As a new year’s resolution, I made a solid decision to start an online business in the year 2017. Why? Because I can.
I am one of those people that cannot sit still for too long. I know that comfort and peace are what we ultimately look for, but so far I have had no luck in finding those, nor I really want to. Knowing myself, I know that in order to be satisfied, I need to keep on moving forward. If I don’t move on, I get extremely bored, and many of you can relate to me here. Some begin to take drugs, some drink alcohol, and some play video games. In the long run, it really doesn’t matter what you choose – they are all different ways of running away from life. I, in this case, am confident that starting an online business will keep me excited and occupied for many years to come, regardless of whether I will experience success or failure. The goal is to move on, learn new things, and to keep on crushing it!
Now, why have I decided to talk about this publicly? Well, I am a strong believer in accountability. I believe that even though it may feel uncomfortable or wrong to tell others about your future plans, it makes you extremely aware and accountable for your decisions. You can write things down in a journal, and it will make you more accountable than if you wouldn’t write it down at all, but if you also tell others about it, you will feel the strong need to stick to your plans. It’s about experiencing pressure, but in the good way, the way that will benefit you.
The second reason why I have decided to write this is you. I know that many people out there would also like to start an online business, but are too afraid to make the first steps. You may want to quit your job and become financially free, or you may want to earn enough money to be able to travel the world or help others. It really doesn’t matter what your cause is. The bottom line is that everything is possible, but you just need to work for it.
Also, because I don’t yet have any experience in the business that I am going to put myself into, I think it will be quite interesting to share with you the things that are going to come my way. I will share the positive, as well as the negative sides of having an online business. I can be the one to tell you what is working for me, but also what you should avoid doing. And I am not one of those successful millionaire online marketers that is going to tell you what it was like to get to where I am now. Instead, I may be just like you, and I am going to share with you my story as I go. Hopefully, it will be a good one and will prove to you that anyone can do this.
The decision to start an online business…
1. What are the options?
For those of you that don’t know, I have been for a little under a year in the book publishing business. And while I think it is has been a success, I feel that I am not passionate enough to keep doing only that. It certainly has taught me a lot about selling online and generally about how things work on the internet, but like I said, I want to keep moving on. And despite me not growing the publishing business anymore, I am going to sustain it as it is today. If you are interested, you can read about my experience with the publishing business in the post about the Story of How I Made My First Cents Online.
So what are the different options if you decide to start an online business?
Coaching and digital products
Honestly, there are a countless amount of things that you can do. For example, if you have some hobby that you have become good at, or you know something that others don’t, you can get into an online coaching business.
Online coaching has become extremely popular these days. It is not a surprise since the money is about the same as if you were meeting your client physically. But in this case, you don’t even have to lift your butt off the couch. And while I think that there is nothing wrong with online coaching in certain fields, such as business or teaching to play an instrument, some things should be done only in person. Just look at it, thousands of fitness coaches have now become online trainers. And apart from some of them not even being qualified enough, the client that is paying for the training may end up hurting themselves. The coach is never there to make sure that the exercises are done correctly!
On the other hand, you maybe want to think of creating a digital product. Maybe you don’t want to coach people one by one, but instead, you want to create a product only once, and make it available to the person whenever they pay for it. This is extremely profitable, because other than time and your knowledge you do not have any expenses.
But please, if you only think that you are knowledgeable enough to make a course, don’t do it. I have been a part of some really amazing courses, but I have also seen some extremely lousy courses. Don’t be one of those people looking for quick money. If you do manage to sell such a course, all you will get is an angry mob that wants their money back, and you won’t even profit much of it anyway.
If you don’t feel like spending time and money on the creation of real physical products or online courses, you can always advertise the products of others and get a commission for it. I think affiliate marketing is great because you are helping 3 parties at the same time. You help the sellers generate more income and find clients that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to attract. You are helping clients find products that they may not know of, but would definitely enjoy, making them happier as well. And finally, you are getting a commission for doing that. This is a win-win-win situation in my opinion. The only problem is that you need to have people to whom you can help finding these products. If you don’t have a following on social networks or some kind of website with a steady traffic, there is pretty much nothing you can do to follow this business model.
FBA – Fulfillment by Amazon
When I was making the decision to start an online business, I went through many different options. But after spending a lot of time weighing out the pros and cons, Amazon become my number one choice.
Since I already have a publishing business at Amazon, I know what Amazon is capable of. For example, the publishing business is on-demand. This means that you don’t have to create the books beforehand, nor you need to pay for storage area (warehouse). Amazon prints the books out only when someone makes the purchase, hence “on-demand”. Amazon gets a small portion of the income, but the amount of work they do for you is just incredible. Again, you can read about my experience with publishing here.
