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The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
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GT777733 Offline
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Post: #26
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-02-2018 03:47 PM)scengja Wrote:  Nice thread, and I can relate to a lot of things said as a founder myself. When people ask me about the most surprising thing you learn after you start a business I always say the same thing: I did not expect it to be such a fucking emotional roller-coaster. The moments of doubt will be loooong and brutal (for many people it will never go away regardless how big your company gets). Too often my mood is directly related to my sales: sales suck one week I mentally start preparing to sleep under a bridge. Sales pick up, I start googling the best jet share programs.

I have finally reached a level now after 4 years of constant hustling where I make more than I would at a normal job. During this time it has been very rare that I work-work more than 8 hours a day but of course you are in some ways "always" working: If I am at the gym I listen to some industry podcast, and in the evenings you are always responding to some emails.

One big realization is that depending on what you are doing, aka "the idea", the resistance will wary a lot. Keep this in mind when you are starting out. The rewards will not be proportionate to the work put in. There are hard and there are really fucking hard ways to make money. In an ideal world follow the principles in Thiel's From Zero To One (or at least some of them). However never get TOO hung-up on "the idea" when starting out, doing is all that matters. I stopped listening to friends a long time ago who try and pitch me something after a few drinks if I know that they have no history of executing ideas.

So is it all worth it? For me at least there are just no options. Going back to selling my time for money at a corporate job? The idea honestly seems absurd to me now.
100% dude.

I compare starting out to making a go kart in your shed, and then riding down a super massive hill.

Every second you are wondering "Are the freaking wheels going to fall off this thing or am I going to be ok?". It's just a perpetual uncertainty. You can't plan anything because you literally have no idea what your financial future holds.

You're right though. It does get better and things start levelling out and becoming more predictable. You have to just commit to that first 3-5 years of breaking your balls to figure things out and evolve yourself first
08-03-2018 02:42 AM
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GT777733 Offline
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Post: #27
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-02-2018 07:45 PM)DaveR Wrote:  Welcome to RVF. Great post - very inspiring.

(08-02-2018 01:40 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  - learn about the realities of how business (lead gen, fulfillment etc), banks, taxes, fees, accountants, lawyers etc. Can be monotonous and depressing as heck to see how this part of the world really works. Once you've seen some of the things that go on, it can be hard to accept.

It's always a shock when you start paying your own taxes. There's something about writing a cheque that is so much harder to accept than simply seeing a line printed on your payslip.

I don't have a lot of experience in Australia, but did visit once about a decade ago. Lifestyle-wise it's quite a nice place to be. I think you'd be hard pressed to find better beaches anywhere. On the other hand, comments here on RVF seem to indicate that the dating market leaves a lot to be desired. Have those realities that you wrote about made you consider relocating? It must be hard not to look at your taxes (30% corporate?) and the high cost of living now that you have a location-independent business... are you tempted by the possibility of opimizing those taxes to well under 10% and living well for half the cost?
In terms of quality of living, putting dating aside, Australia is stunning.
Beautiful weather, beautiful beaches, lots of nature and wildlife, great health care, super safe.
But yes, the cost of living and business is very high.
I'm currently looking at what I want to do to keep costs down - whether I relocate or stay, and what I do to invest etc.
Dating wise - I've been almost everywhere in my younger 20's in America, Europe, Scandinavia, Russia, Thailand and parts of Indonesia.
Something I've noticed is it depends entirely on who you are as to how you go in a particular country or state. For example, I do nowhere near as well in Australia as I've done in Vegas, Washington DC, Florida, Savannah, Austin, Scandinavia, Russia, Belarus and Thailand. Being a foreigner could have helped me with that though - novelty factor, US girls love Australian accents, and some european girls like Australian guys because we are different.
The stereotypes of Australia are mostly true though - super left leaning education, universities, work places and government.
Many people here have it very easy so they like to complain about basic things and there's very very few people who want to live anything other than an average life. The girls are very much like this for the most part - same as lots of the guys. But, that's the same as any western country nowadays. Just have to accept it and find a situation that works for you.
08-03-2018 03:11 AM
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Post: #28
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-02-2018 09:08 PM)RoadTo100 Wrote:  I can relate to this. I've been struggling on an online product business for over 1 year now (my partner has wanted to quit 3 times already) and only now are we starting to see some solid growth ... One big difference between my partner and me is that I have saved up well over 6-figures over the last 4 years working online (services business), whereas my partner has <30K.

If you've got a big cash cushion, starting a business is pretty stress-free. In fact, since I fully trust my partner I have been paying him a cost-of-living wage to focus 100% on our business while I work part-time on it and part-time in my services business. Since starting that arrangement, we got a huge boost in momentum (as opposed to before when both of us were part-time) because now he can tackle the ambitious, needle-moving tasks that before were too intimidating as part-timers. And I'm still basically break-even financially paying for all that and my own living expenses.

Based on this I'd say:

1.) If the jump to a "product"-style business is too much (like the OPs affiliate marketing which has a long learning curve), start by freelancing online first. Then as soon as you can find 1 client, you are making money already

2.) As you go through your life and career, always keep a thought in your head about who you could potentially work with in the future. Having a *GOOD* business partner makes things 10x easier (whereas you only lose 2x of your equity)
Business partners are not for everyone.

I almost started business with a friend when I first started, and if I did, it would have been a monumental mistake. He just wasn't committed and it would have been such a mess.

I'd advise anyone new not to partner up until at least a year or two in, or until you know all your risks and what you're doing.

But, in your situation, it sounds like you know what you're doing and it works well for both of you - so yes, in your situation it sounds like you have done the right thing. I agree - if you can find a business partner that handles the stuff you don't want to or the stuff you aren't concentrating on, it can be a great way to do business. I've seen it work out great for some people.
08-03-2018 03:16 AM
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Post: #29
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-02-2018 01:40 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  I made my money out of affiliate marketing....

I don't speak from experience, but this might be a big part of the stress. My understanding of AM is that you're engaged in activities to sell other people's products. The methods are more technical, but it isn't that different from commission-based sales work. With AM you have far more autonomy and can choose the products you want to sell, but you don't really own anything except your knowledge and experience.

Since you have very little leverage and basically no ownership, you are at the mercy of other factors. What if Google changes a policy and you get fucked over? What if the company running one of the affiliate programs you have invested a lot of time into lowers that commission percentage? These questions would keep any sane person awake at night.

I'm a big advocate of a product based approach to business, where you own your own products and have a business this is bigger than the products themselves.

Sure, even this approach is not without it's challenges and stress, but it seems preferable not to be at the mercy of every rising and lowering of the tides.

I suggest this to prompt discussion, not because it's an opinion I'm attached to. GT, what do you think?
08-03-2018 03:32 AM
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Post: #30
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-03-2018 03:32 AM)Suits Wrote:  
(08-02-2018 01:40 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  I made my money out of affiliate marketing....

I don't speak from experience, but this might be a big part of the stress. My understanding of AM is that you're engaged in activities to sell other people's products. The methods are more technical, but it isn't that different from commission-based sales work. With AM you have far more autonomy and can choose the products you want to sell, but you don't really own anything except your knowledge and experience.

Since you have very little leverage and basically no ownership, you are at the mercy of other factors. What if Google changes a policy and you get fucked over? What if the company running one of the affiliate programs you have invested a lot of time into lowers that commission percentage? These questions would keep any sane person awake at night.

I'm a big advocate of a product based approach to business, where you own your own products and have a business this is bigger than the products themselves.

Sure, even this approach is not without it's challenges and stress, but it seems preferable not to be at the mercy of every rising and lowering of the tides.

I suggest this to prompt discussion, not because it's an opinion I'm attached to. GT, what do you think?

You are half right and half wrong about affiliate marketing.

Google is only one way to drive traffic - and it can sometimes be a very effective way.
The people that I see that get screwed over by Google updates are the ones who go black hat and are in it for quick money. They don't respect the process and end up getting burnt. Some people can recover from updates and some people can't.

