When I started my first business ten years ago, I remember many internet marketers were selling Google ads courses and books. They made it look like everyone could become a millionaire by slapping up some Google ads.
You just had to follow their tactics. That was all! Sweet deal, right?
Well, here’s what happened behind the scenes. While those internet marketers were selling products about Google ads, they were doubling down on Facebook ads.
This happens all the time. Info products that are built around tactics and hacks are always about stuff that worked in the past. If you bought those Google ads courses back then, you were being misled. The real action happened on Facebook.
In fact, Facebook is where those internet marketers got their traffic from!
Hacks are temporary
I’ve bought some of those older courses on Google ads but I didn’t find them useful. When everyone starts using the same hacks and tactics, they no longer work. In fact, when you try to go for the shortcut, you actually end up wasting your time; which will only set you back.
You’re always looking for the next tactic. Right now, you see a lot of info products around running ads on Instagram, YouTube, Amazon, or making money on Medium. It’s the same thing.
Internet marketers show you how they made money on a platform, and they promise you the same. “Look, I made $312.348 with IG ads!”
Congratulations! If you found an oil well, why are you selling info products?
They know we’re attracted to those hacks. I’ve been there too. I remember when I started writing, I looked for something that would make it easier.
As you know, there’s no such thing. You only become better by working on your skills.
Skills get you what you want
Look, one thing I can share from personal experience is that building a business or career is HARD. It takes a lot of time and energy to learn new skills so you can provide value.
And trust me, I’ve tried to look for shortcuts and hacks over the past ten years. Maybe I’m missing something those geniuses are selling, but I can’t find it. To be sure, I’ve connected with many successful entrepreneurs over time.
I’ve been very lucky with my father, who’s a successful businessman himself. Through him, I met many people who’ve done well for themselves and their communities.
And every single one of them said the same thing. There’s no way around hard work.
What is it that you do? Are you a programmer, designer, writer, sales exec, project manager? Get better at what you do.
And instead of focusing on the outcomes like, “I want to make $300K with ads,” look at how you can do better work.
Do work you’re proud of
You can overcome all of these challenges by focusing on the work. I know, this is the least exciting advice in the world. But this really works.
Keep yourself to a very high standard. Ask yourself: “Am I proud of the work I’m delivering?”
Whether that’s in your creative or professional work, don’t settle for “meh” work. It doesn’t have to be the best in the world. It just has to be your best. That will do two things for you.
It will help you to improve. And it will help you to value your own work.
The other day, I was looking at my website and asked myself the same question. I wasn’t really proud of the articles I published my first year, between 2015 and 2016, because they had stock images.
So I dedicated two full days to updating about 100 articles with new custom illustrations. That took a lot of time, but it was very satisfying work because I got to practice my illustration skills.
And on top of that, when I look at my site, I think it looks way better. Something I’m happy to leave behind when I stop.
Whatever you do, avoid becoming complacent. When that happens, we always look for the easy way out. And that’s when we fall for hacks and shortcuts. Those things will only do the opposite: They set you back.
Instead, do the real thing. Focus on your skills, get better at what you do, and deliver work you’re proud of. The rewards will follow automatically.