Progress and Completion

by Jeremy Schoemaker on March 25, 2009 · 113 comments

Every day I get this question in my email:

Hey man help a brother out. I just lost my job. I have no technical ability or resources and I need to make $5,000.00 in 1 week and only have $100.00 to spend. What do I need to do?

My answer is always the same:

“Sorry I am not qualified to answer that. I focus on building quality services that take years to build and stand the test of time. I have zero experience about getting 50x return on my money in a week hours with zero technical ability or any resources what so ever..”

Then I always get something back like:


It used to bug me a bit but I have become numb to it.

Now – do I play around with affiliate stuff and sometimes make 50-100x my money in 24 hours? SURE but those times are EXTREMELY rare and its happen maybe 5x in a 6 year period to me. And that is only because it was something I stumbled upon while building our next thing.

Progress is a very underrated thing.

Why is it people are so unwilling to make small progress every day on something. Its really the key to success. It applies to all areas.

Right now we are working on like seriously 20 projects of which 3 are massive new ventures for us.

We just try to make progress on every one every day.

This is a HUGE challenge. And it requires something that does not come naturally to me – Management.

But the rewards of making progress every day are HUGE.

People think of affiliate marketing as some fly by night thing. And sure people are making some money flying by night but the biggest affiliate earners have build there systems over YEARS.

Completion is very overrated.

Completion or reaching the end many times means death. When you complete your life… your dead.

People win the lottery and feel that is all they need to complete their life and looks what happens to 87% of them. They go bankrupt. They stop making progress on LIFE.

The same is true in internet projects. If you are working to just complete the project and move onto something else then it has no chance to succeed.

I know its not the American way but start thinking long term and make progress every day. Trust me.

full disclosure

About the author...

– who has written 2895 posts on

Jeremy "ShoeMoney" Schoemaker is the founder & CEO of the ShoeMoney Blog, Elite Retreat Internet Conference, & the PAR Program. In 2013 Jeremy released his #1 Amazon Best selling Autobiography titled "Nothing's Changed But My Change" - The ShoeMoney Story. Jeremy currently lives in Lincoln Nebraska with his wife and 2 daughters.

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1 Tyler

Wow that sucks. I would be like, be a man, buck up and deal with it. Don’t look for hand-outs, and stop being lazy! lol

I have a friend who will not work part-time or some shitty job because they think it would be degrading. Currently they (husband and wife) are unemployed and have been so for at least 6 months because either are not willing to take on some shit job to just start an income stream. *shrug*

2 Ryan McLean

I get those emails sometimes also
Your friends sound a little silly
They should definately go and work a maccas or something

3 Taris Janitens

Yea – thats major fail right there – desperate times call for desperate measures right?

4 Ryan McLean

Progress everyday is the best way to do things
I have a blog and a newsletter and I am just focusing on building it a little more each an every day. More traffic each day, more posts each day, more subscribers each day
Slow and steady wins the race

5 Aman@BullsBattleBears

People always see the big rewards of an end result without considering the struggles, trial and error and general hardwork that its takes to get there.

6 Seodeluxe

Sure it takes some time to build up some serious business. People tend to see only the cash but not the hard work it is earned with.

7 Giochi Pc

I really found this article interesting. Yes, they should work hard! Good job

8 Encyclopedia

Some people should get a life!

9 Pittsburgh Penguins

Always great advice, glad you’re not sharing your “secrets” for free! jk. Most people don;t realize that an “overnight” success is usually years in the making – it’s only when that person or company gets national media does it appear that they came out of nowhere. As I heard someone famous say – “it’s easier to destroy than to create”

10 CheapWebBanners

Hah, Most people don’t understand that it takes time to build a business and they want the easy way out… That guy needs to get a job to feed his kids and work on the side to maybe make some extra $$…

11 Blog Expert

Just keep doing your thing man. People are pathetic sometimes.

12 Paul B

Ever since I put up a password protected post about how I make decent money with Adsense I get the same type of thing as well. All it takes is a simple subscribe via e-mail to get the password and yet lots of people can’t even be bothered to do that, instead just mailing me to see if they can have the password anyway.

