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Letter From Lugano

Starting an Online Business: 3. Understanding ‘Deliberate Practice’

James Atkinson - Wednesday, March 26, 2014

This is the Hermann Hesse memorial in Montagnola. He lived and worked here for many years.


Deliberate practice is a method for mastery that involves focused, repetitive application in which an individual monitors their performance, experiments, corrects, receives, and applies constant feedback.

To get results, there are four simple basics you need to follow:

  1. Set specific goals,
  2. Practice a lot,
  3. Focus on method as much as on outcome,
  4. Get prompt feedback, and use it.

It’s more than just repetition. It involves a willingness to continuously push yourself beyond what you’ve already achieved.

You need to focus on the specific goals you want to achieve, and use the right strategy and techniques to achieve them.

Your strategy should include specific methods to target your weaknesses.

Ideally, you would be directly instructed in the best strategy by a mentor who also provides you with constructive feedback.

You also need to continuously look for ways to improve your strategy.

For example, a typing skills study shows that typing improvements were often linked to the subjects’ active search for ways to improve performance.

Intriguingly, the top performers shared another characteristic besides hard work: they napped after lunch. Evidently, it’s not the number of practicing hours in the day, but the number of hours you can sustain full concentration.

This is perfect for an eBusiness practitioner – who mostly all work at home.

So the results are in: highly successful performers are made, not born.

My attitude to internet business is that I would rather start by knowing a lot about a few things than a little about a lot of things. In other words, I believe it’s best to go “narrow and deep” rather than “wide and shallow.” Over time, you can expand your range of expertise to include new areas.

Ask yourself:

"Do I have ONE way to drive traffic that works?”


“Do I have ONE way to convert traffic that works?”

It’s a lot better to get solid results from a few methods than to get distracted by ALL the possible methods you could use and never take the time to get really good at just a few things.

My advice to you is build a few strong points that you can really master. Don’t try too many things and end up with a lot of powerful weaknesses.

The challenge with all the marketing hype around is, “How do I choose the ‘strong strengths’ that I want to put deliberate practice into?”

My system is a proven way to break down the big picture goal of “starting an internet business” into specific, achievable steps.

The skills required are timeless and will continue to work in the long term, providing the strongest foundation for building a long-term asset.

If you are constantly distracted by the newest marketing trend, you won’t stay committed to practicing the core skills needed.

You won’t stay with any one thing long enough to master it. And remember, many trends don’t serve your goal to build your business as an asset.

The real online results are being achieved by the people with a relatively small number of specific skills who have engaged in deliberate practice to improve those skills.

In the next few blogs I'll develop this theme further.


Starting an Online Business: 2. How 'Deliberate Practice' Helps You!

James Atkinson - Monday, March 24, 2014

Today's photo is the view of Lugano from my office. It's the second day of Spring and there's not much snow on the mountains.


There is an age-old debate about what makes an individual extremely successful. Science appears to have finally ended the debate.

Research indicates that 'deliberate practice' is the secret ingredient for success - and not 'natural' talent.

Deliberate practice as a methodology uses innovation and feedback to help you constantly improve your skills.

The practical elements of deliberate practice are:

Set goals, practice regularly, focus on technique (e.g. writing skills), & seek prompt feedback from: mentors, prospects, customers, technical & marketing statistics of your web site. LEARN BY DOING - keep going till you get it right.

I'm completely sold on deliberate practice because for me the concept works!

In fact, I have been using elements of it for years - without actually knowing any of the scientific data behind the concept.

There are important lessons for you if you want to put your internet business on a steep upward growth trend.

Jay Abraham, business strategist, writes: "Great marketers are made, not born."

This is in line with the scientific findings on what makes an individual ultra-successful. Scientists have spent over 20 years researching many areas of endeavor to answer this question. The evidence suggests we no longer need to speculate about what makes someone extremely successful.

