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Have you ever found yourself very excited about starting a business (or any other ventures) yet you would always get stuck in the informational loop where you just keep on consuming knowledge? In today’s episode we’ll talk about breaking this cycle of information consumption so you can finally start taking action.
The New Shiny Object Syndrome – have you ever heard of it? I first heard this term in the industry of internet marketing and online entrepreneurship. I’ve not only heard this term, I’ve suffered from it. The “Shiny Object” is basically a new distraction that stops are from taking action on an existing project or plan. Let’s say you’re completely new to the concept on online marketing. Somehow you stumbled upon my blog and you are now familiar with the concept of affiliate marketing. So you spend the next few weeks learning about this business strategy. You find out that you need to create a blog. You also need to create high quality content. You also need to do search engine optimization. It’s all starting to make sense.
But then you stumble upon a Reddit post titled: “Should I do affiliate marketing or dropshipping“.
This new term completely blinds you. You instantly forget everything you learned in the past few weeks and you now spend all of your free time researching dropshipping business model. What if it is better than affiliate marketing? What if it’s easier? What if this business will allow you to make money overnight? There, you’ve got the new shiny object syndrome. Don’t fool yourself, in a short time you’ll ditch this business idea and run to the next “easy and profitable” business. From this comes the first piece of advice:
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Pick One Thing
To make it easy, stick with the first idea you came across and go ahead with it. If along the road you decide you don’t like it you can always do something else. Here is the thing: there isn’t an absolute best business out there. They all have their negative and positive sides. The most important thing to remember is that there is no online business that will make you rich overnight, All of them will require you to learn new skills and put in the work. No one’s forcing you to pick a business model and stick with it for the rest of your life.
I have ventured into many different branches of online entrepreneurship but ONLY once I was good at affiliate marketing. I offered SEO and webdesign services to local businesses and I simply couldn’t stand how cheap and not knowledgeable these business owners were. I sold my own info products (successfully) but didn’t love dealing with payments, refunds and customer support – and affiliate marketing model solves all these issues for me. I even created my own physical products and sold them through Etsy, Amazon FBA and even at Urban Outfitters. I loved these projects and I am constantly looking to try something else, although affiliate marketing remains my main source of income.
The same rule applies to picking the tools of the trade. I’ve seen people spend weeks (if not months) trying to decide on the best hosting provider. You really don’t need to do that. Are you thinking of starting a blog? Then WordPress is the best platform for it. There is a reason why 25% of all the websites in the world run on WordPress. When it comes to CMS (blogging) then more than half of all blogs are on WordPress – it’s a proven platform, just go with it. Want to start a podcast? Go with Libsyn as your host. If it’s good enough for Bill Burr, Marc Maron and Dan Carlin – it’s certainly good enough for you. Don’t get distracted by all the option, it’s a trap. You can also consult my own list of online business tools. Some are free, some are paid but they’re all amazing and I have either used them in the past either still using.
Do Not Stress About The Final Result
Trying to see the whole way through is not a good strategy. At least once a month I receive an email from someone who isn’t sure how to monetize their blog. That sounds like a legit concern, right? Here is the problem with this concern. Most of the time beginners are focused on all of the money they’re going to earn instead of being concerned about the actual process. In order to monetize ANYTHING you need targeted traffic. And in order to get that traffic you need to be found online. In order to be found online you need to do marketing of some sort. In order to do the marketing you need to have content that you will market. And finally in order to have that content you need to start a blog (or an Instagram account, or a YouTube channel, or a website…) Do you see where I’m going with this?
First learn how to set-up your blog. Then start writing content for it. Don’t even think about monetizing your blog unless you have published several pieces of content and you’re comfortable with publishing more. You won’t make a penny if no one comes to your blog.
I also keep hearing about how people want to start a YouTube channel and make money off the ads. If you haven’t heard, YouTube recently changed its rules (again) and only channels with 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the past 12 months are eligible for monetization. This means that you need 5,000-10,000 consistent monthly views (and 1k subs) just to qualify for monetization. It’s quite clear that you should only concentrate on creating amazing video content that will actually get watched and get you subscribers. Once again, you need to concentrate in the important thing that you can do right now and stop stressing about the final result.
Follow a Proven Path
It’s certainly easier to follow step-by-step instructions when you’re trying to achieve something for the very first time. Just a few months ago I picked up a new hobby, snowboarding. I didn’t just jump on the board and tried to do some sweet tricks – I knew it would hurt. A friend with many years of experience offered to teach me how to ride. So the very first day (actually few days) I spend on the bunny slopes, falling over and over again. Sure it wasn’t fun looking at all the 4 year olds that seemed to be able to pick up the skill in the first hour while I kept struggling but I knew there was no other way.
I learned how to slowly scrape down the hill on the board’s edge. Then I learned how to control the board and how to stop it. Once I felt that I could somewhat control the board I started learning how to turn and how to link my turns. Eventually I started picking up speed while learning new steps. To be honest I thought this process would take a lot less time but I am very happy I had someone take me by the hand and walk me through the whole process, step-by -step. I could have figured it out by myself but it would have taken even more time and it would be a lot more painful.
When it comes to online business the same principles apply. Following a good training program will save you time simply because you don’t have to keep failing and not understanding what you’re doing wrong or not knowing what the next step is.
Do you need to pay for all this knowledge? No. I am sure you can find every single bit of information you need completely free. However, if you don’t know what the next step is – how will you even look for it? Whichever business model you choose for your venture, try to find good and comprehensive training or at least a good guide. Don’t forget that Facebook has a lot of active groups with helpful community. Want to jump into Amazon FBA? There is a group for that. Amazon Merch? Sure. Affiliate Marketing? Plenty.
From time to time I need to do something very specific on my blog/channel/business and I don’t know how to do it. I always find an answer or a solution on Google or YouTube and I don’t discard it right away but I save it as a reference. Example: I need to move a specific element on my blog and the only way to do it is using a piece of CSS code (and I do not know CSS). Once I find this code on some website I save the tab for the future because chances are I’ll need to use it again and I wouldn’t want to waste time looking for it. This applies to all kinds of tutorials and “How-to” guides. Try it, it’ll make your life easier.
Distractions are real. I found a simply way to stay on track and it consists of simply writing down my ideas and my distractions. If I do stumble upon a “New Shiny Object” I simply write it down in a document on my phone. This way I feel like I didn’t “miss an opportunity” because I wrote it down for later. Whenever I think: “Wow, I can’t believe there is no app for that, I need to make one” – I write that down too. Of course when I glance at these “revolutionary” app ideas I often realize that hundreds of people already made a similar app and it failed miserably because there was no demand for it.
I also keep another document (which I review daily) where I write down ideas or actionable steps that will actually improve my business. For example: “Review XZY blog post and update affiliate links on it”. Or “reach out to X person for a podcast interview”. When I have free time I take action and implement these ideas.
Resources mentioned in today’s Extra Paycheck Podcast episode:
How To Start A Podcast – The Ultimate Guide
Wealthy Affiliate – My #1 recommended training to affiliate marketing
Extra Paycheck YouTube Channel – Don’t forget to subscribe 😉
Free Email Course – Introduction to Affiliate Marketing
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