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What Hiking Can Teach You about Online Business

Hi everyone!

Firstly, I do apologise that my posts have been a little hit and miss of late. From this week I really hope to regain my regularity, but if I don’t then please feel free to give me a prod and say, “Hoi! Get posting!” 😉

So, what do I have in store for you this time?

Well, what I’m doing for this post is something a little different and it’s something that I believe has NEVER been done before!

online businessOoo, what could it be…..?

Stick around and I shall reveal all…

A few months back I was struggling to settle on something to write about. I’m sure you’ve probably experienced those occasions where the more you think about something, the harder it seems to be able to think clearly.

So I decided to just throw caution to the wind and start writing about whatever came into my head.

I received lots of positive comments about that concept, not only from people who commented on the post itself, but privately too.

One thing I did mention in reply to one of the comments on the post was that if people didn’t believe that I really wrote that post without any kind of planning then maybe I should do it on a live webinar and have the attendees come up with ideas for the subject! I’ve mentioned this idea to many people since and it generated a lot of enthusiasm.

Is it really possible to write a blog post with literally no preparation whatsoever?

Would I really be able to write a post based on a suggestion given to me on-the-fly?

And what can you learn from this?

As you may or may not know, I am now working for Dean Holland as part of the Internet Profits Ltd. team. One of my roles is to hold weekly coaching webinars on a Thursday with some of our iPro Partners on which I cover a variety of ‘how to’ subjects.

Many of the Partners expressed a desire to watch me create a spontaneous blog post live on a webinar, so this post is the result of that!

“Hey, Glenn – what’s all this about iPro?”

CLICK HERE to ask for more info!

Now, just a caveat:

Of course I couldn’t expect the Partners to just sit there and watch as I wrote, re-wrote, pondered over and edited the post, so I wrote the original, live post in mainly note form, explaining that I would pad it out and make it more ‘post-like’ during the week.

Today I will publish this post live on our webinar and I will explain to our Partners how I’ve structured everything, the next steps to take, etc.

So, the subject that was decided upon was: “Finding the best places to hike”.

Here is a screenshot showing the suggestion that was taken during last week’s webinar:

online business

 

What Can Finding the Best Places to Hike Teach You about Online Business?

online businessI don’t know about you, but I’m not someone who does a lot of hiking! I do enjoy being outside in nature and I do have a few favourite places where I like to walk, but I’m certainly not an avid hiker!

When I do go walking, one of my favourite places is a lovely area in nearby Cheshire called Alderley Edge. This is a place stooped in myth and legend and has been the inspiration for many stories, including The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath, both written by Alan Garner.

It has been suggested that J.R.R. Tolkien possibly got his inspiration for Middle Earth from this area (the Shire = Cheshire).

Aside from it being a beautiful place with a variety of inspiring scenery, Alderley Edge is a great place to go walking because it contains a variety of terrain too.

So if you want something nice, easy and sedate then it’s perfect, but if you want something a little more rugged then it offers this too.

Now, although I’m not an avid hiker, as I mentioned, I do recognise the importance of proper planning. Even if you’re venturing out for a more sedate walk, it’s still essential to know where you’re going, to plan your route, to be well-equipped, what to do in an emergency and so on.

online businessBut when doing more serious hiking it is especially important to be well-prepared. Just a simple mistake can prove very costly, not only for yourself but for other people who may be accompanying you.

However, when you’ve done everything correctly, hiking can be a very rewarding experience.

So, how do you find a good place to hike?

Firstly, you could ask other other people for recommendations. Perhaps you have friends or family who have experience of certain places. Or you could do research in hiking publications, on the ‘Net, etc.

Maybe there are communities that you could join where you can benefit from the knowledge and expertise of experienced hikers.

All of this will ensure that your experience is a good one and, most importantly, a safe one!

So, all this talk about hiking and finding a good place to do it is all very well and good, but what on earth does any of this have to do with online business and making money online?

Well, when it comes to any important decisions in your online journey, you have to take the same type of precautions and do the same type of research.

For example, if you’re considering investing in a particular program, you need to do your research so that you know about any possible pitfalls and, indeed, if it’s viable and safe!

After all, we know that not all online opportunities, programs and products are created equal. Some are like a well-lit track with a nice, firm foundation that is easy to navigate and gives you a good, firm footing.

