The online business journey is a thrilling, jam-packed roller coaster ride, filled with highs and lows.
If you want to become a successful entrepreneur, you need to know what you can expect, in order to determine if you are ready for it. You've probably come across some entrepreneurial success stories of people who have ‘made it big', which has inspired you to know how they did it.
What a lot of people don't see is the years of blood, sweat, and tears that entrepreneurs invest into building their dreams. I want to share with you what you can expect, some of the biggest challenges that you may face, and how you can leverage your time to increase productivity levels.
When you have a realistic perspective of what the online business journey looks like, it gives you a solid framework for understanding how you can move forward. Success is a journey. Are you ready to learn what this process entails, so that you can take action and start creating the online business of your dreams?
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When it comes to building an online business, people face a lot of challenges, one of which is time. I work with a lot of people that don't have a lot of time because they have a full-time job that has them working 40-60 hours/week. At the end of the day, they don't have the emotional bandwidth to do much of anything, let alone build an online business. On top of that, many people have families and loved ones that they need to spend time with and take care of, so it can be a difficult balancing act.
The tricky thing about the online business journey is that, in the beginning stages, you don't make any money. It takes time to build the foundation of your business, so you can't expect to see a return from your efforts right away. This is why you need a steady income to pay your bills, and then use that cash flow to invest it into your online business. I don't encourage people to quit their day jobs. This is a recipe for failure.
That being said, if you have the desire to build an online business, there are sacrifices that you are going to have to make. Anything of value in life takes time, hard work, commitment, and discipline. You need to know what you need to give up in order to have whatever it is that you desire most.
This means that you may have to put social time on the back burner and stop hanging out with your friends as much. Similarly, you may have to limit the amount of time that you spend with your family, if it means creating the life of your dreams. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't want to face this reality, nor do their loved ones.
I would like to share what I learned along my online business journey.
When I was in my early 20's, I had to sacrifice a lot in order to build my online business. My health definitely took a toll, but I knew that it was a short-term sacrifice that I needed to make if I wanted to be successful. I thought about the big picture and knew that paying this price meant that I would be able to one day create my ultimate dream lifestyle.
A lot of people aren't willing to make sacrifices, and that resistance is what holds them back. Eric Worre said it best, “Most people think that they deserve success as some sort of right, but here's the truth. Success is something that you earn through effort.”
Luckily, I didn't have a family to take care of, but while everyone was going out and having fun, I was sitting in my room, building my future. I had to learn how to say no a lot because I was so hyper-focused on building what it is that I have today.
There was a lot of learning curves that I had to go through. When I first started, everything was new to me. I didn't even know that creating an online business was possible, let alone what blogging or email marketing was. I was programmed and condition, as many of us are from an early age, to believe that success meant going to school, getting good grades, and finding a great job that would allow you to retire comfortably. That was my blueprint for success.
When I discovered that I could make money on the Internet and that I could model and learn from other successful people through online training, courses, and seminars, I was hooked. Putting the time, energy and money into building something of my own, versus spending an insane amount of money on a college education, was the best decision for me.
That being said, I started off with some huge disadvantages. I was a C- student in high school. I struggled with writing and public speaking because I suffered from extreme shyness and social anxiety. However, the one advantage that I did have was that I had strong computer skills. That was the greatest benefit of playing a lot of video games when I was younger.
This is why I am a big believer in the power of personal growth and development. If you want to build a successful online business, you need to be resourceful and commit to lifelong learning. There is no better investment that you will make in life. You may be wondering, “Why is investing in yourself so powerful? Well, When you’re willing to take a leap of faith and do whatever it takes to build your future, the Universe listens and provides you with life-changing rewards. Keep in mind that nothing works unless you do.
It all starts with believing that you deserve greatness. As Dr. David Hawkins explains in his book, Letting Go, “The unconscious will allow us to have only what we believe we deserve. The more we hang on to our negativity and small self-image that results, the less we think we deserve.” When it comes to learning new things, make the choice to adopt a growth mindset and focus on what is possible.
If you don't know how to do something, learn how to do it. Don't dabble and stay on the surface. Rather, go deep with your learning. When the going gets tough, push harder. Masters know that repetition is the mother of all learning. This is what is going to help you accelerate your success even more.
