Does time seem to speed up as you get older? It certainly feels that way to me. Last year just flew by and here we are already in 2012 and of course that means the obligatory goal setting post. Yeah, I know…ho hum…it’s not the most interesting of topics and most people try to ignore it all but it doesn’t have to be an ordeal and if you really want your business to flourish then you simply have to set goals.
But don’t worry, we’re not going to go into a lot of detail on how to set goals in this post. You only need to do a search on the net to see how to do it. Let’s just say that we recommend that you set goals for your business for 2012 and leave it at that.
Oh, and just one more thing, when you set your goals aim high. I know most people set a goal to make $100 a day when they first start out but instead set if for $300 a day or even higher. As Ralph Waldo Emerson says: “We aim above the mark to hit the mark.” In other words, if you want to reach your goal you have to aim higher.
So you’re probably wondering now just what this post is going to be about since we aren’t really going to talk about goal setting. I’ve kind of been wondering that too as I write this but it came to me that goal setting on it’s own isn’t enough. For goals to truly work you have to take action. I think we all know this and we all take some sort of action but is it the right type of action?
To see whether you are taking the right action you need to look to the past. This is a great time of the year to do that. It’s a time to reflect and see whether all the work you put in last year made any real difference to your business.
For us, 2011 was a year of trying new things and looking for ways to diversify. It some ways, we didn’t really move forward in any big way despite the work and effort we put in. We mentioned in a previous post that we kind of got back into our old habits and didn’t focus as well as we could have…working on too many things at the one time really doesn’t work. We keep telling people that but sometimes we need to be reminded ourselves.
However, despite all of that, and despite the depressed economy in the US, we still did extremely well last year so we are happy.
What about you? How did your year go? If you look back over it, at least in terms of your online business, what did you accomplish? Did your business improve in some way over the year? Did you actually do anything to move forward in your online business or was it a mishmash of scattered projects, implementing new methods, tweaking websites and wasted time spent on forums, Twitter and Facebook?
If you had spent the year only backlinking and adding quality product reviews and content would you be in a better position today? More than likely.
If you’ve been around a while and still not making money then you really have to decide whether this year is going to be the one for you. You can’t keep doing the same things because you are only creating a cycle that will continue and by next Christmas you will still be struggling to make it.
There are a lot of people who follow this blog and we know that many of them aren’t making the big dollars yet and we know they are capable of doing it. What we want to see is those people finally making a success of it this year. You can do it – if we can do it so can you. There is nothing special about what we did apart from the fact we focused and we focused big time.
Most people think that the reason we make the big dollars is that we chose the right niche. Nothing could be further from the truth. It was never about the niches because you can make money in just about any niche. What made us the big dollars was that we focused on just a few things at the one time. We stopped reading forums and blogs, we stopped working on all of our 20 or so websites, we stopped checking stats on a daily basis, we stopped spending time on Twitter and Facebook and we stopped buying ebook after ebook looking for new methods for making money.
Here’s just an example of one of our many plans that we went through over the years. This is a weekly plan for when we decided to focus on just one site.
Are you kidding? Yes, it was a bit ridiculous and I wouldn’t recommend that to anyone. That plan didn’t last too long as it was a bit extreme but it just shows you where our focus was at the time. When you have a plan like that you don’t have time to even think about Facebook, forums, stats and other things.
Just recently we received an email from two friends who like us are working together on their online business and out of all the emails we have received over the years these two have really got it together in terms of their focus. Usually the types of emails we receive from people sound something like this:
“I’m not making much money. Can you tell me how many websites and/or reviews I need to make a full-time income”
“I have built 30 sites so far but I’m still not making any money. Someone on a forum said that the only way to make a lot of money is to build at least a 100 websites. Do you agree?”
But instead what we received from these two friends sounded something like this and I am paraphrasing here:
“We are wondering whether we can just work on two products. This way we can stay more focused. Since we only have 2 to 3 hours a day we can give those 2 product reviews the traffic they need.”
Now remember that there are two people working on it so that is just ONE product review per person so they are focusing big time. And just to emphasize here that they aren’t working on one website each…it’s just one product review each.
In fact, they are obviously so focused on focusing that (although they probably didn’t realize it) in their last email to us they used the word ‘focus’ four times! If these two don’t succeed it won’t be through any fault of their own.
We go on and on about focusing but it needs to be repeated because it’s where most people fail. And for us it’s the same, when we don’t focus we don’t see any improvement.
So our advice is to look back to last year and see what you achieved and whether the action you took really made any difference at the end of the day. If not, then your next decision is easy – either continue doing the same things and never really get anywhere or make big changes and finally succeed.