In this post I'm going to touch on a few hard truths about online and lifestyle businesses that I don't think many people want to hear when they are starting out, or even if they've been building a business online for some time. There are a lot of people who look to building a lifestyle business with a set of beliefs, based on the marketing they have seen for a huge number of products, which don't put them in good stead when it comes to the realities of growing a sustainable online business.
Don't get me wrong, I too have fallen prey to approaching the building of my business with the wrong point of view and believing much of the hype and it was demoralising to say the least. So my aim with this post is to help you to understand some hard truths about building a lifestyle business, hopefully to help you avoid many of the challenges that I faced (and still do from time to time) when I was starting out.
1. It won't be easy, in fact it could be your biggest challenge!
Building an online or lifestyle business is hard, that's a fact. I haven't come across anyone who has successfully built a business from the ground up, regardless of their background, who won't tell you that they have put their blood, sweat and tears into creating it. There will be long days, long nights and long periods of no apparent progress, but the old saying that nothing worth doing is easy absolutely rings true.
But, if you can put it into context and stay the course then you will see a positive outcome. I mean, let's consider some of the other things you have learned to do in your lifetime… it took years before you could read and write, probably months before riding a bike was a reality and don't forget if you've done any sort of formal education it's probably been a decade or more before you've ‘finished'.
So why do we get disheartened and give up in weeks or months when it comes to building an online or lifestyle business? I've certainly done it and I can honestly say that I look back and wonder where I might have been if I'd just kept on taking action regularly on this or that approach, I'd hazard a guess a lot further on than I am now…
2. You will need to invest money into your business
I know, there are plenty of products out there that talk about making money with no investment and using free methods to generate traffic or get visitors to your website or products. However, it's my belief that these techniques will only ever be a part of an all round approach to building a successful business, you are very unlikely to create something sustainable and scalable without spending a cent.
The good news however is that you can choose when to invest, if you are strapped for cash in the early days then by all means use techniques that don't involve paying others for their services or paying for advertising. But you must absolutely be willing to reinvest your income into your business so that it thrives in the long run and you get those freedom benefits that you are aspiring to have.
Most importantly, be prepared to invest in yourself to help your business grow. Figure out what training you need to succeed and be prepared to pay for it from the right source, it can be an incredible shortcut to find someone who has done it all before and learn directly from them what works and what doesn't, in fact it can actually save you money in the long run.
3. It's going to take time and probably lots of it
Much like the hard work aspect of this post, the truth is that you are going to have to put in the time and be prepared to wait in order for your business to expand and grow in a way that will be truly profitable. If you are looking for longevity and for a lifestyle business that can support you way into the future you need to take the time to build a solid foundation upon which to grow and evolve.
Granted once your business is established and you have a system in place to manage your day to day operations you will be able to spend less time working on your business, but it will take you time to get there and iron out the kinks. Those lifestyle business owners who are able to work a few hours a day now are more than likely to had their fair share of 12+ hour days and 100 hour weeks in order to get where they are today, but it has paid off for them big time.
4. At some point you will fail…
Everyone fails, it's a fact of life. Even the most successful entrepreneurs in the world have had to deal with failure in the careers and more often than not there have been multiple failures before they have found the project or idea that has changed their world. Thomas Edison famously said:
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
So you shouldn't be surprised if your first, second, third or even tenth attempt at building an online or lifestyle business doesn't go exactly to plan, they key thing is to learn from each failure, work out where you went wrong and take that knowledge into your next attempt. After all you do know what they say is the definition of insanity right?
5. You cannot do it all on your own
It's one of the draws of creating an online or lifestyle business, setting out on your own to conquer the world, being the master of your own domain and being in complete control of your future. The problem is, you don't know what you don't know and if that is true then how do you know what you need to do in order to learn it?
Nobody can be the best at everything. Granted you can be good at a lot of things but the reality is there is likely to be someone out there or a lot of someones out there that are better at things than you are and you'd be better off learning from them than trying to work it all out for yourself.
And ultimately in the long run, if you do want the freedom that a lifestyle business can provide you are going to have to let others take on many of these key tasks for you. Additionally, why should you waste your time figuring out all the wrong things to do yourself when you can leverage the experience of others who have gone before you and skip that step, all just by finding yourself a mentor or group of people to work closely with as you build your lifestyle business?
So there you have it, 5 things you definitely don't want to hear about lifestyle businesses. My hope is that you have read through each and they've helped you to adjust your expectations or alternatively reaffirm what you already know about your journey of building a lifestyle business.
I have no doubt there are a number of additional things that could make this list, but then it wouldn't have been 5 things would it. Maybe I'll revisit the list in the future or create second list of additional items that I think people should consider, so be sure to check back for more articles like this one in the future. Naturally I'm also keen to hear what you think, so feel free to drop me a note in the comments.
Until next time.