I’ve worked and talked with a lot of people over the years who wanted to either supplament or completely replace their regular income with an online business, and I’ve probably learned as much–or more–from helping them as they did from me.
You see, I like to study people. No matter what the venue or circumstances are, it’s my nature to watch and pay attention to how people view and react to different things, and by observing people in this way it usually gives me insights that I can rely on for improving my own business and life.
One of the more obvious tendancies I’ve picked up on with people looking to build an online income stream, and it doesn’t matter if their goal is to earn spare cash or a full time living from it, is that nearly everybody seems to anticipate it will happen very quickly.
News shows, talk shows, magazines, Internet Marketers selling money making systems–they’re always telling stories about someone who just threw up a simple website and suddenly the money or fame came rolling in to them.
Sure, that happens once in a great while, maybe 0.0001% of the time even…but for the vast majority of people that isn’t the reality you’re going to see. It’s just what gets told in stories because it makes for good info-tainment.
The best advice I ever got, and that I think I’ve ever passed on to others, was that it’s crucial to think big, but start small.
By that I mean you should be plotting your course to a grand ultimate goal, but the waypoints between starting out and getting there should be made up of small, obtainable steps.
There are a few reasons why this is such good advice. Having incremental goals between where you are and where you want to be lets you measure the success and failure of everything you’re doing along the way.
Some things will work for you, and others won’t. If you don’t measure and evaluate as you go, then you’ll soon find yourself overwhelmed with things to do, and many of them won’t be benefiting you anyway.
Small step goals give you plenty of opportunity to adjust your course as you go. There will be new challenges and new opportunities that you never imagined when you first started that pop up from time to time, and if your focus is on the “big picture” of your end goal, you’re likely to trip over these sudden obstacles and completely miss these moments of opportunity.
Smaller goals are more obtainable goals, and with each one you reach you’ll find yourself gaining enthusiasm about what you’re doing rather than growing frustrated by chasing some far-off goal all the time.
It’s okay to say to yourself “I want to reach $250 per day in earnings and quit my job”, that’s a fine and obtainable end goal to start out with, but you should have 10 to 20 waypoint goals between the Zero per day you’re starting from and that $250 per day level.
Start small, set a $1 per day income goal. Believe it or not that’s one of the harder goals I’ve seen for many people. It takes a lot of effort and learning to actually build a consistant income stream of just $1 per day.
But, once you get over that hurdle, it starts getting easier. I’ve found that it’s easier to increase earnings from $1 per day up to $10 per day than it is to just reach that steady $1 per day mark starting from scratch. So you see, by setting your first goal small, it will force you to really focus down on what you’re doing and you’ll get there quicker.
Once you reach that first goal, set your next one at $5 per day, or $10 per day, just keep it close. Once you get to that one, set your next goal at $20 or $25 per day, then $50 per day, and so on.
With each goal you reach you’re going to be building on top of success, which gets easier and easier as you go, plus by keeping your goals close you’re going to stay focused on what’s most important to you and your business at that moment in time, thus avoiding pitfalls and being prepared to explore sudden opportunities that arise.