Warning – Read This Before Starting An Online Business
When I started my own Internet journey in 2005, I wasn’t really thinking about financial freedom or earning lots of money.
I thought about sharing my knowledge of tennis with the world – and have more people benefit from what I have learned.
Therefore, I did not have a set amount of how much I want to earn. I just wanted to publish my brain.
So there was not this “catch” in my mind: if I invest this much time and effort into this, then I would expect such and such reward (money).
I kept writing my tennis articles without any expectations of a special reward. I eventually wrote so many articles and was in touch with so many other tennis websites that I started to receive lots of daily visitors.
I began receiving around 300-400 daily unique visitors each day. Eventually, I learned more about earning money with an online business, wrote my first ebook and earned my first passive dollars.
All of this became extremely exciting and very motivating. That drive and determination resulted in me becoming free in December 2007.
Since then, I have recommended Site Build It and simply the Way of the Internet to many friends – in Slovenia and online.
I’ve helped many start their websites and helped them along.
They either don’t earn even a dollar per day or they earn some really insignificant amount.
Here’s what I think (at this moment): I think that almost all these people started their websites looking for a set outcome.
They painted a picture in their mind of earning $500 per month or maybe even much more.
Then they started their SBI journey (or WordPress or something else). They learned how to build pages, how to optimize them and spent LOTS of time reading the Action Guide and the forums and other stuff about Internet Marketing.
They invested a lot of time.
Then they started writing articles. If they had NEVER written any articles (except in school for homework), never done any type of report writing or some other form or writing, they realized that writing articles TAKES A LOT OF TIME.
Especially if you have to do a lot of online research for your topic, in order to complete your article. It can take from 2 to 5 hours to come up with a single article of about 500 words.
And if you combine that with commuting to work, being stuck in a job from 9 to 5, picking up kids, taking them to tennis training, cooking, washing, ironing, cleaning and then getting the kids to bed, by the time you finally have some time to work at 9PM, you are exhausted and simply want to relax and watch some TV.
“I’ll do the Internet thing tomorrow; I cannot imagine writing an article for the next 3 hours…”
And the next day is no different than the day before.
The amount of work that has to be put into creating just a few pages is quite a lot – AFTER the whole day.
In reality, it’s not that much. If your boss asked you to write articles on something and research the web on tennis racquets, you could have written at least 3 reviews in one single morning.
You’d have a 60 page website in a month and a 180 page website in 3 months. That would bring in some serious traffic even with minimal link building.
My point here is that writing these articles is not that much work – you do a lot more work at your job.
But it is difficult at 9PM in the evening.
Or you may decide to outsource your article writing and pay a couple of hundred dollars extra to get some articles for your site and of course, you still don’t earn anything.
But here’s the catch and the crux of the problem: you’ve decided to start an online business so that you earn money. Perhaps as some extra cash to have at the end of the month or perhaps to really become financially free.
The problem begins when you invest tens of hours of work (and money) and NOTHING happens.
Or in reality, you get 17 daily visitors. You may even try some Google Adsense and then you find out that you’re about to earn $6.72 for the whole month.
The unfortunate conclusion that you make is that those tens of hours of work (and money invested) resulted ONLY in $6.72 and that this is simply not worth it.
The amount of work and money invested does not result in something satisfying and motivating. This is simply not worth doing.
And so you stop working on your site and the game is over.
The other possibility that also leads to “game over” is if you just try this online business thing.
“Trying” actually means this in your mind: “I will invest a little bit of time and energy so that I won’t waste it too much if this doesn’t show any results.”
Of course, you already failed the second you decided to invest a “little bit” of time and effort. It’s game over already.
In some sense, most of us earning decent money with our websites are quite happy that this is so. There is a LOT LESS competition. 95% of the people will not make it through – or so it seems.
95% of the people will not last 100 pages and 50 built links which would probably earn at least $5 to $10 per day – resulting in $150 to $300 which is a nice sum – and it shows you that it’s possible.
Not only that, but you keep earning that money now EVEN if you don’t do anything. You’re now on the passive income train. And it feels really good. In fact, it feels unbelievable.
You’re not working and yet you’re earning money. That’s incredibly cool. That gives you the energy to keep building those pages and those darn links.
And page by page and link by link you get more and more traffic and more and more money. Yihaaaa!
