As part of the 1000% Marketing Club I recently interviewed Mark Holowaychuk, founder and CEO of www.Vitamart.ca. Mark has sold literally millions in supplements and vitamins through his website. He’s a behemoth on the Canadian online supplement scene.
At one point of the interview he talked about some of the huge misconceptions of internet marketing and ecommerce in general. Everyone seems to have this idea the internet is some magic ATM in the sky, spewing out money to anyone who buys a domain name and sets up a website.
NOT THE CASE. Keep reading this blog post by scrolling down, or listen to the related podcast episode here…
Mark described an incident from the earliest months of his business where a crook from Singapore ripped off Mark for $12K worth of supplements. Mark’s greed gland got pumping, he sent the product overseas, and BLAM-O…. fraud. Had it not been for a fluke moment when a port official spotted the shipment, Mark would have lost the product, the money, and likely his entire business.
Sure doesn’t sound like a story from the ATM in the sky now does it? Many “gurus” will have you believe there’s sunshine and unicorns awaiting you if you dive into internet marketing. Rarely do you hear about the realities of running a REAL business.
Time Under Tension
Mark went on to explain crucial parts of his evolution over the last 8 years. Thinking back on his journey, I reflect on my own path. There’s no question entrepreneurship is a multi-year Marathon, not a Sprint.
This reminds me of a athletic principle called “Time Under Tension”. After growing up as an athlete and ultimately playing college volleyball on athletic scholarship, I finally graduated with a BPE degree from the University of Alberta (Go Bears!).
In my exercise physiology class I learned “Time Under Tension” is simply the time (in seconds, minutes, weeks, months or years) an athlete is lifting, pushing, or pulling weights.
Not All Reps Are Created Equal
Often we think of training in “sets” and “reps”, but that’s far from the whole story. A rep is not a rep is not a rep. If you take 5 seconds to complete a slow rep, you’re expending (roughly) 5x more energy than a quick, 1-second, fast rep.
The reality of “Time Under Tension” smacks me in the face from time to time at my current gym, Crossfit Lazarus. I’ve been going for over 2 years now, and every now and then a new person shows up who instantly kills every workout and finishes in the top-3 of every class. It seems so unfair – they’re the new guy!
But then I realize: “Time under Tension”. I get talking to the new guy, and – without exception – it turns out they’ve got a loooong history of high-intensity training, either working out in a high-intensity program or playing hockey or some other sport. Long before they’ve take their first step in a Crossfit class they’ve spent YEARS “Under Tension”, so it makes sense they’re superheros.
Like 99.9999% of rockstars and actors, they’re “an overnight success, 7 years in the making.”
Marketing is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Apply “Time Under Tension” in your own journey as a marketer: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Be humble and dedicate yourself to the long haul. Take every possible opportunity to read, watch, practice, talk about, consult, get coached, and experience direct response marketing. The more “Time Under Tension” you can get under your belt, the more profitable you’ll be… guaranteed.
The Wrong Race to Run
There’s one situation where “Time Under Tension” will fail you as an up-and-coming marketer.
That is: if you’re running the wrong race!
In this case, you’re headed for frustration and disappointment if you’re studying the “ATM in the sky” gurus. Many of those guys are so crooked they’d steal the pennies off a dead man’s eyes.
How do you know if your guru is good? If they’re ultimately teaching fundamentals – marketing principles that have been true since two cavemen fought over one cavewoman – you’ve probably got a solid coach to learn from. And ask around; find a markter who has legitimately made some real cash and ask them who they studied. You’ll find some of the same names popping up again and again.
Onwards and Upwards,