Thursday, July 27, 2006

You Did It Wrong So Just Give Up

How would you rate your online business?
  • Super - My site and system are up and I'm making a "good" profit.
  • Great - My site and system are up and I'm making some money.
  • Average - I am making some progress and will be ready soon.
  • Good - I am working on it but haven't finished anything yet.
  • Fair - I have no idea what to do but am learning.
  • Poor - I tried but am ready to give up
Now I'll tell you that my business goes between Great and Super on a monthly basis since I don't have everything in my plan done yet. However, last week I listened to a recorded seminar that almost threw me into the "Poor" category.

No, I am not mentioning names because I don't want you to go searching for the same recording I heard. It was just way too depressing.

However, I will share what was said that made me almost quit and then tell you why I didn't.

The speaker gave a definition of what an online business is and stated that everyone is doing it wrong. He quoted from books I had read and agree with. He showed some impressive charts. He made some statements that made a lot of sense. And he told us how to compute what our time was worth (his example showed our time as being worth $210 an hour.)

But the "gotcha" statement was: If you can pay someone else to do a job for less than what your time is worth, then you should because if you don't, you're wasting your time and you don't have a "real" business. (This is not an exact quote since I was in too much shock to write it down.)

When I heard this speaker's proclamation that all online business owners should be paying someone else to do just about everything there is to do to have an online business I went from feeling "OK" with my business to "I may as well throw in the towel now and give up."

Fortunately, 1 of my readers back in 2003 gave me the nickname, "The Lady Conqueror" because I don't give up without a fight. (Thanks Hodges, it was that nickname that reminded me to "push back and "fix it ".)

But how do you fix the problem of not wanting to or being able to hire someone to do most of the work for your online business?

Answer: Examine exactly what was said and know exactly where you are in your online business.

Here's what I did to examine what was said:
  1. The speaker's statement that we're all doing it wrong - That was a good attention grabber.
  2. The speaker's definition of business and his quotes from well known authors affirmed his attention grabbing statement.
  3. His charts and statements were great because all online business people could emotionally identify with them.
  4. His walk through on computing what our time was worth was impressive since he used numbers we could easily assume as our own. And the end value was very flattering (I've never earned $210 an hour - have you?)

Hey, I just listened to a video "sales letter"!!!!! (Oops, I forgot to mention he was having people register for his next big coaching session.) By the way, I computed the hourly rate after I regained my senses and found his end result was 3 times what it should have been.

To know where you are in your online business:

  1. First understand that a business should be able to operate when you're not around so until you've got it going like that you are considered "self-employed."
  2. For most people starting any type of business, "self-employed" is the first stage. (You think Bill Gates started by hiring everyone who works for him now when he first got started?) Since we're all working to get to "business", that's the term I'll keep using for us.
  3. Until you get to where you want to or can afford to hire out some of your work, you automate as much as possible.
  4. When you start making an income you re-invest in your online business to not only expand but to also hire-out some of the work.

In case you're wondering if I pre-registered for this speaker's next coaching session the answer is - No.

Not because he's not good - he's probably a great mentor if you have a ton of money to spend to start or expand your business. But from his sales pitch I suspect that:

  • Most newbies can't afford his coaching or his methods.
  • Many of those who think they can afford his coaching will find that they've overextended their budget and can't afford to implement his methods.
  • Of those who can afford to implement his methods only a few will because most won't be able to come up with projects to spend their money on.

So while he'll make a ton of money from the 1000 who buy his coaching, only a few (less than 10) will use what he has to offer and make any "real" money.

While I may be wrong in my suspicions, at least I have conquered my feelings of giving up. I know where I am in my business and no matter how my business rates, I am feeling good about it.

Can you say the same?

To Your Success,

PS The day after I sent this article to my readers I discovered an inexpensive eBook that explains how to get your business going in 6 steps. While the product is extremly short it contains links to 6 online videos that show exactly how to do each of the steps. I've read the eBook and watched the videos and even learned some things myself. And no, I didn't buy any of the stuff he recomended but the steps he shows can all be done manually - it just takes a little more work! (The tool he's promoting just makes doing some of the 6 steps easier and faster - oops, guess that's a way to automate.)

