Changes

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. Turn and face the strain.
Ch-ch-changes. Oh, look out you rock ’n rollers.
Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes. Turn and face the strain.
Ch-ch-changes. Pretty soon now you’re gonna get a little older
Time may change me, but I can’t trace time.
-David Bowie

Change is scary. Change is exciting.

Change can make me angry. Change can fill me with joy.

In recent weeks, I’ve had some changes that totally pissed me off, and some that excited me.

You may not think they are that important, but to me, they shake me to my core.

Conrad Walton with his 1965 Chevelle SS Malibu, wearing 501 jeans,
a blue chambray work shirt, and a bead necklace in 1974.

Levi’s 501 jeans

First, and foremost, I’ve always worn Levi 501 jeans. Always. Since High school or so. That’s like 40 years, that I’ve been wearing 501s. As you know, 501s have a button fly.

I’ve only worn pants with a zipper to my own wedding and to work when I had to.

My wife, who buys all of my clothes, (She says that I’m clothing challenged), just found out that they quit making 501s in my size.

I have a unique physique, awesome in stature. I can get them taller and skinnier, or I can get them shorter and fatter, but not tall and fat like me.

She dragged me to the Big and Tall store and we bought a pair of Levis with a zipper.

I’ve never been so ashamed in my life, but at least I can wear pants now when I’m on a conference call.

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Cascadia Sparkling Clear

I’ve been buying this carbonated flavored water from my local supermarket for years. They have a bunch of flavors, but I’m addicted (and I mean that word literally) to the White Grape flavor.

The flavor is not phony. It has no weird aftertaste. It doesn’t taste like candy or chemicals. It’s like a fresh, ripe, sweet grape, bursting with pure sunlight and goodness.

It’s the best water I’ve ever tasted, plus there are zero calories.

I went to the store a few weeks ago and it was gone, replaced by another brand. I started to shake, but held it together until I got out of the store. I bought a couple bottles of the new stuff.

How does it taste? It tastes like crap.

I went to other stores in the area and they all had their own in store brands. I bought samples all over town. Nothing compares.

I finally called the manufacturer. They said that brand was only manufactured for that store chain.

Since that store decided to use another brand, they don’t make it any more.

Let me repeat that. “They don’t make it any more.” This goodness and truth and beauty has been ripped from hearts, never to be tasted again.

I’ve been in mourning ever since I found out.

Santa Barbara Pistachios

I love pistachios. I buy multiple bags of them from Trader Joe’s all the time. They are the best.

On a recent day trip with my lovely wife, we wandered into a section of California that we’ve never been before. We stopped a small shop in the middle of no where.

They were surrounded by orchards of pistachio trees and were in fact, selling those pistachios in the shop. After some samples, we bought a bunch of them.

The cool thing is that they flavor their pistachios. Not only are they biggest and freshest, they have the best flavors.

I’ve since ordered them online and recommend them to anyone who loves pistachios. My favorite are the Onion-Garlic flavored pistachios.

I went to Trader Joe’s today. I didn’t buy pistachios.

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walton.com

I was approached over 4 months ago by a lawyer, representing a client, who wanted to buy my domain name, walton.com. I told them no, that I wanted a large amount of money for it and that I would NEVER sell it.

I got that domain name in 1995, when I first started developing web sites. It’s been a part of my self identity every since. Talking to a client or potential employer, I could tell them my email was conrad@walton.com and they would be impressed.

I was “that guy who owned walton.com”.

The lawyer came back with a substantial offer. I realized that they were serious. I was floored. I mean, I had to lay down on my bed for a while. I countered with another large number, and we started negotiating.

Part of our deal is confidentiality, so I can only tell the actual price to people who “need to know”.

As much as I think that YOU need to know how much, I think their lawyers might differ on that point, so I’ll just say that it’s enough that I’m actually willing to sell it, but not enough to quit working.

I went through about two weeks mourning the loss of it. It was a tough decision.

Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

I’ll never be “that guy” again.

The deal is not final quite yet. It can still fall apart. I always say you shouldn’t count on anything until the check has cleared the bank.

I decided that I’ll now be “that guy who sold walton.com for a lot of money”. That’ll be pretty cool too.

When the deal is signed and the check has cleared the bank, then I’ll be sad for a little while.

I’ll take a moment and mourn the loss, the end of that era.

Next, I’ll spread all the money out on the bed and roll around in it, followed by a party, celebrating the beginning of the new era. I’ll forget all about the past and only look towards the future.

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The Future

You can’t get better without changing. If things don’t change, they can’t get better.

The immediate change is that the web site is now going to be located at “http://www.waltonwebdesigner.com/”.

I shut down “http://www.waltonwebdesigner.com/” in anticipation of the sale. My email will now be conrad@walton2.com.

The biggest advantage that selling the domain name gives me is a break from having to take every web site project that comes along. I want to change the focus of Walton Communications from building web sites and doing SEO towards training and coaching.

