“Ready, Fire, Aim…”
Yeah, it gets annoying to hear the same thing repeated over and over again, but the reality is that there’s a grain of truth to this statement. In fact, I think it’s one of the most important lessons you’ll learn in internet marketing – especially when you’re first starting out.
“Ready, Fire, Aim” plays on the traditional saying, “Ready, Aim, Fire” but with a slight modification – that it’s better to take action now and adjust course later if necessary. The original saying comes from shooting sports, where it’s pretty darn important to aim before you fire (seriously – implement the modified version of this saying on your websites, not at the shooting range…).
Internet marketing is a little different. When most people (myself included) get started online, they face two major challenges – overcoming what’s known as analysis paralysis and getting too hung up on being perfect to actually get things done.
Analysis paralysis is pretty common amongst internet marketing newbies – heck, it’s something even experienced marketers have to grapple with from time to time. Basically, analysis paralysis occurs when you spend so much time researching, thinking and planning that you never actually get down to business and get to work.
Here’s an example of how analysis paralysis usually plays out…
You’re new to the internet business world and have decided to start out with a simple affiliate marketing website. You’re ahead of the game, because you already know that you want to build a site in the body-building niche. You even know what product you want to promote – you’re off to a great start!
You start reading internet marketing forums and blogs for tips on how to turn your body-building site into a success, and come across a post talking about how WordPress is the best platform for new affiliate marketing sites. Hmmm… You had planned to build your site in HTML – what now? You start researching the differences between the two, but while you’re doing that, you come across another post that talks about how you should be promoting your site on Squidoo. This leads you off to yet another website, where you do more research (but no actual website building)…
At the end of the day (or the week, or the month, or the year), you’ve done plenty of research, but have absolutely nothing to show for your business! Your website is no closer to actually being built, and you’re no closer to earning those affiliate commissions you were planning on.
Now, let’s assume that you’re able to overcome this analysis paralysis (more on how to do this later) and actually get your site together. You’re about to encounter hurdle #2…
You’ve built your site, and it’s close to being ready to launch. But first, you want to tweak the headline. Or, maybe the design isn’t quite perfect yet, so you want to wait a little longer to try out different color combinations. Maybe you aren’t 100% sold on the font you’ve used, so you delay the launch entirely.
Newsflash – nothing is ever going to be entirely perfect! And if you wait until your projects are completely finished before launching, you’re going to be waiting a pretty darn long time…
This is where the saying “Ready, Fire, Aim” comes from. Instead of waiting until you know everything possible about your chosen business model or until everything is completely perfect with your website, it’s a much better idea to launch the best possible version you can and make adjustments as you go along.
Of course, when you’re caught up in analysis paralysis or stuck with a site you aren’t completely ready to launch, this is a lot easier said than done!
Here’s how to get out of your rut and get moving forward on your internet marketing business:
1. Set Deadlines. Once you know what kind of website you want to launch, set a concrete deadline for going live with it. Make it a reasonable deadline, but once you have it set, commit to launching your site on that day and stick with it. If you think you might waffle, enlist the support of a friend or family member who can ensure that you stick to your goal.
2. Set Time Limits on Researching. Staying up-to-date on the latest internet marketing trends and techniques is important, but if it’s the only thing you’re doing, you’re going nowhere fast. If you’re having trouble getting down to business, set time limits each day for how long you’ll spend researching and how long you’ll spend working. Personally, I shoot for 20-30 minutes a day of research – after that, it’s back to work for me!
3. Take One Positive Step Forward Each Day. If the whole process of building and launching a website sounds too overwhelming, break it down into small chunks and work on one chunk each day. To do this, sit down and write a list of all the actions you need to take to get your site ready. Then, commit to doing one action each day. Before you know it, your site will be ready to go!
Are you currently facing analysis paralysis? Or are you stuck working on a project that you can’t seem to stop tweaking? Share how you plan to get out of this rut in the comments below (experienced internet marketers – feel free to chime in with your own advice for overcoming these hurdles):