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The Shortest Path To Online Success

shortest path to online successStudents and clients always ask me how to achieve online success.  Even more, they want me to point out the shortest path to online success.

I can only answer these questions after assessing their responses to a few of my own questions.


How Do You Measure Success?

Are you looking for financial freedom?  

By that, I mean, are you trying to quit your job and work for yourself?

Are you trying to establish yourself as an authority or expert in your field?  

This kind of success can be achieved without quitting your job, and in fact, people often seek this type of success because it helps them move up in their job or career.

Are you seeking massive wealth?


What Are You Willing To Invest Toward Your Online Success?

How much money do you have to invest in your business?

How much money can you raise, earn or borrow to build it into what you want?

How much time are you willing and able to dedicate?

What is your current understanding of the money and time required for online success?


What Do You Want To Succeed In?

Do you want to be a writer, a blogger, a prestigious team leader of your opportunity, a dating guru?

What is your passion?


What Do You Bring To The Table?

What do you have experience in?

What are you good at already?

What do you have special knowledge in?

What is a particular skill you have?


What Will You Need To Learn?

Do you have to learn copywriting?

How about video production, marketing, advertising?

Make a list.

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What Are You Willing To Learn?

This is important because for what you want to accomplish, it might be necessary to learn html coding, or stand in front of a camera and shoot a face to front video. 

But maybe you hate doing those things and are therefore likely to resist and procrastinate.

You should think of this in advance and choose to succeed in something that does not require you doing things you don’t like.

Probably the biggest example of this is “selling”.


When Are You Ready To Start?

This is where I find out if somebody is really looking for the shortest path to online success, or if they’re confusing online success with “push button,” “cruise control” or “instant” success.

Those who are ready to start immediately, or at least by a date certain… I consider that they are serious in their intent.

Those that make excuses like, “I’m kind of busy now” or “I have to figure out where to begin, first”… are most likely dreamers and procrastinators.

Either way, once I’ve had this conversation with a student or client, I can tell exactly how I can (or sometimes, cannot) assist them.


The Shortest Path To Online Success

Whatever sort of online success you might be seeking, the shortest path to “getting there” is revealed in my 5 minute video:


So, there you have it…

Some of the key questions, plus the one big answer (in the video) that addresses all of them.

Of course, there’s a lot of pieces to the puzzle.  No one answer “fits all”.  It’s a step by step, day by day process, that folks usually need some help with on an individual basis.

That’s the kind of help I give every day to members of the Whirlwind Success “VIP Club.”

Why not check it out for yourself?

Whatever path you decide to embark upon, remember the “Shortest Path To Online Success” that I’ve taught you here.

What’s your online path?

How do you address the obstacles and challenges you encounter?

Have you pretty much answered all the questions I’ve asked here?  (It’s a good idea to write out your answers for clarity).

I’d love to have your comments and insights in the comments section below.

Particularly, I would like to hear what you think of the “Shortest Path To Online Success” that I described in the video.

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

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39 Responses to The Shortest Path To Online Success

  1. Mark July 12, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    Great advice David!

    I really love your analogy about drilling holes in the back yard and not drilling deep enough ( sticking with something) long enough to get any type of bankable results.

    I also like and appreciate how you advice your students and clients to provide their definition of success!

    It’s amazing how many otherwise extremely intelligent and practical people, are only too ready to believe they can somehow go from broke clueless and completely inexperienced beginner to money making expert in less time than it takes to bake a Thanksgiving turkey!

    Good luck with that! I love your sound advice on the video and in your post!

    That’s why I have no problem calling you coach! Thanks for sharing your proven insights coach!
    I for one, will definitely take them to heart!
    Mark´s last blog post ..How The Ultimate Insiders Use Incentive Programs To Drive Your Competitors Crazy! Part Five

    • David Merrill 101 July 24, 2014 at 12:19 am #

      Thanks, Mark.

      Always good to hear from you.

      As you say, so many people think they can just jump online and start making money. There is a process to follow, and it’s different for each person… depending on his/her goals.

