For the Last Time … There Is No Magic Wand!

    July 10, 2003

“I’m looking for a program that will make me enough money so that I can quit my job. I need about $2,000 a week. I have to give a month’s notice at work. Will I be making that with your program by then?”

“I just lost my job and I need to make a lot of money fast to pay off my debts. How quickly can I make $35,000?”

“I’m new to the internet. Can I really make $200 a day with your program?”

These are real extracts from three emails I received this week. This week was no different from any other week. My respective responses to the above three were “no”, “not” and “yes, eventually” (to paraphrase). To each, I sent a lengthy response explaining what they should realistically expect to generate from each of the programs in question. I didn’t hear back from any of them. No doubt they’ve given up or have moved on to someone who will tell them what they want to hear.

I’ve lost count of the number of conversations like this I’ve had over the past months. Too many. I’m sick of the sound of my own voice, saying the same thing, over and over. So, this article is a summary of all of the advice I keep giving over and over and is my response in advance to all future queries that fit the “how soon can I get rich” mold.

1. There Is No Such Thing As Get Rich Quick

You will NOT make $50,000 in 60 days. You will probably not make $50,000 in 600 days. If you are very new to the internet you will be doing VERY well to make $500 in 60 days. But you probably won’t even have worked out what you want to do before then anyway. Some people don’t EVER make enough money to cover their webhosting and ISP fees.

2. Your Computer Is Not An ATM, Nor Is Your Letterbox

Your computer is not a money-spitting machine. It is a tool for conducting your business. Your business is something you create with your own hard work and ingenuity using the tools you have at your disposal and your own natural talent. Your business, if your hard work pays off, will generate income for you but cash will never spew forth from the CD ROM drive.

Your letterbox is not an ATM either. You will not go to your mailbox tomorrow morning and find a stack of cash in there either. I don’t care WHAT you’ve heard.

3. You Have To Work Every Day

You will NOT make money while you sleep. If you make hay while the sun shines you may wake many days later to find orders in your mailbox. But those orders have come from your haymaking efforts, not by some process of osmosis while you were sleeping.

4. You Have to Sow Before You Can Reap

You cannot reap what you have not sown. You will NOT receive orders for your you-beaut internet rags to riches widget by slapping up a webpage with a link to your credit card processor. You must invest real time and real effort into creating a real product that people are interested in acquiring and then you must let real people know that it exists.

This is seriously hard work. A self-replicating website and a few classified ads in half a dozen ezines does not equal real time and real effort and, often, it doesn’t equal a real product either.

5. You Have to Create Your Own Website

Affiliate programs are a good way to get your feet wet with internet marketing. But they won’t make you any serious money until you create your own website with quality content that draws targeted traffic.

6. You Have to Create Your Own Product(s)

Even when you have created your own website with quality content that draws targeted traffic, your income from affiliate programs will be limited. The lion’s share of the profits is going to the owner of the affiliate program. You are working on commission.

To make serious money on the internet, you need to develop your own product or service and keep the lion’s share of the profit. Then YOU can set up your OWN affiliate program and get everyone else to sell it for you for a commission.

7. You Have To Run Your Business As A Business

Your internet business is a business. It is not a hobby (unless you aren’t making any money, THEN it’s a hobby). So run it as a business. That means being professional and customer-oriented. It means exercising good business judgement and it means expecting to be around this time next year.

8. You Will Be Dealing With Real, Live People

When you receive orders or emails, they will be sent by people, not machines. Respond accordingly.

9. Don’t Give Up Your Day Job … Yet

It will take you a long time, probably many months, before you will be earning from your online business what you are currently earning in your job. So, if you’re making $2,000 a week in your job, you won’t be giving it up any time soon.

10. You Will Have To Be Patient

On the internet, the time moves as fast as it does anywhere else. No faster. When you start a business offline, it takes time, many months usually, before the business starts to take off. It is the same on the internet. The only thing that’s fast on the internet is the websurfer’s index finger on the mouse button. Making money is as slow online as it is offline.

11. You Will Have to Persevere

There will be times when you feel like you’re just not getting anywhere. You will feel like quitting then. Most do, in fact. Don’t be one of them.

12. If You Use Unscrupulous Tactics You Will FAIL

Some people decide that the real world does not apply to them and that they can get rich without investing time or effort. These people tell everyone whatever they want to hear to make a sale.

These same people buy bulk email and harvesting software so they can go around gathering up all the email addresses they can find to send their sales message to. These people figure if only one percent of these 100,000 names respond that’s a good return. They are wrong. What happens is they get bombarded with hate mail and shut down by their ISP. Their business is snuffed out in an instant.

13. There is no magic wand

Get it? Got it? Good!

2000 Elena Fawkner

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online … practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the work-from-home entrepreneur.