“Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier.”
– Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture
Closing the email floodgates
At the start of this month I decided to make my challenge about helping others and teaching them how to make money online. Big mistake. While there were plenty of cool readers who emailed me I opened myself up to a surge of whiners and time wasters. Right now my inbox is still swamped and I’d pretty far behind on replying to every comment and questions.
The only thing that I learned from this challenge was that there is a reason most people don’t give out free advice. Although there were plenty of actual readers who listened to my suggestions and saw results, there were also a ton of blowhards who just showed up because they had nothing better to do. Since there was no barrier for them to ask stupid questions, I’d get spammed by 10 emails from the same guy in the span of a day. Foolishly I gave them an inch, they then tried to take a mile.
Message boards are a hive of scum
To kick off the month I went on several major sites and forums to announce that I would be answering questions regarding online business. I figured that it would drive blog traffic up and I’d get to hear from some cool and interesting people. Virtually none of the people who ended up contacting me actually looked through the site. A few of them would click the contact page, but that was about it. In fact, a guy who clicked over from a post asked me to summarize all of the content on here because he didn’t feel like reading through and finding useful information.
Likewise another dude emailed me to inform me that he didn’t “get” 30 Days To X and that I obviously didn’t know what I was doing since Bitcoin faucets are where the money is at. While I’m sure that the dude’s social ineptness and impressive Bitcoin miner will take him far, if he’s lucky he might even be able to buy extra-large Mountain Dew for his waifu, there’s no reason to smugly email someone else in order to criticize them.
Although the people I have mentioned above are extreme examples of the slugs I had to deal with, there were plenty of other annoying time wasters as well. As a businessman once said “Real entrepreneurs do what they say they’re going to do, wannabes ask about it and have tons and tons of coffee meetings.” The majority of non-regular readers just asked stupid questions. While I have no problem with people coming to me for advice, which is why I did this challenge anyway, asking about multiple things that a quick Google search could solve is not very productive. “How do I start a blog?” isn’t a bad question on its own, but immediately following it up with “That sounds like too much work, how do I make a Fiverr account?” is obnoxious and clearly shows that you have no actual plan or interest. You’re just looking for a get rich quick scheme.
Wantrepreneurs are a dime a dozen
Pareto principle never fails. 80% of the people who emailed me and were not regular readers will probably never be successful at anything. Anyone who accumulates thousands of posts on a site about entrepreneurship or business and still hasn’t actually done anything is a failure. You have the information, yet you are too lazy to actually use it. Bitcoin guy, summary guy, and the legions of people with annoying questions about nothing will all continue to be in the same place that they started.
Not all jobs are created equal
Apparently there is a lot of confusion about making money through the Internet. I’d never realized how many people break their backs to make peanuts until this month. I got a lot of questions about programs like Swagbucks, I hadn’t heard of it either, and doing surveys. My advice is to avoid doing either of them. You can make ten times as much in half the time by doing something like Fiverr. Last month Amazon For A Penny netted me more than a lot of people earn from Swagbucks and I didn’t even have to touch it. Don’t waste your time with stupid junk that doesn’t pay.
You need to take action
Lastly, getting work done and making money is all on you. I can’t spoon feed you information all the time, and most people are going to get sick of constantly having to answer your questions. If you want to make it you’ll have to actually put in an effort. Asking dozens of questions and waiting for ideal conditions will leave you empty-handed.
Most of the actual readers who emailed me had legitimate questions and ideas. It was great to hear from them. However, I was also bombarded with a bunch of garbage questions that were asked by people who will never take any action whatsoever. Rather than catering to these people, I’m going to come up with a new way to filter out time wasters while helping the people who want real advice.