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“If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going…”

June 06, 2011 By: Yvonne A Jones Category: Business - Entrepreneur

I’ve been an avid country music fan since my early teens and alternatively annoyed many of my peers or converted others to appreciate country music. I’m now a huge fan of Classic Country although I still enjoy some of the modern country songs.  This morning I heard a song by Toby Keith, Country Music Superstar, that inspired my post. It’s entitled, “Somewhere Else.”   The line in the song that struck me was: If you don’t know where you’re going, you might end up somewhere else.

I couldn’t help thinking how true that could be about our online businesses.  Most offline business owners are very clear about what type of business they’ll engage in.  The lines are not always as clear for online businesses.

Many of us start our online businesses without a Business Plan; therefore, we have no clear path to follow.  We also do not have a Marketing Plan so we don’t know who our target market is, we’ve done no type of analyses to determine what is required to obtain customers and get our message out to attract customers.  We may have no experience in customer care so we don’t build a relationship with our customers when we get them. The ‘build it and they’ll come’ theory is alive and well with many persons who start an online business.  It’s no wonder that the statistics regarding the rate of failure is so high.

The positive note to all of this is that even if you did not know where you were going when you started your online business; as you grow in knowledge and experience you can take corrective measures so you don’t end up ‘somewhere else’. There are many steps you can take, and I’m only naming a few of the ones that have worked for me, as well as other marketers.

  1. Continue to learn. Educate yourself.
  2. Learn from a good Mentor who has proven that he or she has been successful in the strategies that he or she is teaching.
  3. Find your ‘sweet spot.’  Find what you’re passionate about, that solves a problem, and something that you can create a business around.
  4. Identify your target audience so your message will fit your audience
  5. Develop a one-page Business Plan that includes a Marketing Plan
  6. In conjunction with #6, create realistic goals that align with your Business Plan.
  7. There will be many shiny objects on the Internet.  Put on blinders so you focus only on the ones that will help you reach your goal.
  8. Write it, type it, have this question on your computer, “Is What I’m Doing Bringing Me Closer To My Goals?”
  9. Let your offline acquaintances know what you do online and get them involved in spreading your message.
  10. Keep your level of spirituality high.  It’s what will give you the motivation to keep going so that when, not if, you fall you can pick yourself up and move on.

What are your thoughts on this post?  Is Toby Keith right?  Are you on the same path in your online business as when you first started?  Please share your thoughts in the Comments section.

19 Comments to ““If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going…””

  1. Judy Mick says:


    What a wonderful post! And I know the song – glad to know a fellow country music fan!

    When a newbie online gets started, it can be a confusing place. I know – I’ve been there. And in many respects, I still am. I’ve really struggled with shiny object – i always thought the “the next best thing” would clear up my fog. All it did was confuse me more and cost money.

    Your advice to keep the blinders on and learn from a mentor is definitely the key!

    I’m sure this post will help many!


  2. It’s good to know that you are a country music fan as well, Judy. Ah, yes, the shiny objects syndrome. I think we’ve all been there and wasted a lot of money. My heartfelt desire is to spare others this needless waste of time and money so they can achieve their goals faster.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Judy.

  3. This is great advice Yvonne. Love the tie in with the country song. Great writing strategy!
    The idea of having a one page business plan that includes a marketing plan sounds intriguing. I groan when I think of doing a business plan because in my corporate world, it involved so much work. But one page sounds doable. Can you maybe expand a little more on what you would include in a one page business plan or maybe you already have a link to a post that explains it.

    Keep up the good work and the good writing!

    Best to you!

  4. A ‘regular’ Business Plan can be a daunting proposition for entrepreneurs or small business owners. Interestingly, my research revealed statistically most person never review those huge plans once they’ve completed them. A one-pager is much more effective for us because it’s more doable and we can easily refer to it, and make modifications as needed. The is the link to one post, Sharon, and there were two others:

    I especially appreciate your comment on the ‘writing strategy’ because I respect your writing skills so much and what I’ve learned from you I use to enhance mine.

  5. Melanie Kissell @SoloMompreneur says:

    Love this analogy, Yvonne!

    And I’ve been a big fan of country music my whole life long. It’s the only station I have dialed in and set (for keeps!) on my car radio. 🙂

    “Are you on the same path in your online business as when you first started?”

    Heavens, no! Pretty far from it. I started out on a very different path than I’m on now. MLM was the first path I traveled, struggled every day with it, and hated every minute of being in that industry. Some people love it and do very well, but not this kid. I discovered starting my own biz was the best path for me.

    The 10 steps you’ve listed are right on the money!

  6. Ah, Melanie. Another thing we have in common 🙂 The good thing is that you made the decision to take the path that you’re now on; you didn’t just wander there aimlessly. Good example of knowing when to change course if what you’re doing is not taking you where you want to go. Thank you.

  7. Columbia Jones says:

    Excellent post Yvonne! You have said so much in so few words.

  8. Holly Ralston-Oyler says:

    Great message. Isn’t it amazing how something as simple as a line of music can inspire and direct us to create an amazing piece of informative material for a blog post?

  9. I’m really glad you enjoyed the post, Columbia. Holly, I appreciate you stopping by and adding to the conversation.

    When I read I look for points that can be incorporated in my online business, but recently I find that I listen to lyrics of songs for the same reason, so it’s exciting that it resonated with both of you and others who left their comments. Thank you.

  10. Great post, Yvonne- even if they are not quite the TEN COMMANDMENTS :-).

    Your readers should know that getting a business AND marketing plan in one page- even with tiny chicken scrawl- is quite a daunting challenge.
    And, while its implied, the 11th commandment should clearly aver one needs to measure progress towards the goals and plan. It’s the only insurance against losing one’s way.

  11. Excellent post and so true! I love country music.
    This saying is similar to the saying my mom had – “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything!” True for business as well as relationships!

  12. Maureen Hunter says:

    Great post Yvonne. I especialy liked
    8.Write it, type it, have this question on your computer, “Is What I’m Doing Bringing Me Closer To My Goals?”
    It is so easy for me to get distracted and spend time on things that are not helping me achieve my goals, this will be a great prompt to keep me focused.
    Thanks for shring

  13. Lynn Brown says:

    Love Toby Keith and love your analogy Yvonne! A business plan is necessary but also should be flexible for change. As you say, online business is a little less defined than offline (brick and mortar) and that is because you can literally start an online business with no skin in the game.

    Thank you for sharing tips and advice, all of which should be a part of growing your online business. Good info here that I will be happy to share with my fans, followers and clients!

  14. No, Roy, nothing in comparison. Those are from a much higher Source! 🙂 But I agree that it’s important to measure where you are in relation to where you want to be. One could be very busy walking to the point of exhaustion and walking in circles will do that; still no closer to the goal.

  15. Thanks for stopping by, Tamara, and sharing in the discussion. Love your mother’s saying. We have a lot to catch up on including our mutual love for country music.

  16. I appreciate your taking the time to read and leave your comments, Maureen. I believe distractions is the single most challenging thing we as entrepreneurs have to battle and being able to shut them off and maintain our focus will definitely keep us moving forward.

  17. Thank you, Lynn. Your support is highly appreciated.

  18. slumdunk0506 says:

    Thank you for sharing tips and advice, all of which should be a part of growing your online business. Good info here that I will be happy to share with my fans, followers and clients!

  19. Thanks for visiting and leaving your comments. I appreciate the share 🙂


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