I just finished up No Need for Speed: A Beginner’s Guide to the Joy of Running by John Bingham, and it occurred to me how running parallels affiliate marketing.
There are lots of folks that enter affiliate marketing the dollar signs in their eyes. They’ve been sold on the “get rich quick” daydream. And that sort of overnight success is just as rational as somebody who started jogging yesterday and thinks they will complete a marathon next week.
It’s funny. When I told people I was starting to run, many of them asked when I would run my first marathon. I explained how I was excited to complete my first 5k, and then another in the future, and I’d keep setting goals along the way.
Just the same, new affiliates aren’t going to be millionaires next year, unless they get lucky on PowerBall.
As John Bingham touched on in the chapter, “Basic Truths about Racing,” the race isn’t about the winner. Most runners aren’t going to ever win a marathon, or even be close enough to the front of the pack to see the winner break the ribbon.
Most runners won’t even win their local 5k, but if they enjoy what they’re doing, they’ve won. There is no specific timeline or benchmark for success in affiliate marketing or running.
“When it’s over, that’s the only question any of us need to ask. Did we do our best? Did we line up prepared to do our best, however we defined “best” that day? One day, our “best” may mean running as hard and as fast as we can. Another day, our “best” may mean running slowly with a friend who needs encouragement. On still another day, our “best” may mean simply savoring the experience of the run.”
When I started as an affiliate in 1997, I was ecstatic to get my first few bucks. Then I was paying the bill for cable… then cable and phone. I kept trying and learning and getting better at what I was doing. Eventually, I was supporting my family with those commission checks.
My advice to is challenge yourself and focus on setting a new PR (personal record) as often as you can. It’s not a race to the front of the pack. It’s a race to your own realistic finish line of success. Each time you get there, you’ve won.