Starting Your Internet Business: Making The One Thing You Absolutely Must Do as Painless as Possible

Here's the bottom line: you can't learn to swim sitting at the kitchen table. You can read books about swimmers, watch videos of people swimming, talk with people who have swum. But you absolutely, positively cannot swim until you jump into the pool.

And who knows? It's possible that you'll turn out to have a knack for it, and be backstroking away like a pro in no time flat. Then again, it's also possible -- and probably a lot more likely -- that you'll have to swallow a mouthful or two (or maybe a whole lot more) of water before you get it right.

But just like your mother always told you: you won't know until you try. Sorry, but there really is no other way: the one thing you absolutely must do in order to succeed-- be it backstroke or business -- is BEGIN.

But, wait: if you just do a cannonball off the high dive into the deep end . . . well, you may not be around long enough to learn how to do even the doggie paddle.

Still, you can't swim in the kiddy pool. Unless, of course, you're extremely short . . . But, for the rest of us: how do we get to the deep end without drowning first?

Actually, the answer is pretty obvious. If we were really talking about learning how to swim, common sense would tell us we need an instructor.

Now, back when we were five years old or so, many of us were lucky enough to have just such a person ready, willing and able to help us. His name was Daddy (or maybe Uncle Bill), and he'd hold us up in the pool as we kicked away, getting comfortable, getting the hang of it, for as long as it took.

But even if we're lucky enough to still have Daddy with us, it's likely he doesn't know all that much about doing business on the Internet. In fact, it's more likely that, at this point in our lives, we are Daddy (or Mommy). And although the Uncle Bills and various other relatives and friends would love to help us if they could, it's also likely that they can't supply the support and the knowledge that we're looking for right now.

So what's a would-be entrepreneur to do? Well, the good news is, now that the Internet has been around for a while, there are those pioneers -- referred to as 'gurus' --who have beaten a path for the rest of us to follow. But, of course, they are neither Daddy nor Uncle Bill. So how are we to know which 'gurus' we can actually trust? Will they be leading us to online business success -- or just down the garden path?

And even if they are trustworthy, will their paths be too labyrinthine -- too filled with jargon and over-our-heads instructions -- for us to actually be able to follow them?

Indeed. How are we to know? Well, the truth is: we can't. I wish I had better news for you. But there it is.

So what am I saying? You should just give up? Quit? Forget about it? Well, if we only began ventures with a guaranteed outcome, there would be no marriages or babies or a populated Western hemisphere.

So there's really nothing for it but to take a risk. Personally, I have a staggering number of credit card receipts for the purchase of a desktop full of eBooks that I wasn't able to use or even understand. When I bought them. But, little by little, light dawned. And the instructions I gave up on in disgust only a few short months ago began to look like useful tools.

So wade on out there. Do some searches and see what learning tools and software are available. Visit the sites that sell such things. Read their sales letters carefully. When you're offered free tutorials or newsletters, sign up for them. Take your time and look around. Just don't take forever. As my Dad used to say, "Do something. Even if it's wrong."

And, indeed, wrong it well may be. The first time. And the second. And . . . well, for as long as it takes.

See, here's the thing: moving my metaphors out of the pool, let me observe that Babe Ruth struck out a lot more times than he hit homeruns. But, then, he hit a heck of a lot of homeruns.

So, in the end, all you can do is start swinging. Oh, take some time first to learn all you can about strategies and such. And learn from the best teachers you can find. The Internet abounds with mentors. Look: they don't call it the "Information Super Highway" for nothing. Best of all, a lot of that information is free, and a lot more is pretty darn cheap. There's just no way you could set up a real-world business for anything like the low cost of doing it online.

But even if you find the easiest, the best, and the cheapest, in the end, there's nothing to it but to do it: you, my friend, have to take that bat in your hands and have at it.

Granted, you can't lose if you sit on the sidelines. Then again, you can't win, either. And you would like to win, wouldn't you? Okay then. Pick up that bat. Or jump into the pool. Whichever suits.

But whatever you do --do something!

Bob Brooker's mission is to make home-based Internet business accessible even to Internet beginners. Bob -- himself a devout non-techie -- looks for and personally tests a variety of business-building and marketing tools in an ongoing attempt to find the simplest to understand and use, even if your computer skills are limited to sending an occasional e-mail to your sister. If you'd like to take a fast look at what he's found for you so far, check out Bob's QuickStart page at http://www.makingmoneysimplified.com/qui ckstart.html

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Multi-level marketing: pyramid scheme or perfect college job?  The University of Alabama Crimson White

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