Dreamlining: A Good Alternative to Setting Goals?

dreamlining

Image by PrioTime

Did you notice all the “here are my 2011 goals” blog posts flying around last month?

I sure did – they seemed to be everywhere. And for the past month I’ve been putting off setting my own goals for 2011. For some reason, the idea of “goals” just doesn’t sit right with me.

For the past while I’ve assumed it was just me who thought like this – until I picked up my (well-read) copy of the 4 Hour Work Week yesterday and reviewed chapter 1 on “Definition” – the chapter in which Tim Ferriss argues that the questions “What do I want?” and “What are my goals?” are far too broad to be useful.

What Tim recommends, instead of asking yourself those two incredibly vague questions, is to pose this simple question: “What excites me?” Tim includes this question in a process that he calls dreamlining.

For me, this question hits the nail on the head – because it’s far easier to define what excites us. By planning our future by focusing on what excites us, we’re also more likely to achieve happiness than focusing on “goals” – and there’s scientific proof to back up my claim. Allow me to explain.

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Confused and Overwhelmed? 31 Successful Internet Marketers Tell You How to Overcome Self-Doubt

Self doubt

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Did you know that there are over 1 million Clickbank affiliates, and 15,000 of them make a full-time income promoting Clickbank products? Quick math: that means 1.5% of Clickbank affiliates make a full-time income from it.

Now, there are two ways of looking at that number: glass half-empty, and glass half-full.

The glass half-empty folks say “What?! Only 1.5% of affiliates are making it?”

The glass half-full folks, on the other hand, say “Wow, 15,000 people is a lot! I’m going to be one of them.”

And when you combine all of the internet marketers who are successfully promoting products from other affiliate networks, or their own products, Adsense, eBay, Amazon, CPA offers, and a million other things, there are probably hundreds of thousands of people who have “made it” online.

And yet all of those people went through a range of emotions on their way to achieving their goals. I regularly hear from my blog subscribers about the emotions they are grappling with, the most limiting of which is self-doubt:

– Doubt in their abilities

– Doubt in their chances of succeeding

– Doubt that this whole “make money online” thing is even real

I get so many emails from people trying to overcome self-doubt in making money online that I got an idea one day: to ask as many successful bloggers as I could how they overcame doubt.

So here’s what I did. I emailed 100 bloggers and asked them a simple question:

“What is the #1 thing you did to overcome self-doubt in your early days online?”

Out of the 100 emails I sent, 31 bloggers responded (so far). Included in the respondents were some heavy-hitters, including John Chow, Yaro Starak, Shawn Collins, Chris Guthrie, Zac Johnson, and Daniel Scocco. Many “up-and-comers” also responded.

The text that follows is the responses from all 31 bloggers. In their responses, I think you’ll see a few themes emerge:

– Find a mentor, or someone successful to model

– Treat “failures” as learning experiences

– Take a long-term view (don’t expect quick success)

– Focus on one thing at a time

– Persist!

You might say that this post is a kind of mirror to my previous post on the 8 challenges facing IM newbies. And yet, if you look at the responses from bloggers who have “made it”, you still see similar issues cropping up.

So, in no particular order, here are the responses from bloggers:

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5 Ways to Overcome FEAR in Building Your Online Business

 

overcoming fear in building OB

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If you read my post on the challenges facing internet marketing newbies, you know that I’ve been digging through the results of the KeywordsBlogger survey lately.

The survey results have generated a great discussion about what’s really holding people back from making money online.

One of the things that has really struck me about this conversation is how common FEAR is in the minds if budding Internet marketers:

– Fear of making mistakes

– Fear of losing money

– Fear of looking foolish in the eyes of their family

– Fear of FAILURE

Here are some comments that people made on the post:

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Top 8 Challenges Facing Internet Marketing Newbies: Results of KeywordsBlogger Survey

Top 8 IM Challenges

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If there’s one thing the Great Recession has done, it’s forced a lot of people to reassess their careers and how they make money (if they’re fortunate enough to still have a career, and still be making money).

The result? Well, one of the results has been a shift in people looking to start their own business – including an online business.

Check out this graph from Google Trends showing the gradual (but noticeable) increase in searches for the term “make money online”.

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2 Kids, a Full-Time Job, and No Spare Time: How to Build an Online Business When Life Is Hectic

how to build your online business

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Did you know that hunter-gatherers spent less time “working” than we do today?

It’s one of the ironies of our era that despite an enormous amount of time-saving devices, we as a society are probably the busiest we’ve ever been in history.

This has led to the rise of a huge “personal productivity” industry. Some people now spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year learning how to make the most of limited time. (And how can they afford to pay for all of that productivity wisdom? They work longer hours to make more money! Oh, irony of ironies…)

This isn’t going to be a “1,894 tips for greater productivity” post. There are a lot of great resources on the web where you can learn how to use your time more effectively (this great Zen Habits post, for example), so I’m not going to waste your time regurgitating what’s already out there.

In this post I’m going to describe the 5 practices that have made the biggest difference in my personal productivity, and have allowed me to get a lot more done.

5 Daily Productivity Practices to Boost Your Online Business

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Affiliate Pinball: How to Stop Bouncing between Online Business Models

pinballs

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One of the things I’ve learned during the last 3 years online is the power of FOCUS and PERSISTENCE.  I see a lot of newbies spinning their wheels (been there, done that), bouncing from online business model to online business model – usually models that have to do with making money as an affiliate.

In fact, I even have a name for it: affiliate pinball. You spend months – or years – bouncing between the latest and greatest affiliate marketing courses, but never achieving your goal: a full-time online income.

If you’re feeling like a pinball, here’s what I recommend:

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The Compelling Offer: Why You’re Not Making Sales, and What to Do About It

why youre not making sales.jp

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Have you ever been browsing in a store and ended up buying something you didn’t plan to because it was such a great deal?

Welcome to the world of the “compelling offer” – a key ingredient for any successful online business, but one that many newbies ignore.

In this post I’m going to describe exactly what makes an offer compelling, and how you can develop offers that will fly off the (virtual) shelves.

So What Makes a Good Offer?

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Get More Conversions: Key Points from Marketing Sherpa’s Landing Page Handbook

conversions

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If you’re just getting into PPC marketing, you’ve probably seen the term “landing page” thrown around a lot.

Put simply, a landing page is any page on a website that a person lands on after they’ve clicked a search engine result or on an online advertisement.

Back in the day, most marketers would simply make their homepage a landing page. Makes sense, right?

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Breakthrough Advertising: A Summary of Eugene Schwartz’s Classic Marketing Text

http://www.keywordsblogger.com/should-i-enter-this-market-7-questions-for-information-marketers/

eugene schwatz breakthrough advertising

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Breakthrough Advertising: How to Write Ads That Shatter Traditions and Sales Records is an absolute classic in the field of marketing.

Its publisher claims that the ideas in Breakthrough Advertising have generated millions of dollars in revenue for its readers, and this is one of the few books that I would believe that claim.

I highly recommend you get a copy from your public library (if you can find a copy), or buy it from BottomLineSecrets

But if you don’t have the $95 to splash out on a copy, I’ve summarized the book in this post. If you like this summary, please leave a comment!

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