Trust Your Struggle

Musings of a Struggling Online Solopreneur


January 8th, 2019.

Make Sure You Have a Job Before Starting an Online Business ]

 

My dream for a long time now has been to be my own boss.  I was and am especially interested in running a thriving online business.  Do you know how long I have been chasing the dream? Since 2008. That was when I began researching how to make money using the internet.

What the heck happened? I have decided I should share my struggle while I am still pursuing the ultimate goal, financial freedom or independence.  There are two reasons for this. Just maybe people starting out will understand this requires a certain amount of hard work, discipline, persistence and effort and two I am running out of things to write about.

To be truthful it is easier for me to just write an opinion piece based on my experiences rather than to research and write an article for my target audience which can take a day from start to publish.  Many affiliates struggle with writing. However, you should know that there are various models for making money online that do not involve writing.

The one I have chosen – at least as my first model which can be expanded upon later – targets what we call organic search engine traffic. We create an informative blog with highly relevant information related to the blog theme.  The owner (I guess me) then becomes an expert on the topic thus creating an authority website [ in my case 10 years later 🙂 ]

Don’t let me scare you many people find success much sooner.  I know of bloggers who have done it in a year. Lots of others do it in two or three. The way it is done is to choose winning keywords which are words or phrases related to your topic which people search for on Google.

There is a whole art to this but it is not difficult and these days quality writing is the most important part of blogging.  I have tried hundreds of programs and methods over the years. However, being honest with myself I have never followed through to 100% completion on any of them.

Why? I was searching for a method that was suitable for myself and also I was always looking for a way to start earning money soon because I was always in need of an income.  Which really is a catch twenty-two situation.  This is the first lesson I had to learn the hard way.

If you have no money get an offline job before pursuing an online career.

Don’t believe the gurus who say it can be done in a few weeks if you just work hard and put in the time.  It is the intangibles that slow us down. Our personalities, our character, abilities, and work ethic, life experience.  How quickly can we learn and take action? How do we deal with obstacles, failures? How quickly do we bounce back?

No get a job first. You do not want to have the added pressure of having to worry about how to pay the bills. This is one reason I have taken so long. I have always had to stop and find a job to make ends meet. I will repeat this often in future musings. The major obstacle to creating a successful business for me is life gets in the way.

So my second bit of advice is you have got to stop letting life get in your way. Be good to yourself. This is important so you need to make it a priority. Too often I have made others my priority. It’s easy for young people to focus on their dreams and little else.  They have energy and naivety. The exuberance and enthusiasm.

Older folks, like myself, have had their dreams shattered a number of times and really need to make an effort to believe and keep trying. I imagine in the end the rewards will be so much greater – but then again how much life will we all have left to enjoy the benefits?

In addition, older people have more responsibilities than younger ones leading to more distractions. Presently, I am approaching my senior years but I, myself am taking care of two seniors. Talk about time-consuming.

For anyone young reading this, trust me, whatever your dream seize the opportunity now. Believe in your dream, don’t over think things and just do it.  Deal with issues as they arise. You’ll be forever grateful.

 


January 9th, 2019.

[ Main Point of Musing:  We Still Need to Work While on Vacation ]

 

Sometimes, I will just need to stop my musing suddenly and restart the next day as I am doing now. Today, I want to talk about something that may disappoint you. The reason I thought about it is that at the moment I am in Mexico.

I remember when I first started out in 2008 looking for programs to assist me in making money online.  Many of the major selling points involved flashy advertisements promising high-end sports cars, luxurious houses and the ability to travel and work from anywhere in the world.

I have always loved travelling and learning about different cultures. I have a specialized background and interest in cuisine and the hospitality industry. So I was a prime target for this kind of advertising. I could picture myself on some beach with a tall drink enjoying the extraordinary views while collecting a substantial passive income.

I even remember being a member of NuSkin at one stage (MLM type company) and had business cards made with palm trees and me sitting under them. I guess I don’t need to mention that network marketing was a total disaster for myself as well as thousands of others.