If you can’t be bothered doing something as simple as that what chance of you sticking something out long enough to make some real money?

I’m yet to find any easy, no work involved ways of making money online.


That’s been the hardest thing for me-waiting. I know a few of my sites are on the verge of being successful. I just have to continue to add good content regularly and build my base of viewers. Thanks for the encouragement Shoe!

14 Big Money You’re from Mankato, MN? I attend the university here! Now I actually know someone from the same town who is into the online business stuff.

15 Todd Mintz

The hardest money to make online is the first $100…from then on, though it’s always a challenge, it becomes easier.

16 Affiliate Failure

Can you really blame the people that send those emails though? I mean that angry response is totally uncalled for, but the original email is the result of our industry’s facade!

It seems everywhere you look; someone is selling a get rich quick scheme. Talking about how they made $50,000 last week, and how it only took 3 months to get there. When ignorant people start to poke around in forums and on blogs they find super affiliates like you, ShoeMoney. Then they see your huge Google check and it perpetuates the fantasy. This leads them to believe there is some “secret”.

When you tell them it’s not a secret just years of hard work they call you a liar. While I’m not standing up for uneducated assholes, I am calling out all our colleges trying to make a quick buck selling pipe dreams to the masses! Affiliate marketing is like most profitable business. It takes hard work and dedication to be successful. I’d say the biggest appeal should be freedom, not money!

As you said, it’s possible to make a few thousand dollars relatively quick with affiliate marketing, but it’s the long term projects that truly have the potential for life changing payoffs. This is a great post Jeremy and hopefully it will help educate the newcomers!

17 Adam

I totally agree with this comment. People can get so hung up in all the information flying at them sometimes. It is almost like they are in a fantasy world. Then when something happens like losing there job they just react by instinct thinking they are just missing “this one special trick” that they think they can get from people like shoe

18 Andrew Hansen

Well said mate, you’re exactly right.

19 Niche Store Builder

You mean you can’t make millions overnight? Get the $%^k outta here? I thought this internet marketing thing reached fruition in 3 weeks…

Damn… time for another MLM scheme.

20 free directory submitter

Yeah I agree… But then you do write those posts sometimes saying thay you know tonns of ways to make easy $100 a day that are just not worth your time. :-D But totally agree with you, you should make one of those make money quickly sites that sells affiliate ebooks and send these people there – would probably make close to 5K from $100 in a month depending on the state of the economy. lol

21 Rank Higher, Make Money!

Pretty good answer in response to the question though. Do people seriously think they can take $100 and make $5000 in a week with it? …. if there *is* a way, someone step up and let the rest of us in on it :D

22 Lance Roy

Wow! Im not the kind to ask for a handout and I do keep my day job, but I was heading out the door to go talk to a marketer about some ideas and get as much as I can from him because I was getting frustrated and impatient. But this message is telling me to stay home, work on my projects towards progress for today and start all over tomorrow. Thanks Shoemoney for the “get your head out of your ass” lecture that I needed today! .

23 Brad

Just Last week I made $2000usd – 300 cost = $1700 profit in 1 day/ with 20 minutes of work. It happened once, And I’ll never know if it will happen again.

You just have to keep treaking through…

I’am guilty of finishing projects just to finish them. And all of those project didn’t make any money. lol

24 Nate at Plasticprinters

Great Post! I think society in general has turned into a bunch of people looking for the easy quick fix. Dedication and progress over time through hard work is something totally foreign to them. If it was that easy everyone would do it.


25 Cary

It’s true we have become a society of convenience. We have convenient stores, ATM’s, on demand movies, instant downloads, instant credit, drive through coffee and the list goes on and on. I completely agree that dedication is important. To me internet marketing has almost become my passion. I see it as a means to an end for my 9-5 job. Hopefully that will come within the next 6-9 months.

26 jim

Sometimes persistence and hard work are vastly underrated too.

