I want to SO thank everyone again that posted over 100 comments to this thread about why I left StomperNet. Thanks for the love and support, you have NO idea how GOOD that makes me feel. And also I need to thank my long time friends and customers for understanding why I chose to go out on my own again. I’m very much looking forward to adding more value to this market, doing some great free-line things, and creating meaningful training. I’m also looking forward to just being responsible for me, for better or for worse. No matter what happens, it’s gonna be a lot of laughs and gnashing of teeth. Now, down to today’s business. Forgive the delay, but on Janeen and I decided to take a trip up the PCH to see some friends this weekend. I left my laptop at home. Because StomperNet is such a well-known brand and huge company in the Internet marketing space, there have been a few people who have been trying to stir up trouble by speculating about why I “really” left. There are fewer still that are screaming that my 14 page blog post where I talk about my career passions, my soul mate, her cancer scare, love of my friends, and my personal goals are all a “sham” or even a “scam” – One that was artfully engineered to take attention off of the dirty underbelly of the internal workings of my former partnership with Brad Fallon. And of course, Jerry West resigning to re-prioritize his life added fuel to the conspiracy fire. I’m gonna address this officially one more time and be done with it. Opening Thoughts: Most of my friends and associates have told me to straight up ignore this drama. “Andy, you’re not running for political office — you don’t owe ANYONE an explanation for this – you’ve got a 9 year track record of creating success stories and hundreds of thousands of raving fans – this is gutter crap.” All true. I’m doing this because I LOVE my customers, and I trust them to make the right kinds of judgments about me – just as they ALWAYS have. I will be speaking for ME and ME only. I don’t speak for StomperNet, but I’ll invite Brad to comment on the post. I know he’s kinda busy, after hiring like 7 more faculty members, but I’ve still got some pull over there. :) I’ll set the stage upfront. First, I’m told that I have a tendency to use NLP unfairly when I write (I’ve read exactly One book about NLP, and I still can’t spell it), so instead of (cough) hypnotizing you with my mad writing skillz (whatever), I’m gonna be OVERLY transparent to the point of nausea and foolishness. Corporate Lesson #1 through #237… If you’re an Entrepreneur you probably want to learn from this because if your company gets big, you’re gonna have to deal with some of this stuff. That’s the downfall of generating millions of dollars and having a bunch of officers and employees – things become incredibly legal and incredibly complicated. Those are just some of the dues that you pay. And it’s one of the small, but mention-worthy reasons, that I’m looking forward to being a lone wolf again. IMPORTANT: None of what you are about to read changes even a SINGLE WORD from my original blog post called “Why I left StomperNet”. I’m dead serious about that – I don’t care who says what or whatever suppositions or allegations are waved around – I left because it was time for me to pursue other things and spend some real time with the people that I love – end of case. Personal Freedom of Speech – without limitation. For the record, I have NO ongoing commitment to StomperNet. Nor do I have a Consulting Agreement currently or previously active. There’s no “Earn-Out” agreement, no promissory note, and no restrictions to my life. I also don’t have any obligation to protect StomperNet or Brad Fallon. NONE. He can’t come after me or whatever because I let someone be mean to him. He CAN make obscene gestures, but I’m a wiz with Photoshop and I have pictures of him in Vegas – so… TIE. So like, lets pretend that I’ve got a good Biz Dev and Corporate Litigation lawyer (Not one, but TWO) from the 3rd largest law firm in the world. Heh. And if you act now for the low price of $645.00 per hour you can too! Just click the button below and… Meaning, I have no reason to lie, or spin, or otherwise shine up a turd, if said turd existed. So, lets get to the current drama that’s now underway and being waved around hysterically by a couple of bit players trying to make a name for themselves in Internet Marketing as protectors of the “common man”. Because us Gurus are EVIL. #1 – Did Andy Jenkins and StomperNet sue Brad Fallon – YES. There’s a new website – it’s