All pain and no gain.
Back when I decided I was going to join the Army, I was 23 at the time, I was told that I had to pass the PT test before going in, or at least I should be able to pass it to make my life easier once I got to basic training.
Part of that test was a two-mile run that had to be complete in a certain amount of time. Well, as a 23-year-old bachelor who had been living on his own for the last 4 or 5 years running wasn’t exactly a priority for me at the time. In fact, I don’t think I really had ever just gone for a run.
So, I went to a lake nearby and started to run around it. I went all out, fully expecting to demolish the time requirement and run like a pro. I mean, I wasn’t in bad shape or overweight. I was active and skateboarded back in high school before phones were really a thing.
You can probably image quite clearly, but I literally fell on my face. Not literally, but I couldn’t even make it around the little lake one time before I started having cold sweats and getting light headed and nauseous.
I quickly realized that I couldn’t just expect professional-level results when I knew nothing about running or pacing myself and I had pretty much zero stamina built up. So, I called up my younger brother of two years, who was very active at the time and really into physical fitness and asked for help.
Start with the fundamentals.
We then started with the fundamentals, I mean I didn’t even have proper running shoes, and started slower and at shorter distances. Within a month I could run a whole mile without stopping. Two months and I was doing two miles and beyond.
But I had to build up to it over time, starting with the fundamentals and progressing from there.
Consistency over time.
So what was the secret ingredient here? Well, I didn’t just run one time and then was able to pass the test. No, I ran every day, consistently over time, and I got better, faster, and stronger.
Think about it, even if you start with the fundamentals and your mindset and desires are in the right place, if you just do something once, like going for a run, you will never reap the amazing rewards from doing that thing consistently over time.
This isn’t a new concept either, but for some reason, when it comes to digital marketing us business owners forget this rule. Consistency is key. Start with the fundamentals and consistently do them for the right reasons and over time you will have great success; you will get better, smarter, gain a deeper understanding of your customers needs and overall yes, you will get more calls, emails, leads, customers, and maybe even a little more time and money.
But, when starting out, if you expect professional-level results and outcomes like I did with running, you will, or should I say your business will suffer and so will your current customers and you will never reap the amazing benefits that the internet has to offer. Which means you will go away discouraged and end up hiring some fancy pants “marketing guru” who guarantees to bring you a steady stream of leads. Which eventually you will end up firing either because he couldn’t deliver, the leads were crap, or—and truthfully this is more likely—you didn’t put in the time to build up and perfect your business systems so you couldn’t properly handle a constant flow of leads. Like the running example above, you just jumped in and went all out without being prepared.
But don’t forget the key takeaway here. Start with the fundamentals and do them consistently over time, making sure you do them for the right reasons, your “why” for starting your business, not to just get more leads and make more money, and you will have great success online.