I’ve Got to Ditch the Gold Rush Mentality

Growing up I saw my dad try to sell Amway and a whole lot of other multi-level marketing ventures that never really worked out. I thought it was a bit ridiculous, but then I fell prey to a couple schemes myself when I was young. 

I felt dumb, a regretted the money I wasted. I swore never again … 

Now I’m not going to say ever MLM is bad, that’s not the point. That’s actually the opposite of the point I want to make. 

I just realized that for me, and my dad, and a whole lot of people in this world, I have a bit of a gambler in me, and by that, I’m just looking for my hot streak to come along when I’m finally going to strike it rich (quick) without hardly trying. I just got to be in the right place at the right time and get lucky. 

Hell even when I am in the right place at the right time – not that I’ve ever really struck it rich, but I’ve had my lucky moments – but then I get greedy and think I can play the system and beat it. But it never goes how I plan. 

I live out on the West Coast of the U.S. and the town I grew up in was a gold rush town – kind of like the California Gold Rush, but in Oregon. It happened there too.

I think of all those guys who risked their lives to come out west, and a whole lot of people from Asia who for them headed East, for their chance to strike it rich. Every single one of them thought they were going to be the lucky ones. They’d just show up, dip their hand down into the stream, and pull out a gold nugget the size of their head and that would be that – no more worries. 

But for most of them, it didn’t work out. 

There are plenty of legitimate business opportunities online, but one thing I’ve learned is I need to stop trying to chase the next gold rush. Affiliate marketing is not a quick, or necessarily “easy” path to success. But it’s a proven path. Affiliate marketing is not a lottery that a few lucky people win. It’s a skill that can be learned. 

If you’ve found you’re way to this blog you probably either:

  1. You class yourself as an affiliate marketer, but you haven’t really got traction or achieved the results that you want yet
  2. You don’t think of yourself as an affiliate marketer however you are fully aware of what it is; you are in a place where you may feel a little overwhelmed, lost, or confused right now as to how to make it work and what to do (all feelings that someone in category 1 can also possess)
  3. You may not have ever looked into affiliate marketing, but like the other categories above, you want to change your life by earning a consistent income online

If you don’t think of yourself as being in one of those three categories, I’m not sure why you’d be reading this blog, but you’re still welcome to read away.

You don’t have to spend too much time trying to learn about how to make money online, using YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc. to hear about affiliate marketing. Many people know about it, they just don’t know what it’s called. 

It’s a major force in the marketing world, used by even the biggest brands in the world. In large part because it’s super efficient for the brands. They don’t have to pay you if you don’t results. Which is of course the risk for you. You can waste a lot of time and money with nothing to show for it. 

But if you do get good at it, it can pay very well. And I do believe that if you work at it long enough and don’t give up we can all learn how to make this work. Of course, you also want to not go broke before you learn it – that’s also very important.

Unfortunately, most people never get past the pitfalls and achieve the success that they want from it. But I think that’s because most people start with the wrong attitude. A lot of people are just trying to find that “get rich quick” scheme. They never stick to something and instead just jump from one thing to another – chasing the hype, getting distracted by the next shiny object – those “solve all your problems in a day” type of “solutions”. 

I’ve fallen victim to those kinds of schemes before. And I’ve learned those solutions don’t really exist. Sure now and again someone wins the lottery, but hoping you’re going to win the lottery is not a good way to live. 

Of course, we’d all like success as quickly as possible, with as little work as possible.

Many people play on this desire. 

But if you think you’ve failed if you don’t make 10K in your first 30 days trying something new, then you’re probably going to quit and look for something new. Then quit that when you don’t succeed immediately, and the vicious cycle continues.  

People feel that the reason they didn’t achieve results isn’t because of THEIR actions, but rather it’s because they haven’t found “THE RIGHT PRODUCT” (or program, course, etc.) that will finally help them achieve their desires.

Their journey into the online business/make money online world started with the promise they could get rich without even trying. 

When I first started online with affiliate marketing, I thought it was going to be easy too. In part, that’s because I had had success in business before. I overestimated my abilities, or at least my ability to apply my skills to online marketing and sales. But it’s a whole lot different from face-to-face sales. 

I learned the problem was my mindset – and I don’t mean I needed to create a vision board, or somehow wish money to come to me. A lot of people wish for money that doesn’t come.

I needed to get the gold rush mindset out of my mind. It’s not going to be a show-up and just pull the gold nuggets out of the creek, get rich in a week, and retire in Bolivia by next year situation. That mindset will lead to failure.

So I’m not looking for the next gold rush. I’m not looking to win the lottery. I’m ready to work, learn my craft, and become a master of affiliate marketing, and it turns out that hasn’t happened overnight.

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16 responses to “I’ve Got to Ditch the Gold Rush Mentality”

  1. yes indeed, spot on. the lure of a buck quick can be so seductive, and to be fair, fome of those out there selling the ‘pick axes and panning tools’ are very persuasive.. but generally it is true I life that those things that cost you little and are in easy reach are not the things of lasting value.

