Insight: Failure and Success In Online Business
by Jack Humphrey
Creativity and Determination are the KEY ingredients in all online
success stories. So many times, as a moderator and participant in
the net’s most active and lauded online marketing forum, The
Internet Marketing Warriors, I have heard the same questions
repeated by hopeful marketer after hopeful marketer. And mostly they
begin with "How do I…?"
Similar questions, in a dead-heat in frequency, vary around a theme
such as "What tool should I use to…?"
Know-how and tools. Go to any forum on the net, on almost any
subject, and you will find hundreds or even thousands of people
exchanging information on know-how and tools. "What is the best way
to write copy?" "Which autoresponder script is best for my
business?" "What hosting is the best for me?"
Very infrequently will you come upon a marketing discussion that
talks about creativity and determination. Even more rare is a
successful product that shows people HOW to be creative and
determined. This is because tools and know-how are so much easier to
If this, then that. Such a small phrase, yet it is the bulk of what
internet marketing training is all about if you have read even a
small pile of ebooks geared toward making you a better sales
And the formula sells – bigtime.
But then, why are there so many people failing at marketing their
business online? What is IT that separates the masses from the
relatively few truly successful online small businesses?
It is this: You cannot teach people creativity very easily. Some
would say it’s impossible. Art classes are simply tools to weed out
people that don’t have IT so they can get busy pursuing another line
And it is this: Determination (including work ethic, stick-to-it-ivenss,
seeing something through to the end) is even harder to simply
instill in a person with the written word or teleseminar. You cannot
reach through your ebook to slap someone everyday to recapture their
focus for them and keep them on-task.
The problem is compounded when you have one of the above and not the
other. Creative people very often have no business sense or the
drive necessary to acquire it. Determined people fail gloriously in
a gallon of sweat at five in the morning without creativity. Nothing
is probably more disheartening than having one or the other. It must
be like being able to see over the fence, but not have what it takes
to climb to the other side.
Tools are tools. We must use them in any profession to the best of
our ability. Henry Ford used tools to create Model Ts. But did you
ever read a story proclaiming that Ford won the day with his tools?
Of course not. The stories are about determination and creativity
and that’s it.
You can go out right now and get the best software, the most
expensive copywriter, the best programmer, and even the best product
since sliced bread. And you can fail. It’s been done more times than
success by a long margin throughout history.
This article is not about how to succeed at internet marketing. It
is not about tools that will help get you over the fence where the
grass is greener.
This article is an observation. An observation that is seeded with
clues that only creative and determined people will pick up on. And,
despite all the success manuals and training you may have spent hard
earned money on, this article contains the answer to why many people
fail and some succeed at not only internet marketing, but in
anything in life.
Creativity in internet marketing is being able to think beyond what
others have accomplished to date. It’s being able to take the pulse
of the internet and the human condition and react by putting
something together that is needed and desired.
Determination is being able to go out on a limb and work until you
succeed despite obstacles and naysayers. It is fueled by belief in
yourself and your creative ideas.
Do you have these two key ingredients? Can you see what is possible
that thousands of other great minds have overlooked? If so, can you
then take that vision and turn it into reality with dogged
determination and perhaps the hardest work you have ever done in
If you have "it," then you can go learn about our trade from the
technical (tools) standpoint and you can use them to succeed with
your creativity and determination. The tools are worthless by
I hope one day to see a lot more questions about the creative
process as it relates to business and success in forums in the
future. I want to see questions (and honest answers!) about how much
work it takes to create a profitable business online. Then I will
know that a lot more people are on track and are asking the RIGHT
questions. Most of all, I hope to see more training materials from
experts that deal with not only what tools and systems to use, but
with topics on how to think freely, on your own, about how you could
make something better or make something new out of the situation at
Finally, when you hear that this business is not for everyone, it
means quite specifically that this business is not for people who
cannot think outside the norm and work long hours. That’s why
businesses that people try to sell you that "do all the work so you
don’t even have to think" are so absurd.
No one has ever succeeded at anything without creativity and
determination. Unless they have entered a couch potato contest. But
even then the most successful people are going to be the ones who
think creatively about how to sit on that couch longer than anyone
else and watch more TV than was formerly thought humanly possible.
Here is an example using the above: 99% of the people who set out to
be the #1 Couch Potato will simply start out by sitting in front of
the TV for as long as they can. They think, "I will just out-potato
everyone else by doing it 24/7."
And they will all fail. Because one person is going to think
creatively and freely. They are going to buy 5 TVs and plug them all
in in front of the couch. They are going to out-potato everyone else
by being able to compound the amount of TV they can watch by 5 times
the amount of everyone else while doing no more work than the other
99%. Through creativity and determination, the person who wins at
anything is going to find ways to succeed that most people never
would have thought of.
In the end, if you want to succeed online, you must ask yourself: Do
I REALLY have the creativity and determination to turn my current
situation into a better one through an online business? Don’t worry
about tools and know-how. Those can be learned and used by anyone.
But there is no need to commit yourself to a big learning curve if
you don’t have what it really takes to succeed in the end.