Pretty generic question, right? Yet, perhaps it’s the only question that really matters. Just 5 minutes on the Warrior Forum will show you what a big, crazy, scrambled-up world we Internet marketers are living in.
- So many different business models
- So many supposedly great ways to drive traffic
- So many ways to monetize
- So many secret systems
- So much conflicting advice
Is it any wonder why so many marketers are frustrated out of their minds? Is it any wonder why so many of them quit?
Listen, that doesn’t have to be you. You can succeed online. But it’s going to take a shifting of focus, a quieting of the mind, and one more absolutely essential thing:
A willingness to practice the fundamentals.
How many times does it need to be said that there is truly no “push-button easy” way to make this happen? When will people finally “get it” and start treating their business like a… well, like a business?
Think about it. In what other business do you find the same level of mania you find in ours? Does the head chef of a successful restaurant decide one day he’s going to serve sushi, then Mexican food the next, then Italian the next, and then sell bicycles the next? Of course not.
Does a chiropractor advertise in the newspaper one day and then close down her business for 3 days waiting to see if that ad will actually work? Then, does she show up after those 3 days and complain about her business not working… asking everyone she sees what she should do?
And how about the street musician? Does this talented, hard-working young entrepreneur need to read every single book ever written about art, entertaining, and getting onlookers to throw money into his guitar case before he ever strums his first chord or belts out his first verse?
These folks know their business. They know what it takes to make their business work. And it’s really not all that complicated, at all. In fact, that’s WHY it’s so magical.
They practice the fundamentals in a consistent, never-ending, and often passionate way. But what are these fundamentals? Once you uncover this secret, things become a whole lot easier for you. And here’s the first thing you need to do before this discovery can be made…
Know Your Damn Job!
It’s so much easier to do your job when you actually know what your job is… isn’t it?
Seriously, if you don’t know what your business model is from one day to the next… or if you work really hard for one day and then do nothing but check your stats for the next three… or you read every forum post and buy every WSO you can but still don’t USE the information…
Then you obviously don’t know what your job is. And that, my friend, is the problem. That is the freaking problem. Why? Because how the hell can you DO what you can’t even DEFINE? That’s crazy. And you will never succeed until you know what it is you’re supposed to be succeeding at. Don’t you agree?
The bottom line is this: you first need to know what your job is. Then, you need to learn the fundamentals that other successful folks with the exact same job (very important) practice on a daily basis to achieve, maintain, and grow their success. Finally, you need to practice those fundamentals to the very best of your ability, always looking to improve this ability.
But again, it still always and forever comes down to knowing what your job is. Please hear me, and make no mistake about it. If you don’t take the time to get clear on this, you will fail.
Don’t believe me?
Then ignore what I’m about to share with you. Bookmark this blog post and come back in 6 months or a year to tell me I was wrong. Tell me how you never got clear on what your job was, yet you still managed to succeed online.
I dare you. 😉
So What Is Your Job?
Ultimately, this depends on you. But I can certainly help you figure it out. And I’d like to do that right now, if you’re willing to work with me for a few minutes here.
Okay, so I really believe that before we ever even ask the “usual” questions like “what are your passions?” or “what is your experience?” or anything that ultimately attempts to uncover what’s “the right fit” for you, we should start off more generically. Here’s everyone’s main job…
To Help People!
Even in industries that aren’t directly people-focused, the end goal is always to make the world better for humanity. Even in industries that are directly hurting people (tobacco, food, oil), the end goal is still to add value to the human experience… even if it’s addictive and harmful in the long-term! Do you follow?
Online, it’s no different. Your primary objective should not be to make money. It should be to add value.
I can’t stress how important it is that you buy into what I just shared with you. If you focus only on making money, you may very well not make any. But if you focus almost exclusively on adding value, improving the human experience, and solving problems for folks, your bank account is far more likely to put a smile on your face.
That’s just natural law, my friend. Nobody’s going to give you a dollar if they don’t think it’s justified to do so.
Okay, so if we can both agree on this point, and you’re ready to make helping people your primary concern when it comes to your online business, then let’s proceed to niche your ass down!
