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The Truth (What Your Mother Never Told You) About Starting An Internet Home Business

Aug 17, 2007
We all learn some hard truths when we start an Internet based home business. Most often, it's because we don't know what we don't know. We see sales sites that promise great riches in 2 hours with no risk and no cost and no effort - oh, and did I mention 'while you sleep?'

It's no wonder our Skept-O-Meter breaks a needle when we hear people talk about quick and easy wealth. The first fact is - there really is no such thing as 'get rich quick.' Ain't gonna happen. But you already knew that, so let's be more reasonable.

I get a lot of questions from people interested in starting an Internet business asking, 'What can you tell me, that would help me avoid disappointment, that you wish someone had told you when you were a newbie?'

You've been considering starting a home business on the Internet, but you keep wondering what you should know before you venture in. What do I NOT know? Here are several of the many facts about what to expect as you start your journey toward financial independence.

I - It takes a lot more hard work than most of the hype suggests.

If you think you can put in a couple of hours when you feel like it and realize any level of success, you have been seriously misled. You need to be prepared to put in some very long hours, and to go through a steep learning curve as you find your way. Remember what I said at the outset? You don't know what you don't know. There is so much to learn. Be patient. Don't try to learn everything in a day. You must take the time required to not only listen to the information that you need, but more importantly process and store it.

Establishing an online business is the same as setting up any other sort of business - it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of commitment over a long period of time, with many trials and tribulations along the way. Don't expect instant results, nor to be cruising the waterways in your 60' yacht after a couple of weeks while the money flows in - it doesn't happen.

The current success stories on the Internet (and there are many) have gotten there through months, more likely years, of hard work. You should be prepared to do the same, and to make whatever sacrifices you may need to make in your current life to do so. Make no mistake, there is huge money to be made in this industry and you could very likely be a wealthy success story in a few years so don't give up on your idea of independence. Stay with me, unless you really do not want to work hard for what you reap. If that's the case, don't waste your time reading this article. Go back to your safe 9-5 daily routine.

II - Don't fear failure - just get started now.

Many people do not start something or act on their desires because they are afraid of failure. They are afraid of looking a fool, afraid of their nearest and dearest saying 'I told you so'; afraid of wasting time, effort and expense on something that may not work out.

In fact, the very nature of the question, 'What can you tell me, that would help me avoid disappointment, that you wish someone had told you when you were a newbie?' is based on a fear of failure. It is a futile search for that gold nugget of information that will prevent them screwing up.

The truth is that failure should be celebrated. It is a simple milestone on the way to success. It is only through failure that you can truly find the path to any sort of success, right from when you first learned to walk as a small child. Failure teaches you important lessons that make you wiser and will make your business stronger and far more likely to succeed.

Instead of just giving up when something has failed, or not worked out like you expected, there is a really simple question you can ask instead that can lead to great success - 'What can I learn from this experience?'

Everyone who has ever achieved success has gone through failure first. The difference is that the success stories picked themselves up, learned from the experience, and persisted anyway.

For many people, just getting started is often the most difficult part. They will think about it, think some more, and then think again. Often, rather than thinking in a focused way, they will end up procrastinating, and never get off the starting line. Indecision is deadly. It doesn't matter how good or bad your idea for a home business is, if you don't make the decision to start, they are ALL failures - guaranteed. I teach people a very simple, yet hugely important, concept from the very beginning. BE DECISIVE! Make a decision. Right or wrong, make a decision.

So do it. Make that decision to get started. Sure, initially you may be doing the completely wrong thing, such as selling the wrong product in the wrong market, but failure is the only way you will learn, and the only way you will reach success. If you don't fail, you can't succeed.

And simply by starting, you have succeeded already. Succeeded in getting way beyond the point that most people reach, which is usually just saying, 'One day I will'. Make today that 'one day' - why wait until tomorrow, when tomorrow just leads to forever?

III - Keep your eye on the prize.

It is important to maintain your focus on what you actually want to accomplish. Are you aiming for an additional income to supplement an existing wage; or are you looking to make an Internet business a full-time occupation?

Whatever your focus is, it is important that you continually work toward it until you achieve it, whatever roadblocks or challenges you encounter along the way.

IV - Be careful what you read and beware of information overload.

There is so much information out there about how to run a business online, much of it contradictory, that it is often difficult to separate fact from fiction.

Rather than read anything and everything that you can get your hands on, it is best to find just a few people whom you trust, who have a good reputation, and who are actually qualified to give the advice they give, and listen to them.

I also teach my students to research the companies and people with whom they are contemplating dealing, especially the people. Look for company info, address, 'contact us' info, etc. If a company won't tell you who they are or where they're located, what are they hiding? Sounds like a potential scam when there doesn't seem to be any path for recourse should something go wrong.

But, nothing is more important than learning about the founder, the person with whom you will actually be doing business. Look for a biography (bio) on the founder or creator of the business. This is the person you want to get to know. Here again, if there is no bio, you really don't know anything about them. 'They could lie', you say. That's true, but you can determine much about the veracity of the bio by the way it's written and the vibes that it conveys. A good bio with a picture can make you feel like you actually know this person. And remember, if they publish a bio with a picture, they want you to know about them and who they are.

V - A little high-quality information can be worth a great deal.

Once you have chosen a mentor or two, it is also useful to watch what they actually do, and compare that to what they say - sometimes the two are very different, and following what they do is far more useful. The best mentors are the ones who use the products and services that they sell. That is sometimes evident and sometimes not. Go to their forum and ask.

The forum is also a good place to get information on an 'as needed' basis. Just log on and make a post. You'll get answers from the forum administrator as well as the other members of the forum, many of them in the same boat as you.

VI - Don't strive for perfection before you 'launch' your business.

No web site is ever perfect. My goodness, I remember tweaking mine on a daily basis (and still doing so.) There was little comparison between what my site looked like at launch and what it looked like six months later. If you try to reach a high degree of perfection before you launch or make your site live, you will lose more than you could achieve. Plus, your version of 'perfection' may differ a great deal from what actually works within your market.

Once your site is functional and of reasonable quality, start promoting it immediately. Start to build up your mailing list by requesting the email addresses of your visitors. Test what works with your visitors and what does not, and alter your site accordingly.

VII - Listen to your visitors and customers.

Once you have started and have a web site up and running, it is important to listen to your visitors and customers, and to treat them with great respect. They'll tell you everything you need to know if you have a method of collecting feedback. At the very least, ask them to e-mail you with suggestions. Not only will you learn a great deal from them about what the market is actually looking for, you can also earn lifelong customers and friends.

Positive comments from customers can be used with their permission as testimonials on your web site, which will strengthen your online credibility and profit potential.

Be prepared to continually adjust your web site to meet the market demands. A web site is never 'finished', a successful web site must evolve over time on a continual path of improvement.

But most importantly...

Decide to succeed - right now.
About the Author
Don Resh is CEO of WebForce, Inc. A more detailed bio is available at:

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