Starting an Online Business? Feeling Overwhelmed? Be Careful Who You Listen To!

by Jayne Kopp on January 15, 2012

start an online business, confused, internet puzzle

If there’s one suggestion I would offer to Newbie’s starting  an online business it would be: “Be careful who you listen to”… or at least  “choose carefully” when the time is right.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t educate yourself and learn from a few people.  What I am saying is don’t  spend all your time reading everything you can get your hands on… at least not  for an extended period of time because to tell you the truth…you’ll get “nowhere”… fast!

My suggestion would be to learn a few key tasks to start with and focus on one thing at a time.  Don’t  for Heaven’s sake get into the state of analysis paralysis coupled by  overwhelm.

I meet with a mastermind group every so often and the single  most common challenge faced by many… (from beginners to even some experienced individuals)  is sheer overwhelm.

As we all know these days, there’s an abundance of free  information provided by savvy online marketers keeping us informed about new  products, tips, tricks, and advice.
There’s also an over abundance of information intended to  keep up to date with SEO Strategies, time  savers, social media strategies, blog performance information….the list goes  on. :-|

While I realize much of this information is indeed very  useful and is offered generously, it can be a heck of a turn off for someone who is just getting started.  Actually… it can be overwhelming for many of us who have been at this game for a few  years as well!

In my humble opinion, regardless of where you are in your  venture I wholeheartedly feel that getting started and focusing on mastering  one task at a time will get your further ahead than being ‘nosey’ (so to speak)  and trying to keep up with every single change, every single piece of advice  and every single “Jones” you meet!

You see things change just about every single day.  With the way technology is these days you  would have to spend 24 hours per day to keep up with every improvement,  advancement and update!

Admittedly,  there are people who do manage to keep up somewhat… and do it well…the difference is that they are experienced, they have their  business rolling full tilt and ‘this’ IS their business.  In other words… keeping up to  date on this type of information is their specialty.

The rest of us however just want to market a servicebusiness opportunity, or product.   Sometimes having an optimal blog or knowing every time Google  “farts“…won’t make or break our business!

Sometimes a new plug-in won’t help us… or a browser tweak  won’t make a scrap of difference.  New  tools promising advanced ways to get 10,000 subscribers per day certainly will  never do us a scrap of good either but they’ll sure as heck drag us away from
what we should be doing and likely never produce half of the things they  promise.

I’m not meaning to sound in the least bit disrespectful to  the legitimate folks who are “in the know” because I’ve learned a lot from many  of them over the years and really do appreciate a good handful of them at that.

The point I’m trying  to make is you have to walk before you can run and don’t need to be on the  cutting edge of everything at the start.

For us regular folk, new information flying at us every day does  nothing more than hinder our progress and can make it difficult to know what to  do first, what to do at all and is sometimes so beyond what we are ready for … or  might ever need.

Many people get so caught up in all the ‘new stuff’ and all  the latest and greatest tips that they don’t even master the basics.  At the end of the day they feel so deflated  they give up all together.

Again, being informed has its place and I’m not suggesting  you bury your head in the sand completely.   I’m just trying to impress the fact that in the beginning there are a  few basic steps to starting an online business.  The first one is “getting started” ;-)

For example:  If you  are building a website or blog, then focus on getting the infrastructure in  place and optimize it the best you can.   You can always come back and tweak it later on… but at least get that  basic item in place before trying to learn more.

Then, adopt only two or three marketing strategies until you  master them and until you get a decent flow of traffic to your site.  If you find they don’t produce the results  you desire… then consider trying something different at that point.  DON’T jump around aimlessly either, stabbing  this one a little here and the other one a little there.  Give everything you do a little time and a  fair trial period.

I would also suggest getting involved in ONLY a group or two of individuals  in order to network.  By default you  will learn a few extra tips here and there… but I certainly wouldn’t join every group you see and spend all of your time reading each and every post.  You’ll never implement everything so don’t  waste your time taking all advice for gospel unless or until you need it.

Don’t subscribe to every list you see online.  The result will be that you will literally  get bombarded with emails and information you could do without and end up collecting  more free reports than you know what to do with.  (Many you may never get to read or it might  be so beyond your abilities or requirements you will never implement them  anyway).

Starting an online business, just like any business takes  hard work, focus, consistency and common sense.   Everything starts small and grows with time.  Everything is trial and error in the  beginning until something ‘clicks’ and starts to work.

