I’ve been doing a lot of consulting lately (for both individuals and companies) and have seen some common trends in the questions I am asked, the self limiting beliefs many people possess as well as the actual limitations they face.
It is sad to observe that so many hurdles that people are facing are not really hurdles, rather self limiting beliefs or misconceptions, and that’s exactly what’s stopping them from achieving their goals and objectives.
I want to extend my observation to this blog by asking you to tell me very specifically what’s stopping YOU from achieving your objectives?
In exchange I am offering my time that we can use for a one hour chat. This chat can be about anything – consulting, reviewing, crtitique, bouncing ideas off, social, or anything else that you can think of. We can do this either live in person or through a Skype conversation.
Here is what I want to know . . .
Please be elaborate and very specific. Please provide examples and references where you can.
I have not decided how I will select who to speak with for an hour. I may select a random comment or be judgmental based on the most elaborate, specific and insightful response.
Parallel to this initiative, I have been conducting a survey of the number ONE barrier to progress. You may already know this if you’ve received an email from me.
I want to use this feedback collectively to write more content around topics that are most meaningful and relevant to YOU and where you are with your goals and objectives today. I highly appreciate your input in advance.
Feel free to plug-in a pen name in the comments section below if you are not comfortable disclosing your real name.Previous: How to Create a Free eBook Giveaway in a Jiffy: Key to Building an Email List
Thanks for this opportunity! See my answers below:
1. Make enough money over the internet that allows me to be a digital nomad and travel indefinitely.
2. Right now the only thing stopping me is I can’t quite afford it. But, I am currently saving up living at home as well as continuing to build/refine my business so that I can achieve my goal soon 🙂
3. Where is the best place in the world to meet and network with internet entrepreneurs?
What podcast/content do you regard most highly?
Suggestions on how to brand my forthcoming personal/travel/internet marketing/photography/adventure blog 🙂
Hope to speak with you soon!
great questions Nate. seems like what you want to do requires somewhat of an investment? for networking I recommend the conferences. there are several of these in every niche (blogging, affiliate marketing, etc) all year long. I recommend selecting podcasts based on your field of interest. I personally listen to several int he finance, investing and real estate space.
Very nice offer. My goal is to create at least a $500 to $1,000 side income. I like my job but as you always say, just want that extra much.
What’s stopping me is myself. I can’t get out of my own way. I feel that the information you provide is great and sufficient, but I am too comfortable in my position at work, make a six figure income and prefer to enjoy my weekends with my family.
I’d be interested in the following questions:
1) You were making a six figure income when you started to work with online business. Why? What was the driver?
2) How do you keep yourself going, weekend in weekend out? What is the motivation?
3) I am very much in a similar situation to you when you started – at least it seems like that. What’s the number 1 advice you’d give me?
I can totally feel that because I have the same background and feelings. for me, job ‘optionality’, freedom and flexibility were key drivers. I have friends and fam scattered all over. most of them don’t have the time to come see me – figured I put myself in a position where I can see them instead. if you feel strong enough about the drivers / the purpose, the motivation comes on its own in my opinion. I will email you about what my #1 advice would be for someone like you/I.
This is really exciting. I’d like help brainstorming potential online business ideas I have in my mind. My goal is to become job optional before I am 35.
There are lots of options and I am finding it difficult to determine which one I should pursue.
I’d ask you specifically about the steps to get started and the investment required, how to form a business and handle taxes and finally how to keep growing as a single operator of your business.
Thanks again for this offer.
how old are you currently Suzzanne? good questions – we will need to understand what specific ideas you have in mind. as you can imagine all the following responses will vary based on that
1) My main objective is to grow SEAM Publishing into a good source of side income. Especially the passive income side from selling ebooks as a publisher, but that requires growing the active(?) income side as a formatter to get more publishing clients.
2) Traffic and conversions. I have tried advertising; I can generate a lot of interest, but no conversions.
3a) How do I run split tests with low traffic? I’m running one test on my food blog and three months later, none of the results have reached significant confidence.
