How Do You Know You’re Ready To Invest In Websites?
One question I’m asked often, is how do you actually get the confidence to start investing in websites. How do you know when it’s time to take the leap?
It’s easy to get frustrated when you spend your time consuming content to educate yourself and realize you’re not making that first bold move. It’s also hard to watch the accomplished, alpha-types who are successful doing exactly what you want to do. They make it look easy. They took the first step, so why can’t you? How do you gain the confidence, take the first step and buy an established website that will secure your future?
One of the ways to tell you’re not ready is when you haven’t settled on a monetization strategy. If you’re still perusing Flippa for different types of websites, you need to pick a monetization strategy. I recommend the high-ticket droppshipping model but Affiliate Marketing will work as long as you’re not relying on Amazon as the main affiliate.
The Beginner’s Curse
I have a friend named Alan who I’ve known for a few years professionally. We met through an outside interest and stayed in touch. He regularly asks me about our e-commerce activities. I’ve made suggestions to him on what to read and he even bought a great course I thought would help him but even after that he still couldn’t figure out where to begin.
You can waste a lot of time wandering around in the dark with no notion you will ever execute on anything. I spent too long trying to solve for this myself and I felt more insecure every day I chose not to act. My look backwards tells me there are some critical elements to analyze to insure you maximize your opportunity to succeed and gain the confidence to act.
Figure Out Your Why
Maybe you’re ready to dive in. You’ve got the checkbook ready and you’re ready to acquire your first website and get to work. But do you know why you want to do this?
First, I encourage you to take five minutes or as much time as you need to picture the end state that will make you happy. Determining this is critical to help you discover your ‘why.’ You have to understand why you want to be a website investor. This is different than thinking about what you want to do. That’s easy. You want to buy and run multiple online businesses. And the how is easy too. You’re going to learn how the systems work that run the business and get help where needed. But you’ve skipped to the execution phase of the deal without completely defining why you want a business.
The money can’t really be your only why. Website investing is not like stock market or bond market investing. They’re not paper assets. You’re choosing a digital business model and you’re going to have to work in that business model. So why is this good for you? What else will satisfy you running an online business?
Let’s be clear though, motivation can certainly be about the money. In my case, I was staring at retirement with two younger kids and not enough savings. I had real urgency to make this work financially (and still do). But without a solid reason for making the sacrifices you will make, you will not push through the inevitable tough times and self-doubt that ensues from tackling the complexities of owning an online business. I assure you, your mettle will be tested and things will not go as scripted. Not even close.
People and Relationships are Key
Drop shipping businesses are customer service oriented businesses. If you don’t like dealing with people you’re not going to be happy. Think about your nature. Are you ok working with people to solve problems? Because they come up with the suppliers and the freelancers you’ll work with. People connection is a lost art in the age of the Internet and I excel at it. I love solving problems. I’ve been doing it my whole career and I knew running websites would be a good fit for me. I would get satisfaction from solving problems and strengthening relationships. There was something other than money that would give me satisfaction in the day-to-day business tasks.
Assessing Your Own Strengths
Next up is assessing your own strengths in running an online business. You can’t see yourself through the lens of a seasoned online veteran. Handicap this with not knowing even minor differences in competency levels and it’s hard to feel certain you’ll succeed. You need to assess where you want to end up and leverage your unique strengths. If you don’t, you’ll likely fail or be unhappy, or both.
You can start to visualize your future easier and begin to feel some confidence but this feeling won’t be permanent. You just don’t have enough evidence yet. Most of us have a good idea of what we do well. Commit to mastering a core set of skills and understand the areas where you’re deficient.
You’ll need to surround yourself with experts you’ll direct. You’ll need your core skill as an edge and a good team of people around you to succeed.
Let’s look at Robert Kiyosaki for a minute. I’m a big fan. One of his concepts is discovering how you leverage yourself. You do it by using other really talented people who have skills you don’t have and you delegate tasks to those people. It can be cheap for the less skilled work and expensive for the extremely skilled tasks but those are usually short-lived.
There is a global outsourced labor pool of people who are figuring out their own why, what and how in their own circumstances and they willing to help you on your journey to website investment.
How to Know You’re Right
Tom Corley from The Rich Habits Institute says you cannot think your way to confidence. Confidence must be earned and you build it one level at a time. Corley defines the 3 levels as:
• LEVEL #1 – Expert Knowledge — Having specialized knowledge in a particular field or niche.
• LEVEL #2 – Expert Knowledge and Advanced Skills — Having both Expert Knowledge and Advanced Skills in a particular field or niche takes you to the next level, elevating your confidence even higher.
• LEVEL #3 – Expert Knowledge, Advanced Skills and Achieving Success — You can attain the highest level of confidence when you have mastered all three levels: Expert Knowledge, Advanced Skills and Achieving Success. This makes you a bona fide expert in your field or niche.
Most career professionals I know have Level #1 Expert Knowledge, many in more than one area. If you have excelled in your career over 15 years or more you have likely mastered more than one competency. You can trust this is the case.
As I described earlier, the problem is you may not appreciate what you possess. But I speak to people every day with unexploited “superpowers” I envy. Don’t get stuck here.
Level #2 is trickier for people trying to extend themselves into the online business world. Traditional careers and professions don’t usually allow you to build the required Advanced Skills to succeed in online business. Fortunately, great courses and consultants are available to augment an enthusiasm for acquiring the right Advanced Skills.
But courses are static and you will not feel truly confident about your proficiency. You need to do the work as it’s prescribed by the experts and understand the concepts well enough to teach them to others. Most courses have forums now where you can do exactly this.
Level #3 can only come from succeeding. The irony is that most successful first-time online entrepreneurs harbor deep insecurity—they think they got lucky— for a long time after they have truly succeeded. Setbacks occur constantly, so you worry it’s all going to end for some unforeseen reason.
Many who are successful for the first time quickly sell a profitable business to lock the in the profit. Others worry their success is not repeatable. But the reality is, many who have just experienced first time success can likely replicate this on some level.
Most late career professionals have excellent Expert Knowledge. They just need to assess it correctly. Excellent courses exist to help people seeking to develop Advanced Skills that are relevant. You must choose the right course to fit your specific need, and maybe some expert help. Achieving Success requires making a commitment. Take a venture capital approach to investing and make smaller commitments.
Follow this plan and you’ll develop real confidence in your investing based on your success. Keep this framework in mind and you may also spot a successful but fearful seller, offering you an excellent opportunity to invest.
Success is Doing
The only way I know to succeed is by doing. The best way to start is to beta-test your skills with a smaller website investment that will help you learn and build your confidence. Then take on more to build your portfolio.