An Internet Marketer's Journal: July 6th, 2024

The Ongoing Marketing Escapades of Duncan Whitmore

This week, I'd like to talk about the stress one can experience when trying to set up and run an internet business and how you can avoid running yourself into the ground.

Most of us go into online marketing because we are looking for an escape from a stressful lifestyle.

Nevertheless, at the beginning, the only minutes we can devote to setting up an online business are during our spare time. We still have to maintain a reliable income through our day jobs.

And so the irony is that, at the beginning, seeking an escape from work causes our workload to be at its highest.

Not only is there a ton of learning to absorb, but you have to lay all of the foundation - setting up your website, blog, traffic sources, email campaigns, and so on.

Equally, however, it is possible for you to become obsessed with your business after you are successful.

Earning your first dollar online is like a drug - once you have a taste of success, you crave more of it.

As such, you can end up spending more hours in front of your computer than ever, sacrificing time you could devote to other pursuits or just relaxing with friends and family.

Indeed, I personally work harder than I did when I had a regular job.

I mention all of this because I had to take a break this week. In fact, I had little choice as my body decided to punish me with a migraine, to which I am susceptible occasionally.

And the usual trigger for these, I have noticed, is stress and too much thinking.

Most of the time, I am fine. I do love my work, and so a lot of what I do doesn't feel like work to me. But there are occasions when my "to do" list can get the better of me.

The following, therefore, is what I do to try and stay level-headed. I'm not saying that this will necessarily work for you as we all have different priorities and lifestyles. But I hope it sets a reasonable example.

First, I set realistic goals and focus on only one project at a time. Doing one thing well is better than trying to manage umpteen different opportunities.

Second, I try to stay patient. A lot of the work you do will pay off quite far down the line, so you need to be in this game for the long haul. Remember also that progress isn't linear. It's possible to slave away for months without many earnings before suddenly receiving an influx from a particularly successful promotion. 

Third, do not become prematurely reliant on your business by quitting your day job too soon. Your earliest earnings should be a source of investment funds for growing your business, not an excuse to go on vacation. I still cover most of my living expenses through freelance work while reinvesting my online earnings.

Fourth, you need to treat your business seriously, but do not pin all of your hopes and dreams on it. Yes, you need to maintain the faith that you will succeed in the end. But you must also be prepared to accept failure and setbacks along the way. Too much emotional investment will hinder this resolve. 

Fifth, I make time for the gym four times a week, plus some lighter exercise on other days. Interestingly, I tend to find that I often have my best business ideas (and solve stressful problems) while I am away from the computer. As such, I do recommend you have some sort of hobby away from both your job and your business that keeps your mind active.

Sixth, I take an actual break! I do absolutely nothing whatsoever that is work-related on Friday and Saturday evenings, and Sunday afternoons and evenings. This might not be possible when you are just getting started, as these hours may be the only opportunities you have to work on your business. If so, then at least try to have, say, half an hour of winding down before you go to bed each night. 

I hope you never find yourself crumbling under the weight of stress. Your online ventures are supposed to be an opportunity, not a burden.

But if you feel like things are getting the better of you, I hope this advice has provided you with a little help!

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