Alberta Conservationist Interviewed by CWF President
Willie Matte – The Edmonton Journal | Posted: Sunday, November 1, 2020 2:00 pm
What started out as a routine assignment to cover the CWF Annual Meeting that was being held in Edmonton turned into something a lot more interesting. And it had nothing to do with the fact it happened to be Halloween.
While I was getting some prime quotes from CWF’s President, who just happens to be a longtime friend, he asked me “hey, do you want to meet Terry Neraasen? We just honoured him for his Corporate Sponsorship over the past three years. That’s probably a worthwhile story in it’s own right.”
I didn’t know Terry and learning that he’s a fellow Edmontonian, I was genuinely interested in learning how an obviously dedicated conservationist, living in my own home town, had remained under my radar.
Terry is a tall, white bearded, quietly confident guy with a direct manner and friendly but piercing blue eyes. It turned out that the ‘Prez’ (my friendly moniker for the President) was writing a feature article for the CWF Magazine and Terry had invited him to spend the day at the family Cottage on the Eastern Slopes. So I got invited to sit in on the conversation and act as scribe.
Our first view of the “cottage” elicits a “wow, what a gorgeous place you have here” from the Prez. It’s a 2500 square foot, pine log structure with a covered veranda on three sides and solar panels on the roof, sitting on a rise surrounded by native trees, shrubs, grasses and wild flowers. Given the time of year, the colours have faded but I can imagine what a beautiful picture this is in the summer and fall. The Mountains to the west provide a superb backdrop to this place and Terry takes obvious pride in pointing out all these features.
A small lake that Terry says is stocked with Rainbows sits a the bottom of the hill. “The grandkids, and me too, get a real kick out of catching those babies year round” Terry says, with obvious satisfaction.
A quick tour takes us through the big kitchen and dining area, the family room with a huge fireplace and entertainment centre, and the four large bedrooms upstairs. Wildlife art, most of it limited edition prints and carvings decorate the walls and tables. The place has all the modern conveniences and Terry points out with obvious satisfaction that it’s pretty well all powered by solar. Advances in that technology over the past five years has been a huge boon to renewable energy use.
We are sitting in Terry’s office at the cottage which looks out over the lake toward the mountains. Terry says “my wife and I both love pine log construction and always dreamed of a place like this where we could spend time with the family year round close to nature. We got this place in May of 2018 and we spend most of our time here. Anything else would be out of place in this kind of natural environment.” I silently agree.
Retirement is not synonymous with enjoying life for me
We get down to business and the Prez asks “Most people your age would be sitting back and just enjoying yourself, but I know you continue to operate a business and spend a lot of time and money supporting conservation programs like our Wetlands Program. Why don’t you just retire and enjoy life.”
Terry leans forward, smiles and says “because retiring would not be enjoying life. Enjoyment to me is contributing to things that matter to me and giving all I can to make the world a better place for me, my family and for people in general.”
“So wetlands are one of those things that matter” the Prez says. And now Terry gets very serious but uncharacteristically animated as he responds.
“Absolutely, and not just wetlands, but water, fresh water in total. Water conservation is one of the two most pressing needs globally. And the other is climate change. That’s why you see solar panels on the roof here.
If we as a society worldwide don’t start conserving water and restoring wetlands however large or small, instead of making sure water runs off to the oceans as fast as possible like we have done for hundreds of years here in North American and for centuries elsewhere, future generations will pay dearly.
That’s why I support worthwhile projects that actively restore wetlands like the CWF and DU Canada Wetlands Projects. And I promise to up the ante in future years.
The same is true for climate change and a switch to renewable energy production and use. This solar powered place is evidence I personally do my part in that and will influence others to do the same. That’s a promise too.
It’s part of a legacy I leave to my family and to humankind.”
The Prez followed up with “I understand your business is a very successful online one, but it really does not have anything to do with water conservation or environment at all. With your background in science and biology and experience with hands on wetlands conservation, I just wonder why your business is not consulting in those areas.”
