Private Behind the Scenes Interview with Eben Pagan Reveals…

How to Create a Future-Proof Business in the New Economy

I loved doing this interview with Eben. It’s awesome and speaking to someone of his caliber is refreshing because he “gets it”big time.

Which is probably why he has been able to sell well over $100,000,000 in products and coaching online in a wide variety of markets.

So if you’re serious about building a long-term coaching business online (yes, it may not be all roses all the time – but it’s something that we both believe is future-proof) then you owe it to yourself to learn more about his Virtual coach program.

Start by checking out this video of the ‘coaches secret’.
Virtual Coach Part 1 The Coach's Secret

===> Watch the Coach’s Secret Here <===

Interview Transcript

Ryan Coisson: Hey everybody, this is Ryan Coisson, thanks so much for checking out this interview. I am just so excited to have an opportunity to talk to someone that I’ve been following behind the scenes for well over a decade now, his name is Eben Pagan, and one of the things that has always fascinated me about Eben is he is someone who has really done an amazing job at positioning and standing apart from the rest of the crowd. He’s built many, many different businesses, but these days he’s a father, he’s an investor, he’s an art collector, he loves to travel, like myself, and I’m just so excited to have the opportunity to share some of the insights that I’ve learned with him over the years, and kind of grill him a bit about some of these really important topics with the new economy. We’re going to be specifically talking about creating a future-proof business in the new economy, so Eben, thanks so much for hanging out with me here for a few moments and sharing your wisdom.

Eben Pagan: Yeah, it’s great to be here Ryan, thanks for having me.

Ryan Coisson: Yeah, of course. Well, I just want to give folks real quick a little context, because I started following you years and years ago, and it was when you started to talk and make this transition into kind of educating folks about what you were doing with your primary business, and back then it was a business in the dating world, but what really stood out to me, Eben, was kind of your understanding and the concepts that you had that were vastly different from other folks, and one of those came down to positioning, but more importantly the concept that really stood in my mind when I started to think back was this idea of moving the free line. I’m curious, just kind of starting out, as you made your way into this world and building a business online, where did you start to understand the difference of really making yourself set apart from other folks?

Eben Pagan: Well, when I started studying marketing, I learned some important lessons. Marketing taught me that it doesn’t matter how much you want to be successful, or doesn’t matter how much you love your customers, it doesn’t matter how much you love your product, what matters is communicating with people in a way that causes them to take action. If they’re not motivated to come and buy your product, they can love you and you can love them, and you can be putting all of your time, effort and energy in, you can mortgage your house and take all the money and invest it in your next design, you can do all these things, and you can still wind up with a business that doesn’t work out.

Eben Pagan: And by learning direct marketing, I learned this more pragmatic or empirical way of looking at things, which shows you that you have to get results. That’s what you have to do, you have to get out there and you have to get results, and I don’t… I guess sometimes I do think about differentiating myself, I do think about that sometimes, but I think more in terms of just really almost relentlessly trying to figure out what the customers want.

Eben Pagan: You know, what people really want, what they want to know, what they want to learn, what they want to buy, what their needs are, what they fear, what they desire, and I’ve found that by really diving deep into those things, by asking lots of questions, by being curious and by actually being legitimately interested, really being fascinated by the needs of my customer, I can always find something that is like a big insight or breakthrough, and then when I create marketing, or products or services, or coaching, or whatever I’m creating for them, it kind of stands out by itself because I was the one that took the time to be interested enough to understand what their motives really were, and then to create product or service that really was a good fit for it. Yeah, and then that kind of differentiates you all by itself I think.

Ryan Coisson: Yeah, that makes total sense, and I agree, it really helps you to set yourself apart by actually understanding the true needs of the customers, not maybe what you think they want, or sometimes even what they initially might want on the surface, but you’re speaking to more of a… Almost like a deeper meaning that they’re after. And I’m curious, one of the things that I think really helps with that is the research process, the digging in, the understanding of that, and I’ve always found that there’s sort of this great debate, do you follow the money or do you follow your passion, and providing value within those different kind of aspects of it.

Ryan Coisson: It’s always been easier for me to follow the passion, because I then understand the actual need of the person much, much greater because it’s something that generally I have had, and I know that you have kind of gone down that route first as well when you first got started, but do you feel that’s necessary in kind of this day and age, or do you feel it’s better for folks to follow the money?

Eben Pagan: Well, it depends on where you are in your life, but generally I like to look at… I like to look at career and work and entrepreneurship, I like to think more long-term if possible, and what I mean by that is you want to do things that you’re not going to abandon and then have invested a year or two or five years, and then you abandon all that work and you have to start over. I like to do things where you can build. I sometimes joke that… Jay Abraham says, “Big mistake is to find something that works and stop doing it.” I’m actually pretty good at that, that’s like a hallmark for me, is I start a business, I get it growing and I… It gets working, and then I [inaudible 00:05:51], “Okay, I learned how to do that,” and then I go learn something else.

Eben Pagan: But there’s another side to it, another side to it too, where I do synthesize and I combine, and kind of take these different things I’ve learned and have them collaborate in my mind and kind of synergize, and so the… I think the answer to your question is I think that you have to follow the things that you’re passionate about that also are things that your customers are passionate about. This will create a structure that will motivate you long-term, because if you do things that you’re interested in, that you actually find interesting in your life, then you will keep at them.

Eben Pagan: I’ve got a little daughter right now and she’s six, and she’s learning how to read. I mean, she’s been learning how to read for a while, but she’s really into reading and she picks up books, and we’re trying to help her become not in a relationship with books where she’s doing them for some reward, where there’s an intrinsic motivator, and we sit together and we all have family read time where we sit in our bed and the three of us get a book and we read, because we want our daughter to see us reading and we want to see her reading, and making this kind of something that lasts for the long term.

Eben Pagan: And so if you want to be sustainable and you want to do something that really is going to… You’re going to wake up in 10 or 20 years and be really glad you did it, I think you have to have some passion involved in it. I meet entrepreneurs… I know I’m kind of going on here, but I meet entrepreneurs a lot who are just opportunists, okay? And as you know, I like the concept of opportunity, I wrote a book about it, but I meet entrepreneurs… I met some today in fact, who you can see they’re just focused on the opportunity, they can see there’s a place where they can make money, maybe they can build a business, make some profit, flip it. That isn’t that interesting to me. It doesn’t have that… What Steve Jobs called like… You’re not going to be making products that have that spirit of enlightenment, where they feel like… Where you feel grateful to the person that made it, and where they really make the world a better place, if that’s where you’re coming from.

Ryan Coisson: Right, and I think that kind of idea is also fleeting in that you start to lose this equity that you’re building with the customers when they can clearly tell that maybe you don’t have the passion for it, or the product is not world class as it should be, you’re starting to erode your ability to have that trust with them that you’re providing great quality products. And I feel like you’re someone who over more than a decade now, you have been able to continually build that sort of customer equity, that trust, that value, based on what you actually put out there and the results that it gets folks, so again going back to sort of that longevity, you can seek the shorter-term opportunity, but if you play that long game, in my opinion, and I’m assuming you’re on the same page, it makes everything else so much easier for you to the extent that if you start to offer new programs, coaching, et cetera, it really becomes a no-brainer, because you earn the trust of having that sort of super fan.

Eben Pagan: Yeah.

Ryan Coisson: [crosstalk 00:08:59] would you agree with that?

Eben Pagan: Yeah, yeah, I do. And what most entrepreneurs don’t do is they don’t… They don’t fall in love with their customers, they don’t fall in love with what they’re doing, they don’t do it in a way where you, when you look at their products, when you look at their services, when you have an experience with them, where you say, “God, I just… I love being around this person because they’re so enthusiastic, they really love what they’re doing.”

Ryan Coisson: Right, right. And it’s interesting, kind of falling in love with your customers, in the online world they can just seem like someone that isn’t real, right? But I love to do some coaching, and I love to actually do some calls that are sort of random sometimes with my customers, and we’re going to talk more about coaching here in a moment, but one of the reasons I love it is I love doing a little video chat with them, I was literally doing one right before this, and that person becomes so real to me.

Ryan Coisson: Now I see their face, I see where they’re living, I get to talk with them, understand the problems they’re having, understand the successes they’re having, and it becomes so abundantly clear to me that I’m working with real people who are dealing with these types of issues, or seeking this type of result, and it just ignites me to provide even more value, to make a better impact, and something that’s more usable, which of course is what we’re all I think after, at the end of the day.

Eben Pagan: Yeah, yeah, agreed.

