Glue Your Wallet Shut, Observe, Take Notes, and Be Patient

tortoise and hareIf you’re a newbie entrepreneur, read the title once again (and then again, just for good measure).

This post is dedicated to YOU.

Let’s start with the last part first. 

 

Be Patient

The Parthenon wasn’t built in a day, agreed?  It took about fifteen years to construct this Greek temple.  Let’s hope it doesn’t take you that long to build your business … but it does take time.

The temple was dedicated to the goddess Athena Pallas or Parthenos (virgin).  As a newbie entrepreneur, consider yourself a “virgin”.

Most highly successful entrepreneurs will openly admit to working through a minimum of two years of business construction time.

If you’re looking for instantaneous gratification and a bulging bank account, I recommend employment in the world’s oldest profession … which, by the way, is NOT entrepreneurialship.

 

Glue Your Wallet Shut

This part probably doesn’t need much of an explanation, especially if you’ve already spent your entire savings on products, programs, and coaching that led you by the nose to never-never land. 

You know – that place where you never make any progress and never make a dime. (Oh, did I hear you say you’ve been there?) 

My condolences — I’ve been there, too.

I’m not implying you should never invest in learning how to grow your business.

I’m suggesting gluing your wallet shut until you discover the “right” services, tools, programs, and people that can help you reach your business-building goals.

Spending money spinning your wheels will only make you dizzy … and broke.

 

Observe and Take Notes

Find others who do what you do and pay close attention to how they’re doing it.  Doing it “successfully”, that is.  And for heaven’s sake, take notes!

Whether you’re blogging for business, doing affiliate marketing, small business coaching, consulting, speaking, creating information products, developing programs, website designing, freelance writing, or selling handmade items – there are others out there who are rockin’ it in your niche!

Don’t just read their blogs – become a part of their loyal readership.

Don’t just click the “Like” button on their Facebook pages – post comments and ask questions and show a genuine interest in their updates.

Don’t just Re-Tweet their Tweets – join in their Twitter stream conversations and hashtag parties and weekly social media meet-ups.

You get the idea. 

Learn by befriending, networking, showing up, and participating.

Yes, observing and taking notes requires time, energy, and effort.  But the rewards can make all the difference in the world. 

There’s a payoff in paying attention.

 

Let’s visit “Be Patient” again

Tough assignment, isn’t it?

Everyone would love to experience the joy and the monetary rewards of instant success.  But instant success is an illusion.  Yes, a few people have experienced it along the way but it’s far removed from most entrepreneurial reality.

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s a much better idea to stick to what reality has to offer rather than the sparkle-clad promises of fame and fortune in fantasy land.

No matter what type of business you’re building, plan to wear your “marketing” hat every day. 

Marketing is a must.

You can haphazardly rush through your marketing every day and make it a mish-mash of a mess.  Or you can patiently (and profitably) approach it through Slow Marketing. (Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?)

Well, you’ve probably been waiting for me to say it, so here goes:

I only wish someone had laid this kind of advice in my lap when I first came online.  It would have saved me loads of headaches, hassles, hard-earned dollars, and heartache. 

So, newbies, please take what I’ve shared with you to heart – glue your wallet shut, observe, take notes, and be patient.

 ********************************************************************

This post is part of the monthly Word Carnival series of posts. This month, our carnies are exploring the theme of Time Travel, specifically: from where you are now, what one piece of advice would you go back in time to give yourself on your first day in business? Check out more of the Word Carnival series at WordCarnivals.com.

  • i thought this blog will be all mom destination, but after finding some male counterparts making comments and doing all other stuff 😉 now i am very comfortable position to post some of my thoughts

    i think having patient for things to change is all right but the real problem with new entrepreneurs or you can say everybody to learn when to hit the strike. Most of us are either waiting or just making quick decisions but not actually learning when to hit the strike. 🙂

    • The title of my blog is a bit confusing, Hemu, so please accept my apologies. A lot of women AND men comprise my loyal readership. Everyone is welcome! 🙂

      I’m just happy you felt confident enough to venture over here and post a comment. Good for you! And thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • Hi Melanie – I’ve just found your site from FB (can’t remember exactly how – LOL)
    I enjoyed this post and yes, it is the sort of post I would have liked to have come across when I first started trying to make head or tail of all the confusing, fragmented stuff I was reading.
    I can’t tell you how much it annoys me when people *forget* to tell you that their success took 3/4 years to get to.
    PS. I am made of skin and bones, but I’ve got a bit more padding than that 😉

    • Delighted to meet you, Caroline, and I adore your sense of humor! I’ve got “a bit more padding”, too. 😉

      Good point about “forgetfulness”. It definitely rubs me the wrong way when alleged business-building experts conveniently (in my opinion) leave out a pertinent piece of their success puzzle. Far too many folks I’ve met along the way have been duped into believing they’ll amass a fortune in a short period of time. Hogwash!!

