I’m not going to lie; I really wanted to make good money online. I was going to add “through whatever means necessary”, but obviously that’s proven not to be quite true. I also realize that I’ve limited my online potential in many ways, mainly because I’m not ready for the consequences of taking certain actions.
Often when one thinks about how big they want to be online, most believe they want to make millions. That’s a laudable goal, but the truth is that most of us are set up to make a few hundred if we’re lucky; I was there for a short period of my life but those days are long gone.
A big mistake many people make that I’d probably planned for at least 80% of the way was what may lie in wait if I’d had the opportunity to make way more money online. For instance, if I’d started to get 100,000 visitors a week, or a month, was I ready for the increasing cost of my hosting package? Was I ready to pay more in taxes? Was I ready to keep up with the demand for more and newer content? Was I ready for the negativity that always follows having more people see what I was sharing? Was I ready for any and everything that might come along?
Years ago I came across this post by Zac Johnson, known as the Super Affiliate Marketer, called How I Made $860,538.38 PROFIT in 4 Months!. I have to admit it was amazing reading. He actually got to the point where he had to purchase his own servers to handle his site, and not just one but 17 of them; ouch!
It’s actually a great story. He hit upon a niche, uploaded lots of free content, put the word out and people flocked to his site like crazy. With numbers, people clicked on and bought a lot of his other stuff. He’s still going strong now and writes a lot, not only for himself but guest posts on a lot of other sites.
But all that traffic came with a price. He worked a lot of hours upfront, while it was all going on, and afterwards. He had a lot of worry because he knew he couldn’t afford to let his system go down even for ten minutes. It’s interesting to read because he certainly never expected that success would bring issues like that to his reality.
He also talked about all the different programs he signed up for and tested, and which ones paid him and how. I understood that point because in the early years of this blog I did a lot of the same thing… with nothing even close to the results he was getting. lol I was making nearly $600 a month; not livable income but enough to pay for online services. This is one reason why I tell people all the time that it’s great to learn new systems from others but never expect to get the same result. What works for one person won’t work for everyone.
Anyway, I did okay going my route, but it didn’t come close to my being “big”. I didn’t know any of the stuff he talked about before reading the article but it definitely was an eye opener. Making serious money online ain’t no joke, is it?
Luckily I’ve got an offline gig, but I’m going to tell you some truths that come with the idea of trying to make lots of money, aka, trying to be “big”. Are you ready for big? Let’s find out.
I had a good period where I made more money in 2 years than I’d made in the previous 10 combined. I thought it would go on forever, and I was hoping I’d be a much bigger than I was at that time. Like the guy in the movie Taken said, “I have a unique set of skills.” I thought that would carry me for a very long time.
The problem is that I didn’t plan for the down times after the fact. I didn’t plan the marketing part. I didn’t even plan well on the savings part.
I bought cars for my wife and for myself… by writing a check for each. My wife spent a lot of money on house things and I didn’t pay any attention to any of it because it was flowing freely and easily. I certainly wasn’t prepared for that $27,000 tax bill because I thought I’d paid way more than enough to cover me (that’s when I got an accountant lol).
I’ve gone back and forth between prosperity and struggling a bit. When I think back on it I know I wasn’t really ready for “big”. The best thing I did was set up my corporation, but that’s as far as I went towards long term, ragingly big success.
In a way, I’m the lucky one. How many musicians, actors, athletes and other types of entertainers find themselves the next “big” thing, only to somehow fall because they weren’t prepared to deal with the “bigness” of their success nor plan for the possibility that their success now might not be permanent?
Take it from me, if you’re hoping to be “big”, you need to plan for the possibility that you just might get there and not be able to sustain it. You need to plan for all the things that “big” might bring your way. There might be inherent costs to staying big. There might be relationships that change on your way to being “big” and on the way back down. This means you need to mentally plan for whatever comes along… or doesn’t come along…
Are you ready for “big”? How “big are you ready for? Take time to think about it… then get out there and do it!
8 thoughts on “How “Big” Are You Ready For?”
Hi Mitch, you make some great points. I remember a blogger once who wrote a post about marriage and it got so much traffic it took the site down until he got a bigger server. Stuff like that is funny.
I don’t want to get so big that I never have time off or time to have fun. There are days I work like a dog and now I can’t sustain that.
I set myself up with a corporation last year with the help of my husband who has his own. Now that I’ve gone full time I’ve needed an accountant too. So much stuff to do and prepare for.
But it still beats working for others and the rat race I was in 🙂
Glad you liked it Lisa. The thing is, when I thought I was going to be big, I already had a plan to bring other people in to handle things I didn’t want to do; oh well… Actually, the thing about being self employed is that you get to control how busy you are… as long as you’re making money and are able to survive on it then it’s always your call.
Anyway, it’s something to think about and something to prepare for in case it happens. As you said, we never know when something we put out just might catch on and go viral; then what do we do? 🙂
I actually wrote a similar post like this recently about losing my hustle and drive as I’ve gotten older. I don’t know if I had BIG DREAMS for online but I certainly thought I would make thousands and thousands as an author (with the help of social media) and we see how well that’s turned out lol!
My presence online these days isn’t about selling so much as it is about connecting. If I get business out of it, great, but if I don’t that’s OK too.
I enjoyed reading this.
Bev, you’re still doing fabulous stuff. I see you doing all those presentations in your area and it lets me know that you’ve still got it… passion! I’m hoping it ends up developing into something where you can travel around giving presentations and getting paid serious money. That’s my long term goal; I need to start working on it more.
Of course, making a bit more online money wouldn’t depress me one bit. lol
Great read Mitch. And I only came across it by chance. Can’t say I had similar experiences or tried to run a successful blog but it had certainly crossed my mind in the past. Reading it from someone who has actually done it is eye opening. Especially when you add all the personal info to it. “Being ready” is something most people probably don’t even think about before launching into it. Success is hard earned and doesn’t just happen. Thanks again for sharing. I’ll be back in the future! Keep up the good work
First, which member of the band are you? lol
Second, seeing what Zac did is inspiring but the bigger lesson is embedded in everything else he mentioned. That was the problem I had when I had my bit of success; when I get there again I’ll handle it much better.
A very interesting read Mitch. Certainly, a lot of home truths in here about the competitiveness of the online marketplace and how to match your ambition with the size of your aims.
Did you manage to get that tax bill straightened out in the end?
It took 2 1/2 years but I did finally get it all paid off. Last time I did anything with taxes lol