Taking the advice from each and every self proclaimed guru,  or even every guru in their own right will never move you ahead or build your  business.  If you must follow a ‘guru’ …  choose one and stick with them.

If you try to follow everyone, you’ll be spread too thin,  your focus will be smashed to smithereens, you’ll lose consistency, and you’ll  be worn out.  At the end of each day  you’ll wonder what the hell you did or where the time went and you’ll realize  you never did put your head down and get any of your own work accomplished.

What’s worse is you might even end up emptying your wallet  on cleverly marketed ‘must have magic products’ they suggest and end up with a  collection of ‘who knows what” at the end of it all.  I guarantee you’ll definitely not feel warm  and fuzzy once the initial euphoria has worn off.  You’ll feel worse when you get your Credit  Card statement!

The moral of my rant is when starting an online business:

Put your blinders on and don’t be nosey.  Instead, mind YOUR own business!  It is impossible to stay on top of each and every change that occurs in  the online marketing world and this includes the changes that Google makes  every few months.

If you absolutely feel you must scout around and learn more  and more each and every day… make sure you limit your time on this activity to  an hour or so at max.  If you don’t you will  find you spend more time reading and less time doing and that will not get you  to where you want to be.

Last but not least be Careful who you listen to!

Though there are very well educated and genuinely awesome  mentors out there, there are also those who do nothing more than regurgitate  pure hype and are not making a red cent despite their superman cape.

If you’re a “newbie” starting an online business…take heed:

**Slow and steady will always get you to where you want to be  faster than by trying to be the Jack of all Trades.  You’ll only end up being the “master of none”  and eternally chasing the magic bullet that has never existed.

**Find a mentor or a coach if you need to be steered to keep  you focused and on track and ultimately move you ahead.

**If you’re suffering from analysis paralysis and overwhelm  due to information overload, start by unsubscribing to any lists you’re
currently on that don’t provide you with immediate actionable steps or value.

**Then make a short list of the bare necessities you need to  help you conquer the stage you’re at and consistently work on this list every  day.

**Once your wheels are in motion and you’re doing the basics  WELL… take on more.  Oh… and don’t be sucked  in by fear mongering headlines that read “If you’re Not Doing This In Your Business,  You’ll Soon Be Dead!”  (These are such a  dis-service)

Truth is… You Won’t be dead!  (or even close to it.)

How do I know?

Being totally transparent here, I’ll put my cards on the  table and admit that I have been in a place of total confusion more than once  and taken in by noise and hype.  I’ll  also confess it’s done nothing but hinder my progress and that I have found out  the hard way.

The good news is however, once I shut myself off from all  the hustle and bustle and took my own advice; I experimented with some of my  own techniques and ideas and immediately started producing measurable results.
(Even without been at the cutting edge of everything new).  Hmm … Imagine that! :-)

If you’re looking to start a business online but have found  you’re caught up in information overload and you’re frozen stiff with eyes are  rolling back in your head like a slot machine, I hope my post will hit home, help  you re think and even restore hope if you lost any.

If you still need some common sense, solid assistance from  yours truly (That’d be me) feel free to contact me at any time and let’s see if  I can’t help clear your internal clutter,  get you on the straight and narrow and move  your forward to starting an online business!

 

{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

Joyce Oladipo January 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm

This is a fun post. This year i unsubcribe to all the post that’s not added value to my life and business. I also unsubscribe from a lot of RSS too.

I hired a phenomenal coach and i can wait to start implement all the things she shares with my this year. Sometimes when we are just starting out we get so overwhelmed but what been shared over the net but them we need to know why we are business and start taking action of what we’ve learnt and start experiencing some momentum. Thanks for sharing

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Steve Nicholas January 24, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Great post, Jayne! I couldn’t agree with you more about the need to focus on the basics. I know that I definitely made the mistake of subscribing to too many lists when I first joined (before I realized that 90% of the autoresponders come from the same four or five gurus, anyway) and now I end up deleting most of them because I just don’t have time to read all of them.

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Lou Barba January 21, 2012 at 9:10 am

Hi Jayne,

It seems like it’s been a while…missed ya.

When I was a little guy, I knew enough to know that if I had a product or service, I had to knock on some doors to make sales. Very basic business. The trick with marketing with a blog is to find the ways that work the best, technically and otherwise. And have fun! How else could you meet a bunch of people sitting in your recliner and watching TV?!