Ryan Coisson: So I want to talk to you, before we kind of dive deeper into coaching, is… You know, have this kind of concept of creating the perfect business and doing something that has longevity, and you mentioned your book Opportunity, I’ve got my copy here. As you guys can see, I’ve got it all marked up with Post-it Notes, that’s how I like to take notes on things so I can easily reference back to it. But one of the things that I’ve always felt was a missing opportunity for a lot of folks comes with naming. You’ve done an amazing job at studying the ability to name products that not only sort of encapsulate the idea, but also the vision of what you’re hoping to accomplish for that individual, and I remember the first time I heard about your product which was in the dating space, Double Your Dating.

Ryan Coisson: I thought it was just kind of fascinating, you went on to create other products of Altitude, and many other products in the productivity space like Wake Up Productive, and can we talk a little bit about kind of your history in studying how to actually create a good, strong name for your product that helps do a lot of that heavy lifting for you?

Eben Pagan: Sure. Yeah, the name is probably the most important marketing that you’ll do for your business or for your product, and this is because the way human minds work is we associate things to each other, and we use representations to kind of represent things to… To kind of have placeholders in our mind to connect up meaning, and because there’s so much information going through our minds all the time, and so much coming through our experiences, we have to figure out a way to stand out. We can’t just drop into that flow of the matrix of numbers that people are living in, just be another number, we have to stick in some way.

Eben Pagan: And so I’m really interested in the use of icons and visuals, and words, and sounds, and all of these things. I’m a musician, and I never went anywhere as a guitar player, but I’m really interested in… So over in music, they have what are called hooks, right? So a little catchy melody that once you hear it, you kind of can’t get it out of your head. You ever listen to a song and you can’t stop thinking about it, right?

Ryan Coisson: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:12:54]-

Eben Pagan: You can’t stop singing it to yourself, right? Well, over on the words side of things, you can put together combinations of words that have the same effect where they bounce around in the mind of a person, and they’re very memorable, they’re very hard to forget. You can also use icons and symbols, and other combinations of these things, so that the pictures stick in the mind as well, like you just… You had that book Opportunity right there, can you just hold that up again for a sec? Right, so notice what it is, right? It’s a hand grabbing a lightning bolt, and I did that cover with the amazing artist Android Jones, and I was telling him about the book, and he started drawing and this image came to him, right?

Eben Pagan: This was his idea, because I was talking about how opportunity is exciting, but it’s also a little bit dangerous, he said, “Hand grabbing lightning bolt.” And it was like, “Yes, that really captures the spirit of it,” right? And the word “Opportunity” is just a word that everybody loves when it comes when it comes to opportunity, when it comes to finding it, you know? So naming is a big deal, okay? So the frame is what you name things is a big deal, there’s a way to name things in such a way that the name sticks in the mind of your customer, that they remember it, and even that you become the label on the category inside of their mind.

Eben Pagan: A lot of this I learned from Al Ries and Jack Trout, who originally wrote the book Positioning, and from them and some of these other great teachers I’ve learned that for example, if you have a repetitive sound, it’s much more memorable. Something happens where when a person hears a sound that sounds consistent or repeated, it bounces around in the phonological loop, and so this is typically alliterations or rhymes. So if you have the first letter be the same of multiple words, like Double Your Dating, “DD,” or a rhyme like YouTube, or you can have alliteration and rhyme in Coca-Cola, which is one of the most powerful names ever, one of the greatest names ever, because it also has this rhythm, “Duh duh duh duh duh duh duh, Coca-Cola,” right?

Eben Pagan: For example, when I made Double Your Dating, I knew this, and when I first wrote the book it was called something like, How to be More Successful with Women in Dating or something like that, and then I said, “Okay, I need a better name here,” and I started thinking about these combinations and I came up with Double Your Dating because it was something that a guy could relate to. Anybody would like to… Who’s socially awkward and so forth, they liked Double Your Dating. People used to say, “Yes, but what if they have zero dates?” And that’s a different problem, right?

Eben Pagan: But Double Your Dating, and then I also picked a pen name that I used back then when I wrote these books, because my name, Eben Pagan, I thought it was a strange name and nobody would be able to relate to it, and so I was writing this book, I was 31, and I thought, “Okay, I need a better name, I just need a normal name,” and so I came up with the name David DeAngelo, which was kind of regular guy, but also had this… There was something a little unusual about it.

Ryan Coisson: [crosstalk 00:16:02]-

Eben Pagan: But it’s all “D”s, Double Your Dating, David DeAngelo. And it’s so interesting, I never thought like, “People are going to think that that’s this cool thing later on,” but it keeps coming up over and over and over when people realize that there was a strategy there, that “Wow, there was something going on there,” then it means something different.

Ryan Coisson: Well yeah, I think that’s part of my whole point in that you are someone that takes the time to actually step back and think about that strategy. We see too many folks these days, it’s so easy now to start an online business, it’s so easy to go out there and start to create something, that people are too focused on, I think, doing things quickly instead of just taking a few moments to step back and come up with the right strategy, and the name in and of itself is so important, and just… I don’t know how long it took you to craft that name together, but taking the time to sit down and actually think about these types of things I think is very, very important when longevity is in mind. We’re not just after creating something that we can take advantage of quickly, where “Oh, bitcoin is at new highs, let’s create a product around it and try and leverage something,” you know? We’re after the long term.

Eben Pagan: Yeah, the name that I’m most proud of coming up with is my daughter’s name. My daughter’s name is Love, L-O-V-E, and I reasoned that your name is the most important word you’re going to have in your life, because it’s the word you’re going to hear the most, it’s the word that’s going to be… You’re going to associate with your identity, and I thought about it and I was like, “Huh,” and I realized most people don’t really think about the name of their child so much.

Eben Pagan: I remember when I told my wife, who’s a love coach in fact, that I think we should name our daughter Love, she was like, “That’s lame, that’s cheesy, no way, we can’t do that.” But we kept talking about it, I was like, “But honey, you know if there was one thing you had to remember in your life to get you through the most situations successfully, and you can only have one word as your talisman to move through this adventure of being a mortal human, what would it be?” And it’s love, I think. You know, if you just remembered “Love,” and so I thought that was a pretty good affirmation to be going through life with having everyone say, and… Yeah, so yeah, yeah. Yeah, think about names, they really matter.

Ryan Coisson: Yeah, they do matter, and to go back to that concept and idea of you learning sort of direct marketing, I think one of the things that is so interesting about direct marketing to me is it’s really designed to help trigger sort of emotional responses and help people make decisions, and really kind of get into their psyche, and there’s a lot of people that talk about kind of trigger words or power words. When it comes to naming, you’re not so much utilizing, I guess, words that trigger maybe direct emotional response, or maybe a power word, but more something that is creating an image in their mind, can you maybe talk a little bit about that? Specifically one that I think is interesting is as you started to make your transition into sort of the business education space was “Altitude.” It’s like when I think of “Altitude,” it puts a picture in my mind, and it’s just one word. I thought that was always so interesting.

Eben Pagan: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, that was a pretty good one. I’ve even been thinking of going back and maybe using that some more as part of the name of our… A business or something. Marketing is such a fascinating puzzle, you know? One of the things that I like to say is that every marketing project is an ethical dilemma, and the reason why it’s an ethical dilemma is because you have to decide how hard to pitch, like how hard to sell, and you have to… If you’re empathizing with your customers and you’re really trying to tune into where they are, you realize that if you sell too hard, you’re going to potentially hurt people, you’re going to mislead them, and marketing is well-known, advertising and marketing, for misleading a lot of people, and it… You know, it can go into propaganda and deception and all this kind of thing, and so… Let’s see, I lost my train of thought, what was the question again?

Ryan Coisson: Yeah, so we’re just kind of talking about trigger words and [crosstalk 00:20:34]-

Eben Pagan: Oh yeah, yeah.

Ryan Coisson: [crosstalk 00:20:34] response for [crosstalk 00:20:35] that picture in someone’s mind.

Eben Pagan: When I teach marketing, one of the things that I have people do is make a list of all the fears and frustrations of their customers, and then all the wants and aspirations. So you want to know what they’re moving toward and what they’re moving away from, what they desire and what they fear. And so you write all these things down, and you really try to imagine what it’s like to be a customer to get to this list, and then you go back through the list and you ask, what are the words and phrases that they use to describe these things, and then what are the words and phrases that are the most emotionally-loaded words?

Eben Pagan: And so sometimes when I teach it I say, “There’s such a thing as a $100 word and there’s such a thing as a $1 word.” If I’ve got a $1 bill and a $100 bill here and I hold them up and I say, “What’s the difference?” You’re going to say, “Well, you know, not too much, except that one says ‘one’ and one says ‘100.’” They cost the same amount, they’re made with the same materials, they’re… So why is one of them worth $100 and one of them worth $1, right? And it has to do with meaning, and it has to do with what we ascribe to it. Well, it’s the same thing with words. If I say to you, “Which one of these words has a more powerful emotional element to it, fish or shark?”