You are absolutely right about being at the mercy of the program or programs you are with. I've had half my income wiped away overnight by a commission rate change a few years ago, and in the first 2-3 years, I basically woke up every morning to check my email to see if one innocent mistake in violating affiliate terms and conditions could have led to me being banned from a program (some programs have huge lists of terms and conditions and you can try your best to abide but you might get one customer service person who checks what you're doing and decides to ban you). Although quite rare, it is a possibility, and sometimes you can't get re-instated.

RE your own product - unless you are doing an info product or an e-book, I just don't think the average person with little help or no help can manage to put together their own product. There's just too much to consider to move it at any level which scalable and worth it.
I've seen some people do it - but very few.
It's just much easier and less risk overall to pick products and services you believe in and start by marketing them.
08-03-2018 04:02 AM
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Post: #31
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-03-2018 03:32 AM)Suits Wrote:  
(08-02-2018 01:40 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  I made my money out of affiliate marketing....

I don't speak from experience, but this might be a big part of the stress. My understanding of AM is that you're engaged in activities to sell other people's products. The methods are more technical, but it isn't that different from commission-based sales work. With AM you have far more autonomy and can choose the products you want to sell, but you don't really own anything except your knowledge and experience.

Since you have very little leverage and basically no ownership, you are at the mercy of other factors. What if Google changes a policy and you get fucked over? What if the company running one of the affiliate programs you have invested a lot of time into lowers that commission percentage? These questions would keep any sane person awake at night.

I'm a big advocate of a product based approach to business, where you own your own products and have a business this is bigger than the products themselves.

Sure, even this approach is not without it's challenges and stress, but it seems preferable not to be at the mercy of every rising and lowering of the tides.

I suggest this to prompt discussion, not because it's an opinion I'm attached to. GT, what do you think?

Having done this myself after seeing friends do this successfully (but not speaking for GT as he may have a different approach):

The general approach is to make as much bank as possible in the affiliate space (a fair bit blackhat/cloaked especially to get working capital in the beginning if you start with nothing), and then pivot into product ownership once you're past the "oh shit I need money" part or get bored.

It's very possible to do high 6 -> 7 fig years as an affiliate, which covers your ass for years provided you keep your spending from going out of control. When campaigns are cranking and you're pulling 10k days it's hard to not go and blow a bunch of it Angel

Assuming you survive the baller blowout, have kept up with paying your taxes, and haven't gotten stiffed for 6 figures by any advertisers, at that stage you have a 6/7 figure buffer and can live for at least a few years (hopefully more), even if you made 0 money in the meantime.

So, after 2-4 years in the affiliate space you have
1) significant resources to throw at new ventures - your own product(s),
2) enough knowledge of marketing and paid traffic that if you plan and test correctly your chances of success are very high - in fact you should be running tests before even building a product so that you never build anything that is not viable
3) true business experience negotiating with shady affiliate networks and advertisers (absolutely priceless, you learn how things REALLY work)

The problem with starting from scratch with your own product is this. You can have the best traffic in the world, but if the offer is not structured correctly it does not matter. Just because you build it does not mean they will come, and that cannot be emphasised enough - one of my first rookie errors way back when I started.

I've seen several examples of people who are "experts" in their niche, from dating to fitness to health to weird shit, but get absolutely destroyed when putting their offer to the world because they lack an indepth understanding of how MARKETING works.

People don't realise it's a completely different skillset. It is just as important as your product itself! Most people have their product at a 95/100 but marketing skill at a 1/100, and it's a huge huge huge issue. In that situation I know a few guys that have successfully hired or partnered with an expert, but then they were already in a position where they had enough cash to get these experts interested in the first place.

In these days of extremely sophisticated online advertising technology, it should not take you years to get traction. Build out a properly structured funnel for your pre-tested offer, and if you are tracking the correct metrics you know within weeks/a month or two.

To contextualise: if I have an MVP that doesn't show life (i.e break even or profit on the front end at $500+/day spend) within 3-4 weeks, after maxing out my marketing abilities and running my process by a few close friends, I'm done - it's time for new product. But the real time saver here is that I don't build out the full product until I know I can sell it, so really most of the time I invested was in the sales process (ads/angles, optin pages, advertorials, webinar script etc + skeleton layout of product)
(This post was last modified: 08-03-2018 04:19 AM by HustleNomad.)
08-03-2018 04:13 AM
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Post: #32
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
There are certain beliefs in this thread that I disagree with with. Add me to the group of individuals making more than $10K in a month, but I also enjoy the stress that comes with the job. I enjoy the quotas, retiring said quotas, and getting paid out accordingly. I have a happy relationship, a good life, and while, like everyone, I have stressors, they are few and far between.

I don't agree with the correlation that high paying jobs = stressful jobs = do it for a few years, suck it up and then leave.
08-04-2018 11:21 AM
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Suits Offline
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Post: #33
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-03-2018 04:02 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  
(08-03-2018 03:32 AM)Suits Wrote:  Since you have very little leverage and basically no ownership, you are at the mercy of other factors. What if Google changes a policy and you get fucked over? What if the company running one of the affiliate programs you have invested a lot of time into lowers that commission percentage? These questions would keep any sane person awake at night.

Google is only one way to drive traffic - and it can sometimes be a very effective way.
The people that I see that get screwed over by Google updates are the ones who go black hat and are in it for quick money. They don't respect the process and end up getting burnt. Some people can recover from updates and some people can't.

Changes in search engine algorithm is just one off the top of my head example of why being dependent on other people's platforms is a disadvantage.

(08-03-2018 04:02 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  You are absolutely right about being at the mercy of the program or programs you are with. I've had half my income wiped away overnight by a commission rate change a few years ago, and in the first 2-3 years, I basically woke up every morning to check my email to see if one innocent mistake in violating affiliate terms and conditions could have led to me being banned from a program.

This is also a major issue, obviously, but to me the largest concern with AM is that it simply isn't your product and it isn't really your platform. This means that the long term pay-off your hard work is reduced because nothing you build is very scalable.

Which leads us to...

(08-03-2018 04:02 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  Unless you are doing an info product or an e-book, I just don't think the average person with little help or no help can manage to put together their own product. There's just too much to consider to move it at any level which scalable and worth it.
I've seen some people do it - but very few.

I agree that it is difficult, but I'm not confident that the average person couldn't do it. Although I'm hardly a proven success myself, I mentor a number of guys in their early 20's who are just starting out with building a business around a specific product category. In most cases, they aren't the actual product creator themselves and in some cases, they don't all strike me as more capable than average.

What makes me believe that they have the potential for success is the simple fact that they are satisfying a need. As an example, one guy travels to south-east Asia a couple times a year and buys a couple suitcases worth of little trinkets that are small, but look valuable. These aren't things that any tourist would have any trouble finding on the streets of Bangkok, but there are not something you'd generally see outside of SEA.

He then combines them with cheap ass (but durable) do-it-yourself jewelry kits and puts them in a random nice wood box (also cheap). His production costs per unit are about $3, but he has a few clients who can sell them for $35 in their retail locations.

Right now he's working on selling them from a website. So far, it's not a huge success, but he's getting close to ironing out the kinks.

The product isn't innovative at all, but it fills the need and took him less than a month to figure out how to put it all together as an attractive product.

(08-03-2018 04:02 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  It's just much easier and less risk overall to pick products and services you believe in and start by marketing them.

Of course it is easier, but there's also less pay off long-term. You don't developing assets that you own rights to.

You are, as another member has pointed out, developing skills.

(08-03-2018 04:13 AM)HustleNomad Wrote:  After 2-4 years in the affiliate space you have
1) significant resources to throw at new ventures - your own product(s),
2) enough knowledge of marketing and paid traffic that if you plan and test correctly your chances of success are very high - in fact you should be running tests before even building a product so that you never build anything that is not viable
3) true business experience negotiating with shady affiliate networks and advertisers (absolutely priceless, you learn how things REALLY work)

The problem with starting from scratch with your own product is this. You can have the best traffic in the world, but if the offer is not structured correctly it does not matter. Just because you build it does not mean they will come, and that cannot be emphasised enough - one of my first rookie errors way back when I started.