Anyway, take a look because "Six Steps to Success" is more in line with what people just getting started can understand, can do and can AFFORD.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

2 Tips For The Price Of 1

I've been thinking about today's tip for several days. Not because I didn't know how to word it but ...

I didn't know what to write about. You know - writer's block - even I get it occasionally.

So I gave up and went to an eBook to get some ideas for a topic (I usually go through my email to see what the "hot" topic is when I have this problem but didn't find anything this time.)

Thinking I might find some good tips in "PC Safety 101" I started reading. It does have some good info and it recommends some good products but that's not all.

Currently there are 20 private label rights articles being given as an added bonus. (You have to actually read the eBook to get them.)

Tip 1: Read the eBooks you get - free or paid for - because they might have more in them than you bargained for.

Tip 2: Overcoming Writer's Block
(1 of the bonus articles in "PC Safety 101 ." with no changes except to correct some spelling errors.)

What is writer's block?

Well, I just can't think of a single darn thing to
say. Oh well, I'm outta here!

Sound familiar? No! Oh, get real! We've all
experienced this phenomenon when we absolutely have to
write something, particularly on deadline. I'm talking
about. . . . .uh, I can't think of what the word is .
. . oh, yes, it's on the tip of my tongue . . . it's:


Whew! I feel better just getting that out of my head
and onto the page!

Writer's block is the patron demon of the blank page.
You may think you know EXACTLY what you're going to
write, but as soon as that evil white screen appears
before you, your mind suddenly goes completely blank.
I'm not talking about Zen meditation
stare-at-the-wall-until-enlightenment-hits kind of

I'm talking about sweat trickling down the back of
your neck, anguish and panic and suffering kind of
blank. The tighter the deadline, the worse the anguish
of writer's block gets.

Having said that, let me say it again. "The tighter
the deadline, the worse the anguish of writer's block
gets." Now, can you figure out what might possibly be
causing this horrible plunge into speechlessness?

The answer is obvious: FEAR! You are terrified of that
blank page. You are terrified you have absolutely
nothing of value to say. You are afraid of the fear of
writer's block itself!

It doesn't necessarily matter if you've done a decade
of research and all you have to do is string sentences
you can repeat in your sleep together into coherent

Writer's block can strike anyone at any
time. Based in fear, it raises our doubts about our
own self-worth, but it's sneaky. It's writer's block,
after all, so it doesn't just come and let you know
that. No, it makes you feel like an idiot who just had
your frontal lobes removed through your sinuses. If
you dared to put forth words into the greater world,
they would surely come out as gibberish!

Let's try and be rational with this irrational demon.
Let's make a list of what might possibly be beneath
this terrible and terrifying condition.

1. Perfectionism. You must absolutely produce a
masterpiece of literature straight off in the first
draft. Otherwise, you qualify as a complete failure.

2. Editing instead of composing. There's your
monkey-mind sitting on your shoulder, yelling as soon
as you type "I was born?," no, not that, that's wrong!
That's stupid! Correct correct correct correct?

3. Self-consciousness. How can you think, let alone
write, when all you can manage to do is pry the
fingers of writer's block away from your throat enough
so you can gasp in a few shallow breaths? You're not
focusing on what you're trying to write, your focusing
on those gnarly fingers around your windpipe.

4. Can't get started. It's always the first sentence
that's the hardest. As writers, we all know how
EXTREMELY important the first sentence is. It must be
brilliant! It must be unique! It must hook your
reader's from the start! There's no way we can get
into writing the piece until we get past this
impossible first sentence.

5. Shattered concentration. You're cat is sick. You
suspect your mate is cheating on you. Your electricity
might be turned off any second. You have a crush on
the local UPS deliveryman. You have a dinner party
planned for your in-laws. You . . . Need I say more.
How can you possibly concentrate with all this mental

6. Procrastination. It's your favorite hobby. It's
your soul mate. It's the reason you've knitted 60
argyle sweaters or made 300 bookcases in your garage
workshop. It's the reason you never run out of Brie.


