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The 3 Most Valuable Marketing Lessons That I’ve Learned

As an internet marketer, you’re going to have to find your own personal path to success; for work and your personal life. It took me years of trial and error to learn what I know now. Even after a decade of success, I’m still learning new things each and every day.

So, it’s fair to say that there really is no definitive end point as personal growth will also continue (which is a good thing).

Believe it or not, the biggest marketing lessons that I’ve learned have also been the most simplistic as well. It’s the lessons that stare us dead in the face every day, but tend to completely overlook often that have the most impact on our lives.

Here are 3 of marketing lessons that have helped me over the years, and will hopefully help you as well.

“I don’t embrace excuses, I embrace solutions”

The tv savvy readers out there will know that I pulled this quote from Bar Rescue star, Jon Taffer. Though the show itself is likely a product of creative editing and storylines (like most reality tv shows), this message still holds weight.

Let’s be honest. Things won’t always work out the way we want them to, especially in business. There will ALWAYS be something unforeseen that tests our resolve.

In a perfect world, we’d never miss projected revenue goals or hit roadblocks along the way. Unfortunately, the world we live in is imperfect. Life isn’t always fair and unintended results and consequences do occur.

It’s easy to make excuses as to why things don’t go our way. It’s a natural reflex for most, especially when the circumstances are out of our control.

However, making excuses will do absolutely nothing to solve the problem. You can tell everyone why things didn’t go your way, but it won’t bring you any closer to achieving success.

Instead, focus on a workable solution. Even if the problem can’t be solved overnight, at least you’re making some sort of progress instead of sitting around with your thumb up your butt blaming others for your problems. Over time, with consistent progress, you will attain what you first sought out to achieve.

Don’t rest when you get tired. Rest when you’re done

There may come a time when the hustle and bustle of online marketing wears you down. For some, it’s inevitable to get a bit burnt out, especially when things aren’t going your way.

Keep pressing forward.

Continued and unaltered persistence has always been one of my most sought after traits. It’s through persistence that dreams become a reality.

Don’t believe me? It took only a small body of water to create the 227 mile long and 18 mile wide, geological masterpiece known as the Grand Canyon.

Granted, it took 17 million years to create, but through consistent work, the water flow of the Colorado River was able to cut through literally millions of tons of rock and sediment to form what we see now.

A more modern rendition of persistence paying off can be seen in the life history of the iconic founder of Apple, Steve Jobs. After starting the business in his parent’s garage, it grew into a $2 billion empire within ten years. However, Apple’s board of directors wanted to go in a new direction and actually fired Steve Jobs from the company he founded.

I don’t know about you, but I’d be relatively shaken if the colossal business that I created with the sweat of my own brow in the confines of a measly garage was suddenly taken away from me.

For any normal person, they would have tucked their tail in between their legs and moved to some remote location, never to be heard from again. Fortunately, Steve Jobs was not a normal person.

The newly unemployed founded a computer another computer company by the name of NeXT and became the majority shareholder of a computer animation film studio known as Pixar.

10 years later, Apple bought NeXT for $429 million and reinstated the now much wealthier Steve Jobs to the CEO position of Apple that he once held. In 2006, Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion dollars.

Needless to say, Steve Jobs very well could have stopped when times got tough and he was tossed out of the company he created, but instead, he went on to turn 2 more companies into absolute powerhouses before being reinstated to his old position. In the end, his continued persistence won out.

Behind every successful business person typically lies years of failure.

When people view my business, they typically assume that I got lucky and simply appeared overnight. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

I may have grown in popularity over the last few years, but it’s taken me over a decade of hard work to get where I am now.

There are very few Mark Zuckerbergs in the world that take their first idea and strike pay dirt. The vast majority (meaning 99.9999999%) of the rest of us will have failed time and time again before we see the light.

It may take longer for some. You may feel downright distraught after experiencing failure time and time again. As long as you are always pushing forward in an attempt to improve, you will eventually reach your end goal.

When that does occur, you’ll be able to look back at all of the mistakes you’ve made and realized that they’ve helped you become what you’ve always wanted to be…successful.

Help others and in turn they will help you

Relationships are the most fundamental asset in business. When you do something positive for someone else, they will typically be willing to go that extra mile to help you as well.

If you help people out without an expectation of receiving anything in return, people will usually go an extra 20 miles to help you out.

Think about how helping people affects your business…

If you provide incredible value for your consumers, they will be more willing to share their experience with others, effectively becoming your personal advocate, and are far more likely to become a repeat customer.

If you provide cool stuff like a free ebook or guide (without your name on it) for other marketers to use, they may just share your content with their followers later on, effectively unleashing a flood of brand new audience members. They may even link to your site, not only driving traffic, but also providing a highly relevant backlink, which may boost your rankings within the SERP’s.

These are just 2 examples of how helping others can also benefit you as well, but there are literally countless ways to “pay it forward” and make things a little bit easier for others around you.


Over the years I’ve learned many marketing lessons. These lessons have not only helped me online, but in my life outside of marketing as well.

For me, these marketing lessons have been absolutely invaluable.

Hopefully you’ve gained something from these 3 lessons that I’ve learned. They’ve helped me out more times than I can even count, drastically improving the quality of my life.

What marketing lessons have you learned? It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned vet or completely new to the world of internet marketing, I’d love to hear what works for you. If you’d like to share, leave it in the comment section below.

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...

One comment

  1. Gabriella Lengyel

    Agree, the life philosophy and experiences you describe in this article are true insight into the essence of human effort and success…

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