Neraasen then reveals that indeed, his business is online affiliate marketing and that it currently generates $300,000.00 annually and that it is growing. The business and the money it earns is a means to an end, not the end in itself.
He then says “let’s step back a bit and get some perspective. Back when I first got out of high school and went to university I was following the path of ‘go to school, get a good education, then a good job and be a success in life’. Heading to university was unusual in my family but I had dreams of better things for myself and had some help and encouragement from relatives. And I accomplished that goal.
Next came graduate school and finally a Doctorate. I was strongly motivated to reach that lofty goal because I wanted better things for the young family I now had. My plan was to teach at a big university, do research and have grad students. Circumstances intervened and I took a job instead.
A good job that paid well and provided for my family. All that took planning, persistence and dedication. I guess you could say I was successful.”
“That sounds pretty successful to me” el Presidente remarks and asks, “so how and why did you transition from there to online marketing? Did you just carry over that experience to the new ventures and had success there too?”
The answer surprised us both I think.
Terry paused for a bit, giving that some thought and replied “yes and no, mostly no. Things changed at my corporate job in ways I didn’t like and I made the decision to leave and take up a new but similar career. That turned out to be a bad decision and I ended up leaving that one after three years.
That was pretty stressful and for a long time I blamed circumstances and other people involved. I wasn’t a happy camper. I wanted comfort and security for myself and my family and thought the way to do that was online and network marketing.
I was introduced to network marketing about then, 20 years ago now, and bought into the business model. It seemed logical that you could generate passive income selling stuff to people that wanted it and needed it, and helping other people do the same. And if I could learn and then do what it took to obtain a doctorate, it should be a piece of cake doing that.”
Made sense to me and the Prez nodded in apparent agreement.
This marketing business isn’t easy at all
But Terry continued.
“I soon learned it was not so easy. Because I was already proficient with computers and the internet I quickly gravitated to attempting to build a business online. I bought umpteen tools and courses being pedaled online as the magic bullets to success by the ‘gooroos’ (that’s how he said it with emphasis on the goo). Everything from self help, SEO, video, Facebook and on and on. And nothing I did worked.
Just set a goal, master a marketing method and take massive action with this great system, and if you persist you’ll succeed, was the mantra I heard over and over. Well that certainly didn’t work for me and it obviously wasn’t the answer for 95% of the people who were doing the same thing I was. I was getting frustrated, disillusioned and broke.”
That was evident in the way he spoke and the pain he was experiencing all over again. The Prez asks “so what turned things around? You obviously found the secret. What was it?”
“The secret was there all the time. I just couldn’t see it until two things happened about 5 or 6 years ago.
Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all bad. I met some great people along the way, one of whom in particular, Dennis Goff by name, I will be forever grateful for having met. We were involved in some of the same programs along the way and were similar in that we had been successful in bricks and mortar business but were failing miserably at network and online marketing.
He introduced me to Jim Yaghi, an awesome internet marketer, trainer and service provider. Yaghi exposed the gooroos and made me realize that the quick fixes and magic bullets most of them pedaled to people like us, desperate to make money online, were designed to keep us dependent and coming back for more and more; which we did over and over.
Yaghi showed me how to really serve the people I was trying to reach and turn them into happy, loyal customers who buy from me because I provide exactly what they need to solve their problems. What I learned from Jim let me develop the affiliate marketing system I now use to generate the income that bought all this (sweeping his arm to encompass the cottage, lake and the surrounding woods and meadows), lets me donate $10,000+ annually to wetland and water projects, support the education of our grandkids, and make my wife and I comfortable and very happy.”
We pause to grab a fresh coffee and take a tour outside on the veranda. As I look out over this expanse of habitat nestled in the hills with the Rockies in view, a small group of Canada geese circle the pond and sail in for a landing. Then a moose and her calf appear, browsing the alders along the shore. I begin to appreciate the obvious love he has for this place and his ardent desire to make sure these kinds of things are available to his family, and us all.