27 BlogAngry

Everyone wants to make money the easy way, how about getting a second job. go deliver pizza, stock shelf, whatever it takes not to let “your kids starve”.

28 CPR Educator

I am not sure how… Persistence and hard work is what carbon is to steel. A fundamental component to anything worth while….One reaps what they sow. A universal law no different then the law of gravity. The ONLY exception is if you are working a bad formula…

29 CPR Educator

Actually in response to Jim..

30 Designer Purse

Most people do not understand that there is a lot of work involved i making money on the internet. They have been fed this infomercial crap about Making money the first night as they slept.

31 Jake

Of course with all the hard work and time I put into my internet marketing adventure I want to see $$ as the end result…

BUT, there has gotten to be so much more to it for me… friendships, learning new things, the sense of completion you are talking about but applied to small projects that lead to a never ending work ethic that it takes to succeed in this business…

32 LayupDrill

Very interesting post. I believe anything worthwhile in life takes hard work, no matter if it is online of offline. I had a good childhood friend who made it to the NBA(though his career was shortened due to injury), and many people only saw the headlines of a multi million dollar deal, and thought he walked into it with no work. They weren’t there for the thousands of hours of practice, running till you throw up, working a part time job to help out the family to pay bills, etc.

When I saw ShoeMoneys infamous Google check image, it was motivation, but I knew that it would not be easy. For the thousands of people entering affilate marketing online every day, everyone wants to be the next John Chow or Shoe Money. Who will wind up making a very nice living doing this though? Probably the same percentage of those who make the NBA.

33 Unique Health Articles For Sale

No offense Jeremy, but I am surprised you even sent him a message back, or did you? I use to message you all the top, and you never replied. I understand you are a busy man, but it is good to engage with your readers. Also, this guy could just be going through some hard times, just like anybody else. I think you should be more empathetic :)

34 Igor

This was a great post, I’m working on an affiliate project myself right now and I’m having a tough time getting visitors and and customers. It may seem like an easy thing at first, but it really takes a lot of work and dedication to succeed. At times I feel like quitting because I get this feeling as if I’m failing, but I know in a few months things will start to pick up hopefully.

35 IncreaseSalesCoach

Great post Jeremy! I get the same thing. Tell me the secret to earning a full time income from scratch with zero resources.

Then when you tell them it requires trading sweat equity for the dollars you don’t have. And that you can’t start any business or make money doing anything if you aren’t willing to invest something.

I get the angry type of response you just shared.

I used to get upset too. It still makes me feel bad for those folks because you can work extremely hard doing the wrong things and not succeed even if you do have the resources to succeed.

36 Sham

Why is it people are so unwilling to make small progress every day on something. Its really the key to success. It applies to all areas. I really really advocate this quotation and try to do same.

Website Design Company in Bangalore

37 Andrew Hansen

So glad you posted this. I’m constantly trying to get this message across to my students too.

It’s time for more people to start saying these things so we can start to create a mindset shift in our industry.

The more other marketers perpetuate this false idea that the quick buck does exist, the more people are going to get ripped off, pissed off, and make no “progress” as you rightly stated.

38 Make Money Online

To put this into a better way is, you go the gym everyday to get fit and healthy, you just don’t go one day and expect results overnight, now do you?

39 Mike

The sad thing is that they probably think they’re earning it because they asked you how to make it, instead of just asking you to mail them a check.

40 Mike

I forgot to mention — nice job on reversing the comments. It doesn’t seem that the spammers are as set on attaching irrelevant garbage replies to everything they see at the top of the page anymore.

41 Chester

well, it’s hard to please everyone, especially when their demand is that high.

42 Harrisburg Web Design

It’s the proverbial “It takes years to become and overnight success”. Some people just don’t get it, which often is why they are in a tough spot to begin with.

