I was reading a post on Moon Hussain’s blog Experiments in Passive Income recently which set me off thinking about how we manage and control our online workloads. Moon raises the point that had she known the amount of work involved and the difficulties to be overcome before she started her blog, she might possibly never have even started it in the first place.
I’m sure that’s a feeling that a lot of us have had, whether in relation to a blog or to one of our other affiliate marketing projects. So what is the key to managing that workload so that we can keep progressing without things getting on top of us?
Firstly, I think it is essential to be realistic about your own individual situation. We all have different amounts of time to devote to our online careers, and we all have our own ideas of what we want or need to achieve. There is simply no point in beating yourself up because somebody else managed to achieve success faster than you. They may have done it on a diet of black coffee and one hours sleep per night, and good luck to them! But my own situation wouldn’t allow me to do that (trust me, I need all the beauty sleep I can get in any case!), so why on earth should I expect to get the same results?
My second point is that your online career progress can be made just fine in individual ongoing stages. You don’t need to do everything at once just because somebody says “hey fool you’re leaving some money on the table”.
As a personal example, any experienced marketer visiting this blog will quickly notice that I don’t have a mailing list, I do no social networking via Facebook or Twitter. Surely a major oversight not to be gathering e-mail addresses and building a list? And no social networking, is this guy out of the ark or something? Well no, it’s not an oversight at all, I just don’t want to do those things at this stage. Why? Well, a newsletter ideally needs more content than I have time to produce at present; marketing to a list needs products that I have not even thought about producing yet; social networking also takes time I don’t have, and gives me exposure I currently don’t want or need, etc etc.
Should I start building a list now and then start marketing to it in a years time out of the blue? No, I don’t think that is a good idea either. So I’ll do it in my own time when I’m good and ready, and not just because someone says I have to.
There are some common themes that come up time and time again when you hear people asked about what attracted them to an online career – freedom, flexibility, variety, enjoyment – all great reasons, but hitching yourself up to someone else’s schedule is a pretty good way of destroying at least two of those. If you take away the flexibility and enjoyment, you might just as well go on working for ‘the man’.
Set your goals realistically to match the time you have at your disposal. Don’t cut corners and still expect results. Give yourself the time you need to succeed and forget about what others are doing, their situation is bound to be different. But most importantly of all, keep it enjoyable!
Do you agree? Disagree? – Please leave a comment, your input is always welcome!