Ch. 12 – Any Regrets – Critical Thinking

Any Regrets?


If you had it to do all over again…

Not a very complex question, but one that can give rise to some complex reflection. Personally, I adhere to a similar philosophy as Steve, as he states below. I am what I am, because of what I’ve done… to change that would change what I am.

Nevertheless, I still wouldn’t change my decision to dive into the SEO pool – even the deep end. I’ve always enjoyed a challenge, and this certainly supplies that. Besides, it’s interesting and fun. Even small victories are enjoyable, when earned, and in SEO, you earn every inch.

Then there’s the people. I’ve met some great folks in the last decade, and I’ve managed to build some great relationships in the process. Some of those people are represented here, and others here may one day count me as a friend. So I’m very pleased with the outcome, and wouldn’t change it for the world.

A few years back, I retired, satisfied that I wouldn’t have to work again unless I wanted to. Then a faltering economy hit me harder than I had reason to expect, and I suddenly was faced with the necessity of going back to work.

Even that upsetting of my retirement applecart, I wouldn’t change. Did I choose the most lucrative option available to me? Undoubtedly not. Do I now have a vision of another retirement on the horizon? Again, no. In today’s economy, I have to wonder if anyone that is contemplating retirement in the foreseeable future has a grip on reality. I may work until the day I die, but at least I’ll be doing something I love.

So, for my part, I’m right where I should be at this point in time… enjoying a challenging and invigorating career, in a still-ample market, surrounded by people I like and respect.

How many people half my age can say as much?


We put this question to our contributors:


11. If you had it to do all over again, would you still enter your present field?


Alan Bleiweiss

There’s no doubt in my mind that I would. From the first moment I was introduced to the Internet I knew it was my future.  It’s in my blood.  And so too, is SEO for that matter.

Andrea Scarpetta

I doubt there is another field which is so active and ever-changing… since I hate stagnation and routines, my answer could only be YES!

Andrew Bleakley

Absolutely, there are few other jobs that afford you the opportunity to learn and break something new every day with a community that is by and large wonderful and very intelligent. Finding and driving quality traffic to client websites is a fantastic reason to wake up every morning and watching sales grow for clients as I work away gives it a solid grounding.

Anthony Verre

Without thinking twice.

Barry Adams

In all honestly, I’d probably do something different. If I had to do it over again I’d change my university major to Artificial Intelligence and would probably be working at some research institute right now. Or, who knows, for Google. 😉

Dana Lookadoo

Yes, undoubtedly!

Danny Sullivan


Dean Cruddace

Faster than the speed of a startled Gazelle, this has been the most rewarding journey I have been on beyond meeting my beautiful other half and the birth of my daughter, internet marketing offers such a feel good factor when you see your clients making good honest money from fantastic products and services and that I was an instrumental piece in making that happen.

Debra Mastaler

Yes I would, but I would do some things differently.  On the professional front I would niche my services down even more than they are now, trying to offer too much dilutes the quality of the process.  On a personal level I wouldn’t be so trusting and I’d speak up more.

Eren McKay

This is my dream so “yes” would be my definite answer.

Gabriella Sannino


Garrett French

Absolutely. I love it here. I would have gone into business for myself sooner though!

Heather Lloyd-Martin

Heck yes. SEO is an ever-changing field – so it’s perfect for folks who always love to learn new things. Plus, there are so many opportunities whether you want to work in-house or freelance. I’ve been doing this for 14 years now, and I can’t imagine living any other life. J

Hugo Gill


Ian Lurie

Absolutely. I can’t imagine a cooler job. I get to help people who make great products put those products in the hands of the people who need them most.

Someday, I’d like to have my own product to sell, but right now, this can’t be beat.

Jahnelle Pittman


Jey Pandian

Yes, without a doubt. I love it too much 🙂

Joe Hall


Joshua Titsworth

In a heartbeat. I would just make sure to make better decisions than when I first got started. I’d follow my gut more and be more vocal about my thoughts about the condition of a client site in the work place rather than sitting silently. I’ve gotten better at both, but it made for a rocky beginning.

Justin Parks

Yes… and No.  I would obviously do so many things differently, but no other business I know offers so much variety, so many challenges and so much “freshness” as the online world.  I like to think I have played some small part in influencing the world of tomorrow.  Even though no one listens to me .

Lyena Solomon

If I was allowed a do-over, I would definitely enter my present field.  I enjoy what I do and the more I practice, the more I want to learn. I like that online marketing is not boring.

Michelle Robbins

Yes, absolutely. We live long lives – why not explore as many fields of interest as possible?

M.J. Taylor

Absolutely! I love love love what I do.

Rand Fishkin

Absolutely! SEOs are some of the best people in the world. I’m consistently amazed by their kindness, generosity, willingness to share and wonderful attitudes.

Rebekah May

Absolutely! This is a fast paced and incredibly challenging field, but I love that challenge.  I am a very competitive person, so really this is the perfect choice for me.  I feel more like I am playing a giant game all day instead of working.  If anything, I would have entered much sooner.   Of course there are times when it just feels like you have so much work to do and news to catch up on that it can become overwhelming – but the wonderful people I have met and the satisfaction you get from a job well done is so worth it.

Steve Gerencser

Of course. I’m not a fan of looking backwards and playing what if. I am who I am today because of everything behind me. I like who I am, even if I am a raging ass from time to time, and changing anything in my past would change who I am now.

S. Emerson

Keeping up with all the changes is quite time consuming but when you implement them for yourself or a client and see positive results it really is rewarding.

Taylor Pratt

Absolutely! I love this industry. It’s constant evolution as a whole keeps it incredibly refreshing and exciting. You have so much freedom as to what you can do – whether you’re passionate about food, sports, music or any other topic, you have the opportunity to build a business around it. What other job can offer that?

Thomas Fjordside

Without a doubt. I like the changing and challenging nature of the internet. And I like developing websites, I have done it since I was 12. 🙂

Tim Nash

Yes, though I would obviously make changes. Hindsight is wonderful and so much has changed since I first entered the field. Interesting looking at an article I wrote in 2000 – I suggested the web would need to become less anonymous and engage in real friendships to really take off as a communication medium. I wish I had paid attention to myself and looked towards social media earlier on. While there is still huge potential, it has gone down a different route to the one I had sort of envisioned.

William Slawski

I’ve had the chance to work in a factory building industrial machinery, support myself through college and law school as a chef in a number of restaurants, spend 14 years as legal and technical administrator at a trial court, teach community college, and try my hands at a number of other professions.

None of those professions has been as fulfilling as being able to help website owners improve their websites and their businesses and help them succeed.


You can begin with Chapter One of Critical Thinking for the Discerning SEO here.