EP26: [Marketing Mindset] What does it mean to be an Online Marketer - Part 2?

Thanks for joining me.

We’re continuing with this theme of what does it take to be a marketer online.

If you missed Part 1 - Start off HERE.

As a short recap, last week I revealed that not all is as it appears to be online.

Sometimes people fib a little when they encourage people to purchase their products.

They forget to let people know marketing online is difficult and no one product will be the end-all answer to building a successful online business.

I get it.

It’s hard to know who to trust, right?

Especially when big-name gurus who should know better fail to be completely transparent in their marketing.

A lot of people are selling the belief that marketing is “easy” when that could not be further from the truth.

I know exactly what that feels like.

Especially after spending money on a course or product, in a hope that it will solve a problem, but instead it introduces even more problems.

Over the last few days, one of my mentors André Chaperon of TinyLittleBusinesses.com. André emailed out a parable that spoke to my heart.

I want to read it to you as written.

Be forewarned, it is powerful, full of illustrations and enormous bits of online truth.

I hope it finds a place in your thoughts as you pursue your marketing dream.

Here we go.

Imagine you're walking on a dirt road in the country, with emerald green fields as far as the eye can see. The sky is electric blue, the air is crisp, and every breath you take is exhilarating.

After walking for several hours, lost in thought, you arrive at an intersection. A big arrow pointing right says 'The Hard Way,' and another arrow pointing left says 'The Easy Way.'

When you look right, you see that the road winds its way up a mountain so tall the peak is obscured by clouds. The road is dirt and gravel, washed out in several places, and littered with rocks and debris.

No thanks, you think to yourself. No wonder the sign says 'The Hard Way.'

Looking left, you see that the road is freshly paved, winding gently down a hill, around a corner, and into the valley below.

Which way do you choose?
.
.

Simple, you think. No one in their right mind would go right instead of left. Even the signs are clear — one way is easy, the other is hard.

As you begin to walk down the left-hand path, a voice stops you in your tracks.

"You sure you want to go down that path, friend?"

Startled, you look around but don't see anyone. "Over here," says the voice again. Sitting in the cool shadows of a pine tree, you see an old man with a pipe. Smoke rings float around his head and drift off in the light breeze.

"Who are you?" you ask.

"Me?" the old man says, puffing his pipe. "People call me the Oracle. You can call me that too if you like."

"The Oracle?" You look around suspiciously. "Is that some kind of a joke?"

The Oracle laughs, takes another puff from his pipe, and shakes his head.

"What did you mean when you asked if I'm sure I want to go down that path?"

"The paths are not what they seem," says the Oracle. "Look closely and you'll see it's an illusion."

"An illusion?" you ask.

"Yes. What you think you see isn't real. You see the world through a lens that doesn't always serve you well. Someday you'll understand, and when you do, the illusion will disappear and everything will change."

"Help me understand, then," you say, less defensively than before. "I want to see what you see because the choice seems so obvious to me."

"I help only those who help themselves," the Oracle says. "It's your journey. Your path. No one can walk that path for you."

"What's wrong with The Easy Way?" you ask, exasperated. "I'm willing to help myself. I want to learn. Please."

"OK," the Oracle takes a long draw on his pipe, "if you promise to listen with an open mind, I'll help you see your options for what they really are…"

"Consider my mind open, old man."

Looking left towards the gentle slope of The Easy Way, the lush valley below looks inviting. Glancing right toward the path labeled The Hard Way, again you see a washed-out road littered with rocks and debris that winds its way up a mountain obscured by clouds.

"So, what did you mean The Easy Way is an illusion?" you ask the Oracle.

The old man removes a pair of spectacles from his pocket and hands them to you. "I see the skepticism, friend. Put these on, then look at the two paths again."

You take the flimsy eyeglasses. Nothing about them seems special or out of the ordinary.

"Put them on," he encourages.

When you put on the glasses, nothing looks different — at first. You see the old man in front of you, clear as day. The pine tree, the road, and the intersection are the same.

Sensing your confusion, the Oracle points a long, skinny finger towards the crossroads, pauses for a moment, and then says, "look closely…"

First, you stare at the path labeled The Hard Way.

You see the mountain again, but this time no clouds are obscuring the peak. Behind the first mountain, you notice another, slightly taller mountain, and behind that, an even taller mountain.

"I see a mountain…and behind it are…more mountains. They continue as far as I can see."

"Indeed."

The Oracle says nothing more. He just stares back at you with eyes that seem to sparkle with wisdom and life.