There are a lot of young guys who are just figuring things out, developing skills and learning what they are capable of doing. If they have no business ideas to pursue, they can certainly do worse that get into AM. These skills, as you've stated, will definitely come in handy if they do launch a product at some point.

(08-03-2018 04:13 AM)HustleNomad Wrote:  I've seen several examples of people who are "experts" in their niche, from dating to fitness to health to weird shit, but get absolutely destroyed when putting their offer to the world because they lack an indepth understanding of how MARKETING works.

The challenge I see, however, is that becoming an expert in a niche is a time-intensive process as is becoming skilled in AM. Theoretically a person can do both, but that might not be practical if you have less than 10 years to play with.

Personally, becoming knowledgeable in a niche has been a full-time endeavor for me for many years and that pursuit was largely incompatible with doing something as demanding as building a AM skillset. Becoming an expert in a niche typically involves working a (boring or routine) day job for many years to understand what the needs and missing solutions are.

You can always hire someone to do your marketing for you, but can you hire someone to invent a product from scratch for you?
08-06-2018 09:01 PM
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Post: #34
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-06-2018 09:01 PM)Suits Wrote:  The challenge I see, however, is that becoming an expert in a niche is a time-intensive process as is becoming skilled in AM. Theoretically a person can do both, but that might not be practical if you have less than 10 years to play with.

Personally, becoming knowledgeable in a niche has been a full-time endeavor for me for many years and that pursuit was largely incompatible with doing something as demanding as building a AM skillset. Becoming an expert in a niche typically involves working a (boring or routine) day job for many years to understand what the needs and missing solutions are.

You can always hire someone to do your marketing for you, but can you hire someone to invent a product from scratch for you?

I'd like to challenge you on that.

Working a day job is a completely different scenario, and I wholeheartedly disagree that that is the typical way to become an expert. If somebody else is setting your pace and you are taking little if any initiative to grow outside of that, you've got some big internal changes to make in order to have a shot.

With a careful approach, it is possible to rapidly gain moderate to high level proficiency on a subject. I've done it. An argument could be made that I learn quicker than average, but what's more important is that I'm not afraid to take matters into my own hands, fail a bunch, and go deep.

Reading the books by ONLY the top people in that area, calling/driving/flying to meet and network with the most knowledgable people, searching for mentorship. In 6 months or less of daily intensive study and application, you have more knowledge than 95% of people and can talk your way in and out without stumbling. Emphasis on daily and intensive. You just made some bank as an affiliate, you now are in a position to essentially learn something full time because you are under absolutely no monetary pressure.

As an example let's say a family member has had severe gut issues for their whole life, and no doctor could figure it out/just threw drugs at them, but you took matters into your own hands and learned everything there is to know about GAPS protocol, FODMAPs, affects of gluten and wheat on inflammation, alkalinity, antioxidants, probiotics. You've tested everything, and you have a thorough understanding of the processes behind the body's reactions. As a result, within 3-6 months your family member makes a rapid improvement in health, cognitive function, mood.

What you just went through is an extremely valuable learning process (and you can now sleep well knowing you helped your family), where you acquired knowledge that MILLIONS of people would love to have, but don't have the time, desire and/or intelligence to figure out for themselves. All of a sudden you have massive value to provide to the world... but there are also a lot of others to compete with. Luckily for you, 95% of them know very little about how to position themselves correctly. But you've already honed your skills for the past 2-4 years as an affiliate, broken down countless funnels, and you've done some prior research and surveying so that you understand how your market works and what they respond to.

Now let's say that your knowledge isn't 95th+ percentile, and instead it's only 80th percentile. You will likely come across a few customers here and there who will want to be refunded, but so what? They are not the majority! Never underestimate just how clueless the average joe is. Time and time again I get reminded of this and every time I am absolutely astounded.

In order to offer a product or service you do not have to be the best at what you do, but you do have to be more knowledgable than your average customer and you do have to know how to sell. Most people who can pull this off are obsessive by nature, and will have gone deep on SOMETHING at least once. Whether it was potato guns, nutrition, fitness/workouts, skiing, mountain biking, golfing, or Runescape. Maybe not Runescape. The only caveat is that it should be a market who are capable of spending - so avoid anything where teens are the primary audience.

Another approach I've seen work is combining moderate personal knowledge + partnering with an expert. You negotiate an upfront fee or revshare with them (you did learn to negotiate as an affiliate, didn't you?) in return for their knowledge - be it creating content, refining content, interviews, consulting. You know enough about the topic that you know what you don't know, so can ask the right questions to bring the provided value to the next level.

This way you can also piggyback off of their name and their reputation, so you have added social proof (huge) and the potential of an email list blast (huge) straight off the bat.

You are correct that the average person could have trouble... but frankly I think that for anybody smart enough to find and contribute value on this forum, it can be pulled off in under 5 years from scratch provided the correct path is laid out; but you do need to commit 120%. The more you are committed and the less time you waste, the more likely it is that you can learn/earn in marketing within 2-3 years. Then all of a sudden it's 2-3 years AM + niche research + 6 months learning + testing and creating the product. Yes it's true that affiliate marketing you are building somebody else's business and not an asset. But you also make BANK while learning an invaluable skillset.

That does however mean putting pickup on the back burner, purely because it is a timesuck and destroys your focus. I've been in LTRs for about half of my business journey so far (with a bit of hedonistic travelling here and there), but I'm fine with paying that "price" to get myself set up for life.

Compare a multiple 7 figure upside likely within 3-5 years, to working a desk job... or living in Chiang Mai writing blogs and selling dropshipped crap.

For most there are many psychological barriers at play here - fear of failure, imposter syndrome, deeply ingrained limiting beliefs; even if you've conquered these in game, it doesn't necessarily carry through to business. All perfectly normal. Push through and get hustling brothers.
(This post was last modified: 08-07-2018 12:48 AM by HustleNomad.)
08-07-2018 12:46 AM
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Post: #35
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
Affiliate marketing or product creation.

The success rate (lifetime income) for both are likely 1-5% long term and at most 10% who will ever make a living wage.
08-09-2018 07:22 AM
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RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-06-2018 09:01 PM)Suits Wrote:  
(08-03-2018 04:02 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  
(08-03-2018 03:32 AM)Suits Wrote:  Since you have very little leverage and basically no ownership, you are at the mercy of other factors. What if Google changes a policy and you get fucked over? What if the company running one of the affiliate programs you have invested a lot of time into lowers that commission percentage? These questions would keep any sane person awake at night.

Google is only one way to drive traffic - and it can sometimes be a very effective way.
The people that I see that get screwed over by Google updates are the ones who go black hat and are in it for quick money. They don't respect the process and end up getting burnt. Some people can recover from updates and some people can't.

Changes in search engine algorithm is just one off the top of my head example of why being dependent on other people's platforms is a disadvantage.

(08-03-2018 04:02 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  You are absolutely right about being at the mercy of the program or programs you are with. I've had half my income wiped away overnight by a commission rate change a few years ago, and in the first 2-3 years, I basically woke up every morning to check my email to see if one innocent mistake in violating affiliate terms and conditions could have led to me being banned from a program.

This is also a major issue, obviously, but to me the largest concern with AM is that it simply isn't your product and it isn't really your platform. This means that the long term pay-off your hard work is reduced because nothing you build is very scalable.

Which leads us to...

(08-03-2018 04:02 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  Unless you are doing an info product or an e-book, I just don't think the average person with little help or no help can manage to put together their own product. There's just too much to consider to move it at any level which scalable and worth it.
I've seen some people do it - but very few.

I agree that it is difficult, but I'm not confident that the average person couldn't do it. Although I'm hardly a proven success myself, I mentor a number of guys in their early 20's who are just starting out with building a business around a specific product category. In most cases, they aren't the actual product creator themselves and in some cases, they don't all strike me as more capable than average.

What makes me believe that they have the potential for success is the simple fact that they are satisfying a need. As an example, one guy travels to south-east Asia a couple times a year and buys a couple suitcases worth of little trinkets that are small, but look valuable. These aren't things that any tourist would have any trouble finding on the streets of Bangkok, but there are not something you'd generally see outside of SEA.

