There I was, knee deep in three different courses, while simultaneously juggling a healthy dose of guilt for getting myself into this mess in the first place!
It was early in my online journey and I felt like I had fallen into a deep dark hole. It was like entering another world, one I knew nothing about...the world of online entrepreneurship.
I’m sure there are a dozen other ways to refer to this loud and busy place, but no matter what you call it, it has taken on a life of its own.
There are millions of people making billions of dollars online and more and more are joining them daily.
Conduct a quick Google search and you’ll find plenty of stories touting people who have gone from rags to riches by harnessing the power of the internet.
It’s all pretty sexy if you ask me.
I mean, if your goal is to have a location-independent lifestyle (YES PLEASE), you don’t have a choice but to learn the nuances of creating an online business.
Making that decision, it turns out, is the easy part. Sorting through all the noise? Well, that’s where it can get crazy!
Let me introduce you to an affliction that most newbies suffer from when they start their online entrepreneurial journey: Shiny Object Syndrome.
I’ve seen people joke about the acronym SOS since there are times when you wish someone would just come and save you.
Save you from the confusion. Save you from the choices. Save your pocketbook from the impulsive buying!
I hate to admit it but I am speaking from experience.
In my first few months online, I had watched no less than two dozen webinars, subscribed to more than one hundred email lists and purchased more than ten eCourses and programs. TEN!
Now whether or not you have fallen trap to Shiny Object Syndrome or are just starting your exploration into the possibility of becoming an online entrepreneur, let me give you a little advice.
I’m about to save you numerous hours of wasted time and potentially hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars!
Before you get too far into your online explorations:
1. Start by taking some time to assess your skills and talents.
You don’t have to decide what type of online business you want to create going in but knowing what your strengths are will help you tremendously.
Make a list of everything you are good at and highlight the things you enjoy most. Do you like to write? Can you design a website? Are you a good organizer? A people person? A born leader? A social media maven?
You also don’t have to reinvent yourself! It is likely you’ll be able to turn the skills you currently possess into a viable business. Having a comprehensive list of your proficiencies will help you navigate the choices.
2. Don’t put the cart before the horse!
Let’s take a moment to talk about the order of things (because I did it kind of backwards). The first eCourse I purchased was all about Facebook marketing. What did I have to market at that point? Nothing!
Don’t buy a course because you think you’ll need it eventually. Not only will that course still be available when you need it, but there will be a dozen newer ones just like it.
The people peddling these courses are pretty darn good at making you think you have to buy their product RIGHT NOW! Before the price goes up. Before the bonus goes away. Before your “dilemma” drives you mad!
Hold tight. If it’s not going to solve a problem you have today, don’t click the buy now button.
3. Get solid advice from a mentor who’s been there.
I’ve learned a lot about mentors and coaches in my four years online and if there’s one bit of advice I can give you, it’s to make sure you and the coach are a good fit.
Many coaches specialize in a particular area of online entrepreneurship, which can actually help you narrow down the playing field.
Have a nice long conversation before hiring a coach and make sure your values are in sync. How long have they been coaching? Can you talk to some of their clients?
Hiring a coach is a good investment and the right coach can help you navigate all the Shiny Objects.
4. Beware of the inexperienced entrepreneurs who have created a program from a program.
This is happening more and more as the online space becomes increasingly competitive.
Here’s the scenario: Susan B. purchases an eCourse on “How to Design Facebook Ads.” She completes the training and designs a few Facebook ads to promote her new course “Facebook Ads 101.” She essentially has taken the course and redesigned it a bit and is now marketing it to her tribe.
When you purchase an eCourse, take some time to investigate the person who is selling it. How long have they been an “expert” in what they are peddling? How many people have been through their program? Do they have any testimonials?
While I don’t have any problem with someone launching a new course (we all have to start somewhere), I would hope their course was designed upon a foundation of knowledge and experience they already possess.
Which brings us back to #1 and your list of talents and skills. You likely have what it takes to succeed as an online entrepreneur.
If your dream is to have a location-independence business with virtually no limit to the amount of money you can make, you are in the right place.
The internet is not going away. Use it to your advantage and join thousands of others just like you who are making a great living online.
Take your time, use your common sense and avoid being blinded by all the shiny objects.
There are plenty of heart-centered entrepreneurs who are willing to help you navigate the noise. Just make sure to ask for help along the way!
Speaking of help, if you’re interested in retreats, I’d love to invite you to the Retreat Leaders Network Facebook group. It’s filled with new and seasoned retreat leaders, venue owners and travel lovers.