Researchers tell us we don't require talent, wealth, or have a genius-level IQ to achieve expert performance in our chosen field.

A psychology professor at Florida State University, Anders Ericsson, devoted more than twenty years to the scientific study of what makes people highly successful.

Ericsson's work concludes that deliberate practice is the secret ingredient that takes an individual into the realm of the ultra-successful in ANY field of endeavour.

Deliberate practice is a key to success, whether you're David Beckham, Bill Gates, or Tiger Woods.

This exciting discovery means that almost anyone can achieve success using a form of deliberate practice.

"With the exception of the influence of height and body size in some sports, no characteristic of the brain or body has yet been shown to constrain an individual from reaching an expert level." Dr. Anders Ericsson

Ericsson and colleagues have studied expert performers in a wide range of areas. Their work resulted in a 900-page book, The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, which has paved the way for a harvest of bestsellers that examine the nature of success.

I’m not suggesting you buy this book – it costs US$150 – but the point I want to make is encapsulated in a review of the book that makes a rather startling assertion: the trait we commonly call talent is highly overrated. Or, put another way, expert performers "whether in memory or surgery, ballet or computer programming" are nearly always made, not born. And yes, practice does make perfect." Steven D. Leavitt and Stephen J. Dubner, The New York Times Magazine and authors of Freakonomics.

Dr. Ericsson says a lot of people believe there are some inherent limits they were born with. But there is no hard evidence that anyone can attain any kind of exceptional performance without spending a lot of time perfecting it!

In the next blog I am going to look a little further into Deliberate Practice and provide some graphic help.

Starting an Online Business: 1. Avoiding The "Next Best Thing"

James Atkinson - Sunday, March 23, 2014


Today's photo is the Church of San Abbondio in Montagnola where Hermann Hesse, the writer, is buried.


Over the years, I have been contacted by many people wanting to start an online business. It's often a vague idea in their minds. But more often than not, the idea does not come to fruition.

Why Not?

Mostly it's FEAR of the unknown.

And I have to admit that most people who seek answers by searching online are immediately accosted by a plethora of 'direct marketing' practitioners. These are the guys who in exchange for your email address send you a free ebook on some subject or another.

Thereafter you are endlessly confronted by their versions of "The Next Best Thing". It's simply an unbroken line of products that you are told you need to buy to succeed in your online.

If you have been trying to learn how internet marketing works I'm sure you've experienced the "revolving door" marketing DIRECTED AT prospective internet marketers.

I'll illustrate the norm with the "internet marketing" MARKET as an example.

  • A guru's email about the latest "new best thing" lands in your inbox. It promises to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams even if we are a high school dropout / 12 year old kid / can barely turn on a computer.
  • You buy the product - great value at only $197 …
  • Try as you might the promised millions don't happen. You lose motivation and push the product to the back of your virtual bookshelf,
  • And then another email pops up in your inbox with an even bigger and juicier claim to solve all your marketing problems. If you had trouble making Product X work and you need more help, don't worry.
  • Just sign up for the coaching club at only $97 per month...
  • Rinse and repeat!

Why is your inbox full of emails from 'affiliate pimp' every day, promoting the latest product? If online marketers and gurus really made money from all those products promoted by 'serial affiliates', why is it that there is still an audience hungry for new products?

The sheer volume of products and the daily promotions should tell you something is wrong. If most of the products really helped you or your business then you'd be too busy running your business to worry about the latest launch.

That's not to say you should not buy any IM products – it's just that the sheer volume of promotions points to most of the products being ineffective!

The Next Best Thing Vortex

The next image shows you the most common model used by gurus and other internet marketers directed at other internet marketers. This model is preferred, used, and recommended by guru after guru and biz-op merchant:

Why is it recommended by the 'gurus'? Because they simply don't know any other way! They are too afraid of search engine optimization – too busy to create two-way social networks.

Their entire focus is on producing a constant stream of "flavor of the month" eBusiness tactics.