Others are more challenging and require a lot more effort, stamina and determination in order to succeed.

online businessThen there are those that are more like a dark path that’s filled with obstacles, hidden hazards and maybe even dangerous animals lurking in the shadows.

So how do you find a good one?

Well, just as you could speak to others to get recommendations for good places to hike, it would be good to speak with others who have first-hand experience of the product/service/program you’re considering.

You could also do research on Google, YouTube, forums, etc.

But no matter what you decide and no matter what product, course, program, etc. you’re thinking of investing in, you need to make sure that you are properly prepared.

For example, are you mentally and emotionally ready to take on the task of starting an online business?

Whether you’re just starting, you have some experience or you’re already established, can you feasibly sustain the thing you’re considering? For example, if it’s something that requires a substantial investment, can you afford it? Can you invest the time?

online businessAdditionally, with online business, just as with anything important, you need to make sure that you have the proper equipment and that you are familiar with it.

So for example, if you’re considering venturing down the video marketing route, it would make sense to have the equipment you need and to be completely familiar with it before starting on that journey.

By making sure that you address all these points, you can be well-equipped to avoid potential hazards and pitfalls and have an enjoyable, profitable and successful online journey.

I hope you found this useful. Hopefully this post illustrates not only what you can learn from the example of finding a good place to go hiking, but also how it’s very possible to write a blog post without any kind of preparation.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you do this all the time, although if it works for you then hey, why not?

But all too often people get stuck in ‘think, think, think’ mode.

online businessI’m sure you’ve probably heard of paralysis by analysis. Well, the same thing can happen when trying to come up with content, such as in a blog post.

We can get so stuck in the thinking mode that we struggle to actually get anything to come out! But hopefully I’ve shown you how easy it can be to come up with content.

Sure, there will be those who find it easier than others, as we’re all different and have different abilities. But even if your mind is blank, there’s no need to allow this to cripple you.

As a musician, I’ve often heard it said that if you’re struggling to write a song on your usual instrument it can be good to try on another. In the same way, if you’re struggling with what to write about, why write at all? Why not jump on a video instead? Or perhaps try creating a graphic of some sort?

Regardless of how you do it, blogging should be enjoyable. So try your best to relax, go with the flow and have fun! When you lose the tension and just ‘run with it’, you may be surprised at what comes out of you. 🙂

 

Over to You

Do you enjoy hiking? What do you feel are some important points to bear in mind?

Likewise, with regards to online business, what things do you feel should be addressed before making any important decisions?

Also, with regards to coming up with content, what tips do you have for beating ‘mental block’?

Let me know by leaving a comment below! 🙂

About Me

Glenn is a Certified iPro Masters Partner

 

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16 Comments

  1. Dee Ann Rice
    Twitter:
    says:

    Glenn,

    Great post! I love how you demonstrate that a post can be written from almost any suggestion. While I am not sure everyone could do this you did a great job.

    I will say that some of my best posts, in my mind, were ones that I got the idea spontaneously while doing something totally unrelated to blogging. I incorporated that unrelated activity into a post on blogging and they turned out really good.

    I really like posts like this because I think we relate to what is being taught in the post better by relating to the topic that is unrelated to blogging or marketing.

    I know I have done a lot of hiking during my life. Everything from short 30 minute walks to 120 mile hikes that took a good 10 days to do. I could understand what you were getting across because I understood hiking.

    Really a great idea for writers block.

    Dee Ann Rice
    Dee Ann Rice recently posted…Plan Of Action – Starting A BlogMy Profile

    • Glenn Shepherd
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Dee,

      Here’s the thing: I do believe that yes, everyone CAN do this, to some degree at least. Perhaps not everyone can do what I did in this example and come up with a blog post live on a webinar. But the point is, if I can do that in what is a pretty extreme example, I firmly believe that someone should be able to come up with something when they don’t have that same amount of pressure and they have the freedom to explore a little.

      The thing is, we can spend far too much time trying to come up with the ‘perfect’ post instead of just getting on with it! We can get so absorbed in ‘think’ mode that we end up in a kind of loop from which it can be difficult to escape.

      Sometimes we just need to throw caution to the wind and try something a bit different, although I’m not suggesting that people should choose to always write a blog post like I did in this example!

      As a songwriter/guitarist, I’ve often heard it said that one of the best ways to break out of writer’s block is to try writing on a different instrument. It doesn’t matter if you’re not great at that instrument, it may just give you that bit of a different perspective that you’ve been needing.