      That’s why I question my clients so thoroughly, so I can get a sense of the best process for them to follow.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  2. Marquita Herald July 12, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Well said David – there’s always a price to pay for whatever you want. The real question is how much one is willing to trade. Ironically for many entrepreneurs I’ve known the biggest challenge was your last point – starting. I believe there are phases to achieving any goal – many people have dreams, some will create a plan, fewer will fully commit to paying the price to make their dream a reality, but only a small number will actually take the first step to make it a reality. Thanks for the great advice and inspiration!
    Marquita Herald´s last blog post ..Healing Broken Hearts One Lick at a Time

    • David Merrill 101 July 24, 2014 at 12:25 am #

      Right you are Marty.

      There is always a price to pay to achieve your goals. So many people waste so much time trying to find success with free ways, methods and so forth and so on.

      Believe me, “free” has a big price tag and it’s called “your time”. So many people are led down the wrong path because they won’t invest in their success. Some finally figure it out and get off the dead-end path they are on.

      But most end up giving up in frustration because they just kept going down one dead-end path after another. Yea, that’s frustrating!
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  3. Sarupa Shah July 13, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Goodness me obstacles…it’s can often feel like a slalom … LOL however you are right as whenever the success I defined for my experience isn’t forthcoming – I have to ask myself to go deeper and then it comes ultimately – I just needed to get through the layers holding me back! Great advice here as ever David – thanks!
    Sarupa Shah´s last blog post ..How to find the uniqueness of your business [video]

  4. William Earl Amis, Jr. III July 13, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    David, you are truly a skillful leader in our industry. I found that the points you are making with learning about what someone is looking for is the first step.

    We rush into pitching, most do. They over look so much of the reason to listen to what the person is feeling. They, are with you to share what their vision is, not yours.

    Great points and made me re-evaluate my whole view of others. Not that it really matters what anyone would think about you. You only can make a choice to learn first, to get all the facts. Than, jumping into something new, that sparks you interest, just once again.

    Let us take our times to learn what others are looking for. Be grateful for their time and help them in ways that will make them reach their goals. Not being focused with our impressions.

    Thank you David, you are always in my prayers, brother!
    William Earl Amis, Jr. III´s last blog post ..Presenting The Whole Package!

    • David Merrill 101 July 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

      Love your perspective, William.

      I know you practice what you preach, too, by always taking time “to to learn what other are looking for” and for always seeking “ways that will make them reach their goals.”

      That’s really what it’s all about, and it’s great to see you getting the job done.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do Shiny Objects Drive Online Entrepreneurs Crazy?

      • William Earl Amis, Jr. III September 15, 2014 at 1:25 am #

        David, you are always showing us how to accomplish the things we vision. I understand that it takes courage and insight to walk people through their challenges. Then, they gain that self-confidence needed to achieve great things.

        We keep people focused on themselves and allow the process of awareness to develop. Then, walking them through their challenges allows a clarity they never believed existed.

        Great job in keeping us open to new things.
        William Earl Amis, Jr. III´s last blog post ..Be A User, Not A Sales Person?

  5. nick catricala July 14, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    thanks so much for sharing all this wealth of information explaining what truly mean to succeed, what success may mean to each and every one of us.and how to do it the simple way possible and you know what.. I start last week re-focusing once more (I have been doing this for the last 2 months but focused 100% in the last week and boy did I get ahead haha 🙂

    Now have a clear idea of what direction to take and with what .. that was hard work since I was into to many directions but once I decided the direction that felt great to me.. it start to be simple..

    You have helped me along the way many times with your articles.. I am new in “focusing” since In the past I done a lot of unfocus work because that was fun.. now I love to focus on supporting others and so what I learned from you is helping immensely because you have so much experience into this field and you have done it.. you still dong it today and not just talking about.

    Always a pleasure coming to read your articles and now that my focus is on marketing and advertising.. for certain will visit your blog more often because you have many diamond pieces of info that I can use along the way.

    Thanks so much again for sharing.
    nick catricala´s last blog post ..A Lifetime Commitment -Part 5 of 6

    • David Merrill 101 July 27, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

      There are so many directions to move in, Nick.

      It takes wide vision to see them all, but blinders to stick to the one that “fits” your own passion and expertise.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do Shiny Objects Drive Online Entrepreneurs Crazy?

