It is easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of information available on the internet. I recently ran across the term analysis paralysis by one blogger I was reading. I so relate to that, the need to learn one more thing, read one more article, review one more potential opportunity or resource.
How Do I Stop the Information Overload Syndrome
I find it easy to get caught up in researching and reading and the illusion that I am doing something productive. Then I realize that I am not really doing anything that will produce income. Let’s be honest, that is why I am here. The initial plan has been to replace my day job and spend my retirement living the laptop lifestyle while traveling and having adventures. I have visions of travelling in my van and going to my next beach side airbnb, or spending a month with family. Sounds amazing but I digress.
I’m not saying there isn’t a place for research and reading other bloggers articles and trainings, it is vital for success. I find that I can get sucked into spending hours reading and jumping from one article to the next. The rabbit hole is never ending and it can often create a sense of overwhelm.
I was feeling a bit of the Information Overload Syndrome and decided to share with you a bit of my journey back into focus and progress. How to let go of the need to read just one more article on affiliate marketing or dropshipping, or sign up for one more free or paid program, or get on one more mailing list. By the way let’s be honest you will never be able to unsubscribe from them.
Return to Focus – The End of Analysis Paralysis
What I determined was that I needed to get back to basics and redefine my goals around building my online empire.
Step 1 – Define your goals and evaluate your resources
- What is your desired outcome?
- Are you looking for an additional stream of income to supplement your current income?
- Are you looking for a whole new career to replace your current one?
- Are you just playing and seeing what is available online?
- Do you have an existing business that you want to promote online?
- Are you adding a web store to your brick and mortar store?
- How much you want to earn and by when do you want to accomplish this?
- How much time do you have to spend?
- What is your budget?
When I really sat down and looked at what I have going on it was an eye-opener for me. I found that I have at least 5 active projects going and several others that I have been dabbling in. No wonder I feel unproductive and unfocused. That on top of a full time job.
So I need to identify my priority and let some things go or at least put them on the back burner.:
Step 2 – Prioritize and start to chunk it down into manageable parts
I have my goals in place, I know what I want to earn, I realize that I need to narrow my focus a bit, and I have decided how much time I have each week to work my online businesses.
So for example, this is what I am looking at. I have 2 affiliate marketing sites, I have an eCommerce store, and I have recently gotten caught up into the world of dropshipping. I also have a website that promotes my current job.
As I try to prioritize I know that I am hoping to replace my day job so I could spend a little less time focusing on that website. I can’t let it go completely but if I spend some time on it twice a month that should be good.
My eCommerce store is costing me just to keep it up, it is my MBV store, you can check out my review. I need to spend time promoting it to get my investment back and start creating income there.
Of my affiliate marketing sites. This is my favorite. It is my place to share ideas and resources. No secret I am an affiliate marketer.and ideally I want to continue to just build this site out as a great resource for others beginning their online ventures.
And finally I really enjoy the world of dropshipping and building my eBay store and one day maybe moving into Amazon FBA. I could sit and read all day about how others are creating a new career through dropshipping and all the tools and resources available to create a successful online business. I find it fascinating and exciting, who knew!
I will need to figure out how to make my time and budget work for those 4 projects.
I encourage you to go through your lists and create your goals. If you haven’t already jumped in with both feet and have 40 different things going on like I do, my suggestion is to pick one thing and spend a minimum of 90 days getting a foundation in place and learning some of the ins and outs before adding another project.
Step 3 – 30 day Plan
Now if you have been doing this with me, we have some goals and the next step is to determine a plan of action.
Develop a 30-day planner, it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. You can use an excel sheet and put the project and action steps in the first column, and the 7 days of the week across the top. Put an x in the day of the week for the project and/or action step you plan to work on.
