You know, I have been a member of Twitter for some time (nearly 2 years now). When I first started out on Twitter I had a different name. Then I changed my name when I started this blog to @anIMjourney. I am contemplating changing again. Am I a fickle Twitterer? Li’l bit, I guess.
The problem is that although I am doing this blog and although I am still (albeit slowly) learning about Internet Marketing, I have come to a realization. That realization is that Internet Marketing is not WHO I AM. I don’t mean that I don’t want to do Internet Marketing, but I think I’ve decided that it’s not the main representation I want to make of myself on Twitter.
Does that make me deceptive? I would like to think it’s quite the opposite. After much thought and consideration, I think I want to change my Twitter name yet again (hopefully for the last time) to something that represents more of who I am than just a budding Internet Marketer. I have only one Twitter account…and I’d kinda like to keep it that way.
Up until a couple of days ago, I followed only a few (less than 60 or 70) people on Twitter. I only had a few (right around the same number) of followers. Then I started a little bit of an experiment. I started by following the people who were following me that I wasn’t following (how many times can one person say “following” in a sentence???) I then followed several people that a few of my friends mentioned in #followfriday. Since then, I have followed new people who are following me, and my number of followers has nearly doubled in about 2 or 3 days. There are a few people that followed me that I followed and then immediately removed because of the spam-like content of their posts.
Anywho, back to the reason for the title (and first sentence) of this post. Although I am not new to Twitter…I’m new to following as many people as I now follow. I’m working on being more “open” to following more people. It’s taking some adjusting, but I think I’m getting used to it. If you follow me, I am happy to follow you in return, so long as you don’t spam the crud out of me!
Look, I have grown to like Twitter. I enjoy letting my followers know when I make a new blog post or if I come across an interesting article or, heck, even say I’m spending time with my wife. I’m not sure how much anyone really cares, but it’s a little fun and slightly addicting. And I really enjoy when I see tweets from the people I respect. There are some of you out there who I am sometimes downright conversational with on Twitter. But if you follow me, and I return the favor, I don’t want my eyes beaten to the back of my skull by the hoards of things you think you can sell me. I also don’t want to see you post the same sales pitch over and over and over. There’s a pretty good chance I am NOT going to buy anything from you. If all you do is make it harder for me to find the tweets that I actually enjoy reading, I will promptly UNfollow you, possibly even block you. Then, what are you following me for? Something tells me I don’t have anything you’re interested in seeing if you’re just looking flood me with sales pitches.
I’m am (and I am not) sorry for this rant. It’s not my typical style on this blog, but maybe someone new to Twitter might come across this some day and feel some relief that they’re not the only one who feels this way.
Other than that…if you are following me on Twitter and not trying to spam me to death…THANKS FOR FOLLOWING. I am trying to pay attention, now, when I gain new followers and add them to the list I follow. I WANT to return the favor and I WANT to have a mutually beneficial Twitter relationship. And – if you’re a respectable and good Twitterer…then who knows…maybe I WILL buy something you’re selling someday
If I end up changing my Twitter name, I’ll let you know so you’ll know who that guy is you’re seeing posts from!
More time has passed, more thought has been thunk, and I think…I THINK I have an idea of where I actually want to go. But, let me back up a little bit and share a little bit of what’s been on my mind.
First of all, Anna Williams wrote a post a while back called “The Story of Suzie” that really made me think. If you haven’t read it…do so. It made me realize that I needed to learn to cook an egg. Not a literal egg. If you’re wondering what the heck I’m talking about, then you haven’t read it yet, and you haven’t heeded my instruction to do so…so do so!
Anyway in addition, I follow Anna on twitter, and she tweeted a link to another article that really made me think. The article was written by Josh Spaulding and was called “Why I Won’t Teach My Own Sister Internet Marketing“. In this article (again, if you haven’t read it…DO SO), Josh talks about one of the driving forces in success with Internet Marketing – a love of what you’re doing. At first when I read this article I began to think that maybe I was too hopeful to succeed in something that I just am not passionate about. I was right. AND I was wrong.
