I’ve been trying to make money on line for years and years. I don’t even want to know how much money I’ve spent buying online marketing courses and coaching. Multiple tens of thousands of dollars.
For years I would spend all my spare time – every night and weekends – trying to get traction. So I could have a business that didn’t require me to go and consult to anyone. That didn’t require me to leave home. One that provided that holy grail of financial and geographical freedom we all crave.
I failed. And failed. And failed.
There were a few business models I tried that did bring in some great revenue for a while. I made a lot of money as an amazon FBA (Fulfilled By Amazon) seller for a year or two before things changed and I couldn’t keep it going. And now I’ve got some traction as an affiliate in the weight loss market – even though I don’t have a big weight problem and I’m not part of the demographic that buys weight loss products (women over 40).
But most things never went anywhere.
I had the shiny object disease so I was on everyone’s list. I was exposed to case study after case study of other people finding something that worked. But none of those things worked for me. I was always fortunate that I had a consulting business and I was busy so I didn’t have to worry about money in the short term, but I could never make anything online work.
Many late nights I’d be in front of the computer feeling like a complete loser. Frustration, despair, anger….not a good place. And then I’d go on to something else, thinking “maybe this is the one…” And the cycle would repeat.
My wonderful wife has always supported me in trying to build an online solopreneur business. One day a credit card bill came in that had a $3000 course on it I hadn’t told her about. She didn’t give me a hard time but I could tell she was disappointed. Why would she think that anything would come of it – most things I was doing online didn’t work out or didn’t last.
For some reason, the look she gave me stuck. I had to figure out why I had so much failure and so little success. The way I was spending money on “make money online” products wasn’t much better than a gambling addiction. Something had to change.
So I looked long and hard “in the mirror”. I reviewed many of programs I had tried online to try and figure out if they were all crap or if I had done something wrong.
This was an exercise I should have done years ago. The answers were obvious and staring right back at me. Funny how you can be so blind to not see the forest for the trees. Four big reasons I was just spinning my wheels were:
Reason One: Shiny Object Syndrome and lack of laser focus
The first big revelation was that there wasn’t really anything wrong with most courses. There are hundreds of ways to make money online. But none of them work in a day and you have to put consistent effort into them.
For all of the many courses I had bought, I had only ever gone far enough to actually get a “buy button” up on a website three times! I never finished anything. I mean, I would often finish the core material in the course, but then I wouldn’t do anything with it. I wouldn’t continue to work the system(s) until they worked back. And then another email would pop up and I’d go on to the next shiny object. (Or many times worse than that, I wouldn’t even finish a course before going on to something else.)
So right off the bat it was easy to see I was never going to make anything work if my attention span was only as long as the next launch by some other marketer. Looking at these words now I feel stupid – but that’s the way it was.
If you want success online, pick one model and don’t pay attention to any others until your model works. Focus only on that one model and ignore all other noise.
Reason Two: Just because I completed a make money online course didn’t mean I had learned anything
I completed so many courses (I’m not lazy – lack of effort has never been my problem). And yet, if I hit a road block I wouldn’t have a clue what to do. Because I wasn’t really learning. If the course said “Do A” I’d do A but I often didn’t understand why I was doing “A”. Monkey see, monkey do.
I never thought about what I needed to do if “A” didn’t work. Or how it related to anything else. I was letting myself just be led through content without really learning content.
So one of the things I started doing that has really made a difference for me is I don’t just read PDFs and watch videos. I take notes. I go over material several times until I KNOW it. Slowly but surely, I’m developing a bigger appreciation of online marketing. A better understanding of how things fit together. It’s given me some self-confidence to try different things to make something work and because I now know and understand the content I have chosen to follow, my decisions are better.
So when you pick the model you’re going to use to create an online business, take notes. Don’t consume the content the lazy way like I was doing. Devour it.
Reason Three: My mindset sucked. Mindset is a thing and it is probably the most important thing.
I am not naturally attracted to self-help material, manifestation or mindset things. I should be.
In addition to looking in the mirror, I also looked up and outward to see what the people who were successful were doing. I go to one or two internet marketing events a year so I’ve met quite a few.
I made a point to ask every one of them why they were successful. Some of them did ecommerce. Some stayed with information products. A couple of them ran advertising agencies. They all had different things they felt helped them succeed. But every one of them said mindset was the one critical thing that gave them success.
Every. Single. One.
Every one of them told me to read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. There were a few other book recommendations as well – maybe for another blog post.
The key lesson here is that they all said the mechanics of what they were doing – the tactics and strategies – were only 20% of their success. 80% was mindset. The absolute belief that they would succeed. The absolute determination to bash through obstacles and road blocks. The determination to stick with it and not give up until it worked. The mental discipline to focus and stay with it until success.
They all meditated. They all took care of their health. They all knew about productivity and had their own secret sauce to stay productive.
And as I took all this in and thought about it, I got a little angry with myself. In the offline world, I bash through road blocks all the time. I get things done. Why in hell had I never brought that focus to the online world?
As a result of this, I work on mindset all the time now. I’m still early in my meditation journey but I’m doing it. I reinforce my belief that my recent successes will continue and it is inevitable that as a solopreneur I will build my online revenue to $500k annually.
Reason Four: I never thought about picking a mentor
This was another eye opener for me, when I finally just asked successful people what helped them. Every one of them also bought coaching and had a mentor. Sometimes the mentor changed. Sometimes it was just one. No matter where they were in success, they all invest heavily in themselves. They all belonged to masterminds and paid for coaching of some sort.
I’ve been burned more times than I want to admit by coaching. I’ve had a few good experiences but also some bad ones. I concluded though, that if every successful person had a mentor then if it hadn’t worked for me it was because of me. I had to be coachable and I had to find the right one for me.
I also needed an affordable option to start. So I joined a group program that is taking me step by step towards my goals.
If you’ve been trying to make money online for any length of time, you probably already have an idea who you would like to mentor you. Reach out to them. Get a mentor.
Now, with these new rules in my online life, I feel that I am now making steady, consistent progress. There is still lots of fog in some areas. Slowly but surely though, the fog is lifting and I am seeing a clear path. My mentor is helping with this. Not just teaching me the mechanics of what works and what doesn’t. More importantly, he’s helping me get out of my own way.
I hope this causes you to think about your own journey. And if you’re frustrated, maybe consider some of these major revelations that I had.
If you’re interested in the mentor and the proven system I’m using to finally build a profitable online business you can click here