Back in the office with his feet up on the polished oak desk he continues in response to the question “you said two things happened to turn things around for you. What was the second thing?”
The Big One
“Ahh yes the big one” Terry says enthusiastically. “Let me make a long story short. My good friend Dennis put me onto The Master Key Master Mind Alliance in September of 2015 and I found that missing piece that was there in plain sight all the time.
The MKMMA Experience is a 6 month long intense experience led by Mark and Davene Januszewski and a crew of expert guides, that opened up my mind, literally. It made me realize I had never tapped into my world within, and defined exactly how to express my deepest desires and bring them into reality.
Sound airy fairy? It’s not. The Secret, the movie bears only a passing resemblance to what I experienced and Napoleon Hill’s famous quote ‘whatever a man can conceive and believe, he can achieve’ took on a whole new meaning.
First I came to realize that without a very clear picture of what my purpose in life is, deep down, it wouldn’t matter what method or program I used to reach any goals I set for myself. None would likely work. Not even the system I developed with Yaghi. All the stuff I had tried and failed miserably at weren’t the problem. I was attacking things from the wrong end.”
He pulls his feet off the desk and leans forward again. “You see” he says with intensity, “most people go through life going with the flow, conforming to the opinions, ideas and standards of all the people in their lives; parents, siblings,
relatives, friends, the schools, the government, their coworkers, the boss, and on and on.
They don’t think for themselves. They become carbon copies of everyone around them. They have no idea what power exists between their ears. They are ruled by their habits which are the result of an accumulation of all the influences they’ve had over the years.
This may seem airy fairy to you too, but everything in the universe conforms to the law of cause and effect. Mind, both your conscious and subconscious, is the cause of every condition or circumstance that you encounter in life. The thoughts you’ve let into your mind as true, are accepted unquestionably by the subconscious. They are the basis of your habits, the things which you believe deep down, and for the most part you react to situations automatically because of past experiences and associations, often not knowing why you respond as you do.
The money you make or don’t make, the relationships you have or don’t have, the successes and the failures you experience are the effects of those thoughts, the causes. As an example, my success in obtaining a Doctorate was due to the fact I had a burning desire to do it, believed I could, and had a purpose bigger than me for doing so. That was the cause and the degree was the effect. At that stage in my life my purpose was a natural urge to care for and nurture my young family.
When I got to the world of online marketing, I was in unfamiliar territory. The downers I had recently experienced shook my confidence and affected my attitude. While I consciously thought there was no reason I couldn’t be successful there, I wasn’t convinced. Most of all, I had no clear picture of why I was doing this stuff. And failure upon failure simply set a pattern for my subconscious mind that this is what I wanted. I was into the habit of failing. Vicious circle.”
So how did The Master Key turn that around? The simple answer is a lot of work and practice. Only a habit can subdue another habit and the Master Key System very systematically made me get rid of old habits and replace them with new ones that moved me toward the new purpose in life I had defined.
It takes a huge amount of work, but gradually the recognition of what I really wanted to do with my life, combined with a belief that these things were possible produced a clear and specific set of goals I was convinced I could reach.
The rest is history. People, products, and opportunities started appearing out of what seemed like nowhere that were instrumental in getting me to where I am. I am supremely pleased and grateful that I now can pass on a legacy of abundance and opportunity to my family, and a positive impact on water and wetland conservation.
And Prez, every acre of wetlands that gets restored through the programs I support are a source of pride and joy. And you being here today is no coincidence.” He pulls a folder out of his desk and shows a picture of himself and the Prez. “I had the idea you and I would be having this chat 5 years ago. And here we are.
Let’s go have lunch. We have some grouse, rainbow fillets and some awesome home made bread.”
So I got my story and filed it online and headed for lunch with anticipation.