Pay Your Dues

by TheBossyRedhead on March 24, 2012

Pay your dues


This is an old concept that has been around for ages.  When you want to accomplish something, you have to “pay your dues” in order to achieve that goal.  This is an idiom meaning:  “to have earned one's right to something through hard work or overcoming challenges.”   We hear it all the time, yet I think it has lost some of its meaning over the years.

Let me take you back…ohhh about 20 years.  I know that seems so far away to some of you, to others it will be a walk down memory lane that seems like yesterday.  But here’s the thing.  It used to be that if you wanted to start a business, you would have to come up with an idea or a product, you would have to create a business plan and it would have to be very well written.  Then you would have to find funding.  In order to get that funding you would have to explore many options because it would be difficult to get a regular small business loan from a bank.  Then you would get a loan for $100,000 or $250,000 to start your brick and mortar business and come from a place of being in the red, deeply in the red and not even have a cash flow to speak of yet.

After you found the perfect building and got your products ordered and delivered, you would merchandise them, create some sort of enticing signs to get people into your store and THEN you would have to advertise so that people even knew your store existed.  You would start out slow and then you would have to work day and night for 2-3 years, sometimes 5 just to turn a profit. You wouldn’t see your family or friends, you would be glued to your store to get it off the ground or your minimum wage workers might not treat the customers the same way you would.

All the while, you had to stay on top of your competition and be innovative, creative, and clever to stay one step ahead until a big super store came and wiped out all of your hard work.

I know that sounded very depressing but I think people don’t have a good understanding of what it means to be in business for themselves.  I see a lot of people enter the online business arena, throw a bad website up and think that all of a sudden money is going to start flowing.

One of the single most important things I teach people in online marketing is that you have to PAY YOUR DUES.  Just like every other business person that is successful, you have to put in the blood, sweat and tears in order to achieve the success you desire.

If you think about anyone you know or have heard of that is very successful in online marketing, you will know that they didn’t just wake up one day and have money pouring into the bank.  No, in fact, most people don’t realize how many failures and challenges successful people have had before they reach the pinnacle of success that makes them so well known.

Pay Your Dues

So here is the timeline I always give people:  Your first year – you may make some money – and that is great.  A lot depends on if you have cash to put into ads and other important tools.  But chances are your first year will be a building year where you just have to put your head down and work.  The second year, you should start seeing the fruits of your labor start to pay off with more cash flow, more interest and then some momentum will come.

Of course this will all depend on how consistent your efforts are and how smart you work.  I’m not about working 24/7 (although I have had times in my life where I have done that.)  I’m about working hard at the RIGHT things to get the momentum going for your business.

The bottom line is, you simply still have to pay your dues.  The people who realize that and don’t quit after their first few months of little or no money will go on to make money.  The people who quit will never know what they missed.  Don’t be one of those people.

Pay Your Dues.

Michelle DeMarco


Work With The Bossy Redhead! – Michelle DeMarco's Personal Blog

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Deborah Peters March 31, 2012 at 2:08 am

Great post & so true!! I think we are in a world of instant gratification, and more & more I see people aren't willing to "try" with risk….they want the guarantee first before trying. This is really good that you shared, brings one back to reality.


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