Ryan Coisson: Right, shark.

Eben Pagan: Right? Clearly, or car or Ferrari?

Ryan Coisson: Yeah, yeah, Ferrari.

Eben Pagan: Right, they’re these words, and so if I’m going to write a headline and I want to grab someone’s attention, if I write “Fish” as a big word on the page, it’s like nobody’s going to care, but if I write “Shark” and I’ve got the jaws of a shark coming out, I’m going to get a lot more attention. But then back to the ethical dilemma, which is do you really want to write “Shark” and put jaws coming out, and kind of re-traumatize every single person that sees your ad just so that you can get some sales?

Eben Pagan: And so part of the artistry of advertising is playing that game in a way that you can feel good about long-term, and of course there are people in the world who have no sense of empathy or conscience, and so that small fragment of the world is walking around and they don’t care whether they traumatize or scare people or whatever with their marketing, because they… It doesn’t register for them, and so you have to deal with that as well, because if you are being ethical, you’re always going to have to compete against people who are not, but there are long-term advantages to being ethical.

Ryan Coisson: And I think part of that, being ethical over the long term, you’re also building that trust like we talked about, some social capital and equity with the customers, and you just become synonymous with certain things, and I think of big luxury brands like Louis Vuitton or Hermes. Part of the reason that someone could say, “Oh, I have this Hermes bag” or “This Louis Vuitton thing” is that brand stands for something, and it stands for luxury in that space, and it’s above… You know, like say Hermes is above maybe Louis Vuitton as a status symbol, but they’ve been doing it for so long that they’ve built that kind of trust and that kind of equity within the space to command that, it’s not something that I guess happened overnight.

Eben Pagan: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly.

Ryan Coisson: One of the things I want to talk to, I want to kind of start digging deeper into the idea of coaching, and it’s been really interesting to me in that looking at where we’re at in the current economy, in the current situation that’s going on, we’re moving into 2020 here soon and there’s lots of things happening on a global scale. I mentioned right before we jumped on here that Hong Kong is talking about moving potentially into a recession due to what’s been going on with all of the riots there. The kind of new economy is forming, but certain types of businesses are really thriving, and as you kind of mentioned and you talk about, one of those businesses is coaching.

Ryan Coisson: And the coaching, consulting worlds have always been very, very popular, they’re growing quite strongly, and I believe personally that it is a future-proof business, and for a lot of folks it can be a really great opportunity. Now, I’m curious though from your perspective, from the guy that wrote the book Opportunity, why do you think kind of coaching is such an amazing opportunity right now?

Eben Pagan: Yeah. Well, there are kind of two perspectives on this. One is what’s happening in the world. Right now, we are going through an acceleration of change, that’s what’s happening right now. Things are changing faster and faster, and as technology and software and knowledge just distribute themselves and permeate everywhere, people are learning, they’re growing, we’ve got automation that’s happening, there’s just more change happening, and our lives are more complex. Because we’re now aware of self-help and personal development, and we know that we can work on our health and we can work on our relationships, and we can become more conscious, and we can mediate, and we can work on our money, and we can do better in all these places, everyone now is… Has become kind of more interested in how to be the best version of themselves that they can be.

Eben Pagan: Maslow came up with this idea of self-actualization and people are saying, “Yeah, I want to do that, I want to be self-actualized, I want to be a higher version of myself,” and so now we’re working on all these areas, but now that we’re aware of all these areas and they can be worked on… I mean, it wasn’t that long ago that you did… There was no awareness that you could eat healthier food, or that you could learn a way to interact with your partner that would make your relationship better, like most people, that wasn’t on their mind. Now that we know this, now there’s an endless amount of this stuff, and so we’re always in transitions in our lives now. There’s always a transition that’s going on somewhere. Either we’re getting into a relationship or out of a relationship, or we’re starting a family, or we’re getting a new job, or we’re moving, or… Now that we have these more rich lives, there’s always some change happening in one of them, so that’s one factor.

Eben Pagan: The other side of the coin is that we have less social support. Paradoxically, even though we’re more connected on the internet, it’s these virtual connections, so we have less friends, we have less time with our friends, less face-to-face, which actually is very deeply emotionally nourishing to us. And so we’ve got more change happening and we’ve got less support, and these two things intersect at coaching as far I’m concerned, right? That need right there, where we… We’re going through a change in our life, we look around and we say, “Wow, I don’t know what to do, I need some help here,” but we don’t have a friend who is available, who understands that, who knows how to support us, who’s sophisticated with these social tools, and so onto the scene comes the coach, and it’s rising and growing very rapidly.

Eben Pagan: I just did some research, just kind of like my superficial research, 100,000… Over 100,000 coaches right now, $17 billion a year, right? This is like, a real… This is a real thing, and I’m not talking about consulting here or any of the other things, we’re just talking about coaching, and… So we’re finding ourselves in these situations where we need help, we need support, and the professional coach is there to do it. They’re kind of the… Sometimes I call coaches “A professional friend,” because they’re a professional with the social aspect of friendship, but they also know how to help you get focused, help keep you on track, hold you accountable, help you get results.

Ryan Coisson: Yeah, I think that’s an interesting way of looking at it, because I think a coach… When I do coaching with folks, I think part of my job is to be gentle with them, but also bring lots of things to light and truly hold them accountable, because I find that in this day and age, especially with social media and kind of shiny objects and all these different types of things, people really struggle with holding themselves accountable to anything. Whether it’s just waking up at a certain time, or eating a certain type of diet, or going to the gym, it seems like more than ever we are… People are struggling with that accountability factor, and I think that’s something that stems too from kind of the emotional things, and I believe issues that are sort of happening with kind of how our technology has paradoxically, as you said, kind of made us less and less connected individually, versus kind of how we are kind of more from a global scale.

Eben Pagan: Yeah. There’s something called the Hawthorne effect. It’s a psychological kind of principle, and what’s interesting about this is we basically, we become better, more productive versions of ourselves when someone’s watching, by just being observed, it’s like an observer effect, sometimes they call it the observer effect, right? And so one of the things that makes coaching work so well, and this is outside of the coaching skills and actually giving care and attention, is just attending to the other person, just them knowing that someone is watching.

Eben Pagan: I mentioned my little baby daughter, she often will just be like, “Dada, watch.” And I have to stop what I’m doing and watch, because she’s going to do a somersault, or she’s going to do a piece… She’s going to write something down or something, and it… There’s something sacred about being observed, about having the attention of another living being on you, and yeah, coaching kind of harnesses some of that value.

Ryan Coisson: That made me laugh, because I can remember being a kid and being like, “Hey dad, watch my dive, watch my dive,” you know, as I go off the diving board, it’s like it’s almost part of this validation too, the like “Oh, and you did a great job” kind of thing, it’s very interesting concept. I think coaching, a lot of folks might have a specific idea of what coaching is, and maybe they’ve heard other folks talk about it. I think you kind of encapsulate coaching into a greater depth than what most individuals might consider, so can you kind of even define a little bit, when you talk about how you look at coaching and how coaches are sort of out there helping other people?

Eben Pagan: Sure. If we talk about professional coaches here, people that are life coaches, business coaches, let’s get into that category, coaches basically, they help you get results, they help you take action in life, they help you become a better version of yourself. I like a little bit more, I don’t know, awakened version of coaching, or a little more enlightened version of what it is, and so the way I define coaching is coaching is supporting another person through a transition in their life. Supporting them through a transition. Someone can just call somebody up and get a coaching session. You know, “Hey, will you jam with me or help me?” You know, “Give me some information.” But the kind of coaching that we teach, I recommend that people do at least three to six month packages with people so that they’re with the person through that whole transition.

Eben Pagan: Now, when the client shows up, they may not be interested in hiring coach for six months or 12 months, they think, “I just want a couple of coaching sessions to help me get myself on track,” and so part of the coach’s job is to turn that initial consultation into a package of coaching where they can support the person through a transition, and then if you can do that, then the person sees that value, then they can… Then they’ll want to go on and work with you potentially even for years, so that’s more the frame right there.

Eben Pagan: Now, another piece is when you’re coaching and when you’re doing it in the way that I think is the right way to do it, you’re offering support, but you’re only offering the minimum amount of support that you need to so that the client can do it themselves. Okay, so a distinction that I draw between coaching and consulting is a consultant comes in and usually does it for you, the coach comes in and supports you while you’re doing it so that you can learn the skill, right? You can get the growth, and you can walk away with the self esteem from it, and so with a coach…

Eben Pagan: With consults, typically what a consultant’s doing is trying to get a consulting gig and then expand that for the long term, whereas a coach wants to get a coaching relationship through a transition, maybe three months, six months, maybe 12 months, sometimes a little bit longer, but the coach is proud when the client stands up on their own and says, “I can do it.” That’s how we kind of define ourselves, that’s what our success looks like. If there’s a moment, I can tell a story about how I really figured out what coaching is.