He then combines them with cheap ass (but durable) do-it-yourself jewelry kits and puts them in a random nice wood box (also cheap). His production costs per unit are about $3, but he has a few clients who can sell them for $35 in their retail locations.

Right now he's working on selling them from a website. So far, it's not a huge success, but he's getting close to ironing out the kinks.

The product isn't innovative at all, but it fills the need and took him less than a month to figure out how to put it all together as an attractive product.

(08-03-2018 04:02 AM)GT777733 Wrote:  It's just much easier and less risk overall to pick products and services you believe in and start by marketing them.

Of course it is easier, but there's also less pay off long-term. You don't developing assets that you own rights to.

You are, as another member has pointed out, developing skills.

(08-03-2018 04:13 AM)HustleNomad Wrote:  After 2-4 years in the affiliate space you have
1) significant resources to throw at new ventures - your own product(s),
2) enough knowledge of marketing and paid traffic that if you plan and test correctly your chances of success are very high - in fact you should be running tests before even building a product so that you never build anything that is not viable
3) true business experience negotiating with shady affiliate networks and advertisers (absolutely priceless, you learn how things REALLY work)

The problem with starting from scratch with your own product is this. You can have the best traffic in the world, but if the offer is not structured correctly it does not matter. Just because you build it does not mean they will come, and that cannot be emphasised enough - one of my first rookie errors way back when I started.

There are a lot of young guys who are just figuring things out, developing skills and learning what they are capable of doing. If they have no business ideas to pursue, they can certainly do worse that get into AM. These skills, as you've stated, will definitely come in handy if they do launch a product at some point.

(08-03-2018 04:13 AM)HustleNomad Wrote:  I've seen several examples of people who are "experts" in their niche, from dating to fitness to health to weird shit, but get absolutely destroyed when putting their offer to the world because they lack an indepth understanding of how MARKETING works.

The challenge I see, however, is that becoming an expert in a niche is a time-intensive process as is becoming skilled in AM. Theoretically a person can do both, but that might not be practical if you have less than 10 years to play with.

Personally, becoming knowledgeable in a niche has been a full-time endeavor for me for many years and that pursuit was largely incompatible with doing something as demanding as building a AM skillset. Becoming an expert in a niche typically involves working a (boring or routine) day job for many years to understand what the needs and missing solutions are.

You can always hire someone to do your marketing for you, but can you hire someone to invent a product from scratch for you?

Here is the thing. You obviously have contributed a lot to this forum.

I respect this forum and the people here, and I have respect for what you’ve done here too.

Don’t take this reply as aggressive or me disrespecting you – it’s me clearing the issues you’ve raised.

I’m going to be brutally, brutally honest.

So - your last reply left a lot to be desired.

I thought about not replying, but I decided to reply because I didn’t want anyone reading this not to get into AM or internet marketing in general because they thought it was too risky or it wasn’t legit.

You went from asking me a question in an objective respectful way, to making comments on my experience admitting you aren’t a ‘big success’ but still questioning AM when I’ve told you I’m making more than 11k profit (profit – not revenue) a month out of it.

If there’s one thing I have learnt in life, it’s to never argue results unless you are getting better results yourself.

In this case, you’re not – at least not yet.

If you want to express how little belief you have in something - get out there and prove that other person wrong (but I guarantee you won't feel the need to when you get to this point).

The vibe I get is you’ve realized you are mentoring these young guys on product creation, and you’re sh*tting yourself because you realise you might be leading them (and possibly yourself) down the wrong track. And, to save yourself, you’re trying to poke holes in affiliate marketing (without coming up with an equal amount of pros) to rationalize your own decisions.

Please show some awareness, put your insecurities aside, re word your responses and respond in a more respectful way where you are clearly asking me to address the gaps in your own knowledge. You didn’t do this – you just made general comments and left it at that.

Otherwise, you are pushing your own limitations and insecurities onto others who might want to pursue the thing you think has all these limitations. You might be denying them massive success without realizing you are doing it.

You’re hurting yourself with a mindset like this too.

It’s fine to be skeptical of something, but communicate in a productive and self aware way about it.

I am more than happy to do that.

So, for you, and for anyone reading this, I will address the concerns about getting into affiliate marketing now:

The three biggest risks you will probably face with affiliate marketing are:
1. Your traffic sources drying up
2. That you get banned for a violation of terms of affiliate services
3. The commission structures change on you

RE traffic sources - if you play by the rules of the traffic platform/s, you should be more than fine. It's just a matter of competency of keeping your traffic consistent - but this should be part of your skill set you aim to develop over time.
Rating - low risk.

RE affiliate TOS - read the entire TOS back to front, and make the necessary modifications to your marketing strategy reflecting these TOS. Then, send an email to your affiliate program provider with all your questions. Mention to them that one of your main priorities is to have a long successful partnership with them, and you want to do everything in your power to stick by their rules. Make it clear how much effort you've gone to stick by these rules. Every few months or so they will update their TOS. Read the update. If something changes and you are unsure about it - message them/email them again and report yourself if you feel like you might be in violation and present what you think might be the solution, and tell them you are just looking to stay within their TOS and their feedback/advice would be appreciated. Tell them you will make any necessary changes as soon as you get their email, and will send them an email once you’ve made the changes.
If you do this, and don't get ridiculously lazy, like I've seen most people are, you will cover a huge amount of your risk here.
Rating – low risk.

RE commission structure change - pick a reputable affiliate program first and foremost and do research on them beforehand about how they run their program. My main affiliate provider has changed their commissions once in about 5 years. Was it painful? Yes - I lost half my income. But, after the initial shock and panic, I composed myself, recovered and changed my strategy. I also took the risk to stay with them banking on the probably scenario that it would be a while IF they chose to change it again. I calculated my maximum downside would be that they shave another 25-30% off what I'm getting now. If they did anymore than that, I can't see why anyone would stay with them - remember - they have to stay competitive too.
So, with what I'm making now - another commission structure change, barring a catastrophic one, is low to medium risk - I can't really go to zero commissions - so I'm always going to have some income stream.
The other thing too is this is NOT network marketing. I’m free to promote other people’s products and switch affiliates. Affiliate marketing has flexibility!
Rating – low to medium risk.

Now - RE not building an asset. I didn't want to put this in the original message because I didn't want to come off as one of those big head a**hole 'look at all my riches' business guys. But, it’s going to benefit people to know this so I’m happy to share - the intellectual property and other property in the marketing channels I have built are worth around 300k as a conservative estimate if I choose to sell them off today (for anyone reading this – I definitely didn’t build this asset overnight – it’s taken years – you have to put in hard work first). I could sell them to another marketer or a business. I'm not going to go into detail about how you do this - the answer to that question should be a reward for people who put their blood, sweat and tears into the game, and are actually willing to sacrifice their time for a result.
This is the funny thing about building an asset/building someone else’s business. I originally thought the exact same thing as you. But, guess what? I actually got into it and realized that everything I had heard was complete lies and misinformation. It was spread by people who either hadn’t tried hard enough, or weren’t committed to go deep enough. But, I only would have found that out if I sacrificed my time and put the effort and associated pain in to find that out myself, and be able to think independently enough to see that everyone else was being a sheep and believing everything they heard or were seeing others do.