      Thanks for knocking on my door today and I appreciate knowing you discovered my blog via Facebook.

  • AWESOME read and super good advice. LOVE it…I’m a virgin! It’s a pity, isn’t it, that when we have all the answers we rarely remember the question? So enjoyed this post!

    • So jazzed to see you here, Tammy! Thanks for knocking on my door. 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed the message in this post and it’s great to reconnect with you in the blogosphere. Have a downright fabbbytastic birthday celebration!!

  • Good advice. It’s so easy to think that “If I buy one more product” it will be the difference between success and failure. Gluing my wallet shut is a good strategy.

  • Very Nice article. Though these are basic things that everyone is supposed to know and follow but its these that we so often miss or neglect and that’s what, i suppose, differentiates a good blogger from a great one! Thank you for this lovely piece of information.

  • Hi Mel,

    Your wit is as sharp as ever, maybe even sharper since you’ve been hanging out with chef’s knives over in the Word Carnival kitchen! 🙂

    This part probably doesn’t need much of an explanation, especially if you’ve already spent your entire savings on products, programs, and coaching that led you by the nose to never-never land.

    I guess the thing that saddens me the most about the copious amounts of mulah people spend on those items you mention is that those who collect it (i.e., “get paid”) should tell their “victims” the whole truth: it took most of them years and years of failures, hard work, marketing, and tears to even get up the nerve to try to sell something online! (That’s about the ones who are honest and have real programs etc.)

    Another truth about “making money online” is that it sure pans out better if it has an offline counterpart, then the “online” part is just one strategy in an arsenal of strategies.

    • Vernessa!!!!! Is it really YOU?!

      You made my day and I’m SO elated to see you here. 🙂

      Yes, the chef’s knives over at The Word Carnival kitchen have carved somewhat of an “edge” to me. LOL!!

      Your remarks and sad sentiments about those who’ve been “victimized” online ring a very sour-sounding bell with me. And I’m not alone in my thinking.

      You’re 110% right, Vernessa … there’s not a whole lot of truth being told, is there? That’s one huge reason I’m such a big proponent of Tea Silvestre’s “Slow Marketing” concept and community. Listen up, people! It’s HONESTY laced with integrity. I’m really fed up with all the buzz words and the sleazeballs and the broken promises. Marketing online is ripe for some radical changes.

      Love your point about having an “offline” counterpart to your online presence and offerings. That’s something I respect and admire about you, Vernessa … You’re one smart cookie! 😉

      Thanks a heap for dropping in.

      • Hey Mel,

        Yep, it’s me! (Err, it is I!) LOL You’re too kind, but don’t mention cookies! Makes me want some, or at least that “microwave chocolate muffin” my neighbor emailed me the recipe for last nite.

        @Carol Lynn said:

        I am a whole lot more cautious now but nobody is giving refunds for repenting late

        I saw Carol Lynn’s comment just as I was about to make a remark about “refunds.” We can, indeed, crack our wallets open just enough to add our refunds back to it! LOL

        Many of those “guarantees” are over the top (another bit of sage-less IM advice) — the refund periods are often looooong and/or claim they’ll give you your money back if you’re not satisfied “for any reason, at any time, a hundred years from now … yada yada.”

        SHAME often holds on to our money. Letting go of being ashamed (for falling for the hype, for realizing the claims don’t make any sense, for giving it the old college try and it not working out) … letting go of being ashamed and just asking for a refund. (And immediately gluing the wallet shut, again!)

        • Pearls! Beautiful pearls of wisdom, I say!!

          THANK YOU, Vernessa.

          I want to fall off my chair at times when I read some of the far-fetched bunk marketers offer up as “guarantees”. Somebody shoot me.