I realized that in all my trying-to-figure-out-what-to-do, I was really trying to focus on the wrong things. Do I want to make money online? I sure would like to. It would be nice to be able to free up my time so that I can do the things that I AM passionate about. But what I failed to realize is that these two separate things DO NOT have to be mutually exclusive.
I haven’t solved this puzzle for myself just yet. Not entirely. But I think I have figured out HOW I’m going to figure this out.
You see, so far, I think I have also been trying to do or be something that I am not. I’ve been trying to push a square peg through a round hole (did I REALLY have to use that cliche?) I think instead of trying to figure out something that I can do to make money…I am going to do something that I WANT to do and that I think I WILL enjoy doing…and see if from there I can turn it profitable. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t, but I’ll continue to tell it all here. That is, after all, what this blog is all about.
So, thanks for your patience, my loyal 4 readers (according to feedburner). Although, if you can believe my webstats, I’m up to over 1000 views per month on this li’l ol’ thing. I think it’s all the spambots though. If things go according to plan, you should start hearing from me more frequently in the coming weeks.
Ok, so I recognize that from an IM standpoint, it would appear that I have crashed and burned. I’ve been silent on this blog for over 4 months. I have been doing a lot of soul-searching in those 4 months…and a lot of working in my offline “real” job. (We have opened 3 restaurants in those 4 months…realizing that is a little staggering!)
First of all, from a soul-searching standpoint, I’ve been re-examining my purposes and intentions regarding Internet Marketing. What is my motivation in wanting to become some kind of internet marketer? My biggest motivator, I think, is my time. The problem is I am having trouble investing time now so that I can have my time later for the things that I “really” want.
I think that poses an interesting question, though. What do I “really” want? I came to a realization at work this week. That realization is that I REALLY enjoy teaching other people what I know. Not such that I might want to be a teacher, as much as I realized I like training people to do what they need to do if I know how to do it. Wow, that sounded circular. In “real life” I work for (what’s referred in the industry as) a Quick Service Restaurant Franchisee (read “Fast Food Chain”). I have worked in the capacity of the restaurants, and I have worked in the capacity of accounting, payroll, and IT. So…I have very rounded experience in the industry. I have realized that I am most content with what I do at work when I am sharing my knowledge and experience with people in order to help them grow.
I think that’s one of the appealing things to me about Internet Marketing. Besides the possibility that I could one day be financially independent so that I could invest my time into other more fullfilling activities, there’s also the prospect that I could impart knowledge to someone who is seeking. I think that may also be a reason that I find blogging about Internet Marketing to be such a challenge…because I don’t have the knowledge and I don’t want to mislead the others who are starting out like I am.
Moreover, I am not sure what I want to “sell” if anything. It’s those “sales” that add up to the financial independence.
I went back and re-read all 12 of my previous posts before writing this one, mainly because I wanted to avoid redundant posting. But there was an interesting side-effect. I realized another couple of things:
a) I have grown in the last 4 months
b) I still have not IM goals
In the months of silence, I have been working really hard at my job. I have taken the time to read (listen to the audiobook) “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. I haven’t made “all” the progress I want in being organized, but I have taken some good steps forward.
So, I’ve made a decision. I am going to continue to move forward in Internet Marketing and continue with this blog…but for now, I’m not setting any “money-making” goals. I want to start viewing Internet Marketing from the perspective of “what can I do to fulfill myself by helping/encouraging others?”
So, there you have it. A rather lengthy post after 4 solid months of silence. Hope I haven’t bored you to tears.
On a side note – anyone have some good advice on spam avoidance in the comments? Spam is one of the things that has deterred me from “coming back”. I have deleted literally THOUSANDS of spam comments over the last 4 months. Over 1400 just this morning. I have blacklisted 20 IP addresses that seem to be the main source of the spam, but I was thinking that some kind of Captcha block might help. I don’t want to require membership to this blog to be able to comment (I don’t think), but I want to make it harder for mechanical spambots to post thousands of spam comments that leave me searching for legitimate comments that need “approving”.
