Is Internet marketing just another JOB?

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There was a thread on my forum this week in which a few members were discussing how many hours they spent working on their online businesses. 

A handful of members admitted to putting in over 40 hours per week working online and I have to say, this is not uncommon.  When I first started my Internet businesses, it was normal for me to work into the early hours and then grab a couple of hours sleep before getting up to squeeze another hour in before I went to my real job.  When I left my job and went full-time, my hours online increased dramatically.

Even today (when so many of my day to day tasks are automated) I still work a minimum of 35 hours a week and this can rise to over 100 hours if I have a specific project on the go.  It’s not just me – you will find that most successful online marketers work some serious hours, probably many more than they ever did in any ‘proper’ job.

So is this online business thing just a big con?  By setting up a successful Internet business are you merely committing yourself to a different type of job?  Possibly yes but at least you get to do things on your own terms.

By pure coincidence, I noticed another thread in a completely different forum this week in which someone was asking a very similar question but in a slightly different way.  The lady in question had given herself a target of earning (from memory) $2000 a month from her online business efforts.  The last couple of months she had hit this target one or two days before the end of the month.  This month however, she had already made the $2000 by the 18th.  Her question was simply this, ‘What do I do now?  Do I continue working/promoting in order to earn more money or do I take the rest of the month off?’  It’s a fair question – whenever anyone talks about working online, they nearly always state that they can take as much time off as they want and the ‘Internet lifestyle’ dictates that once you have earned your salary for the month, you should spend the rest of the month lying on a beach somewhere.

Of course, it doesn’t happen like this and although it would be nice to stop working on the 18th each month, it makes more sense to ‘make hay while the sun shines’ and continue pulling in the money.  At the end of the day, every penny that you earn today puts you closer to complete retirement (as long as you are doing sensible things with some of your money such as saving and investing!)

One of the responses to the above post was a great little story which I have heard before and I thought I would share with you.  It will give you something to think about and will help focus your mind as you set goals and targets in respect of your business and your life in general…

One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf. He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish.

About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family.

“You aren’t going to catch many fish that way” said the businessman to the fisherman, “you should be working rather than lying on the beach!”

The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?”

“Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!” was the businessman’s answer.

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman, still smiling.

The businessman replied, “You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat which will then result in larger catches of fish!”

“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again.

The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions. “You can buy a bigger boat and hire some people to work for you!” he said.

“And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman.

The businessman was getting angry. “Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!”

Once again the fisherman asked, “And then what will my reward be?”

The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, “Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!”

The fisherman, still smiling, looked up and said…

“And what do you think I’m doing right now ?”

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