          I saw a guarantee very recently that stated “your children’s grandchildren” can contact me for a refund, blah, blah, blah. Get real.

          Okay, gear up, my dear friend. It’s about to get mighty feisty up in here. You want to know what kind of guarantee I plan on including? NONE. NO GUARANTEE. Why? There are no guarantees in life. And if there are any adults walking about the planet who haven’t figured that out by now, well, I’m sorry.

          Here’s the thing …
          If anyone is ever disappointed in something they purchase from me (marketing consulting, a webinar, or whatever), I’m sure they’ll contact me with their concerns. If they request a refund, no problem. It’s a done deal. I “guarantee” to keep the lines of communication open and provide good customer service.

          I hope you’ll take some time to introduce yourself to Carol Lynn (and the rest of my fellow carnies). They’re a lovely bunch of coconuts! 😉

  • Hi Melanie, I came over from Melanie’s blogging group – love your fun writing style and great advice. Especially the encouragement about it taking two years minimum to grow a business. I’m not even at a year and a half yet, so doing okay. Patience is key! Thanks for the advice. (Like the skin and bones line under the post comment!)

    • Delighted to cross paths with you, Barb. Very sweet of Melanie to point you in my direction. 🙂

      Thanks so much for your compliment and I’m glad you’re backing up my statement about a minimum of two years till you begin to reap the rewards.

      You’re the very first person to mention my “skin and bones” line — glad that caught your eye. A little humor in life (or in the blogosphere) never hurts. LOL!!

      Hope you’ll travel back again soon.

  • Great advice. Wish I had had it long ago. I especially needed (and still do!) the glue your wallet shut advice.

    Since I’m supposed to be studying those who do it well, I’d love to know what Pinterest plug-in you’re using. How fun to see my pins featured so prominently.

    I’ll be sharing this post with my blogging group. Thank you!

    • Whew!! You’re speedy, Melanie! I just visited your blog moments ago … and here you are. 😉

      The plugin I’m using is called “Pinterest RSS Widget”. Give it a whirl and see if you like it! I’m a big fan of Pinterest (which woman on the planet isn’t, right?!) and I love to share my pins with my loyal readers.

      Happy to know you found some value in this post. Thanks a heap for sharing it with your blogging community — much appreciated. 🙂

  • Rich

    Hi Mel,

    I’m not an entrepreneur but if someday I wanted to start and grow a business of my own, your blog would be my first stop. I’ve read all your posts, including the comments you get, for the past year now. They are all very informative and cleverly put together. What appeals to me about this post is that it provides the basic fundamentals for someone venturing into this online arena for the very first time. It might seem like simple advice but often the simplest advice has the biggest impact. So if it helps newbies wade safely through the online world you have achieved your goal.

    Very nice job Mel! As always.

    Rich
    143

    • You’re not an entrepreneur, Rich?!

      I beg to differ with you on that.

      Are you the same talented individual who collaborated this past year to create music and produce an album with a friend of yours? Been given the opportunity to collect royalties? Maybe even perform the music live?

      Don’t know how to break this to you but …
      YOU’RE AN ENTREPRENEUR. 🙂

      Thanks for your kind remarks and I always appreciate a visit from you!

  • Also I think patience once you’ve already started a project is key. i.e it’s all too easy to give up on it if you don’t get immediate success. Sometimes, though, you need to keep pushing.

    • Excellent point, Shaun, and TOO TRUE!

      I believe we humans need perpetual motivation to get our projects completed. And a little inspiration wouldn’t hurt, either! 🙂

      I just wish everyone wasn’t in such a hurry all the time. What’s the rush about anyway?! “Patient” progress normally produces a much better outcome.

  • Hi Mel,

    This was a wonderful post with some excellent advice! The humour in your writing was fantastic.

    In particular, I really appreciated what you wrote about keeping our wallets glued. Unfortunately, when I was first getting into online business, my wallet was very much open and indeed, I spent a lot of money on programs, which didn’t help all that much.

    There are some great resources and programs out there. However, it makes sense to use as much of the freely available stuff online first, become competent with the basics of marketing and then move onto any specialised courses.

    Thank you.

