“Ask your physician how to feel good, and he’ll look you squarely in the eye and say, ‘Eat right and exercise.’ Yet for every dollar spent in fitness centers, Americans spend nineteen dollars on cocaine.
“The reason? Two seconds after you snort cocaine you feel like Superman. Two weeks of diet and exercise just makes you hungry and sore.”
~ Roy H. Williams, The Wizard of Ads
Of course you want to do it the fast, easy way.
You’re smart. You’re a human being. Smart human beings want to do it the fast, easy way.
And the slow, difficult way leaves us hungry and sore. We look at that gigantic project, that gigantic dream, and we long to crawl back into bed.
Someone comes along and tells you:
Actually, you can have all that stuff you want — freedom, money, nice things — and you can do it working fifteen minutes a week, sitting at the kitchen table in your underpants, even if you’re a mouth-breathing moron.
Of course you’re tempted. Because that message is designed to be tempting.
Maybe I can tempt you with something better.
It takes time
It used to be that to run a business, you had to put insane hours in. You opened that store at 6 am and you were there until 8 pm, then you stayed after that to do the books and pull together your yellow pages ad and write the paychecks to everybody except yourself.
Most “time saving” technology seems to create more work than it saves time. But for business owners, the revolution in communication technology actually has made our lives a lot better.
And because it lets us deliver a strong marketing message very widely (for very little money) it’s made our businesses a lot less time-consuming and a lot more profitable.
There are all kinds of little 21st-century village businesses that can generate a nice living without 60 hours a week of work.
But you’re still going to work your tail off sometimes. You’re still going to have weeks when you’re staying up late and getting up early. When you have no idea quite how it’s all going to get done.
And whatever business you create, it isn’t going to start throwing money at you overnight.
It takes time.
It takes work
My grandfather was a lumberjack. He got up before dawn, walked five miles to work, swung an axe all day long, then walked five miles home again. That’s work.
What I do is work, too. I have to remember to take time for physical exercise every day (something my grandfather would have found really bizarre). But my work takes all the mental energy I’m willing to give.
When you can swing it, it’s great to stick mostly to work that gives you energy, and doesn’t just take.
But that isn’t always possible. Sometimes you just have to suck it up and get your ass in gear.
There’s a word for a revenue source that doesn’t take any work on your part. It’s called your day job.
P.S. You’re probably about to lose it.
It takes brains
OK, not Einstein-level brains.
But no, you cannot be a mouth-breathing moron and make a business work.
Business is complex. It evolves. It adapts.
Every business has its weird little secrets that you have to figure out. (And your business’s weird little secrets may be very different from your competitor’s.) Every business has a million possible paths, and you have to figure out one that may not be optimal, but that’s at least pretty good.
Real business forces you to make decisions. Lots of them. Quickly. And making decisions takes brains.
The good news is, you have brains. You may not have confidence, but that’s ok, because you can develop that. But there’s no good cure for stupid.
It feels good to do something that takes time, work, and brains
Actually, you can have all that stuff you want. Freedom, money, nice things. Yes, it’s going to take time, work, and brain power, but that’s why it’s something worth spending your time on.
The thing that makes it difficult and painful is the same thing that makes it important.
To learn more about how to put your time, work, and brains into something worthwhile, subscribe to the free Internet Marketing for Smart People newsletter. No hype, no junk, just solid advice about how to market your online business.