  2. You have a very lucid vision of what it is to get an income from affiliate marketing. I like this. Getting rich quick is an artefact of chance. However you can’t rely solely on chance, everytime. Chance doesn’t run a business. Only you with your efforts and commitment can make this machine to work. Great post.

  3. I can relate to your story. I too had an offline brick & mortar business which I started about 25 years ago and am fairly new to the online marketing world and yes it’s a challenge adapting from face to face selling to selling rather than trying to sell to a first name and email address! I’m sure we’ll master it

  4. Hi, Nathan! You are indeed a fan of He-Man! Fabulous!

    I can relate to thinking affiliate marketing will be easy. I didn’t expect it to get rich quickly exactly, but I thought for sure if I worked hard in the first three months, the money would start rolling in. Wow! I was wrong.

    I have to get really good at doing the right things over time, and then the money will come.

    I’ve also heard that I should just forget about the money and do the things. When the money does come in just be glad and keep doing the things. I’ve kind of evolved into this mentality. I’m just doing the tasks and am excited when I get a new subscriber or sale, but it’s not the focus anymore.

    I really like your comparison to the gold rush. I bet you played The Oregon Trail game as a kid in Oregon. Do you know they’ve made it into a card game?

    1. The Oregon Trail game was popular when I was a kid, but I only remember playing it once – we had it in our school library, but I think I just didn’t want to wait in line. I actually own the card game, it’s pretty fun.

      I agree that it’s best not to think about the money, but just do what needs to be done. If nothing else thinking about the money too much can get us focused on the wrong things, and instead of working to help people and be truthful, it can tempt us to cut corners. But if we’re honest and we help people, we’re going to do well.

  5. Hi Nathan,

    Great post. That makes perfect sense about the gold rush.. MLM.. Why do we all fall into those get rich quick schemes. My husband tried to see Electricity. We made 2 promotions, then everyone else quit. Back to the drawing board.

    I can’t wait to see your next post. You are really good at pulling people in, keep it up.

    Thanks, Sandy

    1. Some do well with MLM. Most do not. My niece, for instance won a car, made $$ hand over fist but then, another bright shiny object drew her away from her success. She learned the hard way. Point well taken for all of us!

  6. Being at the right place at the right time may not be enough. It is also important to be prepared to take advantage of the opportunity.

    I was guilty of having the gold rush mentality for many years. That’s why there were times when I was at the right place at the right time, but wasn’t prepared for the opportunity.

    1. I’ve been at the right place at the right time and didn’t take advantage of it before for a variety of reasons – that really stokes the goldrush mindset, like a gambler who has a close brush with good luck, it just feeds the addiction.

  7. Boom! Love this and so similar to my mindset, then and now. I wanted that overnight fix but now realise I’m in this for the long haul. Great read – Martin

  8. Wow, great post! Schemes…just that word drives me crazy. It automatically implies shortcuts and sometime worse, dishonesty! I categorize myself in your blog as item #1) “You class yourself as an affiliate marketer, but you haven’t really got traction or achieved the results that you want yet”. But, I will get there, just like you! Best wishes!

  9. Nathan, hello from London. A lot of what you said, resonated with me, especially things I’ve tried in the past and thought never again. But the thing is if I hadn’t done those things I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am now. As long as you learn and improve from past experiences, you shouldn’t see as a negative thing or as a failure in fact it’s an opportunity. Remember That get rich schemes don’t work, and unfortunately they target a certain type of mindset. The aim should be about learning a craft or a skill that helps people and value to their lives. When you do that they will ask for your help and that’s where you get paid. Like Dean says don’t chase money let money chase you. Wishing you all the best And look forward to your next post thanks, Atif

  10. Nathan,

    You are not alone in your quest to find gold in the internet gold rush. I found myself there on more than one occasion and had to learn the hard way there is no gold at the at the end of the rainbow.

    Success can be had but like you stated, it takes time, hard work and the desire to learn the skills needed. To often we want to skip those and go straight to filling our bank accounts.

    So how do you navigate through all the gold rush propaganda and find the true nuggets? The best way is to find a good mentor that has your best interest at heart.

    I am glad you have found a path that will take you to your goals and dreams.

    1. Find a mentor you can trust is critical, someone you know can lead you through the process, and then just stick to the task. Even imperfect work (which everything is) leads to results when we stick to it.

  11. Hi Nathan!
    I found the piece of gold in your post:
    “There are plenty of legitimate business opportunities online, but one thing I’ve learned is I need to stop trying to chase the next gold rush. Affiliate marketing is not a quick, or necessarily “easy” path to success. But it’s a proven path. Affiliate marketing is not a lottery that a few lucky people win. It’s a skill that can be learned.”
    I thoroughly enjoyed the way you wrote your post. I’ll be back for more!
    All the best!
    Milissa Neirotti

  12. Hi Nathan, I enjoyed reading your post! I have experienced some of the things you talk about, especially in terms of quick rich schemes and overpromised then undelivered programmes. It took me quite a while to learn from those experiences. Mindset…I am a huge believer that everything comes down to it. It is one of my main focuses this year because I know the right mindset is critical to my success. I think you have it well sorted now and will make amazing progress and have a very successful year!

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