I was lucky enough to meet some highly competent people early on, people at the top of their field. Even though I can’t carry on an intelligent conversation with them, I found a way to contribute to the blogosphere. What more could I ask for?

Lou

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Jayne Kopp January 22, 2012 at 9:46 pm

Hi Lou, I have missed you too. I’m glad to be getting back in the swing after the holiday, etc.

You know Lou… business is basic. It does take work… but what doesn’t? There isn’t a short cut… there is nothing frilly and rosie… you just have to roll your sleeves up and get ‘er done.

Everyone has an opinion… but who cares. Get out and do your thing. Everything works if you shake your booty.

Jayne

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Srinivas Reddy January 20, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Excellent post, Jayne. There’s truly a glut of information on pretty much any subject in this information age, and blogging is no exception. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re starting out online.

I should know. I lost many nights of sleep initially. Then I came to my senses. Setting up a successful blog is like eating an elephant. How do you eat an elephant? Answer: a bite at a time. That’s what I do now and blogging for business is nothing but pleasure.

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Jayne Kopp January 22, 2012 at 9:47 pm

HI Srivivas… it’s when you hit that sweet stage of just getting on with it and doing your own thing that blogging sure does become more of a pleasure than a pain!

thanks for stopping by.

Jayne

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Warren January 20, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Hey Jayne, this is a post that needed to be written. People definitely need to remember why they are doing this and “mind there own business” in order to get ahead. The sheer volume of information out there can easily (and often does) bury them in no time flat. Better to learn a task needed to grow your business, and when you’ve got it down move onto the next skill and focus your energies on the applicable content related to that skill. Definitely a post I wish I’d read in the beginning! :)

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Jayne Kopp January 22, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Hi Warren, I think we could all do with this piece of info up front. Cripes… you become such a sponge for info in the beginning, but before you know it you’re saturated with too much info.

Best thing is to get cracking and get what you do know … done. Then once good at that… move on and get good at something else.

Thanks for stopping by

Jayne

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Jamella Biegel January 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Hi Jayne,

I couldn’t agree with this post more! I am a new blogger and found myself getting totally overwhelmed with information. So I stopped subscribing to various lists, and found myself a blogging guru. Lucky for me she has tons of information and training videos on her blog. I am trying to take baby steps and learn as I go. Wish me luck!!

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Jayne Kopp January 22, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Hi Jamella, excellent that you found someone to lead you through and you just listen to her.

Not saying its a bad thing to pick up the odd tip… but getting a solid, stable start is always the best thing to do.

Good Luck! :-) Genuinely. I think you’re doing awesome!

Jayne

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Catarina Alexon January 20, 2012 at 8:46 am

Good post Jayne. It’s important to keep it simple. If you devide your time doing too many things you will fail. Pick out a few ways that work for you and stick to it. Trying to do everything there is to do will lead to failure.

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Jayne Kopp January 22, 2012 at 9:51 pm

Thanks for the comment Catarina. Unfortunately too many people do divide their time and fail. I never think this reminder gets old.

Thanks for the comment

Jayne

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Lilach Bullock January 20, 2012 at 4:30 am

Jayne great post full of heaps of value and useful information:)

If I could add one thing which is really reiterating what you’ve said. As a newbie it’s very tempting to spend hours online looking at forums, stumbling across sales pages and getting hooked in and signing up, either buying products or their free gifts.

Then the overwhelm happens…

My best advice for any newbie is to do one thing at a time. There is so much information available (both free and paid) but you need to get into a habit of taking action. The reason why newbies buy so many products/enter their names etc is because they “butterfly” without sitting down, focused and actually reading the book/product and taking action.

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Jayne Kopp January 22, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Hi Lilach… absolutely. I’ve done it. When I started I got so overwhelmed. It wasn’t greed for knowledge… it was thirst for knowledge.

When common sense kicked in and I realized I couldn’t possibly do everything… (and neither can anyone)… I started taking action on a few easy to master tasks.

It was only then that I saw result.

Thanks so much for your awesome contribution.

Jayne

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Cathy Miller January 19, 2012 at 6:13 am

Hi Jayne-I totally agree. I often talk about baby steps. I like to say that even baby steps move you forward. Another strategy is pick one social media platform to concentrate on and expand as you can handle it.It’s better to give one focused effort rather than a half-hearted approach on several platforms.