However, this thing about sitting around enjoying life while the dough keeps rolling in is hogwash. it is simple, not true in the beginning and I would go further to say it only exists for people who have reached a very high level of financial success. The only way to accomplish this dream is to be a professional investor.

You need to have your money working for you or another way would be to hire others to do the work. In both cases some time will be necessary to oversee the management side of the business. The point I am trying to make is that for 99% of people you will always need to work.

Sure you can still travel. Certainly, you can spend a few hours a day on the beach but you can’t get away from thinking or doing some work on vacation.  I am up at 4 AM every morning while in Mexico putting in 4 or 5 hours of work on my site. In the evenings I am teaching online to pay the bills.

The rest of the time I am looking after my elderly folks. So yes I am lucky to be in a tropical country enjoying the sunshine but it is not as advertised by the gurus. Even the gurus need to work to keep their businesses going when on vacation. So don’t be taken in. There is a lot of work and effort to be an entrepreneur.

What you need to accept (unless you own investments creating money for you) is being an entrepreneur is accepting a certain kind of lifestyle. You need to enjoy your work. Of course, you can travel and see the world but it won’t be like the vacations advertised.

Your family will be able to fully enjoy the vacation without any worries but you will still need to work at least a few hours a day. A couple of good books to read would be The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss and Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki.

Even the four hour work week is a misnomer. I am sure even Tim Ferriss works more than four hours a week but I believe he is trying to promote a certain lifestyle, a better alternative to the corporate world and I agree with him.  Mr. Kiyosaki, on the other hand, is the ultimate goal we should all strive for – being a professional investor.

Robert Kiyosaki is part of the 1% who have true passive income coming in. Affiliate marketers can earn re-occurring sales a kind of passive income but we still need to do much work in the beginning years even when on vacation!

 


February 7th, 2019

[ Never Stop Working on Your Business ]

 

Previously I talked about life getting in the way. Distractions which pop up in our lives and prevent us from doing the work necessary to succeed at our business. I have always had this issue and I can remember back to my university days lacking the discipline necessary to focus, push forward and get good grades.

I was a terrible procrastinator especially around hockey playoff season which coincided with the run-up to our exams. Playoff season in Canada lasts about two months and there are games every night. I would watch them for 3 or 4 hours while drinking beer which would make me useless for studying afterwards.

That was a distraction I could easily control and I should have. These days I do but what happens if a family member is sick or you need to take care of your ageing parents or you need to take an extra job to pay the bills. Then it does become difficult to manage time and prioritize your business.

The truth is though if you do not find a way you will never succeed. Some of us are too caring and give up too much of our selves for other people. We need to set boundaries and or find solutions which will allow us to keep building the business. In my case, this may mean hiring care providers or forcing my siblings to take some responsibility.

People say we need to love ourselves. I never really understood this until now. We must do what is best for ourselves first to ensure our security and happiness. This will also help us to help others.

In my case, I am going to need to dish out some tough love. I am going to need to make some decisions which will hurt me inside and possibly hurt some others feelings too because they won’t be able to understand why I am changing and need to out of necessity.

I understand now why many successful people are selfish.  They say successful people sacrifice much to achieve their status. I think giving up something like TV is easy but when it comes to matters concerning humans our first choice shouldn’t be selfishness.

However, in certain cases when we have tried our best to compromise to no avail it is sometimes required for the better good. Anyway, the point is you can’t stop working on your biz for one day, especially in the beginning. I ran into some issues with my parents and I was devoting all of my time 24/7 to dealing with those problems for 3 months.

What happens is your website starts to lose positioning in the search engines.  People use to seeing your social media posts forget about you. Posts lose rank and click-through rates drop. You start to forget the training you learned and need to review how to do things.

