The Magic Formula for Online Business

Through juniper and sagebrush and parched grasslands. Past herds of mule deer, elk, and pronghorn antelope. On and on, we drove… into the primeval forest of southeast Oregon.

I took last week off. Really off. Disconnected from most things electronic, except for my trusty laptop, my wife and I embarked upon a road trip to the Steens Mountains, a stunningly beautiful part of a stunningly beautiful state. Rugged and starkly barren, even in summertime. The drive culminated in an ascent (9,700 feet) on a day when a massive winter squall was approaching. And as we neared the summit, 75 mph wind gusts attempted to dislodge us and shove us over a 2,000-foot sheer drop off the Steens’ eastern rim (pictured below).

Along the way, we stayed at some very remote locations, including a motel across the Nevada border that I remain convinced came straight out of an episode of Scooby Doo. It was stormy when we turned in for the night. And when I opened the door in the morning, this is the view that greeted me:

What’s This Got to Do With Internet Business?

During this otherwise disconnected trip, I continued to check my e-mail whenever I managed to get access to the Internet — and I wasn’t surprised to get three requests for help in starting an online business. In one, a concerned father wrote:

“I have a 40-year-old daughter living in California. She has a degree in health science, with 15 years’ experience in physical & massage therapy. But right now, she has no job & struggles to make a living. If you have any suggestions for an online business for her, I would be happy to pay you for your help.”

In an average month, I receive a number of similar e-mails. “Please help me (or my son, daughter, etc.) figure out what kind of an Internet business to start,” they say.

That’s akin to asking me for help in deciding where to go on vacation.

“You want to know where to go on vacation? Sure! I can help you with that. Drive to the Steens Mountains in the wilds of Oregon. You’ll get battered by wind and snow and sleet. Oh, and watch out for pissed-off rattlesnakes.”


Not everyone’s cup of tea, I know. Some prefer cocktails on the beach. I drive 1,200 miles to freeze and get blown around.

Point is, just as I can’t tell you where to go on vacation, I can’t tell you what kind of Internet business to start. Neither can anyone, for that matter. Because your answer is not “out there.” It lies “in here” — inside you.

Before you wonder whether those 75 mph winds in the Steens dislodged my brain and shoved me over the eastern rim of Zen, bear with me.

Grasping at Soap in the Bathtub

If you’d like to run an Internet business but have no clue what type of business, what you need is an idea.

But coming up with the right idea — one that will not only get you excited and motivated but also generate profitable sales — can be elusive. And even if you have an idea, putting it into action, and making it work, can be even more of a challenge.

And this is where I can help you…

1. If you have no ideas whatsoever: Surely there’s something that piques your interest, even if just a bit. Maybe some sport or hobby. Identify a product related to that interest, and start your business with that.

There are two ways to do it — instantly and without having to buy or worry about holding inventory: You can work with a company that “drop-ships” products you think you can sell. (You take the order and payment online. They fulfill the order. The website has a good selection of companies that do this.) Or you can become an affiliate for a company with a product line that appeals to you. (As an affiliate, you get a commission every time you sell something for them.)

2. If you have loads of ideas, but haven’t taken action on any of them: Maybe you haven’t yet come up with an idea you truly believe in. Or maybe the problem is a lack of self-confidence.

Don’t let that hold you back. It’s okay to be unsure of your idea, yourself, or your abilities. Even people with all the skills and resources they need fail to take action — delaying, planning, and procrastinating. “Procrastiplanning,” as I call it.

Planning how your business could work but still not taking any action — well, it’s like trading on the stock market with paper money. You can shake this off today by picking one of your ideas — any one — and starting on it. Try a few pay-per-click ads on Google. Or buy a domain name and set up a blog. Even starting with right now is better than waiting until you can think of the “perfect” domain name. Start. You can always makes some changes later on. As Michael Masterson always says, “Ready, Fire, Aim!”

3. If you’ve started an Internet business, but it stalled or flopped: My grade school science teacher used to say that even the result of a “failed” experiment is a result. The question is, how fast did you fail? More important, what did you learn from that failure? Based on what you learned, start again… perhaps taking a slightly different approach. In my experience, even a small shift in direction can make a big difference.

Don’t Try for Perfection

As every successful businessperson knows, perfection isn’t possible. Even handmade Swiss chronometers — the finest mechanisms on the planet — are only 99.99 percent perfect, with a tolerance of -4/+6 seconds per day.

So don’t get caught in the trap of trying to make everything perfect before attempting to launch your Internet business.

PJ McClure didn’t fall into that trap. An attendee at ETR’s 5 Days in July Internet Business Building Conference in 2009, he was a lifelong student of self-improvement, even coaching fellow employees at the financial services company he worked for. But he wanted to help people on a wider scale and market his knowledge online. He had become an expert in his niche. What he needed was help with establishing his online presence and making the venture profitable.

He got that help at the conference… and took the leap. And today, PJ, known as The Mindset Maven, is building his e-mail subscriber list, offering videos, webinars, and personal coaching. And he’s hard at work on his first product launch.

Don’t waste another minute of your life. Get started on your Internet business right now. If you’re already started your business, get started on the next step.

If you don’t, you’ll spend the rest of your life looking back at what could have been.

[Ed. Note: Need more help to figure out how you can get in on the multibillion-dollar Internet industry? Even if you’re a total beginner, are a bit (or very) tech-phobic, or have never run a business, you can start your own profitable online venture. And the Early to Rise team, including experts responsible for the success of Agora Inc., can help you do it in just five days.

Come with nothing… and leave 5 days later with a fully functioning Internet business… and the skills and expertise you need to make it thrive.]