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Lesson #29



In this lesson, we discuss overcoming the obstacles you encounter in Internet marketing.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines "Success" as "the attainment of something planned, desired or attempted." Thus by definition, you cannot have success without having first planned, desired, or attempted something.
We all desire things—that comes naturally. From basic needs to extravagant luxuries, we are all, as humans, familiar with the experience of desire. Occasionally, even without plans or directed effort on our part, something happens along that fulfills one of our desires. When this occurs, we consider it a successful event—or, if we recognize that it occurred randomly despite our lack of planning and effort, we more accurately call it a "lucky event." Most of us, however, are not satisfied with the random satisfaction of occasional desires dependent upon luck. We want to take our fate into our own hands, at least to some extent, and thus we make plans and expend effort attempting to obtain the things that we need and desire.
Without planning and effort there can be no real success—only occasional luck. Thus, to be on the path to success, you must have a plan and you must expend effort. You must set goals and you must plan the efforts you will invest to obtain those goals. How carefully you plan and how faithfully you direct your efforts in accordance with your plans determines how successful you will be. This is as true in Internet marketing as it is in any aspect of life.

Frustration, in this context, is the feeling of discouragement that we experience when our expectations are not met. Frustration is an unhappy feeling of helplessness when our actions are not leading to our goals. Frustration saps our motivation. It makes us less likely to continue our efforts to reach our goals, whatever those goals may be.
We set our expectations when we set our goals. If we set our expectations unreasonably high, we are setting ourselves up for frustration. If we set our expectations based upon what we expect others to do for us, rather than upon what we intend to do for ourselves, we are also setting ourselves up for frustration. While we have no real control over what other people do or don't do, we can control our own actions. Thus, we should set our goals based upon reasonable expectations of what we can expect to achieve for ourselves through our own efforts and our own determination.
As we achieve these reasonable goals through our own self-reliance, we gain confidence. With this confidence, we can then set higher and higher goals. Ultimately, it is truly astounding what can be accomplished when this path is followed.

While it is beyond the scope of this nuts-and-bolts course on Internet marketing to delve much into philosophy, psychology, or spirituality; a couple of additional points do merit brief mention here:
First and foremost, you should have fun with your challenges! Life without challenges would be thoroughly boring. However, we don't have to worry about that because there will never be a time as long as you are in this world when the challenges stop coming. Eliminating obstacles and challenges from ever arising again is not the secret to success—no one ever accomplishes that. If you are waiting for the obstacles and challenges to stop coming so that you can be successful and happy, you will always be waiting...and will never be successful or happy. When you learn to find success and happiness despite constant obstacles and challenges, you have indeed found the secret.

The other "secret" to success is to understand the power of positive thought. The first step to successful action is thought. If you can succeed in your mind, you can succeed in the world. If you believe you can overcome your obstacles and challenges, you will overcome them. If you believe there are opportunities for you, you will find opportunities—even in the worst of situations. The secret to success is to think successfully. Use the power of your thoughts to plan your success. Then, use the power of your thoughts to fortify your belief in your plan. Anticipate obstacles and challenges. Enjoy the efforts involved in overcoming them. Never give up. Make it happen!

When an obstacle or challenge arises, there are generally three responses from which you can choose: 1) you can give up; 2) you can work through it; or 3) you can work around it.
A common obstacle for new affiliates trying to set up Doorway pages or place banner ads is the failure of a banner (a graphic image) to show up on the page or in the ad. At some point in every Internet marketing career, one stares helplessly at that infamous "X" showing up where the banner image should be.
In order to successfully place a graphic image, you have to first download the image from its source. Then you have to upload it to the server you are using. Then you have to insert the "image source" code exactly right in the HTML code where you want the image to appear. If any single character is wrong or left out, either in the name of the image file or in the display code, the picture will not to show up. You must have the "path" to the image's location on the server exactly right in the code also.
On their first few attempts—even though they have gone over and over it—many affiliates just can't get the graphic image to display. It can be very frustrating!
Your response to this frustration could be to give up. If it's going to be this complicated, why bother? You could give into your feelings of frustration and discouragement and quit. Or, could try to work through the problem.
The first step in working through any problem is to carefully define what the problem is. In this case, the affiliate is either using the wrong method or is making a typing error. There are really two problems here. One is that the image does not work and the other is that you are expending too much time trying to fix it. The affiliate is unsure whether the problem arises because the method they have been given is wrong or because, while the method may be right, they are just being careless with the details. It is time consuming to painstakingly proofread every character to make sure you are doing it accurately. You think to yourself that since you may not be employing the right method in the first place or since the image may be in the wrong place on the server, why bother with all that proofreading?! There are so many different ways you could be getting it wrong. How do you know?
You need to remind yourself that there are only two questions here. Am I employing the right method? Am I employing the method accurately? To work through the problem, you will have to allocate the time necessary to think it through, explore, experiment, consult experienced affiliates, and study over the training materials on the subject. It may turn out that you were just leaving one quotation mark out of the code. It may turn out that you have placed the image in the wrong directory on the server. It may turn out that the code you were trying to use is not correct—you got it from an uninformed source or it is intended for an entirely different situation.
Whatever the problem is, you can ultimately find and fix it. With persistence and patience, you can ultimately solve the problem and get your image to show up properly. When you do this, you will have worked through the problem. You will have overcome the obstacle.