Ryan Coisson: Yeah, please do.

Eben Pagan: And I’m talking about my daughter a lot here, we’ve been hanging out a lot, and I really love her. When she was two, our family, we went to London, and for the last few years here we’ve been traveling like seven or eight months a year, which has been kind of intense, but it’s been cool. Anyway, my wife has lived in different parts of the world and she said, “We have to travel more, you got to get out of the house,” so we went to London, she used to live there, and we stayed in an Airbnb apartment, and when we walked in, it had this huge flight of stairs, all wooden, and they were the shiny, slippery ones.

Eben Pagan: And you get up to the next level, and there was another flight of stairs with a twist on it, shiny, slippery ones, and my daughter, who was two at the time, had just turned two, was like… Loved these stairs, she just wanted to be on them, and I… We were blocking them and putting suitcases and trying to figure out what to do. And so back then I would wake up with her every morning and take care of her, and so we wake up that first morning and she’s just like, “Dada, I want to climb those stairs.” And I was horrified, I’m like, “No, you’re going to fall down and break your neck.” And then I saw how serious she was about it and I realized, “Okay, she hasn’t really learned to climb stairs,” so I said, “Okay, let’s go learn to climb stairs.”

Eben Pagan: And when we were going up and down the stairs before, what we would do is grab her arm and hold it up above her head, and we would kind of walk her down the stairs and walk her up them to hold on to make sure she didn’t fall, and that was my instinct at first, but then I realized, “No, she’s not going to learn to climb the stairs if I’m holding her arm above her head and walking her up and down the steps.” I was like, “Okay, she’s growing as a human here, she needs to learn to balance,” and so I said, “Okay, we’re going to do this.”

Eben Pagan: So I thought about it, and then what I did is I ducked down, and she was, I don’t know, two and a half feet tall or something, and I ducked down and I put my hand maybe a foot above the ground, and instinctively she put her hand on mine and rested it. I was over here on her left and she was on my right, so I put my right hand down and she put her left hand, her little hand right on my hand, and I didn’t close my hand around it, I left it open, and she didn’t grab my hand, she just put her hand on and she rested it there.

Eben Pagan: And I had to duck down, it was this really awkward position, I had to hold onto the banister, and there was… You go up like three or four steps, then you had to make a turn, and it was… It was dangerous. If she were to slip or fall, I don’t know if I’d be able to stop and grab her, so it was a lot harder to do it this way, but she started climbing, and she’d climb up. And then if she needed support, she would push on my hand herself, and she would only push as much as she needed, because she was actually trying to learn, she wanted to learn on her own, and we made it all the way up to the top and then she’s like, “I want to go back down,” and she just wanted to kept… You know, keep climbing up and down those stairs.

Eben Pagan: And in that moment, it just… It all came to me, like what coaching is. Coaching is offering the minimal amount of support so that the other person can do it themselves, so that they learn the skill, they get the esteem, and that’s why even in my Virtual Coach program, underneath the logo is a hand holding it, because that’s the symbol, that’s when I really got it.

Ryan Coisson: Yeah, I love that. I mean, it reminds me too of even when I was a kid learning to ride a bike, kind of having some assistance, some assistance, and then just kind of this minimal assistance to where all of a sudden you’re doing it on your own, and anybody who’s ever learned to ride a bike, you can remember that moment when all of a sudden you realized you are riding the bike by yourself, and you talk about self esteem, like I can just think of how excited I was just as that moment in that simplest of things, you know?

Eben Pagan: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, you never forget that, right?

Ryan Coisson: Right, yeah. And you mentioned Virtual Coach, let’s talk about that.

Eben Pagan: Sure.

Ryan Coisson: I know that we’re getting tighter on time here, but I want to talk about this because I really do believe that creating a coaching business is an amazing opportunity for folks. I’ve utilized it many times to build six-figure businesses literally in transition in a matter of a week, and really have had some amazing results, and also been able to really help and encourage folks to get the results that they’re after in a wide array of things in life.

Ryan Coisson: And again, we’re not just talking about business and dating and health, there’s so many things, I’ve done coaching in finance, I’ve done coaching in rock climbing even. I have a table tennis coach who was an Olympic hopeful and competed in the Olympics many times, and there’s so many different opportunities there, but your Virtual Coach training is really something that I think folks are going to be very interested, talk to me a little bit about that and why you guys are really putting so much effort into making this just absolutely world class?

Eben Pagan: Yeah. Well, I believe that coaching is a future-proof skill, truly. I think it’s a cornerstone skill for the future. Most people are not learning skills and asking, “What skill can I learn that will take everything that I’ve learned in the past and make it more valuable, and every skill I learn in the future and make it more valuable?” And that’s the key here. So many of us have reached a point in our lives where we’re in a transition, it’s time for a professional reinvention, we need to do something new, and we sense, we can feel inside of us that we have to graduate and go to another level in our careers, and coaching is such a perfect thing for this, because it allows you to take all the things you’ve learned and all your experience, and use them at a higher level for some higher purpose that supports other people, helps them achieve, and that also has really great income and earning potential.

Eben Pagan: I’ve been doing case studies with some of our virtual coaching students and members, and like you said, it is… It really is incredible. It’s a set of skills that you can learn in 90 days, you can get certified, you can start a business and you can start getting clients. You don’t need to buy a bunch of inventory, you don’t need to lease anything or rent anything, there’s very low risk to get started, and most importantly when you start coaching, you grow yourself. You literally get on the fast track to your own self-actualization. I mean, you know this, when you start coaching on a topic where you used to just be the practitioner or the learner, you start learning it in this whole other way. You mature as a person, you really go up to the next level.

Eben Pagan: And ICF did a study a few years back, the average coach, the average professional coach earns $214 an hour, and that is something… There aren’t a lot of places that you can go where you can start charging a lot of money, you can start selling packages, a lot of my students start selling packages for thousands of dollars. And I don’t want to make any income claims or promises, I mean these are the exceptions, these are the ones that really take action here, but I mean, I just talked to one of my students here who’s got coaching programs, he has a group coaching program that’s $40,000 a person, and a group coaching program that’s $100,000 a person, and so this keeps scaling in your life because you can start coaching individuals, you can coach groups, you can go on then to create memberships and create online courses. It gets you into the digital economy, it gets you into the virtual economy, it’s like the portal or the doorway that opens up, and then creates the platform to build a career.

Ryan Coisson: Yeah, and you know what’s fascinating is you talk about… I think a lot of times people have this frame in their mind that when they’re doing coaching that they’re charging $20 an hour or $40 an hour, but it really depends on who you go after, and that’s why it’s so important to target the right audience, which I know you dive into really, really deep.

Ryan Coisson: To be super brief, I know someone doing coaching, and their specialty is they only do coaching with billionaires, and they focus really specifically on people who live in the East, and… You know, Asia and things like that, and these people are paying them over $1 million a year per client. You know, you don’t need that many clients to have an absolutely amazing business, so I really, really encourage folks to consider this idea that coaching could be really a great business for you, especially if you’re in transition, or it could be a really amazing complement to what you’re already doing with the primary skill that you have.

Ryan Coisson: Going to be talking a lot more about what Eben is doing with Virtual Coach, it’s something that I 100% endorse and recommend. You can find out more about it below this video as well, but Eben, I know we’re tight on time here, but I just really want to say thank you so much for taking the time to chat here and share some of your insights that you’ve experienced over the last decade-plus building out digital businesses, coaching and working with other people, and I’m so excited to be able to share your Virtual Coach program with folks, because I know it’s going to really impact a lot more lives.

Eben Pagan: Yeah, thank you, thanks for the opportunity, thanks for jamming with me.

Ryan Coisson: You’re very, very welcome.

3 mindset shifts to scale an affiliate campaign.

The number one goal of any affiliate marketing campaign should not be to have success.

Wait…what? Okay, read it one more time.

The number one goal of any affiliate marketing campaign should not be to have success (R).

Why wouldn’t you want this goal?

Isn’t success or profit the whole point?

Well, simply put, your goal should be much higher than that. You should aim not only to scale a successful affiliate marketing campaign but to create a super successful, highly profitable endeavor, one that will remain productive for years to come.

How do you go about this you might ask? Well, as the adage says, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” 

Therefore, to create a super affiliate marketing campaign and find sustained success you need to look at what has made super affiliate marketers successful in the past. Once you know what makes them tick you can emulate how their mind works yourself. Speaking of mindset

It Takes a Mindset Shift

Marketing campaigns require a shift in mindset.

The biggest thing you need to take from those who have found immense success in affiliate marketing is their mindset. They are a step above the rest of us when it comes to the way they think and that has led them to realize their dreams.

