Getting started online is scary.
No longer are you entitled to a paycheck at the end of every two week period. If you don’t work and earn your pay, nothing comes in. Sometimes, even when you work hard, the money doesn’t flow until you find your footing in your niche.
So it’s no wonder that many men and women feel an enormous amount of self doubt whenever they’re trying to choose which business model is best for them.
The options are staggering.
Sometimes Self Doubt Is Really Just Fear
Sometimes, it’s not even about the number of opportunities you’re presented with – a virtual buffet of goodies tempting you at every corner. Instead, it all boils down to one thing – fear.
Fear is the obstacle that makes self doubt rear its ugly head. Self doubt is actually a bit different from fear, though. With self doubt, you know in your heart that you’ll be choosing one of the business models – you just find it hard to pick between them.
You might feel worried that the one you choose is the worst of the two. Maybe your newbie label is guiding you wrong. So you hesitate – or sometimes, jump right in on something, only to decide a short while later to leave and try something else before it fully gets going.
This is commonly known as shiny new object syndrome, and it’s a common occurrence. But it’s not really because you’re distracted. You move from thing to thing because you’re procrastinating with fear.
You get involved in something and suddenly you worry that the option you left on the side of the road might have been better. Maybe easier. Maybe it would have made you more money.
So you fail to follow through on the business model you chose so that you can get involved in something else. This takes the pressure off of you, right? Because it’s easier to say, “I haven’t made any money yet – but I’ve only been at this 30 days,” than it is to say, “I still haven’t made any money and I’ve been doing this for three months.”
Nobody wants to feel like a failure. So you free yourself from that by making sure you always have a guaranteed excuse to not cause yourself to have any regrets. The truth is, you should regret not following through.
With online marketing, there are so many choices, that people sometimes worry that if they choose one path, it means closing off the door to another. When you think of it, though, it’s best to choose a niche that allows you to implement more than one business model.
You can still follow through on one at a time, but you have leeway to add more branches of your business over time. For example, you might start with affiliate marketing, then add product creation, and then coaching.
Pick a Business Model That Plays to Your Strengths
Since the pressure to choose a business model can now be taken off the table, the worst of your worries is to find which one best suits you to start with. Because they’re all viable on down the road.
Start by figuring out where your strengths lie – along with your comfort level. For example, do you like working for others? If you can take directions and complete projects for marketers who are already established, it can take the pressure off of you as you learn more about making money online.
That also includes being a virtual assistant to another marketer. You can earn money being behind the scenes – watching what another person does to succeed online and helping them build their business while you take notes on how to do it.
Do you have incredible software or plugin creation skills? These types of technical skills are something not many people have. Find a way to create something that helps people do their jobs easier or better and you’ll be providing a benefit to your niche community.
Do you feel confident creating info products? This is a fantastic business that helps you develop more self confidence. You can work with different media formats (text, video and audio), in a variety of niches, and provide different forms of products.
One might be private label rights, where you create a product and sell it to multiple buyers to use as their own product. Another might be a membership site where people log in and get tutorials on how to do something. And don’t forget traditional eBook publishing that informs and educated readers.
If you like writing, you might enjoy putting your self doubt at ease by working under a pen name on Kindle, publishing both non fiction and fiction materials to eager, hungry audiences.
Never be afraid to jump right into coaching, too. If you have a lot of insight to offer someone, they might be willing to pay for personal hand holding and mentoring along the way.
Choose a Business Model You Feel You’d Get Satisfaction Out Of
While it’s important to feel at ease with whatever business model you choose, you also want to get some satisfaction out of whatever you’re working on day in, day out. You don’t want to dread work as an entrepreneur.
Of course, profits are one way to get satisfaction out of your efforts. If people pay big money for whatever it is that you do, it will make you feel good about creating that product for consumption.
But that’s not the only way to gain satisfaction from your efforts. You want to feel good about how it helps people, too. If you write a guide on how to lose weight, and people succeed with your advice – then you’re changing lives!
Pick a business model that allows you to enjoy the customers you’re working with. This is important because you want to feel confident serving them, and if they’re hostile and grumpy, it will take all of the pleasure out of your daily tasks.
Choose a business model where you enjoy learning new things. You should strive to get out of your comfort zone. When you get too stagnant, it makes you feel bored and restless.