Something I hope people learn that read this thread is that life can be much less intimidating if you understand these things:

- Most of the mainstream don't understand that it's basically impossible to reap any rewards in life without taking SOME risk. They think there is some magical or lucky path that some people take to get certain things. You think someone is going to hand you money and assets you can’t get in most 9-5’s for very little risk, time/money commitment and stress?
- Most of the mainstream listen to all the BS stories and information out there that ALL types of business or certain types of business are too risky. I can't express how horsesh*t this is. Most of it comes from people with insecurities who don’t want to confront those insecurities, people who failed in business themselves (nine times out of ten when I ask these people why they failed it’s because they didn’t put proper time into research, they were greedy and didn’t do enough of the boring non money making activities that help a business run, they were lazy, they weren’t committed enough, or they simply didn’t treat it with the respect it deserved and thought they could be a business owner and live a normal life too – they wanted their cake and to eat it as well essentially), people not wanting others to try and succeed because they want to see them stay at their level, or literally just people who are close minded or unable to critically think their way out of the lower levels of society
- Most of the mainstream don't understand that if you identify your risks BEFORE jumping into something, you can manage these risks extremely well over time. A risk only stays a risk if you let it by doing nothing to minimize it. Essentially, don’t be lazy. Go that extra step to minimise your risk to as low of a point as possible. Assume everyone else is slacking or hasn’t asked enough questions, and look into something if you really think things should work differently to how they seem
- Lastly, if you want extreme rewards in anything, you have to embody that thing and obsess over it to master it first. It's an all-in mind set once you make the commitment. Everything else in life becomes a second priority. Stop thinking you have no control over your life or that you can’t create whatever life you want. You can't stand on the edge of the water with one toe dipped in and watch someone else jump in and keep asking them how the temperature is. At some point you have to research the topic as best you can, make an educated assessment, and just take the plunge and commit. Never look back. Keep running. Pivot if you have to. But, don't stop until you have what you got into it for. When you get to that point, you can stop and ask yourself what you want to do next. But not before. I can't stress how much this involves changing your habits and mindset on a very very deep level though. You will literally become a different person if you do it right, and it will be extremely uncomfortable at times. But, if you keep going, you eventually find a point where you can put your head above water again and get some air. Eventually, you'll be surfing on waves while you watch everyone else back on the shore still dipping their toes in the edge of the water asking what it's like.

^^With all of this, You DO NOT have to be gifted apart from having grit/resilience and the desire to put one foot in front of the other until you get to your destination. It’s why I keep telling people the only key to success is persistence. If you want it, and you’re willing to work on it over the long term., you will be successful. It’s a matter of when, not if. Just don’t expect it to be easy or comfortable in the slightest for the first few years. Treat your craft like your life depends on it.

I wasn’t told any of this stuff when I first started. Some people simply don’t appreciate the information they get access to anymore because the internet makes everything free and we don’t understand when someone is giving us gems that can save us months and years of mistakes and toil.

No bullsh*t – I didn’t even know what an affiliate program properly was until over a year into my IM journey. I literally spent a year going around in circles until then. Some people might be saving a year reading this.

Also - there is no one same path for everyone.

You can 100% become very successful from developing your own product (from what you described to me – those products from overseas that you sell back in your home country actually sound unique and like there is a demand and it seems like you might be onto something). If you have the vision and you know deep down you can make it work, go for it. I’m going to be the first person to encourage you to do it and to want to see you succeed if you’ve got a vision and you’re willing to put in the work.

I want you to succeed, and then I want you to go help others believe in themselves and share your experience with them so they can succeed too. This sounds corny as f*ck – but the more people that experience their version of meaningful success in life – that’s how society actually improves and goes up consciousness levels.

Everyone loses if we have a bunch of unhappy people walking around.

My experiences are based on exactly that – what I have experienced.

Statistically, of all the people that I know that are working online full time – easily over 90% of them started either marketing someone else’s product, or offering a type of service to another company who owns a product or service, such as marketing for example i.e. being a consultant.

That's another path people choose too - become a consultant or freelancer of some kind and find a way to get consistent work from one or two good clients, and find a way to get paid good per hour money for what you do.

Once you build up capital and knowledge, it’s a much easier side step into doing your own product or standalone service (or partnering with an expert in a private partnership) if you want.

Does it mean you can’t offer your own product from the beginning? Absolutely not. You may be wildly successful if you can see a direct need and you have all the knowledge on how to fill that need and offer exactly what the market needs and wants at that time.

But, if someone new to business with no clear idea on a product (which most people don’t) came to me and asked what to do, I’d tell them offer someone else’s product first, or build skills and offer your services as a consultant first.

You need very little money this way – only time. And this suits most beginners perfectly because they are poor/broke. Further to that, they know very little about business and you can get into GIGANTIC problems spending money on things you don’t need or that won’t work when going into product creation. I see this with brick and mortar business too. It can ruin some people for life.

You can build money making skills in exchange for your time/effort instead with someone else’s product or service.

There’s pros and cons to anything you do in life. But, affiliate marketing is legit IF you put the proper time into it (isn’t that a principle that applies to anything?). It’s DEFINITELY not a get rich in a couple of months option if you want to earn consistent money for more than a year or so.

The scammy salesmen, people who can’t be successful with something themselves so they become a fraudulent teacher, and average people in society who never try things themselves might have led you to believe that.

To clarify – I’m not here to sell anything. I’ve had a number of people PM me in the last week. I won’t recommend a resource specifically because I don’t want to seem bias or like I’m connected to someone that I’m secretly promoting.

I have little to gain out of this. I would actually save a lot more time not helping anyone, and it’s not like I’m getting attention or building any sort of brand because no one knows who I am.

I’m only doing it to give other guys belief they can get the things they want if they put in the work, because I know how sh*t it was when I though I had nothing to look forward to in life, and I know how much it’s changed my life to be able to commit to something which can give me the skills and resources to do other great things in life both for myself and others.

Follow my advice in my original post (get on Google and find non scammy blogs, and join non scammy Facebook IM groups - you'll learn to identify both over time if you stick at it), and persist/problem solve consistently (everyday) over a period of years, and you will be successful. I have zero doubts about that.

Choose the path that suits you. There’s actually thousands of ways you can make money online or offline. If you multiply all the different models by all the different industries by all the different products and services by all the different locations by all the different audiences – there are thousands of possibilities.

But, stop thinking of the reasons you can’t (because there are 1000’s of them too - all of which have an alternative or solution by the way) and just commit and take full responsibility for your life and your decisions.

You'll naturally face 1000's of problems and obstacles along the way - but just solve them each one at a time and exercise patience.

I take my hat off to anyone who tries in life. You only have the right to complain about a problem or be negative if you are also genuinely looking for a solution to that problem. Otherwise, that stuff is absolute cancer. It will rot you so fast it's not funny.

Encourage other people, and encourage yourself first and foremost.
08-09-2018 09:21 AM
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Post: #37
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
Quote:I compare starting out to making a go kart in your shed, and then riding down a super massive hill.

Every second you are wondering "Are the freaking wheels going to fall off this thing or am I going to be ok?".
I’ve started my own business by myself in May. I never realized how difficult dealing with self-doubt can be and the sacrifices it would take.

I was doing 100K a year working on products / content of other businesses. I figured the next step would be to own those products / funnels myself. “I have a track record in making money for other people,” I thought, “why don’t I make money for myself?”

Turns out putting in all those hours with uncertainty of success does not bode well with my neurotic personality. I fear I’m wasting my time and my youthful vigor on a project that I do not like that much and is just a way to build an asset that churns out dollar bills.

All the menial shit I have to do that I was not responsible before makes me want to flip out. I’ve lost my shit to people I don’t know several times after a particularly hard day.

I’m also learning the hard way it takes a LOT of sacrifice. I can’t work on this business every day AND chase women every day AND work out every day AND learn a new language AND travel to a new country every few months. I severely underestimated the mental drain of uncertainty and the isolation that comes with building a business from your laptop alone in some anonymous hotel room.

Maybe it gets better when I have some traction. Maybe I should move too some nomad hub. Maybe I should quit altogether and do something that suits my personality better.
(This post was last modified: 08-09-2018 10:31 AM by asdfk.)
08-09-2018 10:28 AM
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kosko Offline
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Post: #38
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
This thread is very high-quality, I am happy I started from the start with it early on. Thank you to the OP and others who are contributing to the quality of the discussion.
08-09-2018 10:51 AM
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Post: #39
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-09-2018 10:28 AM)asdfk Wrote:  
Quote:I compare starting out to making a go kart in your shed, and then riding down a super massive hill.

Every second you are wondering "Are the freaking wheels going to fall off this thing or am I going to be ok?".
I’ve started my own business by myself in May. I never realized how difficult dealing with self-doubt can be and the sacrifices it would take.

I was doing 100K a year working on products / content of other businesses. I figured the next step would be to own those products / funnels myself. “I have a track record in making money for other people,” I thought, “why don’t I make money for myself?”

