I finally reached my 1000th post! I remember stumbling onto this
forum almost by accident and never looked back since. That was
back into 2006, and boy have I come a long way since.
I am writing this post in celebration of my appreciation to every
single warrior on this forum, whether you've agreed, disagreed,
loved or hated me. You're all my friends and you can get the sick
bucket, see if I care.
I am about to share with you some principles in business that I
have developed, and some sort of motivational view point which
might help you pick up your game.
Nick's principle #1 - Remove yourself from negativity
Before you can expect to really take off with your business, you
need to remove yourself from the people who continually try and
shut you down or ridicule you. If you are surrounded by people that
hound you and cause self doubt, trying to belittle your dreams, then
remove them from your life as much as possible. Instead, surround
yourself with like minded thinkers and dreamers.
This is why mastermind groups, conferences and the like are so
popular...not just because what you will learn practically, but the
fact that you are surrounding yourself with people that reinforce
your core desires. That's where lifelong friends are made.
People who are negative or try to counteract your desires and
ambitions are not at fault...so do not slate or argue with them.
They are simply not in the same mindset as you, and more likely,
they simply don't understand what you're doing.
Furthermore, if they see that you are successful or at least on
your way to a new life, it is not uncommon for people to resent
that. Even your closest friends might become filled with resent
for you, but this is human nature. If we see success, and we
don't understand or control it, we often resent it. Many do this
because they worry that they are slowly losing their friends who
"lived the normal life like us"...
Why? Because the basis of all friendships is usually built around
similarity. We are drawn to those that are the same as us. As
soon as one of us begins to move away from that, the friendship
breaks down. Not in all cases, but in many...myself included.
Now, if I am having lunch with someone and they tell me they
own a business, I will probably ask in what area...yet I will never
bother to find out if they are legit, or if they think they know
what they are doing, or if they are REALLY making any money with
that...and they wouldn't expect me to ask...so why should YOU
expect to be asked the same of your business?
The truth is, there's a reason why people doubt your ventures...
Nick's principle #2 - Define your business before you declare it
I can only imagine (as I often did), that many people just shuffle
around with "stuff" online and see a few passing results over time,
such as a commission check here, some other sales there etc.
The real difference comes when you actually define a business
and a plan.
I know, you hear it all the time..."set a plan, some goals..." but
whilst in the back of your mind you think to yourself "yeah, that
makes sense..." the reality is, if you don't have a definite business
in place, goals and plans are pointless.
In other words, you need to choose a sport you want to play before
you start talking about team formations and strategies.
The other benefit of defining your business is that you can tell people
what you do, without the fear of being ridiculed. There's nothing worse
than trying to fumble your way through a conversation about what
you do, which for most people should be a simple Q&A scenario.
The fact is, if you can't explain what you do in one simple sentence,
then I am afraid you don't really know. And if you don't know, then
there's the reason why you don't succeed.
All success comes from clarity. If you're not even sure what you do
in a business sense (or at least can't define it with crystal clear clarity)
then it's no wonder people can't be enthused or understanding of your
business...which in turn results in lack of respect and increased ridicule
in some people's cases.
Nick's principle #3 - Use your own brain
How many eBooks does it take to find your own path to success?
The answer is an infinite amount. Something you'll hear a lot is
"Stop reading and start doing". That is the best advice anyone can offer.
The fact is, guides and eBooks, and all that jazz that floats around
on the net is great if you know how to apply the principles and use
your own mind to make it work in your situation. The fact is, as many
people have pointed out before me, there is no single guide, course or
manual which will result in step by step success from following what is
Whilst there are some people that have quit their day jobs from
reading one guide, I very much doubt they will survive from sticking
to one approach, one system and one "set of rules" which has been
handed down and governed from someone else. You can only adapt
other people's ideas to suit your unique position, unless you can
climb into someone else's brain.
The reality is, any guide should be there to inspire and instigate
your own creativity.
The point I am alluding to is this:
If you can't use your own intuition, then other people's tuition is
worthless. Write that down by all means, because if you can learn
to accept that as the truth, you'll overtake so many people.
