Sometime back in October 2018, James Clear, the author of the bestselling book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, tweeted, “You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.” This is the precept needed for success as an entrepreneur and all about the mindset shifts you must make.
This quote is incredibly honest and valuable because it highlights a major problem that people face when trying to achieve success. While they may have hopes and dreams, even with effort, if their ‘systems’ are not in place, they’ll meet with failure more often than they need to.
Here, we’ll look at why newbies to online marketing need ‘systems’ in place – and when we refer to systems here, we mean your mindset… which is your ‘operating system’.
Of course, systems could also mean the processes and tasks in your business. But for this post, we’re focusing on how shifting your mindset will accelerate your marketing journey and allow you to succeed much sooner than most clueless beginners.
1. Less is More
There’s a common belief that you need to keep learning and learning until you know just about everything pertaining to your business model… before you’ll take action. This is pointless and you’re only wasting your precious time.
In fact, an overwhelming amount of information is one of the major challenges encountered by newcomers. There’s just too much to process and remember.
To succeed online, your mantra should be, “Do! Do! Do!” The road to online marketing success is paved with action and not intention – or learning. No matter how much you learn, you’ll still make mistakes. Experience is the best teacher.
If you begin any course/train, take a modular approach and do as you go along. Do NOT fear failure. Expect it. Because the more you fail, the more you’ll learn and that’s the only way to succeed with these mindset shifts. You’re better off doing and getting past the learning curve as soon as you can.
Your takeaway here: Shift your mindset from learning to doing!
2. Expecting Fast Results
Whichever business model you choose, whether it’s freelancing or affiliate marketing, it will inevitably take longer than you expect for you to see positive results (profit).
You’ll be building castles in the air if you’re expecting to make 5 figures a month in 2 weeks. This level of success is only attained by highly successful marketers who have been honing their skills for years. There’s no overnight success.
Far too often, beginners expect fast results and quick profits. They’re fooled by dodgy marketers who lie on sales pages promising them riches without work.
The reason these liars do this is because they know this approach will get them more sales from beginners who want fast money. Unfortunately, there’s no fast money in business when you’re a beginner. Expect to work for at least 6 to 12 months on your side hustle before it starts making 4-5 figures a month.
Your takeaway: Be ready to commit for the long term.
3. Forget Blueprints
Another mistake that newbies often make is expecting a training course/program to give them ALL the answers they need. Even if a marketer tells you everything you need to do, you’ll still have to go through the process on your own.
There are so many variables at play that two beginners could go through the exact same actions and still not get the exact same results. A blueprint is like a roadmap to guide you… but the terrain can change. And it usually does.
You’ll need to navigate your journey on your own. There may be setbacks and obstacles that are unique to you. Overcoming them will determine if you succeed or fail.
This is why 100 people could get the same marketing course and only 2 succeed. They went through the ‘hard yards’ and figured things out on their own.
The marketing course would have helped them understand the lay of the land… but they persevered through the hiccups and unforeseen challenges on their own. This is the ONLY way to succeed.
Your takeaway: There is no blueprint with a 100% guarantee. Understand that buying a marketing course/training is just the beginning. You making it work is where the magic happens.
4. Being Penny Wise and Pound Foolish
It’s imperative to understand that while an online business might have lower start-up costs than a traditional brick-and-mortar store, there are still costs involved – both fixed and variable.
You’ll need to buy a domain, pay a monthly fee for an autoresponder (I use and recommend AWeber) and hosting (I highly recommend A2 for your hosting, especially if you are new to technology), and other costs. If you’re using storage services such as Amazon S3 (more advanced and technical), your costs will vary from month to month, depending on usage.
There are thousands of newbies who come online trying to build a business that will allow them to quit their day job – but they’ll try to do it as cheaply as they can.
They try to build their websites for free on other people’s platforms and domains. They get a cheap self-hosted autoresponder, if they even get one at all. They try to cut corners and get the lowest priced (or free) stuff whenever possible.
There’s a Benjamin Franklin quote, “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”
The newbie only finds this out when they lose their site because they were building their house on rented land. If you don’t own your site and have your own hosting, you’ll be subject to the whims and fancies of other people, since you’re playing in their sand box.
