The 8 Lessons I've Learned Over 2 ½ Years Making Money In The Internet (inspired by Rod Cortez)

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Inspired by Rod Cortez' brilliant 56 Lessons Learned Over 11 Years Of Being In IM - The List I Wish I Had When I First Started, I'd like to get out my own liste of learnings.

Who should read this post and what you'll learn

Have I made a fortune yet? No. Did I quit my first job as a business studies graduate after 7 months? Yes.

So, if you'd like to be able to fire your boss, this post might be helpful to you.

You'll learn the best things I've learned within 2 ½ years of making money online, a little bit about my mindest and the the things I do and those I don't do (anymore).

The list

#1 You need to make earning money online a must


Altough there were nice people and the money was fine, I hated my job. I knew I had to get out of there asap. Never would I've been able to quit without being this serious. My goal was not to buy a nice car or something ... instead I wanted my life back.

#2 Define the goals you have as clearly as possible and you'll be likely to reach them before the deadline.

I quit the job months before the deadline. Wonderful things happened when I got that serious.

On the other hand, after reaching this goal I struggled to set new, clear goals with a big enough why (see #1). That is why I did not get that much ahead since the moment I had gotten my life back.

So, after writing this list I'll write new, specific goals down with a deadline and a big enough WHY.

Please, please, please do the same if you do not have your goals written down already.

#3 Focus on one project at a time

For me, it's been a authority site in the health niche. Business model: advertisment (a little bit of adsense and mainly selling premium advertising spaces). I've been working on ONLY THIS ONE project for two years. And I'd always do so if I had to start over again.

To me it makes no sense at all (and it never did) to start a gazillion projects simultaneously. Would you start a bakery, an auto shop and a whatever at the same time? I guess you wouldn't. So ... why do you think that's a different thing online? After all, building a business stays building a business. This gets us to #4.

#4 It's about building a business


**** all get rich schemes. All of them. Always ask yourself: do I really create a sustainable business or not? If not, stop doing anything and change your direction.

#5 Build a business that you have real interest in

If you don't love cars then you better forget building a business around them NOW. Why? Because you won't be able to throw your full heart into it. Chances are good that you'll cancel the project long before it's getting profitable.

This is something I underestimated. The health niche is not that interesting to me. So it has often been way harder to motivate myself than it would have been if I followed my passion right from the beginning.

I'm working on project number two which is about a topic I really really really really love. Anything else is just a waste of your life. You'll just be not that HAPPY, passionate, and hard working when you don't work within your fields of interest. Wish that I'd had listened to those words myself earlier. I'm sure

#6 Don't do it all alone

Since the beginning of my MMO-journey, I've worked together with a partner. There's nothing more helpful when times get tough, nothing more fulfilling than celebrating successes together and nothing more helpful than discussing decisions with somebody who is involved in the business the same way that you are.

I actually tend to be some kind of a lonesome rider. Yet, having a business partner is priceless to me.

#7 Do the work

There's a great book out there called „Do the work". If you haven't please read it. That book opened my eyes. I avoided product creation as strongly as I would love to get my own, helpful little products out there.

Beeing creat-ive (as in „product creat-ion) is so hard when you're a perfectionist like me. That's something I need to learn. Just sit down, stay there and do your work. Wether it's creating an ebook, a video serious or a newsletter. And then ... get it out ... even if it's not perfect.

#8 Growth happens in stages

At least from my own experience, growth comes along in big steps with plateaus in between. You need to stay on track when things seem to stuck ... the next wonder is already around the corner.

This is why you shouldn't give up.
#cortez #i’ve #i’ve #inspired #internet #learned #lessons #making #money #rod #years
  • Profile picture of the author tsuccess
    You have some good points. These things are very important lessons to learn for all IMers...especially numbers 2, 3, and 7.
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  • Profile picture of the author sloanjim
    Focus in one industry and you can have multiple streams of income from that and build real authority. Trying to be A "jack of all" leads to frustration, over worknig and probably less money!
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  • Profile picture of the author lifesofree
    @tsuccess thanks, buddy!

    @sloanjim ... so true ... going for an authority page has a lot of advantages. in many cases you can just outwork most of the competition ... but therefore you've got to have enough passion and a big enough why ...
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    • Profile picture of the author wilsonljx
      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

      How long should I spend on internet marketing as I am still studying.I find it hard to juggle between studies and internet marketing. When i am revising for my exams,i will not touch internet marketing for that day to avoid losing focus.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShaneGorry
      Thanks for the real value your sharing here. There is a lot in there for me but the one that probably stands out the most at this time is "Don't do it alone." I returned to the warrior forum only a little while ago to try and find a partner for a project I had been developing. Instead I found a partner with a project that needed me.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jack Coxill
    Some great points here, when I first started I fell into many traps, for example I would put my eggs in too many baskets, trying to do every method known to man, and received nothing in return. Then I threw that mindset in the trash and began concentrating on one thing, and one thing only, and then things started looking a little better for me.