Because online marketers are confused about what really makes a successful eBusiness, and particularly the technical aspects of online marketing, they are vulnerable to this guru inspired dead-end information.

I firmly believe that marketers who want to build real, long-lived internet businesses will be much more successful if they tune out all the shiny new distractions that constantly land in their email inbox.

There is anecdotal evidence that the typical internet marketer is on at least a dozen email lists! No one can possibly act on all those ideas. If you've been trying to start an eBusiness and are not making much headway – you're probably in the clutches of a guru or two who are happy to continue MISMANAGING you!

Most of the techniques being promoted are not worth learning in the first place.

Many of them are short-lived tactics. They don't help you build an asset, because these tactics are usually very vulnerable to industry shifts - like Google coming out with a new spam penalization algorithm.

This means your 'business'can be wiped out overnight and you have to start over from scratch. I've seen this type of product offered again and again!

Gurus and biz-op merchants can say basically whatever they please, pass it off as good marketing and business advice, and get away with it.

The floods of new information have a lot more to do with feeding marketers dreams than really offering a viable way to make a living online.

The constant torrent of new tactics, should alert you to the fact that the ones that hit your in box PREVIOUSLY didn't work all that well.

There is very little transparency in the process. What you need to do to get yourself out of this endless spin cycleis to identify the core drivers of internet success that don't change, and build your business on them!

Another type of guru says: "I've made millions – just copy what I do and YOU'LL make millions!" Often the guru provides "proof" of success – perhaps a Clickbank sales screenshot or a success graph of some kind.

This is a very common way of marketing eBooks, software, membership sites – and many internet marketers buy into this.

You CANNOT copy a guru's business model. Every online business is unique - with a unique set of products and circumstances.

The Next Best Thing Vortex creates relationships that benefit the biz-op merchant and eventually recipients of this type of marketing wise up and stop buying.

Don't let you marketing relationships fall into this trap. OK?

In the next blog I am going to discuss the principle of "Deliberate Practice". It's a way to show those who simply CAN'T get started that it's not all that difficult after all!

‘Human Value’ and Search Marketing

James Atkinson - Friday, February 28, 2014

I said yesterday that many marketers mistakenly believe that building a successful business is just a matter of using technical skills – marketing, driving traffic, and so on.

But the truth is that it’s nearly impossible to get online traffic and sales these days without strong ‘human value’ elements.

A business needs to know what its market wants and be able to deliver it with strong, unique value propositions. This creates the best environment for your marketing to achieve maximum performance. Of course you need the technical side too – no question. The technical skills are the delivery mechanism for your human value.

Being able to effectively undertake search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, and pay-per-click advertising (AdWords) means you can get your message in front of your target audience.

But the way internet marketing is taught usually omits the engine that powers the whole business – the value that you can create for your prospects and customers.

There are three major sources of continuous traffic online: search engine organic results, PPC, and social networking. To succeed with each of these three major traffic sources, you must provide excellent human value.

Organic Search Results and Human Value

What the search engines want is relevance. They want to give their users the most useful and helpful search results. Quality, relevant free content is the foundation of high search engine rankings.

Relevant, high-quality content is the exact thing that will attract and engage your prospects! So in reality, what the search engines want in order to give you high rankings is exactly what is also going to best serve your interests - give users what they want!

Black Hat SEO: Is it a viable shortcut or waste of time?

Many black hat SEO tactics try to trick the search engines in order to get high rankings. Black hat tactics are sold as an easy and fast way to get high rankings.

The problem for black hat marketers is that Google always wins.

After all, we’re on their playing field. Google controls its own rankings algorithms. And eventually they will design a penalization algorithm that will “slaps” a particular black hat tactic.

Trying to trick the search engines into giving you high rankings is an exercise in futility. The days of cranking out auto-generated sites stuffed with spam content are over. Black hat tactics (like creating a bunch of sites that all link to a “hub” or “money” page to temporarily boost its rankings) just don’t work anymore. See White Hat vs Black Hat SEO.

