Snatching Defeat From The Jaws of Victory
© 2002 Elena Fawkner
You may find lure of an online business seductive indeed. And why not? After all, it holds promise of true independence - time and money freedom - from comfort and sanctuary of your own home. It tantalizes you with promise of unlimited potential, a limitless market. With immediate results.
All of this is achievable. Except last. There is nothing immediate about results you will achieve when you first start an online business.
It's estimated that well over 98% of internet businesses bite dust after only a few months. How can you make sure you're one of 2% who last through 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 Internet community yourself, get ready to join 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 lag factor. You have to be prepared to not only sow your seeds, but to give 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 can reap.
It's what you do with that waiting time that's critical to your success.
Think of yourself as a farmer. You wouldn't just plant a quarter acre of corn and then sit back for 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 meantime, you'd be busy planting strawberries, potatoes, carrots and broadbeans. And you'd be busy *harvesting* broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts and asparagus that you planted four months before strawberries, potatoes, carrots and broadbeans. While you weren't obsessing about how 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 quotes if you have your own site), you think 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 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 search engines tomorrow. You'll send 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 SAME audience.