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Want Online Success? What Is Stopping You?

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photo credit: Robert Voors

Have you heard that song about people who stuck to their beliefs, against thick or thin, knowing that they were right even when the world turned against them and tried to dissuade them from their path?

I think it was by George Gershwin, and has been covered off by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, too.

The lyrics are great.

They mention some of our most dogged and determined historical figures, like Christopher Columbus, Edison, the Wright brothers and more – people who came up with an idea that was completely unconventional and ahead of its time, in a bid to change the world through innovation.

The uphill struggle for innovation acceptance

The point of the song (apart from being about love, but we’ll gloss over that part because it isn’t relevant to the blog!) is that the majority of people, when they seize on an idea which is ground-breaking, transformational or simply shocking in its originality, are dismissed unless they can prove it outright.

Society can be cruel.

All we have to do is look at the ways some people view religion, or the very different belief systems we all hold, to know that it can be tough to have the courage to stick your head above the proverbial parapet and fight for something you believe in.

The problem is, it’s only by having faith in your beliefs that society can progress in any real way.

A scientist in some gloomy basement lab somewhere, right now, is looking at the contents of a petri dish and having a brainwave which his or her logical mind is shouting down, saying, “That can’t be right”.

If that person trusts their intuition, we could be on the verge of discovering something phenomenal – a cure, a vaccine, a revolutionary new medication.

How we dismiss potentially fabulous ideas out of hand

Most people take the view that if they come up with an idea, and it hasn’t been done before, it’s because it isn’t viable.

So, people with potentially groundbreaking concepts use a system of judgment that stops the innovation in its tracks before it ever has the chance to grow, flourish, and change our world a little bit. The usual way of thinking goes along these lines:

“I hate doing x. I wonder if there’s a better way of doing it?”

“Hmmm. Perhaps if people did this, this and this instead, it would transform x in to something really easy and simple”

“If it was that easy, though, someone would have come up with it by now. I’m betting it can’t work. Silly idea. I’m going to go and do the laundry”.

This means that all those fabulous ideas borne out of frustration, inspiration or imagination can fall by the wayside without ever having been fully explored.

Instead, our thought process should go along these lines…

“I hate doing x. I wonder if there’s a better way of doing it?”

“Hmmm. Perhaps if people did this, this and this instead, it would transform x in to something really easy and simple”

“Wow. That really works. I’m going to talk to people to see if  they think it’s viable and head off to my local patent office and get this thing launched, and tweak it and refine it and perhaps it will change the x process once and for all!”

OK. I get it’s not that easy in real life.

Launching new innovations takes money, time and commitment – and a massive dose of faith and courage.

But, it’s always better to trust your instincts and develop ideas rather than dismissing them through a lack of courage, or a simple problem of inertia and self-doubt.

Why we talk ourselves out of potentially brilliant ideas

It can be really hard to go against the flow of society and consider doing things differently.

It takes guts to project above the conventional way of things and imagine a new path for yourself.

A guy called John Stuart Mill has put it best – “Every great movement must experience three stages: Ridicule, discussion, adoption“.

Everything we trust and love in our current society – technology, art, literature, gadgets and gizmos, and beliefs – are founded on this principle.

From the world being flat and our heavens ruled by a dude called Zeus, we’re now in a society where we are free to invent, encourage and adopt new ideas.

Imagine if you let your potential fly? What could you achieve?

Think about it.

Someone sat down once and thought, imagine if there was a site online where people could only upload a certain number of words, and it was totally dedicated to status updates?

And Twitter was launched.

And yet, the elevator pitch for that must have sounded absolutely stupid.

Similarly, Google was born from someone picturing a blank page with just a search box on it.

Sounds terrible, right?

And what about blogging – ‘let’s make a platform where people all over the world can tell each other about what they had for breakfast, post up images of their kids playing with food or discussing their favourite hobbies such as stamp collecting, topiary or baking bread’.

Can you imagine the reception that would have got?

And yet, these ideas have taken hold, and now shape our very society.

They work.

They may not have sounded too brilliant at the time, but inspirational people had the vision, instinct and drive to make them fly.

It’s time to put your reservations to one side and stand firm in your ideas for your business, and your blog.

Just because something hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean it isn’t a great idea.

If you’ve been toying with a new way of thinking, considering a new system or technology, or simply have a great idea to make your life and those around you that little bit more simple, why not take the jump and develop it?

Sometimes, all you need is a little faith in your instinct to set you apart, create something magical, and have the last laugh on those disbelievers.

If Columbus managed it, there’s no stopping someone like you!

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18 Responses to Want Online Success? What Is Stopping You?

  1. Ryan October 8, 2013 at 3:42 am #

    I agree with what you have put about Why we talk ourselves out of potentially brilliant ideas

    For me I kind of the do this but in reverse
    Sometimes what I find is you really think that your ideas or what you are
    putting all your effort in is going to work. Then once you find out it is not working
    you then start to give up or get fed up.