So – am I managing my time wisely? Hard to say. The very fact that I’ve been completely silent for almost an entire month would lead me to believe that I am not focusing on what I want to focus on. So what caused the silence? What caused the dry spell? What was it that kept me from taking forward steps in this IM Journey of mine?
I’m trying to come up with a completely honest and legitimate answer to those questions. A part of me wants to say I’ve just been so busy and that I’ve just had so much to do. I think the truth is that for the last month, I got really lazy. Not lazy in everything…just lazy in Internet Marketing. I think what happened was that I got overwhelmed with the next step of keyword research and suddenly became convinced that I wasn’t going to be able to do this and made my offline work my excuse to not do this.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is I’m not throwing in the towel.
I finished reading that book I talked about a couple of posts ago (about time management). I actually finished it quite some time ago. I think there was a lot that I took from that book. I really feel like I started making some forward progress on my productivity and my time management at work. The thing is I was working so hard on trying to establish those habits (which I haven’t done 100%, but I have made some good progress), that by the time I came home, I just didn’t want to focus anymore. I wanted to veg out. I wanted to take a brain vacation and not think about ANYTHING.
That’s all well and good, but not very productive from an IM stand point, now is it? Now, I have been completely stagnant for so long that I’ve lost time, money, and ALL forward momentum that I had. The worst part is that I very seriously (no excuses here!) will have very little time to do much of anything dealing with internet marketing for the next week or two. I suppose I need to make every minute count that I can.
So, anyway, I just wanted post an update to explain what’s going on with me lately. I’ll get my forward momentum back, but it may take a little bit (considering my offline job will be taking an extraordinarily larger chunk of my time over the next couple of weeks). Don’t lose faith in me yet! You’ll soon hear me making victorious proclamations!
Well, in short, I guess I’m NOT dealing with frustration.
Let me explain.
I am very frustrated right now. I am frustrated because I’ve started this IM Journey and I have taken a few very small steps forward in said Journey, but that’s it. For the past 2 weeks I’ve pretty much been standing in the same spot looking around saying to myself “I wonder when I’ll begin to move again.”
It’s like I’m waiting for Godot.
What I find so frustrating is that I have the DESIRE to do it, but in the last 2 weeks…rarely the time. AND, when there IS time, rarely the energy.
Fortunately, I have the mental capacity to realize that as long as I’m doing nothing, there will be no results. Fortunately, I have not felt my desire to do the work decrease. My schedule has just been all too hectic. It feels like a sick internet marketing Catch-22 in that I want to do the IM thing so I’ll have time to do the things I want to do, but I don’t have the time (at least in the last 2 weeks) to do the IM thing.
Unfortunately, with 2 weeks of down time under my belt, I feel like I’ve lost all my forward momentum and I’m not quite sure where to pick up. Ok…I know WHERE to pick up (keyword research!) but I’m not sure how to begin. I am gonna have to dust off Holly’s ebook (is there edust?) and re-read the keyword research part.
In the mean time, I thought I’d pose a question to all you internet marketers out there who are reading my blog. For those of you who are experienced internet marketers – what processes do you go through in your mind when you have too much to deal with to work on internet marketing? Do you make the time no matter what? Do you allow life to happen and come back at it full force?
For those of you who, like me, are just getting started, what do you find yourself doing? Are you taking things in stride as they come and take the time to work on IM when you can? Do you trudge through your exhaustion when offline life happens and hope for the best?
Anyone notice that I used two literary references in this post? (I promise that wasn’t planned!)
Ok, I guess I AM dealing with frustration. I guess I AM making baby-step progress. If I weren’t, I guess I’d be throwing in the towel…but not yet!
It’s time for me to break the silence! Oh, wow! It’s been an incredibly busy week for me off-line. I have been getting home later than usual and the whole nine yards, so that’s why I have been inactive. As much as I’ve been pretty irritated by that fact, the truth is that when you’re starting out like me, part of the point is that you’re able to do this in your spare time…which is something I haven’t had much of in the past week.