When you adopt an attitude of curiosity and dive into the world of online business, it can be really exciting because you make all these new discoveries that you've never heard of before. For example, I was blown away that I could become a self-published author, have my book live on Amazon in 24 hours and start making money from it. This is so far from some people's reality, but it's possible!
When it comes to learning, a common mistake that I see a lot of people make is that they try to do too much at once, which results in information overload. They don’t have a step-by-step guide in place for how they can apply what they learn.
A lot of people make the mistake of jumping too far ahead in their online business journey.
The result? Frustration, anxiety and overwhelm. In short, you end up getting nothing done because your brain can't process all of the information. In a paper published in Psychological Science, Bar and Baror describe how “conditions of high load” foster unoriginal thinking. When our brains are overwhelmed with thoughts, they pursue well-trodden paths of least resistance, with the goal of bringing order to the onslaught of information.
You need to master each step in the process. Don’t expect to understand how to complete step 5 if you haven’t even completed step 1. You need to learn and then apply, and then keep recycling that process. To add to this, in the beginning stages of building an online business not everyone has a lot of money to invest into training, which is why you need to go broad when it comes to learning new skills — whether that's email marketing, copywriting, creating content, doing SEO or PPC's, building a WordPress website, or working with software.
Unfortunately, I see a lot of people who stay broad and never end up becoming an expert at something. I believe that all of us should have a master skill. Any master throughout history is really good at ONE thing, whether that's Charles Darwin, Lebron James or Stefan Curry.
In his book, The Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell spoke about the 10,000-hour rule, citing it as “the magic number of greatness.” On average, it takes 10 years to master something, so you can't master everything. Once you've learned a variety of online business skills, I encourage you to step back and ask yourself, “What are the one or two things that I am going to do deep with and commit to mastering?”
For myself, it was content creation. Once I committed to mastering this, it was a game changer for my online business. I love sharing my message with the world, writing, interviewing people, learning new things and sharing it with my audience. That is what I spend the majority of my time doing in my online business.
You want to pick a high-paid skill that is hard to replace. If I could go back in time and do something different, I would have found a freelance job that I could go deep with and learn from, while building my online business. You need to practice and cultivate the skill that you want to master, every single day.
With regards to managing your time, you need to become diligent and treat your online business like a real job. Oftentimes people struggle because they have no accountability – they don't have a coach, a boss, or a mastermind group that is in their corner, cheering them on and making sure that they follow through with their goals.
When you have a 9-5 job you have to show up on time and do the work. If you don't, you will likely get fired. If you treat your online business the same way, you will get results, but you need to be hyper discipline. This means that when you are working on your online business, you can't have any distractions. Distractions are a great way to derail you from a task altogether. In fact, one study shows it takes about 25 minutes to get back into the swing of things after you’ve been interrupted.
You also need to enrol the support of your family friends, when it comes to the vision that you have for your online business. If you've got people holding you back from achieving your goals, it's going to make the process so much harder for you. If you know that people are going to criticize you, then don't share with them what you are doing. It's not worth the stress. You need all of the emotional and mental strength that you can muster, in order to take your online business to the next level.
One of my favorite ways to build my online business is through the power of immersion. I'll take a few days during the week where I work 16 hours each day. What you get done during that time is probably more than what you can ever get done in a month or two. I'll put myself in a new environment, whether that means renting an Airbnb or taking a weekend trip somewhere, and I will lose myself in my work.
I like to set a timer when I work so that I know how much time that I have in order to accomplish something. When the timer hits zero, I move on. Don't waste your precious time. That urgency forces me to work faster and more efficiently with the time that I have. Everyone has a different amount of time, but as long as you are committed, you will get where you want to go. Become a master at time management. When you do, your online business will thrive.
Are you ready to dive into your online business journey?
There will be a lot of ups and down along your online business journey, but trust me when I say that it is so worth the ride. Sure, there will be times when you will feel like you're slipping, but if you stay committed to the process, you will start moving again and creating the momentum that you need in order to thrive. Once you've built your first successful online business, you will become inspired to keep creating more!
It's an exciting process and one that you will reap massive rewards from if you don't give up and stay focused. In the words of Tony Gaskins Jr., “If you don't build your dreams, someone will hire you to build theirs.” Are you ready to build your dream business?
Are you ready to learn which online business model is best for you to start? CLICK HERE to take my quiz!
Are you ready to learn how you can navigate the entrepreneurial roller coaster ride? CLICK HERE to check out the article that I wrote on Medium!