3b) Are they specialists out there that will run optimization campaigns for me? I’m obviously not that good at it.
excellent questions Edward. yes there are specialists, but in my experience you have to offer something at a very high price point to make their fees worth your while. have you thought about how to scale your formatting business? if you have low traffic, you may want to run one test at a time rather than a concurrent split test. however if there is any cyclicality in your niche you will loose out on this data.
You can see the website URL in the email address I entered (hidden for privacy reasons)
1) Increase new membership signup rate (conversions) to gain more customers
2) Not sure what to change on website (design/copy writing/pricing/etc), need advice from website expert
3) What things do visitors look for before purchasing something from a website (besides the actual product)?
What are the best ways to gain more trust from first time visitors?
What ways can I improve the “authority” of the site besides having our blog on a subdomain (http://blog.URL.com) and constantly posting relevant content?
great questions Peter. to measure/increase any key indicator, we must first start measuring. assuming you are? as far as what visitors look for – I believe in trust/credibility. knowing someone on a “personal” level also helps. we all buy from those we know, like and trust. the best way to build these is to consistently over deliver and be yourself – be honest.
Yes, we use google analytics to track conversion rate. I think we will improve the About Us page to help build more trust. Any tips on scaling a website?
can you be more specific? a website inherently is already scaleable due to its reach
By scaling I mean increasing traffic & customers. Any advice on the copywriting of the site (things you would change)?
customers will increase with traffic increase providing your conversions are occurring. traffic strategies will mostly depend on your business model. I have written a good amount the basic strategies and how I execute them on the blog.
This message is for you. You want to know how to gain trust from your visitors? Try using social media. I am now doing social media management and that is what this area revolves around..gaining trust..showing interest in others all the time..take the “I” out and focus on “You”
social medial is certainly a great way to reinforce your reader/customer focused approach which over time and multiple touch points will build trust
Website in my email. Would love a consultation!
1. What is your main goal/objective online? I just want the MAIN one.
A business. To have a profitable business, that happens to be online.
Where I provide an honest, real value…to real people who are really glad they found my site! In marketing speak – I also want to ‘capture value’ in return. I don’t want to just “blog my passion”, I want to start a business.
In terms of income specifics (full time, part time etc):
Replacing my wife’s income is my goal, so that work becomes optional for her…which is also a blessing to my (soon to be) family!
2. What is stopping you from achieving that goal/objective?
Not so much technology (I’m not naturally technical, but have found that I can find something out if I put my mind to it). Not so much time either. Whilst I work (full time) and am studying my business degree part time, I am finding that taking more on has actually been good for me. I fit more into my life than I used to – even though theoretically I shouldn’t, as I’m more busy and have more responsibilities than ever!
So, what then?
The biggest things that come to mind, are: lots of ideas. I think I know which is my preferred one. But there is a sense of not wanting to waste 12 months finding out. Mind you, I probably could have found out by now if I’d just “done it” 12 months ago!
But seriously: I recognise that I’m in that stage of, “I don’t know what I don’t know.”
I’ve read a lot about websites, traffic, business online…heard HEAPS of great, inspirational stories (such as yours!). But then, on my own, with all these thoughts buzzing, I’m left with…..”where to now, for ME?”
3. If we were to chat, what are the three most important questions you’d ask?
First I’d probably say, “please just listen, give me a chance to get my story off my chest” (perhaps in a looong email before hand!)
Question 1: How do I make good business decisions? From, which of the various ideas to pursue…to how to pursue it once I’ve decided? When time and resources are limited, and you have to make choices one by one (i.e. can’t do it all at once)…how do you make those decisions count? No one else can make the decisions for me – but I don’t know how to decide for me either!
Question 2: What are the main few things that I ought to focus on? A simple and brief framework so that I can come home and know exactly what I should be doing…or, if I do choose that tonight is the night to do something different, what are the activities to be choosing from? What is the framework that makes sense of the day to day?
Question 3: Help me define my goals. A side income is a start, and replacing wife’s income is longer term. But those are only monetary goals. Help me put together a future plan / vision for the business itself. Help me see what I’m working toward?
