research, and making sure they match what your audience likes and needs. 

If you follow these steps, you can create an affiliate marketing plan that makes money, fits well with your content, and connects with your readers. 

The real key to doing well with affiliate marketing isn’t just about the products you talk about, but also how much your audience trusts and values your advice. 

With enough time, patience, and hard work, your blog can grow into a successful space that earns a good amount of affiliate money and helps your readers choose the right products.

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The Power of Ethical Leadership: How Integrity Drives Success

By leading with integrity and ethics, leaders create an environment where employees feel excited to come to work



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10 Landing Page Hacks Experts Are Using to Generate Leads

Crafting a landing page that converts is both an art and a science



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