A few lessons from a long online journey
I’m not the most focused guy you’ll ever meet. Building an online presence was a lot of hit and miss in the early days. If I were a App, version 1.0 had all kinds of bugs in it. The foremost being, I started a lot of things I never finished. Mentally, I’d get hung up and crash. At this point, I’d guess you’d say I’m around version 4.0.
I may not always finish things on time these days, but I do finish.
I’ve had quite a bit of time (almost 20 years) to test what works and what doesn’t – using my own business as the test subject. I tried using someone else’s but got fired. Anyway, in the early 2000s I realized I was getting some things right when other consultants started coming to me for advice.
That’s how I become an online consultant. Other experts asked if they could pay me to sit down with them and help guide them through some unfamiliar waters. I said, “Yes!” It was a great Segway into rewarding new venture.
I was learning what worked and what didn’t. They chose me. I didn’t try to choose them. I did what I did and the market placed a value on what I was doing. In other words, it was more of an organic process than a mechanical one.
Several years ago a really smart businesswoman told me, “What most entrepreneurs don’t realize is, the market chooses them. Not the other way around.” People will argue about the theory of this all day long.
I’m telling you my personal experience. I’d love to tell you it was a formula. It wasn’t.
Can I choose a niche and have it work? Yeah, I’ll uh… I’ll have to get back to you with that.
Maybe your market is trying to choose YOU but you’re so busy looking in other places you can’t see what would be obvious to others?
What Approach Will Work For You?
What approach really works when it comes to promoting your business online? I hate to simplify it, but for the sake of not writing a four-thousand word mini-book, let me put it like this…
Focus on what you’re good at.
If business were a sport, you’d have to play the position you’re best suited for. In football terms, the would-be quarterback may have to become a wide receiver to play at the highest level.
Otherwise, he may end up pumping gas in Jersey for the rest of his life.
The tennis player may be so-so at singles but a standout in doubles with the right partner.
It’s tempting to want to be all the things you’re not. Or wanting something just because someone else told you to want that. You may be sabotaging your own progress because you’re ignoring or minimizing the value of all the great things you already have within you or going for you.
Business works the same way.
Last year I started a social media marketing platform with a few partners (www.socialmobe.com). In the past I would have been all over the “map” with the project. Instead of launching in a few months, it would have taken a few years.
I learned from a variety of speed-bumps I hit along the way what “position” to play in the world of business as it pertains to my own situation. That’s what I’ve learned to build around.
Would it be without basis to say, “You’re your own worst enemy?”
Listen, I know it’s hard to focus on what you really should to be doing while navigating what’s happening in the world. Everyone deals with this. But if you take the time to do an honest self-assessment (Helpful hint: Do you really need another personality test if you’re over 30?!), you’ll identify things in your business life that are nothing more than time thieves.
You’re burning too much time on the wrong things. You’re not getting anywhere near the return on your investment in time or energy (think dollar signs here) for your investment in time on certain things.
Let those things go.
Sure, some people might get pissed off at you, but they’ll come around eventually. If not, forget about them (or you could jump off a cliff?).
Your approach is going to be unique to YOU. You’re currently at your own stage in the game with your own unique experience and skillset. Now is the time to make the kind of decisions that need to be made.
You must learn to think for yourself and navigate your own course. The following in someone’s footsteps may make a nice meme, but in a practical sense – it’s pie in the sky thinking. You can be “like them,” but that’s where the similarities end.
I hope what I’ve shared has helped you. If not, please look for the suggestion box I’ll be placing in the Fastlane, right around rush-hour.
Thanks for reading.