Thanks for the opportunity Sunil!
wow Steve – a lot in that comment. we all go through that question in our mind – “what is next for ME” lots of components go into answering that as you can imagine. you mentioned several of them in your comment. would love to chat about it sometime.
provided you feel all ideas are profitable, I am inclined to say go with the one that you are most comfortable with in theory as well as in execution. as far as framework, I like to chop up large projects in smaller sub projects. then I come up with a task list. for those tasks that don’t take long or much focused concentration, knock them about in pockets of time/evenings. for larger tasks focus on them during weekends. eventually you will meet milestones and keep making progress. I like that you have goals and a motivation. understanding the need you are trying to fill/the customers you are trying to serve will help tremendously with clarity and purpose.
sounds simple in theory, but sometimes we just need reinforcement/outside validation. do you think you are going through this phase?
Thanks Sunil, happy to chat any time!
Think I was in a bit of a (mental) slump with the whole thing a week ago when I wrote that. Not necessarily a bad thing, it’s that time of year to be a bit reflective! And, I figure – any decision is a forward motion that you can learn from.
With the type of site I wanted to do, I ran into a few roadblocks, and especially when your time is limited, that can become tiresome (it’s easy to say, “ah forget the whole thing!”)
Yep, I probably needed some outside validation. It can be a lonely affair, this whole setting up a side business effort. In any business, the decisions ultimately can only be made by the owner…and that’s just an area I need to keep working on – build those decision making muscles a bit more, lol
Hope you had a lovely Christmas with your family Sunil 🙂
Looking forward to a new years post perhaps? Gotta have one of those, lol
that explains it Steve. most solopreneurs are lonely folks – at least initially – not big on predictions and such but will definitely write about what’s on deck and introduce some new material such as posts about my iphone apps. hope you had a great one as well
After reading your email I think I have all the same feelings and emotions you do about starting work online to provide for my family. There is little yet a lot that goes into doing it and it does make it hard to determine where exactly to start. I have been going through the learning curve all year myself but in August I decided to leave niche website building behind me and go into social media management. It is almost Jan and I am still looking for my first client..because again I went through another learning curve..there is always so much to learn and you always feel like you might miss something if you let it go to move on to the next thing you need to do that day…but one thing I think we all need to do is to STOP where you are at and find a STARTING point and say to yourself…this is where it begins..and just make time to plan something out ..even if its for that week…Stop where you are at…starting NOW and DO something…That should be motivation enough to have you coming back for more…and keep learning but set aside a certain amount of time each week or month to do so.
Good luck to you and your new adventures…if I can be of any help you can always connect with me on FB where you can always find me. http://www.facebook.com/socializedcontent.com
Happy New Year to you and your family.
I think it is really useful because I personally like commenting on blogs with CommentLuv. But some sites have versions that are no longer supported asking them to upgrade to premium.
perhaps meant to comment on another post?
1) I need to make 220,000 for college. I’ve been researching niche sites and affiate marketing for a while now but I’m scared to get started, because I’m worried I’ll lose money and not do well.
2) Fear and a lack of starting money and being unsure I can find good keywords.
3) Three questions:
a. I’ve searched for keywords for hours and hours each day. But I can’t find anything clearly good and I don’t want to waste time and money on a site I can’t profit from. How can I identiy a legit keyword and then replicate that process thousands of times? I know this is vauge and not simple to answer.
b. Is an authority or niche site better or more realistic?
c. Can really anyone succeed on making money online or do people like those internet gurus, just profit on people feeling as if they can too make money online, when they can’t?
I guess I can’t come up with 3 soild questions, that I can articulate well. I have questions and I’ve read so many blogs and sites (Pat’s passive income, Adsense flippers and so on) about niche empires and I’m kind of at a loss.
it sounds like you have already made up your mind about what you want to do (niche sites), correct? if so, it doesn’t take much financially to get started. the best you can do is perform your due diligence to the best of your ability, and trying it out first hand is really the only way to find out where you end up
I guess per month it’s not a big deal, but I’m scared I’ll mess up and you need to pay in advance for a year or more per month. And then pay for the site domains which adds up because niche sites are done in bulk. I really need to make this work but I’ve done all this research and tried figuring it out but I don’t know if I have what it takes or if people are even giving me legit info or just showing me products they get affiliate sales for and making me think I can succeed so they make money…
Thanks for your reply!
you don’t have to approach this in bulk. one domain at a time? $9.99 and $5 for hosting at best?