Whilst it is true that you don't need to be an expert, you don't
need to have a certain marketing skill, or design hand, or technical
brain in order to create a big business on the internet (or offline),
the undeniable truth is that you WILL need to be able to converse
will people, network and ultimately use your own creative intuition
to make your own choices and your own system that is congruent
An analogy for you:
John wants to play football (soccer for the US folks), professionally.
John decides that the best possible way to be selected for a top club
is to learn from a top player. Makes sense right? So john has some
money stashed away for a rainy day (a lot of money). John gets
enough money to get private training from David Beckham.
Now, John has spent a lot of money to get David Beckham's personal
coaching, so he thinks he's going to be transformed into the world's
best player in no time at all.
During the 4 weeks that John is paying for this training, there are other
folks who are also getting the exact same training as John.
After 4 weeks is up, John has already been spotted by a talent scout
and signed up for a premiership club. David wants to know why John
succeeded and all his other coaching students failed so miserably
(or at least didn't benefit as much as they would liked to have)...
"John, I've been teaching you this stuff for 6 years now, what
the hell is going on mate?".
"David, I am not as tall as you, so I can't do those headers.
I also can't kick as hard as you, no matter how hard I try..."
"So, why do you think you got selected for the team?"
"Well, I see most of your students trying to be like you,
kick like you, and do everything like you. I figured, your stuff
works...but it works best for you David...
...so instead of trying to be like you David, I figured I would
be better at being John. You see David, when all the class was
trying to learn how to do those world class free kicks that you
do, I was simply learning how to defend..."
Nick's principle #4 - Learn to love failure
Failure is a tough bullet to bite. I've done it, and I am sure you
have too. In fact, if you haven't failed yet, then you simply
haven't done enough. Sure, I hit a home run on my first sales
letter and eBook in an obscure niche, but I also spent months
creating products, forming JVs and the whole 9 yards, just to
find out that my entire operation was not able to pull in ONE sale.
It bummed me out, but I learned to accept what was wrong and
that it WAS NOBODY'S FAULT OR RESPONSIBILITY other than my
The way I see it, failure is not an option...it's a necessity. Besides,
failure doesn't mean your days are over in online business...always
remember that the real beauty of this medium (the internet) is not
the fact that we can choose our own hours and work in our underwear
(allegedly), but the fact that we can spin out a new business that is
making huge ROI, with our running costs being a mighty few dollars for
a domain name.
So who cares if one thing didn't work? At least you don't have a
warehouse full of 125k worth of stock that you can't sell, and a half
a million debt hanging over your head.
Nick's principle #5 - Become a master, outsource the rest
Stop chasing worthless systems. Stop trying to BE the business,
and instead, simply be the business FOUNDER.
You don't see Bill Gates trying to manufacture his products in a
factory somewhere, and you don't see Hugh Hefner getting a boob
job every day. Yet, they both make money from both of these things.
Learn to outsource or collaborate with someone who can fulfil the
things you neither care for nor are able to do. Trust me, it will save
you time and will move you light years ahead if you do.
If you can't afford to outsource yet, then find a partner who wants
what you can do or what you have, and simply trade off. Which brings
up an important point...
If you don't have a clear asset (such as a list, a skill or contacts) then
you'll find it hard to find people who will want to give you their stuff
that you want.
So before you try and take on a plan that involves 70% of stuff that
you truly hate doing, take a step back and have a little think about
how you can get better results from focusing on what you're good at,
and using other people to apply what THEY are good at, so that you
ultimately produce something that is, well, good. (or great!).
The real beauty of being a master of one thing isn't just about running
your own business either. I know for a fact that I would rather hire a
copywriter to do my sales page than some guy who "knows how to
make money online".
As you become more focused in your skills, you will attract more
money and more authority. The jack of all trades, in my opinion, is
a dying breed.
