Today’s posts is a true story about a group of strangers who met online in a discussion forum who each made a goal of quitting their 9-5 jobs and make a full time living online. Now I must warn you, this is one of my more controversial offerings so don’t take offense from some of the observations I make. They are just my opinions from my own personal experience online.

Still here? Great, so let’s begin…

A few years ago when I first ventured online I got together with a few people that I met on a forum and we set-up our own little Skype group.

The goal was to keep each other motivated and support each other as we built our online businesses from scratch and in the process be able to quit our 9-5 jobs and live the “Internet Lifestyle” that we heard so much about.

Let’s be honest who doesn’t want to work only a few hours per week and make millions online? Freeing up the possibility of traveling the world doing all sorts of amazing things?

I for one thought this “Internet Lifestyle” sounded pretty damn good and I wanted a slice of the action.


Fast forward several months and it seemed obvious to me that none of us in our little group were making any real progress. I had started to make a few bucks here and there but nothing that would replace my full-time salary and from what I could see the other members, in spite of their best efforts, were spinning their wheels and not really getting anywhere.

I think the popular term is we were all busy being “Busy Fools” instead of making clear plans for our businesses and working strategically only on “Productive Tasks” i.e. those that will generate income.

Little by little over the next few months the members of our once very tight little group began to fall off. The dream of the Internet Lifestyle for many had turned into a nightmare with some having invested upwards of $5k on various coaching programs and yet were not making a cent online.

To me this didn’t sit well….

On one hand I could understand the need to get the help of a more experienced marketer to show you the ropes but on the other hand you would want to be seeing a serious return on a $5k investment to make it all worthwhile.


Let’s fast forward again to a couple of months down the line.

After a lot of research I myself had invested in a mentor and all of a sudden I began to see the big picture when it came to running an online business. The key word here is “Business” and I stopped treating it like a hobby and really started to narrow down my focus and only work on projects that would give me results.

Long story short I am, to the best of my knowledge, the only member of that original Skype Group who is making a full-time income online running their online business. When I think about this it makes me kind of sad because there were a lot of really talented people in that group but for one reason or another it just didn’t happen for them.

Luckily enough for me I’m naturally a very determined (some would say stubborn) person and so kept working until I had achieved my goal.

Of course now that time has moved on my goals have changed and have evolved but my overall aim is still the same – to continue building my online business and keep moving forward.


How to Be Part of the 1% Who Make it?
I read a really good book recently where the author speaks about how only 1% of people who try to make money online really make it. And by that I mean really build a super successful business – one that’s around for the long haul.

And it got me thinking – how can someone become part of the 1%?

What separates the successful full-time marketers from those who get left behind?

So I compiled a rough list that you can read below….this is just form my own personal experience but hopefully it will help you identity some important traits and things for you to do in order to really make your business a success.

In this list we’ll call the full-time successful marketers the “Winners” and the people who lose their way and give up the “Also-Rans”


So lets take a look at the Winners….

The Winners 🙂

  1. The Winners have a real vision of the kind of business they want to be and stay fully focused on their goal.
  2. They set deadlines on projects and work diligently until targets are met. They do not get distracted by the latest fad and instead stick to their plan.
  3. They don’t worry about perfection and focus on getting something good enough instead of wasting time striving for perfection on a project that will never get completed.
  4. They accept that there are going to me failures along the road and don’t let it crush them. In fact they embrace their flops and learn valuable lessons that will stand to them in the future.
  5. They learn from their mistakes and this allows them to streamline their processes and allow them to improve things as they progress overtime. You are never going to hit a home run everytime but you can learn a lot from the mistakes you make.
  6. The winners have a super positive outlook and adopt the mantra “if they can do it then so can I” Once upon a time even the most expert industry leaders were new in their field and from reverse engineering and analyzing how they did it you too can be successful.
  7.  The winners hunt out other successful people and try to network with them and learn from them. Going to events is a great way of rubbing shoulders with the right people.
  8. The winners have a giving attitude and are happy to really look after their parters and customers and make sure they are super happy. Whether that is from giving out generous commissions or investing in great customer service, having a giving attitude works and will get you noticed by the right people.
  9. The winners focus a lot on the marketing campaign for their product or service because even if you have the best product in the world no one is going to know it exists without an awesome marketing plan behind it.
  10. The winners block out distractions and become strategic in the way they work and really focus on being productive and getting tasks completed.

And now contrast that with the Also-Rans…

The Also-Rans 🙁

  1. They don’t really have a true vision of what they want their business to become and if you ask them they will just say “to make money online”. There is no real plan there and with no plan in place it’s impossible to proceed.
  2. They jump on the latest make money online fad that comes out and don’t stick to the fundamentals of building value in their market and sticking to a real plan.
  3. They will keep working on something forever trying to get it absolutely perfect. This wastes a lot of time and can delay their results for months or even years.
  4. They quit at the first sign of trouble and give up when they hit that first bump in the road. Instead they should embrace these failures and learn from their experiences.
  5. They never accept responsibility and mistakes are never their fault. It’s always someone elses. This is the wrong mindset to have and prevents from learning and moving forward.
  6. They generally have a negative outlook on things. They make excuses as to why they can’t emulate the success of others and use that as their reason as to why they can’t make their business a success.
  7. They don’t seek out or network with other successful people and if they do they make a bad impression when talking with them. Instead of being cool and appreciative of networking with these folks they go straight after the deal which doesn’t endear them to their peers.
  8. They are greedy and they don’t look after their staff or partners properly. They pay low commissions on their products and pay their staff the bare minimum. This is not the way to build goodwill and they quickly alienate themselves from all sides.
  9. They don’t focus enough on the marketing campaign behind their products/services and instead just presume because they have created something awesome people are going to buy it. Unfortunately that isn’t true and marketing is a fundamental part of any businesses success.
  10. They are easily distracted and spend hours each day being a “Busy Fool” on FB, Skype, Email instead of blocking out times to check those things. They should be focused only on productive tasks and check email and the like at set intervals only.