Turns out putting in all those hours with uncertainty of success does not bode well with my neurotic personality. I fear I’m wasting my time and my youthful vigor on a project that I do not like that much and is just a way to build an asset that churns out dollar bills.

All the menial shit I have to do that I was not responsible before makes me want to flip out. I’ve lost my shit to people I don’t know several times after a particularly hard day.

I’m also learning the hard way it takes a LOT of sacrifice. I can’t work on this business every day AND chase women every day AND work out every day AND learn a new language AND travel to a new country every few months. I severely underestimated the mental drain of uncertainty and the isolation that comes with building a business from your laptop alone in some anonymous hotel room.

Maybe it gets better when I have some traction. Maybe I should move too some nomad hub. Maybe I should quit altogether and do something that suits my personality better.

I will say this - if you can commit to sticking at it for at least 3 to 4 years of consistent daily work (and you're giving a genuine 100% effort to improve and track your results and be disciplined with yourself), you will probably be close to being a millionaire and have skills and knowledge you never dreamed of.

But yes - like you said, the path is not for everyone.

You definitely pay for it in a lot of areas. Deeply deeply ask yourself if you are willing to pay any price that your path demands.

Ask yourself why you are doing it, and ask yourself if you can get all the financial and non financial things you want being an employee.

If you can, it might be worth cutting your losses, and getting a job again. You might even try to get a location independent job with a bit less pay if travel is your main priority.

Personally, I gave up some of the prime years of my life I'll never get back, but it was worth it to me based on the fact being an employee makes me sick to my stomach (mainly because of toxic workplaces I've experienced and I always felt like workplaces were grossly inefficient, regulated and there was zero chance I was getting paid my true value - which I've proved to be exactly the case since going out on my own), and the feeling of being in control of my own life is priceless to me.

I also felt like I wanted to help in some way improve society's systems, and people I met that were employees were only interested in working within systems and maximising their rewards within those systems. The thought that the systems might be broken or that they should be improved would not have occurred once to them.

It was about priorities.

RE not having time for everything - that's probably the biggest thing you don't understand getting into it. It feels like the walls close up around you because you realise that there is literally only time for business, eating, sleeping, seeing friends once or twice for short periods a week (and I'd usually sit there like a zombie because I'd be thinking or worrying about what I would have to do when I got home) and some very basic exercise (because you're usually tired and drained as heck). Basically all maintenance type things.

It can make you super paranoid and on edge.

I was like you - social interactions and dating and travel on flipped me out. I didn't have the mental stamina or stability to be doing those things, let alone the time. One small thing could tip me over the edge and I'd lose half a day of productivity and usually sleep too (I had some ridiculously vivid and intense and downright scary dreams/nightmares).

It DOES get better eventually. But you usually have to go through some super dark times first.

You're fully capable if you want it.
(This post was last modified: 08-09-2018 11:18 AM by GT777733.)
08-09-2018 11:04 AM
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Post: #40
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-09-2018 10:51 AM)kosko Wrote:  This thread is very high-quality, I am happy I started from the start with it early on. Thank you to the OP and others who are contributing to the quality of the discussion.

You are welcome
08-09-2018 11:13 AM
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Post: #41
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
Man oh man if I could like the original post a million times I would. I have a traditional brick and mortar business and I'm in my 20th year of operation. It has been one hell of a roller coaster ride without a doubt and I can relate to every single post on this thread. It is without a doubt a daily physical and emotional grind. One day you'll think you're king of the world and the next day you'll think that you're going to lose it all. You have to grind for new business, do all the paperwork, file and pay all of your taxes, pay your vendors, service your debt, make sure that you have the necessary insurance for you business, make sure money is being collected and your cash is flowing to take care of all of the aforementioned things. Oh and on top of all of that you have to then perform the service that makes you the money to take care of all of that other bs and hopefully once you've paid out all of that, you have enough money to live on.

As I enter my 5th decade of life, I really wonder how much longer I want to keep going with my business. I still have some obligations to take care of for a few more years but once those are done, I really have some serious decisions to make. 20+ years is a long time to keep a small business going and it doesn't ever seem to get easier. The amount of sacrifices I made to this business while at the same time raising a family is astounding when I think back on it. I'm often amazed I lasted this long and managed to do everything I've done. That's not even mentioning surviving a divorce too, somehow managing to hold on to my business. The amount of personal sacrifice it takes to be successful in business can never be understated. Even now I should be working harder than I do and I work a lot to run this business. This is a thread every young aspiring entrepreneur should read.
08-10-2018 02:19 PM
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Post: #42
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-10-2018 02:19 PM)doc holliday Wrote:  Man oh man if I could like the original post a million times I would. I have a traditional brick and mortar business and I'm in my 20th year of operation. It has been one hell of a roller coaster ride without a doubt and I can relate to every single post on this thread. It is without a doubt a daily physical and emotional grind. One day you'll think you're king of the world and the next day you'll think that you're going to lose it all. You have to grind for new business, do all the paperwork, file and pay all of your taxes, pay your vendors, service your debt, make sure that you have the necessary insurance for you business, make sure money is being collected and your cash is flowing to take care of all of the aforementioned things. Oh and on top of all of that you have to then perform the service that makes you the money to take care of all of that other bs and hopefully once you've paid out all of that, you have enough money to live on.

As I enter my 5th decade of life, I really wonder how much longer I want to keep going with my business. I still have some obligations to take care of for a few more years but once those are done, I really have some serious decisions to make. 20+ years is a long time to keep a small business going and it doesn't ever seem to get easier. The amount of sacrifices I made to this business while at the same time raising a family is astounding when I think back on it. I'm often amazed I lasted this long and managed to do everything I've done. That's not even mentioning surviving a divorce too, somehow managing to hold on to my business. The amount of personal sacrifice it takes to be successful in business can never be understated. Even now I should be working harder than I do and I work a lot to run this business. This is a thread every young aspiring entrepreneur should read.

You're a champion in my eyes.

I freely admit to people that if I didn't have the internet in my generation, I'd probably have given up on life in some way, shape or form - or, at the very least I'd never have evolved as a person to the extent I've done now.

I seriously doubt I'd have had the balls to open up a brick and mortar business off the bat like you.

If you're not doing so already, and it's something you're interested in (and you actually have some time at some stage), you might look into finding some avenues to do some mentoring and/or paid teaching/courses at some stage and pass on what you've learnt to these future generations.

I'm sure there's heaps of invaluable lessons and things you've learnt over the years.

Get on YouTube and create your own channel, or piggyback with someone else with a platform who has a business course.

Thanks for sharing your experience!
08-10-2018 05:49 PM
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Post: #43
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-10-2018 05:49 PM)GT777733 Wrote:  
(08-10-2018 02:19 PM)doc holliday Wrote:  Man oh man if I could like the original post a million times I would. I have a traditional brick and mortar business and I'm in my 20th year of operation. It has been one hell of a roller coaster ride without a doubt and I can relate to every single post on this thread. It is without a doubt a daily physical and emotional grind. One day you'll think you're king of the world and the next day you'll think that you're going to lose it all. You have to grind for new business, do all the paperwork, file and pay all of your taxes, pay your vendors, service your debt, make sure that you have the necessary insurance for you business, make sure money is being collected and your cash is flowing to take care of all of the aforementioned things. Oh and on top of all of that you have to then perform the service that makes you the money to take care of all of that other bs and hopefully once you've paid out all of that, you have enough money to live on.

As I enter my 5th decade of life, I really wonder how much longer I want to keep going with my business. I still have some obligations to take care of for a few more years but once those are done, I really have some serious decisions to make. 20+ years is a long time to keep a small business going and it doesn't ever seem to get easier. The amount of sacrifices I made to this business while at the same time raising a family is astounding when I think back on it. I'm often amazed I lasted this long and managed to do everything I've done. That's not even mentioning surviving a divorce too, somehow managing to hold on to my business. The amount of personal sacrifice it takes to be successful in business can never be understated. Even now I should be working harder than I do and I work a lot to run this business. This is a thread every young aspiring entrepreneur should read.

You're a champion in my eyes.

