Progress, No Matter What

I make it a point to follow up with everyone who asks me a question about setting up an Internet business. It takes me just a few seconds, and it usually motivates them to take action.

Usually. But not always. After my most recent follow-up e-mail to “Bob,” for example, I received this response…

“Hi David,

“Sorry, we’ve been having challenges with infrastructure here in paradise. Internet is more off than on. Our landline was just fixed this week. It has been down since June 22. There was a major fire at the power plant 2 weeks ago. And to add to the festivities, I was assaulted by a crackhead who, I am told, was turned into a zombie by some Haitian voodoo curse. (I couldn’t make this stuff up.) I am about to leave for Albuquerque to visit my son and grandchildren. I haven’t seen them since my son’s commissioning with the Air Force 8 years ago. I am anxious to get going with my website. But, as you can see, there have been a few distractions.”

The last time I followed up with Bob, he had a few other “distractions” that were preventing him from starting his Web business (though none as interesting as being attacked by a voodoo-cursed crackhead).

What I can’t seem to get Bob to recognize is that achieving success in your Internet business (or anything else) is not a place you suddenly arrive at. It’s part of a process. And it’s formed by a habit. A habit of doing something to progress toward your goal every day, no matter what. I am not saying that the “challenges” of day-to-day life won’t throw you off-kilter. But in the time it took Bob to write and explain why he hadn’t yet made a start, he could have made a start.

Just Do It!

Now is the time to start anything — not necessarily a brand-new business. It could be starting something new with an Internet business you’re already operating. Maybe advertising on Facebook… using video on your website… or sending a follow-up e-mail series to your subscribers.

For the online entrepreneur, now is always the time to make improvements. To do more of something that’s working; to stop doing something that’s not.

But when you have a long list of things you want to try… how do you know what to focus on first?

The answer to that is easy. Focus on the one that will generate the most results that most closely match the core purpose of your business or your stated conversion goal.

Let’s say your primary purpose is to build an e-mail list and market to that list. In that case, what would give you the best return on your investment of time and money? Should you do paid search advertising? Write more articles? Build a new shopping cart? Or test landing pages?

In my experience, you should begin with a combination of paid search advertising and writing articles designed to drive organic (“free”) search engine traffic to a simple landing page. On the landing page, you offer a free report on your chosen topic. People who are interested in your topic sign up. You deliver the report. You then e-mail them ongoing information — and offers — related to that same topic.

You could get all of this set up with one day of focused effort. You could start right now by spending just one hour to open your Google AdWords account and create a single ad.

You say you can’t find even one extra hour to work on your Internet business? What about some of the time you spend idly surfing the Web? Or watching television? According to a recent Veronis Suhler Stevenson’s Communications Industry Forecast and Report, the average American spends 1,745 hours watching television in a typical year. That works out to 145 hours a month — more than six full days in front of the TV every month, or slightly less than five hours a day.

You cannot alter the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, but you can change the way you use them. So figure out how to use some of those hours to make progress on your Internet business goals. Do it now. There’s no excuse not to.

[Ed Note: It may seem like the obvious way to build your Internet business is to work on it every day, even if it’s just a little bit. But that’s something many wannabe online entrepreneurs fail to do as “life” keeps getting in the way. There is help — in the form of a friendly push from the Early to Rise team.

At ETR’s 5 Days in July Conference, you’ll learn how to “make” time in your day and quickly build a profitable online venture. Come to this conference with nothing — no website and no products — and you’ll leave with a fully operational Internet business.]

Although David hails from Blackpool, England – which is often referred to as the “Las Vegas of England” – he shunned a career in show business and instead followed a meandering career path overflowing with “life’s great experiences,” working or living in over 20 countries along the way. Chef, teacher of Transcendental Meditation, guest presenter on QVC, earthquake relief volunteer, CEO of a web hosting company, marketer at a radio station and all combined with years of direct marketing, PR and sales experience for clients as diverse as health food stores, small charities and right up to multinational public companies. David brought unique talent and experience to his role for six years as Senior Internet Consultant to Agora Publishing Group. Working closely with Agora’s publishers and marketers to test new ideas and marketing campaigns, Agora’s Internet revenues topped $200 million in 2007. David understands and can communicate fluently with creative “right-brain” marketers and analytical “left-brain” IT and software teams, all with equal ease. He has a proven track record for generating results and creative thinking and excels at making trouble to find new ways of making things happen! He lives on a small farm close to Mount Hood in Oregon with his wife Cinda, a veterinarian, and their four children and a menagerie of animals (no more, please!). When not marketing or brainstorming you’ll find David following a dream of self-sufficiency for food, power and water within 10 years, tending the land and caring for the farm and animals. Not surprisingly, David is an engaging and knowledgeable speaker with many amusing anecdotes from his work and travels over the years.