And so my question for you at the end of this post is are you a Winner or an Also-Ran?

And if you’re not a Winner YET, what is holding you back?

What is the main thing that’s preventing your business from being a success?

Leave your comments below and I’ll reply to them personally.

As always – thanks for reading,





Easy going guy and founder of who enjoys traveling, live music and good coffee - as well as sharing tips and strategies on this blog to help others navigate the world of online marketing!

    15 replies to "How to Separate Yourself from the Crowd and Be Part of the 1%"

    • Super-RAJ

      Noel, Brilliant post about what makes people SUPER successful.

      I agree with the points mentioned and the differences between winners and loosers.

      Looking at your list I will toot my own horn and say I have more winning traits than the loosing/ unsuccessful ones 🙂 wasn’t always that way but Im constantly learning and improving my abilities to be a part of the 1% club

      See you at the top 😉

      • Noel

        Thanks Raj,

        I’m glad you like it and see you at the top 😉


    • Mats Rehn

      Thank you Noel for an important point of view on this huge problem, that leads to frustration and broken dreams for the majority of newbie marketers.

      It looks like your milestone of getting on the right track was when you stopped treating it like a hobby and started to call it Business and started to focus on the results.

      Mats Rehn recently posted…Top 10 Affiliate NetworksMy Profile

      • Noel

        Hi Mats,

        Yes that was a big step when I finally realized I had the treat it as a business and not as a hobby. You start to think about things a little bit differently then and focus on the bottom line which is to grow your business.

        Thanks for dropping by,


    • Dave Thomas


      Reading this article is like reading my IM history. I’m now working with John to, as you say, develop a business on-line!

      Many things are getting in the way like a J.O.B., but each time I do something taking me in the right direction is a step forward!

      Enjoyable article and hoping to become one of teh 1% over the next few years

      Dave Thomas recently posted…Five Ways to Stop Information OverloadMy Profile

      • Noel

        Hi Dave,

        If you keep working with John and keep making progress every week then you’re definitely on the right path – no doubt about that.

        The key is to keep things moving and stick to your plan. I always find when I have a well structured plan for a project it’s like a map and helps me get from Point A to Point B in the fastest possible time.



    • Kim

      Brilliant post Noel and I suspect many of us found it uncomfortable reading.

      I saw myself in a couple of the also rans, but luckily a few in the winners as well lol
      Kim recently posted…How To Publish and Sell 100 Copies of your Kindle Book with No Money Down…(Di Heuser)My Profile

      • Noel

        Hi Kim,

        Ya, I know what you mean – it was a little uncomfortable for me writing it too!

        Luckily most of my Also-Ran traits are behind me now and hopefully that’s where they stay 😉



    • Janice

      Thank you for sharing your information..
      I think a lot of us feel the same way..
      The Big picture,I get it and help is
      always there..You just have to reach out
      for it..
      Janice recently posted…Guest BloggingMy Profile

    • Ant Carter

      I second that, what a fantastic post about success. I like the story about your Skype group too, it leads really nicely into the meat of your post.

      I could not agree more about the need to direct your efforts ruthlessly at your aims and ambitions. In life there are always many distractions, and in online business (when learning the ropes particularly) this is massively the case.

      I have identified this problem too, and because I like to plan, I am creating a product which will help people define and follow a chosen direction – and in doing so increase their chances of business success.

      The early bird list is open now at .. I would be really interested in your opinion of the process I recommend for doing this, when I launch in September.
      Ant Carter recently posted…The Crucial Difference Between A Hobby That Pays And A BusinessMy Profile

      • Noel

        Hey Ant,

        Yes, I agree focus and planning is super important. And something I have to revisit on a regular basis to keep me on track….because it’s so easy to get distracted.

        I think you have a good idea with your product because it’s definitely something that the majority of people who start an online business have – probably 99% of them 🙂



    • darcie rich

      This is a great post. I see a lot of familiarity in this post within myself. Some of that good and some of that being not so good. This helps me figure out what exactly it is that I need to be working on! Thanks for the great advice!
      darcie rich recently posted…Today I Start My JourneyMy Profile

      • Noel

        Thanks Darcie, it’s always good to take a step back from time to time and decide what you need to work on and prioritise your tasks accordingly.

        All the Best 🙂


    • Darcie Rich

      I most definetly identify with a lot of things on this post. Thank you for all the wonderful tips! Now I can use some of these tips to move forward in excelling my blog.
      Darcie Rich recently posted…Today I Start My JourneyMy Profile

      • Noel

        That’s great to hear and good luck with your blog!

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