With FBA you once again get to take advantage of Amazon’s generosity. All you have to do is find products to sell, and ship them over to Amazon. Actually, you don’t even need to do that – you can ask the factory to ship the products for you directly to Amazon.
I think that if you want to start an online business related to selling products, the best place to begin is Amazon. Amazon marketplace is an extremely popular e-commerce web store that has millions of clients. People visit the website with the intention to buy something, and because of that, you don’t have to worry about creating your own website/store, driving traffic and hoping that someone will buy what you have to offer. No, your product on Amazon will automatically be visible to those looking for it, and therefore generate sales. Customers on Amazon tend to buy many things at once, simply because it is convenient. I know this because that is what I do as well – guiltyyyyyy! 🙂
Moreover, Amazon stores your products for you until someone makes the purchase. Then they send it out, and they even handle the returns in case there are some. For all of this tedious work, they ask a certain % of the income. But just think about how much of the work related to selling goods they are doing for you… Do you know how difficult it is to have customer support? You do almost none of the work that traditional physical stores do. All you have to do is have some starting capital to begin this business, find products that you would like to sell, and get them to Amazon. Voila!
That being said, my goal is not to make money fast. I understand that everything has a learning curve. My goal is to start with something small, conquer the possible pitfalls, and to expand into something bigger. Eventually, I would love to make something that would be of high quality and helpful to others. But to get there, the smart thing to do would be to start small.
Sound good? What do you think in regards to starting an online business in this field?
2. Investing in a course
Earlier I mentioned online courses. Well, since my first purchase of an online course to help me learn about starting an online business (publishing), I have become addicted to them. Today it is hard to imagine what would need to go through my mind for me to get into something new and unknown without a training.
Some people really think that all they have to do is Google for a while, and they will be able to find all the information they need. This is a dangerous mentality to have. Just think about it, would people that spent years learning and making mistakes give this information out for free? I highly doubt it. Sure, you can find a lot of information on your own from various sources, but keep in mind that:
1. it may be old,
2. it may be wrong,
3. it won’t be structured in a coherent way.
If you decide to start an online business, by investing in a course first you are really investing in yourself and your future. If you take it seriously, you know that there is always the chance of failing and losing all of the money that you put into your online business. “It’s a risky business!” Therefore, if you want to minimize the chances of failure, you need to learn from someone that knows what he or she is talking about. You need to learn from someone that has already made all of the mistakes for you.
I don’t have any problems with the thought that I need to get a course first – I know I must. The only problem is that there are so many different courses out there regarding Amazon FBA. I don’t know yet which I am going to purchase, but I have a few in mind. I don’t want to pay 4000$, but I don’t want a course that won’t teach me much either. It should something that will be sufficient since you can never get a course that is a 100% perfect. Everyone is different and has their own way of doing things.
I have already made some research, and I have a few courses in mind. But please, if you know some course regarding FBA that is good, please share it with me in the comment section below. I would appreciate it very much!
The last thing that I would like to talk about is the mindset.
If you are also thinking of starting an online business, be realistic about it. In the beginning, I said I want to do something that will keep me occupied and excited, and I am very aware of the fact that it won’t be easy and that it will include some losses and adversity. It is very important not to be blind.
I am an optimistic person, and that is what has always pushed me to keep going. However, despite being one, I know that anything can happen when you take action and get out of your comfort zone. To start an online business does not equal making money easily. And even though it is “online”, it requires you to be strategic as much as possible. Because if it would be easy, anyone would do it.
I in no way want to scare you. All that I am trying to tell you is that it isn’t going to be easy, that you will need to be smart about it and that you must be patient. Patience cannot be stressed enough here. People are sometimes so obsessed with quick results that when they fail to see them a month from the beginning, they become discouraged and give up. Therefore, having the right mindset is crucial.
If you have problems believing in yourself or feel that you may be one of those people that quit too soon, I encourage you to work on yourself first. Once you learn to believe in yourself and be confident, that is when you should start an online business. All you have to do is read books and watch successful people talk and share their success stories. These things motivate us and with time teach our brain to think differently, in the I can do it!!! – mode. Success no matter what becomes a part of your reality, and you begin to think like a warrior.
Deciding to start an online business – end of part 1
I am very excited about what is to come, and I am just as excited to be able to share the path with you. The goal is to share my experience starting an online business and selling through Amazon FBA. But most importantly, I want to show you that if I can do it, so can you!
If you like this type of content, or you have a story related to starting an online business, please share it with me! I know that I and other readers would enjoy this since there is so much we can learn from each other. Also, if you know someone to whom this might be of interest, please share this post with them. I would appreciate this very much.
In any case, thank you for taking your time to read this!