How To Be More Successful At Making Money Online

If you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to make money online for some time there are two questions to ask yourself. Why have you not yet achieved that goal? What have you been doing to make yourself the amount of money you want and reach your goals?

If you’ve been doing the same thing over and over again for more than six months and you haven’t got the result you aimed for then it may be time to try something different. There are a number of ways to make money online. Try not to limit your beliefs regarding what is possible.

Many fail to make money online because they don’t understand that an online business has to follow the same principles as any other business. Working online doesn’t mean basic business practices no longer apply. It certainly doesn’t mean you can set up a business with less effort.

If you want to earn a lot of money you’re going to have to do a lot of work to make that happen. That means staying away from pushbutton software and methods. Don’t waste your time looking for a single product that is going to make you five figures a month, or whatever your target is. Realise that that particular online dream is as impractical as hoping to make money from most business-in-a-box offers in the off-line world. If you want five or six figures a month you’re going to have to build a business to get that sort of money.

Don’t buy a product from a sales page believing that you can automatically get the results described in the sales copy. Not every ‘make money online’ product for sale is a waste of time, but you may need to find your own method of what’s going to work for you. Every business owner has their own approach and talents. That’s why a method of making money can work immediately for some, but not others.

Creating an automated income from a website takes time and effort. Creating a website is easy. The challenge is to provide something of value and letting your prospects know it’s available. You need to work out how to initially engage with your audience and how to continue engaging with them.

This is basic business practice, whether it’s online or off-line. People are not going to go into a shop and buy something off the shelf if it is of no value to them. They’re not going to buy something if it looks cheap or the shop looks like it’s setup to make the owner a quick buck with no regard for the customer. You need to build trust, and that will take time and effort too.

If you want to make money online it is no different to building yourself a business off-line. The only difference is that you are digitally delivering your product or service. The concepts and principles of business are basically the same. You still have to put in the time and effort. You’re  still selling to human beings, but the delivery is different.

If you’ve been doing the same thing for the past six months and your income has not yet increased then something needs to change. Look at what you have been doing and discover why it is not working for you. Have you been building a business or trying to implement a silver-bullet push button method?

You need to focus on one niche where you can deliver value, and preferably that you enjoy. Even if that leads you to something you believe no one else would be interested in, the internet is probably vast enough to contain that small niche. Your customers are out there somewhere. Whatever business you choose, go into it with persistence and expect to have to work for it. Treat it like a business and you’ll be more successful.

Finding It Hard To Take Action? Try The 10 X Rule

Front cover of 10X RuleThe basic premise of the 10 X Rule by Grant Cardone is if you multiply by ten times what you believe is possible in your life and consequently multiply by ten the actions you are willing to take you are more likely to make that vision a reality.

Cardone suggests there are four ways we can approach life and problems: decide to not take action, want to act but retreat and avoid taking action, do what most people do and take normal levels of action, or take massive action.

Another element of your success you can increase ten times is your goals. Check your goals daily and set them beyond what you think you can do.  They need to be inspirational enough for you to want to revisit them daily. If you choose goals that are too unambitious and easy to achieve you will not be sufficiently excited, inspired, and motivated to achieve what is possible. If you set an ordinary level goal and then increase it by a factor of ten, you may not reach that but you will achieve far more than you originally aimed to. Setting a bigger goal means you will be more likely to focus and invest more time and effort in achieving the goal.

Fear stops people taking action. It feeds on time. If you are anxious about taking action the longer you do not address the problem and delay taking action the more anxiety you will feel. The solution is to take action as soon as possible. Starve the fear. Don’t give it the time it needs to grow.  Whenever you feel like avoiding something go straight for it instead and get it done.

Cardone also mentions the tortoise and hare fable. The tortoise wins because it was persistent, but the hare would have completed the race if it had maintained the effort. Cordone asks what if there was a creature that can start strong and sustain that level of effort. Such a creature would have speed and persistence and would have won the race. Becoming such a creature means looking after your nutrition and your sleep routine so that you have enough energy to start strong the next day and the next.

If you’re wondering how you can set goals that make you motivated to achieve more the 10 X Rule may have the approach you’re looking for. It doesn’t have all the answers, but it can get you thinking about how to get yourself to take action.