How to Overcome Writer's Block

Okay. I can hear that herd of you running away from
this article as fast as you can. Absurd! you huff.
Never in a million years, you fume. Writer's block is
absolutely, undeniably, scientifically proven to be
impossible to overcome.

Oh, just get over it! Well, I guess it's not that
easy. So try to sit down for just a few minutes and
listen. All you have to do is listen ? you don't have
to actually write a single word.

Ah, there you all are again. I am beginning to make
you out now that the cloud of dust is settling.

I am here to tell you that WRITER'S BLOCK CAN BE

Please, remain seated.

There are ways to trick this nasty demon. Pick one,
pick several, and give them a try. Soon, before you
even have a chance for your heartbeat to accelerate,
guess what? You're writing.

Here are some tried and true methods of overcoming
writer's block:

1. Be prepared. The only thing to fear is fear itself.
(I know, that's a cliché but as soon as you start
writing, feel free to improve on it.) If you spend
some time mulling over your project before you
actually sit down to write, you may be able to
circumvent the worst of the crippling panic.

2. Forget perfectionism. No one ever writes a
masterpiece in the first draft. Don't put any
expectations on your writing at all! In fact, tell
yourself you're going to write absolute garbage, and
then give yourself permission to happily stink up your
writing room.

3. Compose instead of editing. Never, never write your
first draft with your monkey-mind sitting on your
shoulder making snide editorial comments. Composing is
a magical process. It surpasses the conscious mind by
galaxies. It's even incomprehensible to the conscious,
editorial, monkey-mind. So prepare an ambush. Sit down
at your computer or your desk. Take a deep breath and
blow out all your thoughts. Let your finger hover over
your keyboard or pick up your pen. And then pull a
fake: appear to be about to begin to write, but
instead, using your thumb and index finger of your
dominant hand, flick that little annoying ugly monkey
back into the barrel of laughs it came from. Then jump
in quickly! Write, scribble, scream, howl, let
everything loose, as long as you do it with a pen or
your computer keyboard.

4. Forget the first sentence. You can sweat over that
all-important one-liner when you've finished your
piece. Skip it! Go for the middle or even the end.
Start wherever you can. Chances are, when you read it
over, the first line will be blinking its little neon
lights right at you from the depths of your

5. Concentration. This is a hard one. Life throws us
so many curve balls. How about thinking about your
writing time as a little vacation from all those
annoying worries. Banish them! Create a space, perhaps
even a physical one, where nothing exists except the
single present moment. If one of those irritating
worries gets by you, stomp on it like you would an
ugly bug!

6. Stop procrastinating. Write an outline. Keep your
research notes within sight. Use someone else's
writing to get going. Babble incoherently on paper or
on the computer if you have to.

Just do it! (I know, I stole that line from
somewhere?). Tack up anything that could possibly help
you to get going: notes, outlines, pictures of your
grandmother. Put the cookie you will be allowed to eat
when you finish your first draft within sight ? but
out of reach. Then pick up the same type of writing
that you need to write, and read it. Then read it
again. Soon, trust me, the fear will slowly fade away.
As soon as it does, grab your keyboard ? and get

To Your Success,

PS You can find this and other PLR articles included as an added bonus inside
"PC Safety 101."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

When Knowing It All Can Hurt Your Business

Recently I heard Kevin Bidwell state that these 4 words were 1 of the biggest obstacles that many online business people must overcome:

"I already know that."

I must admit that I really didn't believe him when I heard the statement because I've never felt that way and my readers are always sending me questions.

However, today I do believe him because I've now seen at least 2 other "internet gurus" make the same statement.

Since I am now a believer I decided to check and see what it was that other people already know and no longer need to learn about.

Here's a list of 5 things that people think they already know and no longer have anything to learn.

  1. They think they know what they're promoting and they think it's products or services.

    Wrong - products and services may be what people are paying you for but they are not what you should be promoting. You should be promoting your business.

