So over the past few months, I’ve suffered a number of setbacks, both personal and professional. By the way, for the record, my name is Eric Hammer and I write these blog posts for Yasir but this is not about him. I don’t want any of our readers getting confused.
Anyway, a friend of mine suggested to me to try a simple mantra, think positively and you will be positive. I don’t recall who actually said these words but they are very powerful indeed. As a result of this, I decided to start reading an old book which has been collecting dust on my shelf, Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.
Now what does all this have to do with the business of SEO and internet marketing anyway? Some of you may be thinking that I’m using Yasir’s blog for personal venting. I assure you, that’s not the case. I do that on my personal Facebook account. However, as I’ve been making my way through Mr. Carnegie’s book, I’ve begun to realize that so many of his ideas are incredibly useful for us as internet marketing professionals. Here are five of them that I love which I think all of our readers should get to know and use on a daily basis:
A Formula for Solving Business Problems
Mr. Carnegie was a master of adult education. He developed an empire in the first half of the 20th century by teaching people important life skills. His best known book is How to Win Friends and Influence People. However, this idea comes from his book on worrying. He offers four steps to deal with any business problem:
- Identify the Problem – This is not always so simple. I found that by writing it down, I can get to the solution a lot quicker because oftentimes, we don’t clearly understand the problem at all. By writing it down, you get a clear picture of what needs to be done.
- Determine the Worst Possible Outcome – Okay, now here’s the thing that’s super powerful. By actually writing down the worst possible outcome, you gain control over it and can actually start to think clearly.
- Ask Yourself about Possible Solutions – Brainstorm a list of possible solutions to the problem, even wacky ideas. You’ll be surprised what you come up with.
- Implement the Solution that Sounds Best.
This may seem pretty obvious but it’s really not. It is actually very powerful stuff which most of us fail to do. By actually writing out a problem in our business and then calmly working through it, it is possible to deal with 90% of all the issues that could happen. By the way, that second step may sound scary but it’s not. It’s actually liberating when you write down the worst possible outcome because you can be philosophical about it.
Learn to Accept What Is
I’ve written about this before in different words but it’s worth repeating. Virtually every successful entrepreneur on earth has some failures in their past. It is almost unheard of for someone to come up with a great idea, execute it flawlessly and then become a multi-millionaire overnight.
The thing that separates the successful entrepreneurs from those who complain? They accept that things are as they are and they move on. So your business idea was a flop? That sucks but it doesn’t mean you’re ruined for life. Start a new business or tweak your idea to make it work. Carnegie puts it as “accept what is” but I think this is a more positive way to look at it – see it as a learning opportunity, accept it and move on.
A friend of mine, who worked for years in sales told me this line. I don’t remember who he said came up with it originally but it’s excellent advice. Carnegie suggests something similar. He says that a great deal of what makes someone successful in life is how they see the world. If you see things as being negative all the time, you’ll end up never succeeding. If you see things positively though, you will succeed splendidly.
Carnegie mentions the story of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, who was penniless and homeless for a large part of her life. Her first husband died and her second left her. She was forced to give up her son when he was 4 because she couldn’t take care of him.
However, after suffering what the doctors thought was a terminal accident, she recovered by focusing on her mind. She realized that how a person thinks is at least as important as anything else in life. If you want your online business to succeed, one of the first things you need is a can do attitude. This means that you think positively and continue to think positively.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
One thing that many internet marketing entrepreneurs share in common with each other is the need to see everything work out just so. We tend to obsess about the smallest of details and then get very upset if things don’t go exactly as planned. The thing is, these tiny details are often not terribly important.
One of my favorite examples of this comes from a catalog company which was developed many years ago and is today owned by Sears. The company in question is Lands’ End. You may be familiar with them because they are known for selling high quality clothes at reasonable prices. What you may not know is how they got their name.
The company was supposed to be called Land’s End, as in, the best from one end of the land to the other. When the catalogs were printed for their first run, it turned out that someone goofed and put the apostrophe in the wrong place.
Rather than spend money they didn’t have to reprint the catalogs, the owners simply accepted the mistake and the name of the company was born. Hundreds of millions of dollars in sales later, the company is still called Lands’ End because the owners didn’t let a small mistake get in the way of their business success.
Know When to Call It Quits
Dale Carnegie quotes a famous stock broker (well famous for his time anyway, I’ve never heard of the guy, Burton S. Castles – I can’t find him in Wikipedia either) as saying that the secret of his success on the stock market was putting in stop loss orders. Basically, he figured that if he sold at a small loss when a stock went down then the other stocks he bought, which went up in value would more than offset the loss.
Carnegie suggests applying this to life. He says that people should put a “stop loss” order on worrying about things. Basically, to me, this means that if a business idea didn’t work, you should know when to call it quits. This doesn’t mean your life is over and it doesn’t even mean you internet based business is toast. It just means this one idea didn’t work out. Try another one and move on.
Look, none of Carnegie’s ideas are revolutionary. There’s nothing earth shattering which will make you say wow. However, taken together, I’ve found that his ideas are the very thing that every single Internet marketer should be following. By taking his advice, written well over half a century ago (the book was written in 1948), we can all be much more successful online entrepreneurs today, in the 21st century.
Here’s to your continued success!