      The same can be true with blogging. Rather than trying to force ourselves to come up with something along some preconceived idea we may have for a post, it can be worth just scrapping that approach and trying something different.

      Of course, some are going to generally find it easier than others. I myself have never had difficulty with writing, right from being very young. But even I get writer’s block from time to time. It’s then that I find I need to just stop thinking about it so much and almost let my brain work on auto pilot and see what comes out!

      Yes, it can be very useful to use everyday or unrelated examples to get a point across, especially when trying to explain a concept that someone may not be so familiar with. Using things in an illustrative way is a very effective teaching method indeed, as we are more likely to comprehend and remember a point if we can visualise it in an area that we are more familiar with.

      Many thanks for stopping by sand sharing your thoughts, Dee. I hope that you’re keeping well and having a great week so far. 🙂

      »Glenn«
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…What a Pair of Old Shoes Can Teach You About Making Money OnlineMy Profile

  2. Hi Glenn

    I really find it a little more stressful blogging for my business than when I was blogging about my life. The switch did scare me but I eventually got the hang of it. However, it’s more difficult blogging for business because I feel EVERYONE will be picking at everything I write. Urgh!

    I should try applying the same tone and style in my business blog as I used in my personal blog. And like you, perhaps merge the two a bit more… because, after all, I AM my business. Yeah?
    Rhonda Chapman recently posted…Why your blog isn’t attracting organic trafficMy Profile

    • Glenn Shepherd
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Rhonda,

      Thanks very much for stopping by and leaving a comment, so sorry for the very late reply.

      I totally understand where you’re coming from with regards to worrying about people picking at everything you write. I used to really worry about this myself and found myself sometimes holding myself back somewhat. But, do you know what? It’s YOUR blog, it’s YOUR voice! You’re not going to be able to please everyone and so you’re not writing for everyone. You’re writing for those who want to read what you write! If a minority end up picking at something you say? So what? Let them have their opinion.

      At the end of the day, so long as you are writing with integrity, giving the best value you possibly can and have the best interests of your audience at heart, this is the most important thing. By being this way you will find that you will have the respect, admiration and attention of those who really count. 🙂

      »Glenn«
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…3 Breakout Bloggers of 2015My Profile

  3. Honestly It’s been a long time since I went on a hike, I have been itching to go on one for awhile but I can’t seem to get around to it. I really enjoy the quiet of nature and I noticed that people tend to be a lot friendlier the further you get away for major cities. Interesting article!

    • Glenn Shepherd
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Timothy,

      Welcome to my blog. 🙂

      That’s interesting what you said about people being a lot friendlier the further away you get from cities – I’ve noticed the same thing myself.

      You know, you could apply that point, too, to blogging! People very often want to try to get the attention of the biggest names in the industry and understandably so. But it can often be the lesser-known, ‘smaller’ names who end up being the friendlier, more engaging and even more profitable people to deal with!

      Many thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. 🙂

      »Glenn«
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Proven Engagement Techniques That WorkMy Profile

  4. Kim Willis
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hi Glenn,

    I love your sense of spontaneity.

    All good stories (or even bad ones for that matter) start with the germ of an idea. As we flesh it out, it takes on a life of its own. That’s what I’ve found – sometimes the original idea morphs into something else entirely!

    But getting started by typing the first draft is important. As you say people sometimes overthink things – paralysis of analysis. Better to just get started.

    Using the hiking analogy you’ve created a little parable here – a great lesson presented in an interesting way.

    Great stuff!

    Kim Willis
    Kim Willis recently posted…6 Ways Your Website Can Generate More Leads and Sell Up a StormMy Profile

    • Glenn Shepherd
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Kim,

      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. It’s not an approach I will do regularly, but it certainly makes for an interesting change and if people can learn from it, then that’s the main thing.

      I agree about having a first draft, for sure. I think where some may go wrong with that is by spending too much time agonising about exactly what to put in it, rather than just getting going. After all, that’s the point of a draft, that you can go back and edit it. With this post, my first draft was what I wrote spontaneously live on the webinar. I then went away and refined it, formatted it and so on. But when you look at some people’s posts it’s clear that they’ve not put much thought at all into it, likely just writing it out and then posting without checking it over sufficiently, if at all. So, while overthinking can be a bad thing, likewise not thinking enough can be an issue too!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Kim. Have yourself a great weekend. 🙂

      »Glenn«
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…How to Know When to Ditch Your TeacherMy Profile

  5. Adrienne
    Twitter:
    says:

    Hey Glenn,

    Well I would have to say that not everyone can just be given a topic and then sit down and go to town with it the way you have. That’s a talent my friend and a great one to have.

