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Thread: Mistakes we've made

  1. #1
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Mistakes we've made

    Inspired by this excellent thread by golles:
    http://experienced-people.net/forums...n-the-internet

    I thought it might be interesting to list some mistakes we've made in the hope of helping others to avoid them. I don't mind going first.

    1. If you're running a business, then treat it as a business, not as a hobby. My excuse for making this mistake is that it did actually start off as a hobby and just sort of grew into a business. The real mistake was not realising this quickly enough and continuing to treat it as a hobby for too long after the hobby phase had passed.

    2. Not paying enough attention to basic business theories. I hear you groan. Yep, I was a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants person. To hell with all this theory - just get on and do it. It's probably cost me dear. A recent example of where this was hammered home to me is that if I'd given a bit more thought about simple concepts such as the purchasing funnel, I could have made a lot more money from my affiliate marketing efforts.
    http://experienced-people.net/forums...etargeting-etc

    3. Being a slow adopter of many things. I don't like fads so I often tend to hang back. If whatever it is turns out to be a success or a must-have, then I'm late to market. I must admit I don't have the answer to this particular problem. Perhaps someone else can advise on this.

    4. Not being quick enough to cut out the dead wood and concentrate on what was working. I let things lumber on for too long until they got out of control. From now on I plan to take a more active 80-20 approach.
    http://experienced-people.net/forums...your-customers

    5. Complacency and laziness. When I was doing well on AdSense I didn't actively try to diversify as much as I should have. I knew it wouldn't last for ever but I was quite happy to sit back and take the money while it did. It was only when I joined EP and got a kick up the bum from Clinton that I started to reduce my dependence on traffic from G, as well as relying almost exclusively on AS income. If I'd not taken that advice three years ago, I would have been in a much worse situation today. So, what did I learn from that as well as not keeping all your eggs in one basket? Listen to the advice of people you trust and ACT on it.

    6. Be careful who you trust. The most successful conmen are often very likeable. I don't think I've actually made that mistake yet - I've nearly got a bit too close to being sucked in at times but they never quite got me (AFAIK). How to avoid being duped? Check everything, including the background of the person you're dealing with. If you're thinking of buying something, find out what other people are saying about it. Learn how to spot shill reviews. Listen to your inner alarm bells, especially when anything sounds too good to be true.

    7. "My baby" syndrome and not recognising when the time is right to sell. It's better to sell when a site is at its peak rather than wait until it goes into decline. Thus, by the time I decided I could manage to part with a site I'd have to do a heck of a lot of work to get it into a fit state to sell - either that or sell cheaply on its "potential". And potential doesn't usually go down too well with savvy buyers.

    I'm sure I've made plenty more mistakes but 7 seems a good enough number to start with. Now it's your turn!
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



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    David S (14 October 2013), dsieg58 (12 October 2013), kharrison (18 October 2013)

  3. #2
    New Member Mentor JimWaller is a Premium Member
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    When i read number 1, I had to chuckle as I literally just finished writing about turning a hobby into a business as part of a response to an introductory post thread.

    As for mistakes, a couple of my biggest;

    Getting stuck in the paralysis of analysis

    Trying to do everything myself.
    Help bring Janice home My mother-in-law was hospitalized while on vacation (holiday) We're trying to bring her home.

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    dsieg58 (12 October 2013)

  5. #3
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    Wow! Seeing spelled out like that sure makes you think. I've also made every single mistake listed here by both you. I'm not sure what else I can add. Except maybe, being an idiot. Does that count? One mistake I can add which goes with Kay's number 7 is also not recognizing success when it is in your hand. (It also goes along with being an idiot too, now that I think about it.) More than a couple of times I had online success in my hand, but didn't recognize it for what it was. I know that sounds kind of lame, but there is point, a space, between it just about to take off, and you're busting your ass on a total loser for nothing. Where you've just got to push a little harder, and you'd crest the mountain. It's sometimes hard to see. But I didn't see it twice, which is once too many.

  6. #4
    New Member Mentor JimWaller is a Premium Member
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    Dsieg58, you reminded me of the popular MMO story about the guy who strops digging for gold 1 foot away from striking it rich on one of the biggest veins of gold ever. I believe the story goes on to say someone else bought the mine and discovered the gold and got the riches the first guy would have had. A cautionary tale with the moral being that sometimes you have to keep at it or someone else will come along and take over and score big when it could/ should have been you.

