The road in setting up any business – online or offline – is very bumpy indeed.
What I’ve learned since I started out in my 3 years online is that yes there are easy ways and shortcuts and it is worth investing some of your time and money in learning and receiving good advice from those who have gone before you.
However, it’s just impossible to eliminate all difficulties from your life and whatever you do these bumps in the road will still keep “coming at you”.
For many people starting out I’ve noticed they can get severely diseffected and demoralised by the problems they face and many of course, just give up blaming either bad luck, bad timing or simply themselves (“I’m just not up to this”).
What contributes to this is that a lot of us feel alone with the issues we face, especially online because when you start out it literally is just you and the computer!
Not only that but people look towards successful people (the folks that are where they would like to be) and everything seems so rosy. They appear relaxed, knowledgeable and polished in their approach.
When I was looking to start a business of some kind (and before I focused in on the internet as the model I wanted to follow) I attended a seminar where a very well known business person from the TV show Dragons Den was giving a presentation.
What really struck me was how candid and frank he was about the struggles he’d had. For example, he explained how it took him years to turn his small business into a medium sized one: Winning contracts, then losing them, employees deserting at critical times, etc etc
But to look at his designer suit and relaxed demeanour you would have never guessed this was the case!
Since then I’ve attended many events and meetups where I’ve been able to speak with successful business people. And guess what? The story is exactly the same every time.
There isn’t a SINGLE person who is successful who hasn’t experienced challenges, potential “show stoppers” and seemingly insolvable problems along the way.
So I just wanted to let you know that you are not the only one!
In the last 12 months I’ve experience countless challenges, problems and difficulties ranging from corrupt websites, to miscommunications with joint venture partners and traffic failures.
If you follow me on this blog you’ll know I do write about some of these (e.g., here) as well as my successes. But obviously even I don’t share everything!
So I think this is worth pointing out and also my attitude in dealing with challenges:
1) I always try and adopt a “whatever it takes” attitude
2) I remember that every challenge I face whether technical or strategic is yet another point when someone else would quit thinking, “Oh, this is all just to hard.”
So if you keep this in mind then you’ll realise that every bump in the road is actually yet another opportunity to get ahead and progress forward.
Not only that but with this correct mindset you can do so with increased confidence so that – despite what you may feel in weaker moments – you are actually more than capable of overcoming challenges in the future and achieving whatever you wish.
Agree/Disagree? Would LOVE to hear your thoughts, comments and experiences and recommendations on this! Please help spread the word by Tweeting and Liking if you enjoyed this. Let’s talk below… 🙂 Rob
nice post Rob. We all struggle sometime and we fall as well but if we stand up everytime we win.
Success is a road with all chalenges everywhere but to overcome it and you are close to your goal.
So life is fun but hard, too. But if we are possitive we will succeed. And don’t give up after the rain there is a rainbow.
Good luck to you all.
Well said Erwin! Thanks for your contribution 🙂
Cheers – Rob
Thank you for this post which is truly inspirational. It came at just the right time for me, because lately it just seemed to be one problem after another.
But I never have thought about giving up. I have always had the “whatever it takes” (great quote, thanks) mentality, and tomorrow is another day.
We can all learn from the farmers here in the UK, who have faced seemingly insurmountable problems in the past couple of years, yet we still have food on the table.
Thanks again Rob. For now it’s just a case of “keep on keeping on”.
Fantastic to hear this helped you and was timely as well.
Thanks for your comment and you have some wise words there too!
This is a great article – thanks!
Here are some of the challenges I have faced as I grew my information publishing business…
1: 99% of my sales have been via the mail/internet. Very occasionally a customer has visited my office to buy a product. One day one of my team, Paul, who was about 20 years old, sold one of my products to such a visiting customer. Instead of giving the money to my accountant, he pocketed it: £250 (US$375)! He could have got away with it… but the customer had a problem with his purchase. He rang another member of my staff who couldn’t find the purchase on our computer system. Paul overheard the call, realised he had to act fast, and wrote a letter to the customer: “Say nothing and I’ll send you free copies of any of the following products…” and listed various products he would steal and give to the guy. When the customer received this letter he posted it straight to me. We confronted Paul, dismissed him, and prosecuted him, despite Paul’s father tracking down my home phone number and pleading with me not to take him to court.
2: One 17-year-old member of staff opened recorded mail coming into my business and stole the cash inside. He used the money to pay off some guys at an illegal gambling den who had threatened to smash his kneecaps if he didn’t find the cash fast. I dismissed this young man and prosecuted him. He was a lovely young man, and a great worker. It was a great shame he got a very destructive gambling habit.
