What’s Wrong With This Picture…

It’s such a sad statistic…And I’m not sure what the exact numbers are, but from all accounts, I can say that in my 14 years of being in business, only a handful have lasted more than 2 or 3 years.

The fact is, 99% of the people that start this business…Will give up in less than a year and even fewer will make it past 2 years. Yes, that means for every 100 people reading this article only about 1 of you will still be reading Hit Exchange News in a year from now. Scary.

Why is that? What makes this business so powerful to get started in, but such a challenge to keep going. I’m going to offer a few observations and maybe they can help you stick with it while most will give up.

First of all, a lot of people expect online income to magically solve their offline problems. This just doesn’t happen overnight. Heck I started in 1998 roughly and didn’t make a ‘real living’ until about 2005. That’s almost 7 years of a failed relationship, living on my friends couches, sleeping in subway systems to keep warm and working a business from 24 hour internet cafes. They sure don’t tell you that in the ad copy of the latest greatest opportunity do they?

Fact is, you cannot expect this to replace your offline income overnight. It takes time. It takes failure. It takes going in debt. But those that stick with it, seem to do ok.

Next, the unreal expectations that most of these programs bombard you with. Things like retire in 30 days. Make X amount in a month. It’s all designed for one thing, to get your money. No one focused on the ever green products because that’s not ‘sexy’. It’s not cool to tell someone, it’s going to take you a year or more of busting your butt to make money online. It’s a lot easier to say, pay me 47 bucks now and in 30 days you will be a gazillionaire.

And finally, I just think people don’t want it bad enough. They say they do. They claim they do. But rarely do they stick with it. This business requires daily effort every single day for years. Not a huge bump when you first start. The thing is you need to be just as motivated when you have gone 30 days without a sale and referral just like you were when you got a new referral or sale every day for a week.

Say no to the roller coaster, say yes to the slow and steady approach to business.

Don’t be the statistic. But don’t have unreal expectations either. Look at the people who are making a living online and ask them how long they have been at it, I guarantee you it will not be ’30 days ago I started’….

Jon Olson

I'm Jon Olson, I've been publishing Hit Exchange News since 2003 and been involved in the traffic exchange industry since...Well, the beginning :) I'd love to network with you as you browse the pulse of the traffic exchange industry! I am also a HUGE fan of reading your comments. I will respond to every single one! Poke around and enjoy the 'News! And thanks for hanging out...

28 thoughts to “What’s Wrong With This Picture…”

  1. Preach it, Brother Jon!

    This post should be required reading for anyone before spending any money on any “biz op” or “make money” product. You need realistic expectations and a PLAN. (A proven plan.)

    And that plan does not need to be complicated. It’s simple, really, when you THINK about it.

    There are no big red magic buttons. Well, none that are going to make you rich over night. Anyone looking for a magic button is going to be sorely disappointed.

    IMHO, unrealistic expectations is the reason the vast majority are here today and gone tomorrow.

    ~ Scott

    PS. Man, you need a link in this blog post to one of your web pages that offers a solution to this problem.


    I see it!

    The Pizza Plan!!!

    Anyone reading this should scroll down and see the Pizza Plan link at the bottom of the blog. Get it. Read it. Do it.

  2. Hi Jon,

    Another jewel. Unfortunately, many marketers do try to make a quick buck by playing to the “Get Rick Quick” crowd. It is simply taking advantage of them.

    It does take years of work and learning to earn a solid income online. How long depends on a lot of factors including how much you have to invest – in both time and money.

    To be constantly learning and getting better is the key. Don’t be afraid to fail. At least half the things I have tried online could have been classified as failures, from small things to larger projects. However, I have learned important lessons from each one that have made the 50% of projects that worked just do that much better.

    Take action everyday, learn from everything and don’t give up. That is the “secret” of success.



  3. Jon,

    Your message could not be more timely. Today is one of those days I wonder why I keep doing it? So many things go wrong, i.e. AlertPay not working, funds are tight. I don’t seem to be making progress. Thanks for the wake up call and the call the arms!


