Just Get Started
I’ve read several great things over the past 24 hours that, for me, all tied into the most important factor in making money online: just getting started.
“How do I ride a bicycle?” Thatís what I hear when people ask me how to make money on the web or to rank in Google. The best way to learn is to get on the bike and start peddling. Youíll fall at first, but eventually you should get it. I can describe the basics and warn of some pitfalls, but in the end you gotta just try it to learn how.
He’d already decided to launch a project. To make it a non-profit. To build it on a scale of a million dollars a year. To do projects that would involve certain types of growth but avoid others. To include primarily live events instead of online or media properties. He’d also decided not to create a self-propelling movement, not to be tribe-focused and not to be huge (or tiny).
That’s a lot of decisions to make before you start.
Because in the end, successful businesses don’t need to be complicated:
[M]any of the mistakes people make when trying to make money online are because people over complicate things.† The easier the business, the more effective you can be at doing the things that actually make money. If you are so caught up in complicated technology or constantly trying to be innovative and cutting edge, you will be stuck in a never ending rat race.
My life is a perfect example of that.† Sahar and I had a good conversation in the comments of my article Here Come the Developer Armies, and one of the main things it helped me realize was that people often shoot for very different targets when developing a site.
I build what I call “content sites” — real websites with good content (not build-it-and-forget-it “niche sites”).† Others, though, aim much higher, as Rand describes today in The Vast, Pacific Horizon:
February of 2008 and some early testing gives us a roadmap, but it’s an expensive one and it’s going to mean tying up nearly all of our dev resources for 6 months (and adding a handful of pricey, new talent to the team). That means virtually no new tools, no new projects, no time to patch up the parts of the SEOmoz site that aren’t scaling so well. Big risk could spell big rewards, but only if everyone in the SEO world thinks this product is as amazing as I do. Otherwise, the burn rate is going to catch up too fast, and that means… Well, it won’t be pretty.
There’s no right and wrong here.† Some people are Big Idea people.† Others just want to make enough money to have the freedom to do what they want, when they want.
Want to retire rich?† Before you’re 30?† It can be done easily (I know people who have done it), and you don’t have to invent the next Google to do it — as long as your idea of rich doesn’t venture far into eight figures.† If it does, then yes, you’re going to have to do something a little more complex than creating a basic mortgage comparison site and figuring out how to get it ranked in Google.
If you’d be happy putting $5 million in the bank and having the freedom to decide whether to try to do it again or retire to the beach (or both), though, don’t get so caught up in the planning.† Just get started.† There’s no possible way to learn all you need to know just by reading; you have to do it.† It’s in the doing that the real opportunities start to present themselves, and then you just might find that you’re onto the next Google.
Quit waiting on the perfect opportunity and just get started.
Photo by Bruce Turner.