When I started out online I spent far too much time and effort doing things which didn’t produce any results. Over the years I have leaned through my own mistakes to concentrate on the activities which produce the greatest results. So here I have complied a list of the top 10 things to avoid when starting out online.
1. Creating your own product
I spent weeks and months building my own e-books and downloads to put on my website thinking I was going to become rich from the sales. After spending several weeks building the book, converting it to a pdf, copyrighting it, uploading it to my website, building articles on my website, guess how many sales I made? Yes none! I wasted all that time and made no money at all. The main problem was I was a no-body. No-one will buy from someone they don’t know or trust. Trust is the number one commodity on the internet and if you can build trust you are much more likely to be able to sell a product. If you don’t have any customers or traffic to your websites you can have the best product in the world but you still won’t make any sales. Using someone else’s product like Stuart and Jay’s SFM will free up all that time you could have spent creating your own product and already has been developed with all the systems in place.
2. Getting distracted
There are so many people and companies in the online world who are telling you how to make an online business work that it becomes impossible to discern the good ones from the bad ones. I jumped from one course to another always looking for the ‘magic bullet’ of internet income and wasted valuable time. You need to stick it out long enough to see the results but choose a company whom you can believe in. You need to believe in yourself and that you can make it work, whatever your ‘results’ look like at any given time. You can’t expect miracles straight away but once you have chosen a path, believe in it and stick to it. Making an internet income is absolutely a possibility and you need to hold onto your belief without becoming disillusioned. It was my lack of belief in some of the ‘systems’ I bought into which made me lose interest and get drawn into another ‘fast buck’ idea without seeing the previous one through. If you keep doing this you will never gain any momentum in any direction.
3. Thinking you need to be an expert
There are plenty of ‘experts’ on the internet and for a while I tried to be one of them. The problem is people know if you don’t know what you’re talking about! It is better to be your genuine self and be ‘real’ than to try and be something you’re not. People don’t buy products from websites or people they don’t trust. If you are a ‘real’ person then people will trust you and are more likely to buy from you or believe in your products. If you try and fake it people will know. Instead of trying to be an expert just be yourself and build trust.
4. Thinking you need to do everything yourself
When I first started out I thought I was going to make a huge amount of money just by writing articles and building a few websites. The truth soon dawned on me that it wasn’t going to happen. I leaned lots of new skills but the work I put in was certainly far greater than my financial reward. I built site after site, watched hours after hours of instructional videos over and over, learning how to build websites, back link, create content and email capture pages. The problem was I was on my own. I was piling my time into learning skills and tools for a business and not looking at the business itself. As a business owner it is your job to see the wider picture. Don’t get caught up in the details as I did – and wasted a huge amount of time.
5. Not developing yourself as business owner.
As a newcomer to the affiliate marketing industry I thought I could learn quickly and profit from an easy ‘quick fix’ solution. I obtained a small amount of knowledge and then piled my time and energy into implementing what I knew. I thought I knew enough to move things forwards and to make money online but my knowledge was flawed and all my activity was based on this knowledge. You need to continue to look at what you are doing and focus on your most productive activities. Initially of course you will need guidance but your work as an online entrepreneur is to continually self assess. It is very easy when you are the boss to fall into unproductive habits and spend your time checking emails and browsing social network sites. Before you can even see any results, focus on your activity – the one thing you can control. Don’t look for results but your regular productive habits.
As the owner of a business you need to be more aware of yourself as a limitation in the business. As Stuart and Jay highlight in their course, you can’t grow beyond your self image. The internet offers a means to hugely impact your income potential. However if you only see yourself as a small earner or as unsuccessful or incapable, your business cannot grow beyond this limiting belief. Beliefs are invisible but are a huge part of the results you are capable of. Ultimately they determine what is possible for you. You need to become more aware of your beliefs and question them in order to change.
6. Working all the time
The whole point of an internet business is to allow you to free up your time to pursue a better and more enjoyable lifestyle – in my humble opinion anyway! I got so lost in the pursuit of making an internet business work that it took over my life to the detriment of my personal and social life. Despite the total flexibility an internet business allows you, this can also be a danger as you can find yourself working continuously without a break, taking your laptop everywhere you go and neglecting other aspects of your life! Particularly if you have become accustomed to a working environment where your breaks and lunches are set, it can be difficult to give yourself the structure needed to operate in a productive and balanced manner, taking other commitments, work and social life into account. It is a good idea if you are new to working for yourself from home to set aside some working hours and a proper desk space in which you can get into a good working frame of mind. Make sure you are actually working in this space so you build a productive ‘anchor’ to this setting. That way when you sit down you will automatically trigger your working frame of mind. Should you get distracted or need a break move away from your work station.
7. Allowing interruptions
Working for yourself brings with it some extra distractions which you won’t find in the workplace. Especially now with the increasing number of people using social media, work places are clamping down on these distractions because they know it can reduce productivity. When you begin to work for yourself things like friends calling round, social media sites, messenger and mobile phones will all help to distract you from building your online business. If you permit it to happen this can eat up much of your day. Make a point of only checking your emails twice a day at the most and avoiding social media unless it is business related and you will get a lot more done.
8. Being a ‘busy fool’
Ask yourself if you are concentrating on the important and necessary things for your business or simply distracting yourself with activity to avoid the important. If so you are being a ‘busy fool’! Make a list of your top 3 most important activities for every day and make sure you do them before you do anything else. It is easy to become distracted when working on the internet – especially when you are your own boss. Keep asking yourself ‘is what I am doing at this moment helping my business or simply entertaining me?‘. Make sure you are not just entertaining yourself on the internet because your time will slip away and you will have achieved nothing.
9. Building Rome in a day
When I first started building websites and creating content I thought that by rushing at it I could earn money faster. Is was in quite a lot of debt at one point and desperate to make it work for me. The trouble is I was only becoming more agitated and out of balance with the other aspects of my life. It takes time to learn how to build an internet income and then it takes time to implement that knowledge. If you rush at it there are greater chances of making mistakes and of burnout. If you spend 12 hours staring at the computer one day you might find you simply can’t tolerate doing another 12 the next. I often would work day and night when I was inspired to but then would be exhausted and burnt out for the rest of the week. Keep your life in balance and don’t let your business take over. It is after all just a business and it will take some time. Don’t rush but enjoy the process and you will find you are more productive over the longer term.
10. Not setting goals
Goal setting is a hugely important part of moving your business forward and by not setting them you are wandering off into a vague land of the unknown! Not having them means you are unclear about where you are going and you are likely to find yourself working on a whim, following your gut instincts and getting distracted and drawn into your most enjoyable activities – which probably are not your most productive ones! Worse still you can easily become dismayed and disheartened when things are not going as (un)planned! By setting a goal for your business you are creating something concrete which you wish to obtain at a certain time. It should be a desirable and achievable goal which you truly wish to obtain within a set time-frame. You should also be in control of the steps needed to obtain the goal and be able to break everything down into achievable smaller steps.
Probably the best book I have read on this topic is Stuart Lichtman’s How to get lots of money for anything fast which is recommended in Stuart and Jay’s course and offered at discount through their site.