good advice from john chow

me looking goofy as i hold up john chow's book

very few blogs make much money. in fact, the vast majority make no money whatsoever. but that’s not what you want, is it? you want to make some real money blogging, and that’s why you bought this book in the first place. congratulations! you’ve already completed the first step on your path to becoming a dot-com mogul. now you just have to read the book and implement the strategies described within.

that’s on page one of john chow’s latest oeuvre, the paperback make money online. i said i was going to review it but i’m afraid there is already so much in those few words that it might just be a paragraph review, not a book review. sorry, john, you just have so much to say :)

let me unpack what he says:

if you know what you want, go after it!
going after it starts with the first step.
getting what you want is not difficult, all you have to do is implement.

incredibly simplistic, isn’t it? it’s the cliche that all get-rich-quick schemes use.

well, let’s see.

first of all, let me get this out of the way:  john chow is not really a get-rich-quick kinda guy, he’s more the get-comfortable-within-a-reasonable-amount-of-time type. yes, yes, his brand is that he’s evil but every time i meet him, i’m struck by his intelligence, his focus, his geeky quirkiness, and by how straightforward he is. plus he’s got a good heart. i have a lot of respect for him.

okay, let’s go back to the cliches. the thing is, they’re cliches for a reason: they contain a strong element of truth. it’s just that, as usual, we have problems with the truth.

(if) you know what you want, go after it

again, simple to the point of being simplistic. the problem? we often don’t know what we want. that’s why i started with the “if” in parentheses. a few years ago, i was going to take john chow’s advice and try to monetize my blog. i played around with it for a while but then it turned out that i didn’t really WANT (as in desire, hunger after) to make money online, i just thought it was a neat idea. big difference.

we spend way too much time thinking we want something when really we’re just lukewarm about it. so why not figure out what we REALLY want? and then let’s go for it with gusto!

start with the first step

yup. that’s it. unfortunately, we often start with things like, “but what if my boyfriend/mother/boss won’t like it if i buy a porsche with my first $20,000?” you know what, that’s not step #1, that’s step #1,783. plus you started the sentence with a “but”. ninety times out of a hundred, that’s a way to stop yourself in your tracks. it’s a word like the snake kaa that hypnotizes mowgli into paralysis in the jungle book. start with the first step, don’t paralize yourself with buts, then take the next step. really. it’s as simple as that. we tend to balk at that simplicity because we take those snakey “buts” way too seriously. (we take it so seriously, i should write a whole post just about that – in fact, i could write a book about it!)

so start with the first step. then the next. one after the other. if a step is too big, make it smaller.

getting what you want is not difficult: just implement

well, in most cases it isn’t difficult; it’s just hard (as in hard work). let’s go back to “how to” books again, like john’s. in my experience, quite a few “how to” books or blogs actually give good advice. again, it’s simple: you’re probably not the first person to want to do something, or solve a particular problem. there were others before you, and they’ve found tricks that consistently work.

in many (or most) cases, “how to” books don’t work because we don’t work them. if john says on page 23 to get your own domain and you drag your heels on that because it’s more comfortable to use the pre-made wordpress.com platform, don’t be surprised if your online branding drags its heels, too. there’s a reason why the people who came before you suggest certain things. that doesn’t mean you have to accept everything blindly. give them a chance, though! otherwise, why did you buy the book, attend the workshop of subscribe to the blog in the first place? if there’s something that you can’t quite accept, ask questions rather than dismissing it.

so if you want something, do the things it takes to get there!

what do you think? do you have a “how to” book at home that you have followed – or not? what’s your experience?

14 thoughts on “good advice from john chow

  1. Evan

    Hi Isabella,

    I like John Chow too.

    At the moment I’m not sure what the next step is – I’m formulating a product at the moment which I hope will do well.

    One problem is that different people who went before, and have become successful, suggest different things (and they are all right – they are all people of integrity). It takes time to sort through them, try them out and find what works for you.

    I really do want to make money from my blog. I’m hoping my new product is the right next step.

  2. Wen

    Thanks for the tips.John Chow is so successful in making money online.I heard that he was making >$10000 per month at the very start.Just admire him.But I think it is very hard to be as successful as him.

  3. Matt Maresca

    I have about 50 how-to books at home that I have not followed. That said, it only takes one journey seen through to completion to get what you want in life. I’ve taken the first step in that journey. Now it’s a matter of putting one foot in front of the other every single day. As Og Mandino says, “small attmepts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.”
    .-= Matt Maresca´s last blog ..Be Bold: It’s the Only Way to Stand Out From the Other Characters =-.

  4. isabella mori (@moritherapy)

    @evan – yes, the sorting takes a bit of stick-to-it-ness, doesn’t it?

    is the product you’re talking about the trauma recovery ezine?

    @matt i’m thinking about your words, “it only takes one journey seen through to completion to get what you want in life”. for me, it may not be so much the completion but the journey that makes me want the life that i have. i guess some of us are process people, and others are more goal oriented. hm, and come to think of it: that’s what i really want: to want/enjoy what i have.
    .-= isabella mori (@moritherapy)´s last blog ..soldiers hug for mental health – wordless wednesday =-.

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  6. Evan

    Hi Isabella,

    No the trauma ezine is by Paul at MindParts.

    I plan it to be a daily reminder for a month to check in with where you are and so develop a ‘habit of authenticity’. Still working on the sales page and figuring out autoresponders and stuff (a geek I’m not).

  7. Steve-Personal Success Factors

    I don’t know too much about John Chow. I agree with you that it’s key to take action. But we can also take action in the wrong direction if we are not careful to thoroughly investigate who we are modeling. Having said that, once we have a good model in place, consistent, patient, and persistent action win the day in the face of adversity.
    .-= Steve-Personal Success Factors´s last blog ..Anthony Robbins, Michael Jordan, and the Meaning of Life =-.

  8. ashok

    Put this on Stumbleupon mainly because of the “goofy” pic. Now I’m reading the article and taking it in slowly, actually.

    I haven’t monetized either. I want the audience, and maybe that’s going to take more “implementing” and a heck of a lot less hesitation. Not sure – it’s been a while now.
    .-= ashok´s last blog ..Emily Dickinson, “Impossibility, like Wine” (838) =-.

  9. Pingback: Some Make Money Online Book Reviews | John Chow dot Com

  10. Thu Nguyen

    Hi Isabella,

    Life itself for me is a big HOW TO. I’m constantly learning the ropes of how things work and the process of breaking them all down into digestible bites. Overall, you’re right about one thing, it’s taking action and implementing those how tos into something greater.

    John Chow is a great example of that and thus he’s where he’s at right now because he didn’t figure out how to, he figured out what works.

  11. isabella mori

    hi thu – that’s a really insightful comment – it’s not about the “how to”, what’s important is to figure what works (and then do it). reminds me a bit of another guru, t. harv eker, who says something like “complex is interesting; simple works.”

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