Good post and advice, Jayne.

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Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:15 am

HI Cathy, I’m right with you on the ‘baby steps’ as well as the fact that spreading yourself too thin always means you do nothing “well”.

I always tell my clients that once you have mastered something and it becomes like habit … it starts to feel easier and you start to complete tasks effortlessly and they take less time. At that point you can integrate other platforms… or tasks into your daily routine.

I really believe that everything counts as long as it’s done well.

Lovely to meet you Cathy. I read your post last night but was cross eyed when I got back to my computer, so I’m heading back over shortly to participate in your conversation.

Thanks for the great comment.

Jayne

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Cathy Miller January 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

Lovely to meet you as well, Jayne. I have met so many wonderful people through our blogging tribe. I’m putting your blog in my feed. :-)

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Jayne Kopp January 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Thanks so much Cathy. Can’t wait to visit the tribe tomorrow. There are so many awesome people over there. One of the best tribes I participate in.

Jayne

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JosephJYoung January 19, 2012 at 6:04 am

Hi Jayne,
Wonderful post full of a lot of fantastic advice. FOCUS and go step by step couldn’t be more true. Information overload can happen in a matter of minutes, been there and done that and am trying to keep away from doing it again! A mentor is very huge because they make you focus and take baby steps to success.

A perfect Thursday read!

Bless,
Joe

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Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:18 am

Hollo Joseph. Lovely to see you. I know I’ve told you this before but my sons name is Joseph. I’ve always loved the name… when I think about it, I used to read a book when I was very young and it was about a little boy named Joe. I often wonder if subconsciously I may have chosen the name for my son due to loving that book so much! :-)

Back to the post, thanks so much for your kind words. YOu know I think we all can be easily tempted to look for ‘other ways’ or ‘better’ ways to get to our final goal. At the end of the day however, we all get hit by the realization that more is not better and we realize we do nothing as well as we should… if anything at all!

Thanks Joe for stopping by. It’s lovely to see you back in action.

Jayne

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Dan January 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm

This is great advice. Not only focusing on one task per week but also I think especially in the internet marketing space focus on 1 or 2 people to follow at a time especially at first. Start with subscribing to a few emails or following a them on Twitter and reading their ebooks, once you have picked up their message then look to learn more from other people. It is really overwhelming following everyone who claims they have ‘the secret’ to this and that.

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Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:20 am

Hello Dan… yes you are so right. When I first started four years back, I followed everyone and their dog! It was absolutely overwhelming and I know I wasted valuable time trying to do everything at once.

You suggestions above are bang on. More is not always better!

Lovely to see you Dan.

Jayne

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Radu January 18, 2012 at 11:19 am

Hey Jayne,
This was a great read. Very useful tips here to everyone..it’s easy to get caught up by circumstances, and fake appearence..building your business or living your life is a process..this should eliminate the magic bullet idea. Having some simple rituals that you implement every day no matter what is far more effective.

That’s right, there are trillions of tons of information online and if you’re not aware of them, your beliefs and results will be built upon them.
For example, the idea of putting hard word and sweat to make it happen..it does take work, agree, but why it has to be a struggle..when you pick a strategy you love and find meaning in your work your perception will be different.
Amen for the idea of finding a coach..The top performers in any field had one . I’ll consider this one :)

Thanks for sharing your tips Jayne. Keep doing what you’re doing now :)

All the best,
Radu

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Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:24 am

Hi RAdu, thanks for the great comment.

You know, it took me a while to get a coach. I was approached by a fellow who is very well known online. Some might call him a guru… although he’s not really techy… he just has business down pat… mind you it was after years and years of struggle that he finally cracked it.

He told me that HE also has a coach. I never really considered the benefits. The thing is though you do need a coach who will PUSH you outside your comfort zone. That is something to keep in mind.

I am very strict with my clients and they DO have to report to me with their accomplishments and IF they don’t accomplish it, I need to know why. I then send them out to do whatever it was they didn’t complete… then… only AFTER they have do I move them on to the next.

I have never had a client who hasn’t thanked me for that and it’s been a good couple of years since I started coaching.

Just keep that in mind.