All of these things cost you time and energy. You aren’t really starting your business over but it will take a few more months to get it on track again. The search engines need to trust you again. You need to build up momentum and re-establish relationships. Build up trust in social media.

It really is a set back of sorts. It delays your success and of course, nowadays the competition is growing. Compared to 10 years ago far more people are turning to the internet to earn money. There is also motivation. It is much easier to keep the motivation moving forward when you do not stop because you can see small increments of success along the way.

So no matter what serious problems you may have in your life always make time to be good to yourself – never ever stop working on your business – even an hour a day to keep your mind in the game is the best advice I can give you today. You’ll be very grateful in the future when this phase in your business and personal development pass.

 


February 13th, 2019

[ Watch Out For Marketing Gimmicks ]

 

Will I ever learn? Listen, guys, there is something we refer to in our industry as the “shiny object syndrome”. What this refers to is discovering and buying a new product which you feel you need but probably won’t do you much good at the present time.

You would think after ten years I would be over it. That I could control my emotional impulses towards purchasing yet another internet marketing tool. The other day I decided to buy Doodly. It’s is a product which helps us to create videos in sketch form.

I am at the stage in my business where I am learning how to make videos. Apparently, Google search loves videos and as you may know owns YouTube.  Therefore, embedding videos on our website will increase the chances of that post being ranked on the first page of Google.

When I saw the advertisement on FaceBook for a lifetime membership to Doodly I thought it is only $67 – a real steal and it is something I could set aside until I was ready to go through the learning curve.  Now the guy, promoting this product is Brad Callen.

He has a bit of a name for himself in the industry but I am quickly learning to avoid his products because although they may be effective I absolutely hate his marketing techniques and unless you are experienced online you will be wasting your money.

$67 dollars was a steal because he was charging up to $480 per year.  However, what he failed to tell us is that it was only for a standard license. There are three licenses – Enterprise being the most expensive. Each has specific features included in the license.

After I had purchased the product I was expecting everything I needed would be included but that was not so. The upsell immediately kicked in offering me the full version which provided a greater variety of characters & props. In addition, a third upsell for automated script was offered.

Of course, you need a script to go along with the video and of course, we need a large variety of characters and props to choose from and to create the videos. The extra cost was $200 American. Can you see where this is going? If I had known from the beginning it would cost $260 US ( $344 CAN) I would never have bought it.

This is how many of the gurus make their money. Anik Segal is a master at this.  Brad Callen is following in his footsteps. Hey, more power to them. They will become extremely rich but don’t tell me for a minute they are honest marketers; they are playing the game the way it has been played for decades.

The majority of their buyers will not benefit from the tool for a variety of reasons, I will explain.  Most people taken in by this kind of marketing are newbies or struggling marketers. Folks looking for the next magic tool to make money online. The gurus know this and play on their emotions and purposely omit transparency from their sales methods.

Most newbies or struggling marketers need to focus on one method or system of making money online at a time. It is very difficult to have the patience or discipline to do. This is especially true when one is lacking online experience or is not making money yet.

What will happen is the tool will get left unused because the marketer doesn’t have the time to learn how to use it. The system he or she is working on requires most of their time and effort.  Alternatively, they will start learning how to use the new tool neglecting the work they should be doing on their present tasks.

It is just not worth the time or money buying new tools or trying new online money making methods before mastering the tools and systems you have already invested in.

In addition, there is the extra money spent creating more debt for many.  So be careful of the marketing gimmicks. These so-called “gurus” do not have your best interests at heart. I am not saying do not buy an affiliate tool or try a new method of making money online.

Just be certain you have completed or mastered what you already have bought. I am guilty of doing this many times over which has led to me delaying my road to financial success (and unfortunately was fooled by Doodly again) . I don’t want to see that happen to you.

As I have mentioned before, you do not have to spend a lot of money to succeed online. There are good, honest, ethical, communities around that do not use upselling techniques and really care about your success.  I belong to one (but there are more) which offers a free online entrepreneur certification course.

 

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