30 Day Challenge – Are You Up For One?

There are a number of 30 Day challenges available – fitness related, dieting, story writing, detox, even one for the bedroom (although part of that challenge is to sometimes take it out of the bedroom). There are a number of challenges in the internet marketing niche too.

It’s possible the concept of a 30 day challenge came from the use of a trial period where, for example, you could download a trial version of a piece of software and try it out risk-free for 30 days.

Perhaps that’s the appeal of the 30 day challenge. It’s an opportunity to try something. It’s long enough to put in some focused effort and make a difference, yet it’s not so long that it seems an overwhelming, intimidating commitment.

The most successful and worthwhile 30 day challenges lead to long-lasting changes. Ideally when the challenge is completed you’ll have begun to establish some new habits, possibly having broken your addiction to old ones. You should also have had some success, which will give you greater confidence that you can continue. You should still be applying what you learned enabling you to maintain the results you achieved, and hopefully achieve even more.

At the very least you should have 30 days of results behind you, giving you an idea of what you can expect if you continue, making you better placed to make informed long-term decisions. At the end of the 30 day period you can also decide whether to extend the challenge further.

Often a 30 day challenge is organised by an external source, but it is possible to follow our own challenges. Just keep it simple. Perhaps you could write a certain number of words or comment on a set number of blogs each day. Perhaps you could record an audio or video piece each day. Email someone in your niche, post to a channel like YouTube, Facebook or Pinterest, or put together a plan or information that you can use later.

Think of small steps that will add up to a useful result. If you produce a list of possible challenges chose the one you have most enthusiasm for and go for it.

There are four months of 2015 left. Two of them are 30 days long. Make use of at least one of them. I challenge you.

Resilience – do you believe in your business?

Front cover of ResilienceI recently finished reading Resilience: How to Restore and Keep Faith in Yourself and Your Business Idea by Fraser J. Hay and Elsabe Smit.

The book is dedicated to those who choose to pursue their dreams of self-employment. Its purpose is to help those people deal with the emotional issues that can arise from such ambitions. I decided to read this because I hoped to regain hope in what I have been doing. Not as someone starting out, but as someone feeling they have to restart their drive.

I wasn’t entirely comfortable with how the book was written. Parts of the book are based on previously published articles by Hay which are then followed by a chapter of comments on the article by Smit, sometimes questioning some of the points made by Hay. Other chapters are written as a dialogue between the authors. I also have problems with some of the concepts discussed, like the law of attraction, cosmic vibrations, and the different types of energies people can have.

At the end of each chapter there is an exercise or task for the reader to complete. Some involve reflecting on what the content means to you, some encourage you to apply what has been taught.

You may have come across some of the advice before, some may be new to you.

  • Find something you enjoy doing and you’ll work all the hours of the day to make it work.
  • Your focus away from just making money will diminish any poverty consciousness you may have.
  • Start respecting and valuing what you have to offer.
  • Stop, reflect on the learning that can be taken from your experiences of sucess and failure.
  • When things don’t go according to plan it’s often because we are dealing with the symptoms of our thinking. It’s a case of cause and effect.
  • You need to set new goals when you reach a plateau or become battle weary.

The authors also point out that venturing into a new business (or any business) is like venturing into an unexplored part of the world. What treasure could you find if you conquered the unexplored territory? There is a useful exercise at the end of one chapter where you list the unexplored territory, the obstacles or dangers that may lurk within, and the potential treasures you could obtain.

Later chapters deal with not looking back and seeing failure that you can blame on others. They also look at how to deal with fear of rejection, clients who owe money, and the advantages that can be taken from negative experiences.

Towards the end of the book the format becomes more like a journal. It takes some of the experiences and challenges Hay has been through in his coaching business and looks at the result of following the advice and adopting the perspectives he has been given by Smit.

As you might expect the book deals a lot with perspectives and mindset. Often feelings of failure come from expecting to get it right almost first time. There is no allowance for the possibility of being on a long path of improvement that eventually reaches your goal. If you learn how to improve you have not failed, you have moved further along the path to your goal. See events or people that challenge you as playing out a role in a sequence of events that will lead to growth and improvement. The secret is to have a mindset that helps you through challenging times.