    I know for me, once I come up with a topic then I can sit down and just start writing. For the most part the words just seem to flow, I don’t plan out what I’m going to say. Now I’ve had times where I had a chosen topic to discuss but wasn’t in the mood to write about it. That’s always hard because then it’s back to square one.

    Your analogies are always great and so inventive. Yep, you’ve definitely got a gift my friend.

    Thanks for doing this exercise and I’m sure that those who are in Dean’s training really enjoy your webinars.

    Happy Holidays!

    ~Adrienne
    Adrienne recently posted…Special Announcement, Happy Birthday Wish, Your Holiday GiftMy Profile

    • Glenn Shepherd
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      I think that’s what stumbles many people – they overthink things. I think it’s much better to just have the idea for what you want to write about and then let the words just come, as you say. I do pretty much the same thing. Some people may do more planning than others and if that works for them then great. But I think that once you get used to just writing off the cuff as much as you can, it comes a lot more organically. It may be a challenge at first, but it can certainly be done and it gets easier the more you do it.

      I’ve always been good at writing and I used to think a lot more about my posts in the early days, mainly for that very reason. But I’ve always found that the posts that flow better and seem to go down better my people are the ones that I’ve spent less time thinking about. That’s not to say that I would suggest throwing caution to the wind all the time and writing in this manner, but I really do feel that there’s no need to struggle too much over things to write about. When I’ve talked with bloggers who are getting stuck for ideas for things to write about I’ve told them to even write about THAT itself!

      Really, blogging is only limited by our imagination. Of course, some are going to find it easier than others and some will find that writing and ideas come more naturally than others. As I mentioned, even I have found it difficult, in the past, to come up with things to write about, but the more I got used to allowing my thoughts and writing to just flow, the easier and easier the whole process got.

      I can definitely relate to not being in the mood to write about the subject I’ve chosen for a particular post. Those are usually the times that I will try something completely different or totally off-the-wall. I find that by simply taking a different approach it often causes a spark in my mind and I can get into the zone again, albeit via a different approach or through a different medium.

      So far, I’ve been getting some really good feedback from doing the webinars. I’ve had some very kind, supportive and encouraging messages and, most importantly, it’s good and also rewarding to see people encouraged and helped by what I teach them and also putting it into action. I have to admit that I was terrified the very first time I did it, but now I absolutely love doing them! It’s great to be able to interact with everyone on the calls and we always have a nice time and a good laugh. 🙂

      Thanks so much for being patient while my blog was down and then coming back to check out my post and leave a comment. It’s always very much appreciated. 🙂

      I hope you have an awesome weekend!

      »Glenn«
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…Raiders of the Lost CommissionsMy Profile

  6. Hey glenn, it was worth the short wait. Great post.

    I find the best marketing has to cross genres like you’ve done here… and business in particular lends itself well to this type of crossover because it’s a very human affair… trust, respect, strategy, risk, planning, communication, teamwork… all those things that are central to business tend to be central to daily life… it just takes a bit of reflection, and the eye for a good story to bring them to life. Well done.

    • Glenn Shepherd
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hey Luke!

      It’s great to see your name popping up on my blog again! I actually recall when I met you at the Internet Marketing Summit in Manchester and you said that mine was one of the blogs that you read regularly. That gave me a huge boost at the time because it helped me to realise that I was actually doing something right! I recall meeting a few other people there too who recognised me from my blog and were regular readers, even though they didn’t actually post comments. It just goes to show what goes on behind the scenes, eh?

      You made a very important statement there, that business is a very human affair. I believe it’s essential to keep that in the forefront of our minds because, at the end of the day, we are dealing with people, whether it be directly or indirectly. Sure, all the mechanics, statistics, targets and so on are important, but I find that with some people and some businesses, these kind of things seem to take precedence and somewhat overshadow the personal aspect.

      Whenever I teach or write content, I always try to convey the material in a way that people can relate to. I think that if we always remember that there is a real person on the other end of everything we do then we will be more likely to present our content accordingly.

