Take 100% Responsibility for Your Actions [Internet Success Series #1]

I’m a huge fan of Jack Canfield’s book:

The Success Principles: How to Get from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be

I think this is the best success guide ever because it’s full of actionable content.

You’ve probably heard me mention Jack’s book in a number of blog posts.  But I think you can get a lot more by applying these lessons to an online business.

That’s why I’ve decided to start a brand new series – One that will take what I’ve learned from Jack’s book and apply it to achieving success on the Internet.

I call it the Internet Success Series.

Each update to this blog series will cover a specific principle from Jack’s book and how it can be applied to your Internet business or blog.  I know these lessons work because this is the same path I followed back in 2006 when I was struggling my own business.

I’m pretty psyched about this series because it coincides with the beginning of a new year.  Hopefully by the end of 2012, this will be an in-depth collection of blog posts that can help any struggling Internet entrepreneur.

With further ado, let’s get started with the first lesson

Take 100% Responsibility for your Actions

“Peak performance begins with your taking complete responsibility for your life and everything that happens to you.”  – Brian Tracy

The tagline for this website is Internet Lifestyle without the Bullshit.

So let’s not bullshit each other…

The reason most people fail online is because they’re lazy.  They’re not willing to work hard and they’re not willing to make sacrifices.  Instead they get hooked by promises of “instant Internet success.”

Part of the problem is a sense of entitlement.  We’ve been programmed to believe that someone else is responsible for filling our lives with happiness, career success, and meaningful relationships.

These feelings of entitlement often carry over into an online business.  Many “newbies” have the mindset that they should be given success.  And it doesn’t help that many blood-sucking Internet marketing gurus make promises that it’s easy to make money online.

Success on the Internet starts by taking 100% of your life.  It’s up to YOU to pick the right business model.  It’s up to YOU to generate traffic.  It’s up to YOU to convert this traffic into sales.  And it’s up to YOU respond to changes in technology.

It’s Time to Stop Blaming Others

Take a minute and watch this video that Jack put together:

The best thing you can learn from this clip is to stop making excuses and blaming others for your failures.  This means eliminating the victim mentality whenever something doesn’t go right in your business.

As an example, imagine you’re someone who lost ALL your income because of the recent Google Panda update.  The common response is to piss and moan about how Google is being unfair to the “little guy.”  The reality is:

  • YOU are the one who failed to understand what Google wants
  • YOU are the one who didn’t provide quality content
  • YOU are the one who *might* have used suspect linking tactics
  • YOU are the one who didn’t diversify your web traffic
  • YOU are the one who didn’t diversify your Internet income

I’m all about pushing the envelope with certain websites.  But I also accept the consequences.  Whenever something goes wrong  with my online business, I take responsibility for it and move on.

A Simple Formula…

In his book, Jack recommends a simple formula for living your life:

E + R = O

(Event + Response = Outcome)

Basically there are two choices you can make when faced with any situation:

  1. You can blame the event (E) for your lack of results (O):  In psychology terms this is called an external locus of control.  This is where you allow the so-called “limiting factors” to prevent you from success.  In a way, you’re saying this event is the only reason you’re not achieving success.
  2. You can instead change your responses (R) to the events (E) – the way things are – until you get the outcomes (O) you want:  This is called an internal locus of control where you control your thoughts, visualization, and actions based on what YOU want in life.  In other words, you take 100% responsibility for everything in your business.

If you really think about it, everything that’s happened to you online is the result of how YOU responded.  Here are two scenarios that illustrate what I mean:

Scenario #1

Event: You buy a product that follows a legitimate way to make money online.  But it requires a lot of hard work upfront.

Response: You don’t take action.  Instead you buy another product that promises “instant riches in less than 24 hours.”

Outcome: You fail.  (Again)

Scenario #2

Event: You buy a product that follows a legitimate way to make money online.  But it requires a lot of hard work upfront.

Response: You bust your butt and apply what you’ve learned.  This means working at nights and on weekends; even making a number of personal sacrifices.

