Affiliate Marketing Business vs. Job
The business writer Michael Gerber has written extensively about the difference between having a business and having a job and about how that line is often blurred. For example, the business owner who works harder than any of his employees—and makes less money!
This is definitely a predicament that you want to avoid as you work on your affiliate marketing business. When you do a lot of work for a little portion of the money that comes from that work, you have really just hired yourself to perform a low-paying and thus demeaning job.
A real business is something quite different.
Hard Work Pays Off
Everyone has heard the expression, "Hard work pays off." But for the individual who goes through life relying on a paycheck from an employer, hard work does not necessarily pay off; you may get fired, laid off, or your pension fund could go belly-up.
Thus the appeal of starting your own business: the aspiration, the dream, that someday you won't have to work as hard as you do now, because you'll have a business paying your bills and you will be building something that could support your family if you were gone.
When you have a business, hard work should pay off. Once you get the engine started, your baby should be able to run proficiently over a reasonable period of time.
Note: it should run via the engine, not via you personally pushing the car along.
Managing Your Expectations
The worst thing you can do in any business is to expect to get rich overnight, and yet this is the exact attitude that is adopted by so many people who get started in affiliate marketing.
At the same time, other affiliates make an almost as-bad assumption: that they will never make any money, no matter how many blog posts they put on their website.
A big part of building an online business of any sort, but especially affiliate marketing, is managing your expectations. Why is managing expectations so important? Because doing online businesses requires a lot of patience. You have to be a very patient businessperson.
Look around the online marketplace and you will see that people with patience, but who also expect success, do well in general. It’s OK to be making $1 per hour working for yourself, but only if you have reasonable expectation that you will be reaping much larger rewards later.
Seriousness of Purpose
Anything that you do on the Internet may seem less real than something that takes place in the corporeal world. This has been a central fact of the Internet experience for a long time now, for instance how people adopt different chat room personalities and other avatars.
As someone in charge of an online business, you must be careful that the silliness infecting much of the Web does not become toxic to your business. In the corporeal world, too, there will be naysayers who treat you as less of a businessperson because you work online.
You need seriousness of purpose to blast through the noise and make your business work. Don't think that just because your business is online, it's any less of a "real" business than the guy renting the corner store.