I want to tell you about something that lots of people completely ignore when they’re trying to make an income online.
Listen, I know what it’s like when you’re trying to start your own online business.
There’s no shortage of people out there screaming at you to “buy this!” or telling you “here’s the HOT thing!” It’s very easy to get distracted by all of that, and find yourself chasing after every fad.
Here’s where you need to use your head as a business owner.
Motivational author Stephen Covey wrote in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” that winners in life balance production and production capacity. People aren’t really factories, but in a way, we are.
When you run your own Internet business, you’re producing something. Specifically, you’re producing the products you sell.
Now, here’s the lesson…
If you spend all of your time producing, and none of your time making sure you can KEEP producing, pretty soon you’ll grind to a halt.
Your production capacity is your ability to do what you need to do keep your business going.
To put it more familiar terms, your production capacity boils down to your skills.
If you’ve been trying to make your income online for a while, you know that it doesn’t happen by accident. You DO need some skills.
The list of skills you might think you need is huge. I’m talking about everything from making graphics to shooting your own videos. When most people think about how much they need to know how to do, they get overwhelmed.
I’ve been there, and I know how it feels. So let me simplify things for you. I’ll tell you the four major skills you need to be successful.
Yes, just four. You might think you need a hundred skills, and I can understand why you think that, but most successful Internet business owners have four big ones that count more than all the others.
Here are the big four:
* Being able to write, even just a little bit (this means website copy AND things like articles or eBooks)
* Knowing how to set up and use an
* Being able to set up and/or tweak a
* Being able to keep your business The Autoresponder Code
You don’t have to be the world’s biggest expert at any of those, but you DO need to be good at them. You might call these the ‘core skills.’
Other things, like making your own graphics or shooting cool videos might be helpful, but those four I just told you are the big ones that will make or break your business.
Take that first one, being able to write a little bit.
Way back when I was first starting out, I tried to sell an information product online. I had almost no money, and I knew that I needed good sales copy to sell my product.
Since I couldn’t write sales copy to save my life, I had to hire a copywriter. I was lucky to find a relatively cheap one that only cost me a few hundred bucks.
Fortunately, the copy I got was pretty good, and my product sold well. It was one of my very first successes, and the profits really set me up nicely.
Here’s where I could have made a huge mistake.
You see, the money I made gave me a nice budget for creating my next product, including the sales copy. I could have kept up that approach forever, if I had wanted to.
But I wrote my next sales letter MYSELF. You might think that’s nuts, but I realized that if I never learned how to write sales copy on my own, at least a little bit, I would be in a tight spot again if I ever hit hard times and had no money.
Hey, life happens, and sometimes things don’t go like we want them to. And at that point, I might not be able to afford to hire a copywriter at all, or I might try to hire a cheap one again and end up with awful copy. Then I would be stuck.
If I hadn’t written that next sales letter myself, my production capacity wouldn’t have gone up at all. That’s the key…
My production would have been good, because I could hire somebody to give me what I needed. But my ability to produce would have stayed the same (low) because I hadn’t added to my skill set.
You don’t want to get yourself in a tight spot like that. So you constantly have to focus on growing your skill set, especially when it comes to those four core skills.
That takes some discipline, obviously, and some willingness to put in some extra work when you might just as easily hire somebody to do it. But the payoff can be massive.
Not only will you maintain your production capacity, but you’ll also be able to save yourself some cash.
Think about that copywriting example again. Copywriting is expensive. If you can’t write any copy with any confidence at all, you’ll have to pay a copywriter for every single little change you need to anything.
That can add up. I’ve paid over $500 to have somebody write a single paragraph before, just because I didn’t have the time to do it myself.
Okay, assuming I’ve convinced you to keep building your four core skills, I bet you’re wondering how exactly to do it.
This isn’t hard, but it does take a little effort. It also (usually) takes a little expense. Here’s the simple plan:
1) Read about the skill first. This won’t cost you anything. Google the skill you’re looking to expand, and read what others say. You might find a blog that offers tips about it, or maybe even a free eBook on the topic.
2) Take a short course about the skill.
This might cost you something, but you don’t have to pay thousands. I’m talking about a relatively basic course that might cost you tens or hundreds of dollars.
There’s no substitute for learning from an expert.
3) Use the skill on a real project.
Actually DO the skill, and implement what you’ve learned. For example, if the skill is copywriting, write some real copy you’ll actually use, just like I did.
4) Assess the results. Figure out how well you did! You’ll be guessing a little bit, but really critique yourself to see if you did a good job, what you need to improve, and so on.
5) Apply the skill again. This is where you get to actually improve the things you said you needed to improve.
That’s not rocket science. I think it’s the only way to learn anything, honestly.
Think about when you learned to tie your own shoes. Somebody probably told you how to do it first. Then somebody showed you how to do it, maybe guiding your hands. Then you had to try it yourself. Then…your shoes probably fell off. But you learned from your mistakes, and you tried again.
Now you can tie your own shoes like a pro. The same is true for the core skills you need to succeed online. When you first start, you don’t know anything. That’s when learning is hardest. You can feel like you’re drowning. Everybody goes through that, and you Should expect it.
But if you stick with it, you’ll end up being pretty decent at it very soon. Then it’s just a matter of learning how to do it better.
I hope you’ve learned something important here.
You don’t ever have to be a professional copywriter, or business manager, or website designer. But you do need to have solid skills in those areas so you can be more self-sufficient in your business. The Autoresponder Code
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