How to Become a Successful Online Entrepreneur
The present times are by far the best in the history of humanity to become entrepreneur. This has been said so many times that simply cannot be not true.
But being completely honest, although it’s not ideal from regulatory perspective, it’s totally awesome in terms of how easy it is to start your own company and reach your customers. Thanks to current technology the sky indeed is the limit.
Unfortunately, this also makes this environment extremely competitive.
Look at all those people working on break-through projects, the amount of startups, solopreneurs, side hustles, small businesses and new business models. It’s completely insane! But at the same time unbelievably exciting.
The truth is not everyone can be entrepreneur. And that’s perfectly fine.
It has nothing to do with being less valuable person in any sense. Some people just cannot breathe in big corporate world. And that was exactly the case with me.
I had a dream job in one of top Investment Banks in beautiful country called Switzerland. Besides it wasn’t. Country was indeed beautiful, but despite the fact I have achieved the position I wanted, in the financial institution I wanted, it just didn’t feel right.
I was slowly dying from the inside. And I have to say I always had fantastic immediate supervisors. Money-wise? Paradise.
Still, I couldn’t get rid off this feeling I am suppose to follow different path. That I can have a better life than this. I couldn’t imagine myself working in this environment at my 40s or 50s, constantly stressed and under pressure.
The fear I was wasting my life was so much greater than the fear of failure. And the dream I had and still have just couldn’t be stopped.
What Does it Take to be a Successful Online Entrepreneur
If there is one thing I know is that Dale Carnegie was 100% right. “Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.”
Nothing to add.
For me leaving my job at that time felt like the only reasonable solution. So I decided to face my fears and pursue my dreams. I decided to go out and get busy.
At this point you probably expect me to say “and I haven’t looked back ever since”, but it wouldn’t be true. Following this path is never sunshine and rainbows, but that’s one of the things that you have to deal with to be successful entrepreneur.
Deal with your doubts, weaknesses, discouragements and be able to make sacrifices. A lot of tough choices without any guarantees.
It takes a lot of inner strength and prayers to cope with all of that. But you know what? I wouldn’t change it for another day in the office under any conditions. Yes, you have to work extremely hard, probably harder than ever before.
But the rewards and satisfaction you get is nothing like what you have experienced in your corporate world.
On top of that, there are also few other important things on your entrepreneur journey:
- Focus on one business idea at a time
- Work on your drawbacks, but leverage on your strengths
- Do a very solid competition research
- Be sure about your worth and what you bring to the table
- Adapt quickly and don’t be afraid to change directions
- Switch from employee to entrepreneur mindset
The list could go on, but Tim Ferriss published this awesome video in August 2017 that is still relevant and, most importantly, extremely helpful. You just have to watch it. Go on, I will wait, I promise 🙂
What is the Best Online Business to Start
My very first steps into an online business journey were not exactly how I would have expected. With a friend of mine we have decided to build a startup. We came up with this kick-ass app idea that we were hoping will be the next Facebook.
To say it was a disaster would be probably an exaggeration, but it was pretty close.
We couldn’t get along on business level and we spent way too much money developing an app, without really verifying if anyone needs it. We have probably made every mistake a startup can make.
Want to hear a secret? Over time I realised what Tim said was true. You don’t need to create a beast you have to feed. A company so big that would involve creating org charts and building structures around. There are much better ways to build your business online.
And I believe there are only two paths you should follow as a beginner. Alright, there are thousands of things you can do to make money online, but this split is the most straight forward.
Besides, it doesn’t include anything shady like “rewriting” content. Don’t do that by the way. Internet doesn’t need more shady stuff.
Online Store Approach
By online store approach I mean all the physical and digital products you can sell through online store. So it would involve actually selling the merchandise. In theory it’s nothing complicated.
You have to come up with a niche and find relevant products. They can be sold in wholesale, but if you are just starting you should look for dropshipping.
This way you don’t have to buy and hold inventory. The only thing you do is finding customers. But at some point you might find that not owning an inventory is a disadvantage. You have no control over speed or packaging and you are never sure how many products they still have left.