    • There’s one thing I know for sure about myself, Hiten …

      I can’t operate or navigate through life without humor. I’ve often remarked how I believe a sense of humor is one’s greatest asset in life. 🙂

      Many thanks for visiting my blog, your kind words, and your transparency about your early experiences as an entrepreneur! Seems many of us couldn’t locate that bottle of super glue when we first came online. LOL!!

  • Hi Mel
    Loved the post and I just had to share this with you.
    It’s from Mr SEO Rand Fishkin.

    “By building up quality content, earning links, and building visitor loyalty on your website, you’ve been adding energy to a flywheel (not the kinetic kind, but a marketing kind). Over time, you can store up so much marketing energy that just releasing new content will do more for you and any amount of paid advertising could. ”

    Once that flywheel starts to move there is no stopping it!

    There is a great video with the post and if you don’t mind I’ll leave you a link.
    http://moz.com/blog/building-a-marketing-flywheel-whiteboard-friday

    • Hi Keith — Grrrrrrreat to see you here!

      Rand’s Whiteboard Friday video and quote are priceless. Thank you so much for sharing those with me and my readers!

      The concept of creating [marketing] movement and energy through writing/blogging is fascinating … and fun. 🙂

  • Glue your wallet shut is a good one Melanie!

    I like that idea when it comes to generic marketing or training items. When it comes to hiring the right expert – you’d better believe I’m busting out the credit card. The right expert and the right kind of professional to help you grow your business, well worth the extra chunk of change it usually costs to hire ’em.

    Things without that kind of accountability, one-off trainings or webinars – meh. Leave ’em on the shelf.

    Great thoughts!

    • Nick Armstrong — you’re hired!! 😉

      ” When it comes to hiring the right expert – you’d better believe I’m busting out the credit card.” That’s the KEY. Finding the “right” people to help you. The problem for all newbies is the same — they start out not knowing anyone so it’s hard to determine who to trust. And that’s when dollars get spent needlessly … and frivolously.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nick, and I’d recommend you to anyone. 🙂

  • Mel, your words are wisdom. Patience. Sighing deeply. Patience for those of us not blessed with it (aka every entrepreneur I know) takes considered daily practice. It is just so hard not to allow our brain to race to the multitude of tasks we want to get on with while doing one we actually need to do.

    Even reading your post I found myself inclined to rush off and try joining in someone’s Twitter stream – yes I admit I don’t partly because I don’t know how to and partly because I am so busy and impatiently doing everything else! 🙂

    And very sound advice too regarding keeping one’s wallet glued shut. We have all been party to that one it would seem. Those damn BSO’s. They were the equivalent of beautiful shoes to the shoeaholic weren’t they? So glad those days are over.

    • Hi Sandy!

      Thanks for reading my post and I want to hear all about your boat trip. 😉

      “Those damn BSO’s. They were the equivalent of beautiful shoes to the shoeaholic weren’t they?” I hear ya, sister! (By the way, Laura and I are now soul sisters — you’ve probably heard the news.) LOL!

      In case some of my readers don’t know, “BSO’s” are Bright Shiny Objects. The next time you see one … run away as fast as you can! They’re the biggest and most alluring distractions on the internet. And they can be quite costly, too. 🙁

      Listen, Sandy, if you’re not sure how to “party” over at Twitter, I’d be happy to explain how it’s done.

  • Patience? I’m busting a gut with Laura…. My husband often likes to tell me patience is a virtue (or quote Obi One Kenobi – He will learn patience). I respond – yeah but it’s not MY virtue.

    Its hard but truly a valuable asset.

    And the marketing – if you won’t do it who will as an entrepreneur? No one.

    Great post, and of course the glue your wallet shut (until you understand how to evaluate the ROI of an investment).

    • Bingo, Nicole!

      ” … glue your wallet shut (until you understand how to evaluate the ROI of an investment).” And no matter how you stack it up or rack it up, it takes “patience” to figure that out!!

      I saw a cartoon recently on Pinterest that read …

      Why is “patience” a virtue? Why can’t “hurry the F up” be a virtue?! LOL!! Might be a good one to share with your hubby. 😉

  • A mentor once said:

    Mo’ marketing, mo’ money. No marketing, no money.

    A big part of our jobs is to let people know we exist, we’re human, and that we want to connect. Period. Then, I believe, when you provide real value people notice. But no lasting success happened overnight. True that!

