Ever feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle? Ever feel like you can’t catch a lucky break? Yea, me too. And it’s part of the life for new online entrepreneurs. It can get lonely and discouraging when you’re getting started. Your friends and family may not be able to relate. You don’t know what you don’t know, and it can be hard to know where to turn to get help. This episode gets personal – all these frustrations and what I do to get through it when it hits me is what I’m talking about here.
Welcome back. This is The Adventures in Digital Marketing Podcast. My name is Rob Orr and I’m your host.
Today, we’re going to talk about some of the challenges that come with starting an online business. I’ve been working on this for a long time and I really feel a lot like Thomas Edison when it came to inventing the light bulb.
He was known to say something along the lines of, “I haven’t failed 10,000 times. I’ve just found 10,000 different ways not to invent the light bulb” or something like that. That’s a nice sentiment, but I think it doesn’t really do justice to the challenge that we sometimes feel when it comes to trying to start a business and tried to do something that is really going to elevate our lives.
For me, the whole reason behind why I’m doing what I’m doing is to build additional income for my family and to get out of debt and to try to start to put together some savings for our future. We have been through a lot over our lives. When I say “our” I mean my family, my wife, my daughter and myself.
We’ve been married for 16 years. My daughter is 14. She’ll be 15 next April. We’ve had some really rough patches in our life. We’ve been extremely broke. We have been on the verge of financial disaster on more than one occasion.
Thankfully, we’ve been fortunate enough to have found ourselves with opportunities that we were able to get involved with in terms of being better at our work or learning new things and growing and building our skill set to do different things with life.
For instance, I’ve told the story about when I graduated from Florida State went into sales and I spent a couple years in sales after I graduated. I hated it. It was absolutely horrific in my estimation I should say.
I just didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t enjoy the pressure. I didn’t enjoy the constant haranguing that we got from the sales management. I wrote it in a post one time that it seems like that the sales managers were those people who were just grateful that they didn’t have to be out on the road anymore still selling.
So they we’re more than willing to let that pressure roll off of their shoulders and on us. I decided that I needed to change and that change didn’t go smoothly. It wasn’t really very easy to make.
It took some time and some effort and some test and retest those kinds of things where I’m trying to figure out where I’m going and what I’m doing and trying to find something that works. It did work out where I started doing web development, full time.
It didn’t pay very much in the first couple spots that I had it and I had successes and I had failures. It was really challenging. There was a lot of discouragement and a lot of fretting.
We were young parents and here I am, I’m the man of the family here and I’m hoping to be able to be the one that is the substantial bread earner for our family. It took a while to get there.
Thankfully, to make a long story short, we got there. We found ourselves in that in a good place. I’ve got a great gig as a day gig and I’ve got great colleagues and we finally have found stability over the last probably eight years.
It’s been much more encouraging, but those times where things were super, super lean and super, super hard. We’re really lean and really hard. It left a financial mark on our lives in the sense that we were just trying to scrape by.
We were trying to just be able to make ends meet and be able to keep our lights on and keep food on the table and be able to make it to the next payday. Well, we’ve done that, but it didn’t provide a lot of flexibility to build this huge nest egg.
So I’ve been working and experimenting with this online world for since I got started in web development. It was kind of what got me started to begin with.
I’ve been learning and experimenting and trying different things. That’s where I’m coming from in terms of my digital marketing adventure. It’s been several years since I initially started this.
Like I said, in another episode I decided that I would forego the marketing piece of this early on and just learn how to become a web developer, but over the last probably two years I’ve really been trying to learn a lot more when it comes to digital marketing and being successful and building passive income streams, building things online that like Dan Miller from 48 days to the work you love says.
He says that, he talks about how he earns money when he’s sleeping with some of the products that he’s created. That’s really kind of been my goal is to be able to do that just to be able to use my experience and my skills and my abilities to create products that will help people to do business online or to make use of the things that I know how to do so that they can do something for themselves.
That’s been my challenge. What happens is it can be really discouraging and confusing. What I mean by that, I’m going to start with a second, but first is when you’re doing digital marketing and one of the biggest challenges is you don’t know what you don’t know.
