Getting started

I’m a world class procrastinator. Seriously. If procrastination was an Olympic sport I’d romp home with the gold every single time. Actually who am I kidding, I probably wouldn’t make it to the procrastination Olympics to start with because of my procrastination! But wouldn’t that make me even a better candidate for the gold? Procrastination is hard work!

Anyway, what the hell has this got to do with making a living online I hear you say?

Well a hell of a lot actually. There’s a very good reason it’s the subject matter for our first in a series of 100 Income Gems we’ll be publishing.

Procrastination is the single greatest reason why your online business will fail. Not your lack of talent. Not your lack of qualifications.

Not that your idea isn’t unique or clever or new or innovative. Not that you can’t find the time. None of things truly make a difference in the long. What differentiates those who succeed from everyone else?

Consistently putting in the hours and just doing the work. Every. Single. Day.

Please don’t drink the koolaid. Building an online business is hard – and getting harder. The 4 hour work week is bullshit. 

I have launched many failed online businesses in the past 15 years. Some super ideas. Probably like thousands of other developers in the early noughties, I toyed with building a prototype of a social network for college/university students. I started it but never finished it. Mark Zuckerberg just fucking built it and got it out there. The rest is history. Sure tons of others built social networks for colleges but we never about those failures. But that’s the very point. Just creating something online is no guarantee of success. In fact, once you accept that there’s a very high probability that what you are doing will most likely fail something very interesting starts to happen.

The liberation of the probability failure allows you to let go of a lot of hangs up you might have about just what it is you’re trying to do.  Perfectionism and procrastination are very close bed fellows. Perfectionism is also a mortal enemy when it comes to success online. So many of my online ventures have failed even before they’ve begun precisely because my inner perfectionist essentially shot them in the head shortly after my brain had conjured them up in the first place. My inner perfectionist would say things like “You’ll never have the time to make something as good as X – it’s too much work! Why start it at all!” Perfectionism is a fucker. In reality it is always better to get something built quickly and get it there in the world early and quickly refine and build upon it once you get some momentum. If you don’t get momentum – well, at least you haven’t wasted a ton of time on something that the market didn’t want. It sounds completely counter intuitive to start an online business from the position that the probability of failure is high. But trust me – if you have the same kind of synaptic wiring as me it will help you. Your inner perfectionist is normally the first victim of this change in mindset. Your inner perfectionist is not interested in participating in any activity if it knows before you start that you will most likely fail. And that’s a really really good thing. Once you accept you’re no longer trying to build the best possible online business, but rather you’re more like a scientist running multiple business experiments, you’re changes of achieving success will sky rocket.

Why? It’s quite simple once you understand some basic fundamentals of online business.

No one really knows what the fuck they’re doing.

This stuff is still all too new. Sure there are some general pointers about what works and what doesn’t – but take those with a pinch of salt. In 2014 someone made nearly $5 million dollars on Youtube making videos opening Disney toys. Seriously. Do you think that person knew when they were starting out that they could make millions by simply opening plastic toys and a video recorder costing a few hundred bucks? I guarantee you they did not. Do you think their first video was an instant success? Nope – no way. It was lost in amongst the hundreds and thousands of other videos uploaded to Youtube that day. But she kept at it, refined her craft and slowly built an audience. All this time she persevered and then it exploded. But it could just have easily failed. And that’s the point. It should have failed. But it didn’t. Why? Luck? Sure lady luck always has a role to play – in just about everything. But fortune favours the prepared mind. She kept turning up. Day after day. Simply doing the work – making videos.

Consistent, hard work is not a guarantee of success – but you won’t be successful without it. That might sound fucking obvious but trust me, it is without a shadow of a doubt the single greatest reason for failure in business online.

So let’s summarize where we are at shall we?

  1. Procrastination is the greatest enemy to succeeding online – not the lack of talent.
  2. The greatest prerequisite to success online is consistent, hard work.
  3. No one really knows what they’re doing – don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
  4. With that in mind, change your mental mindset to that of an online scientist where experimentation is essential to finding what works and what doesn’t.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start experimenting!

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