Hi, This post is for newbies to the forum and Internet marketers in general. You may have heard the term 'sell the sizzle not the steak'? (it means if you're selling something sell the exciting part rather than just give boring description of the product itself) Well - I'm just here to warn you that much of the sizzle you're being sold doesn't actually come with steak. Here's a reality check. Most people in IM are not making money. Probably 90% of those who are - are making less than they're spending on IM stuff. Of that remaining 10% - probably half of them are not making enough for it to be their only income. Making 'good' money online REQUIRES A LOT OF WORK. Now, I know you're being fed sizzle that says - here's how to make a few grand in a few days, and yes it is possible - I've done it and even shared how I did it, but...... Even when someone says it and it's true - it's not the reality for most people that try to copy it. I'm not just saying this from personal experience - I get out and about a lot and meet people, other IMers who are working hard to make money - most of them are not really making any money. The real kicker to this is - that is regardless of what tools, courses and systems they've bought which promise to short-cut their success. These tools, systems, courses, ebooks, videos etc.... will not suddenly make you great money. The MAIN factor that will effect your success is - HOW MUCH WORK YOU DO. Now, obviously there's a certain amount of knowledge required and many people are buying information products and coaching etc to short cut their knowledge gathering - that's absolutely fine and a good idea. But I'm telling you - if you think that you're just waiting until you finish your first ebook - then you'll be rich, don't kid yourself. 70% of IMers have written at least one ebook and even if they sold some, it usually doesn't last and it's just a tiny part of making money. What you don't see is just how MUCH people making money really do. For instance - I have several hundred websites of my own and several hundreds blogs and social accounts etc... Why? because it means that I don't need to rely on anyone else for me to be able to get traffic, links and sales to my own products. The biggest problem most people have is being able to turn their traffic on when they need. If you have that targeted traffic tap - then you can always make money. The problem is - it takes time to build it. I know that people are always telling you to get this tool or that system - the thing is - did you notice how every one of them seems to be the 'only one you need' or 'the best tool of its kind' - and the underlyng assumption is that it's all you need. The Twitter tools are a classic example - as soon as a few marketers realised that Twitter is popular and people will buy stuff if you tell them they now need twitter and the latest Twitter abuse tools - they create whatever they think is what people want to see and sell the hell out of it. It probably won't surprise you to hear that most of the Twitter 'automatic adder' tools will get your account banned. Twitter hates people abusing their systems the same as Google does. These tools are not the answer to your problems. They're adding to your problems. With all that said - we're making the situation worse every time we buy into the latest hype or tool. The things you're doing to 'help' yourself are the very things that are sabotaging your success. Looking for shortcuts all the time is NOT the way to be successful - can you imagine an olympic athlete saying "I'm going to stay in bed today instead of my morning run - I have this drink that says it will give me energy when I need it", or for that matter a farmer who waits until 2 weeks before harvest and then tries to quickly grow his crops at the last minute because he couldn't be bothered to put the time in and plant them when they should have been. You need a plan - a plan that actually points you to a successful result. Not some generic thing that 'should get you 'some' results. If you went to your bank manager and said "I need $5k to start an online business" and he asked "so can you show me how and when you'll make that back" and your answer was "well, I'm going to spend $2k on this traffic course, then pay some people I don't know below minimum wage to write articles for me and then just watch the cash roll in" what his reaction would be? There are 2 pieces of advice I would like to humbly offer you today. 1 - Don't underestimate the amount and consistency of work that is being done by people who seem to be 'easily and quickly' making great money. 2 - Before you invest yourself fully into your online activities (this is something you need to do really) when you get to the point where you've read about or heard of an 'easy' way to make money - take a deep breath, sit down somewhere quiet and be really honest with yourself and ask this question - "Do I really KNOW what the plan for my online business is? (are you hoping to pay your mortgage, or support your family) and will the activities I'm planning to do be able to get me there? if I'm not sure - are they activities that I can measure and be able to tell whether I need to supplement/replace them at some point?" People will tell you all sorts of things, usually for the right reasons, often out of enthusiasm or excitement - but most of it will not be true for you. Don't base your business and your dreams on what people are telling you. Use your brain, assess things for yourself and make a plan that's right for YOU. Certainly model the success of others but don't expect copying people or buying the latest "how to make $5 in 5 days" Empower Network will answer your problems. Ask yourself the questions that challenge whether someone is trying to make you cut corners and not do your business in the way you know really needs to be done. Take your business seriously and don't kid yourself that hard work is involved. Almost ANY IM money making strategy will work if you just get focused and take consistent action in a direction that you understand and can see how and why it will work. Don't waste your money buying lots of tools - they're just there to help you be more effective once you already know what works for you. And don't be afraid for ask for help - working with others makes your IM journey MUCH more fun.