Internet marketers are supposed to be leaders and visionaries – the really smart people that the average Joe can turn to when they want to get a message to the public, make a few bucks, or learn how to do something faster, easier, for less money. Unfortunately, too many people in the internet marketing world seem more ready for Hoarders than Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous – ebooks, videos, software and other abandoned ideas filling up their hard drives like so much digital garbage.
For some people this represents a desire to research and learn. But for others, this is a crushing addiction that wastes time and money. But if you really want to get rid of it without crossing your fingers and praying to the Self-Control Fairy, there are some concrete steps you can take to stay focused on your plan.
Create Your Own “Board Of Directors”
Look, as a human being, you’re going to be tempted to stray from your business plan. It’s an endorphin rush to see the cool new thing that’s going to make you money. And you’ going to rationalize it in all kinds of ways, let me tell you that YOU are an expert in fooling yourself. If we could sell other people good ideas as well as we sell ourselves garbage, foolishness, and crap, we’d all be millionaires by now.
But that’s why you take your decisions out of the hands of a single human being.
But you know what? Organizations have that name for a reason. They aren’t subject to one person’s whims… instead, decisions come after deliberation.
It’s critically important to build a tribe – people who you respect who share or at least understand your goals. If you don’t have that in your day to day life, go out and build one. Comment on forums and blogs, introduce yourself, and strike up friendships.
Maybe you thought the “Internet” part of internet marketing would allow you to make a bunch of money in your underwear, but the “Marketing” part means you need to interact with people. Once you have a few people who you like and trust, keep them up to date on your progress… and let them know about any major changes to your business model.
When you actually have to talk to a bunch of people and defend your brilliant plan to quit selling websites to local dentists… and write steamy stories about hunky werewolves instead, you’ll create an extra level of resistance that keeps you from making rash choices.
Remember That Skills Are Really, Really Hard To Learn
I don’t care what kind of shiny object you’re chasing… there’s a very real timeframe for implementing it. Whether it’s knowledge, time, or “a particular set of skills”, any kind of success online takes a ramp up period.
Want to become a blogger? You’re going to need to research topics, write great headlines, comment on other websites, find the websites that are worth commenting on, get the design right, pick the plugins, and all that’s to say noting of the time needed to consistently write content.
Want to create products? You’ll need to recruit JV’s, build and manage your list. create graphics, and do a bunch of writing.
Even if you’re just going to spend money and go into paid advertising, you’re going to have to learn how to research keywords, create a converting page, track your statistics and split test your results if you don’t want to lose your shirt.
Every skill in the internet marketing world takes time to learn, and every method takes some “one time setup” type stuff before you can start making money. The next time you’re tempted to radically change your business model for the sake of some easy money, think about all the slogging you went through to set up your last “shiny thing” and know, for a fact, that you’re headed for the same outcome.
Stay On Guard For “Mission Creep”
Sometimes we latch onto shiny objects thinking that we can augment something we’re already doing. If you own a blog, chances are good that you’ll think – wow, I could get more comments if I made a splash on Twitter. Hey, maybe I could save time by making videos of all of my blog posts. YouTube is so hot right now.
Once you’ve got a newsletter, you’ll be tempted even further. Hey, I should build my mailing list – suddenly you’re writing for ezines, spending money on advertising, writing bigger and better giveaway products to bait your hook.
This can be so fast, so seamless, and so seductive that we don’t notice the crushing workload until it’s pinning our chest down!
Before you decided to add another facet to your mission, ask yourself – have I really pinned down the methods I’m already using?
Am I comfortable with my progress inside my current model, or am I nervous and trying to protect myself from failure?
Fear of failure is usually lurking underneath shiny object syndrome. The stuff you’re doing now has drudgery, pain, tediousness… but you don’t get results by avoiding that stuff. You get results by facing them and pushing through them to get to your goals. That’s why they all it a breakthrough.