43 DJ Slam Toast

I’m surprised you didn’t make a post like this sooner. Questions about “making $X in Y time” is a popular theme on the online marketing forums. No matter how many times the question has been asked, I see at least five posts per day on DP and the other forums.
I think the problem is two-fold: desperation for money (due to the economy, job losses, etc) and, as you said, lack of patience and drive to grow slowly day by day. Evolving whatever projects one has is essential to progress and to avoid burn out. More importantly, the sense of self-satisfaction that comes from seeing a tiny idea grow into a large project is great—I wish more people would choose that as their primary goal instead of simply trying to get rich quick.

44 Ships

This is really amazing thoughts. “Hey man my kids are starving” – this was funny, so much funny

45 Matt Harward

Amen. Amen. Amen.

This is a *business* and it doesn’t happen overnight. Yes, lightning strikes on occasion… but the opportunity typically arises from the hard work it took to be in position with a lightning rod when it actually strikes.

Great post.

46 Cheap Cell Phones

The fact that the people attempt to blame you because you won’t give them some kind of meal ticket is just insane. The laziness of our society never ceases to amaze me. 99% of people will never succeed because if it isn’t instant gratification, they give up shortly there after.

47 TriNi

Heyy.. This post really hit home for me. Because I’m not some professional at what I do either. I just needed some extra cash one day and decided to start looking for ways to earn online.

I’ve been earning online for about 4 months now.. and each month I am making progress.. earning more and more.. but even though it’s not a huge amount.. It means something to me because it’s something I’m really working at.

So many times, my own friends and family ask me how I am doing it, and I tell them exactly, but then they never follow through and they hold it against me that I’m keeping some secret from them.

But I don’t have a secret, it’s only because they aren’t willing to put in the work or start off small. They wanna make a few hundreds in an hour.. and it just simply doesn’t work like that.

Anyway.. if you get a chance.. stop by my measly pink old blog:

I appreciate feedback from people that know way more than I do. It’s inspiring!

P.S. typo on this line
“Completion or reaching the end many times means death. When you complete your life… your dead.”


sorryyy I’m a typo freak lol.

48 Cheap Cell Phones

By the way…I like the new blog template. Sleek and clean…the way I like my……blogs

49 KushMoney

I have been saying this about blogging for awhile now. Its a long term investment. Those who think they going to start making $1,000 a month from blogging in their first month is truly lying to themselves.

50 Domain Superstar


It really is amazing that people think that even though they are lazy “offline” in their regular job that somehow just by venturing online they can see success and still be lazy and not willing to put in the time and hard work necessary to success.

The same principles necessary for offline success are necessary for online success.

51 KushMoney

I totally agree with you. That’s why we come across many blogs that hasn’t had a new post in 6 months. Bloggers giving up because they realize that blogging is a long term investment and not an easy task to get rich quick.

I knew from the beginning that blogging will be a long road. I thought about selling my blogs when I had money troubles but I knew the amount of money I would be giving up down the road.

52 Mogul

Yeah, for reals. Every once in a while you manage a big win, but it’s really more of a slow grinding-out.

We’ve got about a dozen projects currently running over here that are all inching their way forward a little every day. It feels frustratingly slow sometimes, but it’s the nature of the beast.

53 Jon Poland


I recall reading a John Reese email a few months ago where he believes that “daily incremental steps is the key to success.” I agree with him, and you, 100%.

As for the guy who is blaming you because his kids are about to starve, let’s just say he is a poor excuse of a father. Those children deserve better.

54 PTV

I completely agree shoe. There was one point in my online ventures that i was sure i could take any CPA offer, Spam the hell out of it in chatrooms, yahoo answers and all that. And come away with huge returns. Hell sometimes it did work, but I was making the same amount that I could have made working at MD.

Nowadays im more into the long venture, Sure im trying to monetize almost everything that I do, but some things i dont expect to see good returns until miles down the track.

The best example of trial and error i can think of is your two posts about the adwords venture using ringtones. And how you had to research what phones could actually take the ringtones etc. Maybe not a perfect example, but it shows you cant get everything right first time.

55 Bryn Youngblut

I feel you man.

56 Julio

Hey Shoe,

Ignore them! They just want it the easy way without working for it.