Outcome: You generate $1000 in passive income that comes in every month.

See how each response to the same event produces a different outcome?  That is what it means to take 100% responsibility for your Internet business.

Look for Yellow Alerts

Another concept that Jack explores is the idea of “yellow alerts.”  These are the advance warnings of impeding danger.  You get these from a number of places – Bloggers, feedback from others, changes in the market, or even an internal gut feeling.

Frankly, there are always warning signs that something bad is about to happen. 

A few examples:

  1. Google states they only rank quality sites.  One month later your site gets de-listed.
  2. Many Internet marketers use video marketing and social media to promote their sites.  Yet you wonder why article marketing is no longer working.
  3. You get a lot of complaints and refunds on your information product.  One day your passive income disappears.

Remember it’s up to YOU to look for these yellow alerts.  No one is going to tell you that something is wrong with your marketing.  Really, the only feedback you’ll get is an empty bank account.

My advice is to be proactive about any potential yellow alert.  For instance, here are some ways to ensure future success:

  • Subscribe to a few trusted Internet marketing blogs to get up-to-date information
  • Listen to feedback from readers and customers
  • Diversify everything in your business: Websites, traffic, and income models
  • Explore new technologies and ways to connect to an audience
  • Build long-term relationships that will not be impacted by a single point of failure.

I admit it can be extremely frustrating when something goes wrong with your business.  But that doesn’t mean you can make excuses and give up.  The people who really succeed online are the ones who are able to adapt and change their marketing.

How to Create YOUR Online Success

Ultimately it’s up to you to create the kind of online business you deserve.  This starts by taking 100% responsibility for everything that happens.   Pay attention to everything around you and be willing to take immediate action whenever you learn something new.

Don’t how to get started?

My advice is to ask yourself a few questions that Jack mentions in his book:

  • “How am I creating this or allowing this to happen?”
  • “What am I doing that’s working that I need to be doing more of?”
  • “What am I doing that’s not working?”
  • “What do I need to be doing less of?”
  • “What am I not doing that I need to try on to see if it works?”

You can make immediate improvements to your Internet business with these five questions.  Ask them on a weekly basis or whenever you encounter a major obstacle.  Odds are, you can find an immediate solution with a little bit of thinking.

Well…that’s it for the first principle.  I hope to update this on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.  So stay tuned for more Internet success advice!

Take Action. Get Results.

36 thoughts on “Take 100% Responsibility for Your Actions [Internet Success Series #1]”

  1. Great timing with the article Steve

    Sometimes it’s just good to read in black and white someone telling you what you know in your heart.

    The buck stops here.

    • You are right Ally most people know this in their heart.

      The problem is that most people STILL do not take action.

      Thanks for dropping by and glad to see you are one of the action takers.

      • Steve

        Related topic…I read somewhere in an interview (I forget who it was though – but it was someone like Dan Kennedy) a ‘goo-roo’ was asked the question what percentage of people who were taking his ‘big ticket’ course actually went through the course and took significant action. (This was a 5K course).

        His answer was that he wasn’t sure, but he thought ‘less than 5%.’

        The interviewer pushed him further – how much less than 5%.

        His best answer: considerably less than 5%.

        Now this is on a 5K course – you’d think people who’d put down that amount of money would be motivated to take action.

        And it all comes back to taking responsibility for your actions. When you start fully taking responsibility for your actions, not only do you start achieving more, but you also experience significant personal growth as an individual.

        IMO few people have got the courage to look at themselves in the mirror and own their actions….it’s much easier to say stuff like: My online business is not working because of the recession….or this stupid ‘goo-roo’ BS doesn’t work….or stuff like that.

        Though I’m not a particular fan of Jack Canfield’s – I totally agree with this. It’s incredibly powerful if you actually do it.


        • Paul,

          I have heard similar figures. Most people like the concept of having done the work but don’t want to really put the effort in. Just like many people want to “have written” things but don’t actually want to do the writing.

          It is sad though that people who would spend massive amounts of money on a course wouldn’t take the effort and squeeze every bit of use out of it.