Stompednet.com. The implication made by its promoters is that it will show its readers the “Real” reasons why I left StomperNet and why StomperNet is now in a death spiral and that how it can’t “deliver the goods” to it’s customers. If you’re concerned about that, go ahead and ask the folks who just attended the last StomperLive Event about that death spiral or if “The Goods” were not delivered. All 600 of them. The site then links to a PDF of an official looking document. It’s a COPY of a lawsuit. Full Transparency – There is a current rumor that I am the one that posted this site and PDF, the proof being the “Author” information that’s part of the meta-info of the PDF file has “Andy Jenkins” as the Author. Meaning, original PDF was re-saved with MY name as the author of the document, which is pretty much easy to do and pretty much Fraud. I could give a rip about the fraud – being a target is what happens when you’re in this space, but I though I’d shout out to the accusers with “Nice try mystery web master”. If only it wasn’t a re-saved version of the PDF, you might have gotten away with it. Now, please note that the web master of this site has chosen to remain anonymous. They thought they could hide behind the “shield” of private WHOIS domain registration. I mean, come on… Really? Seriously? Dude, I had your name 18 minutes after your first twitter and first forum post – People that you do business with CALLED ME to tell me about the Shenanigans. And the next time you register a business and you’re looking for Privacy, do it in the right state with the right host. WHOIS Privacy? IP Masking? Please… I’m looking at your place on Google Maps right now… #1A – Pen names are for suckers. On the other hand, THIS is how I roll: My name is Andy Jenkins. It’s actually JAMES Andrew Jenkins, but I go by my Middle name – just like Brad (I won’t tell you his first name, cause you’ll never be able to look him in the eye again – Oh Okay, it’s Clifford – he tried to go by “Cliff” for a while, but that name requires a mustache). <sarcasm> There… That’s the REAL reason I left StomperNet </sarcasm>. That’s my REAL picture on my About Page and also in my Twitter and Facebook profile. My corporate address is 7660-H Fay Avenue #184, La Jolla, Califonia, 92037. That’s 6 blocks from my current condo. I still have a place in Georgia, located in Berkeley Lake. My new company name is Jenkins Internet Marketing (JIM for short, after my dad, whose name is Jim – it made him cry – so WIN). My Twitter handle is AndyJenkins. I have only 1 Twitter account (unlike whatz hiz name). My personal Facebook Page (which I don’t check much, especially now that my mother is posting baby and high school pictures of me and tagging them to my account) is facebook.com/AndyJenkins. My public email address is email@example.com. Andy Jenkins, mmmmKay? Here’s the story – from the horses mouth (Said horse being named Andy Jenkins): The PDF file that’s linked to from this site is a copy of a civil lawsuit filed by Andy Jenkins (that’s me) and derivatively on behalf of StomperNet against Brad Fallon (The “derivatively” part is important, but I’ll get to that in a minute). #1B – Brad and I actively tried to hide the lawsuit. NO. The document is and has been PUBLIC RECORD. Meaning, not only can ANYONE who visits the web site of the County that the suit was filed in get access to the records, the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper routinely runs public announcements on cases that come before that jurisdiction’s court – it’s like the obits, but for lawsuits. And this one had its turn. So, it’s not only public record, it’s been advertised. And NO, I was not going to send a newsletter to my subscribers or update my twitter followers with “Today, I sued Brad, how’s your day going? Please ReTweet”. If the reasons are not obvious, then you might not be tall enough to ride this roller coaster. You can read the complaint in the PDF file, but how about I save you the trouble and give you the ciffs notes? BTW, there’s a HUGE lesson here for folks contemplating owning and operating a Small Business that gets BIG. Read on. In the winter of 2009, Brad took an unscheduled distribution of $110,000. For about six weeks previous, between Brad traveling, the StomperLive Seven event, and the Stomping the Search Engines 2.0 launch, we didn’t speak a word to each other. I was slammed and he was… Brad. Heh. And I mean that in a good way. But at the time, it seemed like corporate theft. It wasn’t. It’s not a secret that Brad had fairly little to