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How to make the switch to working online part 1

How to take the initial steps in starting your career and work online. How to pick and choose you lifestyle and develop yourself to ensure success in working online. By learning different unconventional marketing techniques and using different marketing strategies you gain the edge on your competition through marketing online.

Marketing Ideas, Unconventional Marketing, Marketing Strategies, Marketing, Josh Whitford

How to make the switch to working online is going to be a short series on how to move from your 9-5 job to a life of freedom and flexibility of working online. This is how I made my move and how you can too, no BS involved.

First, it isn’t working online but rather playing online and earning money. If I did not love getting up in the morning doing what I am doing, I wouldn’t last a month. The biggest hurdle you have to overcome while pondering the thought of working online is to ignore what others have done to make money online and to do what you love instead.

When people first start out online, they look at the likes of John Chow and Jeremy Schoemaker and think, “I can do this.” What most people realize after about a month of trying is it doesn’t work out that way. Earning money online can be a lot harder than it appears.

First Step:

Start! I know that seems basic, but it is amazing that most people only think and talk about making a life change for the better. So get going and do it! Learn about the different ways you can make money online and what you are capable of doing.

Second Step:

Find what you love to do. Motivation is a huge factor in success. When you love your work, you aren’t working. Having fun is probably the most important aspect of doing what you love. Besides loving what you do, you will often know a lot about that particular niche, adding even more to your credibility and knowledge to the trends in that market. Knowing as much as you can about your niche market gives you the edge on top of the passion to pursuit it. It amazes me that even after blogging for a short period of time you will see so many other bloggers come and go as they slowly give up on their pursuit of money. It’s a pursuit of a dream that will carry you through.

Third Step:

Phase into your online work. I didn’t just wake up one day and start working online. I started by reading blogs. Then I started subscribing to blogs that I liked. I opened up a free blogging account on Blogger.com and other sites, learning the skills of creating a fluid site online. I learned how to and how not to make money online (selling ebooks is not going to get you anywhere unless you know how to market online well). Make the shift from part-time Internet entrepreneur to full-time self employed Internet marketer. Start small and allow yourself to have a life outside of the Internet and your work. As you grow and expand online, you will have to be the judge of when to quit your day job and pursuit your online business. I did this after roughly 4-5 months. I timed vacation and paychecks to give me the most coverage and financial buffer I could. This process wasn’t easy and I had to live on next to nothing for a few months in order to accomplish the transaction. I recommend saving as much money as you can before this part or already be generating a steady income stream from your part-time online ventures. Both are good ideas.

Fourth Step:

Find a balance in your life and establish a routine. It is a whole new world to work for yourself. There is no longer someone making sure you are accomplishing your work. You have to be your own boss. Treat your time as a commodity that you can no longer take back. Time is no longer worth a fixed dollar amount. It is equated in the terms of value added. You now get paid on performance and the value that you provide. It no longer matters how long it takes you to accomplish tasks in order to get paid but rather how much value you provide your customers. Never cheat your customers on value. You may find that in order to generate the income you want, you only spend 4 hours a day working for it. It is important to find that balance and treat that time like it is pure gold, because it is.

Fifth Step:

Diversify. The days where you set up a store front and sold hardware supplies to local people are fading fast. In a world that changes in a matter of minutes online, you cannot afford to be stagnate. As soon as you start generating a decent income from your flagship blog or virtual business, you should be creating the next. When you have 4-5 different but related businesses online, you protect yourself from failure due to lose of income. If one of those businesses or income streams disappears, you still have others to carry your through until your next idea is put into place. The winds of business change so quickly online that no one knows for sure what the next year will bring. If people claim to know, they are lying.

Sixth Step:

Give back. Giving back is a crucial part of business and branding. Giving back doesn’t always have to involve money, it can be in time to help charitable causes, giving advice to others, talking with and answering questions from customers, sending thank you cards and notes and just about anything else. Never forget where you were at one point, and remember to give credit to those who helped get you there.

 

How to make the switch to working online Part 2

How to take the initial steps in starting your career and work online. How to pick and choose you lifestyle and develop yourself to ensure success in working online. By learning different unconventional marketing techniques and using different marketing strategies you gain the edge on your competition through marketing online.