Despite basing explanations on such questionable concepts as quantum vibrations and negative energy, the book does give some approaches worth considering. If you’re concerned about the emotional cost of starting a business or of getting through challenging times it may be worth a look.

Persistence – How to nurture this important ability?

Churchill success quoteIt can be argued that businesses don’t fail because of obstacles, they fail when they stop trying to overcome those obstacles. In my opinion one of the most important abilities an entrepreneur needs to be successful is persistence. The ability to keep going even in the face of repeated setbacks.

Churchill once said “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” If this is true how can we nurture such an ability?

Firstly, lets’s be realistic. It’s not a case of not feeling despondent or disappointed when things don’t go to plan. Feeling down is a perfectly natural and understandable response. However we should aim to make the period of deep despondency as short as possible so that we can begin making progress again. It would also help if we could be focussed and self aware enough to take steps to reinforce our persistence even when we have these feelings.

So what can we do to make this more likely?

You are working in your business for a reason, and hopefully that reason extends deeper than just being able to pay bills. If you can only think of an amount of money as your reason for being in business dig deeper and identify what you would do with the money.

Identify your motivation. List down all your desires and wants, no matter how unachievable they may seem at the moment. Don’t just list material things. Are you looking to gain pride as you help, guide, or educate your clients? Do you want to use the expertise and resources your business acquires to help those who are disadvantaged? Do you want to leave a legacy that will continue after you retire?

Try to look at events as part of a journey that is bound to include a series of dead ends, detours and delays, yet realise that you can still reach the destination you are aiming for. Some of the best golf players approach the first tee expecting to meet challenges in the next 18 holes, so when they end up in a bunker or miss a putt they don’t see it as a game changing disaster. It’s just part of the game.

Are there other habits you can build that will help you persist, even when it is difficult to stay continually motivated? Would it help if you wrote regularly everyday, no matter what your circumstances are? Could you spend some time each day helping others, even if it’s just posting advice and the benefit of your experience on forums, blogs and Facebook Groups? This can be a good way to keep your self esteem charged and keep a sense of perspective when the tough times hit.

You should also commit to ongoing learning so you are adding to the tools, options and ideas that you can work with. Read, listen to or watch something educational in your niche on a regular basis.

Build a mastermind group around you that consists of people who can help you reach your goal. Avoid having cynics and pessimists in this group and make sure that you don’t become reliant on any one person.

Find role models who have succeeded despite adversity. At least read about how the successful persisted when times were tough. Look to the life stories of Walt Disney, Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, J K Rowling, and others and let these people be your inspiration when you are feeling down.

Think back through your past and list the times you have endured challenges and overcome obstacles. Give yourself credit for your victories and know that if you have risen from a tough period before you can do it again.

If one of the secrets of persistence is being prepared to be persistent, then I hope the above has been helpful.

Have you found any ways of getting through challenging times that have worked for you? Let us know in the comments below.

Choose Yourself – A Review

Choose Youirself
Choose Yourself by James Altucher

Choose Yourself by James Altucher was written shortly after the recession and it shows. The impact of that economic event is seen as the point where the middle class start to die out, technology begins replacing you and it becomes obvious your employer never wanted you anyway. Essentially he is saying that a job is about keeping you Just Over Broke. Nothing new there.

Choose Yourself is about giving yourself permission to do something other than work for someone. Strike out, be creative and don’t look to be a small part of a cog in a vast corporate machine. The tools are now available to create products or provide service without the need of a vast corporate structure. Altucher goes into some detail about self publishing, but there is not much practical advice for those looking to start their own business.

Altucher appears brutally honest about his many failures and successes. This makes his advice more valuable. You get the impression he’s come by it the hard way and while he’s not positioning himself as an infallible life coach, he is probably more successful than most of us. It gives his advice more credence and makes it more authentic.

There are plenty of examples of others’s successes too. His analysis of Braintree (which was sold to Paypal for $800 million a couple of years ago) is interesting, especially if you are trying to come up with a business idea.

On a more immediately practical level the author suggest adopting daily habits that should be applied to your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual self. Some are hardly eye-opening (get enough sleep), some you may have heard before (come up with 10 new ideas everyday to build your ‘idea muscle’), while others are a little more controversial (you don’t have to have a purpose in life – in fact searching for one can be damaging).