Yes, there are marketing strategies you can employ within your campaign that will help you focus your resources more productively. There are also big “don’t dos” that will keep you out of trouble and all those are worthwhile.

That isn’t the topic at hand today, though.

Today we are focusing on the biggest thing you need to take from those who have found immense success in affiliate marketing.

That is their mindset.

They are a step above the rest of us when it comes to the way they think and that has led them to realize their dreams. Thankfully, we can pick their brains so to speak and come away with a bit of wisdom when can use for our own affiliate marketing campaigns:

Three Mindset Shifts You Must Make

We are going to look at each of these in depth, but let’s quickly summarize what these mindsets are to get you in the right…well, mindset.

You see what we did there?:

3 mindsets of super successful affiliate campaign managers.

Taking a Deeper Look…

Now that you know where we are going with this let’s begin delving into this.

1. They Are Willing to Sacrifice Early Profits

Individuals who run super successful affiliate marketing campaigns understand that sometimes they will lose money. Though the goal is to make a profit, a substantial one even, they know that profit doesn’t always come in the form of money. At least not right up front.

In many instances, the data you can glean from running a campaign, even one that doesn’t make money at the beginning, can be immense. You can then take the gathered data, streamline your marketing efforts and create a profit by optimizing the existing campaign or using it on your next campaign.

It takes courage to run an affiliate campaign.

Don’t be afraid to lose money. This takes a great mindset shift but just take a deep breath, hang on and enjoy the ride. Things will turn up eventually if you remain committed to the process.

Don’t Be Scared: It’s also important not to be scared to lose money.

Admittedly, this can be a difficult shift in mindset for those in the online business world especially if you are new.

I just look at this way…

Sacrifice early profits for long-term gain.

I do this if I’m doing SEO, paid traffic, list building or pretty much anything.

That said, we are taught profits are the only way, or at least best way, to measure success.

Don’t be fooled.

You just learned that isn’t the case.

Therefore, take a deep breath, hang on and enjoy the ride. Things will turn up eventually if you remain committed to the process.  According to Charles from Charles Ngo, an ultra-successful affiliate marketer,

Your first campaigns will suck and lose money. But everyone who has been successful in this industry has gone through that point. – Charles Ngo

See, if you’re losing money, it’s not the end of the world.

Let me give you one caveat though.

You must use the losing campaign as a learning expertise to keep moving forward and find the winners!

Sacrifice early profits for successful affiliate marketing campaigns

Though the goal is to make a profit, a substantial one even, super affiliates know that profit doesn’t always come in the form of money. At least not right up front.

2. They are Focused and Consistent

Another powerful mindset of those managing super successful affiliate campaigns is the fact that they remain consistent and focused on their end goal. One of the best-known tales from Aesop’s Fables is applicable here.

The Tortoise and the Hare:

The story of the tortoise and the hare is likely one you grew up hearing. It is the story of the faithful, focused and consistent–yet slow–tortoise taking on the much faster yet overly confident hare in a footrace.

Of course, the hare is faster than the poor tortoise. However, the arrogance of the hare has him napping on the sideline so sure of his speed and agility that he in no way thinks the tortoise can even challenge him.

What he didn’t know though, was that the tortoise all remained steadily plotting towards the finish line.

He slowly but surely made his way through the race never stopping, never deviating, and eventually won.

Achieve victory with focus and consistency.

Like the tortoise in the fable of the tortoise and the hare, if you remain focused and consistent when it comes to your affiliate campaign you will achieve victory.

 Great What Does That Mean For Me…?

You might say, well great. That’s a fantastic story and good for the old tortoise, but…so what?

Well, you are the tortoise in this story, my friend.

Please Remain Focused:

Only instead of a footrace, you are racing in the ultra-competitive world of affiliate marketing. The way to achieve success like the tortoise is to remain focused on your end goal.

Don’t put your eggs in too many baskets.

Yes, you have many tools to choose from when it comes to running your campaign, from SEO, email marketing, paid traffic, or even social media-driven campaigns.

However, it’s best to focus entirely on mastering one of these.

Put all your resources there so you can really knock it out of the park and you will find more success than if you tried to master all things at once.

Find your niche and go for it!

Remain Consistent:

Another lesson you can take from the tale above is consistency.

If the tortoise had deviated from his goal, even once, there would have been no way for him to overcome the speed of the hare.

In the same way, you must remain focused and consistent when it comes to your affiliate campaign(s).

It is through consistency that you will achieve victory.

Trust me when I say if you focus for just 12 months you’ll be absolutely amazed at what can happen for you.

3. They Think Big

Think big and stay determined.

Know your own mind, what you were meant to do and then go after it with dogged determination.

According to Elite Marketing Pro, those who find great success in marketing of any kind think bigger than the rest of us.

They share the following quote from the movie “The Art of The Deal,” we think it is worth repeating, “If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.”

If you really want to change the way you think in order to become a super affiliate marketer, you must learn to think bigger.

Know your own mind, what you were meant to do and then go after it with dogged determination.

Don’t limit yourself in terms of what you “can’t do.” If you don’t know how to do something, learn or outsource it, but don’t put limits on yourself.

My suggestion is to build a team that learns whatever you need to, however, at first you may learn everything yourself.  Yet remember scale happens by replicating yourself and hiring those who thrive at what you can’t do.

Art of the Deal quote If you're going to be thinking anyway think big

Know There Will be Push Back:

As in any area of life, when you become fully committed to achieving success in anything, you can expect some pushback from those around you.

It could be friends, colleagues, family, or even the ‘universe’.

It just happens. I believe you are always tested when you truly commit to something. The universe wants to see your resolve.

Pay them no mind, though.




You got this, and if you remain focused, think bigger and aren’t scared to sacrifice, you are well on your way to becoming ultra-successful in your own affiliate marketing campaign.

We know you can do it if you make these changes to the way you think. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it!

Resources & References




[+] 4 Myths About Affiliate Marketing You Need To Know:

[+] Affiliate Marketing 101: Your Guide to What It Is, How It Works and What to Consider Before Getting Started:


[+] 10 Ways Mentally Strong People Build Powerful Mindsets:

[+] 5 Successful Social Media Campaigns You Can Learn From:

[+] Good Example of a long-term affiliate program:

10 Reasons Affiliate Marketers Fail

When it comes to making money online one of my favorite strategies is affiliate marketing.

It’s simple, easy to get started and requires only a few skills to make a full-time income.

Yet sometimes finding success in the affiliate marketing game can be difficult for folks. After all, virtually every “expert” out there has slightly differing advice to offer you on how to be a success and avoid failure within the industry.

However, figuring out what advice to implement and what doesn’t apply to you can be as confusing as determining what kind of diet/exercise will actually help you lose those last five pounds you’ve been hanging onto since college.

Should you eat meat, fats, dairy or not? Maybe keto. Or maybe paleo. Weights or cardio….argh…Well, forget that, let’s get back to the topic at hand.

Although I can’t help you with your college weight gain, I’m are more than happy to help you traverse the sometimes contradicting advice you read all over the web about affiliate marketing. Before delving into the deep end, though, let’s take a quick look at what types of affiliate marketing are out there.

Types of Affiliate Marketing

There are lots of affiliate marketers finding success in the industry, making money through various avenues. The most common of those being professionals who build content websites and then primarily focus on SEO, social media outlets and the like.

I love this model and have built, sold and acquired many sites like this.  In fact, if you have content sites that are generating profit and you’d like to sell them reach out.  I may be interested in buying them.

Then there are others who buy paid traffic and advertise on Facebook, Instagram, and other such platforms.

The third most common type of affiliate marketers is those who focus primarily on building a quality email list and frequently utilize this information for money making purposes.  Email marketing is wonderful.  Now, remember when you do email marketing the size of your list is NOT the most important thing.  What matters is the relationship you have with your list of subscribers.

You likely fall somewhere within these categories, or perhaps within more than one. If you are wondering, though, why you aren’t seeing the results you think you should consider the following 10 possibilities.

If you are making any of these mistakes, you might be creating problems and blocking your own profit potential.

3 common types of affiliate marketing

Top 10 Most Common Mistakes Affiliate Marketers Should Avoid

Some of the following errors will apply to all types of affiliate marketing and others just the few who specialize in that niche. Therefore, take what you can from them and apply them to your specific situation in order to begin making more money as quickly as possible.

1. Not Understanding That Failure Can Happen

Wait a minute, didn’t we just talk about making money. Isn’t success the point? Yes, it is. However, in virtually every affiliate marketing situation, making money takes time. According to Brand Builders, “If anyone tries to tell you that affiliate marketing is a way for you to get rich overnight, run for the hills. They’re feeding you a line.”