How Are You Currently Helping People?
This is an absolutely magnificent question! If there is something that you’re already doing in the world to add value and enrich lives, then it only makes sense that you can just shift this to the online world. This is a powerful, yet fully organic point to focus on right now.
Think about it. Do any of the following situations apply to you?…
- You’re a loving parent who really takes time to nurture your child.
- You are known to give great relationship advice to friends.
- Folks enjoy your positive attitude and sense of humor. You make people smile.
- You’ve helped people file their taxes, organize their finances, etc.
- You take good care of your body, inspiring others to do the same.
- You take it upon yourself to help people you care about out of tough financial dilemmas.
- You’re a skilled business consultant.
- You’re a skilled investment consultant.
- You’re an artist whose work people genuinely enjoy.
- You currently work in the medical field.
- You’re a social worker.
- You’re in the service and hospitality industry.
- You love preparing meals for others.
- You care for the elderly.
There are many other possibilities. These are just a few that I came up with on the fly. In any case, think very carefully. Is there something you do that others love, or that enriches their lives in some way? How do you help people get out of pain and/or into pleasure?
The answer to this question may or may not be directly linked to the niche you ultimately find yourself in online. But it’s still a good exercise to go through, as it may very well put you in the spirit (and mindset) of service. Anyway, it’s always nice to reflect upon your contributions!
What Do You LOVE to Do?
Now if the answer to this question is directly inline with the answer to the previous question, then there’s a very good chance that you’ve found your calling, provided there’s a market for it. If there’s not a market for it, is that a total deal breaker? Ummm, yeah. Duh. 😉
Listen, it is unbelievably important that you love what you do. So why not just do something you love?
Do you have a passion for writing fiction? Are you a raw foodist who’s passionate about creating new fresh juice blends? Do you love to play drums and you think you can teach kids (or adults) to play? Are you absolutely crazy about Fantasy Football or a certain RPG? Does reviewing tech products give you a high? I mean seriously, what’s your deal?
Be honest with yourself and I’m sure you’ll come up with a few great choices.
For me, the answers come pretty easy. I love to play music, listen to music, father my beautiful son, read business and investment-related books, and Internet market my stupid brains out. I am deeply passionate about all of these activities. So to determine what your “job” is going to be, you need to identify the activities that you’re deeply passionate about.
Then, cross-reference them with your answer(s) from the previous question. How do you really help people?
I’ll use myself as an example again…
I help my son to better understand and enjoy the world around him. I help my friends by providing them with laughter, concern, and sincere compliments. I help my blog readers and email subscribers by educating and enlightening them, showing them the ropes of the online business world. And I help my paid customers by giving them detailed strategies that enable them to (hopefully) lead more financially abundant lives.
Do you find that when you go about this cross-referencing exercise, one or two items show up on BOTH lists? That’s excellent! Make a note of this.
For me, the activities that showed up on both of these lists are:
- Internet Marketing
I was surprised that creating and/or performing music didn’t make both lists, but I’ve been inactive for a while. I’m no longer in a band, as I’ve been working to launch a solo career in the near future. But for now, I’m not really helping anyone with my music (other than my son… but I’ll just chalk that up to good parenting.)
Now if you’ve only identified one thing that “checks out” with both lists, then that may very well be the direction you need to head in. But before you can accurately make that determination, you need to answer one final question…
Can You Make a (Very) Good Living With Your Selection?
So now we get to the brass tacks of all this beeswax, don’t we? Hey, I like getting paid for my hard work, don’t you?
Hell, I’ll take it a step further. I like getting paid A LOT… REPEATEDLY… NEVER-ENDINGLY… for my hard work.
I’m sure you don’t. 😉 And I know I’m kinda weird in this respect. But let’s just pretend that you DO like making tons of money, as it will help lend some congruency to what I’m about to assert…
MONEY IS GOOD. MONEY IS FUN. AND IF THERE’S NO MONEY, THE FUN IS DIMINISHED… at least to an extent. And often, it’s to a major extent. I lost my would-be wife because we didn’t have any money… and the stress & tension destroyed our relationship… true story.
