I had a conversation with a friend a couple of nights ago that spurred today’s podcast.
The easiest way to share the conversation with you is going to be via story, which will probably be best understood by listening to the show, but I’ll give you the story behind all this so you get a good feeling for what the show is about (if you can’t listen to it right now).
Once upon a time…
Kidding. (I don’t know what it is lately that I feel this incessant need to amuse myself.)
I don’t think I’ve shared this part of my story before, so this will be new to everyone (yes, I know I’m redundant and repeat myself often). What lit a fire within me to get an online business started was actually a Real Estate Wealth Expo I attended in San Francisco maybe 7 years ago (don’t remember the exact date). Prior to that I had heard a little bit about Internet Marketing on a CD program I had bought by Mark Victor Hansen (one of the Chicken Soup for the Soul guys). There was an internet marketer who talked about online business and making money with information products, which I had never heard of before!
People making money selling downloadable digital products???
Being the information
whore junkie that I am, I was hooked immediately. And let me just say that at this point in time the ONLY thing I did with computers was email and games, and I’m not talking role playing games. I’m talking solitaire (didn’t know I was such a wiz, did you?).
So when I heard what this guy was talking about… Pay Per Click, Title tags, heading tags, copy, sales pages, merchant accounts… it was literally like hearing a foreign language somehow it was melodic, like hearing Andre’ Boccelli sing. I have no idea what he’s saying, but I love it. Something about what he was saying struck a nerve in me.
Back to the Real Estate Wealth Expo.
There were some big keynote speakers there, Tony Robbins, Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki to name a few. I’ve read them all.. remember, I was a Tony Robbins convert at the ripe old age of 22… which is what lead me down the path of entrepreneurship (I’ve since moved on from all the motivational guru’s… I have a much gentler approach these days). Besides the keynote speaker sessions you could attend these little side sessions and the topics varied, but needless to say one of the side sessions was on Online Business and Internet Marketing.
Here’s the short version: The guy wrote an ebook on Halloween parties for kids. Put up a sales page. Made around $8-9k a month with it. Easy Peasy! (tell me you’re chuckling at this point because you probably know where this is going). My friend and I invested in his $1295 program, packed full of CD’s and spiral bound training manuals. And since I consider 2008 the year I started my business and this was in 2006, you can probably guess not much happened with this “fabulous special offer” we purchased. It was part the quality and support but more than anything it was execution (and confidence… on our part).
Fast forward a couple of years to 2008 when I started my business. This Business. That I love and adore and am grateful everyday that I get to do something I enjoy so much.
My First Time.
(no, not that first time! get your mind out of the gutter…)
I can still remember the first time I installed WordPress.
Oh. My. God.
It was a manual install (ie, no one-click fantastico or quick install set up) and I had to go get my neighbor, who works at home for a major bank doing networking (or something) for the trading floor, to ask him what the hell a root folder was??? I was using the WordPress for Dummies book and had NO idea what that meant (see why I like pictures so much???).
Obviously we got it figured out (four hours later) and moved onto the next steps.
Here’s where the conversation with my friend comes in.
She wanted to start an online business too. She had the same knowledge and skill set I had at the time, which was zero.
I honestly can’t tell you how many different sites I’ve put up for her over the past 5 1/2 years. Once I found WordPress and “The WordPress Chick” I knew I was in it for the long haul. And the first couple of years when I was still getting comfortable doing what I’m doing I didn’t mind putting up new sites for her. Over and over. And then telling her she needed to start writing.
She’s been through some very difficult years in between then and now and I’m beyond impressed with her tenacity to survive. But I often wonder where she would be had she stuck with ONE idea. Just ONE. We all have ideas and most of us (I’m assuming) like the idea phase. Like coming up with brilliant plans, products and services that we think will make a difference. The problem is that they’re worth nothing if we don’t execute on them.
Even if the product or service flops.
Who you become and what you learn in the process makes all the difference in the world.
Unfortunately for my friend she’s had a situation come up where she’s injured herself and can’t continue doing the work she was doing (which is what she did for the prior 25+ years and didn’t want to keep doing). When she called me the other night the conversation was about what she could do to earn money online NOW. Which, I’m sure comes as no surprise, I couldn’t really answer.
Without having an audience, a site, subscribers… you’d better have lots of money to drive traffic to something. Of course if the “something” you’re thinking of is affiliate marketing, I’ve got bad news for you there too.
Affiliate marketing payouts don’t happen until the month after you’ve made the sale. Sometimes longer. And you’ll still need money to drive traffic to the offer, and we haven’t even talked about whether or not you’re the one setting up any of the squeeze pages, sales pages or offers.
I still believe with every ounce of my being that an online business is viable and one of the BEST ways to build a business today. But there is SO much that goes into building an online business! There will always be the slick salesman ready to pounce on the person who is desperate to make a change in their life and create the financial freedom that so many of us are seeking. I really don’t want to get into a rant about that type of marketer, because I think that model is less effective than it used to be. Social Media and a desire for transparency has shifted things.
But here’s the deal.
The REAL deal.
ANY business – online or offline, requires WORK. You HAVE to show up and do the work.
Think about it this way.
If you had an idea to open a sandwich shop, would you find the location, sign the lease, order the menus and start building your shop and then 3 months in decide you’d rather have a yogurt shop?
But people do this ALL the time with online businesses. They want to feel “passionate” about what they’re doing. I get it, I do too. But your “passion” may not have a market. Take the time to define what type of business you want to build and then FRIGGIN COMMIT to it.
And speaking of Commit…
I found this AWESOME app called “Commit” by Nathan Barry. It’s a whopping $2.99, but SO worth it! You make a commitment to do something every day and set a reminder to ask you if you did it. I’ve set a few and am LOVING it. Simple. Easy. And of course it looks good.
I was going to do a post with this image. And only this image, but then the tone of today’s episode seemed perfect for this message.
And whatever you do, stick with it!