Anyway, dropshipping is a perfect business model to start with and verify your ideas. Once you have you can move to a wholesale model. What can you sell? Anything you like:
- Clothes and fashion accessories
- Lamps, clocks and small electronics
- Mobile phone accessories
- Computer accessories
- Home improvement
- Small kitchen equipment
- Consumer electronics (TVs, PCs, etc.)
- Low ticket items, high ticket items
- And many others
Ultimately you can sell stuff you make yourself, which is super popular nowadays. The main reason is uniqueness. Since you can’t get this stuff in shops and quantity is usually very limited it is a little bit exclusive.
The only thing I would recommend is going above $50 mark or even $100 mark as your main products price if you plan to run paid ads. Have also several cheap products to offer at the “counter”. So that they can trigger impulse buying.
There is hardly any margin left on products below 50 bucks to advertise them, but they work great to increase your AOV (Average Order Value).
Info Products Approach
On the flip side you have, what I call, info products approach. This means you do not hold any inventory like in case of dropshipping, but in fact you don’t even sell any physical stuff. The only thing you focus on is driving enough traffic.
Whether you do that through paid ads or organic search results is completely your choice. However, organic traffic is better since it gives you a chance to be found in the future.
The problem with ads is that once you stop paying your traffic and income goes to zero.
But if you focus on providing helpful and valuable content that actually solves your audience’s problems the money will follow. After that you can sell or promote any product you like.
Again, at the beginning you have to pick up your niche. In this case, though, it should be something unique enough to have none or close to none competition. But at the same time it should something people have interest in.
It’s simple, but it’s not easy. Depending on how competitive your niche is it might take years to dominate it. Good news are time is running anyway and it will be all worth it.
Just to clarify you don’t have to sell any info products whatsoever.
I call it this way because the focus here is on providing loads of value upfront with very informative content. You build your audience first by crafting best content you possible can, build trust and then you can hope to make some money in the long run.
It’s the Gary Vaynerchuk’s “jab-jab-jab-right hook” philosophy in motion. You give, give, give and you might get something in return. The cool thing is that you can monetize it in few ways:
- Affiliate marketing
- Info products
- Physical products
- Paid listings (if relevant)
- Selling ad space
What products can you sell this way? Multiple. All kinds of services: consulting, freelancing, writing, marketing, web and graphic design, virtual assistance. Already mentioned info products like books and courses, but also any physical products that match what your website is about.
To Wrap Things up
In both scenarios you can easily end up with selling your own physical or info products. Whether it will be private label products or something completely new.
My goal here was to show you that there are two paths leading to this point. One that involves more of hardcore selling. And other one that is much more soft and involves building relationships.
Great Ideas are Essential for Business Online
Considering what I have just told you in the previous section you are probably thinking that all you need now is awesome business idea. And it would be partially true. Although it’s only beginning, great ideas are really important for all businesses.
And although I agree ideas are worthless without execution, we shouldn’t downgrade their influence. The concept you come up with is the foundation of future project and actual business.
Not too mention it’s not only about having this one specific idea, but to have loads of them related to this original one. This way you can leverage this project to money-making machine.
Hence, I believe creativity is one of the most important traits of all successful entrepreneurs.
The problem is it’s not so easy to find this one idea you should follow and develop. I already mentioned that it should be something unique with fairly small competition. This way it won’t take you ages to rank in Google and generate first traffic.
It will be also way easier with paid ads.
At the same time it cannot be something so unique that no one will give a damn. Your sweet spot is where you can see an audience that is underserved. Go and fill this gap.
The best way to start would be by going through all your personal and professional skills or hobbies and look for something unique. What are you extremely passionate about? What are you naturally good at?
If there is none, which two or three from that list you can combine to create something unique? And then just be of service to people who need it. Help them to get what they want.
It’s just easier to create your own category and dominate it.
