I understand one of the attractions of the “Internet marketing lifestyle” is the supposed freedom and control that one can find in his/her daytime work. In many peoples’ minds the “American dream” has shifted from owning a home to owning a business – one that will support a more relaxed and less stressful daily work routine than the typical 8-5 employee model working for someone else.
I have learned a hard lesson about job stress over my lifetime that I’d like to share. I do so hoping that you younger marketers might find some “takeaways” or helpful hints as you contemplate going into business for yourself as a full- or even part-time marketer.
My realization #1: Assuming the role of “boss” or head of your own business does not lessen the potential for stress or burnout in your daily life – in some ways it is amplified.
My realization #2: If you are a high-stress person as an employee working for someone else, chances are extremely good that you will be a high-stress online marketer.
My realization #3: The IM business model and approach you choose can, of itself, contribute to or lessen the daily stress you feel as an Internet marketer – “choose your poison wisely.”
My realization #4: My experience throughout my life has given me ample evidence that stress is almost always self-induced and rarely the “fault” of others or “things” that happen to us.
My realization #5: Discipline and work can almost always overpower stress.
Let me briefly explain why I’m talking about this on a blog about online business.
I believe stress is the direct result of our own human failing to do what we know we should do or need to do. As we apply discipline and work to our lives, we reduce this human failure – the discrepancy between knowing what needs to be done and actually doing it. Let that sink in for a moment.
- You stress about your health or weight. Are you eating well, exercising, seeing a doctor?
- You stress about a relationship. What are you doing to fix it? Are you trying to mend fences?
- You stress about being too busy. What are you doing to simplify, remove distractions, and unclutter your life?
- You stress about being in a dead-end job. Are you studying, learning a new skill, networking to explore other options?
- You stress about not having enough money. Do you have a budget? Are you good at telling the difference between needs and wants? Are you heavily in debt?
We know what needs to be done in most cases, right? Then why don’t we do it? The reasons are many, but they usually result in our self-induced stress.
So if you felt stress in your previous employment, I would ask, just what did you do to relieve that stress? Nothing? Are you drawn to IM because you want to get away from deadlines, low wages, boring tasks, or being told what your daily routine should look like?
Internet marketing brings with it a unique and obviously different set of “rules” or challenges that many don’t consider before jumping in head first. Some will say “there are no rules” in IM and anything goes! Yes, to some extent that is true about business models, strategies and tactics; but I am thinking more about the traits or skills one must have or develop in order to be successful at self employment. “Discipline” is at the top of my list. Closely behind are “persistence,” “work ethic,” “creativity,” and “problem solving.”
Some employees in the off-line world are not required to have developed any of these traits. If that includes you . . . I would caution that IM may be a very rude awakening for you! And if stress was a big factor in your daily working life, getting into IM and creating a steady source of income for yourself could be a seemingly impossible challenge and source of even more stress than you’ve ever faced.
Don’t get me wrong . . . I’m not here to persuade you that Internet marketing is not for you. But I see a whole lot of people failing in this business and stressing out about how complex and difficult it is to know or learn everything that seems to go into being a profitable marketer. Aside from the technical and knowledge requirements (that can be learned), I would just caution you about what lies ahead if you lack discipline, a strong work ethic, problem solving capabilities, some creativity, etc.
To your online business success,