do with operations at StomperNet, and we have previously gone similar lengths of time without talking. Nothing unusual there. So naturally, that was held up as further evidence of a conspiracy. Heh. But our operating agreement is specific – Cash Distributions to shareholders of StomperNet are by mutual agreement. That didn’t happen – that was wrong, and Brad has since apologized for it. It wasn’t about the $110,000 – I mean, are you kidding? StomperNet was an EIGHT FIGURE COMPANY according to its 2008 tax returns. This was about being short $110,000 in the specific operating account where payroll is funded from – and not knowing about it. Do you take my meaning? – It was about the sum total of ALL of the bank accounts being exposed with no understanding what was going on. And when you’ve got a lot of people depending on payroll, you don’t mess around. But the company had better things to do, so I wrote a check from my personal bank account to cover the difference and then some, called my attorney, and forgot about it for a little while. But the straw the freaked everyone out, and thus precipitated the formal complaint was The Arbitrage Conspiracy. Brad was a Joint Venture partner of that launch, while StomperNet and I stayed on the sidelines with no material or strategic interest. And while the launch was very successful the public blow back because of (according to public forums) delivery and customer service challenges that STOMPERNET got blamed for (because of it’s association with Brad) was EPIC. WE got threatened with a lawsuit and it wasn’t even a product of ours! That torqued a LOT of people off. And there was a real question about whether or not internal StomperNet resources were used to facilitate the TAC launch. (This had nothing to do with the TAC guys, BTW.) And as you are about to learn, when corporate property is called into question, “Official” (Read that to mean “Pain in the Ass Things”) notifications have to occur. As per the StomperNet operating agreement, I had a Fiduciary responsibility as its primary corporate officer to look after and protect the interests of the company, it’s shareholders, and it’s charter. I am actually legally bound and accountable to state and federal laws because of it. The advisors believed that a FORMAL complaint needed to be filed. FORMAL is the operative principle here – unless it’s formal, the rights of any future claims because of possible damages are forfeit. And who knew where or when the next pissed off TAC customer was gonna take a swing at us? Corporate Lesson #238 through #387 – managing the rights and policies of a corporation with 50 employees and 12 faculty members requires every “i” dotted and ever “t” crossed. If you don’t do it proactively, you get screwed. Now, because StomperNet is an LLC it CANNOT file a lawsuit on its own – even if it’s against a poodle, let alone one of it’s own corporate officers. Someone has to act on the entity’s behalf and that someone turned out to be me. Thus the complaint reads by Andy Jenkins individually and derivatively ON BEHALF OF StomperNet. Makes it sound like I was out to get Brad, right? So, that sucked – bad. Brad was also radio silent – which sucked worse. Not because he didn’t take it seriously – He was on the road (his passport looks like a tattoo sample book), losing his cell phone every other week. Seriously, ask some other people that know Brad – he never wears out a phone or laptop before he loses it or it gets stolen. He once ended up with an emergency replacement iPhone that had an Ohio (WTF?) area code and every time I tried to call it, 2 people would answer (True story). Attorneys to the Rescue! In my opinion, this misunderstanding turned into a mess because Brad’s attorney is a dick. I hope he’s reading this post because I never got to tell him AFTER Brad and I laughed about this whole thing how much of a DICK I think he is – and how much I think his by-mail-order-night-school-law-degree-legal skills contributed to the world’s biggest misunderstanding. I mean, don’t tell me that you didn’t get any email from me for 2 months and then all of the sudden answer all of them at once when things get real. Child. THAT part I was mad about. #2 – Was there a counter suit filed by Brad? – YES, of course. (Full Transparency) There are some more official legal documents (Including a counter suit filed by Brad’s attorney) and official notifications surrounding this, but they’re simply not relevant – I don’t care what anyone says. In the history of partnerships, when one partner sues