Unconventional Marketing, Marketing Ideas, Marketing Strategy, Josh Whitford

My last post was about switching from a traditional job to working for yourself online. I touched on some basics needed to accomplish this task. For me, all of this started when I quit my day job and set out to work for myself online, inspiring me to write about The Top 10 Reasons to Quit Your Job. There are countless reasons to quit your job and start having fun, but how does someone make that jump from the rat race to living out a dream?

November 2006 is where my dream started. I was driving beet truck for a local farmer during harvest season, looking for jobs to apply to and setting up interviews. I listened to the radio a lot while driving and picked up a show by Dave Ramsey, the get out of debt guru. He inspired me to make life changes in order to get out of debt and live a more fulfilled life. After reading some of the books he recommended, including some of his own, I came across a book called, 48 Days to the Work You Love. I have mentioned this book a couple of times because I will gladly buy this for anyone graduating from high school or college. The book doesn’t give you any answers about what jobs you should work, but it does ask the right questions. Over the next year and half, I worked to achieve my goal and quest to pursuit the career of my choice.

When I say I tried all the wrong ways to make money online, I mean it. I did the blog with Adsense, tried to sell ebooks, eBay drop shipping (including the book), and many others. I thought because others were successful at doing those things that I would be able to replicate their work. I was able to an extent do what they did but ultimately it cost me much more time and effort than I ever got out of those ideas. I always knew I wanted the flexibility and lifestyle that the Internet business could provide, but I was doing the business of others and not myself. It wasn’t until I figured out that doing what you are really passionate about is the key to succeeding both on and offline in business. You truly have to love what you do and be willing to do it even without a paycheck. If you can honestly wake up in the morning and want nothing more than to get to work you have found what you love. I can’t even sleep in anymore because I will just lay there thinking about the things I can do for the day.

For myself, I found that I love solving problems. I have know this for a long time but never capitalized on that ability to help negotiate my way through the situation until its resolve was complete. I also knew that I love working with people and helping to meet their needs (the go to person). What I did was merge offline business with business online. I have been helping local groups and businesses be found online. Most have a website but that site is not easily found in their local markets. I help define people’s goals and target for their businesses online. In our local market, this is a completely untapped niche. I can’t name anyone in town who really has a clue to accomplish these tasks for a business (some claim but don’t deliver). The last two months have brought a lot of business in for me and I find that each day I love what I do more and more. I think it is so much fun to help people like this and in an untapped market there is a lot of opportunity to grow.

The biggest part to remember with all of the information you digest while beginning your quest to work online is to live out your dream, not the successes of another. Unless you can separate your quest for money apart from a fulfilled career, it will have a short lifespan. Ask yourself the right questions:

* What are my favorite hobbies? (Passions)
* What do I know a lot about or seek to know a lot about (investing, housing, SEO, puppies)? (Drive / Motivation)
* What are my talents (talking, writing, production, media, technologies)? (Leverages)
* What do I get fulfillment out of (helping others, adding value, sharing, teaching)? (Purpose)
* Who do I most want to work with (kids, businesses, charities, sports, car enthusiasts)? (Market)

Find your target market and build a product for it. Always have a plan and a goal before you start something online. My goal for this blog was to reach others and build a network. Don’t build a blog and try 10 different methods of making money from it, you’ll waste your time. Build a product or service for your target market, not a market for your product or service.

 

How to make the switch to working online Part 3

How to take the initial steps in starting your career and work online. How to pick and choose you lifestyle and develop yourself to ensure success in working online. By learning different unconventional marketing techniques and using different marketing strategies you gain the edge on your competition through marketing online.

Unconventional Marketing, Marketing Ideas, Marketing Strategy, Josh Whitford

I know everyone wants the magic bullet or the secret elixir to making money online, and the truth is I don’t have it. The most I can do is tell you what I have done and the things not to do in order to make the switch. The best part about not being able to tell you how to make your money online is that it will not limit you in your pursuit to do so. The sky is the limit and when you find your niche you’ll watch your business returning more than you ever thought possible. I don’t have to remind, but the Internet can deliver more customers to your business than being located in the most expensive and trafficked intersection in downtown Manhattan. Here are four lessons to keep in mind while discovering your calling online. Hopefully they will reduce the bumps along the way.

