What Navigating a Road Trip Can Teach Us About Internet Marketing

One question many Internet marketing newbies have is why sign up for a seemingly expensive coaching program when there are inexpensive ebooks or even free information online?

That’s a great question and I just learned a lesson yesterday that will help answer that question.

Yesterday, Lisa and I woke up at 5:30 AM to drive to Albuquerque for World Wellness, an event where I’m speaking and Lisa has a booth to sell her dichroic glass jewelry.

Ordinarily, I’d fly to a speaking engagement but with Lisa’s inventory of jewelry, display pieces, etc., we’re driving. I was looking forward to using my new Garmin Nuvi 750 GPS device.

Garmin Nuvi750
Garmin Nuvi750

To start our 842-mile journey to New Mexico, I simply pressed two buttons on the Garmin’s to find our hotel, the Embassy Suites in downtown Albuquerque. In less than a minute, the GPS mapped out a complete course including an approximate arrival time.

As we drove, voice prompts and the large screen display made navigation a breeze. And any time we needed gas, food or even a caffeine fix, the Garmin provided numerous options.

Around the halfway point, we stopped for lunch in Fort Stockton, TX where we spotted Paisano Pete, the “world’s largest roadrunner”.

Paisano Pete greets us in Fort Stockton, TX
Paisano Pete greets us in Fort Stockton, TX


As we enjoyed our meal, I told Lisa a story about a trip I’d taken to Taos, NM in 2006.

I was comparing using the Garmin on this trip versus the earlier trip where I’d relied on driving directions printed out from one of those free trip planning websites.

I now realize the free directions not only added an extra 100 miles to my trip while taking me on mostly congested two-lane highways with lower speed limits than the route laid out by the Garmin.

Also, the free services estimated driving time was beyond my comfort zone for driving in a single day. So I reserved a hotel room at what looked like a good half-way point and did the same for the return trip.

When I got under way, the printed directions were frequently confusing. I had to pull over several times to try and decipher them, especially at night.

At one point, I missed a key turn that took me over an hour out of my way. And that doesn’t count the time I had to spend pulling over to find my way back on course.

This would never have happened with the Garmin with its voice prompts. Even if you do miss a turn, the Garmin immediately recalculates and guides you right back on course.

Another issue I had with the ‘free’ directions was never knowing exactly where I was on the trip. If you’ve ever used one of these free services, you know what I mean. Cities and towns aren’t listed. Everything is gauged on turns, exits and highway mergers. So it’s hard to determine an arrival time or plan a pit stop.

Should you stop and fill up with gas now or wait until later? Difficult to tell using the printed directions.

Ultimately, that ‘free’ website cost me a fortune.

There were the extra hotel stay plus an extra breakfast and lunch to and from New Mexico. Then there’s the added fuel cost and wear and tear on my car on this route. What’s that add up to?

Hotel: $220 (2 nights with taxes, fees) Meals/Tips: $60 Gas + Extra wear tear on Car: $100 Total: $380

And what about stress, wear and tear on my body, and lost productivity time? That takes the cost much higher. I lost nearly a full day that I could have spent vacationing or working.

Compare the ‘free’ directions to the Garmin. The Garmin took us on a route where we could leave the cruise control on most of the way. So we got better gas mileage, never got lost and never missed a turn. When we decided to take a quick side-trip to the airplane ‘graveyard’ in Roswell, rather than re-trace our route, the Garmin found a quicker route back to our highway saving us about twenty minutes.

With the Garmin, everything you might need like fuel, food, hotel rooms, car repairs, or shopping is at your fingertips. Push a button and the Garmin will add the stop to your trip and provide directions and even the phone number if you need to call ahead.

Ultimately, the Garmin, made our trip smooth and even more fun. Granted, we still had to do the driving and 842 miles is a long way but this was SO much easier than the 2006 trip.

So what did that convenience cost us? At just under $400, the Garmin’s price tag would seem, at first glance, to be pretty steep when free directions are available.

Of course, we now know that ‘free’ doesn’t always mean free.

Those ‘free’ directions cost me $380. And that doesn’t count the headaches and lost productivity time. And what if trying to follow those printed directions had caused me go get into an accident? What if someone were seriously injured?

The Garmin cost $389.99. For a net cost of $9.99, the Garmin nearly paid for itself with one trip. Yet now we have a reliable resource we can use again and again and we’ve got peace of mind. And, by keeping our focus on the road, the Garmin could actually save lives.

Had we used that free resource again, We’d have blown another $380 bringing the cost of ‘free’ to $760 in just two trips.

By being willing to spend a bit more up front, we not only a faster, safer, much more pleasant journey but we felt confident the entire trip. We always knew where we were going, when we’d arrive and where we needed to go next. And we had instant access to help or any other resources whenever we needed it.

So, which option looks better now?

Free doesn’t look so hot, does it?

Let’s apply this to our original question of mentoring programs versus the D.I.Y. approach using cheap or free ebooks. Now don’t get me wrong, I love ebooks or I wouldn’t be teaching people how to write ebooks. Ebooks are great for learning a particular skill or strategy but not necessarily for your overall gameplan.

While there are some great free tools available, when it comes to charting a course for your future or current online business, do you want to do it the hard way or the easy way?

If you don’t mind a lot of painful scrapes, bumps and bruises, headaches and wasting a lot of time, you can take the ‘free’ D.I.Y. path.

Signing up for online mentoring doesn’t mean you don’t have to do the work any more than getting a Garmin doesn’t mean you still don’t have to drive the car.

But it makes it SO much easier. You follow a proven course of action, you’ve got help at your fingertips when you need it, and you work smarter instead of harder.

In the long-run, it pays for itself in more ways than one and you’ll enjoy the journey rather than stumble around lost in the dark. Plus, you’ll have a system you can you can use again and again on future excursions.

Choosing a mentoring program may not potentially save lives like an on-board navigation system. Then again, if you’re seriously struggling to make ends meet or stuck in a job you can’t stand, the right class could certainly be life- changing.

When it comes to fulfilling your dreams of escaping the rat race and having the freedom to work how, where and when you want, you have a choice.

If you prefer a faster, efficient and much more pleasant journey where you’ll feel confident, aware of where you’re going while being able to instantly get help when you need with a host of resources at your disposal, I urge you to sign up for my Ebook Mastermind course now while spots are still available. If you choose to join us, the journey begins March 18th.