another, there is almost ALWAYS a counter lawsuit so that the concept “M.A.D.” (More on that below) is put forward and settlement talks can begin. After Brad was served (which took 3 months longer to occur than anyone thought), we got on the phone, talked it out, had an owners meeting, cleared up the awful misunderstandings, and immediately agreed to stipulate an extension to the legal stuff and appoint a Receiver (whose job is to protect the material assets of the company) until we could sort out what actually happened with the distribution and TAC. And the extension took a month to get officially filed. #3 – Were all legal actions dismissed? YES. They were ALL dismissed with prejudice. And THAT ALSO took a month to get filed. Then, we got HAMMERED, mutually apologized for the SNAFU, and went back to work with a promise to talk once a week at LEAST. #4 – Are the lawsuits why I sold out to Brad? One Thousand Times NO. It was about then that Janeen and I got the cancer scare. THAT’S what started me thinking about something beyond the 80-hour weeks at StomperNet. Not the perfunctory lawsuit. Full Transparency – OF COURSE I was annoyed with and tired of the drama from this kind of nonsense. It’s always been a dream of mine to start a company and grow it to something meaningful. Part of that dream did NOT include litigious activity. After Janeen’s first MRI came back with the Tumor diagnosis, it was pretty easy for me to prioritize my life according to what I was about to lose – her. NOTHING else mattered – least of all a perfunctory legal action caused by morons. I’m damn PROUD of StomperNet and it’s people. And you can BET your buppie (Overheard that in a bar, sounded cool) that I’ll support the company as long as it continues to create killer “How To” content. And also, the truth is, while I think he’s a nut – I kinda still like my ex-partner. (Brad doesn’t like man-emotion – so that’s as cuddly as we get) Sidebar – let me tell you something about Brad that most people don’t know. This will probably annoy him, but it’s the truth: When I proposed to Janeen on stage at the close of StomperLive Five, I was surrounded by the staff and faculty of StomperNet. Right behind me was Tom Ham and Leslie Rohde – I heard them crying like teenage girls at a Jonas’ Brother Concert. I turned around to give them a hug and thank them, but it wasn’t Tom or Leslie… …it was Brad. I was as shocked as you probably are. Who knew he liked the Jonas’ Brothers so much?! #5 – Was there a Hostile Take-Over? NO. Now, lets talk about what has been suggested by some irresponsible forum posts… It’s been offered, and I think this is more or less the exact phrasing, that Brad FORCED me to sell him my shares and executed either a “Hostile Take Over” or “Leveraged Buy-Out” (Depending on which twitter account is telling the story). Clearly, someone has been watching too much Oliver Stone and is too big of a Fan of Gordon Gecco. “Andy, damn you! I’m going to give you a LOT of money for your StomperNet stock… so sell it to me or ELSE!” StomperNet is a privately held company. There are many classes of stock, but the only class of Stock that counts in any kind of control capacity is the Class A Voting Stock. Brad and I had equal proportions of Class A Stock. TIE! Here’s what that means – THERE IS NO HOSTILE TAKE OVER or LEVERAGED BUY OUT situation that could EVEN OCCUR. It’s structurally impossible. But hey, it makes a GREAT story and apparently, an even BETTER website. Moving on… Even if Andy Jenkins wanted to, even though Andy Jenkins was the CEO and active managing member of the company, even Andy Jenkins couldn’t have forced Brad Fallon out – so do you think he had a rim shot of a chance doing that to me? About the only way that’s possible (Full Transparency in effect) is if I was found CRIMINALLY malfeasant – not from a civil case stand-point, though. We’re talking frog-marching me in handcuffs to a 10×10 cell and being forced to wear an orange jumper kinda criminal malfeasance. And since the financial and other records of the company always show me being SQUEAKY CLEAN… (And BTW, NO – there was never any criminal filings – just so everyone is clear.) #6 – Who offered to Buy Who out? Brad offered to Buy Andy Out Unsolicited. It’s been suggested that I begged Brad to buy me out and that if he did, I wouldn’t sue him. First of all, that’s ghetto to even SUGGEST that I’d beg for ANYTHING. But maybe someone reading this doesn’t know me very well. Lets think about this for a second… In the last 5 years, I’ve owned a piece of EVERY SINGLE