Is Online Marketing Too Hard for You?

Ok, this is a rant but it needs to be said… I got another email the other day from someone lamenting at how darn difficult it is to start and run an online business. He went on and on about his struggles, challenges, problems… how he didn’t have anyone to sit right there and show him step by step what to do, that he had to read BOOKS and watch VIDEOS to learn things… He was literally convincing himself that he couldn’t do it.

Is Online Marketing Too Hard for You?

This man is a friend of mine. He’s 42 years old, has a good job, a college education and a lousy attitude.

Finally I got sick of his whining and I sent him this note:

“Dear Peter,

What I’m about to say, I say with love and the deepest of respect.

I want to tell you about a 14 year old boy named William Kamkwamba.

William was born into poverty in a small Malawi village in Africa.

Because of a crippling famine, William was forced to drop out of school since his family could no longer afford the tuition. To further his education, William used his spare time to study books in the village library, where he evidently learned some stuff all on his own.

His village had no electricity and no running water. So at the ripe old age of 14 and using what he learned from those books, William built a wind turbine out of blue gum trees, bicycle parts and scrap.

This turbine along with future turbines William built powered his entire village.

Next, William built a solar-powered water pump to supply the first drinking water to his village.

Of course, William had many advantages you do not. He didn’t have decades of life experience like you do.

He didn’t know that things were supposed to be hard. He didn’t know to complain. He didn’t know that what you learn in books is useless.

You’re smarter than William. You know how hard it is to get motivated when you already have drinking water, food, a home and so forth.

And books – you know how difficult it is to read and learn from those silly things. After all, the only thing in them is the knowledge of experts who’ve already done the things you want to do.

You know how hard it is to move that mouse and tap those keys.

Starting an online business? You know it’s impossible.

But William… he didn’t know any of those things.

And at 14 he brought power and water to his entire village all by himself.

Maybe you could ask William to show you how to build your online business…

😉

Love,

Me.

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Give Feedback without Hurting Feelings

You hired someone to do some writing for you. Problem is, the writing itself isn’t exactly what you’re looking for. Or maybe it’s just not written well, or you need some changes…

Give Feedback without Hurting Feelings

Or perhaps a marketing colleague has asked you for feedback on their writing, and frankly you hate it.

What can you do to help the person make the appropriate changes, without offending them?

Try making it about you and not about the writing.

For example, instead of saying, “The chronology is confusing,” you tell them that you got confused by the chronology.

Instead of, “The dialogue sounds too contrived,” tell them you’re having trouble relating to the dialog, and give them a specific example of what you mean and how it could be changed.

By making it about you, you’re not insulting the work or the author. You’re simply offering your own experience of the writing.

This helps no matter what you’re critiquing – software, artwork, a website, etc. You can also use the phrase, “Have you considered…” to make a suggestion they can think of as their own.

Business is a people sport, and you must develop skills to successfully communicate with and offer honest and sometimes painful feedback to others while maintaining rapport if you expect to be successful.

Apply some of the tips above and be sure to give feedback without hurting feelings… Of course, these same strategies can be helpful in your personal relationships as well. 😉

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Are You The Low Man on the Totem Pole?

There is an American expression that if you are starting at the bottom of something and working your way up, then you are, “Low man on the totem pole.”

Are You The Low Man on the Totem Pole?

A totem pole is a Native American sculpture that is generally quite tall, with carvings of animals, symbols and people stacked one on top of the other.

But Native Americans are smart. They know that on a 30 foot pole, no one is going to see the top carvings very well.

So they place the most important person or carving on the BOTTOM.

That’s right – if you’re on the bottom and just starting out, you are the most important marketer in the room. Do you know why?

Because everything is wide open for you. You have the chance to do anything you want, target any sub-niche, become an expert in any topic and so forth.

And you have the opportunity to turn the niche completely on its head and make it your own.

Being new is a positive. No one has pegged you as the “So-in-so” guy or gal yet. Your reputation is pristine. Your future is incredibly bright. And there are no limits to what you can achieve.

So if you’re new in a niche, then celebrate – you are indeed the “Low wo/man on the totem pole!”

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