At any given point in time, most people assume, at least subconsciously, that the world is static. Big mistake. Do you remember when it seemed as though …
- No one could possibly rival Sears … until Walmart came along?
- No one could possibly rival Waldenbooks … until Barnes & Noble came along?
- No one could possibly rival CNN … until Fox News came along?
- Nothing could possibly rival the fax machine … until e-mail came along?
- Nothing could possibly rival the Palm Pilot … until the Blackberry came along — followed by the iPhone?
- Nothing could possibly rival the Walkman … until the iPod came along?
One of the most common effects of change is that it displaces people and businesses at breakneck speed. But change is a necessity for a healthy economy. If a company becomes self-satisfied and too comfortable with its existing line of products and services, it is certain to lose market share to competitors.
Business in the 21st century is not for those who fear change. But there’s no need for such a fear, because most change — particularly technological change — is going to be in your favor. Fiber-optic wire … bandwidth technology … the Internet … and endless other innovations didn’t just level the playing field, they gave the little guy huge advantages that he didn’t have before.
Take the Internet, for example. Marketing used to be a prohibitive expense for an independent entrepreneur. Today, however, because of the Internet, a resourceful person can find a multitude of ways to market to millions of people at little or no cost.
That said, I should point out that after many years of trial and error, I can tell you with certainty that there are no magic bullets when it comes to Internet marketing. Forget the inflated claims of marketing gurus about hitting grand-slam homeruns. Marketing on the Internet, like anything else in life, is about grinding it out … day after day … week after week … month after month … year after year.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a slow process. On the contrary, by utilizing the Internet, you can make infinitely more progress in a much shorter period of time than was ever possible in the horse-and-buggy days of direct mail.
It took me a while to get going in Internet marketing. Ten years ago, an acquaintance said to me, “The Internet was made for Robert Ringer. There’s an Internet train leaving the station every hour, and you’d be smart to catch one as quickly as possible.”
Unfortunately, I was involved in other matters Down Under at the time and did not get on board. But, in my mind, I held the image of Internet trains leaving the station every hour, with Robert Ringer forlornly standing on the platform and watching them disappear out of sight. I became increasingly concerned that I might be too late — that everyone had too big of a head start on me.
Finally, in 1999, I caught an Internet train. Unfortunately, once on board, I set a record for making embarrassing Internet mistakes. The train I caught turned to be the Scam Express. It was filled with con artists, all of whom seemed to be thirty-two years old and searching for the next Homer Simpson to take advantage of.
Holy cow — it turned out it was me they were all looking for! Doh! I gingerly handed over my hard-earned money to a couple of spam scammers who quickly disappeared. I also managed to lose two websites to guys who assured me that their companies were established concerns that had been in business since Marconi invented the radio.
It wasn’t until I settled down, rolled up my sleeves, connected with some legitimate people, and focused on growing my business one cyber brick at a time that Internet marketing success started coming my way. And, to my delight, I discovered that not being on one of the earlier Internet trains didn’t matter.
In fact, it was something of an advantage, because the Internet is like any other technology in that, over time, it becomes easier and easier … and less and less expensive. That’s very important because it means that it doesn’t matter when you jump on an Internet train. You don’t have to learn everything the Internet pioneers had to learn. Regardless of when you take the leap, you will land squarely on the shoulders of those who came before you.
Which is why modern technology — especially the Internet — gives the little guy such an advantage. In effect, he reaps the benefits of the heavyweight players who spend millions creating technologies that make it simpler, faster, and less expensive for everyone to compete. It’s much less costly to follow pioneers than to be one.
Nothing happens until something moves, which is why taking the first step is the only way you can begin your Internet journey. And the best time to get started is today. Don’t worry about which Internet train you catch — just catch one. And, once on board, focus on building your Internet marketing business one cyber brick at a time. As with any kind of business, concentrate on quality and service, and everything else will fall into place.
This strategy has worked for thousands of years, and it will still be working a thousand years from now — regardless of what technologies are then in vogue.