First:

Wait before you act. I am sure most of you were like me and discovered how some others were making their money online and decided to do the same exact thing in order to make some cash. You have to give yourself a breathing period before you act on those urges and more importantly before you spend money. Here is a simple rule: For every $100 you are about to spend, wait a day. The average wage is about $10 an hour and $100 is roughly 1 days worth of work. Before you spend that money on something, ask yourself if it will help you in your quest to making money online. Wait, think about it for a day, then if you still think it is a good idea, go for it. Even if that idea doesn’t pan and make you money back, you had the time to properly analyze the information and hopefully did a little more research and soul seeking. You’ll be surprised how much money you will save when you employ this tactic of waiting.

I love to read both online and offline and when I get into the mode of one idea or another I want to jump on it while it is fresh and seize the day. This is particularly dangerous online because of all of the information and plethora of ideas available from all sorts of people who claim to have made it big online with whatever technique they are promoting. Don’t forget they got rich promoting those ideas and encouraging that “I can do anything” emotion.

Second:

Ask for someone else’s opinion. When I say most of my friends and family don’t know what I do online, I mean it, they don’t. The reason for them not understanding what I do is simply because their generation was not immersed in the age of the Internet like my generation was. But business is business and marketing is marketing both on and offline. I know there are a lot of different techniques, but the basic principles hold true in both worlds. Before you set out to make your millions online, tell someone else how you plan on doing that. On top of telling them, ask for their opinion and listen. More often than not, you will have to explain things like you are talking to a 5th grader, not in disrespect but in order to bring understanding of what it is you are planning on doing. If it is a get rich quick scheme or sounds to good to be true, you will probably see that in your discussion. Listen and heed those warnings. Don’t get defensive with question after question. A one-hour discussion with another person can save you hundreds of hours of work and more importantly wasting your time. The Internet is full of ways to make money online, but if you can’t name one person who has done that to make money, it is probably because no one else has.

Third:

Develop a leather skin. I know after that last point you might think this is counterproductive, but I am referring more to the criticism you will for sure get. I was fairly lucky in the area of criticism. Most of my friends and family have come to expect that I would try and do things others typically don’t. With the help of family, I bought a house at 19 to rent out the rooms while going to college and many more atypical things. Other people are not so lucky when it comes to criticism from their support group. It is hard to combat that negative energy and comments while you aim for your goal. Most of that criticism comes from a lack of understanding on their part. Take the time to sit down with them and explain your logic and method you are using to obtain your goal. Hopefully that will squelch the criticism, but it is not guaranteed to do so. The truth is those criticizing your idea normally care about you and don’t want you to fail trying to obtain some lofty goal they don’t understand. In this case, the more they know about your goal and method, they will probably start supporting you in your endeavor.

If talking fails to rally the support you need, surround yourself with others who have the same type of goals you do. Find a forum or small group that is aiming to do what you are doing, and join the community. Others might not understand your need to go after these goals, but your new friends will. Make your intentions known, and see who is in support of them. Those are the people you should develop a strong relationship with.

Fourth:

Draft your ideas. Like doing an outline for a paper in high school, it is still important to map out your plan of action and develop the idea. The last thing you want to do is get caught with your pants down in the business world. Having a clear thought written down with the steps you want to take will save you a lot of time. As you truck along on your online ventures, it is easy to get sidetracked and lose focus. Having your plan or goals down and in a visible place will bring you back to where you need to be, much like the Constitution is for the United States (bad example but you get the idea). Goals and visions change all the time, and that is okay. When you feel the project is going to take you in a new direction, simply make the changes to your business constitution.

On a final note, I wish it were easy to tell people how to live and make money online, but it isn’t. The most I can do is give you a set of guides and some time saving methods to help you along in your quest. I have had to learn the hard way more often that not even though I had the counsel of others that had gone on before me. I still tried the same stupid techniques guaranteed not to make you money and wasted countless hours doing so.




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