As many of you are probably aware, I currently offer a free 6 day mini-course on how to start a niche online store in 5 easy steps. And while my guide is an excellent introduction to the world of ecommerce, by no means does it contain all of the necessary information to run a successful online shop.
Why am I telling you this? It’s because the other day, one of my readers emailed me to let me know that he had followed all of my directions on how to launch an online store from my free course but wasn’t making any sales. In fact, he even went as far as to blame me for wasting his time and money.
First off, I just want to say that there’s a big difference between “launching” your store versus running a successful one. My free 6 day mini-course is meant to get your feet wet and get you excited about the prospect of starting your own business. But that’s about it.
For those who want additional instruction and want to learn everything there is to know about running an ecommerce store, I also offer a full blown comprehensive course at ProfitableOnlineStore.com.
When I asked if this reader was interested in signing up for my full course, he responded by telling me that he didn’t need formal instruction and that he would simply get by with information he found on the Internet for free. Now if that were the case, then why was he blaming me for the lack of sales?
The reality is that all of the free information on the internet leads people to carry a false sense of confidence in regards to making their business successful. Not only is there a lot of conflicting advice out there, but the information is way too general. If everything were straightforward and cookie cutter, then everyone would be making money online!
Today, I’m going to explain to you why the information you can find for free on the web is of little use when starting an actual business. In fact, I will also go as far as to say that if you launch an online business with just general knowledge that can be found online for free, you will probably fail.
Running A Business Is Like Raising A Child
The best analogy that I can come up with that even compares to starting an online business is raising a child. When my wife was pregnant with our first child, I went out and read every single parenting blog, magazine and advice column that I could find. Not only was I a regular on the parenting forums but I also purchased a series of books on raising children which covered everything from how to sooth a crying baby all the way to how to raise a teenager. Yes, you read that right. I was so gung-ho that I skipped ahead to the teenage years!!!
One of my greatest fears as a new parent was that I would not be able to sooth my daughter and stop her from crying. So as I was doing my research, I focused a lot of my attention on articles which taught me how to calm a new born baby. I read about swaddling. I read about the patented “Happiest Baby On The Block” technique. Hell I even watched a video about how to interpret baby sounds so that I could understand the “language” that my baby would speak. (Incidentally, trying to understand “baby language” is both fun and hilarious. Unfortunately, it’s not that straightforward.)
Anyways up until my daughter was born, I felt so confident and cocky that I knew everything there was to know about calming a child that I started to scoff at some of my friends who weren’t sleeping at night because their children wouldn’t stop crying. If only they knew what I knew! If only they had done the impeccable research that I’d done!
My Daughter Is Born And All Hell Breaks Loose
All of my confidence and training went out the window when my little daughter was born. Once we took her home from the hospital, she was absolutely inconsolable. Every night, she would cry uncontrollably and I couldn’t get her to stop. I tried everything that I learned from my vast research. I tried swaddling her. I tried burping her. I tried bouncing her. Nothing worked at all! I tried interpreting her body movements and her “baby language” to no avail. All of my book training went out the window and all I could do was panic.
After 3 sleepless nights, I did what any desperate parent would do. I drove like a madman to Babies R Us and purchased every single baby soothing contraption on the market. The cashiers chuckled behind the cash register as they watched me scramble and grab everything they had on their shelves. MAKE WAY! CLUELESS DAD ON AISLE 5!!!
Despite blowing a large amount of cash, still nothing worked. I was tired, frustrated and all I could think of was that those books were full of s$&^. All of those blogs and forums that I participated in were completely useless in the wake of my newborn daughter! All of that time and training had gone to waste!
Finally in one last act of desperation, my wife and I decided to pay the extra money and went to see a specialist…and she helped us out immediately. By showing us the proper techniques on how to hold our baby girl and how to sooth her first hand really opened our eyes. There was no book that could teach this!! After receiving some more personal instruction, we finally settled on our own unique method of soothing our daughter that no book or website ever mentioned.
It turned out that our daughter liked to be swaddled, inserted into a sling and bounced up and down in a precise cadence that matched the theme song of the 80′s cartoon “The Gummy Bears”. Go figure!
What Does This Have To Do With Online Business?
So what is the point of telling you my crazy newborn story? It’s to illustrate that like raising a child, every business is different. Even though there’s a lot of free general information out there, there are many subtleties to running a business that can only be learned through experience and guidance. Just because you read about something online does not mean that you’ll know how to apply it correctly.
After all, when was the last time you read a generic business book or blog post and found that all of the material exactly applied to your business? Every business is going to be different and every business will face its own unique set of obstacles. That is why when it comes to running a business, general information is not enough!
So why do so many would be entrepreneurs invest large amounts of money and time on a business based on general information they’ve found online for free? Why do so many people place such large bets on conceptual knowledge they read about from a book or blog post? The truth is that this is the wrong way to go about it.
The right way is to get formal training and advice tailored specifically to the type of business you want to start. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to have someone who is experienced show you all of the ropes. It will save you time, money and a lot of heart ache.
Formal Training Tailored To You
So why am I telling you all of this? If you are interested in dipping your toe in the world of ecommerce, then take my free mini course. But if you want to learn the ins and outs of running a successful online store, you need to checkout my course on how to create a profitable online store.
In addition to the course materials and over 35 hours of video that you’ll receive, you’ll have access to my expertise. I will be here to answer your emails and I will hold weekly office hours where you can ask me specific questions that pertain directly to your business. And since I run an online store of my own, it is my job to stay on top of the latest ecommerce trends.
As I mentioned above, every business venture is different so why waste time wading through tons of generic info that might not apply to you? Do you want to struggle through many sleepless nights with your business? Or would you rather find someone who can actually help. The choice is up to you.
- What Running A Business And Having A Baby Have In Common And Why It Matters
- How To Increase Sales For Your Small Business By Potty Training Your Child
- What My Baby Girl Has Taught Me About Running A Business
- How We Stopped Short Of Becoming Lazy Pieces Of Crap
- Despite The Downturn, I Feel Wealthier Than Ever
Have you read these?
- How to Maximize Credit Card Use for Small Business Owners
- Did You Really Try? Or Did You Just Give Up?
- My Yearly Report: Online Store Profits Up 28% Year Over Year
- How To Sell More To Your Existing Customers And Grow Your Business
- Mistakes Made In Finding Products To Sell: How My Wife Lost Her Favorite Hobby