    Pick one method you enjoy online, and stick with it and make it work.
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  • Profile picture of the author wymetto
    Your right - but every newbie should know your day starts at 5:00am and then you go to your regular job - come home - start your IM job again at 6:30pm. Your husband/wife then starts on you "you never spend any time with me" .. get used to it but the whole family wins at the end..
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    #9 Bad stuff happens and things do not go as planned.

    The conventional wisdom in small business is that a new business will not become profitable for three to five years, and most people will be unable to tough it out that long.

    In my own time running businesses (started my own business for the first time in 1986), it doesn't take very long for a business to start covering its own normal expenses, but the exceptional things are a problem; you can make the car payment and the mortgage, but if the car needs a transmission rebuild you've got to find another $2k fast or you can't keep driving all over creation promoting your business to potential clients. What are you going to do if that happens?

    Similarly, it hasn't taken long for my internet marketing business to pay my bills and buy my groceries, but a major part of that was reducing my expenses. Just last month I had to downsize my hosting from a $50 host to a $10 host so I could afford to keep going. These are the times that make or break your business. Anyone can run a business for a couple weeks or months. It's staying the course and pursuing the vision that make things tough.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by CDarklock View Post

      ...but a major part of that was reducing my expenses.
      EXACTLY.

      There is no fancy mobile phone. There is no fancy car. There is no air conditioned office. No leather chair. No weekends away, or overseas holidays.

      If you want to make it, you make do with ONLY the essentials.

      At times, when I first started my web design business, I was running 64k dial up, sitting on a milkcrate at a sidetable.
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulyC
    Really good post my friend, I'm also in the middle of putting together a very long yet detailed post because I read Rod's big 56 lessons the other day.

    I agree with you in just about every aspect, the main being that focusing on a single project at a time is the key to long-term BUSINESS. I've never really been a fan of creating website after website and then moving on, I wholeheartedly don't think that's a real business model simply because business doesn't involve abandoning something you've created for something else that fast.

    I too have been focusing on a single website over the last 2.5 years and just like you its been enough to allow me the freedom to be my own boss.

    Hopefully a few people take your post to heart and dedicate themselves to a single business and make it explode.

    Good job!

    Paul
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  • Originally Posted by lifesofree View Post


    #8 Growth happens in stages
    This is so true. People don't realize that they just have to start making $5 a day consistently. If they can learn how to do this, they can make $500 a day. The process is the same, you just have to build on it.

    Most people though get overwhelmed at the thought of trying to make a full time living online, but if they just focused on growth, working up from $5 a day, they would be amazed at the results they get.
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    • Profile picture of the author Randy Engler
      Great post, lifesofree, another one worth printing out, thanks for sharing it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lexilou
    Thanks for the advice. I too have made the same mistake of getting caught up in way to many offers. It's all about changing your mindset and focus on one thing at a time and when you learn it than move on to the next.
    Much Success
    Lexilou
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  • Profile picture of the author AlenGeorgeson
    Number 7 is key. Get stuff out there, even if it's not perfect. If you don't do that you'll stay broke.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ewan1998
    Banned
    Thanks for posting.

    I'm just about to start my online business next month and from my half a year in IM, I can agree with you in all of that. I started a get fit niche but never enjoyed it, never earned a dime and was getting frustrated.

    My new business will be selling posters online, something I want to do not only for money, but I love designing them too. Great advice.
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    #10 There are going to be ups and downs

    Like you've pointed out, succeeding online means creating a business. Sure, you're your own boss and you set the rules, but it also means that you're not guaranteed a paycheck every two weeks. Some months may be incredibly profitable, while others hit the skids. It happens to everyone, so don't beat yourself up over it. The goal is to have "ups" that are good enough to keep you going during the "downs".
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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    #11 If you are starting your IM business don't quit your day job till you have started making enough money. this means working double shifts and weekends too. Sometimes it is better to work for a marketer before you start your own business so that you get the feel of the ups and downs and know how to tackle most of the things.
    #12 Read blogs all the time. You will find so many answers there that will eventually help you make correct decisions eventually.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris-
    Interesting points. Some I agree with.

