Your Own Worst Enemy

Online Success: Are you your own worst enemy?

When it comes to online success, many people fail to make it – despite actually knowing how to make money online. That is why internet marketing coaches have to include income disclaimers – because no matter how well their methods work, there is always the “human factor”…

In fact, the human factor is the single biggest reason for people failing to make any money online. If you find yourself doing any of the following, you may very well be your own worst enemy in achieving online success:

1. A lack of consistency

A lot of what you do online has to do with branding. It doesn’t matter whether you are doing niche marketing under a pseudonym, promoting under your own name, or building a brand for a business. When you consider the number of scams and con artists out there, it becomes clear why people want to know that they are dealing with a person or entity that can be trusted (with their money).

Remember the old rule: People buy from people they know, like and trust. People get to know you because you present yourself as “real”. People get to like you because you offer solutions to their problems – through your content. People get to trust you the same way they get to trust any of the major brands (in any industry) – through consistency.

Consistency (regular visibility, consistent tone of voice, consistent message, regular content, etc.) becomes your “track record”. The internet never forgets, so your consistent efforts at gaining exposure eventually add up. And the more “visible” you become on a regular basis, the easier it becomes for people to trust you.

If you are not consistent in your efforts, don’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

Note: Consistency doesn’t mean you have to be there every day – but it does mean that you have to establish a pattern of online behavior which you can keep up indefinitely.

2. Bad habits

Procrastination? Messy priorities? Easily distracted? The internet is vast, so any of those happen easily. It is just so easy to start looking at something other than what you planned on doing – and it could even be related to what you want to achieve.

Consider this: As an internet marketer, you run a business. It may – at present – be on a very small scale, but it is still a business. If you don’t manage your time and priorities, you are going nowhere slowly.

Think of it this way: If you were an employee or an outsourced worker, working for some big online marketing guru, how would he or she have you spend your time? Would they allow you to deviate from the list of tasks you were getting paid to do? Would they be willing to pay you for wasted time?


Because they know that running a business is about making a profit. And they know that making a profit comes from doing the RIGHT things, over and over again.

So – before you start working, write down what you want to achieve for the day. First the three most important items and then three more that you would like to complete or work on.

Anything else that you want to explore needs to wait until “after work”. If you want to go and read a blog post, or watch a video, or download a new ebook from someone on whose mailing list you are…

Do it on your own time – not on your “business time”.

3. Shiny object syndrome

Many people believe that, when something new comes out, it has to be better than the old – simply because it is new…

Yes and no.

Yes, we all keep on learning about what works and what doesn’t, and the internet evolves all of the time.

But guess what?

Most “new” products out there either boil down to the same old basic principles, or they contain gimmicks that don’t work for everyone.

Besides that, there is another, much bigger danger in chasing “shiny objects”…

Every time you indulge in a new “shiny object”, you start again from scratch. Whether it is a new form of traffic generation or a completely different business model, you are starting again from scratch.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that the new information won’t work for you – but it does mean that if you don’t stick with anything long enough to give it a chance to work…

You won’t be able to make ANYTHING work – ever.

4. Looking for the magic bullet

If our online businesses don’t start working quickly enough, it is very easy to fall into the trap of trying to find “the missing link”. It’s easy to convince yourself that there is one more thing you need to know, and that will make it all work.

Yes and no.

Fair enough, there is always some information out there which will help you to do things better. Not that it will revolutionize your online marketing, but there is always room for improvement.


If you spend all of your time looking for the magic bullet…

How much time will you waste in the process? Time that could have been spent building your business. Time that could have brought you closer to your first commission check. Time during which you could have branded yourself expanded your content, and expanded your social reach.

Time = money.

Wasted time = wasted money.

Not to mention that there always seem to be one more “missing bullet”.

If you are looking for magic bullets…

Here are three – and they never misfire:

a. Persistence.

b. Consistency.

c. Keep learning.

If you are going to try to do anything else…

You will simply end up being your own worst enemy.


2 Responses

  1. Am I my own worst enemy? Absolutely! By the way, were you addressing this post to me? 🙂

    Here’s the issue I’ve had for more than I care to admit: I’ve been attempting to make money for a looooooonnngggg time. It took me a while to figure out what I was doing wrong.

    First, I need to disclose that I’ve bought a TON of products/”coaching” programs. Instead of taking action and working on my business, I got bogged down into watching training video after training video. My mistake was assuming learning was doing.

    Don’t get me wrong, you have to learn new skills, but learning without doing doesn’t pay the mortgage.

    I’m getting better. My blog is starting to take shape, and I’m starting to develop a plan.

    I’ll keep you posted.

    Best regards,

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for the reply.

      I think there are many (many!) of us out there who just keep getting in our own way. Not just with starting an online business either.
      The first step, as with so many things, is identifying that we are our own worst enemy. That’s the easy part. Trying to change our habits
      and getting out of our own way… That takes some real effort.

      Take care,

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