57 Mike

very good post. The rise of your blog earnings grow exponentially over time. this is a fact.

58 Jacky sltan

No pain no gain…if everybody can easily get what they want, anybody else want to work ? Think logic….However, life is short, but fantastic to survive if you are smart and concentrate your effords into something ! Then you will get something later…it won’t happen over night but it do happen maybe after next night…wish you good luck…cheers

59 Phil Ayres

Shoemoney, so true. Seems like so much in affiliate marketing is focused on short-term hits… not long-term focus. Good thoughts.

60 Jonathan Volk

Great post! Great points…


It’s the journey not the destination.

62 Alchymi

So true ! Like my marocan friends say : chouilla be chouilla can be traduced by Little step by littel step

63 Stephane Grenier

99% perspiration – 1% inspiration :)

64 Make Money From Home

i do agree with this, we can’t make thousand of bucks for an overnight work

65 Quest

Shoe, I love your advice and more importantly I am going to take it. So many people need to listen to what you are saying, but most people will not hear it because somehow they think they are going to be the exception to the rule. Keep being great and I am going to join you one day.

66 Mega Champ

Offtopic: Honestly Shoe previous blog design was much better then this one, but again you blog your rules :-)

67 game-girl

I share the idea of the life being progress every day, you solve the problems which face you and your money is just some result of your progress.You earned some sum and spent it on your needs,and again everything begins with 0 mark .The process is endless.

68 purposeinc

That is really lovely. I can not agree with you more. I have watched how hard you guys have worked over the years on projects. The tools are such an excellent example. Really well done on those, I am having so much fun with them!

69 Black Labradors

Do people honestly think you are going to reply saying, “Here is what you need to do…..”

I tell people at work about my hobbies and they always bug me to help them build a successful site… Until I let them know how long it takes.. People don’t want to work any more.

70 Bibokz

If you take a look around the globe, lots of people are starve… not only in food… money, knowledge and power… few words i can say…

Strive to be Happy.

71 Dax Turner

I would add on that… Strive to be happy and make others happy. Be that your client, boss or family. As Shoemoney posted here, do the best and make great progress today than yesterday and tomorrow than today!

72 Sony Ericsson Themes

Good post Shoemoney! Exactly what my point of view is to!

73 diabetic

most people think easy making money online in a day…….the wrong opinion. yach…you are right bos……no money without effort and struggling

74 watzabatza

Haha! whatta ridiculous favor from that man! Why he doesn’t work hard for his own. Success is not magic, work for it.

75 Accident Injury Claim

For quite a number of years the Western world has been lulled in to a false sense of security. Jobs were plentiful, spending was good, borrowing was easy. Then we hit the crunch that now exists and nobody knows what to do. Nobody, that is, except the people who have had the foresight to do some strategic planning of their finances.

76 Best CSS Gallery

Does anyone still honestly believe in making a fortune in an hour?

77 Niche Affiliate Marketing

We know that for every 1 successful internet marketer or entrepreneur, there are 1000 who fail. As long as there are losers, the winners will keep filling their pockets…quietly.

78 Kenney Makes Money At Home

So, true. I think more people just want to “make money”… oh I am sorry they want it handed to them, they do not want to “WORK from home”… LOL

There is some REALLY big (HUGE) missunderstanding that money from home or on the Internet doesn’t take work or time.

People just don’t want to approach it like a business. Then they wonder why they fail.

79 Milena

“Why is it people are so unwilling to make small progress every day on something. Its really the key to success. It applies to all areas.” It’s the Key for success. Since, I started doing everyday something small, improving, for 1 month I increase my visitors double. It is not much, but I see how the little things help to reach your target.

80 myinternetbusiness

These people have failure written all over them, some people want get rich quick but that’s not what we do, it takes alot of time and effort to build a business that will stand the test of time as you mentioned.

81 Andrei Buiu

Well, all I can say to that man is that there is no quick way to invest $100 and make $5000 in a week. It takes time to learn and you should learn first how to go from $100 to $150, $150 to $250 and so on.