  2. Straightforward advice. You can say it louder but you can’t say it better.
    Brilliant post, Steve. It’s the kind of post that in real life would be a slap on the face and a wake up call.

    • Thanks Cristina,

      I am sure a much higher average than normal who read this site are good about taking action. Since i am not one of those who talks about “easy ways to beat the system”

      Most people know what they need to do, I think. But some gentle reminders now and again can maybe help set them on the right path

  3. its funny, we all know this but often take no action, its crazy huh! this is a great blog full of good remenders that we all need reminding of from time to time…thanks!

  4. Very true – you have to accept everything that happens and not blame others. Most of all, you need to keep moving forward despite obstacles you encounter. Great advice.

  5. Ahhh, sometimes we just need to hear it and you couldn’t have said it better. Internet marketing is a real business and not trickery as some would have us believe. A lot of work could be accomplished in the time spent looking for shortcuts.

  6. Good stuff Steve,

    This is one of the things I love about this biz… You are forced to keep learning and to keep trying new things… And taking new ACTIONS.

    And when you do, you get a direct reward…

  7. I love Jack’s book, I read it a few years ago and reference it quite often still. Fabulous read so I can see why you would mention it in several posts now.

    Amen to that Steve. I hear it all the time people asking me why they aren’t getting the same results I am so when I ask them what they’re doing, they’re lazy. They want to do a few things, sit back and relax and watch all the results show up. It’s just not going to happen.

    I openly have admitted in my previous posts that the reason I failed so miserably in the beginning was because of me. I took 100% responsibility for my failures even though I’d love to blame it on other things. The end result is that whether I received support from my mentors, whether I understood the material I was learning from, whether I took the necessary action steps or not, they were my responsibility when it comes down to it. So you can’t really blame anyone else, it’s all you and in my case, it was all me.

    Man up, do the work and you will get the results. It really just doesn’t get any easier than that Steve and thank you for bringing this to everyone’s attention as we dive into this new year. So what do you say! Are you ready to dive in?

    • Adrienne,

      Like you, I have had my share of failing miserably. It is part of the cycle of success. Some people can get lucky and not have a few huge failures along the way.

      But I think most of us are not so lucky.

      Like you said, “Man up, do the work and you will get the results” It is a pretty simple equation when you break it down like that.


  8. Great post! I’ve been trying to talk about similar things on my blog. Such as planning your life and business – because too many people “wing it” and then get mad when nothing good comes of it.

    I’ve been making sure that I apply myself to my business and the things I care about even more with every passing day. And I’m seeing results. 🙂

    What most people don’t seem to understand is that results will never come before the work. You can’t wait for results and THEN put in your efforts. It doesn’t work that way.

    Thanks again – I really need to check in here more often.

    • Thanks for the comment Lindsey.

      I am glad to hear that you are taking action on these things and it is having a positive effect on your efforts.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and i hope that I do see you here again!

  9. I agree, every action we do it is only us that accountable for it. If we failed better not put blame to other and to yourself. Just learn from every mistakes and failures that we experience.

    • Becca,

      Absolutely. I have always loved the term, “fail forward”.

      Failure is never something to be afraid of if you use it for lessons or to ultimately learn something and improve

  10. I agree with you that some people are very lazy but they want to achieve something. And I wonder how is it possible? If you won’t to achieve something in online business, then you should do research every day, follow all the changes and work)

    • I actually don’t think that really lazy people achieve “long term” success.

      There is a little bit of a “broken clock is right two times a day effect”

      They can hit lucky now and again, but it should not usually be a long term success. Like you stated, you need to do all those things to achieve that long term success. Nothing else works

  11. Well written post Steve. It’s always easier to see the faults in others isn’t it. A good reminder to everyone struggling to find what went wrong, not just with their blogs but in their personal lives too!

  12. I could not agree more, people are lazy and don’t understand that ANY business requires work. It also takes time to truly understand the concepts, reasons and ways to move forward as you have outlined above, it takes time and effort. Great post.