Other advice includes staying focused by working in the early hours before the world can interrupt you. Ignore wasteful thoughts like regret and resentment. Live in the now because the past and future don’t exist.

Altucher says the fear of rejection is one of the greatest impediments to taking the steps that can lead to our progress. Choosing yourself means you don’t need someone to validate your success. You shouldn’t allow the decision of any one person to affect your life. It’s better to spread the possibilities so if one person lets you down you have others to turn to.

There were many ideas that appealed to the contrarian in me, but then I haven’t worked for someone for over a decade now. My current circumstances mean it’s also a good time to be reading that I should not be bound by past failures, nor rely on any one person. A lesson I learned the hard way a couple of times last year.

The underlying message is if you are being rejected by companies (whether you are applying for a job or already in work) or by people, choose yourself. Take some measure of control. Give life a chance and choose yourself.

If you find yourself in such a situation and it sounds like this book could be useful Choose Yourself is available on Amazon.

7 Steve Jobs Quotes an Internet Marketer Can Relate To

Steve JobsSteve Jobs would have been 60 today. I’m sure there are going to be many words written about his impact on the world of technology, his approach to innovation, and maybe even what he was like to work with.

I don’t feel I’m qualified to comment on any of these, but over the years I have encountered a number of quotes Steve Jobs made that have resonated with me to some extent.

Below are seven Steve Jobs quotes and why they appeal to me. If you are trying to get to grips with marketing online they might offer some insight and encouragement to you too.

We’ll start with a quote that I’ll suggest everyone starting out in internet marketing should read. You know, that time when many around you won’t believe this is a way to make money.

“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other opinions drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

There are many ways to make money online. The key is to find what works for you and what you enjoy doing.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

Once you’ve discovered what works and what you enjoy, the key is to focus. This next quote is particularly relevant if you have shiny object syndrome.

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.”

Once you’ve started in the right direction for you, keep going. The next two quotes are particularly relevant.

“I’m convinced that about half of what separates successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.”

“You have to have a lot of passion for what you are doing because it is so hard…if you don’t, any rational person would give up.”

It has to be more than the lure of money that keeps you going. Direct your work so that what you do addresses a bigger cause.

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful … that’s what matters to me.”

It can be frustrating , but if you do it right internet marketing can be something you can be proud of when it comes to look back at what you’ve done with your time. This ‘bigger picture’ approach is summed up by what Steve Jobs said to John Sculley, then vice-president at PepsiCo, when trying to recruit him to Apple:

“Do you want to spend the rest of your life selling sugared water or do you want a chance to change the world?”

The 80% Approach

The 80% Approach bookAt only 35 pages The 80% Approach by Dan Sullivan is a deceptively short book, but it is built around an idea that can eliminate the paralysis of perfection and procrastination.

I first heard of Dan Sullivan when I was a member of Alex Jeffrey’s Inner Circle a couple of years ago. Alex had signed up to Dan’s training and had opted to make regular trips to Canada to be trained personally by Dan rather than by one of his representatives in the UK.

Every so often Alex would give us little snippets of what he had learned and gave the impression that often it involved little changes that would produce effective improvements to a business.

The 80% Approach is one such improvement and basically states that most projects will be good enough if they are 80% as good as you hoped they would be when you started. Put another way, just achieving 80% of what you wanted as a first attempt is often good enough. You don’t have to do any revisions or improvements, it’s time to move on to the next project without dotting i’s and  crossing t’s.

This mindset stops the onset of perfectionism and lets you achieve more, quicker.

Even if achieving 80% of what you set out to do is not good enough you simply apply the principle again. Whatever remains to be done you only attempt to complete 80% of it. Adding this 80% of improvement to the original 80% achieved will mean that overall you will have achieved 96% of your original target. In business this 96% is often good enough to consider the project done. In fact it’s often more than enough to eclipse the efforts of your competitors.

There’s more to the 80% approach than this and Dan Sullivan identifies eight advantages of using this approach and also gives tips for starting to take advantage of this approach, but I’ve covered the basic principle.