    • Howdy, Ashley, and thanks for stopping by!

      These words are golden (with some platinum thrown in for added richness) …
      ” … when you provide real value people notice”

      Truth is, they can’t help but notice! 😉

  • Great advice Melanie. Especially “BE Patient!” I think there is a reason you needed to say it twice. By nature we entrepreneurs are not the patient sort but that combined with “glue your wallet shut” will save many a small business owner from headaches.

    • Great to see you here, Clare!

      Sounds to me like (maybe) you’ve had to reach for the Tylenol bottle a time or two along the way. LOL!

      I think 5 Easy Pages is a blessing and a godsend. Your messages will cut down on the number of headaches in the land of entreprenurialship. 🙂

  • Hahahaha…PATIENCE!!! HAHAHAHA….ok, wait….HAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG!

    Whew….wow, I can barely focus on the rest of the article because I”m so confused by that first point! 🙂

    • Laura, you’re a laugh a minute! LOL!

      And you’re not alone. That’s why I stated being patient is a “tough assignment”. But, oh, so necessary if you”re looking to protect your best interest and save your own butt … not to mention your soul!

      Thanks for dropping in, soul sister! 😉

  • Patience is a good lesson, Melanie, but I especially love the advice you give in the ‘take notes’ section about showing up and participating.

    • You know, I know it, and the whole world knows it, Sharon …

      If you rely on your memory, it will fail you every time!! So always WRITE. IT. DOWN.

      Thanks for joining the conversation!

  • Love it, Melanie! Great advice and boy, some I wish I could go back and slap on my own forehead. Keep your wallet shut – alas, I spent a number of years buying anything and everything with a promise attached or a shiny “buy now” button. Everything seemed like a good idea…. until it wasn’t. I am a whole lot more cautious now but nobody is giving refunds for repenting late 🙂

    I also love your suggestions for connecting with people – I wish more people would learn those, now or later, but just learn them! If we all help each other just a little bit then we could all go so much farther.

    • Thanks for chiming in, Carol Lynn!

      “Everything seemed like a good idea…. until it wasn’t.” Let’s make a date and commiserate over coffee on this one. I could talk on this topic for hours. 😉

      “Repenting” …
      I’d place a wager everyone on this page has done their fair share.

      ” … love your suggestions for connecting with people” You want to know what the meaning of life is, Carol Lynn? Simple. People connection. And the sooner newbie entrepreneurs figure that out and how to go about it effectively, the better.

  • Seems you and I were on the same wavelength this month, Melanie. I often wonder if it’s just part of being human to expect instant results. Or if it’s more a result of the world we live in today. Probably a bit of both. The human desire to achieve is encoded in our DNA. We WANT. And that’s what keeps us growing. Why then, does it take us so freakin’ long to figure out that most things take time?

    • I definitely think it’s a combination of both, Tea.

      It’s human nature to want success and the best lives we can possibly live and there’s no doubt in my mind we’re living in a fast-paced “I WANT IT NOW!!” world. Heck of a combo, isn’t it? 😉

  • Pingback: What I Wish I Knew Then: What I’d tell myself if I could travel back in time to My First Day | Word Carnivals()

  • What great, sound advice, Melanie. I was overwhelmed with information when I first came online which wasn’t all that long ago. I love how you mention that you need to show up and participate while also encouraging everyone to glue the wallet shut. There are so many things that are not right for newbies. Better to be a little bit cautious and grow the business you want to grow with trustworthy people. It is so hard not to want everything yesterday.

    • Tammy, you’ve hit SO many nails on the head. Thanks for your visit!

      “Trustworthy people” are precisely the folks who will not only help you grow your business, they’ll actually feel absolutely invested in your success — and revel in it with you! They’ll become your Happy Dance partners. 😉

      I’m with you here 100% …
      “It is so hard not to want everything yesterday”

      For starters, we live in an era of (fancy and speedy) technology that gives us instantaneous results. We have fast food restaurants in every community. We can read books in an instant without going to the library … and so on. Fast, fast, FAST is what we’ve grown accustomed to.

      But when it comes to things like growing a business, marketing and promoting a book you’ve written, developing healthy and vibrant relationships, creating online visibility and credibility, etc., it’s best to be cautious, slow down, and tap the brakes … or you’re apt to wreck.