Probably one of the biggest challenges in running your own internet business (or nearly anything requiring self discipline for that matter) is fending off the distractions. None of us are immune to it. I've let myself take my eye off the ball more than once as I fell prey to distractions.
Back in 2005, I decided that I wanted to get into the world of online business. I started out the way most probably do. I would spend hours surfing the net for information. Hang out in the forums and buy all the latest products that offered the magic button that would do it all for me. You know, the marketing equivalent of the "easy button". Other products would include the "how to" stuff. Surprisingly, many of the info products did have some valuable information within them. The key was applying that info. Only 2% ever really apply what they learn anyway.
Well, now I was armed with lots of knowledge, it was time to turn it into experience. Let's see… hmmmm, I like playing guitar & I kick butt on Van Halen's Eruption, why not make a video tutorial? Yeah, my first product! I sat down to map out my strategy with the TV playing in the background. Eventually, the program playing in the background was so "interesting" that I watched the rest of it. Ok, the first night is shot. The next night I left the TV off. Now to get down to business, but first, I better check my email. Hmmm, an interesting new post in the forums. Better go check it out. Before I knew it, I blew another couple hours. Other distractions seemed to come at me everyday. The phone, email, friends dropping in. It was a continuous cycle.
After about 5 weeks, I was still no closer to starting my tutorial. I looked back and began to ponder my situation. I realized that I had just wasted over 5 weeks of my life that I could have dedicated to my new pursuit. That 5 weeks was gone forever, never to be recovered. I began to realize that I was actually welcoming these distractions! I was programmed for failure. I was one of the typical 98% who get involved with internet business. I knew that if I were to have any chance of success, then a radical alteration of my thought patterns was in order.
I knew that I had to develop a procedure for eliminating distractions and begin focusing on the task at hand. I set aside 3 to 4 hours a day to dedicate solely to my business, starting with my guitar tutorial. Since my J.O.B. already consumed 8 + hours of my day, I was only left with about 4 good hours. The first thing to eliminate was the TV. TV is the single most destructive device that you can have in your house. By eliminating the TV factor, I easily had freed up a couple hours. I was never much of a TV watcher, beyond the Discovery & History Channel, but distraction is distraction. I had also unplugged the phone & let friends & family know that I would not be available during these hours. Email was not to be viewed until my work was completed for the day. At some point, I had also deleted the forums from my bookmarks. I had read a post by James Brausch on the evils of the forums and how one's income was inversely proportional to the number of posts they had under their belt. This made perfect sense to me, once it was pointed out.
It was amazing how quickly I had my first product ready after following these simple steps! Now it was getting exciting! I started out on eBay while I was getting my website together. I already had a Paypal account that I opened around 1999 or 2000. I soon opened a Clickbank account upon completion of playkillerguitar.com.
The transformation was staggering! I was getting things done and making money at the same time. I was learning that the best way to learn was not from the forums, it was by DOING!!! Once I realized this everything changed. The 2% crowd are doers. The 2%ers don't think about taking action, they just take it. If you find yourself caught up in this distraction cycle and actually enjoying it, then you must make a decision. Are you going to waste another day? Another week, or even another year? Where do you want to be in January 2009? Give it some serious thought and decide whether you really want to break off your romance with that deceptively pleasurable thing called distraction. If you do, you won't regret it. Your biggest barrier to success will finally be yesterday's history lesson!