Rites of Passage
© 2002 Elena Fawkner
"I'm not sure what exactly my point in writing this is going to be other than to voice my frustration to someone who has been there, and would understand.
"Like many, I've been considering starting up some form of a home business. Or at least some way to boost income. So over past few months, I've been looking at every hare-brained idea out there. All Associate Programs, eBooks with publishing rights, all scams (and most of them out there really start to look like scams after a while!).
"What I've discovered: "There are no short-cuts". I don't know why I thought there were."
This is an extract from an email I received a couple of weeks ago from one of my ezine subscribers, Ric. It typifies frustration and "overwhelmingness" we ALL face when grappling with what we think we need to know before we can begin to start an online business. It's like trying to pin jelly to a wall - there's just so much we know we're missing so at what point do we actually bite bullet and just start?
If this is how you're feeling as you sit here reading this late at night, chin propped on hand, after yet another evening of searching, downloading and reading everything you can lay your hands on about generating an income from Internet, only to end up feeling more confused, overwhelmed and discouraged than when you started, take heart. This is just how it is. You're not alone. We've ALL been there - it's just part of process, a rite of passage, if you will. Rest assured, you CAN get through this to where you need to be.
Let's shine a light on this beast and cut him down to size, shall we? Here's process and, although there may not be much you can do to avoid it, at least you can recognize it for what it is and be reassured in your darkest moments that, far from being lost at sea, you are walking a well-worn path. Just keep putting one foot in front of other and you'll get there if you don't give up.
=> Phase I - Have Computer, Will Get Rich
OK, so you have a computer, and an Internet connection. You've been online for a while actually, just dabbling about, sending email to family and friends and maybe doing a bit of surfing.
In your travels, you've stumbled across all these people who are making fortunes on Internet. After a while, it seems to you that pretty much everyone who has a computer and an Internet connection is using them to generate a huge income. You think to yourself, "I have a computer and an Internet connection. I should be making a fortune too." So, like pioneers before you, you decide to go after your rightful share.
So here you are, computer connected to Internet, fingers poised over keyboard. Now what? How am I supposed to use this thing to make money? Oh, I know, I'll do a search. I can find out anything on Google. So you go to Google (or, if you're really new, Yahoo!), and you type in "making money on internet".
And Wazzooo! Lists and lists and lists of sites that promise to show you how to make money. Oh, this is a goldmine! Already you're planning a month-long trip to Europe.
You merrily head off and visit dozens of sites your first afternoon. During course of that afternoon and in weeks that follow, you come across sites that promise to give you $30,000 in 30 days if you invest just $30 (you learn about matrix/pyramid schemes hard way), then you learn about affiliate programs and how you can make money by referring people to someone else's site (but only if they buy) which is great because you have no product and no idea about how to create one.
You hear a lot about MLM programs and network marketing. You think they sound an awful lot like pyramid schemes but you know they're different, you're just not sure how.
And then you find out about products with resell rights so you can keep 100% of profits (but you have to buy product first).
Every time you turn around there's another expert promising to show you way to promised land.
=> Phase II - This is More Complicated Than I Thought
You soon realize that this whole making money with your computer business is way more complicated than you thought. And now you discover you need to go off and learn something else besides. Internet marketing. After all, when you finally decide what you're going to sell, you have to know how, right? Fortunately for you, there are literally thousands of Internet marketing experts out there just waiting with bated breath to share their secrets with you. For a price.
Everything is so confusing and overwhelming that you just don't know where to begin. So you decide you'd better learn everything there is to know about Internet marketing before you start. That way, when you've learned everything you need to know, you won't make any mistakes.
So you spend next several weeks to several months downloading all of free Internet marketing ebooks that you can find. When you realize they all pretty much say same thing, you decide you'd better get serious and start paying for some of really good stuff. So, three months and $900 later you have a hard disk crammed full of ebooks that you don't even remember reading and you're damned if even now you have foggiest idea where to start. No wonder. It's pretty hard to visualize how you're going to market a site you haven't even created yet, let alone make money from it.