You have probably heard this before: the greatest journey begins with a single step. You probably also know that its true. No matter how grand your objective, how far you plan to go, you have to start somewhere. The same is true for Internet Marketing, which for all purposes I will define as the art of making money by generating a profitable response from visitors and prospects. Note I didnt say sale, although I was tempted. In the online world sale could also include generating a click through, generating an impression or a lead and finally cpa type earning, where you are paid on a cost per action basis. While this series will stop short of specifics, it is meant that way. More as a basic set of guidelines, a track to structure ones efforts with. But why write about something so simple that applies as much to internet marketing as it does to pursuing one’s career, as it does to being happily married? Because there are predetermined pathways to success, there are formulas, systems out there that recreate success, which one can use again and again and apply over and over. The real trick is to discover these systems, to unearth them from the clutter and debris in which they are concealed. To find and to act. When you start a business, it starts with questioning, curiosity, intent. Most often it comes from the identification, not of a problem but of a desire. This desire can be that of resolving a problem, breaking the status quo or improving something that already exists: yourself, your life, your situation. Indeed this is the first step, to identify your desire. To corner it and shine some light on it, see it in its entirety, understand it and truly make it yours. Understanding your own motivations and anchoring them deep inside yourself is what will permit you to actualize them, and in so doing, yourself. It is also what will allow you to stand tall in the face of adversity and leap back to your feet when you fall or are knocked down. Therefore, Why, is the first step. So often, many, if not all of us run away from why and we drift. We drift as coconuts brought rolling every which way, fallen from the tree and dragged on by the currents in which weve landed. The only difference is in consciousness, purpose and intent. If we can give the coconut a goal, it would be to land somewhere fertile, sprout some roots and become a tree. But it is not necessary for any particular coconut to become a tree, nature built itself on a game of probabilities, a numbers game where averages and not individual accomplishment are what count. But enough, we are not coconuts. We have the power to decide and a wasted will is not compensated for by the law of averages. There is only one self and I believe that self is pretty close to all weve got. Why can be a painful question but only through the asking of it will you get answers. Recently, I read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a great piece of work by Stephen Covey. It talks about principle centered living. Uncovering your very own principles and anchoring them inside yourself so deeply and strongly that you can no longer be governed exteriorly. Despite the wind and storm, you are the captain of the vessel that is your life and no force can resist you when you are in the cabin and hold the rudder. Another concept is that of power. Many of us feel we have none in several situations of our daily lives. With a difficult boss, a difficult spouse, a hard situation. There is one thing over which we do have complete power and that is to empower ourselves and deny others power over us. To empower yourself, you must have inalterable guidelines within principle centered living. Based on those principles, you can deny others (people and situations) the power to influence you negatively, to make you feel bad, to make you doubt yourself and yes, be all that you can be. You will not change them, you will change yourself and your reactions and will calculate their influence just as it should be: how does it stack up when compared to your principles, your motives? It can be a grueling exercise to find out what you really want, but it is also the only thing short of blind luck that will allow you get it. Find out, ask yourself what you really want and then define why. Make the why part of you, part of your instruction manual and rub everything up against it. If it fits, it is right, if it grinds, you know what to do, leave it, give it no importance, it has no bearing on you. Well enough for Why. Next up, How. To find out why, you have to pretend how does not exist. If you pollute why with how, neither will be complete, so leave any of those nagging interrogations aside for now, it will distill the purity of your intent.