Running an online business can be tremendously lonely. Many people I meet who are trying to make money online are doing it on their own. Even in the corporate world the people who are organising their company’s online activities are comparatively lonely – very few people in big business understand the whys and wherefores of running their business online. Only a few companies – Amazon, Google and so on – whose entire business is based online will have groups of people who all understand what it takes to be successful in the world of the Internet. One of the reasons there is so much information online about Internet Marketing is because those people doing it are alone; they need support and help from as many sources as possible. As a psychologist I’m aware of work that shows that loneliness reduces performance, effectiveness and a host of other issues related to success in any endeavour. For instance, anyone addicted to anything, such as gambling, is more likely to overcome their difficulties if they are part of a group – a social network – that provides support, ideas and help; in other words the addict can see they are not alone. It is this realisation that you are not alone that helps stimulate action and therefore leads to success. So, for Internet marketers being alone, trying to run an online business without any kind of social network for support means success is less likely. This struck me yesterday when I met with three friends all in a similar situation to me – professional speakers with an online business. We had a fantastic meeting where we shared lots of ideas but more importantly gave each other the support we would have been denied if we had continued working alone. We call our social network a “mastermind group”. But whatever you call a group of people who share similar ideas, goals and attitudes it doesn’t matter – what matters is that you have a network of people. So if you are trying to run your online business and make it more successful, consider your own private social network or group of individuals in similar situations. Call it a mastermind group if you wish. But meet regularly, discuss ideas, questions, problems frankly; support each other. Before you know it, your online business will surge forward because you will no longer be doing it alone; you will have like minded people urging you on, providing you with ideas, making you accountable for your actions. And how do you find such people? Well, start with who you already know – but there are other ways you can find them. Try social networking sites, or raising the issue in your own blog. But whatever you do, try to have a mastermind group of some kind with other people; your online business will benefit.
If you are a “big change” business, then you are like my garden fence. Leaving it unpainted for so long has created much more work, at a higher cost, than if it had been tended to every year. Ignoring reviews of your online activity for long periods also means you make more work for yourself and raise your costs.