I get a new Instagram follower just about every day. A real one.

Most days I get five or six new followers. The majority have Instagram names like Live2DreamLife or whatever. You get the picture. Their Instagram photos are a collection of the view of some exotic destination as seen from a comfortable lounge chair. Thankfully, most have bothered to get a pedicure before taking the photo, as the view in the distance is framed by their bare feet.

If it’s not a photo like this, it’s a pithy saying written an arty large font about the rewards of just going for it, or believing in yourself, or eating the frog – something that makes you instantly conjure up a pep-talk video by Gary Vaynerchuk.

Sigh.

It’s all bullshit.

If you work for yourself, if you make most of your income with the use of a laptop computer, you likely are not taking in the view of some exotic destination as you lounge with said revenue-producing instrument perched in your lap. It’s a nice idea. It’s a dream.

Are there some people who actually do spend their days spending the money they make traveling to exotic destinations so they can take photos of what they see between their toes as they lounge and post about it on Instagram? If you discount a percentage of the daily number who elect to follow me on my Instagram account – who are either fake or who use canned photos from Pixabay or flickr – I would have to agree that, yes, there probably are some. Just a few.

But most are bullshit.

You are likely not going to make truly interesting sums of money even if you work very hard using your laptop doing Internet marketing. And, that’s what all those Instagram Sirens claim they’re doing. Gary Vaynerchuk might be worth $100 million today. And yes, most of it was made by Internet marketing (or at least charging people to learn about Internet marketing).

Gary was already wealthy. His family owned a wine business. Gary grew its value from $3 million to $60 million with Internet marketing. Lest you think I’m lumping in Gary Vaynerchuk with all those Instagram Internet marketing sirens, I will say that he isn’t at the beach snapping photos of what he sees through his toes. He seems to be pretty busy growing his New York-based VaynerMedia and VaynerX businesses. And most of his Instagram posts are video snippets where he cusses a lot and tells you to quit whining and work really hard. Gary practices what he preaches.

I’m on my way to making a comfortable living as an Internet marketer – but not the kind you come across on Instagram. I don’t know how you can do that by posting pics of you and your laptop as you travel to exotic destinations. I do it by getting up every morning and sitting at my desk and writing articles for clients or creating videos for them. I don’t have time to travel to exotic destinations, and my personal budget doesn’t leave room for a pedicure.

Would I rather be doing that as I lounge in a comfortable chair with my laptop and bask in the sun? Of course! But even if you exclude the impracticality – it’s nearly impossible to see what’s on your laptop screen if you’re outside in direct sunlight – it’s still hard work. It’s still repetitive. You still set an alarm to get up early. You still encounter dysfunctional people you have to work with.

It’s still a job.

The only difference is that I own 100% of the responsibility for making it successful. That’s rewarding, but the effort leaves me no time for travel to destinations where I could contribute to the growing collection of pics featuring pools and beaches shot from a big toe’s perspective.

Either that, or I’m doing something wrong.

So sayeth the stickmonkey.

 

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