The worst mistake any affiliate can (and will probably) make.

Get cocky.

Yup. I said it. And on top of that I also admit that it happened to me.

Rewind about to about 2 years ago when I first got into this industry and I kept saying ‘oh, $500 a month while I sleep would be good enough for me’ and I truly meant it – at that time. People kept telling me once I reached that point I would want more, and of course I didn’t believe them.

So much I’ve learned since then.

Once I was up to $500 a month I wanted that to be $1000, then I wanted it to be $3000 and etc. Well eventually I did reach that point and boy was I on flying. I was so happy with myself, spending money left and right, not really working, and just generally having fun with life. It was honestly the best 6+ months of my life. Did way more things than I had in the past, met a lot of new people, travelled to a bunch places and events and so much more.

This all sounds well and good so what’s the problem?

Cockiness.

Once I started surpassing the amount of money I wanted to earn per month ‘while I slept’ I basically stopped working, and just partied with friends. Sure, I did a bit of work here and there but nowhere near what was required to keep things a-float.

This ended up with me spending all my profits and not re-investing them in any new or, already successful ventures. Huge fucking mistake.

Classic mistake that probably everyone makes but nobody really wants to admit. We’ve all seen the warnings in forums and on IRC but I think a lot of us refuse to believe it will ‘happen to me’. Well, I’m here to tell you that it does, and probably will.

Let’s face it, when you aren’t making any significant money and then suddenly you’re making quite a bit of money while you sleep it’s pretty fucking fantastic. This makes it very easy to lose sight of the original goal, which for me anyway, is to make enough income passively to live and have fun without having to sit at a computer all the time.

This past month it’s really hit hard, with paying bills becoming troublesome etc. And, I’m basically right back to where I didn’t want to be – grinding 60-70 hours a week at the computer just to get back to where I was originally. Had I stuck with it, I’d probably still be down around 5-7 hours of work a week to attain the same financial benefit.

All in all, great lesson learned. I wish I wouldn’t have had to learn it this way, but overall it’s probably best I did because nothing teaches like experience. Take it from me guys (and, gals) don’t get cocky when you start profiting, and keep at it, cause surer than shit something will fail and you’ll go from making thousands, to nothing, literally overnight.

4 Comments

  1. Funny how its always difficult to learn until you get there eh? Exit strategies is your next one ;P

    It’s the time everything’s going well that you should work hardest!

  2. Good advice. It’s just a part of learning and growing as a business owner. Now that you have made the mistake, you probably won’t do it in the future 😉

    Reminds me of starting with SEO. I always thought SEO would provide more ‘stability’ in my income and allow me to not have to babysit campaigns. Boy was I ever wrong. SEO is not stable at all. Once I hit $10k/month off organic traffic, my competitors kept building links and surpassed me. Now I am at about $2k since my rankings for my choice keywords got harder to maintain.

    heh, like I said though. It’s just part of the game.

  3. Oh man, do I know your PAIN! I’m in the exact same position as you. You have it rolling for 6+ months, and then campaigns you should’ve been growing and optimizing go unprofitable and you are in a world of hurt. I’ve found all you can really do is keep working, that’s the best way to maintain any consistency.

  4. Appreciate the transparency – wish I learned lessons the easy way, but not too many people do. I’ve been down that road a few times. Once with SEO traffic, once with a crappy business model predicated on click brokering & no actual value proposition, and the most recent was relying on a traffic source which dried up. Good on you for turning the ship around & hope this run is more sustainable.


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