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When I started my first business as a young 20-something, I worked a lot of hours for very little profit. Come to think of it, there wasn’t any profit at all. Not when you total in the total amount of hours and time spent trying to “sell stuff.” In the terms of dollars and cents, there wasn’t a profit at all. The real profit, however, that didn’t become apparent until years later could ultimately be summed up with one word.
Some things you can learn from the mistakes of others. There are a lot of things you can learn from the experiences of others. Other things, however, we only seem destined to learn through our own personal experiences. I like the term, “school of hard knocks.” It implies that you’ve paid your dues in some way shape or form. That’s because when you get right down to it, there’s a price attached to everything in the way of time, money or both.
In my own experience, my own personal school of hard knocks came in the form of a direct marketing, mail order business I started at the age of 21.
Next came an office cleaning company. I guess you could call it “Hard knocks 102.”
A graphic design business followed that.
With each effort, I came away with another singular piece to a puzzle. For the longest time, however, there never seemed to be enough pieces to form any type of clear-cut picture or direction. There were just enough clues to send me in a general direction.
The first phase of my business life ultimately led to the next. I call this the “blue print phrase.” Following a business “blueprint” allowed me to build my first successful publishing business. Basically, a blueprint for a business is very similar to any other type of blueprint. It shows you what goes where and how the pieces fit together.
Once you start putting everything together with your own information, however, the paint-by-numbers aspect of the process ends and the “real work” begins.
Today, I’ve found my perfect business. Does it involve work? Sure, it definitely does. It’s the kind I can usually start and stop more often than not, however, according to my schedule. I can choose for the most part, whether I do my work in the morning, afternoon or night. There have been times I’ve worked from 6:00 p.m. to midnight. Other times, I’ve worked from 10:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. in the morning. I’m more of a night person… so for me, it’s easier for me to work past midnight than it is to rise at 6:00 a.m.
It’s taken quite a few years to get to this place. Many in which I’ve worked morning, noon and night until I was so tired I practically passed out at my desk!
Every day out there in the real brick and mortar world, millions and millions of people drag themselves from the warm, warm beds, take a shower, grab a cup of coffee, and head off to their jobs as they are thinking that there has got to be an easier way to make a living.
Working from home sounds like an ideal solution to them. Many dissatisfied people quit their jobs and plunge head-first into internet marketing with no preparation, no knowledge of what they are doing. The laws of business do not change whether you’re talking about the online or offline world.
The fact is that according to many sources, more than 90% (Ninety percent) of all Internet business start-ups end in failure within the first 120 (one hundred twenty) days.
It is strange but somehow the same people who wouldn’t dream of starting a real world business, think they can make a go of an internet business even though they have no business background.
People will go into an internet business with the idea that they no longer have to get up and go to work. They think they can simply work when the feel like it and still make a good living. They simply do not expect to have to work hard or work long hours.
Internet businesses do not run completely on auto-pilot. There are many processes you can learn to automate effectively over time, but it usually doesn’t happen overnight. Most people are totally unprepared for the time investment that must be made in order for an internet business to become successful.
1. Having a solid business plan in place BEFORE you launch your online business. There is an old saying: “Those who fail to plan, plan to fail”. A detailed plan mapping out the steps for getting from point A to point B should be in place. Very seldom can you “wing it” and have things turn out the way you want them to in your life. This is especially true in business. Be sure to include realistic cost estimates for accomplishing each step.
2. Expecting to work hard in order to succeed. I’m not saying you should expect the worst, but you need to be prepared for it. Don’t expect anything to be easy. You will be right most of the time because things are rarely as easy as they look. Each step toward success usually requires work, time and patience. Sometimes things don’t work out right on the first try. You have to be willing to try again and again until you do succeed.
3. Not falling for ‘get-rich-quick schemes. The Internet is filled with people who prey upon those who are looking for quick, easy ways to become rich. Those ways do not exist for most people. Going into business with a lottery mentality is no different that walking into a casino with the objective of walking out with a personal fortune. They odds are with “the house,” not you.
If you’re new to Internet Marketing and looking to get off to a fast start – contact me and ask for more information on my “Business Blogging” Program. It’s one of the most affordable ways to get off to a quick start to marketing and publicizing your local business online.
That’s it for now. Take notes… and I’ll see you next time 🙂