If You’re Going to Put the Work In …

image of hard hat and work gloves

So how do you feel about this scenario?

You take, say, 3 or 4 months to thoroughly research a topic.

You become a ninja, the world’s foremost authority.

You lock yourself in your basement for another 4 months to write a comprehensive ebook. A thing of beauty. The definitive guide. A masterpiece.

Sure, your spouse won’t talk to you and even your dog doesn’t remember what you look like. But it’s all worth it. Because success as an information entrepreneur comes from quality, you know that. And this product is pure quality.

Somehow you find the courage to approach some big names to promote it for you. You carefully copy the techniques of the giant launches we’re all so sick of.

You announce your launch far and wide. People on the science station in Antarctica are getting promotional emails for this thing.

And you sell six copies. Two of which are to your mom.

Your dog files for divorce.

Being good isn’t enough

Sure, having a good product is a given. It’s the cost of admission. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

If you build it, they won’t come.

Not unless what you build is something they really, really want.

Something that makes them itchy with desire. Something that lets them get back to sleep when they wake up with the 3 a.m. crazy worries.

It’s not enough that you’re sure it’s just what they want. You aren’t sure. Not unless you conduct some pretty thorough and specific research.

This is why so many inventors are broke. They fall in love with their own ideas, instead of falling in love with the needs, wants and desires of their target market.

Build on a solid foundation

Creating a business that depends on Twitter (and for which no other tool will work) just isn’t, frankly, very smart. The same goes for FaceBook. And especially Google.

Creating a business that relies on a particular set of economic conditions isn’t very smart. Ask your cousin the mortgage broker.

Creating a business that’s driven completely by fashion is going to feel a lot of pain when the pretty people find something new to play with.

You need to build your business on a foundation that’s
not going to radically change on you.

That’s not to say that you can’t use Twitter or Google or fashion or the economic meltdown to fuel your business. They’re all good tools that can be leveraged.

But they’re not the foundation. Foundations need to stay put. You need to be able to rely on them. Concrete makes good foundations. Jell-O doesn’t.

As you’re putting together your own online business, ask yourself if it relies on specific tools (that couldn’t be replaced by some other tool down the line), or if it’s built on an enduring, solid structure.

Will your business model still be viable 5 years from now? 20?

Do you even have a business model?

If not, don’t get too stressed out. We have some thoughts on that, too … and we’ll share ’em with you tomorrow.


Did you get here via a link from a friend, or twitter? We’ve got a lot more to share with you, including articles, case studies, a nifty process map so you can do it yourself, and a great video on getting more traffic.

All this is to let you know more about our flagship program, Teaching Sells. We think it’s the best online business model for the 21st century, period.

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