Large jigsaw puzzle

A common theme among people starting out with their own online business is the problem of overwhelm, I have certainly been there myself.

You can find your head spinning with conflicting ideas and thoughts, you don’t actually know what to do next and can’t figure out what to prioritize. Maybe you just read something that conflicts with what you had learned previously, or you bought a course that gave you a whole new bunch of things to think about.

Crucially you probably don’t actually have a plan for what is going to make you money, you just feel pressured and confused as you don’t know what is going to work for you. This often leads to buying another course or product in the hope that it will outline a clear path you can follow, but this takes time out of you and bombards you with yet more information to try and absorb – now you can feel even more overwhelmed than you were before.

When you feel like this you can’t focus properly, and if you don’t focus you will just dabble in lots of different things and get nowhere.

It’s often said that any action is better than none at all, and there is definitely truth in that statement, BUT inappropriate or in-considered action may make you feel better but will not actually achieve anything.

Back in the dark days when I had a permanent job I spent quite a number of years working for huge global Investment banks. There’s a confession, please try not to hate me for this! I had a young family to support and I was in IT management…

Anyway the point was that I had dozens of staff, work requirements coming in from many directions, business managers on my back every day (all of whom thought themselves more important than all of the others), systems crashed, software development went wrong or was late, auditors and regulators wanted reports, I had 20 or 30 meetings a week to attend. It started at 7:00 am when the markets opened and carried on through like that until the evening every day.

Was I feeling a bit overwhelmed? You had better believe it! I was also commuting several hours a day and heading for burn out at rapid speed.

I had to find strategies for managing the chaos and maintaining my own sanity.

Here is what I did then and still do now, and I know of many successful marketers and business people who do the same.

Do you have a working environment suitable to getting things done? Can you work somewhere away from family or other people where you will not get regularly interrupted? If not, figure out how to do so, is there a bedroom or somewhere quiet you can sit with a laptop for an hour two on a regular basis?

Stop distracting yourself! Unless you are using Facebook for running ads or putting up business posts turn it off while you are working. Do the same with Twitter, email, other social media, the sports pages etc. And turn off that TV, we both know you won’t do your best work trying to watch bits of that at the same time. Seriously if you want to build a lucrative online business, treat it like a business and don’t just play around with it.

Take a step back and regroup. Write out your objectives. What are you trying to achieve now and longer term? Get it all written down. When you have done that how do feel? Do your objectives excite you?, can you envisage what your life would be like having achieved them? If they don’t stir emotions you need to rethink, motivating yourself regularly to achieve them will be near impossible if you don’t have the passion.

You will have to make sacrifices here with your time, there has to be a worthwhile reward waiting for you.

This is a big one. There is a maxim that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I rather agree with that.

Start with your time. Take a printed or electronic diary and block out regular chunks when you are going to work on your business. Be honest with yourself, if you are planning time on your business after a full time day in your job how much will you really fit in around family and domestic commitments? Don’t make it a chore. If you come home tired to a diary that says you have to spend the entire evening on your business you will quickly start to resent it or start finding excuses not to do it.

Plan your actions. Write out a sequence of tasks for yourself. What important steps do you have to take to build your business? If you are writing a blog, plan at least one post a week, if you have topics in mind already write them down. If you want paid traffic what campaigns will you run? When will you run them? Do you have emails to wrote for your autoresponder? Do you plan your own product? If so are you outsourcing some or all of the development? Who to?

Asking yourself these kind of questions will help you put a logical sequence of activities together.

A series of bite size chunks will move you forwards. Momentum is an amazing thing, keep building it and you will be unstoppable.

If you produce a plan that still makes you feel overwhelmed you either need to stretch it over a longer period or think about outsourcing some of it (my blog post here tells you how to do this).

If you can’t produce a plan because you don’t know what to do then you have to make some decisions. What kind of business do you want? Do you want to sell affiliate products or your own? Do you have any budget for paid traffic or are you going to have to focus on free traffic?

Should you really have no idea I suggest you read my blog post here that outlines a simple process to get you started, and there are many other posts on this site to help you along. I would also thoroughly recommend that you think about buying a course to help you along.

Remember why you are doing this, what motivated you to get started in the first place? What is going to get you out of bed early or working in your spare time? If you lose that spark your energy will dwindle with it and before you know it you will just be back to dreaming. Give yourself a powerful reason to put the time in and make the effort.

Also reward yourself when you achieve something.

If you are not prepared to take regular action you can’t build an online business, it is as simple as that.

You will have difficult days. Whether it is writer’s block, or your laptop crashes, or your advert does not work, you are going to get tested. We all get such days, but you get through them if you are motivated and believe in what you are doing. Surviving such days and coming out smiling is what separates the success stories from the also rans or those who just give up.

If you are struggling with belief or motivation you need some positive inputs. Learn something new, find audio or video or books that inspire you, read success stories. Keep yourself focused and pumped, don’t let the news or negative people get you down. Never let anybody tell you cant achieve something, they are just telling you what they cant achieve themselves. I wrote a post here that you might find useful.

It is hard, if not impossible, to build any business on your own. Does your partner and family support what you are doing? If not that is going to make life difficult, you need to work it through with them and get some buy-in to what they might see as you removing attention from them.

Join social media groups, find other marketers to talk to, if you can afford it think about buying coaching or getting a mentor. Go to seminars, get on webinars. Build a group of people you can talk to and get help and ideas from. It will make everything seem easier than just sitting alone with your laptop day after day.

Maybe join a membership site so that you have a constant flow of new ideas and information.

You may even find people who you can work with on joint ventures, we all have different skills that can complement each other.

This all boils down to regularly taking constructive actions. There is a common trap which is to keep buying courses and never get round to actually doing anything with the information, I fell in to it myself at one point.

You have to stop buying and start selling! I am not saying never buy anything, I still buy products that I think can teach me something new and useful BUT I don’t let them replace working time.

If you are feeling overwhelmed break it all down as described above, and you will feel a lot better when you have some planned actions and start doing something constructive.

When the money starts coming and you know from testing what is working for you it will grow your confidence and everything will start to feel a lot easier.

There are many, many different ways to succeed in Internet Marketing. Keep trying and you will find what works for you.

Original post.