It’s easy to get frustrated when you see other people have success because you feel like you’ve put in your hours and you feel like you’ve put in your time to be successful. You’re wondering why the needle is not moving. I know because that’s where I’ve been in the past. It’s something that I battle with.
It’s something that is a challenge even now for me to overcome because I’ve put a lot of time and effort into learning how to do these things. I don’t understand why things aren’t working the way they’re supposed to work. It reminds me of an example.
Few years ago, I was working with a client and they brought in a consultant that was alleged “digital marketing guru” who would come in and help them with their products and help them with their sales funnel and help them to refine their sales copy and all that stuff. They spent an awful lot of time and money working with this person only to end up with no results.
I remember the response that we were getting from the consultant was, “I’m just not real sure why this isn’t working.” This person would— we talked about how we’re applying these principles and all this stuff should really be working better than it is.
Ultimately, it didn’t and it was really discouraging for all of us that we weren’t able to see more success out of what that was or what we were trying to do then. And ultimately, they ended up wasting a lot of money on that consultant.
It was really discouraging. The thing is, when you’re doing digital marketing, it’s easy to get discouraged because it takes a lot of work to get from point A to point B and then once you get to point B you realize that you need to go to point C and then point D and then you keep going to point L, M and all the way X, Y and Z. Then by the time you get to Z then you realize you got to go do something else entirely.
There’s a lot of work and a lot of effort and a lot of time and a lot of learning that goes into this. It brings me back to the point that Russell Brunson made that what he’s talking about The One Funnel Away concept he means by that, that it could be that the next funnel you create, but it also may be the 37th funnel that you create.
It may be the 50th funnel that you create. It could be something that is totally unexpected down the line because there’s a learning process. There’s a learning curve. There is a lot of time and effort that you got to spend refining these things. It is.
It’s challenging. It’s the two biggest challenges that you’re going to face are among other things are discouragement and confusion. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with great people and peers who are trying to do the same thing that you’re trying to do.
I know I’ve talked about this in reference to The One Funnel Away Challenge, the Facebook group that is part of that is one of the most valuable pieces because you get to be alongside people that are trying to do similar kinds of things when it comes to internet marketing.
It’s not just The One Funnel Away Challenge. Its lots of other groups. There are lots of groups on Facebook where you can go and participate in these groups and get feedback and accountability and be around people that are trying to do similar kinds of things so that you can make progress in your business and your efforts.
Then there’s people that can come alongside you when you get discouraged and you get frustrated because if there’s anything that I’ve learned about this digital marketing experiment over the last couple years is that it’s not easy.
It’s nowhere near as clear cut as the guru’s would make it be, or make it seem because a lot of times in their sales scripts they’re talking about, “Hey, this is the solution you’ve been looking for. All you need is this and you’ll start doing, producing whatever result.”
It sometimes just kind of funny, but I say all that to say it’s just for me, it’s a challenge every day to remember why I’m doing what I’m doing. That’s why I was telling you about my struggles early on about where we came from and kind of the history over the last 16 years of our marriage is the reason the why for what I’m doing is because I want to take care of my family because I want to be able to move the needle and do things for my wife and my daughter that are incredible, that are going to leave a lasting impression that are going to set— for instance, to be able to set my daughter up for success in life and to be able to provide for her and provide for my wife and give us some breathing room financially.
If anything else comes above and beyond that great. I’ll be more than happy for that. So entrepreneurship is a challenge and got to be surrounded by great people to be successful.
Your network is super, super important. That’s all I have for today is what has been on my mind is in my own efforts is that the challenges that I face and the things that I’m doing these are—it’s just part of the price that you got to pay to be successful online. I don’t want to say be successful because it doesn’t even make sense. It’s part of the price that you pay in your digital marketing adventure.
That’s really the truth because you can’t do it without being faced with those challenges. Then there are other challenges like imposter syndrome and those kinds of things that will challenge you, too.
All that to say, if you’ve ever struggled with these things, you’re not alone. It’s a big deal. It’s a big challenge.
But, I believe that there’s light at the end of the tunnel as you make it through these things that you’re bringing yourself one step closer to finding the success that you’re looking for. That’s what I’ve got for today.