Every year we celebrate another 4th of July. Here in the United States, we call it Independence Day, the day our Founding Fathers said no to tyranny and yes to freedom and self-government.
As I think about that day, and those times, I marvel at the courage it must have taken to face down a superpower and declare their independence.
- So many doubters.
- So much resistance.
- Odds stacked against them.
As I think about the people struggling to make it online I remember the courage it takes to break through and find a business that really fits you.
For most of us, there are doubters and odds stacked against us. Sometimes it is just impossible for others to support our dreams. I know it was that way when I started.
And yet the fact remains that the Internet can be the portal to freedom for almost any person willing to take decisive action and follow a proven path.
How about you?
Have you drawn that line in the sand and declared your own independence?
If you are not experiencing the freedom you know an Internet business can bring I believe there are seven steps you can take to get there quickly.
Before I list the seven steps let me say that these are the same steps I took so many years ago.
The same steps I've seen literally thousands of people take over the last 19 years as they have made brave choices and forged a new and better work life online.
The truth is, it won't be easy. In fact, it will be hard. There will be sacrifice and a learning curve.
But it can be done. I know because I've done it. Without any preparation or real online skills, I was able to go from confusion to clarity.
From survival to significance.
And the rewards will be more than you can imagine now.
I'm not talking big money (although that's nice too) but true life rewards like charting your own course and having more freedom.
I firmly believe you can do this too.
Let's look at step 1.
Step 1 - Make a commitment
Doesn't all success ultimately begin with a commitment? I believe it does.
But many today mistake commitment for interest.
Far too many are willing to "try" a thing and see if it works without making a real commitment.
Far too few are willing to abandon their fear and fully commit to a proven course of action.
I've been blessed in my life to have succeeded in several industries. I credit God for my blessings.
While good timing, hard work and a willingness to learn were present in each case, my success can no doubt be traced back to making a commitment.
Consider what Ken Blanchard, co-author of the One Minute Manager, has to say about commitment. (Emphasis mine)
“There's a difference between interest and commitment. When you're interested in doing something, you do it only when it's convenient. When you're committed to something, you accept no excuses - only results.”
We all "hit the wall" when pursuing success.
Obstacles we could not have imagined pop up from the most unexpected places, threatening to sidetrack our progress.
When a person with commitment encounters these obstacles they say "how do I solve this problem?"
The person without commitment often says "how do I get out of this deal?"
The difference between these two mindsets is huge and is very often the difference between success and yet another disappointment.
Step 2 - Believe in yourself
Allow me to borrow a little story from Zig Ziglar. Imagine that tomorrow morning a person you completely trusted called you and said the following …
"I've been meaning to tell you for some time that I'm glad you are my friend. You are a credit to your profession and a real asset to your family and community. People look up to how you live your life and the choices you make. If I could spend an hour a day with you I know my life would be better."
How would that make you feel?
If you were a teacher or a Mom or an engineer would you be a better teacher, Mom or engineer?
Of course, you would!
But would you know more than you knew before about being a teacher, Mom or engineer?
Not at all.
The truth is this -- no one is going to make that call. So you have to do it yourself.
Am I talking about talking to yourself? Absolutely!
You are the voice you trust most so why not hear some good things from yourself instead of the negative?
You see, motivation (especially self-motivation) and self-worth make us better at anything we try to do.
One of the saddest realities in today's world is that many people don't really believe in themselves.
They can see how this person or that person could achieve success. But they can't see how success will happen for them.
The list of reasons is long.
- I'm too old
- I don't understand business
- I don't understand technology
- That business is already saturated
- There is too much competition
- I wouldn't know how to find customers
- I'm no salesman (or saleswoman)
Don't get me wrong -- there are very real reasons why success might take a bit longer for some than others.
But there is no reason why all people can't succeed online.
Step 3 - Write your own declaration of independence
Do you have a written personal mission statement?
If you do then you have your own personal declaration of independence.
Good for you.
But most who read this don't have a written mission statement. A simple statement of what they want their life to be about and the legacy they want to leave behind.
Most of us know what we want. We know who and what we want to become. But we forget to take that next step and write it down.