Crap, I didn’t warn you about the major “buzzkill” that was coming your way, did I?
Let’s shake it off…
Alright, back in the game!
So, can you make money with your passion or not? Do you have more than one passion that enables you to help people? If so, which of the two (or however many) do you think would be more profitable? You ARE doing this to make money, right? I know your primary concern is helping folks… but you don’t plan on doing that for free, right?
Then you really need to look around and see if other people are making money with this market… or niche. What is the popular appeal of what you’re wanting to do or sell? Are folks within that niche passionate as heck? Or are they mostly just free information seekers?
The Bottom Line:
You need to have a combination of contribution potential, joy potential, and incredible income potential. If any of these three things are missing, then you need to dig a little deeper. Maybe you need to develop a new passion. And I do have a suggestion.
THIS niche. Internet marketing. Consider going into this niche.
Because there is a fortune to be made in this niche. Not only that, but people REALLY WANT to know how to make more money. You’ll be helping the crap out of them. They’ll be ever so grateful, and they’ll keep coming back to buy more and more stuff from you.
Likewise, there is a never-ending supply of affiliate products for you to promote. And if you’re building a list (which shame on you if you’re not), then you’ll have a captive audience (and perhaps even lots of customers, if you’re creating your own products) that has the potential to stay with you for a long time to come.
There’s no other niche quite like it. Everything else has a shelf life. If you’re in the weight loss niche, there’s only so much weight a person can lose until they don’t need your help anymore. In the “get your ex back” niche, the customer has a goal. Once that goal has been reached, he or she doesn’t need you anymore.
But making money has no ceiling. There’s no limit to how much money most folks would like to have. Understand?
And… if you’re on this “money-making” blog right now, then I assume that you’ve already got some love for this niche. You love the potential freedom, ease of access, and lack of manual labor. Perhaps you think it’s exciting. Maybe it’s a passion for you.
Then ROLL with it!
Okay, so now that you’ve got your niche in place, you need to know what you’re supposed to DO with it, right? I mean, if you just got hired on at McDonald’s and all they told you was “Okay, you’re a burger and fry cook now. Get to work,” you wouldn’t know what the hell they expected from you. Would you? Absolutely not; not without first being properly trained.
Now sticking with this same example, if McDonald’s brought in a postal worker to train you to assemble McRibs and Big Macs, but all your trainer did was teach you how to carry, sort, and deliver parcels… well, what would likely ensue during lunch rush would not make you a very well-liked individual.
Because you weren’t effective at helping people in the way that they needed to be helped!
Because you didn’t know what your job was. 😉
So Now What?
As you can see, clarity is power. It’s your very best friend, as it literally means the difference between success and failure. But what do you do once you HAVE, in fact, gained clarity… and you DO know what your job is?
You role model.
You find someone who’s successful (preferably wildly successful) and who has the exact same job as you. For example, if you decide that you want to be an SEO expert – sorry, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit – then you’ll want to find someone who’s killing it with SEO. Not just ranking sites, but also literally teaching SEO to the masses.
Then you discover their habits. Their… what? Yep, their fundamentals! And all you need to do is turn these into your fundamentals.
Don’t worry, you don’t necessarily have to talk to this person. Just study her and emulate her every move. Of course, if you do want to dig deeper and actually shoot her an email to pick her brain a little, then more power to you!
As Tony Robbins says, “Success leaves clues.” By role-modeling someone you’ve got deep respect and admiration for, you can literally shave years of learning off your overall timeline. That’s huge. Better now than later.
Here’s what it takes to really succeed online. Pick a niche. Choose a business model. Be passionate. Find a highly successful marketer who’s in your exact niche (and rockin’ your same business model)… and practice the same fundamentals they do, every day.
In other words… know what your job is, learn how to do your job, and then strive to do the best job you can!
This is the magic formula, my friend.
And it can produce a magic income for you in less time than you think, provided your work ethic is impeccable.
I truly hope this post has helped. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please leave them below. I can’t wait to see them!
Until next time…
Your friend in list building,