‘All the glitters is not gold‘
One of the favourite sayings of my long deceased father. In fact he was full of cautionary and advisory sayings and proverbs.
So much so that I would chide him on the fact that some of them were contradictory – ‘Like too many cooks spoil the broth’ as opposed to ‘Many hands make light work’
I guess, to some extent, like beauty, the answer lies in the eyes of the beholder. Or more relevantly in the circumstances at the time.
All that said there are definitely a lot of ‘glittering things’ when it comes to the online world. Regardless of which niche you may eventually choose to work in there will always be any number of divertionary temptations or ‘shiny objects’ as they are usually referred to.
Lack of Knowledge
One of the problems we all face starting out, and I was one of them, is not knowing enough to be able to make informed judgements about the material and ‘information’ that is put in front of us.
There is undoubtedly a learning curve involved when you first start to be immersed in this different online world. And as in any new venture ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’
I personally think that, unless you have a knowledgable mentor, you can spend upwards of 12 months or more just getting your head around things before you have a reasonable working knowledge of the basics.
Depending on how you approach it the array of items to grasp can be large:
For example, to name a few, there are:
- Domain Names
- Domain Name Server (DNS)
- Sub Domains
- Addon Domains
- WordPress installation
- WordPress configuration
- Affiliate Marketing
- Affiliate Links
The Risks from Lack of Knowledge
It is our lack of knowledge of these and other things that provides an easy entre for those who choose to exploite it. They develop and present products designed to tempt and persuade us that they have all the answers. You can make ‘untold millions’ if you purchase this or that course, this software or join this membership group.
Not all of the products and information provided are outrightly deceitful. In fact they frequently appear to be quite good. But with the limited knowledge we have at the time we are unable to see what it is that is missing.
Frequently the missing ingredient is ‘Traffic’. You may well get the website or tool they promised with your affiliate link embedded. But for it to work you need traffic and there is no mention of how to get that.
Alternatively you cannot see that the work required to get a result far exceeds any financial return you may achieve. Form filling and completing surveys being classic examples of this.
The time you need to invest in some of these schemes verges on slave labor. The return is often cents in the dollar for your time and is really unsustainable for generating a worthwhile income.
Over the past 8 to 10 years I have spent several thousand dollars on these kind of things. I now have a ‘library’ of articles, plugins, themes, courses, and software packages sitting on my hard drive. Some have worked for a while, some occasionally still prove useful but none have made me my fortune.
On balance I would say I have barely broken even in dollar terms.
In time invested the balance sheet is way behind.
So What To Do About it All
There is no ‘One size fits all’ but there are a few fundamentals that can help.
You do need to gain a basic level of knowledge just to understand the online environment and what it offers. Be prepared to make some mistakes as you learn.
Accept that the online world is like any business environment. There is no easy road to success it requires a level of work and input to achieve a result.
Look for those who have gone ahead and achieved both a result and credible reputation amongst their peers. Choose one or two who appeal (not everyone will) and see whether they provide mentoring or courses to suit you.
If you have a passion or interest you may be able to select a niche that suits. Otherwise work though an appropriate course that will give you more skills and knowledge to grow your ability. Then with your new found knowledge perhaps then settle on your niche.
Having done that maintain your FOCUS and resist the allure and temptation to chase those ‘shiny objects’ that will inevitably cross your path. Resistance can be really difficult at times.
There were occasions when I would say to myself I’ll just have a look to see what this is about and then got slowly sucked in to see more. Their marketing pages can be seductive.
I found these two acronyms to be of help:
FOCUS – Follow One Course Until Successful
FOCUS – Find Organize Clarify Understand Select
And this small, basic Focus Booster tool does help for some things like writing a blog post.
It can just sit quietly in the corner of your desktop and count down the time and break period.
Based on the Pomodoro Technique it divides tasks into 25 minute periods of work with a break in between.
These periods are called pomodoros and you can learn more about the technique here
There is also a recent, more sophisticated Focus Booster APP here.
This version requires a sign in to use but lets you create timesheets and session reports to better track jobs and tasks.
Three options for this one free and two paid versions.
This video shows some more detail.
I hope this post has given you some encouragement and a few ideas on the way to avoid the distraction of ‘shiny objects’
If you want to let me know your own thoughts about the topic just leave your comments below.
Talks to you again soon
If your are considering who to pick as a mentor you might like to consider John Thornhill.
John has been in the online business for over 15 years with a well deserved reputation for integrity and supporting folk.