“When you are through changing, you are through.” – Bruce Barton
At any given point in time, most people assume, at least subconsciously, that the world is static. Big mistake. Remember when it seemed as though…
- No one could possibly rival Sears… until Wal-Mart came along.
- No one could possibly rival Waldenbooks… until Barnes & Noble came along.
- No one could possibly rival CNN… until Fox News came along.
- Nothing could possibly rival the fax machine… until e-mail came along.
- Nothing could possibly rival the Palm Pilot… until the Blackberry came along.
- Nothing could possibly rival the Walkman… until the iPod came along.
One of the most common effects of change is that it displaces people and businesses at breakneck speed. But change is a necessity. If a company becomes self-satisfied and too comfortable with its main products and services, it is certain to lose market share to competitors.
Business in the 21st century is not for those who fear change. There’s no need for such a fear, because most change – particularly technological change – is going to be in your favor. Fiber-optic wire… band-width technology… the Internet. These technologies – and endless others – didn’t just level the playing field, they gave the little guy huge advantages he didn’t have before.
Take the Internet, for example. Marketing used to be a prohibitive expense for an independent entrepreneur. Today, however, because of the Internet, a resourceful person can find a multitude of ways to market to millions of people at little or no cost.
How? After many years of trial and error, I can tell you with certainty that there are no magic bullets when it comes to Internet marketing. Marketing on the Internet, like anything else in life, is about grinding it out. Day by day… week by week… month by month… year by year.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a slow process. On the contrary, by utilizing the Internet, you can make infinitely more progress in a much shorter period of time than was ever possible in the horse-and-buggy days of direct mail.
It took me a while to get going in Internet marketing.
Ten years ago, a friend said to me, “The Internet was made for Robert Ringer. There’s an Internet train leaving every hour, and you’d be smart to catch one as quickly as possible.”
I was involved in other matters at the time, and did not get on board. But, in my mind, I harbored the image of Internet trains leaving the station every hour, with Robert Ringer forlornly standing on the platform and watching them disappear out of sight. I became increasingly concerned that I might be too late – that everyone else had too big of a head start on me.
Finally, in 1999, I caught an Internet train. Unfortunately, once on board, I set a record for making embarrassing Internet mistakes. The train I caught turned out to be the Scam Express. It was filled with scam artists, all of whom seemed to be 32 years old and searching for the next Homer Simpson to take advantage of.
Yikes! It was me they were looking for! (Doh!) I gingerly handed over my hard-earned money to a couple of spam scammers who quickly disappeared. I also managed to lose two websites to guys who assured me that their companies were established concerns that had been in business since Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio.
It wasn’t until I settled down, rolled up my sleeves, connected with some legitimate operators, and focused on growing my business one cyber brick at a time that Internet marketing success started coming my way. And, to my delight, I discovered that not being on one of the earlier Internet trains didn’t matter. In fact, it gave me something of an advantage, because the Internet is like any other technology: Over time, it becomes easier and easier… and less and less expensive.
What this means is that it doesn’t matter when you jump on an Internet train. You don’t have to learn everything the Internet pioneers had to learn. Regardless of when you take the leap, you will land squarely on the shoulders of those who came before you.
Which is why modern technology – especially the Internet – gives the little guy such an advantage. In effect, he reaps the benefits of the heavyweight players who spend millions creating technologies that make it simpler, faster, and less expensive for everyone to compete. Better to follow the pioneers than to be one.
Nothing happens until something moves, which is why taking the first step is the only way you can begin your Internet journey. The most important step you will ever take is to get started today. Don’t worry about which Internet train you catch – just catch one. And, once on board, focus on building your Internet marketing business one cyber brick at a time.
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