I freely admit to people that if I didn't have the internet in my generation, I'd probably have given up on life in some way, shape or form - or, at the very least I'd never have evolved as a person to the extent I've done now.

I seriously doubt I'd have had the balls to open up a brick and mortar business off the bat like you.

If you're not doing so already, and it's something you're interested in (and you actually have some time at some stage), you might look into finding some avenues to do some mentoring and/or paid teaching/courses at some stage and pass on what you've learnt to these future generations.

I'm sure there's heaps of invaluable lessons and things you've learnt over the years.

Get on YouTube and create your own channel, or piggyback with someone else with a platform who has a business course.

Thanks for sharing your experience!

I think you guys who make money online are the smart ones. Traditional bricks and mortar businesses are so hard to run these days with the amount of overhead, liability, employees, taxes and other headaches. I have very much thought about teaching once I get my last kid's college taken care of. The You Tube idea is a good one but I'd more likely piggyback with someone who knows the ins and outs of that business. Thanks for starting this thread GT.
08-10-2018 08:08 PM
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Post: #44
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-07-2018 12:46 AM)HustleNomad Wrote:  
(08-06-2018 09:01 PM)Suits Wrote:  The challenge I see, however, is that becoming an expert in a niche is a time-intensive process as is becoming skilled in AM. Theoretically a person can do both, but that might not be practical if you have less than 10 years to play with.

Personally, becoming knowledgeable in a niche has been a full-time endeavor for me for many years and that pursuit was largely incompatible with doing something as demanding as building a AM skillset. Becoming an expert in a niche typically involves working a (boring or routine) day job for many years to understand what the needs and missing solutions are.

You can always hire someone to do your marketing for you, but can you hire someone to invent a product from scratch for you?

I'd like to challenge you on that.

Working a day job is a completely different scenario, and I wholeheartedly disagree that that is the typical way to become an expert. If somebody else is setting your pace and you are taking little if any initiative to grow outside of that, you've got some big internal changes to make in order to have a shot.

With a careful approach, it is possible to rapidly gain moderate to high level proficiency on a subject. I've done it. An argument could be made that I learn quicker than average, but what's more important is that I'm not afraid to take matters into my own hands, fail a bunch, and go deep.

Reading the books by ONLY the top people in that area, calling/driving/flying to meet and network with the most knowledgable people, searching for mentorship. In 6 months or less of daily intensive study and application, you have more knowledge than 95% of people and can talk your way in and out without stumbling. Emphasis on daily and intensive. You just made some bank as an affiliate, you now are in a position to essentially learn something full time because you are under absolutely no monetary pressure.

As an example let's say a family member has had severe gut issues for their whole life, and no doctor could figure it out/just threw drugs at them, but you took matters into your own hands and learned everything there is to know about GAPS protocol, FODMAPs, affects of gluten and wheat on inflammation, alkalinity, antioxidants, probiotics. You've tested everything, and you have a thorough understanding of the processes behind the body's reactions. As a result, within 3-6 months your family member makes a rapid improvement in health, cognitive function, mood.

What you just went through is an extremely valuable learning process (and you can now sleep well knowing you helped your family), where you acquired knowledge that MILLIONS of people would love to have, but don't have the time, desire and/or intelligence to figure out for themselves. All of a sudden you have massive value to provide to the world... but there are also a lot of others to compete with. Luckily for you, 95% of them know very little about how to position themselves correctly. But you've already honed your skills for the past 2-4 years as an affiliate, broken down countless funnels, and you've done some prior research and surveying so that you understand how your market works and what they respond to.

Now let's say that your knowledge isn't 95th+ percentile, and instead it's only 80th percentile. You will likely come across a few customers here and there who will want to be refunded, but so what? They are not the majority! Never underestimate just how clueless the average joe is. Time and time again I get reminded of this and every time I am absolutely astounded.

In order to offer a product or service you do not have to be the best at what you do, but you do have to be more knowledgable than your average customer and you do have to know how to sell. Most people who can pull this off are obsessive by nature, and will have gone deep on SOMETHING at least once. Whether it was potato guns, nutrition, fitness/workouts, skiing, mountain biking, golfing, or Runescape. Maybe not Runescape. The only caveat is that it should be a market who are capable of spending - so avoid anything where teens are the primary audience.

Another approach I've seen work is combining moderate personal knowledge + partnering with an expert. You negotiate an upfront fee or revshare with them (you did learn to negotiate as an affiliate, didn't you?) in return for their knowledge - be it creating content, refining content, interviews, consulting. You know enough about the topic that you know what you don't know, so can ask the right questions to bring the provided value to the next level.

This way you can also piggyback off of their name and their reputation, so you have added social proof (huge) and the potential of an email list blast (huge) straight off the bat.

You are correct that the average person could have trouble... but frankly I think that for anybody smart enough to find and contribute value on this forum, it can be pulled off in under 5 years from scratch provided the correct path is laid out; but you do need to commit 120%. The more you are committed and the less time you waste, the more likely it is that you can learn/earn in marketing within 2-3 years. Then all of a sudden it's 2-3 years AM + niche research + 6 months learning + testing and creating the product. Yes it's true that affiliate marketing you are building somebody else's business and not an asset. But you also make BANK while learning an invaluable skillset.

That does however mean putting pickup on the back burner, purely because it is a timesuck and destroys your focus. I've been in LTRs for about half of my business journey so far (with a bit of hedonistic travelling here and there), but I'm fine with paying that "price" to get myself set up for life.

Compare a multiple 7 figure upside likely within 3-5 years, to working a desk job... or living in Chiang Mai writing blogs and selling dropshipped crap.

For most there are many psychological barriers at play here - fear of failure, imposter syndrome, deeply ingrained limiting beliefs; even if you've conquered these in game, it doesn't necessarily carry through to business. All perfectly normal. Push through and get hustling brothers.

"Never underestimate just how clueless the average joe is. Time and time again I get reminded of this and every time I am absolutely astounded."

If I was starting life and in particular my 20's all over again and I knew just how true this is, I would have looked at my future with an unbelievable amount of confidence and I would have taken way more perceived risks way earlier than I did.

Seriously (and I'm not trying to be a dick...I like people, but this is just the truth) - the amount of people that can hold themselves accountable, have a work ethic, have self awareness, focus on one thing, and improve at that thing - it's like one in every few thousand or even rarer.

The bar to succeed at most things in life is way lower than what you think.

Once you get over that bar and you look back at everyone, you will kick yourself for ever doubting yourself so much.

The blind leading the blind is a real thing.
08-10-2018 08:48 PM
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Post: #45
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-10-2018 08:08 PM)doc holliday Wrote:  
(08-10-2018 05:49 PM)GT777733 Wrote:  
(08-10-2018 02:19 PM)doc holliday Wrote:  Man oh man if I could like the original post a million times I would. I have a traditional brick and mortar business and I'm in my 20th year of operation. It has been one hell of a roller coaster ride without a doubt and I can relate to every single post on this thread. It is without a doubt a daily physical and emotional grind. One day you'll think you're king of the world and the next day you'll think that you're going to lose it all. You have to grind for new business, do all the paperwork, file and pay all of your taxes, pay your vendors, service your debt, make sure that you have the necessary insurance for you business, make sure money is being collected and your cash is flowing to take care of all of the aforementioned things. Oh and on top of all of that you have to then perform the service that makes you the money to take care of all of that other bs and hopefully once you've paid out all of that, you have enough money to live on.

As I enter my 5th decade of life, I really wonder how much longer I want to keep going with my business. I still have some obligations to take care of for a few more years but once those are done, I really have some serious decisions to make. 20+ years is a long time to keep a small business going and it doesn't ever seem to get easier. The amount of sacrifices I made to this business while at the same time raising a family is astounding when I think back on it. I'm often amazed I lasted this long and managed to do everything I've done. That's not even mentioning surviving a divorce too, somehow managing to hold on to my business. The amount of personal sacrifice it takes to be successful in business can never be understated. Even now I should be working harder than I do and I work a lot to run this business. This is a thread every young aspiring entrepreneur should read.

You're a champion in my eyes.

