Failure - Its just part of succeeding (LONG POST)
This post has been on my mind for a few days now, and while I wasnt quite sure if I wanted to post it, or if I should for that matter, I decided that I would, for those amongst us that may be struggling with making money online, and feeling a little down on themselves about it.
Hopefully this might give you a small mental boost as a reminder that if you stick with it long enough, be mentally tough, and persist, that you CAN succeed online, make good money AND change your life.
Id like to point out also that Im not posting this for any hidden motives, Im certainly not looking for any sympathy, and Im not here to get all "philosophical" on everyone, this is just a quick snapshot of the last few years of my online experience.
2001 - I get my hands on a copy of dreamweaver and begin "mapping out" an idea for a website. Its a clothing range called "chatwear" which sells tshirts, with LOL, LMAO, and various other "chat" related acronyms on the front. After months and months of frustration, late nights and not much sleep trying to learn how to use Dreamweaver, I eventually finish the site. The site goes no-where, isnt launched and ends up on a 3 and a half inch floppy disk gathering dust under my bed in a cardboard box. A lot of friends ask "whatever happened to that website...?" to which I reply..."I gave up..."
2004 - I have a government job and my employer is *desperate* to find an online web based events calendar. I decide that "I can build it". And what starts out as a simple request turns into a 2 YEAR programming nightmare. Im not kidding when I say that I probably invested over 4,000 hours of my time towards this, which eventually led to the downfall of my health. Put simply, I would get home from work, turn on my computer, and start programming from 6pm til 3am EVERY night, including weekends, get a few hours sleep then return to work, or just "keep working". I spent no time with anyone else, no socialising or anything. This cost me not only many relationships but eventually led to me ending up on medication - I began suffering from anxiety and depression. It was a terrible time in my life and one that I learnt greatly from. In the end, I ended up leaving that job and the "web based events calendar" - that I had visions of selling to numerous schools world wide for $2,000 a copy, ended up gathering dust on my hard drive. I spent the next few years suffering from ill health, and trying to get my life back on track.
2005 - In amongst all of the craziness, I buy the domain name www.housemates.com.au for $9,000 and get "laughed at" by my co-workers. They think Im an idiot for "wasting" so much money on a domain name. I put that idea on hold while I work on other "projects".
2005/06 - I build a site called www.longlostfriends.com.au and think that its a "great idea". At the time schoolfriends is very popular, so I model my idea around that and "hope" that it takes off. 13 months of programming later, and $6,000 invested, I launch the site. 12 or so months later, I take it down with constant threats from both members and solicitors over privacy concerns. I write the site off as another loss.
2006 - I work together with a close friend and build a website based around the Australian garage sale community - www.egaragesales.com.au. I get the idea from a cardboard sign on the side of the road, advertising a garage sale. The site takes 8 months to develop, and requires constant upkeep. Over the next 4 years I invest over $50,000, and countless hours towards both online and offline marketing. Im hopeful that the site will soon "take off" and I will become an overnight millionaire. Needless to say, again as I had done with previous projects - I do NO keyword or market research and although the site is excellent, people arent interested, and continue advertising in the newspaper. I eventually end up selling out. This site however provided a valuable lesson and taught me a LOT. I finally begin learning about the importance of keywords and *some* marketing. Even after all this time - I still have NO IDEA about internet marketing whatsoever.
* I should mention here that occasionaly I would find myself at warrior forums and wonder what on earth everyone was talking about ...ebooks, clickbank, affiliates ??????? I would then go back to coding or browsing car forum websites or messing about on yahoo messenger.
2007 - I quit my job and start working from home. My investment property stuff begins funding my online ventures, and Im finally out of the "rat race"
2007 - I begin developing "another idea" that I think "might work". This time its called www.peopleshare.com.au and its about networking people through interests and hobbies. I figure its a goer, considering theres not much else out there like it. I invest a year of my time and after launching the site, I end up with 80 members within 6 months. No one is interested and the site is quite possibly my biggest flop yet. It ends up on a burnt CD on the bookshelf in the office, as another "idea".
2008 - I begin freelancing as a self employed web developer. Im finding myself working longer hours and for much less money than anticipated. Difficult clients are making my time less enjoyable and Im beginning to get really stressed out. Im scrambling for money at times.