    PS really appreciated the CTP survey!

  4. One of my favorite quotes
    โ€œPatience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.โ€ — John Adams

  5. Hey Jon, great post. I have been around since 2006 and I still love the TE’s and IM process. Still not making alot of money but enough to make it worth my while. As a physiotherapist and personal trainer in my offline life 99% of the ppl I deal with are lazy there as well so no surprise with your stats sadly ๐Ÿ™ I think the biggest problem is most ppl have no initiative or ability to think for themselves to be creative. Doing there own thing to SOLAST is just to hard or to much work for them sadly. Happens in the offline world that way also. Not sure there is much we can do except keep preaching the message and talking to as mamy ppl as we can.

    Martin Webster

  6. Hi Jon,

    I hear you. I started a little over a year ago, and there are lots of days when I DON’T feel like I’m moving forward (and +1).

    If I were full-time online, then things might happen faster. If I were better at creating ads, things might happen faster. If I were good with my autoresponder, things might happen faster. If I could go to live training seminars, things might happen faster. There’s a whole lot of “might’s” in there.

    However, I choose not to dwell on the “might’s”–it only makes me crazy and is de-motivating. Instead, I focus on being persistent. I do something every day to move my business forward (and yes, I do have a calendar where I mark off the days when I do something to build my business & a whiteboard to keep track of goals and ideas). It might take me a long time to get where I’m going, but I will get there.

    I am in this for the long haul, and I expect that it will take time for me to get good. I am willing to keep failing until I figure it out.

    Thanks for telling it like it is. I find it encouraging to know that my experience is common but not fatal.

    Best Regards,

    Karen Kuty (klkuty)

  7. Hi Jon,

    Yes, people should take the long-term approach to working online. At first, the results may be few and far between, but then, if you keep at it, it starts picking up speed and it is so much fun to see, and satisfying! Don’t give up, people! Keep building your brand!


  8. Hello,
    I agree for the most part but not so much on the “I just think people donโ€™t want it bad enough”. For some reason people can not stop jumping into unrealistic opportunities promising the sun and moon. It is like a magnetic field so powerful almost impossible to pull away.

    I wonder how many take the time to calculate how much went out vs how much comes in. Surely, one would think they would be astounded over the percentages….and not towards profitable.
    Yet time and time again the latest and greatest SIMPLE, NO SPONSORING,etc opportunities attract by the droves.

    I find it difficult to understand why anyone continually puts themselves in such a position. Honestly, mind boggles me how anyone never questions the “make millions without lifting a finger” come now, really??? Where is the owner getting the money to pay each one and profit themselves too.

    Everyone at one time fell into one of this so called Million Dollar program. But not everyone continues punishing themselves too. Seriously feel teaching is necessary to help the innocent clearly recognize programs to avoid. Not everyone wants to ruin their on-line reputation. Just need guidance and remainder, well, you get what you deserve.

  9. Hi Jon.

    Thanks for this post. I feel everyone who even thinks of starting their own business, should be required to read this.

    Ron and I too have been online for a long time, since 1997, but not really started seriously in Online business until 2005.
    We sure have been thru lots of trial error. We could write a book on it LOL.
    We are finally reaping the benefits from our long and sometimes painful road to this.
    We love this business and are here to stay.

    Thanks for all you do for everyone, who is willing to listen and hear what you are telling them.

    Click Track Profit is so necessary for anyone who is serious about earning real money in the long run with their evergreen products. Slow and steady is the motto here.


  10. Hmmm! My opinion is that most people doing this when they start, don’t have the right mindset. It is a business. Do I need to say more. So many people surf with the wrong mentality and quite frankly are unwilling to learn the right way of setting things up. For instance having an auto-responder is necessary but because it’s going to cost someone 18-19 dollars a month they won’t bother. There is no understanding there as to why they should have this tool. If your going to be in business it is your job to learn as much about it and the whys of it also. Investing in your Brand is the best thing that one can do for themselves. It’s that freebie mentality. Well everyone with a brain knows that you can’t make money the free way. In Business Money is exchanged period.