If you have some structure in your day this will likely be a bit easier than if you have an erratic schedule that changes daily. But even with a changing schedule it is possible to commit to some time. I am up every morning at around 6:00 am and I spend at least 2 to 4 hours each morning working on my websites and doing things online while I am fresh, I am no longer a night owl and what I have found is that when I spend time working on this before bed I can’t fall asleep, not sure if it is the monitor lights or the monkey mind that comes up with all the new ideas spinning in my head.
Chunk it down. What are the activities you need to fit in, some time doing trainings and learning the ropes, time for researching keywords, creating content, time on social media, adding items to your eCommerce store or eBay store, finding affiliate programs to review and add to your site. These are just some of the examples of things to do, if you are creating your own digital products there will need to be time devoted to that.
An example of what it might look like is this – on Monday you do the research on keywords and create some content topics, Tuesday you decide the topic and do a little research on it and Wednesday you start writing the content. Or you might want to spend the first week of the month coming up with 10 to 20 blog posts ideas so you can have the ideas ready and focus on writing the rest of the month. Spend a couple of hours each week learning. If you are on a training site like Wealthy Affiliate (shameless plug), go through one of the training modules. Thursday you finish the post you were writing or start on he next one. Include time to identify another affiliate to review and add. If your focus is more on eCommerce you will still need to figure out how to drive traffic to your sites, so through content and social media, but you will also need a portion of your time adding merchandise and finding suppliers.
That sounds like a lot, but when you chunk it down it is manageable.
Write it down, have a plan and stick to it as best you can. Do this 30 day plan 3 times to get your 90 day foundation in place.
Step 4 – Review your plan for the next day the night before
Make sure before your head hits the pillow at night that you review your plan for the next day. Determine if what you have planned still works, included in the daily plan should be at least 1 thing that will potentially create income. It could be spending time writing your blog post, it can be as simple as tweeting a post on social media, adding another affiliate link to your website, or add an Amazon item to your website if you are an Amazon Associate. If you are in eCommerce it might be boosting a post on Facebook or adding an item to your store or a free classified post. If you have an email list it might be sending out a mailing to share content or share a resource.
It would also be a good idea to do a review of your week Sunday evening since you are doing a monthly plan, that way you can identify if anything came up that you hadn’t anticipated when you created your initial outline.
Step 5 – Final step, keep the focus
Limit the amount of time you spend floating from one post to the next. Have the time for reading planned into your schedule or once you have completed the tasks you committed to the do some surfing. Before you buy anything online or invest in any trainings read several reviews. There is a lot of valuable information but the more you have the more overwhelming it can be.
Take into consideration that most reviews are written by affiliate marketers. Many have purchased the program or program before writing about it and try to stay objective. It is a good idea to read several and find actual customer reviews when possible. Affiliate marketers will give you some input that you won’t get from the actual site selling the product or program so I am not saying this is a bad thing. It is one of the ways that I make money online and that I promote as a way for you to potentially make money as well. I just want you to do your due diligence and don’t believe everything you read..
If you haven’t read my review on My Business Venture please do so and you will have a good example of not doing enough research. Although I feel like I really tried to do the research just couldn’t find enough information. Before completely dissing MBV, I do want to say that one thing that is good about them is that you can turn your store into a niche store by deleting items and adding some of your own from other suppliers. I still don’t recommend it as the best way to go but they do have some positive points.
The Bottom Line
Step 1 – Define your goals and evaluate your resources
Step 2 – Prioritize and narrow your focus to get more accomplished – identify action steps
Step 3 – Schedule and Plan the next 30 days, it is imperative for success
Step 4 – Review your daily plan the night before
Step 5 – Focus – Limit the amount of time you spend following the rabbit hole on the internet, and do your due diligence before investing in programs
If you take these steps to heart and really stay focused and committed to doing the work and not just reading about how to do the work you will be successful. Yes the research can help you avoid some mistakes but it can also be a great way to avoid actually doing anything. The truth is that you will learn more from actually doing the work and you can’t avoid mistakes completely, even if you do all the research you feel you need to do, you will make mistakes. That does not mean you will fail, it means you will learn. So you know what they say, Just Do It!