If anyone tries to tell you that affiliate marketing is a way for you to get rich overnight, run for the hills. They’re feeding you a line. – Brand Builders

Affiliate marketing takes time. It takes energy, and most importantly, it requires lots of patience.  You can see results quickly sometimes yet I believe in focusing on the long-term.  For example, if all you did was focus on building one authority content site for 1-2 years you’d be amazed at the results you’d get.

making money in affiliate marketing takes time

Affiliate marketing is not a way “get rich quick.” It is just like any other reputable business. It takes dedication, time, patience, endurance and a lot of trial and error.

2. Affiliate Marketers Can Give Up Too Quickly

This mistake goes right along with the first one. If you don’t give yourself time to make a profit and quit too soon, you will never see the end result of all your hard work.

This is a huge problem I see over and over with folks wanting to make money online.  They buy a course on a strategy and say this time I’m really going to give it a go. And at the first sign of struggle they are ready to jump ship and try something else that they are told is easier.

Look all businesses have pros and cons.  All businesses will have times of struggle.  You must expect it and know that it will pass so you can simply stay focused and keep moving forward.

3. They Sell Instead of Help

Yes, making money online involves selling and you shouldn’t be afraid of selling. Look at the end of the day you have to promote products and sell them to make money.

Keep in mind though that you want to create a long-term business, which takes a different frame of mine. This requires building relationships and showing people you care about them and want to help them.

This should be your first priority, not sales. Otherwise, you will have a bunch of one-time customers, but no one with any loyalty to you who will come back again and again.

This is how my former business partner built our Amazon FBA information business the Infinity Code as well as how I build my PB Code business.

Build a relationship with your customers

Building relationships and showing people you care about them and want to help them should be your first priority, not sales. Every affiliate marketing campaign should strive to create a desire for their customers to return.

4. They Promote Too Many Things, Using Too Many Avenues

Again Brand Builders shares the importance of focusing on one thing at a time and promoting and perfecting that approach. When you focus on too many things at once, too many types of campaigns, etc, you end up not excelling in any of them or being able to properly test them.

They stated the following, “Promoting less means that you’re able to promote more often, dig deeper into problems and solve them for visitors.”

Promoting less means that you’re able to promote more often, dig deeper into problems and solve them for visitors. – Brand Builders

Personally, this is why I prefer to go deep in a niche vs going very wide. It gives you a greater command of the market, better authority, and a closer alignment with the needs of your office.

For example, if you promoted products in the beauty space you may choose something like hair loss and focus on hair loss affiliate programs that cover things from prescriptions, supplements, shampoo and conditioner, LLLT devices, and on and on.

5.  Affiliate Marketers Fail When They Do Not Test Enough

Affiliate marketing pitfalls include failing to look at the data.

Affiliate marketers often fail to look at the data. Test your campaign’s effectiveness regularly to find out what is working and what isn’t.

You should be testing your campaign’s and website’s effectiveness on a regular basis. This will help you determine what avenues are working, which aren’t and perhaps help you decide to head in a different direction altogether.

If you don’t take time to look at the data, though, you are not seeing the truth that is right in front of your face. This is a big mistake affiliate marketers make (R).

It is also one the huge reasons we always develop KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) for every single one of our businesses that apply to all the campaigns.

By tracking and optimizing these KPI’s you are able to continually improve incrementally, which leads to magnificent results.

6.  They Do Not Pay Enough Attention to Copywriting

Quality copywriting is vitally important to a well-functioning website, no matter its purpose.

It is especially crucial, though, when it comes to advertising and marketing campaign. Without high quality copywriting, there is no way to rouse people to action and persuade them to adopt a certain belief about a service or product. To shortchange this important element will often lead to failure.

Many people are not willing to invest in hiring the right copywriters.

I suggest you be a smart marketer and hire the absolute best copywriters you can.

If you want to master this skill yourself here are a few books I’d highly recommend you buy.

Top Copywriting Books

7.  Affiliate Marketers Sometimes Fail to Plan

Always have a good business plan.

Benjamin Franklin said that “failing to plan is planning to fail.” A good business plan is vital to the success of any affiliate marketing business.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”

Though no affiliate marketer gets into the game for the purpose of failing, by not writing out or at least contemplating a structured business plan, that’s exactly what they are doing.

They are planning to fail.

A good business plan is vital to the success of any business. Not having a plan is as ridiculous as a contractor trying to build a new home without a blueprint.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. – Benjamin Franklin

The same is true for creating a system that created predictable results.  Once you have something that works you to scale you must systemize it and simply rinse and repeat over and over again.

It’s the easiest thing to do do and the easiest thing not to do because it seems so simple.

8. They Aren’t Collecting Emails Up Front

Although you might think email marketing has gone the way of the dodo, you would be wrong. In actuality, it is still one of the most valuable assets you have as an affiliate marketer.

In my opinion, it is actually the most valuable and people who say email marketing is dead are probably trying to sell you something :-).

Don’t wait, though, to gather those all-important email addresses. It’s important to collect them on day one, from the beginning. This will allow you to keep a point of contact with your customers no matter what. According to AffilliMarketer, not collecting emails from the get-go is the number one mistake affiliate marketers make.

9.  They Aren’t Focusing on a Niche They Love

Many affiliate marketers make the mistake of focusing on the most profitable niche at the beginning.

This can be a good idea and if you do focusing one of the big 4 is smart:

  1. Health and Fitness
  2. Financial
  3. Relationships and Dating
  4. Business

If this happens to be what they love, great, if not, they can end up fizzling out pretty quick. You should have a passion for any niche you choose to venture into. Otherwise, failure will likely occur because you won’t have the motivation to stick with it long enough.

So you have 2 options.

Option #1: go deep in a niche you love. I’ve seen people make 7-figures in everything from quilting to targeting full-time RVers.

Option #2: go after one of the big 4 and build a system so your business runs while you provide the high-level oversight, plan, and structure.

Focus on a business niche you love.

Every Affiliate Marketer should have a passion for any niche they choose to venture into. Otherwise, failure will likely occur.

10. Their Products Aren’t High Quality

When affiliates promote low-quality products, this becomes a reflection on them.

Consequently, once customers buy such a product and it inevitably breaks, they no longer have the trust in them they once did. As a result, they likely won’t visit their site for additional product recommendations (R).

This is why especially with email marketing you must 100% focus on quality vs quantity.

How to Fix Your Affiliate Marketing for Long-Term Success

To remedy the issues laid out above, simply do the opposite.

Seems simple, right?

And it also seems like common sense. Yet like a colleague always says commone sense is anything but common in this day and age.

Focus on one avenue at a time until you master the affiliate game and always promote via niches you love.

Create a plan before doing anything and understand you might and likely will lose money at the beginning of any campaign.

Unfortunately, affiliate marketing is not a way “get rich quick.” It is just like any other reputable business. It takes dedication, time, patience, endurance and a lot of trial and error. If you hang in there though and avoid the 10 common pitfalls listed above, it can become a wonderful avenue of income and a source of great enjoyment and fulfillment.

Feel free to download the infographic below as a friendly reminder to your affiliate marketing success.

10 mistakes to avoid as an affiliate marketer infographic.

Resources and References

Failing to plan:

Not getting emails:

Picking a niche you love:

Why quality matters in affiliate marketing:

7 Big Mistake Affiliate Marketers Make:

E-Retail revenues are projected to grow each year.

In 2017, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 2.3 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 4.88 trillion US dollars in 2021.

In 2017, the US E-commerce sales estimated to be $353.7 billion, by statistics supported by Founder (R).

Millions of statistics like this one prove that building an online business in this digital age is an amazing opportunity. Online businesses are more successful than ever. The tools and resources needed to run an online business are at everyone’s fingertips. With the rampant startup culture taking advantage of the entrepreneurial tide, online businesses are in high demand.

After all, innovation is only dependent on the company it keeps. So innovative startups seek to do business with other entities that can foster their fast-paced needs.

Internet businesses, especially those in the marketing industry are the perfect solution.

…innovative startups seek to do business with other entities that can foster their fast-paced needs. Internet businesses, especially those in the marketing industry are the perfect solution.

Unfortunately, with all these different opportunities and resources entrepreneurs can be thrust into information overload. When this happens, they make mistakes.

Here are three huge mistakes that beginning internet marketers NEED to stop making.

3 Mistakes Beginner Internet Marketers Make

Mistake #1: They Allow Distraction to Kill Production

The Problem:

Currently, there are over 28.8 million small businesses in America (R). Yet, there are still more businesses closing per day then opening.

Why is that?

If there’s such a profound demand and passion riding on small businesses, and with so much at their disposal, why do businesses fail?

While there is a plethora of less accusatory excuses, the true silent killer of small businesses is distraction.

As Ali Mese (R) from The Startup said: “I was the distracted, miserable guy, jumping from one website to another, from one idea to another, while getting absolutely nothing done…Oh, and I also found it cool to call myself an entrepreneur.”