    • Andrew October 11, 2013 at 8:11 am #


      The most important word in your commnet is ‘THINK’.

      Unfortunatley a lot of people THINK their idea will work…do no research and then the idea flops.


  2. sahil seth October 8, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    A Great Article and is also a very motivational one. But it is easier said than done. Because not all the time things work out and fall in place but yes without trying something new, we will never know if it works or not.

    • Andrew October 11, 2013 at 8:12 am #

      True, Sahil.

      Bur you cannot be successful without trail/error and a lot of hard work.


  3. Debbie November 6, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    This is great Andrew and you are so right. one thing that I have found though, is to be careful who you tell about your idea. It can be a real downer.

    One reason it is so important to try it if you can dream it, is then you won’t look back some day and say, “I should have went for it.” Dreams and ideas come in view for a reason.

    Reminds me of this last weekend. Hubby and i had bags and bags of leaves. (I’m talking 25 big bags in all). I am out there throwing them in the bag and hubby says wait a minute. he had seen the guy next door using a snow shovel to put the leaves in the bag. It works great let me tell you. We thank him lots.
    Still have one more tree to go, but hay got to love that snow shovel for the job.

    I am motivated, but you just helped me go for it with post, not caring if other think I have lost my whateverers.
    Thanks Andrew and have a good day.

    • Andrew November 7, 2013 at 7:25 am #


      I think you have to share your ideas with people you trust. Poeple who will give you honest feedback. Sometimes that is not close friends and family.


  4. Anne November 7, 2013 at 1:31 am #

    I was just about to say the same thing Debbie said above. Watch who you tell your ideas to, because sometimes even if you have great ideas and are ready to do something about them, the first person you tell can knock you sideways with their negative talk.

    We have to be ready to go for our dreams, but sometimes the people we have in our lives can make us seriously doubt ourselves. This alone can make us drop something that potentially can make a difference to our lives and to the world.

    • Andrew November 7, 2013 at 7:27 am #


      As I replied to Debbie above…we do need feedback on our ideas and it’s best from people you trust.

      All feedback is good (unless of course, you don’t want to hear the constructive feedback).


  5. AnneV November 7, 2013 at 3:52 pm #


    Good article, it is a little scary putting yourself out there when you are a careful person as I am.

    Having said that, it feels good to break out of the mold; keeping a thick skin is important.
    Still, it is good to try activities and ideas that stretch the comfort zone; how else can growth occur?

    Good support helps!


    • Andrew November 8, 2013 at 2:34 am #


      Thick skin – yes, very important. I always tell my clients to grow a think sin.

      And I agree again…comfort zones. We need to make them bigger every day!

      Great comment – thanks,


  6. Joel November 7, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    I love this Andrew! It sums up a lot of thoughts and work that has been done. People are afraid of failure, and sure it can be expensive but it can be expensive not to try. The “what-if” can kill you for months or even years.

    In the TV series Derek, a guy says “I’m not a failure because I didn’t succeed. I’m a failure because I didn’t try”.

    • Andrew November 8, 2013 at 2:36 am #


      Love that quote.

      You do have to try things and very often they don;t work out. Learn and move on (like we have!).


  7. Beat Schindler November 9, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    After a dozen posts or so & still no overnite success, most online success seekers move on, apparently. The number of dead and inactive blogs is staggering. More ex-writers are alive and well in the world today than at any time before in the history of mankind. What’s stopping them? I guess if we took to online success as we take to walking (offline), not too many people would be over 3 feet tall :-]

    • Andrew December 12, 2013 at 8:23 am #


      I think most bloggers / website owners give up because they read and believe the hype of many $thousands within weeks.

      Unfortunately too many scammers will hype it up to make it sounds easy…people get sucked in. It doesn’t work out and then give up.


  8. Raymond Chua November 15, 2013 at 2:02 am #

    “Every great movement must experience three stages: Ridicule, discussion, adoption“.

    I find this very inspiring and motivating especially to those who stumbled.

  9. Steve November 19, 2013 at 8:46 am #

    I love having my Blog and I am even getting to love the world of building my business online! I never really thought I could adapt to it as I like the human face. However, a few months in and I am loving it. I am also letting my potential fly. Time to believe but also time to act. Thanks for a superb piost.

    • Andrew December 12, 2013 at 8:26 am #


      The most important word in your comment…’act’. Most people don’t. They may do a lot of research and a lot of hard work gaining the knowledge of what to do…then do nothing about it.

      People who act…are the ones who are successful.


  10. Corinne Edwards July 10, 2014 at 11:03 am #

    Dear Andrew –

    What a wake up.

    Thanks for the jolt.

    We have found the enemy – and most of the time it is ourselves.

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