      • nick catricala August 25, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

        as the saying go.. short and sweet.. yes… your reply to my comment if very short and sweet and I will add.. Direct and TRUE.. THANKS so much.

        I have been working very hard to stay focused (put blinders on) in the last few weeks… even so I am focused on what I need to do.. some how I still go back to the only habit.. but I am winning.. I go back less and less and I know sooner or later I will conquer it completely.

        I found out that a trusted coach/friend.. is a lot of help.. because of the accountability.

        Thanks so such much again for writing such a great article to help so many people
        like me and people who have benefitted from the information..
        nick catricala´s last blog post ..What you do when time seem to be against you?

  6. Kyle Nelson July 14, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    I must agree there is always a trade-off or “price” that you have to pay in order to get any type of success. I love how you say you have to drill deep, great way to put it! 🙂 As long as you stay focused and persevere towards your ultimate goal (which is usually “success”) you will eventually hit it!
    Kyle Nelson´s last blog post ..These People Are Kinda A Big Deal

    • David Merrill 101 July 27, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      You said it all, Kyle… just “stay focused”…

      That’s certainly easier said than done though with so many great options open. That’s why you’ve got to really work within your passion, or like so many people, the “price” will see to big, and the focus will shift to something that seems easier, and seems to have a lower price tag [emphasis “seems”].
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do Shiny Objects Drive Online Entrepreneurs Crazy?

  7. nick catricala July 20, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

    I love your short and sweet comment that summarize the whole scenario of achieving the so called “success” as each one of us conceive it to be.

    I love to talk, and write and one thing that I love even more is to do what a teacher of mine once said: “Talk Less and Say a Lot”.. I love to learn to do that and when someone like you share it how it is done. I admire it.

    What David shared with us is a great tutorial of what success is all about and achieving it is each one of us choice…

    Sooo great to learn from both of you.

    Thanks so much and all the best in every way.
    nick catricala´s last blog post ..A Lifetime Commitment -Part 5 of 6

  8. Sue Bride July 26, 2014 at 11:11 am #

    It was more like open cut mining for me when I started my online marketing journey. I left a series of shallow holes everywhere, never anywhere long enough to stake my claim, mainly because I was digging in the wrong places. I then drilled down in a couple of areas only to find that I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing.

    I’d not considered it until reading this, but any results I got did not match my concept of success. It took me a while but I’m now working in areas that suit me best, where I feel I can make a contribution not only to my own pocket but to others too.

    I’ve learned a lot, not only about marketing but about myself too. It’s all been valuable but if I’d read posts like this when I started my path would have been shorter.
    Sue Bride´s last blog post ..Facebook Image Sizes Timeline Newsfeed

    • David Merrill 101 July 27, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

      I like that, Sue… “cut mining”…

      Isn’t that so typical of how entrepreneurs so often go about trying to create and run an online business.

      Glad to hear your approach got much more surgical… as in Laser Surgery… lol
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do Shiny Objects Drive Online Entrepreneurs Crazy?

  9. Karen Peltier July 28, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    Hello David. I really like how you always give numbers and succinct strategies to achieve success. Your suggestion of giving a new plan or strategy a 90-day time frame to try it out before judging it makes a lot of sense to me. Results are not instant and sometimes are hard to measure. It made me think of the time I had demonstrated spa recipes on a local TV program. I definitely got more hits to my website, but not necessarily instant results when it cam to workshop sign-ups. However, over time, I definitely think it made people more aware of what I do since I got a few significant leads from it. The fact the TV program website had links to my website helped and I also had the opportunity to link to their videos.
    Karen Peltier´s last blog post ..DIY Antimicrobial Cinnamon Cleaning Spray for the Kitchen and Bathroom

    • David Merrill 101 August 2, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      Good point, Karen.

      Your “spa recipes” spot didn’t have “instant results”. Now a lot of people would stop there and say, “I’m not doing that anymore… I got no results”.

      But you realized that the hits to your website were not only more valuable in the long run, but they bought you high quality (“a few significant”) leads. The quality is always worth more than the vague, faceless metrics like “hits”, “optins” and “conversions”. Nice job.

  10. Enstine Muki August 2, 2014 at 2:10 am #

    Hey David,
    I think this is my first time here and I’m glad I linked up from Dr.Erica’s blog.

