I’ve been writing on this website for 10 years about my business. I often get people who ask me for business advice. And that’s flattering.
Asking me questions benefits people when they get a (hopefully good) answer. It also benefits me. I get to know my audience so I can more successfully serve them and create better products.
Sometimes the emails I get REALLY suck!
However, it’s also a little disturbing to read the emails sometimes. I feel like I’m listening to a broken record. (Youngsters, I’m referring to scratched vinyl here. You see, before the days of MP3s and digital downloads… oh forget it!)
Here’s an example of an email I’ll get at least once a week:
I want to leave my job and make money online this year, what product should I create to do this?
It seems the immediacy of online culture has led us to expect the answers to happiness and wealth are just a mouse-click away.Internet guru: Happiness and wealth are just a mouse-click away! Click To Tweet
I like to blame the gurus on this blog. I have done before. However, this time I need to look at myself in the mirror. Those of us in the online business content community are in part to blame.
Imagine this scenario: a well-known entrepreneurial podcaster has to choose between two people to interview.
- Entrepreneur A who has been working online for 10 years and has only just managed to push past 6-figures this year.
- Entrepreneur B who is making 6-figures a month online in a niche he’d only been working in for 2 years.
Which one would be the first choice for the popular entrepreneurial podcast? Why, Entrepreneur B, of course. We all want to hear about how someone got to make millions in the first few years of online business. We don’t want to hear about the grind of someone who’s only just clawed himself out of relative poverty to just above average income.
And yet, which entrepreneur is more likely to teach us the most? Why, Entrepreneur A, of course. Someone who has hustled for years, failed many times and hasn’t seen sudden success can teach us so much more than Entrepreneur B, who’s probably got special talents that we don’t possess.
But, we’re trained by the business books, blogs and podcasts (aka “business porn”) to expect overnight riches. And if we don’t see success straightaway, we start blaming ourselves.
Don’t fall into this trap!
Horses, carts, and self-sabotage
It’s also frustrating to see people self-sabotage their desire to start a business. People have mental blocks. These mental blocks materialize as obstacles in the way of their success.
I have mental blocks. But my brain can’t see my own mental blocks. I can only see other peoples’ blocks.
Someone who has been in business for 10 years is useful to someone who’s just starting out because we see them making the same mistakes as we did. Sometimes I see huge mistakes that are mindless exaggerations of some of the mistakes I’ve made.
Here’s just one example:
I want to make passive income by selling video courses and e-books in the same way that you do but I’m waiting to perfect my sales funnel first before I can do anything else.
It’s a classic block when you’re in the first few years of business. Do you hear yourself saying this: I’ve got to do this before I can do that? If so, there’s a very good chance you’re talking crap. It’s probably a block.
There is hardly ever a good reason in business to do nothing. Action is always needed. By taking action, you make mistakes. By making mistakes you learn. By learning you build a better business.By taking action, you make mistakes. By making mistakes you learn. Click To Tweet
And, lastly, don’t take my freakin’ video courses!
Over 50% of my business’s passive income comes from selling video courses on Udemy and on my site. Don’t get me wrong. I love that people buy my courses. I’m grateful for the money and I’m happy that some of the tutorials help people on their journeys.
But I think some people are a little obsessed about taking courses online these days.
I’ve recently started selling on Amazon FBA which is sourcing physical products from suppliers and selling them on the biggest market place in the world. With a mixture of good branding, product and keyword research and optimization, promotion and marketing, it’s possible to see impressive profits relatively quickly. However, you do have to invest some money up front. I probably spent around $5000+ before I saw any profit.
But, there are several, very successful, incredibly expensive courses on Amazon FBA – costing, wait for it, $5000+.
I’m not saying these are bad courses. But it is ridiculous to expect “secrets” in these courses that you can’t find for free elsewhere. Because, all the information is out there online. Can’t find it? Well, tough. You didn’t expect it to be easy, did you?
So, when I opened up my inbox and saw this question, I nearly had a heart attack:
Which of your courses should I take so that I’m able to earn money online?
I was astounded. I didn’t know what to say for about two seconds. Then I wrote back in an email the simple truth:
Don’t take my courses. Don’t take any courses.
No one can tell you how to make money. At the end of the day you have to take action. Because if you take action and try to do some business online, that’s the way you’ll learn.
Offer something valuable to people.
The first step for me was active income or freelancing – earning money from clients doing web and graphic design services. The clients came from organic traffic to my blog. After that, I created valuable free content on my site and built an email list.
Don’t take my courses – You can do it on your own!
You don’t need courses. You don’t need gurus. You just need the Internet.You can find information on Google that will help you to become a millionaire Click To Tweet
You can find information on Google that will help you to become a millionaire. It’s up to you to find it.