The Passing Lane: Passing the Competition Online by Marnie Perhson

Issue #15 Monday, January 11, 1999

About the Author:

Marnie Perhson
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants and the
International Association of Computer Professionals, develops products that help computer professionals market and manage their businesses.

She is author of
How to Run a Successful Computer Training Business,

How to Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business

Keeping Your Sanity in a Home Business.

Marnie also develops business plans, marketing strategies, financial projections, & proposals for Internet projects. Her plans and strategies have garnered clients an average of $100,000 each in seed capital.

Marnie lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .

C.E.S. Business Consultants
Ringgold, Georgia
TEL: 706-866-2295


Collaborating On-line

It used to be that if you needed something programmed--an article written for your company newsletter, or some marketing advice--you had to hire someone to help you with it. Most likely you'd look in the phone book for a local professional. Now, with the advent of the Internet, it doesnīt matter where the person you hire lives. What's more, you probably won't even have to pay them money to get them to help you!

Part of the culture thatīs being generated through the Net is the sharing and bartering of expertise. For example, I've surrounded myself with a circle of friends on the Net who are good at different things. We share our skills and ideas with each other without ever exchanging money for anything. At the same time, you really couldn't call it bartering because it's not exactly a quantifiable direct exchange of products or services; no one keeps tabs. In my circle of friends and associates, I have someone who can program database driven web sites, an ISP, a business success coach, marketing experts, and brainstorming partners. We promote each other's sites and services and share our knowledge with each other.

This culture only works when everyone involved has an abundance mentality. What I mean by this is that each person believes there is more than enough business, not to mention success, prestige and fame, to share. Trying to climb the ladder of success by yourself can be a lonely, if not impossible journey. Success is rarely achieved alone. By collaborating with others, your business can grow and be fruitful, both economically and dynamically.

Here are some examples of on-line collaborations that work:

  • The Sideroad itself is a collaboration of writers, editors, and designers.
  • Sherry Lowry of The Seamless Life(tm) fame collaborates with various professionals to offer group teleconferences on interesting and informative topics.
  • and IdeaMarketers collaborate with their own visitors by giving each visitor their own user account for adding and showcasing their poetry or articles on-line. This helps the two sites offer dynamic, interesting content while giving fame and exposure to the authors.
  • Affiliate programs like those gaining popularity on the Web are a collaboration of thousands of individual web sites with e-commerce sites. This has been Amazon's claim to fame. They pay referral fees on books sold through other web sites.
  • Many web sites that are being developed today are created through collaborative efforts by people from different parts of the world. The developer might be in Chicago, the graphic designer in Canada, and the programmer in California. Most of the communication is all done on-line through e-mail, irc, or Internet groupware.

The next time you see an interesting post on a newsgroup or maillist from someone you'd like to work with, don't be shy. Strike up a conversation. Learn more about what they do. If they have something good to offer and you have something they could use in return, let them know you're interested in collaborating. No money has to exchange hands. No business partnerships have to be formed. Just a graceful alliance between friends can work miracles on-line.

To learn more about collaborating on-line, come to the free preview of Secrets of CyberNetworking teleconference.

Text Copyright © 1999, Marnie Pehrson. Part of the original Sideroad.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at