Execution is Everything for Online Entrepreneur
And to dominate it you have to execute against it. No matter how great your idea is, it won’t mean a thing if you are not willing to put in the work. That’s why there is nothing more important for online entrepreneur than execution.
Just think about it, online entrepreneurs are usually solopreneurs or small business companies of two or three people. If they are pretty much one-man-army who who will do it, if not they themselves?
As much as I would want it myself, it won’t just magically happen.
So how do you execute? It’s pretty clear you have to work, no doubts about that. But there is one thing you can do that will help you out.
Evolve your idea into vision and try to picture the end result. And then just reverse engineer it with as many details as you can to the very beginning of the whole thing.
Be sure to write it down.
Evolve your idea into #vision and try to picture the end result. And then just #reverseEngineer it with as many details as you can to the very beginning of the whole thing. #striveForGreatness Click To Tweet
Think about all the resources you will need – money, time, people. What is your USP (unique selling proposition)? What value do you bring? How are you different? Everything that makes you unique can be your advantage.
Then you can create goals and milestones. Make a plan and prepare your strategy, but don’t spend too much time on it. You can be more than sure things will change.
Don’t treat it as something you should follow precisely step by step. More as something that gives you a rough idea where are you going to and how to get there. Just do your thing and work, everything else will become clear during the process.
The Ultimate Goal of Running a Business Online
And now we finally come down to the most important points of them all. Why do you want to run a business? Whether it will be brick-and-mortar or online business doesn’t really matter. The question remains the same.
Aside of obvious financial reasons, I believe there are only two that are absolute.
I might have even started the entire article with this section, but it felt a little bit more natural this way. Probably because your purpose will be yours very last bulwark.
The one real thing that will keep you going when the going gets tough.
From the experience I can tell you that no amount of hypothetical money can give you that sort of determination. In my opinion you can only do that because of the freedom or because of the desire to be of service.
Do it for Freedom
To be perfectly clear I mean financial freedom as well. But it’s much more than just money. Even financial freedom alone is much more than just money. It is about all those things you cannot do when you work 9-5. Which is by the way never the case and you always work longer.
Anyway. Although your business makes you work longer hours at the same time you are much more in control. Even if you don’t really have more time it feels like that.
Probably because you don’t have to commute and you have a schedule freedom. You can do those little things in between, like spending time with your kid, quick groceries or even a bit video games. Why not?
Ok, at the beginning you want to spend every hour on growing your business, but once it takes off you will get much more flexibility.
And it’s not only that. Everyone wants to improve their lives, by this way or another. But let me ask you this, how are you supposed to achieve that if you’re going to the job that makes you miserable?
Besides, they can replace you within days, so forget about anything like job security.
If you are working for one of the big players the risk is even greater. Because we are on the edge of “hiring” employees that do not need holidays or breaks and do not complain. Whether you like it or not Artificial Intelligence will replace many of us.
What are the better options than starting an online business? Even if it’s only a side hustle.
Do it to be of Service
Ultimately you can do it to make a difference. The reason to start your entrepreneurship adventure can be the fact that you can see all those things that can be done much better. Because you can see all those people literally begging for better quality.
Or you can see audiences that are not being served at all! That there are groups of people that have their needs, problems, passions or desires. But they cannot really satisfy them with anything that is available at the market.
In both of these cases there is massive potential to build a company that will be delivering great service.
A company that will solve their problems, answer their questions, satisfy their desires or allow them to follow their passions. And you can do that by delivering valuable content and great quality products.
Build a #company that will be delivering great #service. A company that will solve their problems, answer their questions, satisfy their desires or allow them to follow their #passions. #problemSolving Click To Tweet
By doing that consistently over and over again you will make their lives better and win their hearts. And all that by doing things that matter.
Wanna hear the best part?
You don’t have to choose between these two reasons, do it for the freedom and to be of service 😉
Learn how to become successful entrepreneur
It always starts with a beautiful dream, but we do not always land where we would love to. It took me while to understand that it takes much more than just a dream and hard work. You also need to be pushed into the right direction.
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