Most people come to the idea of making a living from online services through a desire to improve their work/life balance, enhance the quality of their career and free up more time to spend on the things they love, and less at work.
However, often there can be some serious misconceptions relating to how easy it is to make a living using the internet, and many potential entrepreneurs fall by the wayside once it becomes apparent that running an online business is a bit tougher than they expected.
Here are the top six myths I come across regularly through my company that people have about working for themselves and making an online business”¦
“It’s easy to work from home and run a blogging business”
It always makes me grin when people speak about the internet as if we were still in the heady days of the online boom. These days, making a living online is highly possible, but only if you’re prepared to put in a lot of time, effort and energy. The customers I have that succeed are the ones that fully understand that working for yourself online takes just as much commitment (or usually more) as any other career, and the likelihood of stumbling across a winning formula for success that doesn’t need any effort is minimal at best.
“I never need to leave my house”
People who assume that working from home means that they never need to set foot out of their front door again to make their business work are probably not going to make their business work! Although most of what we do is conducted through online networking via Skype, Facebook, LinkedIn and other virtual communities, no business can survive if it is conducted purely in isolation.
Apart from the fact that most of us would go crackers if we were holed up day after day with a laptop in some dusty basement, we really do need to network face to face to get the most from our business relationships. Breakfast meetings, clubs and social events are all just as crucial to good networking as staying in and chewing the fat over Skype!
“I can make a fortune overnight”
Unless you know something that I don’t, it’s not actually possible to set up a business online legitimately and walk away
Unless you happen to be the one person in a million who manages to stumble across a really unique and innovative idea that goes viral, don’t expect to make your fortune and retire to sunny climes for the rest of your days from your online business.
“I don’t need to have a long term strategy”
Successful online businesses need strategic thinking to stay ahead of the competition. With the rapid shifts and trends which take place each day in the online world, we each of us need to be really focused on where we are headed, to achieve our goals. Understanding where you are, and what you want to achieve is much easier if you have a strategic game plan in place to follow, which reflects your industry niche, your capabilities, and your aspirations.
“It’s all been done before”
This is not a true reflection of online business, as there is never an area which has been focused upon so much, that there is nothing else to do with it. Even if your market sector is saturated, it’s worth thinking of ways that you can provide a unique twist on to existing services to make them a success.
When Henry Ford started making cars, they weren’t the only cars in the market – he just devised a strategy to make them better. Similarly, the online world always has potential for new innovations and fresh takes on existing ideas.
“I’m not technical – I could never run an online business”
No-one starts out with an innate knowledge of the net when they start out in business online. However, they pick up knowledge as they go along, gaining more experience. The beauty of our industry is that there are always talented people out there to support us with areas of our business that we may not be experts in – it makes sense to play to your individual strengths, and let the experts take care of the rest! Never let a lack of knowledge get in the way of a fine idea – hit the books, call the experts, and you’ll succeed online.
So what do you think? Have you ever believed any of these myths?
Please share your views in the comments below.