I was once asked the following question by someone on my email list: "If there's some advice you wish you'd received before starting an online business, what would it be?". It's a great question, and one I'll examine here as I'd imagine my answer would be very useful to all those about to embark on the amazing adventure of beginning, and hopefully growing, a profitable online venture.
It Takes More Work Than You Might Imagine
Anyone I've ever met in business will agree on one thing. It takes a huge amount of work and effort to start and grow a business. And it's a continual, and often steep, learning curve every step of the way.
The best thing you can do on starting out is to have accurate expectations on what your journey to success will be like.
So don't buy into the hype that is sometimes still perpetuated about the possibilities for overnight success, about the '4 hour work week', the ease with which you can grow a successful business, and so on. If you believe that when you first start in business, or that there's a 'secret key' to success, you're setting yourself up for early disillusionment, demotivation, and failure.
On the other hand, if you're ready to put the work in, to meet the challenge head on, and throw everything you've got at it (and then some!), you're far more likely to succeed.
For the first few months at least - but more realistically, years - it can involve twelve hour days (often more), seven days a week. It's all consuming, and can take over every aspect of your life as you know it.
You need the absolute dedication, commitment and drive it takes to succeed. Even when 'successful', there will be bumps in the road, down times, times when it seems nothing's going your way and you feel close to accepting defeat and giving in.
But it's at times like these when the wheat's separated from the chaff, and true success is actually created. You pick yourself up off the floor yet again, figure out what the experience is trying to teach you, and keep on going on. One thing's guaranteed - if you do stop, you fail. If you're going to succeed, failure's not an option.
(Study the back-story of anyone who you consider to be very successful, and you'll find they've all had their moments. For example, the vast majority have been through bankruptcy, and some of those more than once. Just one example would be Donald Trump who has so far filed for bankruptcy four times.)
So in summary, prepare for hard work, give it all you've got, and persevere through the hard times. Ultimately, the rewards are there if you're prepared to rise to the challenge. And the best reward is actually the journey itself.
Don't Fear Failure - Just Do It Anyway
It might be a good idea to pick up a copy of Susan Jeffers' best-selling book, 'Feel The Fear … And Do It Anyway'.