If the sale goes through, there will be a new, additional web site, devoted only to training and coaching.

I’ll still do everything that I do now, but I’ll put all my effort into promoting that new site.

What About You?

In this upcoming transitional period, I’d love to hear what I can do to help you the most. I want to create training and coaching that actually solves the problems that people have.

What problems can I help you with?

What is the biggest obstacle you face trying to sell your products on the Internet?

What’s the biggest “pain point” that you have?

What’s your biggest dream?

Please leave a comment below telling me your answers.

You’ll help me shape the future of this enterprise with your comments.

11 Responses to Changes

  1. http://www.orsinimedici1951.etsy.com
    Hey Conrad, If you didn’t get at least 1mill–RENEGOTIATE!!
    Secondly–please change your sign off greeting to Dudes- (if you must) AND Dudettes!!!
    Third, my “pain point” is technical navigating stuff–like, I get copying and pasting–but how to make live links so that I can sprinkle them all over my favorite sites. I “get” the whole concept of SEO=Page Rank, but it’s the backlinks and widgety things that has me stymied!! I need to move to the nxt level of promoting my ETSY shop! Been w/ them for 2yrs–LOVE it there!1 Just hit my 111th sale on 11/11!! Weird, huh? Is that numerically significant in the world of cyber??

    • Ha! If it was a million, you’d never hear from me again.

      “Dude” is all inclusive, regardless of gender. We’re all dudes here. It’s a term of endearment and familiarity.

      I’ll work on that technical stuff.

      Thanks, dude!

  2. Jessica says:

    1. YAY!!
    2. You should have an iPhone app.
    3. You should have a “like” button alongside your comments section, for us lazy people.
    4. Maybe with your new cash, you can have Levi’s specially make your size of 501s for you! 🙂

  3. Nan Henke says:

    Conrad:
    Glad to see you focusing your business. I think that you will find it energizing.
    My current obstacle with selling on the internet is that when sales lag (or dry up completely) I can’t see my potential customer’s face. I can’t get feedback on why they visited my shop but did not buy. Sometimes I feel blindfolded, feeling my way in the dark as I look for my niche market folks.
    Nan

  4. Diane Smith says:

    Congrats Conrad! At this point in time, the thing I’d like to have answered is this: What SEO options will work with a redirected website?

    It seems that so many applications won’t work on my site. Until I’m at the place to have you create a new website for me, I want to make this redirected one work to the best of its ability. Thanks! ^_^

    • With a frame like you have, all of the on-site SEO will be directed towards the “real” URL, not the one at the frame. The off-site SEO will be directed towards the framed URL.

  5. Haha..snicker, snicker..501’s..Dude that was hysterical and sad 🙁

    Did you mention party? We want to party with you, congrats. Hope that check clears soon.

    I need help to find a precise target demographic. Who really likes and wants Sea Glass Jewelry. What is the best way to approach this.

    So glad your getting the break you needed to start up your coaching gig. Much success and Blessings to you and Victoria.

    Fair Winds and Calm Seas,
    Deborah Leon
    http://www.mermaidspurseseaglas.com

  6. *hugs!*

    I understand what you mean about mourning the changes even while you set your sails toward the future.

    Best of Fortune to you! :>

    My biggest obstacle & pain point is how to get all of this done w/o going crazy.

    It’s all so big and overwhelming, and then I have my own moments of sad at how much things have changed while I was away from the tech-ish world, and it all just gets to be too much, so I hide.

    Which accomplishes very little towards building our Avian Empire.

    Biggest dream – well, the biggest one that I’m comfortable sharing is to grow our business to a point where we can have the lifestyle we want, and do some of the big non-biz projects we want to do, like our animal rescue facilities, as well as our various biz projects.

  7. Anna says:

    As they say; “The only thing constant in life is Change”. My hubby and I have also seen a lot of our favorite things either change (and not for the better) or completely disappear from the market place.
    Your favorite brand of Grape-Flavored Water, sounds luscious and also sounds like a marketing guru could get the formula and get it out on the shelves where it would blow away its competition. But guess it doesn’t work that way otherwise I’d still be able to buy the fantastic perfume I used to always use or the wonderful cleaning products that actually worked and are now no longer available anywhere. Ah viva la change (said with sarcasm)

    I think my biggest pain point is that it all takes far too much time to constantly be promoting and getting backlinks and keeping everything up-to-date and current … from blogging to facebook to websites. It leaves me with little time to create and even less time to just have a LIFE ! Maybe nothing truly worthwhile is easy but does one really have to sacrifice their life in order to be a success on the internet?

  8. Jill Brock says:

    Congratulations! Sounds like a really good niche to operate in. There are tons of web designers but not that many people to show you the ropes. Education is always in demand.

    Sorry about the jeans!

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