    With all the education out there now more than there was 3 years ago when I started there is no excuse as to learning and investing smartly in yourself. With that attitude everyone would make money. Unfortunately that’s not the case!

  11. You guys rock, thank you all so much for the awesome comments!

    Robert – I completely agree man. Offline businesses can run people tens of thousands into debt before they even start but for someone online to spend 20 bucks on an autoresponder is a battle. Weird.

    Monika – that’s a great idea you know, a book about the pitfalls of business. You could be onto something, making a course or product that shows people what to avoid and how to get thru the rough times.

    Elzbieta – Sadly people sometimes prey on the folks that do believe in the million dollar dream without lifting a finger. It’s so sad =(

    Lucie – I love it! Yup, personal branding and that approach works so well!

    Karen – Awesome comment. The might’s have beens can ruin you. That is so true. Never worry about what could have been. Keep striving for what will be.

    Martin – Funny you mention that. I was a lazy fat guy for a decade. Blamed everyone but myself for everything wrong in my life. Amazing what happens when you kick your own ass huh =)

    Kevin – Love the quote man, thanks!

  12. Shelayne – Yup, I feel your pain for sure. I went so many days without making a sale or referral, I almost gave up years ago…Many times.

    Laurence – Love it man, keep going brother!!!

    Matthew – Very cool man, I love this way of thinking. Fail early and fail often…Think it’s Robert Kiyosaki who pounded that in my head =)

    Scott – Thanks man, love the comments sir!!!

  13. “It takes time. It takes failure. It takes going in debt.”

    Great stuff. Unfortunately that’s exactly the opposite of what people want to hear.

    If this business were that easy we would all be rich by now.

  14. โ€œIt takes time. It takes failure.”

    Very true. I’ve been doing this since about 1999, starting with PTR and PTC programs and then finding traffic exchanges. I made a lot of mistakes along the way, but learned a lot too. Now things are ticking over nicely and my business is growing steadily.

    If it was easy as some of the ‘slot machine marketers’ like to make out I’d be retired by now and living in the Cayman Islands or somewhere like that ๐Ÿ˜‰


  15. Hi Jon,
    I’m on your list, and today’s email brought me here. Love the predictive stats! (Something never talked about in all the hypey products.)

    I love how you say that people think that coming online will somehow solve their offline problems. I think it was Robert Kyiosaki who said “money will not solve money problems.”

    I’ve been at this for about 10 years now, though only I only got semi serious around 06, and fully dedicated to it in 09.

    I had owned a brick and mortar, so the ‘business’ and the marketing came easy to me. It was the tech and the ‘jargon’, I struggled with.

    There’s a huge gap in the availability of ‘fundamentals.’ Unfortunately, no one wants to teach them because no one wants to buy them.

  16. Hi Jon

    I echo all of the previous comments, and it’s worth noting that the people who leave comments are all people who’ve been through the process.

    Determination, desire, and passion is what is required.

    I’ll leave you with this thought.

    Building a business is like getting a six pack. We can all read the books and start doing the workouts, loose a couple of inches around the waist and then because we’ve had a good result we revert back to old habits, and the weight comes back.

    To be successful you have to think successful every day and take action everyday to keep on achieving the results.


  17. Great post, Jon. I’ve “toyed” with online businesses over the years, and have a lot less money to show for it than when I started. It really wasn’t until I started using “The Pizza Plan” and got involved with CTP that I finally learned the HOW of having my own online business. Too often people become disillusioned and eventually quit all together when they realize legitimate businesses required effort, time and persistence. Thanks for another awesome sauce post!


  18. Nothing in life is ever easy. The real problem most people have is they do not want to work. They don’t want to invest time and effort in order to make money. They try one program and when it fails they leave. I can’t tell you how many programs I failed with but instead of quitting it made me want to work harder. I refused to fail. I made money here and there but not enough to support the lifestyle I wanted. I tried many things, failed with many and succeeded with a few.