Nick's principle #6 - Don't be afraid to spend money on traffic
Do you know the mindset that I see and hear all the time that truly
baffles me? It's this:
"Hey man, I am not sure about spending all my money on advertising...
it's a big risk. I think what I will do is just spend a few weeks, a couple
of hours every day, writing articles, doing some Web 2.0 stuff and blogging
Well, that's all fine and dandy. But let me ask you something:
If you're not 110% convinced and confident that you will be able to
turn a profit from advertising, then why on Earth would you proceed
to spend the next few weeks of your precious time working to drive
traffic to the same thing?
In other words...if you're not sure you'll make money from paid
advertising, then you'd be a fool to think it makes more sense
to work on sending free traffic to the same damn thing. Think
about that one for a minute, please?!
Furthermore, why bother actually doing all the grunt work that
free traffic entails in the first place? If you've got a business in
place that is designed to make money, you should be outsourcing
your traffic generation methods from day one.
But the argument might be: "Yeah, but I need to test the water"
or "But I don't have any funds yet".
Well, let me address both of those objections right now...
"Yeah, but I need to test the water"
That's a fair comment. But do you really want to spend all that
time working on free traffic, just to test something? I could test
the water in 10 minutes and spend less than $50 doing so; in the
same time it would take most people to generate the same traffic.
How? I'd pay for traffic and get the results I needed.
What you need to think about here is I am never wasting that $50.
That $50 is providing me with an answer, the same answer you were
looking for with all that free traffic grunt work. Sure, you didn't spend
any money, but I am weeks ahead of you at this point.
The other thing to remember is this:
When you're spending your own money on traffic, you are damn
sure you make your offers convert and your visitors take action.
Even if you don't turn a profit at the start, you'll be a million times
more clued up as to what NOT to do as you move forward...after
all; success is a simple process of avoiding doing the things that
"But I don't have any funds yet"
Another valid argument as to why you don't buy traffic (or invest in
your business in general), is that you don't have the money.
All I can say is, when was the last time you spent $50 on something
you could have lived without? How many eBooks have you bought for
$97 in the past year? How serious are you about this depends on the
money you sacrifice and invest in the early days...trust me, it's not a
waste, it's NEVER a waste.
Nick's principle #7 - Learn how to manage your time & your focus
Nothing has plagued me more in my time in online marketing than time
management and clear focus. It's another aspect often talked about
in business and for good reason - it's probably the one part of your
business that hurts you the most.
When I look at days where I have thought I was making progress, and
then try and write down what I did that day to move my business forward,
and can't write more than one significant thing down, I know that I have
just wasted another day standing still.
In this game, many of us work from home, alone. If you transition from
working in a busy environment with a boss breathing down your neck,
this change is VERY difficult to adapt to.
Sure, in the days of your arse faced boss breathing down your neck,
you were pissed off. But there's one thing you can't deny - you sure as
heck got the work done didn't you?
One thing I found after I started taking this seriously was that not only
is there a lot of work required from you as an online business owner, but
you're going to have to do it off your own back, whilst simultaneously
battling against the endless distractions of the home. (Family, TV, The
sunny garden, the shops, facebook, email, calls from the bank...).
Plus, it's a real challenge to separate that psychological connection you
have of home being a place to relax, away from work. Trust me, it can
feel weird when you truly begin to operate as a business from your spare
bedroom. I can now see why people hire office space.
Nick's principle #8 - Discover what is really driving you
Above all, the only way to continually move forward is to clearly identify
what is driving you from the start. Don't tell me it's money, because that
is lame. Money is benefit of the things you do to feel good and get value
from your life.
Nothing kills the self esteem and inner confidence more that the feeling
of being worthless and unimportant. As Dale Carnegie explains and refers
to in his excellent book "How To Win Friends and Influence People", the
single greatest desire in every single human being is...
TO FEEL IMPORTANT.
Money will bring you materialistic pleasures and will allow you freedom.
But freedom is nothing when you don't enjoy living inside your own skin.
Aim to be somebody, to influence and to be respected. The money will
follow. If you aim for money, you'll more likely get it, but at a greater cost
and without intrinsic, lifelong value.
Give me self confidence, pride and respect from others over $50k per
week, every single time. The funny thing is, money follows as a natural
result of self confidence, pride and respect in any case, so I'd stand to
win on both sides...so can you.