Obviously there are situations where a project or endeavour would ideally achieve more than 80 or 96 % of its targets. I wouldn’t want to be undergoing heart surgery or be a passenger on a plane where the people producing the results were going to be content with 80% of the ideal result. However in business and especially online marketing, where the competition often leaves a lot to be desired, this approach can be useful for breaking out of the perfectionism/procrastination trap.

The 80% Approach is just part of the coaching that Dan Sullivan and his company Strategic Coach provide. Most of this is probably beyond the pocket of the new entrepreneur, but both this book and Learning How To Avoid The Gap, which I reviewed here, give a taster of the useful training available. Definitely something to consider when your business has grown to a certain size.

One month gone – are you still on track?

January crossed off calendarSo how did January work out? Hit all your targets? Have you completed 1/12th of your plan for this year?

It’s about this time of year that New Year Resolutions are abandoned, business plans falter, and reality starts to peel away from the bright, upward course you had planned. So if you haven’t yet sat down to review and, if necessary, regroup, now’s the time.

If you’ve wandered from the path you planned for yourself the obvious areas of blame are lack of willpower or discipline. However, there is another possibility that does not immediately occur to most people.

Often the problem lies with the nature of our goals. Big, ambitious goals that can only be achieved through daily applications of superhuman willpower and incredible levels of commitment and focus.

Attempt to pursue these type of goals and you are doomed from the start. If your achievements are reliant upon you being more focused, organised, enthusiastic, and energetic than ever before you’re simply setting yourself up for failure.

If this is the case, you need to break down your goals into smaller, simpler ones. A sequence of achievable steps to reach your desired destination rather than one giant leap.

You need to commit to small, but important action steps. This could be something like writing 500 words a day, creating a new video per week, or regularly interacting with your fans on Facebook.

Each step needs to be simple and not too challenging. Yet if you can achieve them on a regular basis they will compound into significant progress toward your larger goals.

In one month, just keeping to the above goals every weekday, you will have written 10,000 words, made four videos, and started to build relationships with potential partners and customers. In three months you’d have written enough for an ebook, be in a position to regularly release one video a month for the rest of the year, and build trust with people who can significantly help your business. Just by consistently keeping to three simple actions on a daily basis.

At the end of this month we’ll be 1/6th of way through the year. Think about how quickly January has gone by. The rest of the year is just that, eleven more times.

If you’ve set up goals that were doomed to failure and your achievements already lag behind what you had planned, give this approach a go. Take another look at your goals and break them down into simpler ones. Then commit yourself to achieving these on a daily basis. No one can complete a worthwhile journey in one leap, but small steps taken consistently can produce significant results.

Overcome your Hardest Challenges with a Military Strategy

Quote: “All progress takes place outside the comfort zone.”Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings, a pivotal event in English history that saw Harold, King of England defeated and power go to the invading Norman forces and their leader, William the Conqueror.

There are a number of memorable aspects related to the events leading up to the battle and to the story of how King Harold died. The appearance of a comet (later shown to be Halley’s comet, probably the most well-known of them all) was seen as a portent of doom, how Harold was shot in the eye with an arrow on the battlefield, and how William showed his determination by ordering the burning of his boats after arriving in England.

This is not the only account of boats being burnt upon arrival at these shores. There is a story that Caesar also had his boats destroyed when the Romans invaded.

Whether the stories are based on fact is not certain, but they symbolise an attitude that could have determined the success of both invading armies.

In a foreign land with no possibility of retreat the only way to survive was to go forward and conquer.

In business we face many challenges. Rarely life threatening or with power over a kingdom as a reward, but some can seem daunting and insurmountable. If you are a solopreneur you may face those challenges alone and, because you have no one to answer to, you may be tempted to avoid the challenge rather than meet it head on.

However when some challenges are avoided they don’t disappear forever, particularly if their solution is crucial to your business. You’ll find yourself in a similar position months or years later and if you want to progress you’ll have to meet the challenge eventually.

You may even avoid the challenge until you reach the point where you feel your back is against the wall and there’s nothing to do but succeed or fail.

Surely it would be better to meet the challenge head on before this situation arises. In this case it would be best to create the wall yourself. Set light to your boats.

If you know what you have to do, make doing it unavoidable. Make a public announcement, recruit someone to help, abandon anything that will offer an alternative. Leave yourself no retreat or alternative path and just get on with overcoming the challenge.