The next week is looking to be pretty busy for me as well. But…I MIGHT have my evenings to myself, though I’ll be having to get to bed early since I’ll be getting up between 3:15 and 3:30 every day. Oh, how I dread days like that! But, as long as I’m working for someone else, I suppose I need to do what they need me to do, right?
But, this post isn’t going to be completely void of possibly meaningful information. I started reading a book this week (at the suggestion of my boss) called Time Management: Proven Techniques for Making the Most of Your Valuable Time by Marshall J. Cook. (No affiliate link there, guys! – I haven’t gotten that far yet!) Anywho…I’m about 93 pages into this 222 page book (sans index!) and so far, I’ve found it rather enjoyable. I’m surprised by that because I don’t typically like books like that, but it’s surprisingly easy to read and relate to and the information and suggestions make a lot of sense to me.
So far Marshall J. Cook has talked to me (through his pages) about the fact that you can’t find any more time in your day. In order for you to do something new, something old has to be sacrificed. For example, if you want to add exercise into your daily routine, SOMETHING has to be moved out – either that extra 30 minutes of sleep, or that time in front of the TV or whatever else it is that fills up your 24 hours each day. (This isn’t the only thing I’ve read in 93 pages…but it’s what I’m choosing to blog about.)
I guess the timing of starting to read this book is one of the reasons I find it so compelling. As you all know by now, I am “just starting” in Internet marketing. OK, so this blog has been up for a couple of weeks now, but so far I haven’t done anything related to Internet marketing other than what you’ve seen so far. (nope, I haven’t started my keyword research yet, Anna! But I will, I promise!) But one thing I noticed when I got started doing this was that I started watching a significantly smaller amount of television. Hi, I’m Dustin and I’m a TV junkie.
Television allows me to escape from the day and laugh at those people whose lives are written by other people. Unfortunately, it’s not a very good way to spend my time…not a whole lot can be gained by watching hours of TV every week. Now – I’m not saying that sitting in front of the computer instead is the BEST alternative, but at least I’m trying to accomplish something here. The only thing I’m trying to accomplish when I’m in front of the TV is…well…nothing! Since I started this blog I have had my mind actively engaged and have been expanding my social circle. Not only that but I’m working on building a foundation for myself where I can make money online. I have hardly watched much TV at all in the past 2 weeks!
I have got a busy weekend ahead of me. I intend to spend some time today catching up on the blogs I have started reading. Then I plan on reading more of this book and then starting on some keyword research. Pending any other off-line issues and errands that come up, I should start making some actual IM progress this weekend!
Oh, and I know some of you might we waiting to hear about my goals. Just as I haven’t done anything else with my blog, I haven’t done the goal thing yet either. But…while I do think I need to figure out what my goals are. I think I’ll probably start with broad goals and work my way to more finite goals. But whatever I do there, I am going to take some advice I got and not let the act of setting goals (which is difficult for me to do) impede my progress as an internet marketer.
Setting Goals – those two words are almost like a burden to me. The action they describe is essential for success, yet as simple as the task sounds, I find myself almost paralyzed in the fear of what is to come.
As I mentioned in a previous post, Lifehacker did an article about setting goals. They talked about the reasons that people don’t like to setting goals and I talked about how I felt like they were talking about me.
The act of setting goals is difficult for me for a few reasons. I always carry small goals around in my head. They’re usually small and insignificant goals that don’t mean much in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes I feel a sense of accomplishments when I meet those goals. Other times I wonder who I’m kidding because I feel that they’re not really goals at all.
Fear of failure – I would say this is the number one reason that I have a hard time plotting out my ambitions. I’m not superstitious, but perhaps there’s a small part of me that thinks that if I write something down that want, somehow I’ll make it not happen. Maybe it’s not so much that writing it down will make it not happen as much as it is that there is a HUGE fear that everyone will see me as a failure if I don’t meet those goals. Maybe the problem is that when things are written down, there’s PROOF that the goals were set. There’s no room for dancing around it later.
I think that’s one of the reasons I hesitate to make my new internet marketing journey public (I mean to the people who know me in real life!). If they see what I’m doing and go and look at my goals then there are people in REAL LIFE who can see me if I fail. But – to the strangers who exist in pixels (as Anna so eloquently put it!) if it all goes to Hell, I can always log off and step out of the Matrix.
