Business Thoughts: 4 Common Thinking Mistakes and How to Fix Them
I get a lot of questions everyday from readers. Most newbies will ask the same kind of questions, what traffic source should they run or what verticals do I recommend. I’ve always found my favorite questions to be from Intermediate level affiliates who want to take their businesses to the next level.
The difference between an intermediate affiliate and a super affiliate isn’t just one campaign or a traffic source. Anyone can get lucky with a campaign, but to maintain a level of success in this industry requires a shift in thinking patterns.
What took someone from $0-$500 a day, isn’t going to be the same level of thinking that takes him to the next level. Their business has grown, but their minds hasn’t adapted.
Here are 4 examples that I’ve helped people out with in the past few months.
1. Assumptions without Experience
John works literally 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. He’s in a competitive vertical that requires a lot of daily effort. Constant offer caps, banners die fast, and bidding wars require him to always bring his A-game.
He does have employees but they’re all virtual assistants that help with the basics such as banner designs.
What he truly wants are in-house employees who can help him do real work: upload ads, manage campaigns, and optimize. He’s a one man army competing against super affiliates with well oiled teams, and he knows he’s the bottleneck.
But he’s scared that the employees he hires will suck, or that he won’t be able to trust him. What’s funny is he’s been thinking about this decision for the past 5 years and hasn’t taken any actions
He’s making assumptions without any experience or data. What if the employee sucks? Well that would be his fault for hiring the guy and his fault for not training the guy properly.
What if the employee quits or runs off with his secrets? That’s what everyone always ask me, as if any situation you’re ever in has a guarantee. You have to do a risk vs reward analysis and play the odds. I’ve learned that one good employee can make up for 3 bad ones.
Realize that this is a skill and you’ll get better at it overtime. Experience is what increases your odds of hiring and training good employees.
The biggest problem I see is affiliates want to have their cake and eat it too.
They want employees are are
BUT affiliates want to
- Pay them a low compensation
- Reveal as little of their process as possible, just in case the employee runs off.
“No more half measures” – Mike, Breaking Bad
2. Sunk Costs
A few months ago he made a $10k investment in his friend’s business which has gone bad. Now he’s spending around 3–4 hours a day working helping his friend’s business. He’s not doing it because he’s trying to save his friend, but more to recoup his investment.
That $10k is a sunk cost, and the money’s gone for the most part.
Just because you lost $10k through your friend’s business does not mean you have to make it back through that business.
That 4 hours a day he’s spending could be used on his affiliate business to take it from $5k a day to $10k a day.
Maybe there is some pride involved where he doesn’t want to feel as if he made a bad investment. What he doesn’t realize is he’s going to lose more than $10k through opportunity costs by not focusing on his core business.
3. Give Up Tiny Campaigns
He has a nice campaign that’s doing $2k a day profit, but he also spends time working on his tiny ones around $200 a day. What’s funny is the tiny campaigns take up more time and energy than the big campaign.
His argument is $200 a day = $6k a month profit he doesn’t want to lose. He also doesn’t want to rely on only the big campaign, because what if it dies?
My argument is all that matters at the end of the day is how much money is in your bank account. The energy and time spent on the tiny campaigns, could’ve turned the $2k profit a day campaign into a $4k profit a day campaign.
Your $6k a month could be $60k a month.
I love using a magnifying glass as an analogy. How does a sun burn a leave? You need a magnifying glass to focus the power.
4. Sacrifice for the Long-Term
There’s a handbag designer called Coach. I think of them as the company who makes handbags for college aged girls because their bags usually cost around $300’ish each.
What happens if one day they sell a $3,000 handbag? The bag could be high-quality and be just as good as Hermes or Chanel bags, but no one’s going to buy it. People see coach as that company that sells $300 bags, it’s hard to change that perception (I know a lot about designer bags from dating Asian girls lol)
Once you’ve established a price value, it’s not that easy to move up.
My friend has been in the SEO industry for a few years and is not that well known in his industry. He wants to start offering some coaching and perhaps some workshops as a way to supplement his income. Because he’s not as well known, he wants to sell a weekend workshop for around $500.
I’m telling him to hold off on monetizing, and work on improving his branding and reputation in his industry. Start podcasting, do some speaking, get known bloggers to guest post, and show some large revenue screenshots.
Instead of settling for $500 now, he could work so that he could launch a $5,000 workshop in the future. Which is going to make more money, and cause less headache in the long term?
This blog is an example of that. I could make a few thousand each month easily with banners and reviews, but it’s not the best move in the long term. I rather deliver the best experience to my readers and build the brand out.
Correcting Your Thinking
Taking your business to the next level begins with you. The mindset that takes a startup from 0 – 10 employees, is not the same one that’ll take it from 10 – 100+ employees.
In general how do you learn to think better?
- A mentor who knows his shit and is honest with you is invaluable. They’ve been there done that and can point out when you’re messing up
- Read a lot. I love reading business-biographies such as Delivering Happiness and How to Fail. You don’t have enough time to make all the mistakes in the world. A smart man can learn from the mistakes of others.
- Move fast and break things. My friend in the first example hasn’t had a real employee in 5 years. Imagine where he’d be at if he hired someone years ago. He would have a well-oiled machine by now.He lets fear and assumptions hold him back. The best way to learn is to take action.