As an entrepreneur, small business owner and expert in your market, you are required to keep up with the times.

That doesn’t just mean understanding the basics of technology (you must), knowing what your market is up to/your competitors (do you?) and servicing your customers with great products and services (by default).

You are forced to push forward, or die. It’s your obligation.

However, pushing forward doesn’t mean you become only a master at reading information.

Here are the 4 stages that describe what an entrepreneur is going through.

Which one are you?

Let me be the first to tell you that I’m an Internet Marketing Addict. I love it. It’s really that simple.

However, there is a clear and present danger.

Learning, studying, getting your ongoing, and consistent education in your field is key. But, information is only part of the puzzle. You must take action, and make it happen.

Money loves speed.

I’m not saying to just read something inspiring, hear about what somebody else did, and then you do it. Be a little intelligent about it. For example, if you hear about a great Facebook ad campaign from a competitor, or a friend in a related business – don’t assume that it is a “copy/swipe” deal for you. Research and analyze your market, always.

However – make sure that you don’t stay there. Try something. Michael Masterson’s book “Ready, Fire, Aim” (Wiley) is a must read if you find yourself stuck. Do not over-analyze either. Create a plan, and however plain – execute on it.

The learning process and success ladder.

  1. Study internet marketing, go to conferences, take online courses and books. (Tip: Amazon Kindle rocks!). If you are early in the game, you’ll have very little – perhaps not even a website, no email list, no followers (social media).
  2. Then, you may be ready to affiliate market (partners) with other products that somebody else has created. You get a small commission check each month. I can tell you that even the smallest sale at first is exciting, and gets you going!
  3. Next, you are figuring out how to develop some of your own products, building out a stronger following, both on your personal lists and in social media. Still not enough to live on, but you are definitely understanding the complexities, the nuances of becoming an internet marketer, and making some money online.
  4. Finally, you’ve moved from the student to the master level. You are now in the 100-500k range yearly, and have created the ultimate lifestyle for you and your family.

Take note.

However simple and exciting these steps to internet marketing are, most folks cannot seem to get past the “next shiny object” (step one) syndrome. Just reading and buying programs makes them feel complete. But, you are spending more than you are making, and staying still.

The good news is that you can “snap out of it quickly”, if you’re stuck. How? Connect with others in your market. Ask questions, connect, and even interview them.

Find out if there is a way you can help them – even if you have to do some work for free. Instead of asking what programs are you selling – ask them: “what books and courses are you reading now, and what inspires you on a daily basis, etc”…

Small business will save the US economy. Your business is part of this movement. Are you willing to do what it takes?

Get out from behind your desk, and start networking now. Yes, it’s a social world – offline and on.


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Entrepreneur Magazine says Jon Rognerud is one of the most sought-after Digital Marketing Experts. His clients extend from high-end brands and middle-tier businesses in both B2B and B2C. His SEO website optimization book, "The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Website" from Entrepreneur Press is in bookstores now.