Well, now there’s a problem. Perhaps it’s less a problem and more a solution. The problem is that I have befriended some people in the Matrix. These people (as far as I can tell anyway!) are interested in seeing me succeed. These people have offered up their time and advice and I cannot let them down now. I cannot let myself down now.
So I’ve made a decision. I will be setting goals. I will be writing them down. I will be posting them for the world to see. I have no idea what these goals will be just yet, but I hope to have them posted soon. I guess in a way I’m setting a goal now. I hope to have my goals posted by the end of this week. I would go for sooner, but this is actually going to be quite an arduous task for me and I need time to think about it and put it together.
What I would ask of my more experienced friends is do you have any advice you can offer up to help me with this? How do you go about deciding what your goals are and the time frames you give yourself to meet them? I have some ideas in my mind about where I’d like to go, but I really feel like I am very unqualified to set reasonable goals. This is where internet marketing starts to get difficult for me (at the beginning???).
For those who are interested. I have finished reading Holly’s book. I will be going back and figuring out where I need to start. But I have met that “goal”. Now it’s time to start REALLY setting goals.
After a relatively busy “personal day” I sat down in front of my computer anxious to blog about something. I had done a lot of blog reading before I had to go run some errands and it seems to me that I had a few ideas come to mind that I thought I could expand upon. Unfortunately when I sat down in front of my computer and actually pulled up my blog, I lost EVERYTHING that I had been thinking about earlier.
First of all, this made me realize the importance of having something with me at all times to record my ideas so that I don’t forget about them later. As I get older (and I’m still young!) I learn more and more that I should rely on just my memory less and less!
Secondly, I wasted an unbelievable amount of time just sitting here trying to come up with something that, again, could be meaningful and beneficial to my blog and to future bloggers who might happen upon my site. Finally, I made a decision. I decided not to blog.
I know that sounds odd now because I’m writing a blog post, but hear me out.
So I decided not to blog anything. I decided that I was going to close my laptop for now and just stop thinking about it for a bit. If something came to mind, then maybe I’d open up my laptop and start writing, but for now, I needed not to force something that wasn’t coming. I needed to avoid trying to make something from nothing.
That’s when it hit me. In making that decision, I realized my decision could once again be useful advice to other newbies getting started. Trying to force creativity can be just as frustrating as forcing yourself to do some work when you really just need a break. Not only that, but if you’re just manufacturing something for the sake of having something to post, it could very well turn out being content that works against you instead of for you. The key here is to post useful and meaningful content, right?
Before I close, I will pose a question to the more experienced bloggers and Internet Marketers that are reading my blog. Is my following conclusion worthwhile or is it something that could prove to be counter-productive to other newbies? Be brutally honest! It’s part of the learning experience.
Having asked that, I guess that makes two pieces of advice that I would say are coming out of today’s post. First, make sure to record your ideas in SOME way when you have them. Write them down, type them up, use a voice recorder, heck, call yourself and leave yourself a voicemail, but keep track of your ideas! Secondly, don’t force content and end up with something substandard that could result in disappointment not only for your readers, but more importantly for yourself. What’s the use in posting if it’s not going to be fruitful?
It’s truly amazing when something really does come from nothing…but in my newbie and humble opinion, it should not be forced!
Wow. When I first thought of that title for my post, I just thought of it as a title. But after I actually typed it, it really seemed to have an emotional hook to it!
The fact is I have not made ANY progress since my last blog post. Not one tiny bit. I don’t, however, see this as a negative thing. Do I need to make progress? Yes – I do. But the fact that I haven’t is not evidence of a lack of motivation.
First of all, I took yesterday off from blogging altogether. I didn’t post on my personal blog and I didn’t post on this IM blog. The reason I didn’t was really because of sheer exhaustion. When I jumped into this thing, I jumped in with both feet and just went at it full speed! Besides that, yesterday was a really rough day at work, and by the time I got home I had such a headache that all I wanted to do was lay down and rest. So – that’s what I did.