#1 I want to make enough money to be able to quit my job.
#2 I am what is stopping me from moving forward, I seem unable to get myself moving forward.
#3 How do I get myself to get started? Who are the best mentors? If you use these answers from other and myself to create an ebook can I get a copy that I can resell?
it’s interesting that many recognize that it is them/us that is stopping ourselves, but why are we not digging in deeper to determine the root cause “why”. it’s easy to generalize, but until you truly dig deeper and find out the cause there is not much you can do. once you get over that hump, the rest falls in place. the best mentors/programs depends on the route you take. there are several experts out there on pretty much anything you can think of.
1) Main Goal:I want to start a website and help people who hand make crafts have successful businesses while I make money off affiliates or other income from the website.
2) The main thing holding me back is I am 53 years old and don’t have time to make mistakes, so I am not sure if this is a profitable niche.
3) a) Is this a niche that I will be able to monetize with the proper content and value? I also have another niche idea in my back pocket just in case.
b) How do you decide the best monetization method?
C) How do you outline or structure a website like this?
I am soaking up as much info. as possible on making one or more (mostly)passive income streams. I really appreciate all the valuable help your website provides. Thanks! Doug
I’m not Sunil but I read your post and I wanted to say, I think you’ve got a noble cause. I’m much younger than 53 but I understand feeling like I have to hold myself back so I don’t jump off a cliff I can’t climb back on to, you know?
Obviously I’m no expert. But handmade crafts and buisness made me think of Esty. No affiliate programme for Esty though, but if you run a site that maybe showcases crafters and then recommend Amazon products through affiliate links? Or just make a good niche authority site on crafting/making a buisness out of it. Maybe find some blogs that are for crafters and ask them if they’d like an interview featured on their site, mutual exposure.
Thanks for the reply UM!
The relative start-up costs of these mostly passive niche sites seems low. Time is the big investment initially. Maybe picking two different niches and testing to see which one does best is the way to go.
I noticed your college expenses. I hope you have picked the right field. That is a lot of debt for a young person. Might want to check this out:
Etsy is great, but only one slice of the pie. I am thinking of an authority site even though I am by no means an authority. (Yet!) Thanks for the other tips for consideration.
Good luck to you and Happy New Year!
Thanks and no problem. For me, college isn’t just a means of gettinga degree that will result in a job. I want to go to this particular college (http://www.sjca.edu) because I want to learn and develop my ability to think and read critically and philosophically. It’s not about getting a degree in the shortest amount of time, becoming a lawyer and making a lot of money. It is an investment, and students from St. Johns do go on to have successful careers–a liberal arts agree is useful. The ability to actually think, is rare and I think St. Johns gives people the tools to learn how (not what) to think? Anyways, yes college is expensive but I’m going to have to make it work.
Thanks for the advice and resource. I think through established blogs in the niche, you could work on getting traffic for your authority site. Good luck.
great point on Etsy as only a small piece of the puzzle. everyone of us can carve out our stake in the niche we decide to participate in
Doug – if you are serving many locals your challenge will be to automate/streamline how you deal/transact with them. cost is minimal when it comes to online business, your real risk is time. monetization is based on what sources are already out there – i.e. are there advertisers in your niche? are there vendors with affiliate programs in your niche?
I think I can monetize this based on other websites in the niche are doing, but I need to do more research on affiliate and vendor possibilities. What is hard is avoiding “analysis paralysis” when it doesn’t seem like a slam dunk. Thanks for your thoughts!
anytime – feel free to reach out with questions as you progress
CONGRATULATIONS TO DAVID – PLEASE EMAIL ME OR REACH OUT ON FACEBOOK TO SCHEDULE A CHAT. WILL HOST SOMETHING SIMILAR SOON! LOOKING FORWARD…
Your the man David