    One I disagree with strongly, which is focussing on one method at a time. The problem with that is that most methods sold to IM beginners do NOT work. However, you can certainly learn something from each of them, and as long as you keep learning a lot of DIFFERENT methods in IM, the knowledge you'll build up will eventually allow to you suceed.

    The quickest way to do that is to test a lot of different methods, and see which parts work and which don't, and learn quickly.

    That's my advice, from my experience, anyway!

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author lifesofree
    @chris- Thanks for your advice. Yet ... I did not say "focus on one method" but rather "focus on one project = 1 business" at a time. That's a big difference.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanmilligan
    Banned
    Originally Posted by lifesofree View Post


    #5 Build a business that you have real interest in

    If you don’t love cars then you better forget building a business around them NOW. Why? Because you won’t be able to throw your full heart into it. Chances are good that you’ll cancel the project long before it’s getting profitable.

    This is something I underestimated. The health niche is not that interesting to me. So it has often been way harder to motivate myself than it would have been if I followed my passion right from the beginning.

    I’m working on project number two which is about a topic I really really really really love. Anything else is just a waste of your life. You’ll just be not that HAPPY, passionate, and hard working when you don’t work within your fields of interest. Wish that I’d had listened to those words myself earlier.
    I tell every newbie I talk to the exact same thing. It's just like business in the real world.

    You wouldn't say to yourself "Yeah I want to be a barber, so I better learn how to be a car salesman!"
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    • Profile picture of the author r30ducez
      Very good advice! I think focusing on one project, especially in the beginning, is essential.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Huggins
    Really great words to keep always pursuing your goals
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  • Profile picture of the author wolfmanjack
    #13 Take time out for your self and your family. working 24 hours a day is a quick way to lose both you family and your health.

    Internet marketing is a marathon so you need to conserve your strength for the long haul and not burn yourself out the first month.
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    • Profile picture of the author SamuelUherek
      Originally Posted by wolfmanjack View Post

      #13 Take time out for your self and your family. working 24 hours a day is a quick way to lose both you family and your health.

      Internet marketing is a marathon so you need to conserve your strength for the long haul and not burn yourself out the first month.
      Very very good point.

      If your health is not good, the effectiveness goes down and won't be able to follow your plan. You need to move and you need to sleep. Those are essentials part of a successful business. We should ever underestiamte them.
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  • Profile picture of the author Anton Nadilo
    Very nice post lifesofree....focus focus focus is the name of the game IMO!!
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    That seems like solid information. I hope I just follow it.
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  • Profile picture of the author OnlineMkter
    Great post, specially I like the phrase "I wanted my life back", that's all about it!
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  • Profile picture of the author weebeastie
    Sound advice! Congratulations on dumping a boss.
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  • Profile picture of the author Victoralexon
    I love these type of threads. Although, I don't think that I'm alone when I say that many of these things are things that I should be doing, yet I'm not.
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  • Profile picture of the author webdz31
    thanks bro, it really helps
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  • Profile picture of the author buckeyes09
    Originally Posted by lifesofree View Post

    #3 Focus on one project at a time

    For me, it's been a authority site in the health niche. Business model: advertisment (a little bit of adsense and mainly selling premium advertising spaces). I've been working on ONLY THIS ONE project for two years. And I'd always do so if I had to start over again.

    To me it makes no sense at all (and it never did) to start a gazillion projects simultaneously. Would you start a bakery, an auto shop and a whatever at the same time? I guess you wouldn't. So ... why do you think that's a different thing online? After all, building a business stays building a business. This gets us to #4.
    This may be the most important one for this forum. Focus, focus, focus.
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    Christian

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  • Profile picture of the author Dann Vicker
    Great tips. Important thing is that it's 100 times harder when you want to do it all alone. There's great power in networking and building relationships with other marketers.

    That tip alone is worth much more to me than every other thing.
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  • Profile picture of the author mikehansen
    I just commented on another post of yours where you shared your goal to make 5,000 by Dec 2013 with your new website...

    After reading this post, I can see you are on the right track...because it's apparent that you are taking action and working a plan to reach your goal.

    It's really encouraging to me to read this post and see that you are on the right track to success.

    I have had my fair share of ups & downs just like we all experience through this thing called "life", and even though I'm not new to internet marketing I am just now venturing out on my own MMO journey.

    So, thank you for highlighting some of these points from Rod Cortez's great post!

    I have Rod's post printed out and I am printing yours out right now as well to help me with my own goal of getting away from offline marketing and making my client's money...it's time for Mikey to make some passive income streams of his own.

    Cheers! And to all our mutual success!

    Mike
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