At first I felt incredibly guilty for doing that. I was thinking to myself that I was letting all my new found IM friends down by not putting the effort into growing yesterday. I felt like I was letting my wife down because she, too, wants to see me fulfill my dreams of being able to do the things I want to do and not be a “slave” to employment. Most of all, I felt like I was letting myself down. I felt like I was taking the night off and that it was all too possible that would be my stopping point. I was able to talk myself into not really believing all of that, but only because I had such a bad headache that I just couldn’t make myself do it.
That turned out to be a good thing! I came home today (I am writing all of my posts at night and publishing them in the morning…) and had more resolve than ever to get in front of my blog and type something…ANYTHING…as long as it could be meaningful. As I thought about what would mean something I decided that sharing my thoughts about my lack of progress could be insightful if someone came across this blog one day who was feeling like they just weren’t moving forward.
If I, as a complete newbie to the IM world, were to offer advice to other newbies getting started, I think I would say two things:
1)When you’re starting out…pace yourself. Don’t burn yourself out so that you begin to hate what you’re doing. So far I’ve had a lot of fun. If I had forced myself to read or blog last night, I think I probably would have just been grumpy and irritated. Sometimes rest can be just as important as progress!
2)Find yourself some good IM friends. Anna, Holly, Joe and Davin barely know me, but they have been INCREDIBLY uplifting and have offered some GREAT encouragement. It’s like Joe said in a comment in one of my posts…with friends like these, I have no choice but to succeed!
My lack of progress yesterday was just me hitting the pause button. I didn’t take any steps backward and I feel refreshed and ready to start moving forward again. I’m looking forward to this weekend because I’ll have some more time to sit down and finish reading Holly’s book and I’ll be able to start formulating my goals and business plans. The good news is I want this so bad I can taste it. I am excited and motivated and can’t wait to start learning and implementing more and more!
I truly hope others enjoy reading this post as much as I enjoyed writing it…but you know what? Even as I was writing this post I realized more and more just how dedicated I have become to this. So if nothing else, this post was great for me!
Getting started in Internet Marketing seems to be, so far, a hurdle that I am having a hard time reaching, much less actually overcoming.
I know it’s only been a couple of days since I started this blog. I know I have to learn to crawl before I learn to walk. But I find myself getting frustrated already that I haven’t figured out what I’m actually going to do from the standpoint of making money online.
I guess that part of the reason I’m frustrated is now I’m back into my weekly work schedule and don’t have the time to do what I WANT to do – and that is work full-time on building income streams online.
One step at a time, Dustin. One step at a time.
I will say this, though. I found that today I was in a much better mood at work than I have been lately. I actually felt a little “lighter” today because I felt like there was a light shining at the end of the tunnel. I don’t hate my job, or my boss, or anything like that. I get frustrated with the way things go at work sometimes. A lot more lately than I used to. But over all I just feel so overwhelmed at work and, as I stated in my “About Me” page, I am not feeling that sense of satisfaction that I want by being involved in something that I feel really matters. The fact that I am working toward financial freedom is a stunningly refreshing feeling…even if I haven’t taken the first IM steps just yet.
So, there’s the update, but in the spirit of posting the questions that arise as well, I want to know what my (more experienced) friends think. As I am reading through Holly’s book, I keep finding myself thinking, “Ooooh, I gotta put do this now!” or “Hey, I gotta try that now!” In my mind I told myself from the beginning “Read the whole book first for the information. Then go back and read through again for instruction and implementation.” So far, I’ve done ok, but I’m getting anxious and impatient.
Should I stick with my initial gut of “read first, then go back and implement” or is there some advantage to trying out techniques as I read them? One of my biggest obstacles I’m going to have to overcome in this journey is my fear of failure. I read a blog post today (and for the life of me can’t find the link right now!) that talked about how you have to accept failures as a part of doing business and although I logically understand that, the thought is actually painful for me.
So – is my “read first, implement later” reaction something that’s risen out of my fear of failure or is it just good solid advice from the depths of my being?
Please – share of your wisdom! You’ve been here before, what did you do?