Oneof the things I enjoy doing to help build my business is listen to podcasts from other successful internet marketers to see what I can learn. My favourite way to do this is to listen to them while out walking my dog.
This morning I listened to Amy Porterfield’s podcast – Internet marketing made easy – and the topic of the podcast really struck a chord for me.
Let’s Talk About Excuses!
Lot’s of people try to start an online business and most people start with the best of intentions – to learn the business and work hard to make a success of it. We might enjoy a period of progress where things really look good and start to take shape.
Inevitably though, problems crop up which can derail us and sometimes rather than focus on finding solutions, we start making excuses for why things haven’t worked out.
The podcast I listened to this morning was all about the excuses we all make which prevent us from making progress in our business.
The most common one we make is to say something along the lines of – “I’m stuck – I don’t know what to do”
I know I’m particularly guilty of thinking along these lines and it has left me feeling almost paralysed with indecision about what to do next. I think it’s one of the biggest challenges faced by entrepreneurs who are often working at home, by themselves, in their spare time and perhaps lacking support from people around them.
The Problem With Perfection
Trying to do things to some sort of perfection is another way of getting stuck which prevents you from making progress and getting the results you desire.
The solution to these problems or excuses that Amy shared in the podcast was to take imperfect action and get something done. There’s no doubt that starting out from scratch is a difficult thing to do. We need to think about what we are trying to achieve and do something that moves us towards that.
When you get something done then you can re-evaluate, learn from any mistakes and then keep moving forward. The most important benefit of getting started and getting something done is that it builds an amazing sense of momentum which helps you get more done than you might have dared to believe possible!
So that’s my plan for today – I’m going to take imperfect action. I know some of the things I need to do but I’m not sure how I’m going to achieve it. I’m going to have a go anyway!
Yesterday I moved one of my websites over to a new web hosting company. It wasn’t an entirely smooth transition but we got there. Getting something done gives you all-important momentum to move forward with building your business.
Building A Successful Online Business
When I first started to try to build a business online, I decided to pursue an interest of mine which was personal development. Over the years I have bought a lot of personal development products such as training packs from companies like Nightingale Conant. These came as a box pack of cassette tapes (remember those?!) which I used to listen to in my car as I did my daily commute to work.
I also read books by guys like Tony Robbins and particularly Stuart Goldsmith who I credit with inspiring me with the desire to achieve personal freedom by becoming financially secure through building my own business.
One quote that always sticks in my mind when it comes to both personal development and digital marketing is a very famous one by Zig Ziglar who said:
“You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.”
At first glance it possibly seems a bit counter-intuitive. After all, surely the most important thing to focus on is ways to make money for yourself by selling stuff.
However, when you think about it, it’s the most blindingly obvious and incredibly powerful thing you can do. Think about any successful business you know and look at what their customers say about them. They will almost certainly have people who are raving fans who talk about how the business looks after them.
Why then do so many digital marketers forget this principle of helping others?
Over the years I’ve subscribed to a load of mailing lists and I used to get absolutely heaps of email every day. This took me ages to work through and I realised that it was affecting my productivity as well as tempting me to part with my hard-earned cash.
I recently made a decision to go through my various inboxes and cull my subscriptions. I was amazed at how many emails I received were just blatant sales pitches with very little useful content. I unsubscribed from every mailing list from marketers who make little or no attempt to help me and stayed on the lists of the very few who actually offer help to their customers.
I thought about which marketers I’ve encountered over the years that were genuinely helpful that I could hold up as role models. I think of guys like Paul O’Mahoney who regularly runs webinars which share loads of useful advice (and yes there’s usually a sales pitch at the end). Another marketer I admire is Rob Cornish who I think offers the best customer service experience I’ve ever encountered.
I particularly remember that when I had problems with one of his products and emailed him with a question, he personally replied with a video message which explained in detail how to resolve the issue. Now that’s customer service and it’s why when Rob sends out an email it’s one of the first I read and I happily buy his products in the knowledge that they will be great.
I recently talked to another very successful online marketer about building an online business and he talked about how to help customers by telling them about staff that has helped you and what has worked for you. This is the simple way to build trust with your community and help people to succeed too.
So the lesson to take away from all of this is to think first about your customer and how you can help them – because when you help others with your business, the rewards will be there for you for years to come.