Billionaire Richard Branson, the entrepreneur behind the Virgin brand, is one of the world's most successful and adventurous businessmen. Not being satisfied to run several highly profitable businesses Branson also engages in occasional feats of courage, or stupidity, depending on your stand point!
I read his autobiography recently and discovered something that perfectly sums up what it takes to achieve success on the Internet.
To set the scene - Branson had called a meeting a few hours before he and his co-pilot were due to embark on an attempt to fly from Japan to America across the Pacific non-stop in a hot air balloon. The attempt would be fraught with countless difficulties, challenges and life-threatening risks. One last pre-take off meeting was held to talk through all eventualities of the flight and to discuss what Branson and his co-pilot needed to do to survive in each case.
After an intense 3-hours' briefing, covering everything that could go wrong, on this, one of the most complex and risky aviation record attempts in history, Richard Branson came away having written just eight words into his notepad;
"Keep the fire burning - that's all that matters."
How incredible is that? He's faced with almost certain death and has just been briefed on the technical details of which levers to pull when, which buttons to press to escape crashing and which actions to take to prevent the capsule from decompressing and yet all he writes down is "Keep the fire burning".
Why? Because that's all that matters! As long as he keeps the fire burning the balloon will stay in the air and he will eventually make it across the Pacific safely, nothing else matters.
So what has this got to do with Internet marketing? Let me explain..
** Do You Have The Energy To Keep The Fire Burning?
Being honest now - how many times have you stared at your website and thought;
"What ONE thing can I do to get more sales?"
You've probably thought this a few times right? Well, you're not alone. Unfortunately though, too many people make the mistake of thinking that;
- The one thing is getting a high search engine rankings
- The one thing is getting more subscribers
- The one thing is getting more traffic
- The one thing is getting accepted by Yahoo!
- The one thing is getting an article published
But the point is that none of these are the right 'one thing'! The ONLY right 'one thing' is to do what Branson knew - keep the fire burning. Keep going and never give up.
We all know how easy it is to do those tedious or those time-consuming tasks when the sales are flooding in, right? But what about when nothing is happening on your website? What about when the sales dry up and your phone stops ringing, what then? What motivates you then?
Well then - you need to keep the fire burning.
Keep on doing what it is you need to do - as ultimately, this is what will make your website a success and separate it from many around you that become failures. The people that achieve REAL success on the Internet have just done one thing. The same thing that Branson did.
** "I've Tried Everything!"
"But Michael, nothing is working - I have tried everything and still I'm not making any sales!"
Really? You've really tried EVERYTHING? How many things have you really tried? If you ever find yourself whinging like this force yourself to actually count how many different things you have tried. I bet you'll find it's often less than 20 and will always be a long way short of everything!
** So What Happened To Branson and His Balloon?
His attempt to cross the Pacific was abandoned even before take-off as sub-zero temperatures caused some of the balloon's outer layers to disintegrate. But did he give up? What do you think?
He tried again two years' later and despite freak weather storms and his capsule catching fire he flew 6,761 miles across the Pacific and landed safely in Canada having achieved the longest-ever balloon flight in history. He had kept the (right) fire burning..
Michael Cheney is Author of The Website Marketing BibleTM. Take the Free 7-Part Course "Internet Marketing Made Easy" and get your free sampler of 'The Bible' here: http://www.websitemarketingbible.com/marketing/