    In 2011, I generated about $29000 online. That was my first year of working hard online and my success came as a result of focus. I found a product, focused on it, dug it in and out and as a newbie, $29k was a huge success.

    Now, you hit the nail in this vid Dav. Focus is key. You don’t succeed being Jack of all and master of none.

    Your message is clear and it perfectly answers the question.
    Enstine Muki´s last blog post ..Looking for Traffic? See why you are wrong!

    • David Merrill 101 August 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

      You sure demonstrated the value of drilling deep, Enstine.

      Your success is clearly due to your determination, consistency, and resolve to stick with a single plan of action, rather than try out 100… at the same time!

      Thanks for your valuable contribution, here.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do Shiny Objects Drive Online Entrepreneurs Crazy?

  11. Lesly Federici August 3, 2014 at 9:29 am #

    Hi David,
    Love your analogy of “drilling” You say so many important things here.. stick to it, do the tasks, work at it everyday …staying focused …this is all of what so many don’t do .. it’s boring to stay focused! LOL But it’s the one thing that will absolutely increase your success..
    Lesly Federici´s last blog post ..Insights For Group Leaders

    • David Merrill 101 August 3, 2014 at 3:17 pm #

      I see it a little differently, Lesly.

      I know what you mean when you say “it’s boring to stay focused” insofar as that means incessant rinse and repeat actions. But as for drilling deep, that becomes anything but rinse and repeat.

      You see, the deeper you drill into your niche, into your topic, into a process… the more fascinating it becomes. Every inch deeper opens up whole new worlds. It’s kind of like taking a pebble on the beach and tossing it in the water. You know something about that pebble… how it felt, how smooth or rough it was and so forth. But if you kept it, took it to your lab, cracked it open… now you see much more and it raises new questions from which to derive new theories and hypothesis. Put it under the microscope it gets even more fascinating… electron microscope and you can see the whole Universe unravel before your eyes.

      So I totally agree that doing repeat actions all day long, like copy and paste backlinks all over the internet… that’s tedious and if you stay focused on it, it’s pretty boring.

      But drilling deep in one spot is a bit different. It’s exploring new things continually, and experimenting as a way of life. That’s an incredible journey, whether or not you strike oil 🙂

      Thanks for your insights, Lesly. I always value them.

  12. Christi Johnson August 3, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

    Great video, David…and man!! I have been waiting to hear someone put it so plainly. There is no, such thing as overnight success in home business ownership or online marketing. There are, indeed, those few, rare people who start earning lots of money in their first month or two in business, but there tends to usually be a back story…

    …like this is their third or fourth or fifth try, and things finally clicked with their new company.

    Consistency and persisting with the right actions are the magic keys to success. I appreciate you putting it so plainly for everyone to see, hear, and to read!
    Christi Johnson´s last blog post ..My Choice For Blog Monetization – Ingreso Cybernetico, The Company Best-Suited For Online Personal Branding!

    • David Merrill 101 August 16, 2014 at 1:29 pm #

      Glad you liked this, Christi.

      And, you’re so right.. there’s always a “back story”. We only see success, never the hard work, persistent dedication, the compromises and the blisters.

      Look at any ballet dancer. Beautiful, graceful, effortless motion.

      That’s the “product”.

      The back story entails YEARS of hard work, total immersion in the mission and yes… blisters, calluses, cuts and bruises… even debilitating injuries that result from the physical trauma of such heroic efforts that usually consumed 6, 8, 10 hour days in the studio… where nobody was watching, nobody applauding, nobody witnessing the true back story.

      Online entrepreneurs may have it easy compared to the ballerina, but they need the same kind of dedication and sacrifice.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  13. William Earl Amis Jr III August 16, 2014 at 9:20 pm #


    I was compelled to return. I see listening to a person and having them, write in detail. Their vision of how it is to be in their life. That is the point, when they feel they have achieved success as they determined.

    Once they can share a detailed written vision. We can have clarity, and also see their vision as we read it. Now, everyone can focus on execution of daily activities. That only focus on moving forward towards the end result, their vision. Clarity, Focus and Execution.

    Fundamentals of business.

