© 2000-2017 Elena Fawkner
You may find the lure of an online business seductive indeed.
And why not? After all, it holds the promise of true
independence - time and money freedom - from the comfort
and sanctuary of your own home. It tantalizes you with the
promise of unlimited potential, a limitless market. With
All of this is achievable. Except the last. There is nothing
immediate about the results you will achieve when you first
start an online business.
It's estimated that well over 98% of internet businesses bite
the dust after only a few months. How can you make sure
you're one of the 2% who last through the long haul? It's quite
simple, really. Just hang on.
That's assuming, of course, that your online business is
worth hanging on TO. If all you're doing is reselling someone
else's products and not contributing anything to the
Internet community yourself, get ready to join the 98%. But
if you've identified your niche, if you're making an original
contribution to that niche and have quality products or
services to offer that market, you can make it.
But you have to be prepared to stick it out because no
matter how great your site, your product, your service,
your ideas, your abilities, it will not happen overnight.
THAT'S why 98% of online businesses fail. It's not because
they were also-rans, it's not because they did nothing but
sign up for half a dozen affiliate programs and thought they
were in business, it's not because they were dumb, or slow,
or technically challenged or faced too much competition.
It's because they gave up too soon.
You have to allow for the lag factor. You have to be
prepared to not only sow your seeds, but to give the seeds
time to germinate, sprout and, finally, grow. Only then
can you harvest. In other words, not only must you sow
before you can reap, you must wait after sowing before you
It's what you do with that waiting time that's critical to your
Think of yourself as a farmer. You wouldn't just plant a
quarter acre of corn and then sit back for the next three
months (or however long it takes corn to grow) twiddling
your thumbs, obsessively checking for signs of life every five
minutes, getting more and more frustrated with every day
that passes without being able to harvest.
No. In the meantime, you'd be busy planting strawberries,
potatoes, carrots and broadbeans. And you'd be busy
*harvesting* the broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and
asparagus that you planted four months before the
strawberries, potatoes, carrots and broadbeans. While you
weren't obsessing about how the cauliflower, silverbeet,
tomatoes and squash you'd planted three months before
THAT were doing. And keeping an eye on your herb garden
while you were at it.
Like working a farm, working an online business is a constant
exercise in planning, sowing, tending, measuring and reaping.
And patience. Lots and lots of patience.
When you "finish" your first website (you'll understand why
the quotes if you have your own site), you think the hard
part's over. You think that it's simply a matter of uploading
your site to your web host's servers, submitting your site to
the search engines, listing it in directories, negotiating
reciprocal links with other webmasters, publishing an ezine
and generating subscribers, placing paid ads (you'll figure
out what free ads are worth all by yourself), writing
articles and doing a hundred and one other things to drive
traffic to your site.
And you're right. It is that simple.
But it all takes time.
You won't upload your site today and have it indexed by
the search engines tomorrow. You'll send the first issue
of your ezine to maybe 10 people. Or fewer. Your first
attempt at ad writing will bring you zero sales. It takes
you three months for it to actually sink in that you have
to run your ad for a minimum of seven times before readers
will act. And that it's seven times to the SAME audience.
And then, when your site is *finally* indexed by the search
engines, it doesn't appear in the first three pages of search
results for your keywords. In fact, it doesn't appear in the
first *thirty* pages. So you learn about the importance
of high-profitability keywords and you create new web
pages just for those keywords. And submit them to the
search engines. And then wait until they're indexed.
And then check again.
In the meantime, four months have passed, you now have
over five hundred subscribers to your ezine and you're
starting to see maybe fifty site visitors a day. And not a
one of them is buying anything.
You've been working hard, long hours in your business but,
quite frankly, you consider it a good month if you can (just)
cover your web hosting fees with what you're bringing in.
So you start feeling like it's just not worth the time and the
effort and the sacrifice. You're spending at least half your
waking time on this thing and you're not getting anywhere.
A few more weeks pass with no results and you start getting
seriously dejected. You're disillusioned and disappointed.
You're frustrated and generally P.O.'d that everyone else seems
to be able to do this but you.
Your day job, which you detest with a passion, starts to feel
like not such a bad way to spend 8 hours. Hey, it beats sitting
before a computer screen day in day out trying to market to
a bunch of ingrates with nothing to show for it.
So you petulantly start watching TV in the evenings after work
instead of tending your garden. You completely miss the tender
young shoots that suddenly appear in the corn patch. You
don't see that birds are picking off the strawberries and that
the carrots and broadbeans need watering. You don't notice
you have a whole field of potatoes that are ready for harvesting
or that the soil needs to be turned where the silverbeet was
planted six months ago.
Finally, the corn is ready to harvest but half-formed cabbages
and asparagus are rotting because you didn't notice it was time
to water and protect them from parasites. Soon the corn will
You don't see any of it because you're busy watching TV. If
you'd just hung on a little bit longer, you'd be starting to reap
a healthy crop from your efforts by now. But you didn't hang in
there. You gave up too soon.
Don't let this happen to you. Don't let your business die on the
vine. Continue to feed, water and protect it. Even when you
don't feel like it. *Especially* when you don't feel like it.
Success in this business has as much to do with patience and
perseverence as it does about creativity and talent.
Success could be just around the next corner. Just wait and
see what's waiting for you before you flip the switch.
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Tuesday, 29-Sep-2020 14:12:17 CDT