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Chapter 1: What it is Really Like to be an Internet Entrepreneur
When you picture yourself as a digital marketer, you might imagine yourself wearing a sharp suit and standing atop a skyrise building.
Well you can forget that image right away! After all, working online generally means working on your own. AKA, there is no reason to wear a smart suit!
And most digital marketers aren’t rich – despite what the ads tell you.
Very often, being a digital marketer means doing a lot of work pedaling things that you aren’t particularly passionate about or interested in. This can be fairly soul sapping work, as you spend hours writing content for blogs, or paying other people to write it for you. You then watch sales, scour for products and send angry emails when a service provider lets you down.
If you’re earning money on the side by marketing other small fry companies on the web, then you probably get shouted at a lot by them too when you don’t get them to the top spot of Google.
That’s right: internet marketing can be stressful and often this is all done while living out of a single room in a small flat. And because you never have to leave the house, you often end up not looking your best.
You’re not quite earning what you thought you’d be earning because you don’t have the budget to invest big time into Google Ads. All the while, you’re promoting the ‘digital marketing lifestyle’ and persuading other people to buy your internet marketing ebook. You maybe even took a photo in front of your friend’s fancy car. And you kind of feel like a bit like a fraud.
So, you keep pushing and keep working, meaning you end up working all hours, all without making much headway. And meaning that you don’t actually get to go out and enjoy the cash you have earned. And it’s not like you can grab drinks with your colleagues after work…
Chapter 2: Switching Gears: Doing Something You Love
There are plenty of posts around the net on how to make money online, but they never describe how it can go ‘wrong’ this way.
So, every now and then, it’s worth taking a look at yourself and asking whether you are really doing what you should be doing. Do you actually enjoy the work you do on a day-to-day basis? Do you find it rewarding? Or have you lost sight of that in favor of repetitive work that you can be sure will pay the rent?
Are you dispassionately selling products that you don’t care about? Were you nodding along when I described the ‘digital marketing’ guru sitting in their front room with their hair a mess and their face wired?
As with any type of work, it’s worth taking the occasional step back to think about what you’re doing, and to see if you couldn’t be having more fun doing another kind of work. Let’s take a look at how to do work on line that will prove to be truly rewarding and fun. Because like they say, if you love what you do, then you will never work a day in your life…
One of the things that can make any type of work enjoyable is creativity. If you get to create something different, to think outside the box, and to ‘put your stamp’ on what you do, then you will find that it’s more rewarding and better for your overall brain development too.
Generally, we think of ‘creative’ work as being things that involve art or self-expression in some form. So, if you’re a creative type, then you might well enjoy working as a web designer or as a writer. But what’s also important to bear in mind is that you can make almost any type of work creative as long as you approach it with the right attitude and in the right way. Creative thinking can be applied to jobs that aren’t typically creative, whether that means coming up with a unique way to market a website, or whether it means being creative in the way that you solve a programming problem you’ve been having. Even if your job is to check for typos, you may be able to get creative about the way you do that. So, if you are finding your work boring, then perhaps it just requires you to approach the task with a fresh perspective?
Ever since becoming an entrepreneur, I have worked harder and longer hours than I ever did when I worked in an office. The reason for this was that I was now working for myself, and that the work I put in was solely my responsibility.
This gives you much more of a sense of ownership of the work you do, which in turn makes you more invested in the quality. You are working towards something, and you will directly benefit from doing a good job.
One way you can increase this feeling of ownership though is to create your own commercial product. That means running a blog or selling an app as opposed to providing a white label service to other clients. This way you get to have your name on the product, and you will get feedback from customers/visitors /fans who appreciate your work. At the same time this will also give you more creative freedom as you won’t have to answer to anyone else. So, while selling an affiliate product or a PLR product might seem like the quicker and easier way to earn cash, the truth is that you might find yourself even happier if you built something of your own that you were truly proud of. What’s more, is that this would then come across in your marketing – you’d know the product inside out and your genuine enthusiasm would help it to sell!
Bear in mind though, that when you create your own product this way, you will end up working a lot more and your income will be even less stable. This can be a stressful process and it might mean working for months on a single project only to see it flop. That’s not so fun.
This is why I always recommend taking a ‘fail fast’ approach to developing digital products. Don’t spend more than a few months on a single product without first ‘verifying’ that product. That means opening up a beta, selling a beta or otherwise just testing that there really is an audience for it before you waste years on something that won’t sell.Other Details
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