    Thanks David, I had a “Light Bulb” moment.
    William Earl Amis Jr III´s last blog post ..“The Light Bulb Moment”

    • David Merrill 101 August 16, 2014 at 11:55 pm #

      True enough, William.

      Having clients write down these things accomplishes several things.

      First of all, it gives us a framework to adhere to during our conversation.

      In addition, it promotes clarity for both coach and client. It’s unambiguous and up front.

      Finally, it helps the client to write these things down because it forces them to confront issues and processes that can be easily overlooked as long as they remain vague and unspoken.

      Nice to have your observations, William.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  14. Heather August 18, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    I am going to print out your questions and really analyze where I am on my path. What a great post. Got me really thinking and desiring to push myself further.
    Heather´s last blog post ..Going to Atlanta in September!

  15. Nile August 25, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Success is what you make of it. If you can’t plan what you want to do, and open your mind to the fact that to reach success, you will fail on the way, then success won’t come, OR it will…. kind of, but not exactly be the goal you had in mind.

    I think a lot of people can learn from this and hopefully formulate their path towards success.
    Nile´s last blog post ..#WordPressWednesday 2014 Volume 6

  16. Kyle Holcomb September 16, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    This is so true! I do two strategies, but I use them to benefit each other and I do them both very consistently. I don’t really monitor my results right not, but I do notice a gradual increase in the amount of people engaging with me that are interested in me, my services, and my products. You provided great advice for all of those who are struggling and I highly suggest that they find that one niche and stick with it. Thank you for sharing!

    • David Merrill 101 September 21, 2014 at 12:30 am #

      You seem to be doing your online business the right way, Kyle.

      Of course, you need to start monitoring your results because that will guide you in moving in the right direction. You really need to test things steadfastly. It’s amazing how we think we know what will work well, only to find it doesn’t, and vice versa. Without learning to test and monitor results properly, we’re really only guessing about what actually is improving your business, and where you can tweak it.

      Congratulations on doing a great job out here, Kyle! Keep it up.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  17. William Earl Amis, Jr. III September 29, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    David, these subjects keep appearing in our circles.

    I wanted to express the need for awareness in investing in ones self. Most, believe it only starts once you learn what you use and find a passion with. Then, learn how by just sharing that passion. You will create a revenue source.

    We have to make more people aware that investing is not limited to activity. Learning about others and their needs. That is a key part of learning. It also gives you new relationship building. You can learn people’s needs when the right time arrives. Well worth investing more time in this area.

    Thank you David for keeping us active with our minds.
    William Earl Amis, Jr. III´s last blog post ..Fundamentals Of Live and Business – Focus!

    • David Merrill 101 October 18, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      I think that learning to do something online in a niche that you are passionate about is the cornerstone to success.

      As you aptly point out, though, William… it is only the starting point. There’s much more to do beyond that. That’s where good training and coaching becomes essential.

      Thanks for chiming in here, William.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do You Want To Rank Page One On Google?

  18. Chery Schmidt November 9, 2014 at 7:19 pm #

    Hello David, I do love your video, your 90 day theory sounds like a reasonable amount of time to drill your plan down to see if it is something you want to do.

    There are so many shiny objects out there, Oh yeh everyone will tell you their business is the best Right.

    I do thine we have all been there done that HUH?

    Great post..Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt´s last blog post ..Your Foundation To Online Success

  19. David Merrill 101 November 19, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    Glad you liked the video, Chery.

    I like to “show up” from time to time on my blog, get a bit closer up to folks.

    It’s always fun.

    I think people really need to work a strategy for at least 90 days to see if it works, and before they can start making major modifications.

    One of the things I drum into my clients, is that if they don’t really put consistent, daily action into something for a sustained period of time… they can’t expect it to work, and will never know whether or not it does work for them.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Mentoring For Online Success

  20. Monna Ellithorpe December 14, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    Hi David,

    I always seem to come away from your blog with something new to think about and apply to what I am already doing. True that sometimes it seems so boring but as you said, keep at it and keep consistent and it will reward you in the long run.

    I also believe that we all need to keep your question above very close and re-read them often to keep focused.
    Monna Ellithorpe´s last blog post ..Who Is Really At Fault?

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