Jayne

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Martha Giffen January 18, 2012 at 9:01 am

Having a mentor or coach in the beginning is the best advice for newbies. You can go crazy trying to figure out what to do because everybody has their own version about what really works! My online mentor has been Pat O’Bryan since 2008 and his mentor is Dr. Joe Vitale. I like their simple, easy-to-understand approach to marketing and learning their way (and not being distracted) has served me well.

Quit reading all the hype, get one coach that is wildly successful and follow what they do. The rest is gravy :)

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Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:27 am

HI Martha… how right you are. I do believe that when choosing a coach you have to find one who is successful and has the wounds to show it.

I have a coach who is ‘wildly’ successful and even though he costs a pretty penny… it has been worth every cent.

Are there things I still need improvement on? Of course!! BUT having him to model myself after gets easier all the time, not to mention the rewards improve proportionately.

I love Pat O Bryan and Joe Vitale… you have a little bit of everything in that package! :-)

Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

Jayne

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John January 17, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Being patient and starting with one thing at a time is definitely the key, you are right. It is hard though as everyone wants to grow from 0 to 60 in a week or two haha.

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Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:28 am

HI JOhn… how right you are that everyone wants success NOW! It is a human quirk I suppose but at some point common sense has to prevail.

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

Jayne

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Kristen January 17, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Great tips for anyone starting out. I think that it is easy to get caught up in the hype of all that is new in any profession. For a field with a massive amount of change and innovation in a short amount of time, new things come up all the time. I guess I am lucky that I just don’t have enough time to really read everything that is out there!

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Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:30 am

HI Kristen, thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

It is very easy to get caught up in the hype and false promises and to be honest I don’t think anyone has the time to read everything. Sadly most people realize it when they look at what they themselves have accomplished. Usually its a great big NOTHING!

This industry requires focus, determination and self control. Once you get the self control mastered, (by not being dragged in other directions), and focus on your priorities you start to see results.

Thanks Kristen for stopping by. Can’t wait to head over to yours shortly.

Jayne

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Ilka Flood January 17, 2012 at 11:57 am

Hi Jayne,

Fabulous advice! “A confused mind does nothing.” As someone just starting out online one can get overwhelmed pretty fast. It’s best to use the how-do-you-eat-an-elephant approach and chew one bite at a time.

Learn…implement, learn…implement, seemed to have worked best for me.

Thanks for sharing your great advice!

Ilka

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Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:32 am

Hello Ilka! boy you got that right. A confused mind is your worst enemy if you want to get anything done at all. I agree with the elephant approach hands down!

You system is the only way to go and you are living proof!

Thanks for the comment Ilka. See you soon.

Jayne

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Adrienne January 16, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Boy, are you ever right Jayne. That’s exactly what I did when I first started, I read everything and I was pulled in so many different directions it’s not even funny. Boy was I ever confused.

I was told to subscribe to all the lists because these would be the gurus I should learn from. All I ended up doing was reading all day and at the end of the day I was even more confused then when I started. It’s wasn’t like it was a step by step plan of creating a business. It was bits and pieces of information that I didn’t know how to put together.

Learning one skill only is definitely the best thing you can do for yourself and ask for help if you need it. Get a mentor or coach is fabulous advice, all the things I didn’t do which is why it took me so much longer.

Great advice Jayne and well worth the rant. :-)

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Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:34 am

HI Adrienne, I know exactly what you are talking about… following everyone and being more confused and ‘frustrated’ too at the end of the day.

Time is valuable and we need to move swiftly and remain focused. mastering things one by one is the only way to go.

It took me a while to get a coach but once I did…(and thankfully is is fairly strict) the results improved. I’m glad I realized the need to be kept in line.

Thank you for commenting Adrienne.

Jayne

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Sanjeev January 15, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Slow and steady is really a good way to start, but I can understand how hard it will be for a newbie to do that. If you see around and see many people rushing things going far from you, you try to put more energy in it. Once you stop looking around and start setting goals for yourself it becomes easy.

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Jayne Kopp January 19, 2012 at 10:36 am

HI Sanjeev, slow and steady always wins the race. We learned that in school with the book the ‘hare and the tortoise’. Not sure if you ever read it.

funnily, it can take years to start listening to the message in that tale!

Putting your head down and focusing on your own things is the only way to make things happen instead of being nosey and watching everyone else!

Thanks for the comment Sanjeev!

Jayne

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Sanjeev January 22, 2012 at 1:47 am

Yes, I have read it in the school and I think most people in the world do that. Still its hard to see most people do not follow that advise..

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