On Getting Advice

On Getting Advice

It is good to live with someone you trust to tell you that you are being stupid. Of course, part of the deal is actually listening when that person says you are.

I am not good as hearing that I am wrong. I do not take it well. In fact, it usually is fuel for me to go in the opposite direction.

But for a lot of the stuff I do, I can only trust my opinion and experience. I can pick up a few pointers here and there from forums and blogs. But when I am done there, it is only me here to tell me what to do.

Or to search forever until I find someone that agrees with me and then gives me the permission via post, thread, or comment to do what I had set out to do anyway.

I always have a plan, but the plan may be wrong. What if I am spending too much time at social networks? What is the benefit of being there? Am I getting that benefit?

The questions go on. Fortunately, I get bored easily. Don't get me wrong. When I see something I do is getting results, I will stick with it. But when I feel I am beating my head against the wall, I will move on and come back to it later.

It took me three tries to get the hang of Adwords. I had made money from affiliate products through SEO and I wanted to boost it a bit. Well, I gave up the first time. And the second. The third time worked and has been responsible for about a third on our income for the last two years.

I could have found any type of advice I wanted for that situation. I could have found advice that said that using Adwords is worthless. I could have found advice that said I was just not cut out to run Adwords campaigns. I was either too much of or not enough of a gambler.

But I didn't. The only thing I held onto was that I knew that others had made money. That meant I could. I took advice from only the people who had and did not get wrapped up in conspiracy threads in forums.

But I have not always been that good about sticking to my guns. Affiliate sales are sporadic. For four years now I have dealt with average sales in Fall and Spring, twice the average sales in winter and begging on street corners in the summer. Well, not that bad, but you get the idea.

And I used to get wrapped up in forums threads that claimed the affiliate company I was dealing with was a racket. I even gathered stats to prove that it was statistically impossible for sales to drop that much over a week.

But it did no good for me. Whether I was wrong or right, I still wasn't moving forward. If I believed the rumors, I needed to move on. If not, I needed to shut up and get some work done.

Keeping a leash on yourself can be a bitch and that initial success online can mask a lot of issues waiting to come straight at you. Just keep a level head or marry someone who has one.

Stephan Miller

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Kansas City Software Engineer and Author

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