- recording personal development audio files and pushing them on E-Junkie
- recording hypnosis MP3's and selling them from a website
- opening an online coaching practice
- selling poplar sticks for biomass on a website
- attempting Amazon to eBay arbitrage
- opening a PLR store
- writing excellent articles for good money
- selling my own books through Amazon Kindle
- starting a personal development blog
All those attempts and minimal success. Out of that entire list, the only thing I made some cash on was selling about thirty articles ($175). If you could put IM'ers on a scale, ranked by success, it would look something like this:
Guru --> Advanced IM'er --> Intermediate IM'er --> Newbie --> Petrified Wood --> Mounds
I'd become a professional dreamer; able to see in my minds eye where I wanted to go, basking in the glory of finishing a project and reaping the benefits, and not actually accomplishing anything. I had become proficient at not starting what I finish.
On the rare occasion that I did start something, I chose to step down from the shoulders of giants, pulled out my hammer and chisel, and tried to reinvent the wheel. Because I love metaphors, this is how it went down:
I read online how to make a grilled cheese sandwich. Expert chefs wrote books about how it's done, and all I had to do was follow the instructions. Blinded by my hubris, I threw the cheese in the pan first. I watched, aghast, as the cheese did not magically turn into a sandwich, but instead into a sticky, burnt mess that not even the most desperate of bachelors would eat.
Instead of accepting the profound realization that procedure and sequence are important, I made the aforementioned decision that I just suck. With that decision, IM was off my radar.
...and in the darkest of hours, shined a light.
I started to notice how great it felt to finish things, whether it was a course, a book, or a chore. By simply committing to one thing at a time, I was getting things done.
I decided I would finish one (1) item on my list of flubbed projects. I had written 2.5 articles for my first ten-pack of PLR articles and decided to start there. That same day, I sent three off for review and received my first testimonial. Today (one week later), I finished that first ten-pack. Oh baby... the motivation is spectacular.
I could have summed up this entire post with three words: lack of focus. The spectacular fails, the limiting decisions, and the burnout can all be chalked up to that simple concept that seems to plague every IM'er on this forum.
If I've learned one important thing about focus, it's that it takes practice. Even when you are not working on internet marketing projects, try to stay focused. At work, in conversations, while doing chores, whatever. It's one of the greatest investments of your energy that you can make.