I freely admit to people that if I didn't have the internet in my generation, I'd probably have given up on life in some way, shape or form - or, at the very least I'd never have evolved as a person to the extent I've done now.

I seriously doubt I'd have had the balls to open up a brick and mortar business off the bat like you.

If you're not doing so already, and it's something you're interested in (and you actually have some time at some stage), you might look into finding some avenues to do some mentoring and/or paid teaching/courses at some stage and pass on what you've learnt to these future generations.

I'm sure there's heaps of invaluable lessons and things you've learnt over the years.

Get on YouTube and create your own channel, or piggyback with someone else with a platform who has a business course.

Thanks for sharing your experience!

I think you guys who make money online are the smart ones. Traditional bricks and mortar businesses are so hard to run these days with the amount of overhead, liability, employees, taxes and other headaches. I have very much thought about teaching once I get my last kid's college taken care of. The You Tube idea is a good one but I'd more likely piggyback with someone who knows the ins and outs of that business. Thanks for starting this thread GT.

You're very welcome.

I should mention that starting a YouTube channel is so incredibly easy.

Literally just get on YouTube, start your channel, and you can record videos on your iPhone and upload them if you really want.

But, cameras that do video with a super clear video these days are only about $400.

The beauty about a guy like you is you have all that experience. There's very few people who can give out the information you can or that have lived the life you have.

What I would do if I was you is write down all your video content ideas in a list (or just start with say the basics of brick and mortar businesses and do like 5-10 videos), and shoot them one by one (just talk into the camera - you don't even need to edit it).

You will start building up an audience of people who are interested in what you are talking about.

Once you build up enough of an audience, you might find there are people who want you to teach them further.

You can either really easily do Skype calls with people where you can help them with specific business questions they have, or, if you have heaps of demand, you can really easily create an online course on a platform like Thinkrific.

I understand you may just not want to do any of that regardless - in which case, yes, teaming up with someone with an established platform would be the way to go. You may even get on a website like Clarity.fm where you can use their site and traffic and just have a profile set up with who you are, what you've done and what advice you can give.

But, you can link up with other YouTubers from your own channel too.

Don't think this online stuff is beyond you. It's pretty easy to get the basics going once you get the initial hang of it.
(This post was last modified: 08-10-2018 10:04 PM by GT777733.)
08-10-2018 09:05 PM
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Post: #46
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
A year ago, I was actually working on some content to put into videos, very similar to what you are describing here but I put it on hold because I just had too much going on and I couldn't muster up the time and energy to get the project off the ground. I'll probably revisit it again in a few years time once I decide what I'm going to do with my life (damn I sound like a teenager now).
08-10-2018 10:26 PM
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asdfk Away
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RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
Thanks for the advice.

I think it’s important to stick with it for now and at the same time think about a business that I can actually stand behind.
08-11-2018 12:32 AM
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Post: #48
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
Great thread. It's always been a fantasy of mine to start an online business and this thread makes me glad I didn't.

There's a case to be made for being a midlevel or upper level manager in a corporation. My job is more of a 9-7 at this point...but that's only if people above or below me know where I am. I have regular meetings where, if I went missing for 3 hours to eat a giant porterhouse steak with a couple martinis and polish off a rail off a strippers ass, nobody would be the wiser. I just have to make it to the meeting and sound smarter than the people around me, something that's not very difficult. This month I net well over 10k. I have zero stress about the company I work for or my job security, and I'm on a pretty good path to eject from my life as I know it by the time I'm 40 or 41 if I choose to do so and never turn back, or I can stay on and make ridiculously more cash. In the meantime it's a good cushy life with paid vacation and not really anyone above me to answer to, if anything I answer more to the 60 employees below me and the thousands of customers that fuel a $15 mil operation. By no means am I bragging, there's a lot of people out there and on this forum making far more than me, but I've gotten things to where it's *almost* easy money. The points above about delegating workload and training your underlings are absolute gold.

In Vegas, there's tons of people like me. Chefs, managers, casino managers, bean counters, financial controllers, VPs, beverage managers, etc...people of middling intelligence that just know how to play the game that are making upwards of $250k/year plus bonus plus partnership plus plus plus. I can only believe that the same thing exists in other major cities. There are a LOT of people that bullshit their way into these positions, and while Vegas is famous for hustlers like that, I know it exists everywhere.

Anyway, just making a case for the 9-5. In any 9-5 there might be an opportunity to work the system, it's just all about learning to recognize opportunity and capitalizing on flaws or cracks. And you get the benefit of learning how to exploit these things while someone else takes the business risk.

"...so I gave her an STD, and she STILL wanted to bang me."

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(This post was last modified: 08-11-2018 01:21 AM by Veloce.)
08-11-2018 01:19 AM
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Post: #49
RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
(08-11-2018 01:19 AM)Veloce Wrote:  Great thread. It's always been a fantasy of mine to start an online business and this thread makes me glad I didn't.

There's a case to be made for being a midlevel or upper level manager in a corporation. My job is more of a 9-7 at this point...but that's only if people above or below me know where I am. I have regular meetings where, if I went missing for 3 hours to eat a giant porterhouse steak with a couple martinis and polish off a rail off a strippers ass, nobody would be the wiser. I just have to make it to the meeting and sound smarter than the people around me, something that's not very difficult. This month I net well over 10k. I have zero stress about the company I work for or my job security, and I'm on a pretty good path to eject from my life as I know it by the time I'm 40 or 41 if I choose to do so and never turn back, or I can stay on and make ridiculously more cash. In the meantime it's a good cushy life with paid vacation and not really anyone above me to answer to, if anything I answer more to the 60 employees below me and the thousands of customers that fuel a $15 mil operation. By no means am I bragging, there's a lot of people out there and on this forum making far more than me, but I've gotten things to where it's *almost* easy money. The points above about delegating workload and training your underlings are absolute gold.

In Vegas, there's tons of people like me. Chefs, managers, casino managers, bean counters, financial controllers, VPs, beverage managers, etc...people of middling intelligence that just know how to play the game that are making upwards of $250k/year plus bonus plus partnership plus plus plus. I can only believe that the same thing exists in other major cities. There are a LOT of people that bullshit their way into these positions, and while Vegas is famous for hustlers like that, I know it exists everywhere.

Anyway, just making a case for the 9-5. In any 9-5 there might be an opportunity to work the system, it's just all about learning to recognize opportunity and capitalizing on flaws or cracks. And you get the benefit of learning how to exploit these things while someone else takes the business risk.

Thank you for sharing your honest feedback - I appreciate it.

What you described is what I realised at about 22/23, and it was probably the first red pill I ever had to swallow about the world.

The company and corporate game when it comes to rewards is significantly more about company/office politics, appearing to look and sound competent, how much your boss likes you and how good/quick you are at getting into managerial positions where you can delegate work and responsibility than it is about actual competence, performance, or sacrificing for the company.

I just couldn't end up taking part in a game like that for my entire life (it's almost necessary while you are young to build some finances and a monetary safety blanket). But, I can see why people do and I don't hold it against them - it is the game we are all pushed into from school or university after all. For some people (and probably most to be fair), they just can't see a way out of it or don't believe they can get out of it. That, or you get to a point in your 30's where you're in a senior position and the reward to ride it out until your mid 40's and even beyond is just too great to pass up compared to throwing that all a way and taking a risk on doing your own thing (like you expressed). It's human nature.

There is some level of acceptance I have for this when the company actually performs a practical service or offers a practical product, and the company is at a smaller size so that there is some level of accountability among all workers and employees.

But, holy cow - I've seen some things that go on with some mid size and large size companies, and in dodgy companies and industries (or the dodgy parts of some industries like finance and law for example), where the bad s*it that is being done to game the system is magnified (because of the size of the company and their resources), and what you end up with is a big money making machine that spreads very little wealth and/or offers very little value back. There's also usually a gross amount of negligence from middle and upper management at these companies.

Companies are what humans allow them to be at the end of the day - we create, work in and buy from companies and the economy - it's not the other way around.
08-11-2018 02:40 AM
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RE: The realities of earning $10,000 + a month online or in business in general
08-11-2018 04:24 AM
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