About Rob Bell, continued...
It also resulted in 3 years mostly laid up with major depression, and loss of mobility - "These days I walk with a stick and am limited in the distance I can go, and all sorts of actions can make the pain seriously intense. Most of the time it's a dull throb in my lower back - I hate to say I'm used to it nowadays. That second accident was a doozy! 5 years later, I still feel it all day, every day. Still it was an adrenalin busting take off and flight - it's good I had a high to remember before the second bad landing I'd had in 4 years - hitting that rock didn't help!"
"The aftermath wasn't great - losing my mobility and ability to do sports really sent me into a dark place - I hated my vision of being laid up, useless and on benefits for the rest of my life, but at that point in time I could see no other future. It took me a long time to get out of the darkness and off the sofa.
I went to Ibiza for a week in May 2007 with my parents, brother and his family - while there, I found the heat really beneficial for my back pains and met a wonderful couple, Ian and Suki, who offered me a room in their house, 20 yards from the beach, for the entire summer, with their daughter Jazzy and their 4 dogs - from the tiny Chihuahua with the big bite, Lewis, to the enormous Great Dane, Leo (my personal favourite, RIP Leo, sorry Benny, Lewis and Roxy!).
I returned to the Island in June, and thus began my climb back from the darkness of depression".
While there, Rob met Danny Rampling through his housemates. Danny is a very successful, internationally renowned Dance Music DJ and Producer - credited with starting the UK rave scene and bringing House music to the UK back in 1988. He also hosted 'Danny Rampling's Love Groove Dance Party' on Radio 1 for many years. Through Danny, Rob was introduced to the possibilities of the world of online Marketing as well as courses that stimulated his desire to improve himself, through personal development website and program Success University.
Although Rob already had a few of his own websites and, as a technology addict, was familiar with aspects of online marketing through his work, he'd never devoted time specifically to what is still an emerging marketing method - "It's like they say on Star Trek, we're 'Exploring new Frontiers, boldy going where noone has gone before' so the rules and the methods are still developing" he laughs.
On his return from Ibiza, revitalised and relatively free of pain for some months, Rob threw himself into learning more about online marketing, eagerly devouring book after book and course after course. Finding a lot of the processes similar to offline direct marketing, he quickly picked up a firm knowledge base - learning about online copywriting, autoresponders, squeeze and landing pages, online research methods and much more. He also devoured course after course on personal development, self-help and motivation.
He learned about the guys making massive incomes from Internet Marketing - Frank Kern, Mark Joyner, John Reese, Eben Pagan, Jeff Walker, Mike Filsaime, Rich Shefren, Joel Comm, Armand Morin, Russell Brunson, Brad Fallon, Tellman Knudson - and many, many others, taking in their words and their teachings, building his knowledge piece by piece. "I'm a great believer in theory comes first." he professes, "Some people like trial and error, but personally I'd rather read other people's teachings, their trial and error stories, and their results data, learn from that, then start applying the knowledge I've acquired. It's more efficient - 'standing on the shoulders of giants' is a way I'd recommend to anyone who wants to learn anything."
Rob's finances were very limited, as they are when you've had years not working due to an injury, so he focused on zero cost and low cost marketing methods, "I couldn't afford anything that cost money, or had a monthly cost - except for a laptop I got to work from bed on."
In 2008, Rob applied for, and was accepted onto, the Leonard Cheshire Foundation's 'Ready to Start' program for disabled entrepreneurs. This gave him the support and encouragement he needed to really focus on getting his business skills honed, his knowledge up to date, and his pencil sharpened (figuratively!). He established Ex Ignibus, Rob Bell Web Design, and Rob Bell Hosting - offering a range of internet services and marketing for SMEs, working with a wide variety of small businesses in diverse industries from Weddings to Ancient Heirlooms, Financial Markets to Furniture, Music to Mythology, Fitness to... well, you get the idea... He also co-runs a number of websites with clients as partners.
"I love working on interesting projects that others might find a bit 'way out' for them, and the more variety among my clients, the better as far as I'm concerned." he admits. "My core computer and marketing skills translate to whatever product, service, market or industry I'm working with at the time. Marketing is partly about putting the right people in touch with the right products and services for them, whatever these may be. Although each case is different and different things suit different goals for different individuals and companies, a lot of the principals are ubiquitous. Same goes for computers - the basics cross all industries but the specifics are applied to each case on its' own merits. The software is often the same, but how it's used changes."
More to come soon...