Nick's principle #9 - Start giving a damn about people
Not just your friends and family, but the people that put money in your
pocket and food on your family's table. I am truly disgusted when I read
and hear of people who show disrespect and little time and care for their
I know, the "customer is not always right", despite what they say. I'm not
talking about that, I'm talking about giving a damn, from the heart, about
people. From business partners to your most awkward customers.
I don't care if you have to outsource your customer service, I'm not
talking about that either. I'm talking about genuinely caring that the
people you market, sell and serve are not only getting what they need,
but that you strive to improve their lives in some way.
Just think of it like this:
Every single person that gives you their email address, or calls you, or
buys from you...every single person has feelings and dreams just like you.
They need help, and they have reached out for help from you.
Not only should you be honoured that you're seen as a trusted source,
but you should make it your core duty to make sure these people get the
honest value that they see in you.
Just remember this when YOU are in a desperate or needy situation.
What would make you happy, what would change your life in some positive
way as you look for a solution online? Answer that and you've found your
ability to empathize.
And that's a really valuable skill to have in marketing...to empathize with
other people. If you can understand other people's problems and how they
feel, you'll do a far better job of giving them what they want.
And when you do that, all of the principles above will begin to slot into place
like a big, colourful jigsaw that your grandma used to do in less than a day.
So those are some of my core principles. What I hope you get from
this message is that not everything is black and white in business and
providing you put your mindset right, then you will find it very difficult
to fail in the long run.
All it takes is dedication, and dedication can only be applied when you
have a clear business plan, a good surrounding and a healthy mentality
to what you're doing.
You may wish to disagree with what I say to you, and that's great.
You're now using your mind. If you agree with what I have said, even
just one thing, then make sure you apply it to your daily life.
I'm not as successful as I aim to be yet, but I am not fearful of my
future as I know exactly how successful I wish to be, and what it will
take to get there.
You should have the same clarity in your mind too. Sure, you may not
know how to do "x", so you have to make a decision..."Do I need to learn
this, or would it make more sense to outsource it?". By knowing what you
enjoy doing in your business, and by knowing what your goals are, you
should be able to answer that decision in a snap.
Sure, you may not have much money right now. But always remember
that all business is built on some form of investment. Instead of having
that bottle of wine or that fast food hit, send 100 people to your sales
page with paid traffic. See if it converts and TEST TEST TEST.
If you're determined to go the entirely free method that's fine too,
it DOES work. But promise me this: Don't spend more money on learning
the things that don't apply to your business, when you could use that
money to build your own business.
Ultimately, never stop learning, but never sacrifice your time learning
things that don't mean anything for your purpose. Don't know what your
purpose is? Go back to the top of this post and start again.
Finally, as I am sure many others would agree...the real difference for
me came when I actually started using my own brain and intuition, as
I can't describe the difference in production and results I saw from
simply applying the knowledge and common sense I already have. All
of sudden, you begin to see how worthless some of those $47 eBooks
really are (not all, but many).
If you really, really, really don't know much about marketing yet, then
here's my most simple piece of advice which might just save you years
of frustration and confusion, and is something I briefly mentioned above...
In order to be able to market anything to anyone, in order to create
powerful relationships with people who buy from you over and over, in
order to create a high converting offer, you simply need to...
PUT YOURSELF IN THE SHOES OF YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Stop forcing things that you think they want, stop paying for keywords
that they wouldn't search for, stop talking to them in a way that they
can't understand...and start seeing yourself through THEIR eyes.
Type your keywords into Google as if YOU are the one with the problem.
Ask yourself, "What would I ideally like to see when the results come up?"
Then ask yourself, "Ok, I have this problem, what sort of things am I
looking for to solve it?"
Then ask yourself "Ok, here's a webpage that is related to my problem.
Does it make me want to get more info? Do I believe them? How does it
solve my problem?"
....keep asking yourself questions as if it were YOU that has the problem
and it is YOU that is looking for the solution. The better you are at seeing
the world through your customer's/visitor's eyes...the more money you'll
make and the more fans you'll create.
Keep on going, you're closer than you think...