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Senior Correspondent

I feel like a mama pit bull watching over the wallets of her online readers. I don’t want to see any more of you throw your precious money down the proverbial drain. So here goes:

Well, the universe must have been listening.

Last week I wrote about how online business is not just a matter of pushing an easy button. And one of two things happened.

Either (1) there was some strange energy wafting through the atmosphere that awakened several “gurus” to the number of people getting ripped off in the industry. Or (2) like when you buy a new white XYZ car that you thought was unique, suddenly you see them on every highway, in every driveway and in every other parking slot at the mall.

I saw all sorts of people decrying how mean and awful the online arena can be. And today I read an article that told me I had to write about the topic again.

An email popped up in my mailbox this morning. It linked to an article by Perry Marshall about “Kool-Aid® drinkers” and he said all the right things. So I’m linking to that article with two direct comments: First, Perry is known for being an all-around good guy and, second, I know nothing about the product he is endorsing, so I leave it entirely to the reader’s discretion to decide if any further action is warranted.

What I most want to do is to dedicate just one more week’s article to the theme of online business, because the response to last week’s article was so strong.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I decided to summarize what Perry said. And want to give him full credit for this content.

Here’s what his email said his article was about:

“Today I’m going to give you some straight talk about:
1) How ordinary real people get scammed out of their money online, and
2) How ordinary real people actually make money online, or in any new business for that matter.”

And here are ten things I gleaned from his article.

  1. You can make a little money as an affiliate marketer, selling other people’s products, but it will never make you rich.
  2. Too many people try to be in the “how to make money on the Internet” niche without the online skills to compete with the big dogs. And they own the niche.
  3. How you’re taught to make it in that niche is the equivalent of a glorified chain letter, with everyone looking for more newbies to chop up as “chum,” bait for their next fishing venture.
  4. If you haven’t succeeded at something, you have no right to be trying to teach others how to succeed at it.
  5. The A-level “marketing and make money” experts are happy to take your money, although they know you’ll likely just be another statistic … because they feel if they don’t take your money, someone else will. And they’re probably right.
  6. Knocking off other people’s concepts or products only works for so long, even if you’re doing so at a lower price.
  7. Before you suit up to make a million dollars online, follow the solid, sustainable steps to make your first dollar there. Then repeat, improve, repeat.
  8. Capitalize on your own individuality rather than buy into a prepackaged business where you’re just one of many doing the same thing.
  9. Be sure you are totally inside your potential customers’ heads and that you really know your subject. Otherwise you will miss the mark in your marketing … or  eventually be abandoned for being a lightweight.
  10. If you fail over and over again at some endeavor (and just thinking about it makes your stomach turn), let it go. Something in your formula is obviously wrong. Stop, clear your head and reassess where to put your energies. And, should you decide to continue doing something online …

Lastly, Perry shares a simple-but-thorough exercise you can use to figure out what you truly love, know a lot about and will never get bored teaching and/or selling. As he told his friend Anita, “From that you can form a USP [that’s a Unique Selling Proposition], determine something unique to sell, have a ready-made understanding of the customers who buy that sort of thing, and have a MUCH easier go of it.”

If this article tweaked any concerns about what you’re doing to build a business online today, let us know in the comments section below. There’s no reason for false price here. After all, we can all learn from one another.

Thank you, Perry!

About Perry Marshall

Entrepreneur Magazine says: “Perry Marshall is the #1 author and world’s most-quoted consultant on Google Advertising. He has helped over 100,000 advertisers save literally billions of dollars in Adwords stupidity tax.”

He is referenced across the Internet and by The Washington Post, USA Today and the Chicago Tribune.

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