Next, you turn your gaze back to the crossroads, this time looking at The Easy Way.

That, too, looks like the way you first saw it. The smooth road descends gradually away from the intersection and eventually disappears around a corner.

You feel calm and content imagining walking that beautiful country road all the way to the valley below.

But, as you stare at the scene a little longer, you realize something's not quite right.

"I don't understand," you say. "I can see the road all the way to the corner, and I can see the valley below. But I can't see how to get to the valley — what happens to the road after it turns the corner and disappears out of sight?"

The Oracle smiles and shakes his head. "Perhaps you should walk down that road for a while and see…"

Following the Oracle's advice, you begin walking toward The Easy Way.

"Keep the glasses on," says the Oracle, "so you can see The Easy Way for what it really is…" Then, after a pause, he says, "I'll wait here for you," then draws deeply on his pipe and blows a quick succession of perfectly-formed smoke rings.

Excited to finally reach the valley below, you take your first step in your journey.

It's even better than you imagined. The breeze is warm and comforting, and you notice squirrels, deer, and other wildlife along the road, in the fields, and among the trees.

Brightly colored flowers bloom all along the path, bees buzz among the blossoms, and birds float effortlessly, circling in the sky above.

Everywhere you look, there's something beautiful and interesting to see.

Before you're completely out of sight, you look back at the Oracle, who waves toward the road ahead, encouraging you to continue.

The path is smooth and well-worn, and it's easy to maintain a brisk pace. You continue walking, step by step, enjoying the cool air, bright sunshine, and beautiful scenery.

Lost in thought, you finally reach the corner you had seen in the distance while you were standing with The Oracle at the intersection.

"That was easy," you say aloud. The road continues disappearing around the corner.

In the distance, you can see the tops of tall pines sticking up above the horizon.

You pause for a moment and think to yourself: If this is an illusion, I want to stay here forever.

Then, as you round the corner, you see an intersection up ahead. You're too far away to read the signs, but, as you get closer, something doesn't feel right…

"Did you miss me, friend?"

You almost jump out of your skin. There, sitting in the cool shadow of the pine tree, the Oracle stares back at you, an impish grin on his face. You try to speak, but no words come out.

"This is the illusion," says the Oracle. "The Easy Way is captivating, and there's so much to see along the way. But, when you take The Easy Way, you don't actually get anywhere."

"What do you mean?" you stammer, fearful that you might be losing your mind. "I just walked for miles — how did I get back… here?"

"The promise of The Easy Way is excitement. But that excitement is at the expense of real progress. There's always something new, bright, and shiny to pursue, but eventually, no matter how far you think you travel, you always end up right back here where you started."

"But…if that's true, is my only option the hard way?" you ask, already knowing the answer.

"Correct," the Oracle says.

Then, leaning in, he whispers just loud enough for you to hear: "The Hard Way doesn't have to be so hard if you're willing to learn how to climb mountains…"

End of Parable Part 1 - Next week Part 2

At some point, we need to decide to take our future into our own hands.

After all, it is our business.

It's your business.

Learning how to climb internet mountains IS what I’m here to help you do.

If it were a brick-and-mortar business, you wouldn't just run around purchasing products without doing some research and maybe getting referrals or testimonials.

As online marketers, we have to keep upping our game, which involves continuing education.

My wife is a Real Estate agent, and she has to take courses every year to keep her license active.

Thankfully we do not have that regulation.

Still, unless you're willing to keep learning your craft, and marketing is a craft, you will always fall behind.

On this podcast, I do not charge for my advice. You can take what I say with a grain of salt.

But after many years of living through the heartache, like many of you have suffered through, or are suffering through, my advice comes from a place of wisdom.

I can still remember when I found my mentor and how his knowledge changed how I looked at online marketing. He took off my blinders and showed me how to truly be a marketer.

This podcast is my way of sharing that knowledge with all of you.

Thanks for joining me on this little adventure together.

I didn’t mean to be so long-winded today, but I could not help myself.

I’ll do better next week I promise.

Don't forget ...

The coronavirus is still here, be safe out there.

See you next week.

See ya!

Thanks for joining along in this episode.

If you think you know of some improvements that could be made, let me know. Click on the link here.

Keep coming back for more great content next week.

Take care and be well.

James Brown Image

James "Climbing Mountains" Brown

P.S. - In the event, you DO find that once an episode has been produced and posted, that YOU really would like more information, just let me know. Use the Podcast Questions link, click on the link here. Or you can just leave a voice message here.

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