Similarly, if you use a cheap autoresponder with a one-time fee, you’ll soon discover that your emails have low deliverability rates and keep ending up in the spam folder, if they even get sent at all.
Your takeaway: Be willing to spend money on your business. While you don’t need to pay for the most expensive plans/products, it helps to build your online business on solid, reliable foundations.
5. No Man or Woman is an Island
While there are marketers who are naturally introverts and may shy away from people in real life, even they will need to handle support emails, speak to affiliates, maybe engage with comments in their social media marketing and so on.
There’s an old African saying, “If you want to go fast, go alone, if you want to go far, go together.” That applies here too.
You’ll be able to get the technical aspects of your business such as site building, content creation, product creation, etc. done fast by working in solitude and ignoring the noise.
However, to scale your business, you’ll need to network and find affiliates. You may need to do joint ventures. You’ll need to email your subscribers… and your email marketing must be friendly and personable. Even negotiating higher commission rates with merchants will require you to ‘socialize’.
So don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can do it all on your own.
Your takeaway: Be willing to reach out to other marketers and build a mutually beneficial relationship with them. It may seem like it’s outside your comfort zone, but the more you do it, the more naturally it’ll come to you.
6. Play the Long Game
By now you’ll understand that to build a successful business, you need to be in the game for the long haul.
What does that mean?
It means maintaining a stellar reputation. Your reputation is EVERYTHING in this business. Once it’s lost, rebuilding it could take ages, or never occur.
Too many marketers sell shoddy products just to make quick profits. They promote other people’s low-quality products for quick commissions. They send promotional emails to their subscribers several times a day and hammer their inboxes.
It’s all about making fast money at the expense of the customers. Nary a thought is given to how the customers/subscribers will feel.
Many beginners get sucked into this trap because they try and model the dodgy vendors they see. They assume that these supposedly successful marketers know what they’re doing.
They don’t. Not only does their approach reveal low EQ, but it also shows how myopic they are. This hit and run approach coupled with a churn-and-burn email list will mean that they’re sacrificing thousands of dollars in repeat sales – in the long run.
Their work will be never-ending because they’re losing customers as fast as they come in. Don’t be like them. Play the long game and treat your customers and subscribers with respect. As your mindset shifts, you’ll make a lot more money in the long run from repeat sales, if your reputation is solid.
Your takeaway: Build a solid reputation and don’t resort to underhanded tactics just for quick profit. Sell/promote quality products which will impress your customers and be of value to them.
7. Be Adaptable
This is one of the most difficult mindset shifts to adopt because we’re all creatures of habit. However, the online landscape is in a constant state of flux. You must be adaptable or you’ll end up left behind.
Over the years, websites have had to become mobile responsive. They required SSL certs. Sales pages needed prominent disclaimers… and so on and so forth. All these are changes that marketers had to deal with.
Every change will require you to adapt – and this can be overwhelming to people who dislike change. Yet, change they must because that’s the nature of this business.
If people enjoy short form videos, you’ll need to make your videos short to tap into this audience. If ChatGPT is making content creation a breeze, you can’t force yourself to do things the ‘old way’ or you’ll risk losing your competitive edge. You’ll need to learn how to use this tool and leverage it in your own business.
Being adaptable means having a growth mindset and being ready to learn new things and change with the times – quickly, if possible. This will help you stay on the cutting edge of trends while you maximize your profits.
Your takeaway: Be ready to change, adapt, and switch gears in your business where necessary. Don’t delay too long, as mindset shifts are worth your efforts now.
The 7 mindset shifts mentioned above will take time and mindfulness for you to adopt them. But once you make them a part of your ‘system’, you’ll discover that running an online business becomes relatively easier and your business will level up and become much more profitable.
“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change their future by merely changing their attitude.” – Oprah Winfrey
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and would love to connect with you. If you are new to the world of online entrepreneurship please check out my comprehensive training on how to set up Funnels That Click and learn how to gain an unfair advantage when it comes to building a lucrative online business.