2008/9 - I get a "flyer" in the mailbox that reads "Make $250,000" online a year, every year. Its a promotion for Brett McFalls "sleepies" gig at the Gold Coast. Im interested but VERY skeptical. I begin Googling speaker names and researching these so called "gurus". I eventually decide to go along and "check it out". Again, Im pretty stubborn and "dont believe" its possible - surely not after all my years of trying????
2008/9 - I begin absorbing more and more information about online marketing, and selling, and realise that after almost 8 years of messing about that Ive been missing the point completely. Ive invested ALL my time towards the technical stuff and no NOTHING about selling. I become EXTREMELY frustrated when meeting people at seminars that no NOTHING about web development, and are yet making $30,000 a month. Most of them laugh at me when I share my story. I begin going to more and more seminars and FINALLY begin getting "IT" I pay one coach $2,500 an hour for 3 hours just to "ask" about how to sell info products online. I leave more confused than when I arrive. He smiles and waves to me as he drives off in his Silver Mercedes Benz convertible. By this time Im a mixture of devestated, frustrated, angry and depressed.
2009 - I begin pumping out sites. Early 2009 I hit adwords and hit it hard. Im determined to smash this internet marketing thing. I end up blowing $15,000 in 3 months and end up with nothing to show for it except a handful of lousy ebook sales for $27. Im pretty distraught and try my best to "get over it" I attend another seminar and join a monthly paid membership program. This one hits me $500 per month, Im not working, have no job, and have limited funds. Im determined however to make it - so I sign up. 2 months in and Im still failing - HARD. I find out that the program is merely a rehashed version of Frank Kerns "underachievers" model - which probably worked 5 years ago, but not now. Im now left paying $500 a month, for silly webinars and how to "create landing pages"
2009 - I fly to Sydney and attend a seminar to which a "guy" sitting beside me suggests I check out Warrior Forum. Id already joined years ago, but none of it made sense to me, so I ignored it. By this stage I had *some* understanding of what was going on, so revisited, only to realise the terrible mistakes I had previously made. Needless to say, the WARRIOR FORUM saved me. I began learning MORE in the WF than I had over the last 5 years, and without spending $$$$ on silly marketing seminars and coaching programs.
MID 2009 - At this point, I began putting in massive hours, 7 days a week learning, keyword research, article marketing, backlinking, etc etc etc. I already had 9 years worth of development skills so the tech stuff was easy. I launch some horrible ebook ideas and again its FLOP after FLOP. More wasted money and countless hours. Probably my worst was an ebook on "love poems" - commercially viable, yeah right! Oh, and did I mention that ebook on "learning the accoustic guitar" where I actually used Paint Shop Pro and MANUALLY drew all the music sheets, NOTE BY NOTE!!!!! That book in itself took me 2 weeks to finish. I havent sold one yet! In total I develop about 6 sites and only ONE of them shows potential.
2009/10 - This year has FINALLY seen a turn in events. I have a number of sites up that are making consistantly good sales, and I have an excellent understanding of online marketing. Early in the year I had my first $600 day, and last month, I made $10,000 for the month. Next month I plan on making $20,000. Im confident that I can pull it off. I have a photo of a black BMW coupe on my whiteboard in the office.
In hindsight, I KNOW that I made some horrible decisions. And I know that I made some terrible mistakes. I dont consider myself a stupid person but honestly, I wonder why on earth it took me so long to GET IT. I had always thought that you needed excellent technical skills and that you had to DO IT YOURSELF to make it online but this isnt the case.
What I want to say to those that are struggling is this....
Be mentally tough, stick with it, and DONT GIVE UP. Surround yourself with SUPPORTIVE encouraging people that will boost you mentally. GET HELP, dont do what I did and try and do everything yourself - it will affect your health! Network with other people. Go to seminars, go to events, get out of your chair and talk with other marketers! When somethings not working, KNOW WHY, dont just drop it and move onto something else in the hope that it "might work". Eliminate any guesswork. The more you "guess" or "hope" in this business the more likely you are to fail.
I know this is a long post, Im sorry, but I didnt want to cut it short without getting my message across.
I hope someone gets something of value from this.
JUST >>> $1 >>> ONE BUCK >>> ONE DOLLAR
Something new soon.