It’s always so easy for someone who’s been there to say.

If you’re going to do anything positive that will change your life, it starts with taking action.

This seems so easy, but it’s often the toughest thing to do en route to the Dot Com lifestyle.


There’s a natural hesitance, of course, because of the uncertainty of a new venture, especially as an e-commerce entrepreneur. The specter of being all alone in the vastness of cyberspace where both pride and pocketbook are on the line can be daunting.

That’s why it’s absolutely vital you’re doing the right thing for the right reason.


Once your heart is committed, it’s time to convince your head.

This is where the rubber well and truly meets the road. You’ve got three elements to analyze:

successful business idea criteria

You don’t have to be the Pew Research Center to sort this out beyond a reasonable doubt.

There are a number of free tools and resources available, and they’re all within a few keystrokes:

Here’s a tried-&-true method for evaluating — and learning from — the competition you’ll encounter:

  • Start by finding the most successful entrepreneurial enterprise in your niche and do a reverse-engineering hack on their site.
  • Use a tool like MOAT to find out where they’re advertising.
  • Study their ad format and create something similar for your product.
  • Contact the advertiser and purchase the same sort of space.
  • Measure your results and refine from there.

This is paint-by-the-numbers, not difficult at all, and extremely effective.


Here’s another way to keep trial-&-error costs to a minimum when you want to determine if you’re onto a winning product. It works especially well when you’re testing the marketability of physical products:

  • Create a mock-up of the product,
  • Place it on your site or a squeeze page, and
  • Create a simple ad campaign for it.

Here’s an example for a T-shirt we’ve introduced in our Fanorama store, which is related to our snarky sports site, The Daily Player:


When you start getting what are essentially pre-orders, you’ll be in much better position to decide if the product’s going to be a limited run or a keeper.

This technique also works well by using a simple graphic of your product. You can even couch your ad by asking, Would you buy this shirt? Mention the price, offer a link, and analyze your data.

Either way, don’t overthink it.


Time is more than money, because you can’t re-earn it. So do the research and development before you make great outlays, and you’ll boost your efforts to ultimately live the Dot Com lifestyle.

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