Anyways, great post shoe.

82 Stephanie

But I want success NOOOOW!! They told me it would be easy and you have to help me!

83 Jay

I know a lot of people that needed this slap in the face. WAKE THE F*CK UP and go play the lotto.

84 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

If it was that easy to be successful then everyone would be successful and you would then probably be failing, sorry.

85 TheChickadeefeeder

Thanks very much for the reminder about completing things…it’s a good thing to remember about anything in life.

86 Soggy Dave

The slow road to the top is the best way in this business. Keeping organized and having a clear path laid out of the task that need to be done daily adds up quickly in a 90 day time frame. It amazes me how many people do not get that the real secret is working hard, smart and learning proper link building, promotion and SEO along the way.

87 Mr. School Fundraising Ideas

That makes since, why punish yourself and try to get everything done at one time. Take your time and get it done right the first time.

88 Play Games Win Prizes

I’m sure you get TONS of e-mails and requests like that :P


89 Ari Lestariono

Like the article Shoe, very inspiring and it’s real that you need long hours and days to success, it’s not fly by night thing, took me 6 months for me to blog to get real money, although small, but I’m progressing.It’s not the money’s thing, what I like your phrase is it’s progress in life, given example a lottery winner finally bankrupt.We should always work hard and innovate says CEO microsoft Sreve Balmer..

90 VlogHog

Yeah, when Paris Hilton launches a blog it naturally is going to get free media coverage, thousands of visits.

But, that’s the exception, most people aren’t going to care if you have a blog, even your BFFs.

Deal with it. Grow up.

91 TONy.W

Most people just dont know how much time you need to spend at home for that $5K.. :P

92 Mitch

You could just tell them all to post a fake Google Adsense check with a huge figure on it. :)

93 MyInternetBusiness

Great post and straight to the point.
Some people need to get a life.

94 Warhammer Fantasy Battle Guru

Great post Shoe,
I understand where the guy is coming from, its the American dream to make lots of money and do nothing. But as life teaches you that is just not how it works, and its definitely not how it works on the internet.

95 MAtt Borden

Thanks for this. Its something I struggle with everyday. Sometimes I just feel like I am not making enough progress to make a difference and that it is going to take forever. I guess all good things take time. :) Its nice to hear that coming from someone that has been successful.

96 paul

great post
you the best
thank you

97 Millionaire Acts

Success is not an overnight deal. Quick rich schemes are definitely scams. And so we must work hard to achieve it. Little by little, we will all reach our goals.

98 Smart Boy Designs

Great post. Funny too. Enjoyed reading, and thank you!

99 Mike

some people think Blogging is so easy…its not, sometimes its like I am begging for clicks!

100 geld lenen

Hmz blogging reviews I should say in the above case

101 Plastic printing

If there’s a surefire way of making big money out of a little for little effort the legal way then we’d all be millionaires. People can’t really expect that little effort reap big rewards. Kudos to you for having the patience to deal with a lot of people like this.

102 Sms

I checked by on your great blog. Good Work dude.

103 trojan batteries

This is profoundly difficult for me. I like to do it, get it done, or just leave it hanging indefinitely. I really don’t know if I can modulate my behavior sufficiently to achieve any kind of success in my life, or any kind of stability for my family. I am trying very hard.

104 Ghostwriting-Anbieter

It comforts me that other people have to wrangle with completely confused inquiries too :-)

105 tony

On the other hand, you do advertise “$121,586 PER MONTH: Starting Income” so I cant imagine what would make him think you had “the answer””…. lets face it, you can blame lazy americans all you want, but we really know that internet marketing gurus promoting their newest product in a mass clickbank conversion contest share the the blame. You promise the world, then complain when people want it, wanting the life your ads promise doesnt make him lazy or a loser. I for one am tired of hearing people describe the gold mine, then giving half of a treasure map. I would “dig” all day, if I could get someone to show me where to put my shovel!

That being said, Jeremy want to go for coffee? I’ll bring my notebook and my shovel…LoL!!! Just saying.

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