If, on the other hand, you simply do not have the time to study the problem out fully, you may want to take the work-around approach. Instead of using a banner ad, use a textual ad. While it may not be quite what you had planned, it still gets the job done—a Doorway has been created or an ad placed.
You can then continue to work on the banner image problem as time allows, without losing your momentum in getting your promotional campaign started.
It is not always possible to work through every problem that may arise, but you can almost always find an acceptable work-around. Although a work-around may be a slight deviation from your plan, at least you are not quitting. You still have your momentum. You are still moving toward your goals.
For another example, let's say that you have placed some "work-from-home opportunity" ads on some free classified ad sites. What you expected to happen is that some number of people would respond to your ad with an e-mail to your posted e-mail address and that, upon further follow up, you would persuade some of these people to join the SFI Marketing Group in your Powerline.
You are somewhat pleased to see that you do immediately get a large number of e-mails in response to your ad. You begin to become frustrated, however, when you discover that nearly all of these e-mails are trying to get you to join various other programs. You soon realize that not a single one of these replies is seriously interested in joining your program—they are just promoting their programs to you. How do you deal with this?
Again, the first available response would be to simply give up. You could harbor feelings of being mislead (because you have read in the training that free advertising can work and yet it doesn't work for you). You could feel that you are not being treated fairly by anyone involved and that you have no hope of making any of this work for you...Obviously, again, that response is not the successful one.
Alternatively, you could proceed to correspond with these people who responded to your ad in hopes of convincing them that your program was more worth their efforts than the program they were promoting to you. In this case, unless you are very creative and convincing, you would likely have unpromising results. You soon decide that this is a waste of effort. Thus, you have been unable to "work through" this problem.
But, as Thomas Edison said, "Just because something didn't do what you planned it to do in the first place, doesn't mean it is useless." So, you look for a "work-around" to this problem.
The first step in finding a work-around (just like the first step in working through a problem) is to clearly define your problem. Here, your problem is stated rather simply. The problem is that free classified ads produce numerous insincere responses to the posted e-mail address (and most free classified ad sites do not allow you to post anything other than an e-mail address). You don't want to spend your limited time reading through insincere responses and yet you don't want to miss that rare response that is interested. So, the question becomes what to do about it.
One answer would be to set up an autoresponder for the e-mail address that you use in the ads. You could draft a message to be sent by the autoresponder that invites the person to join your newsletter and gives a URL (Website address) from which they could do just that. This way, those few who were genuinely interested could go to your Website and join your newsletter. Then, you would have ample opportunity to follow up with them in your newsletter. Those who were not genuinely interested would simply ignore your e-mail and that would end your involvement with them.
Over time, if you seek out the right places to place your ads, you will gain affiliates this way. Some of these affiliates may produce commissions for you for years to come!

Never expect anything to work as smoothly as you may have hoped at first. By keeping your expectations realistic, you will be less likely to experience frustration. Try to look forward to each new obstacle and each new challenge that comes along. It is in overcoming these obstacles that you will find true success. Always believe that you can work through or at least work around any obstacle that may come your way. Allow yourself to enjoy the process.

Whether you work through an obstacle or work around it, every obstacle is a learning opportunity. If all else fails and an obstacle does appear to defeat you, at least you have learned what doesn't work and now know what to avoid. Just be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Define very narrowly what you are eliminating as undoable and continue to look for something similar that does work.
Most importantly, do not be afraid of failures. No one succeeds without having failed a number of times first. Einstein, one of the most renowned physicists ever, whose name has become synonymous with the word "genius," spent several years of his life working on theories that ultimately proved incorrect. To quote Thomas Edison one more time:
"If I find 10,000 ways something won't work, I haven't failed. I am not discouraged, because every wrong attempt discarded is often a step forward...."


You cannot have success without setting goals and developing plans to reach those goals. Rely on your own efforts in reaching the goals that you set. Make your goals realistic but optimistic. Expect to encounter obstacles, challenges, and difficulties in Internet marketing as you would expect them in any part of life. Approach these challenges with enthusiasm and look for ways to work through or work around the problem. When you do encounter setbacks and failures, learn from them. Most importantly, always think positively and enjoy the challenge.

Stay tuned to upcoming lessons in the Internet Income Course for detailed discussions of timely and important topics in Internet marketing.

by George Little
Copyright (year) Panhandle On-Line, Inc.
License granted to Carson Services, Inc. for distribution to SFI affiliates. No part of this work may be republished, redistributed, or sold without written permission of the author.

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