Oftentimes I’m approached by people who ask me what I do for a living and when I tell them that I’m an online entrepreneur, their faces light up and they ask me a lot of questions.
Most of these questions are related to my daily work life, and then people explain that they would also love to be able to work for themselves, but they can’t because they don't have time, all of their ideas are taken, they can't decide on the right topic, etc.
Truth is, anybody can become an online entrepreneur, but it becomes really overwhelming to think about leaving the safety of a full-time job with health insurance and finding the time to make it happen.
I understand this because when I first started, I had the same concerns.
Today I want to help you understand what you need to know about Online Entrepreneurship and help you understand what it takes to start and succeed.
8 Tips to Become a Successful Online Entrepreneur
1) Get Started Now
If you really want to succeed at being an online entrepreneur, the first thing that you need to do is simply get started.
I can tell you with certainty that the #1 regret of people who are successful in the field, including myself, is not getting started earlier.
I'm not sure why people don't get started, but I think most people are too scared to fail and decide that the best course of action is to never get started…therefore they can never fail.
The truth is, you’re going to fail, and it's okay, I give you permission to fail.
I’ve personally failed multiple times. It sounds cliche, but it's almost an entrepreneur's right of passage to start something and fall on their face.
Which is why it's important, in my opinion, to become an online entrepreneur while still working a full-time job.
This way, you can fail and it isn’t that big of a deal because you still have a paycheck coming in.
But Prof. Ron, what online business should I start?
There are a lot of online entrepreneur ideas out there, but I'm partial to starting a blog.
Why? It's simple.
I always wanted to be an entrepreneur but didn't want to spend tens of thousands of dollars to start. Funds were limited, so I had to look for cheap options.
Blogging is a cheap option. You can start a blog for less than $100/year and there is some BIG money to be made if you keep at it.
If you don't believe me, check out my income reports. Last year alone I was able to bring in over $200,000 and yes, it's all from blogs and it's totally legit.
Here's a screenshot to show you I'm not full of it. This screenshot is showing my all time earnings from Google Adsense, but remember that this is only one of my revenue channels.
I'm not saying showing this to gloat, I just want you to understand that online businesses are legitimate and can be very successful with hard work.
If you want to get started blogging, check out this guide I created that'll walk you through everything you need to know.
I'll never promise that you'll have the exact same results as me, but there are literally thousands of people making money this way and you're more than capable of doing it yourself.
2) Learn While You Go
One of the best ways to be successful in this area is to start now and use just-in-time learning to succeed.
Information overload is real in this industry. To combat that, simply start a blog first and then learn as you go.
Or, if you're not much of a blogger, you could try to start and make money from a YouTube channel.
3) Set up a Schedule
Before you get back to work, you need to set a schedule for yourself. Technically you should’ve already done this when you’re preparing for your exit from corporate America, but it’s a good idea to sit down and figure out exactly what your schedule is going to be Monday through Sunday of each week.
How many hours will you put in each day? What days will you work less? How will you manage all of the work with your current responsibilities?Like I said previously, I recommend no less than eight hours per day and even up to 10 hours per day is encouraged at this point of your business. You’re going to have to work extremely hard in the beginning because it’s the only way that your business will survive.
But don’t worry, it won’t always be this way if you do things right.
4) Work Extremely Hard
Work. Focus on being really efficient and work your butt off with your head down as hard as you can. Every single second that you aren’t working, someone else is trying to beat you and the truth is that hard work is a huge part of being successful.
Remember, that work hours are your time and when loved ones or friends come asking you to have a long lunch or you get tired and want to take a nap in the middle of the day, now is NOT the time to do it. You need to persevere through all the distractions and issues that you have and just get work done. Be selfish about your time, it’s the only way you’ll succeed.
5) Don't be Afraid to Try New Things
One of the things that I realized after becoming an online entrepreneur is that you have to try new things to diversify your income and see what you’re successful at.
I’ve made quite a few courses on Udemy, created courses on my own website, created numerous authority websites, and done a handful of other things to increase my income. Most of them were failures, but a few of them have been successful and it only takes those few to be able to sustain yourself as an online entrepreneur.
6) Set Goals
Some people spend too much time creating goals and I think that this is a little silly because you really have no idea what’s going to happen a year from now.
Me? I recommend that you create goals for the current month and that’s it. Take out a sheet of paper or buy a white board on Amazon and think about what you think you can realistically get done by the end of the month and write it down. It’s encouraged to make your goals difficult, but realistic.
Once you’re done, put that paper or whiteboard somewhere that you work every single day so that you remind yourself. Might not be a bad idea to set up a “dream board” of items you want/vacation you want to take, etc. These will motivate you when you think you’re down on yourself and think that you suck (It’ll happen, trust me).
6) Reinvest Everything
When you finally do start making money, reinvest every dime of it.
7) Invest (Some) Money
I was very cheap when I started my online business. I looked at everything as an expense. But it's not an expense, it's an investment.
8) Outsource, Outsource, Outsource
There are going to be so many things that you are capable of doing, but shouldn't do. Outsource work to freelancers. Particularly things like content revisions, which impact content freshness and can help to generate a lot of traffic in the long run.
Online Entrepreneur Q&A
What's Life Like as an Online Entreprenuer?
First things first, I want to set expectations and help you understand what the life of an online entrepreneur is like.
Most people think that I sit in my boxers all day and work from the couch (partially true) but there are a lot of things that I deal with on a daily basis that most people don't think about.
It’s going to be difficult: When I first started out I naïvely thought that I could create an online business and be successful overnight. Nothing is further from the truth, you’ll likely have a lot of trial and error before you actually succeed so you need to have mental toughness.
You’re going to work a lot of hours: If you want to succeed, you can expect to work at least 10 hours a day for months on end. The good news is that you’re working for yourself and every single minute you put into the business is benefiting you directly, but you have to be ready to put in the work.