    Wake up early and go to bed late. Build a large list. Get to know the right people. Listen to those that have become successful but don’t preach to you that you will get rich with little or no effort. Find the right programs to promote. Choose your roll models carefully. Don’t believe any program that tells you that you will get rich. Don’t believe anyone that tells you that you will never make it. If you invest tons of hours, tons of research, your own money and make a business plan and stick to it and have the desire to succeed you will. But it will take time, energy and many failures but if you stick with it you will be rewarded in the end.

  19. Great Post… Unfortunately those words don’t sell opportunity, so that is why we don’t see them in advertising… lol

    I have been online a very long time…it takes time and persistence and a very strong desire to make it happen.

    Use common sense and find honest people that have done it before you. It takes a network to build a business… no one does it alone.

  20. Hi Jon,

    Yes that is why I mentioned it because you have taken some very positive and public steps to correct your health issues. A brave move indeed ๐Ÿ™‚ And I am sure you are noticing the difference. Already you are much less angry with the world here and in the other places you frequent online ๐Ÿ˜€


  21. Great post Jon, comments too
    Trouble is some website owners (and quite a few affiliate too) are only there to snag newbies willing to join and pay upfront for promises they will never earn!
    A vicious circle that will never be broken. These ads are all over the internet from search engines to blogs & all in between.
    Not sure how this could be solved. Any ideas?

  22. Jon glad you wrote about this. It will help others if they read it and think about what you have said here. I am going to send this to my small list with my CTP link at the bottom. Don’t worry I will have your link at the top and you as author. I don’t like to plagiarize or copy others work at put credit to me for it.

    Sorry I missed yesterday TElive. My sister came over to do laundry and I had a bad earache. So I did some catching up with her and rested.

    See you today at TElive.

    Barb ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. This is a great post, Sadly the problem is a bad one, and then some of them 99% run around saying ahhh traffic exchanges do not work etc etc.

    It is also not a coincidence that a massive % remain free members and the ones that upgrade are the ones that go on to make a good business.

    I may be wrong but I cant actually recall anyone who has made a online business that I know of who didn’t upgrade at exchanges.

    We all upgraded etc back in the day, Maybe I am wrong but I cant think of anyone that is successful and didn’t.

    That is why the Pizza Plan is still a favourite of mine, its called investing in your future, invest in your business.

    Kind of makes me think of all the sites coming online with really bad designs as well, If you dont invest and make things look good, how are people supposed to trust the site.

    One pet hate of mine, is a basic simple design that says cheap site design at the bottom mmm You want me to spend $100 in your site for a big upgrade yet you didn’t spend more than $50 on your design mmm

    Invest people, really want to be a success, get the best from the start and stick with things,

    If something works on a small scale then make the scale bigger dont give up and walk away, someone will come a long after you and make it work and you will kick yourself (Or maybe you wont because you will go back to the JOB and never look at the online business idea again)

    Top point Jon, Dont be one of the 99% people be the number 1%

  24. Hey Jon,

    These are the kind of things you come to realize when you have to write copy for the first time (well, at least it happened to me).

    Saying that this is a game of busting your ass off everyday, not working from 9 to 5, but from when you wake up until you go to bed and many, many sleepless nights.

    Plus many other wonders about the learning curve, then you finish writing your copy and then show it to someone and they would say “SHIT NOT THANKS!” LOL

    I think that’s the reason why so much red button crap works with the newcomers and people who are desperate to make some money online.

    Can’t blame them, I fell for a few myself.


  25. You got it absolutely right Jon. Slow and steady is the way to grow an online biz for most of us.

    Unless you have deep pockets to outsource everything or already possess many of the necessary skills for this biz, you really should take it slow and steady.

    It becomes less like work once you find your niche and figure out what works best for you.

    Thanks for the post Jon – it will be an eye opener for a lot of folks still on the fence.

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