I started out with eBay over 15 years ago and slowly moved over to affiliate marketing. Originally, I was buying and selling and I found an eBook which taught a simple eBay strategy. The buying and selling model was working. But I just wasn’t making much progress.
When I bought the eBook it struck me as a simple strategy. The eBook was an automated sale. The owner just set up a listing on eBay and let the listing run. He could sell multiple items through that single listing, plus, customers could download the book and there was nothing to do beyond creating the listing and the book itself.
Despite some changes in the eBay laws in the UK at the time, which meant you had to send a physical product to be allowed to list your item, it struck me as the perfect “autopilot” business model. I created my own eBooks and tried to sell them online, with little success.
I knew the idea was a good one though, so I pursued it! I knew there had to be a business model which would enable me to use the internet to its full potential.
I tried many so called “autopilot” money courses, many of which failed for me. Over time I became pretty disillusioned too. But I continued on because the alternative seemed to be my then current reality of continual financial worry.
I did several ‘money making’ courses which used various tactics. The last one I did actually worked. But it was a few years in and I was getting disillusioned again. It wasn’t until I looked at myself as a possible problem did anything change for me. I was working on the same tactics over and over and never really looking within. This course I eventually found taught self development as well as online business skills.
Perhaps you think this isn’t important for you? I thought this too. But the problems persisted and I was always jumping from one ‘shiny object’ to another. I never grew personally while I was working on these businesses. I just ran the same programs and did the same things over and over. It wasn’t until I started noticing my patterns did things change.
I started focusing on changing my self-image, on building my confidence and of building my awareness. My language always let me down, and although I blamed others, it was my own ‘self-talk’ which was running the “record” of failure. Whenever I talked about my internet business, I always felt that someone would put it down. So I started talking it down before they could even speak. In some ways this seemed to be a self-protection mechanism. But in other ways, it was creating the results I was imagining.
As I talked my internet business down, so I believed in it less and less. When I eventually noticed how little I believed in what I was doing, I stopped talking about it. I decided I would need to actually make it happen before I would mention it again.
It’s easy to let others knock your belief in something when your belief is very weak. I realised I had to prove it for myself, before I could mention it to others. Otherwise their scepticism would knock whatever belief I had spent months and years building up to.
It’s belief which is the foundation to building anything worthwhile. Without belief, nothing would even be done. No-one would attempt something difficult it they didn’t believe it could happen. An internet business is no different.
Building your belief, and protecting it, is therefore pretty important. Unless you’re already surrounded by entrepreneurs who talk you up, challenge and motivate you, you’ll need to protect yourself from the endless barrage of negativity of well-meaning friends and relatives.
Most people simply don’t believe in the possibility of earning money from the internet. Even if they do, there’s a subconscious belief system going on for most which is geared to keeping themselves “safe”. If it’s possible to earn a full time living online, then it negates any endeavour which might be undermined by an easier or simpler way of doing things.
Because an internet business does offer a means to stop trading time for money, it’s difficult to reconcile this if you’ve been doing exactly that in a job or career. Especially if you’ve given a large portion of your life to it.
After belief, there’s the real possibility of failing, or the doubt of getting caught up in something which isn’t totally above-board. Again this comes down to belief. When you need to invest in something again it pushes buttons for most people. They don’t believe that you can earn large amount of money with an internet business. People’s attitude towards money affects the way they spend it. They often can’t see beyond the way they have always viewed money. This was me too. I held on to what little I had because I was afraid of losing it. Until I noticed and overcame this fear, my business couldn’t move forwards.
To think about earning money on “autopilot” is a far stretch if you’ve had to work really hard for it. It’s hard to let go of your attachment to money if it’s taken years to save it, for example. So, there’s a lot to let go of and there’s a lot to learn too.
The technical side of an internet business can be challenging too. You need to learn new skills and be able to follow instruction. Although software and technology has taken a lot of the difficulties away from building a business online, there’s still stuff to learn.
Once you start to see things working with an internet business, it’s a massive boost. Before that, you’re kind of taking everything on trust. If you don’t know anyone who is actually succeeding with an internet business personally, you might err on the side of caution. This makes it hard to take any leaps of faith which you’ll need to actually make any forward progress. Investing in a business model and paying for advertising are two such leaps.
For years I blogged away in the hope things were going to turn around. I was focusing on the wrong activities. Until I found a good source of training and education, I was wasting a lot of time doing the unnecessary to fill in time and feel productive. This is another easy mistake to make – being a busy fool.
Finding a community of people who are trustworthy and ready to share is worth its weight in gold. Without it, your chances of success are far lower. Building your belief, finding people to connect with and learn from are probably the two largest barriers to success with an online business. Before belief, there is no action. When you know and trust others who are already building successful online businesses, you can follow their teachings.