I know so many brick-and-mortar businesses that are always half-nagging half-complaining that those of us with online businesses have it easy. That we don't have as many expenses as that of a brick-and-morter, as if that makes our life easier.
ER... there is no comparison if I'm honest.
The online business world is a tough cookie. You have to have your wits about you. You have to be constantly growing. Things change in a flash and your brain needs to be on super. high. alert.
When I think of all the things I've sacrificed over the years for the sake of my online business... the list isn't pretty, not at all...
Men, relationships, cool jobs, good money, a steady paycheck, friends, sponsored work visas... the holidays, the nights out, the binge drinking, the Netflix binge sessions, the trashy TV...
And no, it doesn't 'just cost' $150 for a website, Graham. It takes grit, determination, performance, follow-through, and a never give up attitude.
That's why if you want to start a business, then you need to do some serious investment.
1. A strong financial base
I guess this is a bit self explanatory. You need to know that you can afford rent. I worked a full time job next to my side hustle for almost two years before finally going full time on my own.
2. A strong emotional base (better known as: A mentor/coach)
Seriously-- if you only take one thing away from this today, please let it be this: GET A COACH. I cannot stress this enough. I did it by myself for two years, and I never got anywhere. I took a million and one free webinars and I took a few chances here and there all to fail miserably. Nothing got me results like a coach did when I finally hired one.
3. Purpose (Your Why)
Your purpose is what gets you up in the morning. Knowing what you have to do, who you will serve, and what outcome you want to achieve will help you so much. Not having a purpose, or not having a strong enough purpose, is going to set you back.
4. Willingness to learn
Do not go into online business and think that you know everything. I'm going to make this easy for you: You do not. Nor will you. Ever. You will never know enough. Get into a learning mindset or get out of the race, because you won't make it past the first hurdle if you don't.
5. Humility & Authenticity
Humility is one of those things that means a lot to me as a Taiwanese person. I've thought humility more than the average person because it's one of those triggers for me. Fake humility, real humility, forced humility-- these are all super interesting and we can talk about this another time.
But point being-- these are important because people smell a greaseball a million miles away. Don't be a greaseball.
6. Flexibility/Open Mind
Be flexible. Be willing to learn, adapt, improve, tweak.
In order to have all these things, there are many things you need to give up. Many things you need to invest in. One of the key things is time. And while that's totally OK, you have to be super mindful of where you are spending your time, how you are spending your time, and critically: how you are trading your time for money.
Is cleaning your apartment really a good use of your time?
... is building a mediocre website yourself really the best way to move forward?
is taking time to learn Photoshop really going to help you in the long run?
This is where money comes in. Invest. Invest wisely. Get someone to give you advice on how to invest, because this beginning stage is absolutely crucial.
I've seen so many entrepreneurs fail because they got caught up in the little details. I've seen it in myself. I've seen so many entrepreneurs fail because they thought they really could be a one man show.... but guess what? We're humans. We're not built to do things alone.
So get over your ego and your pride, and start doing some investing.