A lot has changed since I started my first online business in 1996. Back then, there really wasn’t anyone doing photos, let alone video… and building a website was this super complicated (and expensive) undertaking.
But there is something that hasn’t changed in 20+ years of business… and that is knowing what it takes to be successful. Here’s one of my favorite “rules” for winning – not just online, but in any business.
I started my first online business in August 1996, and that means we’re coming up on the 23rd anniversary of that first start.
It got me reminiscing about all the people I’ve known over the years, and I have friends in the industry going back 10 years, 15 years, even 20 years. It’s amazing where the time has gone, and it’s amazing the changes I’ve seen.
I remember when I started and the first pay-per-click advertising, there was a company called GoTo.com, and you could actually buy clicks for a penny. And then, at some point they changed the rules, and they raised the minimum bid from a penny to a nickel, and I was absolutely outraged. It’s like, how could they increase my spend, my minimum bid by 500%, how can it go from a penny to a nickel? It just seemed downright unfair.
That was one of my first wake-ups that we’re in a real business and I’m not in control. The only thing I’m in control of is this stuff I’m in control of. I’m not in control of other people’s platforms, so that was a lesson.
But anyway, so as I was going down memory lane and thinking about all the ways this business has changed and how it’s grown up, how it’s like a real business now.
Back then (it was in the mid-nineties), there were, I don’t know, a few dozen people actually making money online. That was the big question, “Can you really make money online? You know, that internet sounds cool, but can you make money online?”
But anyway, I got to thinking about all these changes I’ve seen over the years, and then I got to think about all the people that have come and gone. The people who had crazy success back then, who just seemed like you could bet the farm on them, they were just having unbelievable success. And then other people … a year or two later they were gone. Then other people who just persevered, and they kept going, and they kept on getting bigger and bigger.
Frankly, I’ll tell you what, if you had a time machine to go back then, and you would ask people to place bets on who was still going to be around 20-some years later, probably not too many people would’ve bet on me, because I’m not one of those people that is super flashy and whatever. We don’t need a therapy session here, but I got to thinking about the people that have survived, and the people that have thrived, and people that haven’t.
And it got me thinking about this saying I heard recently, and it’s simple and it’s a little silly maybe, but it goes like this, because I think this is the key. This is a key. This is … No, this is probably the key to success in this business. Probably in any business.
The saying goes like this, “The name of the game is to stay in the game until you win the game.”
Because no one is a success immediately. No one just comes right out of the gate and just has just, amazing, enormous success. It just doesn’t happen. It doesn’t happen in any area in life, and it doesn’t happen in online business. The name of the game is to stay in the game until you win the game. You need the perseverance. You have to understand that the first thing you do isn’t going to be the last thing you do. The first business you start probably is not going to be the perfect business that lasts forever.
I started out in a different business. I started out teaching about the stock market. That went for about eight years until I had a partnership breakup. Then I made a major pivot. That idea of a pivot – incredibly important. You are going to need to pivot in your business. You might need to start a new business. You just have to be okay with it. You just have to understand that in this game you have to stay in the game if you want to win the game. Success is not instant, but if you take those baby steps and keep on pivoting and keep on moving towards the things that are working…
You know, when I started that first business, that first year, year and a half was a struggle, barely making any money whatsoever, but I just was building up this following. I knew that something was going to … that it was there. It was just right around the corner and when I figured out a tweak to our offer, and I figured out a tweak to our marketing, that business started to grow. You have to stay in the business until you get those little tweaks figured out.
You know, I teach people how to launch and I want everyone to have a massive, amazing success with their first launch, but the reality is that if you just get that first launch done, no matter what it does, it’s a win. It’s a win because you’re moving forward, and you’ve learned. You’ll never learn as much as you do the first time you launch. You’ll never learn as much as you do the first time you put up an opt-in page, the first time you get opt-ins, the first time you put an offer out there. You’ll never learn that much ever again. So you just have to get in the game, and figure out a way to stay in the game until you win the game.
So, I’m Jeff Walker. Wherever you’re watching this, scroll down, leave a comment for me, and let’s go get ‘em this week.