    Success can be elusive, especially since the definition of success is a personal thing. It can also be relative and based on your perspective. A friend of my brother makes over $100,000.00 per year, which by most people's standards is pretty acceptable if not good or very good. His parents are ashamed and almost disgraced by him not making more than that. If you're a person who only makes 20-40 thousand per year, 100 thousand per year can seem like a dream come true, but from the perspective of someone who makes a million per year, 100 thousand per year is nothing. From the lower income perspective, 100 thousnd per year is wildly successful while from the higher income perspective, it is complete failure. And, that is only using monetary success as a measure of success. Success can be measured in other areas. (Number of friends or level of happiness being non monetary examples)

    In addition to not recognizing success, you could add not having a clear definition of what success is.

    Success can be measured on a sliding scale meaning as one gets closer to accomplishing success, the perspective of what success is can change, and one can forget to celebrate their accomplishments. In the case of online business, the first measure of success might be making any money at all. With the first sale, you'd be successful, but then the measure of success might slide to making a positive cash flow. Upon reaching positive cash flow, it might slide to making enough positive cash flow to sustain your lifestyle without an additional form of income (quitting your day job). Then it might slide to making enough to increase your lifestyle. The sliding goes on and on. You have to remember to recognize the small victories and celebrate them.

    i guess that means we can add not celebrating successes to the list.
    Help bring Janice home My mother-in-law was hospitalized while on vacation (holiday) We're trying to bring her home.

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  8. #5
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    It's not just about money. It's about what you need. $100k would do me fine and I could retire (and spend all my time on EP. LOL)

    I play cards quite a lot when I get the chance (not for money) and it's the same as websites and stuff - you gotta know when to hold and know when to fold. Sometimes it's better to walk away and admit defeat rather than to keep throwing good money after bad. I see this a lot on the Internet (I've done it myself - mistake) where people think they've invested so much in something, they must push forward with it. Sometimes you just have to throw the hand in and walk away. You can always play a new game later.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



  9. #6
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    Back in the day when this took place, there was no MMO. There were no books, no one to follow. Amazingly, there was the warrior forum and Allen Says, but that was about it. It was totally unlike what it is now. When I wrote that I was thinking about I bought the domain name homeschool.com. Yep, I used to own it. And this was back before homeschooling took off as well. But I thought I saw an opportunity and went for it. Busted my ass for year on it. Had all kinds of traffic, but it was all the freebie variety. Had people calling me at home from all over the country. But not a single sale. I didn't renew the domain name after the first year. Which just goes to show...

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    Must expand on Kay's # 6 for me! If someone new happens to read this post, it is my suggestion to question EVERY aspect of a purchase and the seller - and couldn't agree more with Kay (the most successful con men are likeable). Question their credentials, their education (including the number of degrees, even if they appear to be very intelligent.) My experience was with an online business and met the seller in person, and checked every reference - plus. The financials (along with sample invoices) all appeared legit. I could go on and on, but if I was to do it over again - I would question every little aspect and dig deeper. (Double the amount of due diligence you think is needed.) Thanks to experienced-people - it all worked out okay and I was able to get out of the situation without any financial harm. Can't really expand more than that, but I'm back to square one on my search for the right opportunity. (And, I remain most grateful for this forum being here!!!!)

  11. #8
    Top Contributor crabfoot is a Premium Member
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    I joined an affiliate scheme because there was one product provided by one of their merchants that I could sell. I never made any money from it - nobody did, when the scheme was wound up 18 months later the merchant sent a mail saying sorry, they had not implemented the code properly, so nobody got paid.

    Because that didn't work, every merchant using the scheme would turn me down if/when I applied to join their program. That's why I often advise people not to join any aff scheme until they have plenty of traffic.

    WTH I learned something.

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    I think I may be making the biggest mistakes right now. Having read several times (and believed as well) that it is good to give things or advice for free, one can attract more business and more referrals. In the past I have tried:
    • a free blog for the local chamber
    • a free blog for a local professional women's network
    • a free video for the same network (one woman was "moved to tears" I was told -- ha)
    • added mobile/tablet responsive design plus catchy icons for smartphone screens for a couple of physicians in exchange for referrals (not one!)
    • a couple more videos for other folks
    • various graphics

    It hasn't worked. All the business I have had did not come from those efforts. Is it somewhat relative to Kay's point #2, a business vs. a hobby in people's minds? That said, I have also given things with no expectation of it leading anywhere, I just wanted to do it.

    No one to blame but myself in regards to promotional efforts. My back ground is in health care, not any business sense whatsoever.

    And yes Jim Waller, definitely trying to do too much, and analysis paralysis! Thanks Kay for starting this topic.

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    Business is not a hobby, what you do in the business is what the hobby is. For example, your hobby is playing games, and you started to make a business about games. The games were your hobby, but not the business that you've started. That's my own opinion into this.

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