Sometimes Google does allow a black hat tactic to “succeed” for a while, just so they can study how it works. Then they'll design a very comprehensive penalization update based on their findings!

Google integrates information across the PPC, organic, and social networking landscapes. The other search engines are following suit.

A high organic ranking can help your PPC quality score. Users sharing your content on the social networks can help your organic rankings. A low quality standard in any of the three areas will impact on the others – see What is SEO?

These are just a few examples of how Google is now operating in a synergistic way – so you need to as well.

Adhering to high quality standards across all three areas (organic, PPC, and social) will give you maximum performance (more traffic, higher rankings and ad placements, lower costs).

Quality content that demonstrates an in-depth understanding of your topic’s themes is an absolute must for high organic rankings.

The search engines are looking for sites that sound like experts. Sites need to cover their topics thoroughly and demonstrate an understanding of the themes and words a topic expert would use naturally.

Off-page ranking criteria are rapidly changing. The old “link popularity” algorithm that looked at how many links you had pointing to your page has been sidelined.

Google now looks at social networking as a user “voting” system to identify the sites with the best-quality, most relevant content. Social activity is also much harder to manipulate than link popularity.

Ultimately, the search engines are all about relevance, and that’s not going to change. The search engines want to deliver the results that best meet users’ needs.

Google and the other engines will reward the sites that understand this.

Social Networks and Human Value

The social networks are too important for marketers to ignore. It’s not a question of if you’ll start doing social networking, but when. The social networks are where “conversations” in your market happen, and you’ve got to be there.

Besides chatting and making friends, users come to social networks for non-promotional content, advice, opinions, and reviews. As they gather information, their views about the market are being shaped.

Social networking that gets results is a very different animal to traditional direct response internet marketing. Social network users don’t tolerate direct promotion. It won’t work and you may well ruin your reputation as a result.

What does work on social networks is to build trust, relationships and community with two-way interactions and quality, relevant, engaging content.

In order to do this, you must focus on what the people in your market want to know about, and you have to engage with them socially. With the right strategy, these relationships translate to sales.

There is no automated shortcut, but the rewards are enormous.

You can build up a community of friends who share your content throughout the social landscape. This “ripple effect” continuously expands your visibility and influence in the market.

Social networking is now the major off-page organic rankings factor at Google. Google is paying close attention to social networks as a user-generated “heat map” of where the most relevant, helpful sites are.

It’s getting harder and harder to trick the system and get traffic without attention to what real people want.

Sites that don’t comprehend the new traffic environment will find themselves unable to compete. Smart marketers who understand the new landscape will find themselves ahead of the curve.

As Google increasingly incorporates social activity into its ranking algorithms, marketers who built strong social communities will find that they have laid a very solid foundation for their business by going in the same direction as Google.

To be successful you need to find out what people want and then give it to them. Then, all you need to do is spend time to acquire the technical skills, like SEO and PPC, that will effectively deliver your message and get targeted traffic.

In other words: Focus on satisfying people and the traffic and money will follow!

Pay-per-Click (PPC) and Human Value

There are still a lot of short-term business models operating in PPC, such as affiliates who only focus on the first sale without an email list or a viable backend.

However, these online advertisers are usually forced to drop out quickly. PPC is expensive and costs are rising, which means that many advertisers have to break even or lose money on the first sale. This makes an email list and backend sales process absolutely essential.

To be successful with PPC, advertisers must have a deep knowledge of their market so that they can write copy that attracts high click-through and conversion rates.

These marketers also need to build a relationship with ongoing value providing free content and related products. See - The Back End.

Google imposes human value criteria for advertisers in its Quality Score. A good Quality Score mean ads cost less. A low Quality Score means Google will slap you with higher ad costs.

Many businesses that drive 100% of their traffic with PPC are not cost-effective because they have not learned the importance of providing ‘human value’ in their websites.