“I was the distracted, miserable guy, jumping from one website to another, from one idea to another, while getting absolutely nothing done…Oh, and I also found it cool to call myself an entrepreneur.” – Ali Mese, The Startup

Distraction kills production.

The true silent killer of small business is distraction.

For many online business owners, this quote sums up what we already know (even though we’d probably NEVER admit it).

Too many new ideas can slow progress.

It’s easy to get distracted by new ideas.

Distractions are everywhere. We have the obvious distractions like emails, phone calls, our cell phones, and social media notifications.

In fact, I believe your smartphone is slowly killing your business.

But, the truly lethal distractions are much harder to recognize; because they disguise themselves under the ruse of innovation. Like a child with a new toy, a mind-blowing idea hits while scrolling Facebook, and we are ensnared in a faux epiphany.

The mind of the entrepreneur is always moving, developing, and inventing. Thus, when an idea catches the mind of an entrepreneur, it’s hard not to get sucked into the beauty of the possibility that is instantly imagined.

Like a black lotus, the beauty and allure of such an opportunity is only surface deep. Yet, for that day, or that week, or even longer, entrepreneurs forsake their original idea, in pursuit of a unicorn.

When an idea catches the mind of an entrepreneur, it’s hard not to get sucked into the beauty of the possibility that is instantly imagined.

Entrepreneurs should try not to lose focus.

The mind of the entrepreneur is always moving, developing, and inventing.

Whether it’s fast cash, desperation, or simple curiosity that causes one to follow such a pursuit, is irrelevant. The problem is not the expansion of the mind or the creativity; it’s the wasted time.

Entrepreneurs tend to get distracted by thinking there’s always something better, just around the corner. They hastily become complacent with what they’ve achieved, and their response is to find something else.

Yet, their distraction will ultimately lead to their downfall.

Mistake #2: They Lose Focus

Focus is the key to success for any internet business

Focus is the key to success when starting an internet business.

The Problem:

Focus is an indisputable key to business and success in that business.

If an entrepreneur lacks focus, their commitment will wane. When that happens, the business will inevitably fall apart. If the owner of the business has mentally abandoned ship, how do they expect their customers to stay on board?

When a person has an idea and they are certain it’s going to work, they are ecstatic. They tell everyone about it and they give it all they’ve got. Yet, after time, the honeymoon phase is over and the luster wears away. If entrepreneurs aren’t careful, when this inevitable stage of owning an online business passes, they could lose focus on what they wanted to do in the first place.

Losing focus will immediately cause an entrepreneur to lose commitment. At that point, it’s just work; and no one ever wants to think of their startup, their business, or anything they created in such a limiting field.

When that mind-numbing realization starts to take hold, it will only be a matter of time before you decide that it’s better to let it go, then to keep your business on fiscal life-support.

That is why online business owners need to keep the excitement of their business alive and why I think Sunday is the most important day of the week. They need to find reasons to stick with it and keep it fresh, instead of finding reasons why it isn’t working.

…find reasons to stick with [your online business] it and keep it fresh, instead of finding reasons why it isn’t working.

A business is a relationship. It’s an entity and even though you own it, you don’t completely control it.

There are outside forces affecting it and that is why it’s the entrepreneur’s job to keep vigilant.

Here’s an example to illustrate the pitfalls that entrepreneurs fall into:

Sarah and Paul both started their own, separate internet marketing business. Tired of their old jobs, they struck out on their own, to create something they could be genuinely proud of.

Sarah is diligent. She remains focused, giving herself a goal of twelve months. Within those twelve months, she works exclusively on her business. She acknowledges tiny victories and learns from her mistakes. As businesses owner, she evolves.

During the same twelve months, Paul is excited for about a month. He knows what he’s supposed to do and puts his plan into action. Although, after the luster of the idea seeps into a disappointing reality, Paul starts to lose focus. He feels his passion for the business slipping away and eventually, he tries something else. After all, he needs to make up the money he’s lost, and he doesn’t want to go back to his old job, working for someone else. So, after classes, certifications, and other consumptions of time and money, he acts on his new idea. Unfortunately for Paul, this cycle continues for a year.

At the end of that year, Sarah’s business is expanding. Reality and expectation have found a middle ground and she is pleased with her decision.

But, Paul is now deeply in debt, constantly trying new schemes and plots, whatever he can to make up the money he lost.

While this might seem like an easy concept for beginning entrepreneurs, to keep a handle on, remember that you’re just starting out. Eventually, there will come a time of doubt and at that point, you will have to make a choice. You can either give in to the lack of focus, or you can spark the excitement of your business once again.

The Solution:

Remain focused and positive and your business will thrive.Here are two effective ways to spark excitement back into your business:

· Become Your Business (R)The business should be your whole professional life. Treating it as your baby, as something you birthed, gives it more meaning. Be proud of your businesses accomplishments and do everything you can to make it the best it can possibly be.  This is why it’s so important to run a business you actually enjoy vs just trying to make money.

· Get Back to Basics (R) Do some soul searching and figure out what your business means to you. Why did you embark on this journey, more specifically, why did you choose this business? If you can figure this out, you should be able to pull your focus back into what’s most important and realign your convictions.

Mistake #3: They Treat Their Business Like a Hobby

The Problem:

Don't treat your business like a hobby.

Your internet business is more than a hobby.  It’s a livelihood. As an entrepreneur you must give the business the respect it demands in order to succeed.

There is a strict difference between a hobby and a business.

A hobby is always fun, with little stress, and you can work on it on your time. A hobby is carefree and even if you earn a little extra cash, it’s not something you desperately rely on.

A business is your livelihood. A business is serious and even if it’s your passion, it should never be taken lightly. A business demands respect, both from the entrepreneur, as well as the clients and people who are associated with the business.

So, to have a successful online business, internet marketers need to stop treating their business like a hobby. have a successful online business, internet marketers need to stop treating their business like a hobby.

The Solution:

Work harder in order to achieve online business success

Not just harder but smarter.

It’s not so much about the amount of time worked though.

This is a mindset that needs to be ingrained in the soul of the entrepreneur if they ever want to have success. A business is something the entrepreneur is passionate about, but it’s not always fun. There are frequent occasions when an entrepreneur must do tasks they don’t wish to do even when you build a team and delegate. They may need to spend time on the business when they’d rather be with their family or friends.

Yet, success is not happened upon by accident.

Besides the entrepreneur’s mindset, here are a few ways that a business owner can portray the professionalism of a business:

· Establish Business Hours– This doesn’t mean that you only work these hours. Establishing business hours means that you are ALWAYS working at these hours. And don’t worry it doesn’t have to be 9-5.  One of the businesses I run in 30 minutes a day but I set aside the same 30 minutes each day.

· Set GoalsSetting goals is not only a great way to demand respect as a business. It’s also a way to keep yourself on track and avoid distractions. It helps propel the business forward without losing sight of the ultimate purpose of the business.  My business partner loves Todd’s 90 Day Year process.

· Hire Experts: Even though entrepreneurs are often a jack of all trades wearing many hats, there are certain times when it’s more appropriate to hire a professional. Whether the employee is full-time, part-time, outsourced or freelanced through sites like Upwork (R), Growth Geeks, and Fiverr, it doesn’t matter.

What’s important is that the employee recognizes that they need to put time, effort, and money into their business to get it to function the correct way.

The Takeaway

Beginning your own internet marketing company, or any online business is an exciting, liberating time.

While there are many positive repercussions of becoming a beginner internet marketer, it’s also important that you avoid becoming distracted, losing focus and considering your new business no more than a hobby. Be creative, be innovative, but also be realistic, be smart, and always be productive.

The life of your business depends on it.

Watch this quick entertaining video for more reasons small businesses can fail:


E-Commerce Statistics: Founderu

Small Business Statistics: SBA

The Single Biggest Reason Startups Fail: The Startup

How to Stay Excited About Your Business: Entrepreneur

How Distraction Can Kill Your Business; Inc.

Where to Hire Help for Your Business; Upwork

Another Resource to Find Contract Work for Your Business:  Fiverr

In January of 2018, ninety-five percent of adults in the United States own a cell phone, while seventy-seven percent of adults use a smartphone(R).

In 2018, according to Forbes, mobile ad spending will encompass seventy-five percent of all digital ads purchased(R).

So, there’s no debating that mobile devices, smartphones especially, are an essential part of our daily lives.

The Cell Phone Distraction

Cell phones are a serious distraction both personally and professionally.

However, as business owners, smartphones are a double-edged sword. Personally, as well as professionally, smartphones pose a serious distraction to our working lives (R). According to Flurry, people spend up to five hours of their day attached to mobile devices.