Company that Brad had an ownership interest in. Not a joint venture interest – an Ownership Interest. The “Blanket Assignment” that we co-signed at the conclusion of my buyout had a list of 8 or 9 companies, NOT including StomperNet OR FreeIQ. So, lets call it 11. The fact is I had my hooks deep into Brad. DEEP. Why? One of my favorite sayings to staff at StomperNet was “Pretend I’m not an Idiot”. In retrospect, I think I had to say it a bit too often. There’s a concept used to describe military strategy during America’s Cold War with the Soviet Union called MAD. It stands for Mutually Assured Destruction. Very simply put, it means that one dude is not gonna start a fight with another dude because even though that dude knows he could kick ass, he ALSO knows that the other dude has ass-kicking skills and that the end result would be just body parts, misery, and the lamentations of their woman. (Hint: That was a line from a movie) No. Brad did not threaten me and I did not DEMAND he buy me out. I didn’t ask him to buy me out. It was his idea. There was also no hint of what’s called a “Pipe-Wrench Injunction”. That’s an old school term that sounds like what it is. And by the way, have you seen Brad lately? He weighs like 82 pounds. I think I’ve LOST more weight than he currently is. :) Not only was there the MAD factor to consider, there is also something called the “Great Doo-Doo Ball of Karma” (™Dan Thies). Or for the less ghetto among my readers, “What goes around, comes around”. Consider for a split second if Brad OR I would EVER have a career in Internet marketing again if we ended up wrecking StomperNet? Um…. HELLO? Brad and I have done like $40,000,000 together over the years. Seriously, what kind of idiots would we be? BIG ASS IDIOTS, that’s what kind! Not that I’m not a B.A.I. (I surely have my moments… Full Transparency, heh) – but not about my Partnership with Brad, and certainly not about the welfare of StomperNet, it’s staff, or it’s customers. #7 – Did Brad and I ever Argue? We didn’t JUST argue. Brad and I used to TEAR INTO EACH OTHER at least 2 times a year. And I’m talking CLASH of the Muddafvking TITANS. Brad and I couldn’t be more temperamentally different. And when the pressure is on, things get intense –and we fought about things that seemed like the end of the world at the time. You know what I used to do? I’d go through the staff and faculty roles and add up all of the non-staff people that an employee’s salary supported. The grand total at one point was 195 – Husbands, Wives, their kids… That’s 195 people that relied on the paycheck that StomperNet issued. 195 people that put food on the table, paid rent and car payments, paid for their health insurance… There were three babies born to employees at StomperNet while I was there (DNA Tests confirm that none were mine). 7 people got seriously sick or hurt and had to be rushed to the Hospital, and that’s not including employee’s husbands, wives or kids – they got flowers and get well cards, too. 6 kids started college. And 30,000 customers were worshiped. THAT’S WHY YOU FIGHT! THAT’S WORTH FIGHTING FOR! Because that’s what 50/50 partners DO! I remember being so frustrated with Brad that I had our Dev team create a video game about blowing Brad’s head off (For his Birthday). Talk about a misappropriation of corporate resources! Here’s a screen capture of it. And if you want to play, here’s the link . Do it fast before Brad remembers that I had it made and yanks the page down. The High Score is 55. Post your score in the comments below. You fight until nothing is left to fight about and then you get back to work. End Of Case. #8 – Brad and I are both pissed at each other still. NO One of the most ironic things about all of this is that we both think that we each got the better deal. While I’m not sure this is a legal term per say, it’s more commonly known as a “Win-Win”. The bottom line is, Brad and I argued, there was an awful misunderstanding because of lack of communication, lawyers got involved, we talked about it, went back to work with some new rules, and I got a wake up call about Janeen which started me thinking that it was time to do other things and vastly simplify my life. Brad wanted to run StomperNet – I agreed, I got a wire transfer and moved to California.
