An Internet Marketer's Journal: June 29th, 2024

The Ongoing Marketing Escapades of Duncan Whitmore

I feel like I've had something of an underachieving week. This is not to say that I've been procrastinating (although I do from time to time!); it just seems as though I'm not much farther ahead today than I was this time last week.

It's at moments like these that one can easily get frustrated - especially when you are new to building your business. Worse still, you can feel like a failure who is never going to succeed at any online venture.

Such moments are also when sudden rags-to-riches stories - especially when the subjects of the stories are very young - can be irritating.

We all know, for instance, that Mark Zuckerberg was 19 when he started Facebook, while Bill Gates was only 23 when he founded Microsoft.

But even within our own realm of online marketing, you occasionally hear of, say, a high school kid who makes a million dollars in his first month at the computer.

These stories are meant to be inspiring - except that they can become disheartening when one is a) quite a bit older than these people, and b) slaving away at the computer every day without approaching any kind of equivalent success.

Now I have long since gotten over all of these frustrations.

But if you find that they still affect you, then here are some ways in which you can lift your spirits instead of lapsing into envy:

First, let's deal with the speed issue.

People who find success very quickly should be seen as akin to lottery winners - extraordinary outliers rather than as examples to follow.

This doesn't mean to say that they are undeserving of what they achieve or that you shouldn't learn from them.

Merely that their value as role models for building a sustainable business is probably limited. Most likely, they did something entirely and utterly unique at the right time and in the right place, which cannot be repeated easily.

You wouldn't look at a lottery winner and conclude that, to change your life, you need to buy more tickets.

So equally, it doesn't make much sense to look at examples of business success that were reliant on an extraordinary concurrence of highly contingent factors.

So forget people like that and focus instead on those who have achieved more modestly successful lifestyles which you have a better chance of emulating.

Someone like John Thornhill, for instance, who dedicates much of his career to teaching people like you and me everything he knows.

No, you will not become a gazillionaire by following John's methods successfully.

But what you will have is financial security and independence, with enough money to afford an enjoyable, relatively carefree lifestyle for you and your family.

Second, let's talk about those who achieved their success at a relatively young age.

If this is something that bothers you, then there is an easy way to get over it: accept that you cannot change the past.

If you are now fifty years old and you weren't a millionaire at twenty-five, nothing you can do now will alter that fact. You cannot jump into a time machine and make your younger self successful.

So instead of wasting time lamenting what you cannot undo, channel your energy into something where you can still make a difference: your future.

And in this regard, there is no reason to feel down at all. History is littered with inspiring examples of those who achieved their major successes later in life:

  • Henry Ford was 45 when he created the Model T car.
  • Milkshake machine salesman Ray Kroc was 52 when he bought into the fledgling McDonald's restaurant chain, growing the company into today's global enterprise.
  • Sam Walton was 44 before the first Walmart opened its doors in 1962.
  • Colonel Sanders was past his 60th birthday when he opened the first KFC franchise.

If it's possible to achieve super stardom at middle age and beyond, so too is it possible to build a successful online business.

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