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Successful Internet Business: Panning For Gold Or Selling Shovels?

By Irina
Posted Tuesday, July 6, 2004

FACT #1: As Internet retail sales more than double year after year, experts agree that in the next ten years more business will be done screen-to-screen than face-to-face.

FACT #2: According to the USA Today, the Internet is responsible for creating more millionaires than any other industry in history.

FACT #3: Over 95% of all Internet-based businesses never saw any profit and majority of them haven't lived long enough to celebrate their six-month anniversary.

Chances are that FACT #3 is more consistent with your personal experience than the other two. Are you tired of putting all your effort into your Internet-related business, affiliate program, ezine, etc., yet getting little or no results? Are you wondering what's the difference between those who made it to the top and everyone else? Is it luck, or they actually know something rest of us don't?

Here are several suggestions on making your Internet business experience just a little closer to FACT #1 and FACT #2:

1. THE TREND IS OUR FRIEND. When we follow it, we make money and when we try to buck the trend... we don't. Luckily for us, the trends I am talking about are much easier to see than the elusive stock market trends. For example, as the massive (and wealthier than ever!) Baby Boom
generation continues to age, their needs reflect what is wanted and needed in our society. Statistics shows that their buying patterns reflect growth in five major areas:
* Health Care
* Investment Advice
* Technology
* Specialty Retail
* Entertainment

These five areas will dominate the buying patterns for the next 15 to 20 years. If you sell anything, it better be somehow related to health care.

2. SELL TO BUYERS. When we advertise on the Internet, we are fiercely competing with thousands other businesses. They all sound just as great (or terrible) for someone on the other side of the computer screen. Why? Simply because almost everyone who sees your or my Internet ad isn't actually looking for what we have to offer. Like us, they are trying to sell their own product, service or recruit for their own program.

That's where the problem is. We are trying to sell to sellers, and not buyers.

What we need to do first is offer something that all these people are looking for. Something that will help them promote their own business. Essentially, we need to start selling shovels instead of (or at least in addition to) panning for gold. The good news is that with the advent of the Internet, those high demand "shovels" can be readily available to everyone. See, for example, (

3. OUR MINDSET CAN EITHER MAKE OR BREAK US. Way before we learn about FTP uploads, file saving, HTML editors, niche finding, advertising, list building, search engines, affiliate marketing, joint ventures, etc., we should take the time to get the right mindset.

One of the most common challenges is denying frustration. Frustration can be a result of great many things, but usually is caused by our nwarranted expectation that running an online business is easy.

Like frustration, the challenge of not knowing who to believe or where to turn can make us feel unsure of ourselves. The seemingly endless products and services as well as tales of greatness can make us seem lost with no clear direction of what to do next.

Our mindset should be built around the following concepts:

* This is the only business that we can succeed even with no special education and very little money

* Mistakes must be viewed as learning experiences, analyzed and stored in our toolbox

*Crave and dissect lots of information

*Never give up

*Give to get

*Realize we are all in this together, there are people who will help.

About the Author
Irina helps people save money on healthcare and create residual income working from home (


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