Do you need to be a talented writer or marketer to provide your prospects and customers with human value? Let’s find out in the next blog.

Today's photo is the village of Morcote on Lake Lugano.


The Power of Being An Advocate

James Atkinson - Thursday, February 27, 2014

My colleagues and I at Persuasionworks have invented and created a business and marketing system. It’s quite unique - to find out more please visit our software page.

I do have to be an advocate for my business but today’s blog talks about a different kind of advocacy.

Many eMarketers believe that software or some sort of technical skill ensures sales. This is not the case. Technical skills are simply the delivery mechanism for your human value. Think of human value as the “what” of your business, and technical skills as the “how”.

The point of human value – see yesterday’s blog - is to give prospects and customers an experience that satisfies them and builds strong relationships based on trust and loyalty. This leads to high traffic and sales and high backend value. The backend is where the really big profits are in an eBusiness.

Technical skills are actually the easy part! You just have to learn them. The combination of human value and technical skills is extremely powerful.

Technical skills help to get your message out to the largest number of targeted prospects. They include specific skills to accomplish certain goals such as: market research, SEO, social networking, PPC, email marketing, copywriting, testing and tracking, and so on.

However, it’s crucial to realize that the technical attributes of internet marketing are the vehicle for the human element, NOT the other way around.

That is, technology is a means to an end – not an end in itself. Technology only functions properly when you get your human value right. For example, getting traffic is meaningless if you can’t convert it.

What gives the technical skills their power is the quality, value, and relevance of your human elements – your products, articles, blog posts, social interactions, and emails.

From a ‘human’ perspective - if you don’t know what your market wants and how to give it to them you’ll have difficulties running your online business.

Any business based solely on technical skills will most likely fail. To succeed long-term, you have to provide relevance and value to people. Ultimately, it’s all about how well you can satisfy ‘real’ people – not numbers.

Google knows this. That’s why its highest priority always is giving online searchers the most relevant search results. See: The Relevancy Regulators.

Google will eliminate any web pages or advertisers that are not willing to be relevant – even if they’re spending a million bucks a month on advertising in Google!

On Being an Advocate

Webster’s Dictionary defines a customer as “one that purchases a commodity or service.” And defines a client as “one that is under the protection of another.”

The most important thing you can do for your business right now is to change your focus from customers to clients. Think of yourself as your clients’ advocate – “one that supports or promotes the interests of another.”

This principle, more than anything else, will determine the success or failure of your business.

Most people fall in love with their company – they want to be the biggest, the fastest-growing, and so on. They have it backwards.

Fall in love with your clients. Make sure they are at the top of your awareness all the time, and all you focus on is to constantly get them the very richest, best, most productive, profitable outcome from whatever your product and service provides.

When you recognize that your interests and your clients’ interests are one and the same thing – then you have the means to dominate everyone else in your market.

This is the key to building strong, deep, and lasting relationships in your market. You need to start to see yourself and your business as an advocate, a trusted and expert advisor.

You have a responsibility to counsel and educate the people in your market about what is in their best interests. You need to give them the best short- and long-term outcome.

When you start advising them with their best interests at heart, you will never allow them to buy less than they should, less often than they should, less quality than they should. You’ll never struggle with how to manipulate or spin what you’re trying to say or do.

You’ll always be focused on the fact that the more value you add, that they perceive, the more successful you will be. When you start thinking about your customers as clients, and you as their advocate, you will draw a line that separates you from competitors who most often think of customers as commodities to be exploited.

Because you need to put in a lot of deliberate practice (I’ll discuss this topic in a later blog) to master a skill, it’s really important to zero in on the most important skills to learn. I'll talk about these next blog.

Today’s photo is an autumnal walk in a mountain forest. On many walks you can go from mountain top to lake side without ever seeing a car.