While it's fine to want to be a good person, or love others as you love yourself, or to try to make the world a better place, nothing replaces a written mission statement.
If you need help getting started with a mission statement of your own please check out this article on Entrepreneur.com
Step 4 - Have a written goals program
In my view, this is the big one.
It has often been said that studies show that only 3% of people have written goals. That 3 %, according to the lore, earn more than the other 97% combined.
While I have not read that study what I am sure about is this …
Having a written goals program is the most important thing I have ever done in business.
Yes … THE most important.
How can it be the most important?
Because of this - my goals program, which is extensive, is the rudder of my business and life ship.
My goals help me see the future, analyze the present and prepare for what's next. I never have to wonder what to do next because it's in my goals program.
I use a very simple, proven method to set goals. And I have done so for many years.
If you want to use what I use click here to learn more about Zig Ziglar's goals program.
That's not an affiliate link, just a wholehearted endorsement of the best program out there in my view.
Step 5 - Chose a proven path
They say that most people working online will never earn even $100. Sad but probably true.
I believe the major reasons for this is information overload, confusion and the endless pursuit of the "quick fix" or "next big thing".
If you were my brother or sister I would tell you this -- TOTALLY IGNORE the "next shiny object" that promises overnight success with little or no effort and do the things that really work online.
What are those things? My blog is full of articles about them.
- Email marketing
- Content marketing
- Web traffic and sales conversion
- List building
- Affiliate marketing
- Goal setting, motivation, and positive thinking
These are the most proven paths to success online.
You don't need to do them all but you do need to do the ones that make sense to you and to which you are willing to commit.
Remember this …
Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly until you can do it well.
Just like the first time you tried to repair a car or bake a cake or play any sport, success takes time and practice. Trial and error.
When you are examining your commitments and setting your goals, remember this … you don't need to reinvent the wheel in order to succeed.
In fact, going for the "next big thing" while ignoring proven methods just might be the fastest way to fail online.
Choose a proven, reliable, understandable way of working online and commit to that.
Step 6 - Work on a schedule
I know a lot of people reading this work a job and do their online business after work. Many people work online after dinner or after the kids are in bed. I admire your persistence and effort.
No matter whether you work a job and then work online or whether you can devote your full-time attention to your online business, working on a fixed schedule will help you.
The benefits of working on a schedule are many. Allow me to share my favorites.
Working on a fixed schedule will …
- Help you get more done
- Help you not overwork
- Help you maintain focus
- Help you not feel burned out
- Help you set boundaries in other areas of life
- Help you prioritize how you spend your time
If you have ever found yourself clicking links in emails, thinking that maybe this one is the one that will turn things around, and forgetting what you really intended to do then working on a schedule will help you.
I believe almost anything can be scheduled.
From reading email (only twice a day!) to writing a book to checking out new business to posting ads, if you schedule your work you will get more done in less time and enjoy that work more.
Step 7 - Never surrender your dream
I saved the best for last! 🙂
We all have dreams. You have one and I have one. Some of us have many.
Whether yours is written down or not, you have a dream in your mind of what you want life to be like.
This dream -- your dream of the life you want -- must NEVER be surrendered.
It must be kept alive at all costs.
POWs who return from war constantly report that they had a dream (or several) that kept them alive and sane.
Top achievers, who are often recognized as an "overnight success" (when in fact they have worked hard for years) often talk about the dream that got them there.
I remember writing about never surrendering a few years back and getting chewed out by a reader.
"Are you saying I should stay with a business that is clearly never going to make it? That's just stupid!" are among the things he said. (I must have really struck a nerve)
Of course not!
Never surrendering to me means never surrendering YOUR dream.
Think of it this way; the dream you hold in your heart, the dream of what you want your life to be like is the destination.
The business you choose, the methods you use and the people you work with are the vehicles that get you to that destination.
The vehicle might change but the destination remains the same.
I've been online long enough now to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that success is waiting for those who seek it, who chart a clear and proven path, take bold action and never surrender.
Nothing is more freeing than a successful online business. One you can operate from anywhere, on your own schedule and in complete freedom.
You deserve success AND you deserve freedom.
Both are waiting for you right now in the form of a successful online business.
When you have both you will have a beautiful thing indeed.