I am now tan and very happy. #9 – I’m REALLY worried by what other people will think about this. NO. So, why am I talking about an “On-Public-Record tactical lawsuit” that was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice – the one that occurred because of a major miscommunication that has nothing to do with me leaving? I’m writing this for the people who care about me, for the people that have always trusted me. Because this is what they would EXPECT me to do. I mean, in many cases like this, you might elect to do something called a “Strategic Ignore” (I got that phrase from a post in the Warrior Forum – Holla!) and that might be the RIGHT thing to do. Of all of the lessons that I learned while being da boss, one of the best was: “Don’t Suffer Fools Gladly”. It’s ridiculous that I have to even do a follow-up – but because I’ve been so transparent with my customers and subscribers, I want to clear the air about this lingering guff and get back to real work. That’s why. Normally I wouldn’t even address people who call me a “Psychopath” or “Con Artist” because I’ve learned that focusing on Negativity or Stupidity is NOT the way to make more money in your business. But a couple dear customers and followers of mine were concerned that this was part of a “character assassination plot”. And everyone likes a good conspiracy theory. In one way, I’m flattered by it(Bet ya didn’t see that coming…). If StomperNet wasn’t such a huge brand that I had a major hand in creating, then NO ONE would even care. There’s a reason that you don’t see pictures of Gary Colemen coming out of da Club on TMZ, because NO ONE cares. So, thanks, I’m flattered. I now rate above Gary Coleman online. Cross that one off my list. Lets review: Lawsuits? Yes. Voodoo Conspiracy? No. Hostile Take Over? No. Leveraged Buy Out worthy of a Sequel to “Wall Street”? Uhhh NO. When I decided to leave StomperNet, the first 10 reasons had NOTHING to do with a dead lawsuit. Of course I factored everything into my decision – and on my Pro’s and Con’s mindmap, legal stuff was obviously a con. But the moment I’d made my decision to take Brad’s offer (In APRIL), my thoughts were about preparing the company for new leadership and preparing my family for a career change. Sorry to disappoint you, but I guess if you want some real juicy stuff, you should go read about Steve Job’s career. My decisions were about FUTURE OPPORTUNITY – not about ANYTHING that took place in the past. And for anyone who thinks that I tried to HIDE a document that is part of the Public Record that had been advertised in a Metro newspaper, that’s his or her decision. It’s just not the truth. And while people are entitled to their own opinions, they are not entitled to their own Facts – no matter how much they’re desperately hoping that I’ll finally and truly turn out to be a scum-bag after all. Whoever wants to look into my colorful past to dig up dirt will be well supplied with ammunition – no one, especially me, can hide from their past when their life is put under a microscope. I’m SURE that this isn’t over. I’m SURE that the response to this post will be “Yeah but, what about THIS?” And “How come the timing and dates are like THIS?”, and “You’re just covering Brad’s ass, you just want my MONEY”, and “StomperNet was a sham all along”… …and maybe they’ll go looking for my juvie records, traffic tickets, or the summons that I got because I had employees working out of my house in a residential zone before the office construction was complete… (Guilty- $500 fine, btw) …and then, they’ll attack my family. Cause that’s what scumbags do. I’ve known that it would be POINTLESS to hide anything about who I am or what I believe during the last NINE years that I’ve been making money online. So I haven’t -and that’s worked out JUST fine for me. There’s a great Yiddish Proverb that goes something like “If I am like others, who will be like me?” AWESOME. There’s a reason that I’ve been around this long. Some of it might have to do with what I do and how I teach what I do. Some of it might have to do with the thousands of people that are better off or wealthier and happier because of something that I, or BRAD and I (or one of the Faculty) taught them. But most of my staying power has to do with the least impressive thing about me… What you see is what you get.
This is me, flaws and all. Take it, leave it. But whatever you do… …don’t say I didn’t warn you. Now, back to our regularly scheduled Relevance. Andy P.S. Shout out to a couple of very decent bloggers who are treating this responsibly. Their concern seems to be more focused on their dissatisfaction with the way that third parties are treating this subject – and they’re not insinuating worst-case scenarios or filling in the blanks. That takes restraint and intelligence.