'Human Value' in Business & Marketing

James Atkinson - Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A friend of mine phoned me after reading my first two “Letter From Lugano” blogs.

Basically she was a bit surprised at the thrust of the blogs – pictures of mountains, lakes and restaurants. She thought they were somewhat odd topics for a blog published on a BUSINESS site.

I explained why I was doing it this way and it set me thinking about ‘human value’ in business and marketing – and in particular ‘human value’ in internet business. Human value is manifested in the quality, relevance, and value you provide to your prospects and customers.

All marketing is about relationships and trust. I’m of the view that once prospects trust you, sales will happen naturally, with no need for hype or hard sell.

Without trust, there is NO first sale. Without an ongoing relationship, there are no repeat sales and repeat sales are where the bulk of the profits are for most online businesses.

I take a broader view of human value than those things that immediately lead to a sale. I believe that the content you write online does not always need to have a sales pitch!

Yes, there is a sales intention – but you don’t have to scream SALES on every page.

Persuasion takes time. If you’ve never marketed online, how then do you start to learn and adapt to sell online?

Well…your initial job is to create relationships with pre-buyers and build their trust in you. You must show yourself as caring ‘authority’.

This is what I am doing with this blog.

They are the millions of people researching and seeking opinions and reviews on the search engines and social networks, and they are all wonderful sales prospects if you can engage and educate them in the correct way.

In fact, most of the people who initially come to a website are not ready to buy right away.

First time web visitors should be treated as ‘pre-buyers’. Once you’ve created trust and engagement, sales will flow naturally - with none of the hard sell that is usually required in direct marketing.

It’s the ‘human value’ that’s important.

Give "Human Value" to Prospects & Customers

Human value is the engine of your online business; without it, nothing else is going to work – but with strong human value, you’re sitting on a goldmine.

The process builds the trust and loyalty that cements long-term relationships and repeat sales.

Your web sites, content, social networking, sales letters, products, and customer service, in fact, every element of your business and marketing - reflects how well you understand what your market wants and how to give it to them.

To provide solid human value you need to:

  • Find out what a market WANTS
  • Create high-quality products and services that reflect what your market wants,
  • Build relationships that create trust and loyalty
  • Use ethical persuasion to make sales.

The bottom line is: You can’t make money without giving people something they value.

Money-Making Mindset vs. Human Value Mindset

Many marketers see internet marketing primarily in terms of making money. The irony is: if you’re only thinking about making money, you won’t make very much.

The only check you’re likely to get is a reality check! That’s because “making money” isn’t something that exists in isolation.

Money exchanged is an expression of gratitude for value. When you give people something they want, they give you money.

The driving force of all successful long-term business is satisfying people’s needs!

So making money isn’t a thing in itself. It’s a result of satisfying the people in your market – helping them solve their problems and achieve their goals. A focus on helping people (human value), creates money naturally. A focus on money creates … not much money.

Now, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with making money or wanting money - there isn’t. But the bottom line is that people control money, so your focus needs to be on finding out what those people want and then giving it to them.

This is the essence of my online business and marketing system.

In the next few blogs I’ll further develop the theme of ‘human value’ in business and marketing.

Today’s photo a lake view of the Lugano area.

What This Blog Is About

James Atkinson - Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Ok, these are some of the topics I want to cover in my blog:

Living in Lugano

Well…I don’t want this to be just a boring old business blog. Yes, I am publishing this on my business site so there’ll be plenty of business stuff, but I also want to write about LIVING here. The place is immensely interesting.

However, I am challenged every day. I don’t speak Italian. Every transaction I do here is in Italian: rent, phone, internet, electricity, rates, buying food, furnishing the apartment – it’s all a huge challenge.

So I want to blog about some of these ‘simple’ difficulties.

Being an Expatriate

I lived primarily in Australia for the past 38 years but before that I travelled for nine years. I spent some of that time studying at The University of Bern. I loved Switzerland and I’ve always wanted to return.