It’s okay to select a business model with a steep learning curve – as long as you’re willing to do the work to understand and implement new ideas that previously were foreign to you.
And sometimes, it’s thrilling to work with a business model where technology is always evolving. For example, text hasn’t changed much over the years. You write in Word and publish in PDF.
But take a concept like video marketing, and suddenly you have video blogging, video sales copy, video courses, and live streaming video on social networking sites! This is something that helps you stay relevant and edgy if you’re willing to stay abreast of trends.
Does it make you feel better when people express gratitude and are impressed by your skills? If that would ease your self doubt, then by all means, choose a business model that packs a punch in the area of confidence boosting!
If people are always telling you what a great writer you are, then take a leap of faith and start publishing info products or Kindle novels and see if you can reach a wider audience.
Sometimes, you won’t know what the best choice is until you dig in and try it. It might take a few tries. You might discover something new about yourself and be able to run with it for big time success online.
Consider Growing More Than One Business Model at a Time
There’s nothing in the entrepreneurial rulebook that says you’re restricted to growing only one business model at a time, is there? Of course not. This is your business – so your rules apply and no one else’s.
When you sit there looking over all of the mouth-watering business models, and you get plagued with self doubt because you aren’t sure which path to take, consider the approach that lets you dabble in several at once.
This is very indulgent and rewarding, but it has to be right for you before you take it on. For starters – can you afford a slower growth in terms of income? When you’re pursuing more than one business branch, it means dividing your attention between more than one focus, so things won’t flourish as quickly as if you dedicated all of your time to one thing.
Building multiple business branches all at once allows you to see where you’re most needed in the marketplace. It also shows you where you’re best received by your target audience.
Additionally, you’ll find out what it is that you simply enjoy most of all – and you can ramp up your pursuit of that business model and minimize (or let go of) others that don’t provide as much satisfaction.
For example, if your membership programs are thriving and the fan base is rabid (and growing), then you’ll know that based on those factors, along with the fact that you wake up every day enjoying the membership operation – are telling you it’s what you should be doing.
But if your heart’s not in creating private label rights, for example, and the packs you’re writing aren’t selling well, it could be a sign that you just weren’t cut out for that particular business model.
It’s okay to reverse course, change your mind, and tweak things as you go. You have that freedom and right as an entrepreneur. As long as you’re not using the change of course as an excuse to never follow through to completion, it’s okay.
Working on more than one business model at a time helps you in more ways than one. It protects you financially because it means you’re not putting all of your eggs in one basket.
Over the years, there have been many men and women who encountered financial ruin because they focused on one business model and built it up, only to see it disappear as an income stream when they woke up one morning.
This can be devastating, and it’s happened to people with Amazon Associate accounts, people with AdSense sites, and those who built a good income stream on social networks like Squidoo.
Taking the Stress Off of Your Business Decisions
One thing you never want, that often comes along with self doubt – is stress. When you start hesitating and questioning your decisions, it can lead to a very stressful situation. This ends up being paralyzing, and impacts your mood and your health.
You’ll need to know how to handle well-meaning friends and family members who always feel like it’s their duty to chime in on your business decisions. They think that by giving input on what they think, they’re somehow helping you.
Take it for what it’s worth and then set it aside to make your decision based on what you want. If their advice is unrelenting, then it might be best to keep your cards close to your chest and make decisions quietly on your own, rather than invite the barrage of input from others.
Make sure you don’t just jump on one bandwagon and the next. Taking advantage of trends and fads is great – as long as you don’t build your entire business around it. A more solid approach that won’t make your self doubt creep in is to adhere to a solid, evergreen business model that won’t go out of fashion days, weeks or months later.
As with everything related to online marketing, the best thing you can do going into a business on the Internet is not to expect overnight earnings. No matter which business model you choose, there will be a period of time when you have to work for free.
It’s usually in the beginning stages – when you prove yourself to your audience by delivering more than you take. When you provide free advice and insight and don’t ask for anything in return.
Even with products that you produce for sale, the return on your investment of time and effort takes a little while to pay off. For example, a Kindle book’s earnings wouldn’t show up in your bank account for two months.
So as you sit there contemplating your options with the various online business models, brainstorm with excitement in mind. There is so much potential for success! You’re not restricted and you have the ability to combine and tweak these options any way you like.
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(Part 5 of a 6 x Part Series of Helpful ‘Self-Doubt’ Articles)