Sunday’s Thoughts – Methods Or Principles

Today’s thought is another that was found in Tim Ferriss’ book, The 4 Hour Work Week, but originates from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

“As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have troubles.”

This can be related a lot to the get rich quick mentality that is so prevalent on the net today. You especially see it in the multitude of ebooks for sale promising everything from blogging riches, to Adsense riches, to a quick buck in real estate, to numerous other methods of creating money.

Methods may create some quick cash, but principles are timeless and create true wealth. Are you thinking about how you can cash in on the net with the latest technique for manipulating Google or are you thinking about how you can help other people get what they want or need from life?

Sometimes it can be a struggle between these two competing drives for the Internet businessperson and I am as guilty as the rest.

Your thoughts?

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5 Responses to “Sunday’s Thoughts – Methods Or Principles”

  1. Alan, this is a great quote and it will certainly serve up lots to think about. I’m hungry must be lunch time.

    I think that we all struggle with this in the beginning because of the need and the desire for money right now. Who ever we are we have a need to eat, have a place to sleep, have clothes, power, water. All of the basic needs for life have a cost. Then on top of that we want to have a lifestyle.

    In every business that I’ve ever considered, people have always said “well yeah, but that’s so much work.” I’ve finally discovered that it’s not the business that’s so much work, its chasing that dang $. You’ll go crazy doing that and never catch it. It’s like a will o the wisp leading you further and further into the swamp.

    When we sit back and evaluate our needs, suppress our desires, and develop a sound plan to achieve our goals then we can find the method that will help us to solve both the problem of providing basic needs for ourselves and our families, and putting aside a percentage of our earnings to build up that fabulous fortune that we’re all seeking.

    Thanks for putting a great message out there and providing information on some of the methods available.

  2. Thanks for stopping by Philip.

  3. First off, Timothy Ferris’ The 4 hour Work Week is hands down one of them most valuable tools for any aspiring entrepreneur.. I’m finishing up my third run through the book, and each time I read it I feel myself getting closer and closer to my goal of financial freedom and converting dreams to reality.

    Second, great post. I’m not a regular poster on here but I do regularly stop by for some after work reading. I’m fortunate to say that through all my years searching the internet for this “do nothing and become rich” method, I haven’t spent a penny on a product or “system” to be left still wanting more. I’ve simply read and read and read, and eventually weeded out all the hype and actually started to realize the business and science behind legitimate internet marketing and web publishing.

    Back to the post, I completely agree with Phil when he touched on the struggle in the beginning due to the desire and need for money right now. I know from experience that it is easy to get caught up in all the hype, sales pitch, and landing pages and one can easily stray and get lost in the muck.

    I think principles and methods are very closely knit, and one can’t exist without the other, but again If an individual was to only focus on methods and ignore the basic fundamentals and principles which should be driving the business, it causes any immediate gain to be short lived.

    I feel the key to any successful internet business is the principles of the business, and the principles of the person behind that business. Having a solid foundation will enable the savvy web publisher to filter out the hyped up methods based on their own experience, and stick with methods that will create longevity and diversity within their portfolio.

    I guess at the end of the day we’re all searching for our own version of the 4 hour work week… And rightfully so!


  4. Well said Elijah. It’s devloping that solid foundation where many miss the point.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  5. I agree, the 4HWW is an excellent book. As far as the quote is concerned, I try to do a little of both. I spend a lot of time thinking about principles, trying to piece together a long-term plan that’s based on sound ideas – but I certainly don’t pass up a good short-term method when it comes along.

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