During my travels I learned a thing or two about being an expatriate – so some of this blog will cover that topic. I’ve kept up with the subject and maintained a lot of contacts all over the world.

Living as an expatriate requires a heap of knowledge. I’m going to cover being an expatriate here and also in other locations.

Working as an Internet Entrepreneur

I meet lots of people who want to chuck it all in, start an internet business, and go live somewhere nice and quiet.

This is not easy to do. So this blog will also be about starting and running an internet business. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Much of the software and syatems you’ll need I’ve already created.

You can thus use this blog and other parts of this website to learn about starting and running an internet business.


If you want to live overseas you need to have a reasonable grip on your finances. Lugano is the third largest business centre in Switzerland. Actually it’s quite tiny in comparison to the other two. However, there are a dedicated bunch of investment guys who cater to the people who prefer to do business on this side of the alps.

I have a few friends in the industry. We occasional meet for lunch or coffee and often discuss investment issues. I want to relate some of our more lively discussions. I’m NOT going to provide investment advice. You’ll have to do your own due diligence about the investment things I blog about.

Today’s photo shows a few of the restaurant we visit for our chats. It’s in Piazza Riforma, the main square of Lugano. It’s a nice sunny square which good in winter.

Unfortunately outside is where most people smoke! With regard to smoking in public many European countries seem to be decades behind Australia. Outside these restaurant, smoking is pretty ubiquitous.

My colleagues don’t seem to mind the smoke at all. When we meet, in deference to my relatively poor language skills, we mostly all speak English together. But of course it’s English peppered with Italian, German and French. Most educated people here are quad lingual. I can follow the German but I have a small English / Italian dictionary in my pocket that I use a lot. It’s a cumbersome way to communicate.

Evidently lots of Italians come up here to transact their investments. I threw in a joke that the Vatican needed an Australian (Cardinal Pell) to fix up all its financial woes. They laughed but I don’t think it was about an Australian fixer – it was the idea that we even knew anything about investments!


Anyway, next blog will be on one of the above topic areas.



Why Lugano?

James Atkinson - Sunday, February 16, 2014

One of the wonderful things about running an internet business is you can basically do it from anywhere.

Well…you need some place with a good internet connection – but that’s about it! Everything else is just noise and – if you want to be an expatriate – getting the right visas.

You couldn’t pick a better place than Switzerland. Internet connectivity is absolutely first class. I believe practically everyone has fibre to the home available.

In Australia, where I come from, the politicians still argue about fibre to the home or fibre to the ‘node’. The latter, supported by the conservative side of politics, means fast internet connectivity to a ‘node’ which then uses the old copper telephone wires to connect to the home.

The ‘node’ option is a bit like having a sixteen lane freeway compress into a rutted, unpaved and used up bullock cart track. Poor Australia, it’s now in the hands of conservative politicians who don’t know a node from their nose! And they supposedly support business!

Anyway, I’m running my business from the wonderful shores of Lake Lugano - and thank goodness my internet connection is great!

So, why Lugano?

Well, today’s photo shows one reason. The place is utterly beautiful.

Also, I’m right in the middle of Europe. This is about as central as you can get for any internet business! I know I know…you can run an internet business from the moon and it would still work. But the personal face to face never hurts does it?

Italy is a few k’s down the road, and Switzerland is surrounded by Austria, Lichtenstein, Germany, and France. The rest of Western Europe is about an hour away by air.

There’s a prop-jet Lugano to Zurich that hops over the alps for around 59CHF – about US$80 – and because Zurich is a financial centre there are planes to London City Airport throughout the day.

The London City airport has been going since 1987 but no one seems to have heard of it! There’s free wifi at the airport and since it’s only three miles from Canary Wharf and seven miles to the City – what’s there to complain about! I never have to fight all that horrible Heathrow traffic!

OK…first blog off the rank. Next I am going to give a summary of what I'll primarily blog about over the coming months.