3: I bought more than 10,000 units of a £100 (US$150) product for £5 (US$7.50) each. So that meant I was laying out £50,000 (US$75,000) in cash. The devices were very bulky and took up a lot of warehouse space at the docks in Liverpool, and we would be paying a monthly storage fee, so I wanted to shift them fast. I sold the first 1,000 to 1,500 quickly, but adverts I placed in the UK national press failed. It took me 2 years to get rid of all the units. Overall I broke even. A nightmare! 🙂
4: I employed an accountant to handle my sales records, and she didn’t deduct the returns from our monthly sales figures. My external accountancy firm didn’t spot the error for 4 months. So there was me thinking I’d made a nice profit over the preceding months, only to discover that I had made less than I thought!
5: I spent £50,000 (US$75,000) on sales software which still wasn’t working properly after 4 months, and this caused my team masses of extra work and lots of wasted management time.
…and on and on. 🙂
You can read the full story of my nightmare 10,000 purchase here…
Yes, like every other business owner out there, I’m sure, I’ve had plenty of challenges, and every person reading this article will have challenges in their internet marketing business.
The key is not to give up.
These challenges are just hurdles to be jumped over along the journey to your future success.
You’ll learn a ton of lessons – and probably learn more from your mistakes, challenges and failures than from your successes.
I certainly have! 🙂
Some amazing challenges and experiences there! Thanks very much for commenting and sharing them 🙂
Very true. We all, almost everyday, come across such challenges and problems and somehow manage to over come such situation by any fair/possible means. Take away is the LEARNING out of the challenge/issues.
A small challenge or problem might teach you a BIG lesson for life. Regardless of online or offline business or whatever we do, it is actually your perspective how you take up the issue.
But, we see many people, as you said, have just “leave it” attitude and avoid the situation. They miss something big for rest of their life….
A) How to handle a problem and get solved — many a times they have the EASIEST solution at their hand. But they afraid to take up the situation and mess up the whole issue, as a result SOLUTIONS get lost from their mind.
B) Learning out of that problem — definitely we learn a lesson dealing with a problem. But, I believe, end solution of a problem takes you through a SEQUENCE of learning. I can give numerous examples in support of that.
C) Adapting with the situation and go ahead — they miss the chance to learn to adapt with the adverse situation and deal some BIGGER problem which might pop up in future.
However, I believe, most of us don’t have mindset to take up a problem in a positive way, by default. I think some motivation is needed to get into the exact attitude. Reading motivational books definitely helps here.
I am a strong believer of whatever I said and of course…I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE..!!
You’ve highlighted some excellent habits and idiosyncrasies here. The thing is with all of this stuff is that we are ALL guilty of them to some extent. However, the great things about a discussion like this is that it raises our awareness so we have a much better chance of progressing going forward.
Thank you for your contribution, great stuff 🙂
I think your post is spot on. Life has a funny way of checking how much you really want success, it does not matter what area of life this is in. Any form of startup business is particularly challenging, you have to learn your trade. And of course you have to find customers, they can be difficult to find and retain.
As previously referenced all the difficulties are learning experiences but if you dont have the passion and the drive, it is always remarkably easy to give up.
I think you are spot with the “passion and drive”, it’s absolutely key but I do think if you get yourself in the right mindset then this comes naturally. The trick of course, is maintaining that mindset!
Great to hear your thoughts here!
this has just come in at a perfect time for me as i now have some big challenges ahead
i like chris payne’s comments honest and refreshing to show some of his personall disasters! they made me a whole lot better!
in any kind of business online or off we all have our ups and downs successes and failures thankfully mostly successes
but it is only at problems do we really learn sometimes hard lessons and obvious truths
i really like what you have to say rob and and i knid of listen and trust your emails and blog posts ( there is so much crud out there its unreal)
my personnal trust with alot of online marketers has been erroded by a very high mentoring programme …but thats a long story which i wont bore you with
all the same keep up the quality of content
i love the style and sheer honesty to your posts
i loved to meet you in person and learn from a genuine straight talking no bs marketer
thanks rob keep it coming and keep it real!!!
Thanks John, glad this helped you 🙂
Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad they made you feel a whole lot better!! 🙂
To be honest, there are a whole lot more stories than the ones I listed in my comment – but you get the picture: business has its ups and downs.