  2. They think they know the most important thing they have to do make money and it's getting traffic to their site.

    Wrong - you do need traffic but more importantly you need to know how to make money from the traffic you do get. Having a site seen by 10,000 people who buy nothing is worth less than a site seen by 100 who buy what you're selling.

  3. They think they know how to use viral marketing - they give away an ebook or sign up for a viral advertising site.

    Wrong - True viral marketing is much more involved than giving away an ebook you hope will get passed around or adding your page to a list of others in the hopes that someone will actually buy your product when they sign up for the same viral site.

  4. They think they know how to use autoresponders because they have 1 set up to send out their periodic mailings.

    Wrong - Autoresponders are great tools and 1 of the most under used. Sending out a thank-you for ... and your broadcast messages are not why you set them up and use them.

  5. They think they know many ways to get traffic to their site because they do them.

    Wrong - While there are many good ways to get traffic to your site, using all of them and mastering none of them is not the best way to get traffic. You need to identify which sources of traffic you want to use and master those few methods before moving on to others. Successful online marketers work on mastering the traffic strategies that provide the most traffic with the least effort.

While I could go on and list other things that people think they already know about I think you get the point...

There's always more to learn.

So next time you catch yourself thinking, "I already know that" -

Remember, you may know a lot about it but you may have more to learn to use or do it effectively.

To Your Success,

PS You can get more detailed information about the 5 things you may already know about but aren't using correctly by clicking here. It's a quick read and contains some very powerful information that you can use right away.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Tools of the Trade

In this high tech world it's easy to forget 2 of the most basic and important tools you need for your online business - inexpensive tools you already have and may not be using.

You remember the internet because that's where your online business is located.

You remember your computer because without it you can't connect to the internet.

You remember your host, autoresponder, and ad tracker because you use them to build your business and make it grow.

But do you remember to use the 2 tools that should be within reach all the time, a pen and a pad of paper?

Sure you have these things close to the phone to jot down notes and numbers. You may keep them handy in the kitchen to make your grocery list and by your computer to take notes. But do you have them handy when your relaxing and not working your business?

When you're enjoying time with your friends and family, doing your favorite hobby or just vegging out in front of the TV, you should always have your 2 take-along tools of the trade with you.


Because when your not sitting and forcing ideas out of your conscience mind your subconscious is working it's hardest and some of your best ideas will be created. And unless you take note of those ideas when they pop-out, you'll forget them.

Our minds are strange and mysterious things. They work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and they never sleep. They house all the things we've seen and learned, all our likes and dislikes, all our memories and dreams. They torment us by putting tunes in our head that we can't get rid of but won't tell us the name of the tune. They remind us that we've been somewhere before but won't tell us when. They create million dollar ideas in 1 instant and then forget those ideas in the next.

Now if you're a very organized person you have a place to make your "To Do List" with all the things you need to get done. You have your list for what you'll do the next time your at your computer. You have a calendar, a place for your notes for things you need to remember and a list for future projects. And you may be using electronic tools to hold all this information so you can pull it up on your computer screen with a few button pushes.

But even if you use electronic tools to hold all this valuable information you still need to keep a pen and a pad of paper handy when you're not at your computer so you can jot down those unexpected ideas or things you've forgotten. Then, when you get back to your desk you can transfer those items to the appropriate list.

Remember, you have no control over your subconscious mind. It will work every second of every day about anything it wants. It may decide to solve a problem that you've been thinking about. It may decide to come up with a new product or headline for a sales page. Your subconscious mind will give you what it wants in an instant and unless you write it down it will take it away just as fast.

Some of the things your subconscious mind will come up with may not be of any use when fully thought about but some of them could be real jewels. So take note of all your subconscious ideas and give them some thought. Write down those ideas with enough information so you can put your conscious mind to work on them when you want.

While we may be living in a high tech world where most people think that only those things that plug in or run on batteries are of value, we, as internet marketers must remember to use 2 of the most basic and yet most powerful tools ever created - pen and paper.

To Your Success,