It was quite a revelation when I realized that I could have fun and make a hobby out of entrepreneurship.
Instead of just idly passing my time, now I was going to build something, something that generated income.
And, it was going to be fun. That was the part that got me really excited–that I knew that the process would be fun and interesting.
Clearing out the old to make way for the new
As I was making this shift in my life, I wanted to eliminate my old hobbies. This was important to me in a mental and an emotional sense as well. I wanted a clean slate from which I could start to build this new business. I wanted my focus to be entirely on creating a successful business, without the mental distraction of these old hobbies of mine.
So I sold my video game systems on eBay. Shipped them out and never thought about it again. Done deal.
I did this to avoid distractions. I did this to help keep me focused on my goal of achieving freedom. I wanted to make sure that I was focusing my free time on producing a profitable business asset.
I was not real worried about the decision because I knew that failure would probably be involved, and I was willing to deal with that failure and adjust. I realized there would be a learning curve and I fully accepted this. So there was a small hint of worry that I might regret my decision to sell my off my old hobby, but deep down I was confident that I would find a way to create a successful online business. I knew that if I failed that I just had to try a new approach, until I found something that worked.
And I knew that the journey would be fun and interesting. Exciting even.
Turns out I was right. The journey was fun, interesting, and exciting.
Starting the journey of Internet marketing
There is a balance that you want to strike between two things:
1) Learning Internet marketing.
2) Doing Internet marketing.
It is one of those things that requires a very careful approach.
On the one hand, you don’t just want to jump in blindly and start creating websites and think that you are going to make millions. If you do not have any knowledge then it is very likely that you will end up wasting a lot of time, pretty much getting nowhere.
On the other hand, it is very easy to fall into the trap of reading about online businesses, and then never really put in the work that is necessary to build your own. You want to read enough and learn enough to get started, but you don’t want to become addicted to “reading about Internet marketing.” It can be easy to fall into this trap because it feels productive to learn more tips and tricks about how to grow your online business, but it is not really helpful unless you are putting the work yourself.
So that is the balance that you must find. How to learn about Internet marketing, and then actually start doing it.
The resources that I provide on http://www.makemoneywithnowork.com/ are pretty straightforward. There is not a lot of fluff and there are not an endless supply of tips that you feel you need to keep current on. The basics of my business model can be explained on the back of a napkin, in a few easy steps:
1) Build a useful website about a profitable topic.
2) Publish killer content and create resources for your audience.
3) Build links via guest posting.
4) Build a community once you get significant traffic.
5) Monetize or cash out.
Sure there are some details to be found in there, but you could easily spend 99% of your time on just steps 2 and 3 from that list and you would be good to go. That is the whole business right there: create amazing content and then promote it with guest posts. It is simple to do but that does not mean it is easy.
The decision to create a valuable asset online
So really what your decision comes down to is that you want to decide to create a valuable asset online.
For me this means that you will create killer content and amazingly helpful resources for your audience. Later you will promote that content and resources with guest posting. And finally you may or may not choose to build a community around your ideas (I did this by simply slapping up a discussion forum, easy as pie….but of course you have to have the daily traffic in order to pull this off and make it work for you).
I was a quasi-expert in my chosen topic and so I was able to create some amazing resources. I created free eBooks and I wrote some killer articles and helpful guides for my audience. This was the core of my business. This was what produced a six figure website sale in the end. That I was driven to create something amazing, that I was driven to try to make the website as helpful as possible, to make it stand above its competitors.
This is at the heart of your decision. You have to say to yourself “I want to make a website about [your topic]. Not just any website, but I want it to become THE destination on the web for my topic. I want it to be the best possible website in its class.”
If you are aiming lower than that, you do not really have the right mindset. This is not just a way to manipulate web traffic for a quick money grab. We want to build a real business asset, one that has lasting value.
Thus, topic selection becomes hugely important. What can you claim expertise in? Can you learn a bit more, study your craft, and get close to expert status? Do you have ideas and lots of mental energy that can push you over the top, so that you are genuinely helpful and useful to your website audience, even if you are not a real expert?
Part of your decision to build this passive income stream in your life is the decision to become the expert, the decision to get serious about helping people within your chosen topic.
Say to yourself:
“I am going to build an online business.”
“I am going to help people.”
“I am going to become the expert.”
Now you are thinking like an entrepreneur!
If you can get excited about this line of thinking, then you should continue to try to build a business asset, an online income stream.