      If you want to see a real master at finding applications for everyday experiences I highly recommend you check out Ryan Biddulph’s blog at Blogging from Paradise if you don’t already know of him. I will see a headline or the start of a post and think, “How the heck is he going to apply this to blogging?” but he always manages it and does so brilliantly! I’ve learned a heck of a lot from Ryan, he’s a great bloke.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Luke. It’s always a pleasure to hear from you and I hope you’ll drop by again soon. 🙂 Have yourself a great weekend, mate!

      »Glenn«
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…5 Benefits You Ought to Know About EngagementMy Profile

  7. Hi Glenn.

    Nice job. I wasn’t worried. I knew you would do it.
    You definitely hit it on the head about the necessary prep work to make sure everything goes without a hitch, whether it’s hiking, internet marketing or just getting out of bed in the morning. I digress.

    Sometimes we do just have to wing it and see what happens. As you are well aware of, I have done it on more than one occasion.

    I like the musician reference. 😉

    Talk to ya soon….Chris

    P.S. Get HOPPING!! 🙂
    Chris DeeWaard recently posted…Blog Hopping We Will GoMy Profile

    • Glenn Shepherd
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hey Chris,

      No matter how much prep I do, I still haven’t mastered getting out of bed in the morning! :-p

      With the blogging thing, it’s often just a case of cutting those mental apron strings that keep us tied to our familiar, ‘safe’ way of thinking and allowing ourselves to drift away to discover new and different approaches. Once we get into that new mindset it makes the whole blogging process a HECK of a lot easier!

      You know, I had to go back and scan through my post to see which musician reference you were talking about! I couldn’t recall making one but, sure enough, there it is!

      Thanks for your input, Chris, it’s always very much appreciated. 🙂

      »Glenn«

      P.S. I am! 😉
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…3 Essential Elements to Successful PositioningMy Profile

  8. Hi Glenn and congrats on this achievement. Being able to create a post under the pressure of hosting a webinar is truly something very special mate.

    The topic fascinated me as I was thinking how in the heck can anyone combine hiking and making money online without looking like a complete idiot!

    But mate you did it and so very cleverly as well.

    My big take away was the “precautions” “preparations” and “research” aspects that enable both hiking and making money online to be successful pursuits.

    In particular I was delighted to see you emphasise the criticaly important point of being mentally and emotionally ready to commence your online business venture. Far too many folks never fully realize (or want to accept) the realities of running a successful business from home.

    By the way for any new bloggers reading this post they should take notice of the very clever way you linked other pages on your blog to this article. Having additional links that are perceived as a natural part of the blog post are a very clever way to keep visitors on your site longer as well as increasing the opportunity to take what ever actions you’d like your readers to take.

    Well done my man – thank you as I always learn so much from you.

    Best wishes from a Thai village entrenpreneur

    Peter
    Peter Beckenham recently posted…Cool Free ToolsMy Profile

    • Glenn Shepherd
      Twitter:
      says:

      Hi Peter,

      Many thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the post and found value in it.

      Yes, it was a bit of a challenge but one that I was more than prepared to take on for the benefit of anyone who might struggle in getting posts out there. The point of this exercise and the other, similar post I made, is: no excuses. I’ve proven twice now that it is possible to come up with a blog post completely on the fly, so hopefully this will encourage anyone who struggles to try breaking free from that and just get things done!

      As for the subject and the online business application, being mentally and emotionally prepared is something that I think many overlook. I think a lot of the blame lies at the feet of the ‘get rich quick’ brigade. Even those who don’t make fanciful claims and who are honest I think, at times, can fall into the trap of making things appear TOO easy. I always say that making money online doesn’t have to be difficult but it does require hard work. And that’s where many people stumble – they don’t want to put the work in. So to have it clear in your mind just what you want to do, how you’re going to get there and to be prepared to work at it is absolutely vital for success, I believe.

      I’m glad you see the value of internal linking. This is something that I’ve always done, even back in the days of creating HTML sites manually in the late ’90s, but the importance of doing it on a blog was actually driven home to me by our very own Dita Irvine. She’s someone who’s very astute and knows a lot of the important background stuff regarding blogging.

      Thanks for stopping by, Peter. I hope you’re well and wish you a fantastic weekend. 🙂

      »Glenn«
      Glenn Shepherd recently posted…5 Benefits You Ought to Know About EngagementMy Profile

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