For personal productivity, that’s terrible, but from the standpoint of having a captive mobile audience, it’s genius. Unfortunately, the inability to harness the power of mobile advertising properly is also crushing the only solid positive perspective an entrepreneur has in this mobilized world.

People spend up to five hours of their day attached to mobile devices.

To help entrepreneurs to feed the mobile bear, without getting swallowed themselves, here are the reasons your smartphone is killing your business; both personally and professionally.

How Smartphones Impact Our Lives- Both Personally and Professionally

There’s no true escape from the unfortunate fact that smartphones play a large, negative role in our everyday lives. For many people, smartphones are the ones that essentially control us. From the moment most people wake up, until the moment they go to bed, they’re eyes are glued to their smartphones.

The Effects of Smartphones on Our Personal Lives

Americans spend five hours a day on their cell phones.

Distractions are everywhere, but with your smartphone, they become even more prevalent. Between glancing to see if anything has changed in your digital world, to answer every email, tweet, text, Facebook notification, not to mention phone calls, that five hours per day really adds up quick.

Before cell phones, the workday was less disrupted.

Before cell phones, the workday was less disrupted by personal calls and there were definitely no texts coming in on these rotary bad boys.

There was a time, not too long ago, when people went to work and if there wasn’t a call on the business line or an emergency, no one heard from you all day. Going to work meant you were going dark, socially.

Not even your significant other was going to reach out to you unless there was something dire that you needed to know and even then, they would call your work line. Instantaneous, personal communication lived only in the imagination brought forth by sci-movies.

However, now, the busier you are, the more notifications you receive, directly to your person…and people seek out those distractions. This is a growing problem, considering people who need to be paying attention to their real-life assets, are being sucked into a digital rabbit hole; every twelve minutes, according to the New York Post (R).

Therefore, when trying to run your business or focus on anything the real world has to offer, the average person is ripped out of their conscious thought, to check their phone, eighty times per day.

We are distracted at work by our phones EIGHTY TIMES PER DAY.

However, posing as a distraction from the things that really matter in life don’t even start to cover the damage cell phones cause.

Cell Phones and Sleep Deprivation

Is your smartphone ruining your sleep?

Your cell phone can disrupt your sleep which can disrupt your entire life.

Looking at your phone at night can disrupt your sleep, which eventually can disrupt your entire life.

According to Business Insider (R), the blue light that allows us to see our phone regardless of the brightness outside is confusing our bodies. This is why many wear blue light blocking glasses or use apps to block blue light on their phones.

While this blue light isn’t physically hurting us, in the form of UV rays, or carcinogenic output, the blue light is causing our body to mistake nighttime for daytime.

The blue light that allows us to see our phone regardless of the brightness outside is…causing our body to mistake nighttime for daytime. – Business Insider

Smartphones cause insomnia.

Is it day or night? The blue light of your cell phone may be confusing your body.

While we may know that it’s nighttime, our body works separately from our mind, in some respects. When our body believes that it’s daytime, it doesn’t produce melatonin, which is the hormone that tells our body it’s time to sleep.

This results in our bodies thinking it’s nap time, instead of sleep time, causing us to sleep for only a few hours, before waking up. Afterward, we are unable to go back to sleep. Therefore, we are tired, which makes us far less productive and could eventually lead to depression (R).

People sometimes take supplements like melatonin to help with their sleep or to deal with jet lag.

Cell Phones and Addiction

People tend to let their phones dictate what they do when they do it, and how they do it. We are addicted to our phones, as a society.

In a test for cell phone addiction (R), health journalist, Catherine Price says: “The only way to score below a 5 (non-addiction) on this test is to not have a smartphone.”

However, it isn’t all our fault. Our phones have become a vital part of our lives. Our alarm wakes us up in the morning, from our phone. The respective artificial intelligence on our phone tells us our schedule, the weather, how our favorite sports team did in the game last night, and virtually any other information we’d like to know. Nevertheless, the reliance we have on our phones only makes the habit harder to break.

Now, the answer isn’t to stop using our phones.

Instead, we need to get to a point where we are in control of our phones, instead of the other way around.

Effects of Smartphones on Our Professional Lives

Using cell phones at work means money lost.

Time spent on a cell phone at work means money lost.

Time is money.

That is a popular saying, but it couldn’t be truer when discussing the professional pitfalls of cellular innovation.

Cell phones are a beast of burden to businesses; a plague that zaps creativity and manpower from every company. This plague affects everyone from the intern to the CEO and it’s only getting worse.

As Mike Elgan (R) from Computerworld wrote in his article: “As a thought experiment, imagine that an employee who used to pay attention to your business eight hours each day now pays attention only seven hours a day because he or she is now focusing on Facebook during that last hour. You’re paying the employee the same but getting less employee attention for it.”

Taking this thought a little farther, a small business is defined by the SBA (R) as a business with less than 500 employees.

Say, a business has 15 employees and they make minimum wage, yourself included, for the sake of this argument. If each of you loses one hour per day at $7.25 per hour, the businesses giving away $108.75 per day. 

Plus, that’s fifteen working hours per day that nothing is getting done, which is putting the business fifteen hours behind schedule, every day. For a small business using delegation, that’s a lot of time and money being wasted.

Cell phones at work mean time and money lost.

However, as a business owner, this is something that is hard to control and even harder to crack down on, because you’re guilty of it too.

While your interactions with your phone are likely more relevant to the business, what’s being done is irrelevant.

There is still that one hour (on average) per day that’s being consumed sporadically throughout the day, breaking your concentration.

How to Find a Healthy Cellular Consumption Balance

Breaking the cycle of cellular consumption can help a business owner; both personally and professionally. While you can’t control the actions of others, you can change your own actions and use the majority’s cellular weakness to your advantage.

Finding a Balance Personally

People are so quick to dismiss the idea that unplugging themselves from their smartphone is going to better their perspective and sharpen their focus.

However, a study in a recent Health Communication Journal (R) suggests that in as little as a week, adolescents responded positively to less smartphone interaction. Within a week, the teenagers studied were sleeping better and had better concentration. This study is perceived to have a similar effect on adults.

So, to help adults start their unplugging adventure, here the most effective ways to get back to basics and put distance between you and your smartphone:

4 Ways to Put a Healthy Distance Between You and Your Smartphone 

 1. Use Airplane ModePlacing your phone in airplane mode will cut off phone calls, texts, and other notifications, resulting in fewer distractions.

Decreased smartphone use means increased happiness.

Studies show decreasing cell phone usage increases happiness.

2. Uninstall Social Media on Smartphone By taking social media off a smartphone, a person will drastically decrease the number of notifications they receive. That way, the person isn’t always being drawn out of their train of thought for superfluous reasons. However, they will still receive important correspondence.

 3. Block Notifications on Smartphone– Blocking all the notifications on a phone allows the person to keep their apps and social media on their phones, without the distractions that come with it.

4. Use Apps to Track Time: When people use applications such as Rescue Time, it helps them to see exactly how much time they are producing during the day and how much time is spent playing around. This could be a real eye-opener, especially for a lot of business owners.

You may think you’re optimizing your time, but apps like this will help you quantifiably find more time, by showing you which habits you need to break.

Finding a Balance Professionally 

While it’s in the business owners best interest to shift their focus away from their smartphones, that doesn’t mean they should completely disconnect themselves. Sure, personal use of smartphones is killing your business, but if you use the information about smartphones to your advantage, the rewards are sure to be fruitful.

Optimizing Your Business For Mobile Use

A statistic published by Front Burner Marketing states that over 50% of mobile consumers are either researching or ready to purchase when they call a business from their mobile device (R).

However, many business owners let their mobile websites and business social media fall by the wayside.

When mobile should be what business owners are primarily focusing on.

Many business owners let their mobile websites and business social media fall by the wayside…when mobile should be what business owners are primarily focusing on.

Fortunately, Google Chrome allows businesses to preview what the mobile site will look like before publishing it online.

This is essential for your business, as mobile is looking like the marketing strategy of the future. So, be one of the elite and optimize your business to look spectacular on a smartphone.


In summation, cellular innovation has gotten to a crucial point. While smartphones haven’t come at anyone with a knife, they are certainly affecting you and possibly killing your business slowly…

That is unless you know how to counteract the effects so that they work to your advantage.


Mobile Phone Fact Sheet: PEW Research Center

How Smartphones Makes People Unproductive: Computer World

Study on How Many Times a Day Americans Check Their Cell Phones: New York Post

How Smartphones Affect Your Brain and Body: Business Insider

The Complex Relationship Between Sleep, Depression and Anxiety: The National Sleep Foundation

Cell Phone Addiction: Catherine Price

Small Business Size Standards: SBA

Study on Adolescents’ Phone Usage and Sleep: Health and Communication Journal

Find Work-Life Balance with This App: RescueTime

Mobile Optimization Stats: Front Burner Marketing