One of the reasons I’ve commented on a few of Rob’s posts in the last couple of months is that I’ve seen him present, I’ve got to know him personally, and I appreciate his no nonsense approach to internet marketing.
I don’t want to cause him to blush too much, but your guess about his integrity is bang on the nail.
A problem I’m currently trying to sort is to do with article writing. I reckon that i can write pretty well and it’s something that makes my time spent at the keyboard pleasureable….
However, although I try to follow the formats that many gurus have recommended I’m totally mystified.
I go daily to goarticles.com and analyse the most viewed articles where I invariably find that an article published a couple of days earlier has had thousands of views.
I can see that it could cover a popular subject so whatt’s my problem?
Just this. the content is often a waste of words and is so badly written, I wonder it can pass scrutiny. My numerous efforts get a handful of views a year!
I’ll never give up looking for answers but I’ll never understand how people who can’t speak English let alone write it are deemed as acceptable authors.
This is a problem I am continually trying to fathom.
Nice to hear from you again Rob
In my view article directories such as goarticles/ezinearticles are pretty much a waste of time now and full mostly with spam like you say. Article writing is certainly alive and kicking though but you’re best off getting your articles publish on high traffic websites where real eyeballs can see them.
I know why I always open your blog posts; honesty, sincerity and openness. This post has all these qualities. Sharing your experiences and the comments from your subscribers (i.e Chris) are worth gold. We are a construction company – a bit removed from your usual IM subscribers but I have learnt a lot how to market/websites etc from you – and surviving the GFC has been a huge challenge. However this has honed our marketing skills, bought us on-line and hopefully will position us well for the future, but definitely not for the faint hearted.
ps loved hearing about the Dragon Dens experiences!!
That’s brilliant thank you very much for your kind words and very pleased to hear you are getting the benefit of your visits here 🙂
Hello Rob – thanks for the motivating and inspirational post …. it helps to know that others who have become successful with this internet thing – also struggled to get started – knowing that I am not the only one, makes it easier to push to achieve bigger and better things. Thank you
You are very welcome and glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Cheers – Rob
Hey Rob that article about feeling alone was timed perfectly ( Amazing )
After finishing the IIF video tutorial i miss having your encourging voice in
my ear and YES i do feel alone.
I intend to go to the meeting on Monday 29th April at the strand palace hotel
to get some encourigement to actually start with this online business.
Going to meetups and events is an excellent idea. Make sure you talk to lots of people when you get there!
Very timely! Obstacles will always pop up and every now and again we need to dig deep and keep going…If ever I do not feel/think I can get over an obstacle, I look to see how far I have come to get to this obstacle. I then I find a way to go over/under/around it…
The great thing about the internet marketing world is that there are people who are willing to help because they have been there and they know how difficult it can be. I have rarely come across that in other business arenas.
I will do my best to get to Sarah’s meet up on Monday.
Excellent advice there! I think looking back and consciously remembering how you dealt with challenges before is very wise advice.
Thanks for your input and great to see you are continuing on your journey 🙂
Thanks for your advice re. my article problem
Respect and regards
Beautifully done, Rob. This article is one of the most inspiringi I’ve read in a long time. The lessons in this article will be of superb benefit to anyone who reads it. I have been reading your blog for some time now and this is the most profound and encouraging one I’ve read.
Thank you, Rob.
Great to see you here on the blog and thank you for your kind words – really pleased you found this useful!
Cheers! Rob 🙂
Great article, I can relate a lot in this. It is a very hard journey but you just have to keep going I think. For me, I have been close to “jacking it all in” on many occasions – boy, am I glad I didn’t. The thing is everyone learns at a different pace and peoples circumstances are all different, so now my attitude has changed.
I used to think “blimey, he has made $xxxx in just 3 months, why can’t I do that?” Whereas now I think “my target is $xxxx by the end of xxx and I don’t care about anyone else – good luck to them – I will get there in my own pace”
Learning the PROCESSES are the most important thing about this business, and it can be frustrating because it is a SKILL. Its not easy, but it can be done.
People just have to take a step back – and break things down into small bite-size chunks. This is what I do for all my projects now and it has become a lot more manageable now.
Great post Rob, very inspirational – road blocks and self doubt are common to us all but as you say with every hurdle we overcome we gain a bit more confidence, which in my experience is so true!
By the way, love your Membership Site, and am always learning something new so thank you.
Great to see you here on the blog! All sounds good and thanks for taking the time to comment 🙂