Another Reason Internet Businesses Fail: The Myth of Work vs. Play

There’s another very important reason most internet businesses fail, and it’s one which will seem abrasive and wrong when you first hear it.  I virtually guarantee this post will solicit numerous “Glenn, you’re a really smart guy but you’ve got this one wrong” comments.

And that’s exactly WHY  it’s such a powerful vehicle for sabotaging our success… because it slips into your thoughts like a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

It’s the MYTH of Work vs. Play.

That’s right.  The idea of  striving for a “balance” between work vs. play is the wrong paradigm.  It  doesn’t  lead to a balanced, contented, and joyful relationship with your thriving internet business, even (and perhaps especially) if it becomes wildly profitable, and more importantly, it won’t make you happy.

Just hear me out OK?

Let’s look at work vs. play for every other mammal on the planet.

Here’s the thing, what starts out as play naturally evolves into their work.

For example, when a cute little wolf cub grabs a stuffed animal and shakes  it back and forth, it’s actually practicing a behavior which evolves into an essential kill move later in life, during the hunt.  (Your cute little puppy is doing the same thing, by the way).  And when your kitten scoops water out of the bath tub with her little paws, she’s actually practicing to feed herself and her babies by fishing later in life.

In the animal kingdom, play is practice for work.    Play is instinctually gratifying to young animals because it’s work without the pressure (much like we “play house” as small children).   And these behaviors naturally evolve into their more mature forms.

There is NO artificial distinction between work and play in the animal kingdom, which is why you never hear a wolf complain he needs a vacation.  He’s GENUINELY HAPPY he gets to hunt.

But people have broken this natural chain of events.  We’ve come to think of work as “doing things we’d rather not do but must in order to survive”.

So rather than resolve to find work which feels like play to us… to be genuinely happy when we hunt, we strive to eliminate work from our lives because it’s become so unpleasant.

This sets up a pattern for failure because passion is the essential ingredient for overcoming obstacles.  If you hate “being in the office”–working on the myriad of activities we need to accomplish to make progress as internet entrepreneurs–then when things get tough, there’s nothing to carry you through.

And this is what drives us to jump from project to project, course to course, conversion method to conversion method, traffic technique to traffic technique, looking for anything to “take us out” of this thing we hate called work.

But it doesn’t have to be like this.

You can consistently strive to integrate your enjoyment into your work, and that doesn’t mean being tethered to a computer, or doing what someone else tells you to do.

For example, people often ask me how I produce so much valuable free content for my list.  The answer is, I usually don’t do it while I’m chained to my desk.   Most of my best ideas come to me while I’m hiking and listening to MP3s.

I’m surrounded by nature, physiologically stimulated during exercise, breathing incredibly fresh air… my mind works!  As soon as I’ve got an idea I whip out my smart phone and either record a voice memo or shoot myself an email so I can share my enthusiasm with you.   Then when I get back to my computer to write and record it, it’s a natural, easy, and exciting process.  Really, it’s a lot of fun.

I frequently meet people on the mountain who ask me what I’m doing, and I tell them “I’m working”.  They laugh, but I’m dead serious.

A lot of people will call me a “workaholic” when they read the above story, and that’s exactly my point.  They don’t realize that I’ve fought incredibly hard to integrate my love of life into my work.  They think I’m just incredibly lucky to have this lifestyle, and they don’t know it’s the result of effort and struggle (with many, many sticking points and downturns) which all started with “how could I enjoy my work as much as I enjoy hiking?”, NOT “how can I work less and play more”

But because most people’s mindset is “how can I work less and play more”, they live for the weekends, obsess about vacations, and dream of the day they retire.  (I can’t tell you how many patients I’ve seen fall into a major depression within months of retiring due to the shock that it doesn’t really fulfill their life’s dream)

Their sole motivation for work is to not have to work anymore.

And I think that’s the problem in a nutshell for internet entrepreneurs.  Because marketing is all about imparting value to your market, and the ultimate value is love.

How will you EVER love your market if you hate your work?

Something to think about.

And if you’d like ME to take you by the hand and help you channel your love of play into your work, please click here before January 1st, 2016.

Dr. G 🙂