This list is by no means exhaustive – it’s really more the result of a brainstorming session when I sat down to figure out why some succeed online …. while others haven’t (yet!) succeeded.
1. You’ve got to sell something. I’ve known people who were “in business” for months, yet hadn’t sold a thing. Until you start selling somebody’s product (yours or someone else’s, doesn’t matter) you don’t have a business.
2. Get into profit as fast as possible. If you’re buying traffic, figure out how to make that traffic pay as soon as humanly possible. If you’re outsourcing work, find a way to make that work more than pay for itself. Sure it’s common sense, but I’ve seen a few folks go into serious debt.
3. Make smart investments that pay off. Hiring a coach that shows you what you need to know is smart – throwing a few thousand at Adsense is dumb. Investments are sometimes the fastest way to get your business on the fast track, but you’ve got to be smart about them.
4. Turn lookers into buyers as fast as possible. If this means selling them a $5 ebook, do it.
5. Upsell. Once they buy the $5 ebook, realize they have greater needs that ebook won’t fill, so find a way to fill those needs and wants and charge more for it.
6. Make it brain dead easy for your customers to sign up. The harder it is, the fewer customers you will have.
7. Competition in your niche is generally great. No competition means you’re in the wrong niche.
8. Get to know your competitors personally. Send them email, talk to them on Skype. You’ll be surprised how often competitors can be turned into allies – and the first step is to say hello.
9. Make a new connection every day. This might be your competitors, but it could also be people in similar niches, different niches, affiliates, product owners, etc. Make a list of people you want to get to know and then start contacting them with no agenda except seeing if you can help them in some way.
10. Build a customer list, then create products for them. Building the product first means you’ve got no one to sell it to and puts you at the mercy of affiliates. Building the list first and getting that list toasty warm to your offer means you’ve got sales of your new product (when it launches) from day one and stats to show potential affiliates that totally rock.
11. Your customers are not marks or suckers or even fools. And they’re not strangers, either. They’re your mother, your brother, your best friend and your next door neighbor. Think of them that way and you cannot go wrong.
12. Watch the hype. A little hype in the form of excitement and enthusiasm is okay if you can back it with evidence. Too much hype and no one will believe you, even if what you say is true.
13. Use the element of surprise. When you deliver your product, add something surprising for the customer. When you’re paying your star affiliates, send them a bonus surprise – even if it’s just a small Amazon certificate. Always do a little bit more than expected.
14. Treat your active affiliates and JV partners like gold, because that’s what they are.
15. It’s okay to screw up. And fail. And feel stupid. And look like a complete dork on social media. Just learn from your mistake, apologize and keep moving forward. The only people who don’t fail are those who don’t do a thing, and you don’t want to be one of those.
16. Make a list of the 3 things you MUST get done today. Then do them.
17. Do the toughest thing first thing in the morning. Whatever it is – running 5 miles or making that phone call you dread – get it done first. Then the rest of the day is easier by comparison.
18. It’s not always fun. Sorry about that, but it’s true – having your own online business means sometimes you have to do things you don’t like. The trick is to suck it up and do it – or find someone to outsource it to. It’s like a journey – to get to your destination sometimes you have to drive through neighborhoods or even whole stretches of road that aren’t fun – do it anyway.
19. Lose the negativity. Whether it’s someone else tearing you or your business down - or your own little monkey mind telling you why you can’t do it - get rid of the negative talk.
20. Automate as much as you humanly can in your business. The more you automatic and delegate, the more time you have to work on your business rather than in your business.
21. There are not 16 hours in a workday. Beyond 8 hours at a computer, your productivity begins to drop dramatically. After 10 hours you’re making mistakes. After 12 hours you have trouble remembering stuff you know well, and after 14 hours you’re pretty much worthless. Rest and sleep are as important to your business as the work itself.
22. You are not a potato, so get off your rear and get some exercise everyday or your work will suffer.
23. You know that law of attraction stuff? Surprise, it works. And it’s not complicated – you don’t need dozens of books and courses to learn it - one good one will do. But you’ve got to actively work the law everyday to make it work in your favor.
24. Cook ideas in your brain. The first thing is to ask the right question of your subconscious, the second is to continue asking until you get the answer. I’ve come up with some of my best product ideas by letting things simmer on the back burner of my mind until the answer popped out at the most unexpected of times.
25. Ideas by themselves are worthless. Anyone can get a great idea, but it’s the person who acts on the idea who makes the fortune.
26. Don’t fall so in love with your idea that you’re not open to suggestions. That said, know when to listen to the suggestions and when to simply say thank you and continue on.
27. Screw the economy. Good times and bad times there is money to be made, so stop watching the financial news and go get busy.
28. Treat your business like a business, not a hobby. Make a work schedule and stick to it. Create goals and timetables and stick to them. Do what you say you will when you say you will. This isn’t pretend, it’s real and your financial future depends on it.
29. Celebrate your successes – even the tiny ones.
30. If you get bored, sell your business and start a new one. It’s nearly always easier to start a business the second time around.