This article was started in July 2005 and I intended it to become a piece on how to avoid confusion and paralysis when choosing how to educate yourself. I think I may have added it to once sometime since and continued writing it again today. Writing tonight, about halfway through the article, not intentionally, a self development angle became apparent. I’m not one to stop myself when this happens because I believe it often carries the most powerful and helpful (and often confusing) message so I continued writing. Consequently this article may seem a bit disjointed and disorganized but I like it that way, and it has a good message, so I hope you like it too.
How do you like the idea of making money from the Internet without lifting a finger? Yeah, me too. They call it passive income. Pure passive income comes from Internet business when the process of prospecting, selling, converting, signing-up, payment and delivery are handled automatically. The customer only interacts with your systems and you wake up to payment received notification emails each and every morning. It’s a beautiful thing.
I’m working to diversify my income streams and reduce my current dependency on Internet business which requires my active participation to operate. This means creating more streams of income that leverage assets I create that function without ongoing inputs from me. I also want to increase my affiliate income since it’s very passive and can leverage the same assets.
I’m young and while I’m not new to Internet marketing I am very much just starting out making it my main source of income. I’ve got a fantastic start given my experiences but there is so much more to learn. Based on emails I receive from many visitors to this blog I suspect you, my reader, are quite likely in the same position as me. You are eager to start earning but you aren’t sure where to begin. If you are smart you will have realized that the best place to start is through education (that’s why you are here right?). You have to learn before you can earn (rap music charts here I come) but even after that decision is made you still face a roadblock – information overload – where do you start studying?
I work in an industry that is saturated with marketing gurus and their information products. It makes sense of course, since if you teach people how to make money online using information products then you would naturally use those same techniques to sell the information. That means whenever I go hunting around to “get educated” I’m bombarded with options. Each and every step of the Internet marketing process has been broken down into minute detail with information products available on everything from the name-squeeze technique to opt-in newsletters, to affiliate marketing, website traffic, search engine optimization, copywriting, keywords, PPC, niche marketing, product launches and all the sub-categories that follow. It’s a crowded marketplace.
Thankfully I’ve made a decision to commit myself to a particular niche market so the concept of “what” I’m selling has solidified. Combined with other forms of income, some online (affiliate programs) and some offline (shares) I’m comfortable with where my income is coming from. I have lots of work to do because not all of those assets I’m going to leverage have been created yet, but that’s the fun part – creating fantastic content for my audience. I’m writing many articles behind the scenes for my products and marketing systems which, combined with my blogging output, will be my pillars for the future.
The problem comes when it’s time to set up new systems and start selling. Some of my important decisions have been made and lessons learnt. I’m happy with AWeber as my email autoresponder and it’s not likely I’ll be changing services any time soon. I’m happy with the companies that host my websites and I register my domains with. I have access to designers and programmers I trust if I need anything done beyond my skill-set. I know how to use Pay Per Click advertising and I’m comfortable that my search engine optimization techniques over time will lead to good results. I have the basics covered but I’m about to head into uncharted territory.
I’m about to do some things I’ve never done before. I’m about to be a presenter in a teleseminar series (if you want more news about this join my blog traffic school email list). During this year I’ll be writing salescopy for my own products, doing product launches, looking for joint venture partners, creating affiliate programs for my own products, using name-squeeze pages, long sales letters and setting up membership sites. I may not do all of these things but I definitely need to be familiar with them, know the best service providers for them and understand how best to implement them.
And of course, every one of those activities has many information products available that I can buy, study and presumably get educated about. I could collectively spend thousands of dollars and fill my days with reading and listening to newsletters, e-courses, e-books and podcasts. If I did this I wouldn’t have any time left to actually implement the things I learnt and I’d be broke as well!
They say in life all things are the same. This concept is regularly reinforced in my life, sometimes blatantly obviously and at other times more intuitively or spiritually.
Paulo Coelho, author and spiritual leader, teaches us that we are part of the soul of the world and we can communicate with it through everything.
Perry Marshall, Internet marketer and Google AdWords guru, notes that AdWords is like a tree, with keywords as leaves, adgroups as branches and campaigns like stumps. As corny as that may sound to you he’s right and I suspect Perry understands intuitively a lot about life that helps him immensely as a marketer and teacher.
Buddhism teaches that we are all of the one conscious, everything is the same, and if we can exist in that awareness we have no fear and our purpose is simple – to be who we are and create our own reality (cryptic hey )
Why do I bring these examples up? Because for me it’s important to rely on my intuition, my experiences and my awareness to guide me when it comes to making choices. This applies equally to business decisions as it does to any other decisions.
It’s not hard once your self awareness aligns correctly, once you become personally congruent and you calibrate your actions with your inner self. Choices are made by knowing what makes you feel good, simple solutions work best, your strengths are harnessed, you learn as you work and there is no such thing as failure – only experience.
The 80/20 rule works not because of mathematics, or case studies or historical data. It works because that’s how the world intends it to work. That’s how humans work. That’s how life works.
When we do what we are best at, when we focus our energy on what we are enthusiastic about, our output is amazing. It’s effortless, joyful and our path is clear and simple. All external inputs are ignored, there is only the moment and we are being the best we can be in that moment.
Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) is a phrase often applied to business situations. The phrase, much like the 80/20 rule, mimics life. We perform best with one task to complete at a time, when we choose one or few options and aim to make them our specialty.
Does this remind you of something? Yes – isn’t that like Niche Marketing?
It’s all one and the same, everything follows the same set of rules and once you know them, understand them and can align yourself with them, life for you becomes a lot of fun. It’s not rocket science, in fact it’s not scientific at all – it’s about being receptive to what is blatantly obvious, what you already know and experience every day.
The web is massive and there is a stupid amount of people using it. As humans we can only compete effectively by narrowing our focus on specialties. We become the best or at least very good at one or two things so others come to rely on us for them, while we rely on others for different things. We succeed because other people perceive us as having unique talents, albeit in a very narrow area (the long tail anyone?).
When faced with a plethora of choices, information overload and too many paths to select from, STOP. Stop watching what everyone else is doing and start doing something yourself. Cancel out all the inputs and start focusing on your outputs. Look inside yourself, you already know what feels like the right thing to do, so darn well start doing it.
Take blogging as an example. There are millions and millions of blogs out there and people are accusing other people of rehashing content over and over again. And they’re right. Everyone is rehashing the same content over and over again. This article presents messages that you would find at other blogs like Steve Pavlina, mixed up with a bit of Darren Rowse and perhaps some Seth Godin and all the other inputs and experiences that have influenced my life and my blogging output.
Once again I’ll reiterate – it’s all the same.
Your responsibility is to do one thing – what you are meant to do. Yeah, it’s another cryptic answer but if you are reading this and you are doing what you are meant to do and you “get it” well then you simply “get it”. It will make sense and in fact you would have probably heard it already a million times. It’s old news, but I’m sure you appreciate being told again, I do no matter how many times I’m told because each time the delivery method is unique. Hearing it now from myself once again gives me a sense of peace and purpose.
If you don’t understand or you don’t follow, don’t worry, your okay. It’s all part of the learning process and well, life. Just remember to follow your heart, take a few risks, do what “feels” right and also “makes sense”. Keep it simple, avoid excessive inputs, focus on yourself and your perception but always look to expand your awareness. Just be sure to do do something – to give just as much as you get – and you’ll be fine.
Yaro “I knew those mushrooms weren’t normal” Starak