  13. Can’t agree more Steve!

    Take 100% responsibility and ownership of your action and life. People tend to fall into the victim state and come out with various kind of excuse for themselves when they fail.

    Love the 5 powerful questions above. Asking the right question and take action will certainly help us to propel ourselves.

    • Thanks Ming,

      I agree! I hate it when people play the victim. Nothing irks me more. Sure everyone runs into bad luck now and again. I can feel sympathy… but only if people are taking action to fix the problems and doing their best to diversify and not have “all their eggs in one basket”

  14. That little bit about hard work is what stops most people. I haven’t yet found anything worth doing that’s truly easy. Some level of effort is always required.

  15. This is true steve.in summary.take responsibility,learn stuff ,take action ,work hard,learn from mistakes ,find success.this is the reality in this business

  16. Great post Steve. I totally agree. you have to take full responsibility first before you will see the success that you want in any area of your life, whether your business or anything else.

    • James,

      Yup! it is pretty simple really. When you take action like that…good things happen. Sooner or later some of these “pushbutton success” guys will get the message

  17. You have a really good point, Steve. Oftentimes, we can’t move on if we’re stuck in a rut and we keep blaming others. We never grow up until we take responsibility. No one will help us but ourselves so we need to man up.

  18. I guess your post “take responsibility for your actions” applies in all ways. May it be business or in the real world Because you always need to be responsible enough for everything that you are doing 🙂

  19. Steve,

    This is great advice! Taking responsibility is one of the most important things people fail to understand.

    I want to read Jack’s book again. It’s a thick one, but it contains lot’s of valuable stuff that online entrepreneurs can use.


  20. You’re so right!
    Who hasn’t seen the hoard complaining about Google Panda on forums and chats, and each time i see them i just think to myself, why are they wasting time complaining about it instead of looking for solutions and workarounds? Will complaining somehow change Google’s mind about Panda and undo the changes? Highly unlikely.

  21. Hey Steve,

    It is hard to admit (and even a lot more in public) but this is 100% true man.

    While many people point at others saying “oh hell no, he doesn’t deserves to have that success, he didn’t even finished his college education, why can’t I do this?”

    It’s because of lack of action.

    A lot of people like to blame the program, the course, the mentor, the times, anything but themselves.

    I would like to know at least ONE person that can say they actually busted their butts off working at some training program from a well respected marketer and honestly say that they didn’t make one cent online.

    I also believe this issue affects us all, as content creators or as consumers, both ways.

    The other day I was speaking with a very successful marketer from the UK, he told me he was clueless about not having more people following his program (I know his trainings are GREAT stuff)

    The thing is this, about 30-ish people paid $497 to join a 12 month coaching program and from those 30 something, not more than five are actually following the program and taking action.

    One of them is already $2,000+ in profits (still going up) and that guy has NEVER made any money online, the rest? They’re at the same exact place.

    So the problem is not the information, is the PEOPLE and their lack of action.

    I remember that this marketer I’m telling you about, he was a bit confused and he told me the following: “I am still making money from this but I wish people actually went through the program”.

    It only makes sense as he won’t have a lot of success stories. This guy has other sources of income so I’m guessing that’s a clever thing to do and something we all should be aware of as well.

    Some people are just not going to make it.


    • Yeah,

      I feel that too. I have actually been a particpant in a few high $$ courses. of course there are some out there that are complete BS and designed to seperate people from their money. But quite a few are really good…. IF you do the work. Most people don’t though.

      I think many people fall into two categories. (well 3 with those that actually “get it done”)

      1. Those who mean to “do it” but never seem to “find time”. They intend well, but it usually equals a burst of work and then nothing.
      2. Those who wants the results…but not the effort to get there. These guys (and gals) are always looking for a quick fix and “instant” solution and jump from program to program and blame the system rather than themselves.

      As you pointed out there are a lot of viable methods out there… all really do require a TON of effort, but those who do not take the time to give it a real try should not bitch that things don’t work.

      Whew, time to jump off the soapbox…lol

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