You’re now unstoppable and it’s only a matter of time when you earn enough to free yourself.
That’s the happy end version.
The sad end version most likely started the SECOND you set an outcome in your mind and started to calculate (maybe even subconsciously) whether the amount of work and money you put into the site is worth the outcome.
There’s only a certain period of time and only a certain amount of work and money you’re willing to put in based only on hope before you want something in return (income) – or you will simply stop. It makes no sense to keep working and getting nothing in return.
Day by day you invest less and less time into your site and there are of course no increases of traffic. More and more you’re convinced that this isn’t working and that it’s not worth it.
Eventually you give up and think that this is not for you or that you’re too clumsy with computers and that there’s simply no other way than to simply grind it out until retirement.
That’s the sad version of the Internet journey.
And so far, almost everyone whom I know and who has started their websites ended up in the sad version of the story.
My intention with this post is to warn all those considering SBI or any other tool to start their online business to really be careful when thinking about the outcome and the reward they want.
The reality is this: the reward you’re looking for – even if that’s just $5 per day will take about 10-20 times more effort than you think it will take right now.
And if you’re not almost obsessed with breaking free from your job, you most likely won’t make it. You’ll give up before you’ll get to a point where the income will start to motivate you.
Starting an online business is like starting to work for someone for 4 hours per day for 6 months before getting paid. And even when you get paid after 6 months, you’ll be paid $5 for the whole day of work.
And it will take 6 more months before you’ll get paid proportionally to the amount of work you’ll put in that day.
If you can stick to it and last that long, you’ll be a success in the online business world. If not, you’ll give up much, much sooner.
So what’s really the right mindset to succeed?
One of the keys, often recommended by Ken Evoy too, is that you build your site about your passion. That’s great – but unfortunately most of the people don’t know what their passion is. They lost it many years ago when they tried to fit in with their peers.
In case you have a passion, start your site on it – even if the demand is not that great. The passion will take you over the tough stage of starting an online business and you will get to a point where you’ll earn some money and see that this IS possible.
But if you don’t know what your passion is, then you have to be 100% sure that this works (by reading blogs like mine and convincing yourself that is impossible that ALL of us are making this up).
You have to have almost obsessive determination that you want to earn more money or break free from your job.
And you must have NO EXPECTATIONS in the first year of working on your site – and at the same time work really, really, really hard on it.
You need to build at least 100 pages in the first year – that’s less than 2 per week. If you don’t build 100 pages and get some quality links, nothing much will happen. (Yes, there are exceptions but let’s not count on them, right?)
As soon as you set some expectations about how much you want to earn, you’ll start weighing the invested effort and whether the current outcome is worth it.
If you do that, it’s game over. Sooner or later you’ll start feeling the invested effort is not worth it.
So have no expectations. Fool yourself if you need to.
Think about your life and whether there is any other realistic option to get out of slavery. I don’t think there are any real ones.
So you must realize that this is the ONLY way out and the ONLY way where you actually become really free – as opposed to being stuck in a job or EVEN having your own offline business.
Even in your OWN offline business, you WILL have to work to earn money – no matter what you do. Sure, you’ll be able to choose when but you’ll still need to work.
And in almost all cases, you’ll have to work where your business is situated. So in reality you won’t be free. You’ll be free from having a boss but now you’ll be slave to your own business.
But it’s not like that with an online business.
Once it starts earning, it keeps earning money, whether you work at it or not. And all you need is a laptop and an internet connection and you can work from anywhere – if you want to.
That is real freedom and it’s only possible with an online business.
This concept must be crystal clear in your head so that in your mind there are no other options of escape from the rat race.
If you can achieve this mindset, you’ll simply work on this stuff UNTIL it works and you won’t be weighing your invested effort and money with the current outcome.
You must see in your mind that there is no other way. So then you simply follow this road.
And if you hate your slavery enough and dream about your freedom often enough, you’ll create enough motivation to keep working on your site(s).
And this long term perseverance and lots of invested work (building lots of pages and links) will INEVITABLY create a positive outcome.
You will earn money. Now it’s just a matter of refining your approach, learning from mistakes and becoming more efficient.
You simply go from a beginner to an advanced stage and eventually become an expert. Stick with this for a few years, expect nothing but give it everything and you WILL make it.
If thousands of people are living from building successful online businesses, so can you.