When your Icarus reaches a crescendo you can either go up in smoke or go down swinging.
February 21, 2011
ISSUE 1: Skipping the instructions
Have you ever noticed that there is the word art in the word start? It may be difficult to start something. And it could be an art.
A person who has ever achieved this knows that one of the most arousing aspects of life is the triumph of getting things done. Oh, the good old getting things done right. When it comes to this process the amateurs will often take the same approach as they would to solving the Rubik's cube without reading the instructions. Not knowing that the most efficient solutions have already been discovered and documented. There is only one most efficient way to solve the Rubik's cube puzzle. And no matter how much style you add to the process, no matter what body part you wish to solve it with, it is the only right way.
Nonetheless, many people try playing with the toy, thinking that they are “smart enough” to solve it all by themselves. This often leads to leaving the toy alone after less than just a few moments. This event will be signified by the failure of rising to crescendo, after several failed attempts trying to arrive at a complete solution. This happens when people realize that they don't know how to solve it. Of course, their excuse is that “I simply don't have time for this”.
Being two kids, me and my brother would often fall victim to the phenomenon known as Sibling Rivalry. We both knew that we couldn't solve the Rubik's cube, no matter how much we put our clever minds to this peculiar mental exercise. When unable to complete the puzzle past the color integrity of one face, we would give up. We didn't read the instructions or study the solutions described in them. Notwithstanding, the first person who would solve it, of course, could easily claim the pedestal of higher intelligence.
One day my brother, ran into the room exclaiming: “Look! I solved it, I solved!” I couldn't believe my eyes, he truly did solve the Rubik's cube. It didn't matter how he did it. What mattered is that he did. He was smarter than me, and I was forever to be lost in the oblivion of defeat.
Later that week, the secret of his intelligence was finally revealed. Here is what actually happened. Before showing me the solved version of the Rubik's cube, my brother walked out of the room and into the bathroom where nobody could see his machinations: he peeled off the little square stickers from all sides of the cube and pasted them back in the right order. He didn't really solve it by twisting it, he cheated his way to take control of the situation and enjoy the temporary glory of childlike triumph.
I tell you this story because it has so much similarity to what's going on with so many webmasters today, and perhaps business owners in many other industries. It's simply a trait of human nature. A large majority of people wants to peel the stickers off and back on and think that they have solved the problem. What's happening here? The answer is quite simple.
They look for the easiest way to accomplish something and force themselves to believe that they have truly done a great work. To be more precise: governed by their nature and emotion, they pursue quick self gratification. These people's intentions are selfish. They look to provide value only for themselves that comes in the form of AdSense earnings. All other people are simply accidental AdSense clicks. That's as much thought they give to other people. “It's me who is making money here, who cares about everyone else? They are simply accidental clicks!” or “As long as I have a good amount of people clicking my ads for any reason whatsoever, I am making money. If only I can continue doing this, I will make even more”. Sounds familiar? This is the mentality of the majority of people that can be observed today on forums and blogs. But let's stop here for a moment. Do these people really make money? To me it appears that they build websites and clutter them with ads, thinking only about themselves. You might get away with it for a while, but your so-called business will not last long. Longevity, and long-term outlook are very important in this business. Any business. But frankly, who has the time for all that? Everyone wants things to happen now.
My brother finally revealed the truth, he admitted how he “solved” the Rubik's cube.
Avoiding the challenges of a situation, cheating and not telling the truth in order to achieve personal gratification may work in personal relationships with your parents, your spouse or when you need to showcase your rivalry over your siblings. But in the world of Internet marketing this strategy is not going to work. If you are one of the people who, in the spur of the moment, fed up with their day jobs decide to quit to pursue online money, you must believe that you are capable of doing it by yourself. But do you understand how much more serious this is than it appears?
What will happen after you quit your job to pursue Internet money? Your living condition will now depend on your online earnings. Many people get so carried away that they forget to factor in the taxes on these earnings. Again, making the problem of making money online easier to think about. This is a common mentality of people who don't think there is importance in reading instructions. After all, someone else wrote those instructions. I am smarter than anyone I get in contact with. And so, I must be able to figure it out on my own. So they think.
In this moment, there begins the journey of many people. You begin to think that every hour of every day matters. All of a sudden you find yourself working 12 hours per day, sitting in front of the computer, writing blogs, customizing AdSense placement on your web pages.
The reality strikes hard. It blows them out of the water. It twists their expectations until they cringe and start to think whether quitting their job at that point was the right move. After all, you are only making $30 per month. Perhaps it is the time to make your next decision based on an impulse. Move to South Africa. Reality can whither any unrealistic dream or fantasy. This isn't checkers. This is chess. And this is a check mate.
This is not like trying to impress your brother by pasting stickers onto the right sides of the Rubik's cube. Your mental health and your living conditions depend on your earnings.
With enough income, you can pay rent and improve your health by eating healthier food, having enough money to buy more expensive groceries like fruits and vegetables. You can afford a safer car. You can have more control over your life. Studies show that most people with conditions of obesity are stuck in a “paycheck to paycheck” type of situation, or live in poverty because they cannot afford better living conditions. The bottom line is that the conditions of your life depends on your income.
But if this childlike logic, where everything is as simple as pasting stickers into the right placeholders, is the type of mentality you apply to your marketing strategies for your website, which is what displaying AdSense on your website is, then I will tell you right now: stop doing it, because it's not going to work. And the truth will eventually come out in the form of either having your AdSense account terminated or your personal frustration with how little money you make no matter how hard you work. Your excuse? People who make money online had the advantage of getting in early, or they simply cheated their way to the top. I have no chance... or time to do this! Of course, that's got to be it.
But it's not. And what are the colorful square stickers of AdSense? Posting hundreds of unthoughtful blog posts, obstructing the actual content on your web page with ad blocks (instead of integrating them into the content) and spamming forums to get back links to your site. What are people trying to prove by adopting tactics that are against rules of the contracts they signed?
I guess we can keep in mind that Rubik's cube is not an extremely challenging puzzle to solve to begin with. And the solutions are already known. So why not take your time and do it the right way from the start? Why not read the instructions? After all, they are actually there, for you to read them. Scattered all over the Internet. Many you can even find on this very page. Your living condition depends on this, and I assure you that there are known ways of generating monumental income with AdSense. All you have to do is be willing to understand that the moment you start to think you can do it yourself because you are “better” than others, is the moment when you start to dig yourself into a hole.
Information is neutral. Nobody has to be smarter than someone else to profit from Internet marketing strategies. Anyone with a reasonable, common sense mind can create and provide value to other people. Be open enough to learn what they are, be patient and be willing to execute your plan. The strategy that you have come up with as a result of what you've learned. Be prepared to spend many hours on improving your business and webmaster skills. It means taking your business seriously. It means being more mature. Even if it sounds much more difficult than reading Rubik's cube instructions.
Just remember... when your Icarus reaches a crescendo you can either go up in smoke or go down swinging.