I was checking out a post by our Buddy Mike CJ talking about blogging and job security, and it sparked a memory in my mind. In his post, he’s talking about a friend of his who’s now sick and worried about his business. Mike talks about how, by making a living blogging and being online, he’s actually in a very good position because his business will not only make residual income, but he could still do blog posting from a hospital bed if he were ever in the position to have to do so.
It reminded me that the reason I actually bought my second domain many years ago was because I wanted to try to set up another source where I might be generating some online income as a just in case measure. As a consultant, there are times when I’m making mad dollars, and other times when my income is drastically deficient. There is more down time than alive time, but it’s certainly not vacation time by any stretch.
Enter internet marketing. The basic idea is to find a way to either create your own or market someone else’s products, create and market the webpage to hopefully get visitors to stop by and buy the product, then repeat the process over and over until you’re making serious bank. I mean, it sounds so easy when you hear about other people who’ve done it, right?
I’m here to tell you something you already know; it’s not so easy at that. It seems there are ideas that either work or don’t work, and products that either sell or don’t sell. There are tactics that may work such as mailing lists, or might not work such as popup ads; I’m not sure either one of these works or doesn’t work, but my friend Kelvin is wont to say (that is a legitimate phrase, Sire lol) that if people keep doing it then it’s working for someone.
Here’s the two biggest questions most of us ask about some of these things. One, if we copy what someone else has done step by step, will it necessarily make us the kind of money they’ve made? Two, if they’re making so much money doing that, why are they telling me how to make money? I’m not at that money making level, but I can answer both of those questions.
Let’s look at the first one. Do you know the origin of modern day chocolate? Though there’s an interesting history about the stuff, modern day chocolate was pretty much started by Cadbury, whom many of you have heard of. Is there anyone who would say that Cadbury is the number one chocolate maker in the world today? Nope. I could probably pop off 5 other chocolate makers who are more popular and sell better. And most of them at least initially copied the same formula as Cadbury. But there are probably at least 10’s of thousands who have come afterwards that haven’t quite made it to Cadbury’s level, who might have started, floundered, and gone away already. But many of them are making some kind of money, and are surviving by doing it their own way. They’re not the norm, but at least they’re hanging in there. Those other people are us. We could follow the model exactly as the big time marketers do, and we will either win or fail; there are no guarantees. There are lots of dolls out there, but only one Barbie; that’s just how it goes.
Let’s look at the second one. Not on the money front, but on a different front, at one time, when I was still an employee, I was one of the top ranked managers where I worked. I was tied with another guy as the top dogs based on a survey of employees; not bad, eh? This was for a corporation that had around 1,600 employees overall. When I decided it was time to go, I wanted to get into leadership and management because I felt I was pretty good at it, and I wanted to see if I could help others get there as well. That’s what led me to write the book you see there to the left side, Embrace The Lead. Sometimes it’s not enough that others have named you as something good, and it’s not enough that you’ve shown that you can do something well, even mastered it, if you will. You want to see if you can then show others how to do it for themselves, to help spread your legacy, to prove that your theories and practices are correct.
And if you can make a little bit of jack off it. so much the better. However, the second one only works if you’ve actually accomplished something, while the first one is open for everyone. On the first one, though, we all learn that there might be aspects of how someone did something that we don’t like. For instance, Sire and I don’t like mailing lists; if that keeps us from ever truly being successful, so be it. But I remember a presentation I got to see a few years ago from a Rich Jerk representative that troubled me. I don’t want to give out all the details, but in essence the entire sales pitch was based on a lie to consumers. The person who created the video even gloated and laughed, saying his only interest was making money, and at least the people would be getting something out of it, even if it was based on his lie, since he knew absolutely nothing about the product. Man, I just couldn’t live with myself if I did that.
And therein lies the issue. There really are things that hold some of us back from being successful, even though we say we’re trying as hard as we can. I commented on a post earlier this evening where the writer (another buddy of mine) said in one of his financial recommendations that people should work harder to make more money; he wasn’t talking about internet marketing, just to get that out of the way. I wrote back that I didn’t believe it had anything to do with working harder as much as all of us trying to learn how to work smarter. I truly do believe we can all be as successful as we want to be, but our thinking patterns might not be quite in line with where we want to be.
Where does this leave us? Well, it leaves me still scratching and making my little small residual income, and it leaves Mike making his living online. It leaves me with most of y’all, trying to decide when or if I’m going to lay caution to the wind and actually go for it full blast, or keep working on growing incrementally until maybe, one day, I get where I want to be. What about you? How do you see yourself online, if you’re hoping to make money? If you’re not hoping to make money, I guess this question isn’t for you, so just move on to the product. lol