Let’s face it, the idea of working from home on your business, which makes you passive income while you sleep is just so sweet and attractive. You wake up and go to sleep when you want, do whatever you want and whenever you want. Who on earth would not want to live a life like that?
Well, unfortunately, it’s not all that easy. And the reason why so many people see it being so attractive with no challenges is because the internet has made it look that way! Certain individuals or companies want to sell you their services and products, and the only way they can do it is by making online business look simple and glamorous.
“Become a millionaire with these 7 easy steps!” or “Start earning millions today with our program!” – sound familiar? Well, not only they are telling you lies, but that is the reason why so many people fail with their online business. They genuinely believe that it will be easy, but as soon as the difficulties come along, they get exhausted and give up.
In order to know what you are getting yourself into, you need to know what to expect. To overcome challenges, you need to be prepared for them. So, to help you with this, I’ve put together for you the 10 most common false beliefs about starting an online business.
1. It’s all about the idea
The first false online business belief is that it is all about being different and having an idea that no one else has.
While having an idea is great, you will not have food on your table with just an idea. Ideas need to be materialized, and the only way to do that, is through hard work.
You can’t imagine how many people start an online business, or any business for that matter, solely because they have an idea. It’s crazy, but it’s true. It’s become almost like a trend.
The reality is that as soon as you begin implementing your idea, you will notice that it’s not as easy as it was on paper. There are so many variables that you need to have in place working for you, that basing your online business just on the idea is absurd.
Moreover, having an idea usually means becoming a pioneer in something, which means doing something that no one else is doing. And while this can make you stand out from the crowd, often it is what gets entrepreneurs demolished. Their idea simply turns out to be worthless for the rest of the world.
Don’t get me wrong, having an amazing idea and being able to implement it, is what has made some of the most successful companies in the world. But most of the time, you are a lot better off doing what everyone else is doing. Do what has been proven to work, but just do it a lot better than everyone else.
To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions. – Steve Jobs
2. Online business is all about passive income
The second false online business belief is that passive income dominates.
Depending on your online business model, passive income may or may not be a part of it. However, even if you do, for example, choose something passive like Amazon FBA, you will still be required to work on it from time to time. You can’t just do something and never return to it again, hoping that it will make you rich on its own forever. No, everything needs to be taken care of, and just because your business is located within the world wide web, doesn’t mean that you can just abandon it.
Even with affiliate marketing, which is probably the most passive business model out there, you have to put in a ton of work before you get to see any results whatsoever!
You have to always keep in mind one very simple thing – if it is easy on paper, then it must have a crazy amount of competition. The harder the online business model, the more rewarding it will be for you. This is not a set in stone rule, but very often the case.
3. You are free to work whenever you want to
If you start your own online business, you will have more freedom over when you choose to work. However, it’s not like this all of the time.
Unlike having a nine to five job, in this case, you have no specific schedule. What this means in practice is that you may be required to work in the morning, in the day, in the evening, sometimes at night, during the weekends and even during the holidays. Emails may come pouring in, people will schedule calls with you from all over the world, and you will simply have to work with it, if you want your business to prosper that is.
The good news is that by applying a good strategy, you can minimize the amount of work for yourself by hiring virtual assistants through Fiverr or Freelancer. It may not be perfect, but it is possible to create a schedule for yourself that will be relatively easy to handle.
I highly recommend that you read The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris. It teaches you how to be extremely efficient in how you conduct your online business.
4. You can start an online business with only 5$
The fourth false online business belief is that you can start a business with almost no money in your pocket.
The truth is that all online business models differ from each other. And it’s true, you can start an online business today with minimal investment, but that means that you will have to work really hard and for very long to see any visible results.
The more money you have to begin with, the more actual business you can do, which means more results and faster. Remember, the easier anything is, the more people are doing it. That means more competition and more work required to stand out from the crowd.
Recommended read: Shiny Object Syndrome – Why and How to Avoid It at All Costs
Being successful in business is all about being ahead of your competition. If you don’t want to be average or mediocre, then be ready to be creative and to work your butt off.
5. You must have a lot of money to start an online business
The fifth false online business belief is the opposite of the previous.
While it’s good to have some money saved up, many people never take action because they believe that they need tens of thousands to begin with.
That’s the whole beauty of having an online business – it’s nothing like it used to be. You don’t have to rent a place and hire an employee for your brick and mortar business. No, you don’t need an office. Your laptop is your office! Might as well lie on your couch with your feet up in the air while working.
To put it simply, having an online business can be extremely cheap. All you might need to make is a social media account and get a hosting (Bluehost is really cheap) for your website. And that’s it. Unlike in the old days, where you would need to spend your whole life’s savings on your business, today, absolutely ANYONE can start their own online business. Just be creative.
6. I don’t need a social media account
The sixth false online business belief is that you can survive without a social media presence.
You can survive without a social media presence, but your competitors will be always ahead of you. The truth is that social media is the best way to get noticed today. Yes, you might need to spend some money on advertising, but it’s just part of the game. Also, it’s not really expensive.
People love to consume their content in many different ways. Some people like to listen, others like to read and others like to watch. The more social media channels you use in your business, the bigger your reach will be.
In the end, it’s your choice what you do with your online business, but I don’t see a reason why somebody wouldn’t use something that can help their business grow faster, especially when it’s free.
7. You need to be a marketing guru to be successful
The seventh false online business belief is that you need to be a marketing guru to have a successful online business.
Many people watch some of the most successful marketers out there, and then they get discouraged, thinking that “oh, I will never be as good as them”. You are doing yourself a disservice by thinking this way!
You have to understand that people are not born as successful marketers. Everyone had to start somewhere. Sure, some people are better than others naturally, but hard work ALWAYS beats talent. Besides, you may have a strength that no one else has.
It’s true, if you want to get on top of the internet and dominate, you will have to learn some marketing techniques. But the keyword here is “learn”. Don’t worry if you don’t know any of it in the beginning, you’ll learn as you grow. Everyone does.
When I first got into having online projects, I had no idea what online marketing even meant. And even though I am by no means perfect, I now understand how it works. I simply learned as I moved forward.
You don’t have to perfect in any of it when you start your online business, but you have to be open to always keep learning more. It’s a neverending process.
8. It’s a lonely path
Many people think that having an online business is a lonely path. But to be honest, today I have more connections than ever. I’ve made new friends and I have people who I regularly talk to.
Sometimes, it may be that people just want to chat, and at other times, they reach out with an offer that can be beneficial to the both of us. And the best part about it is that they are from all over the world! This is what has made online business especially fascinating for me.
9. Because it is online, it is not a real business
The ninth false online business belief is that an online business is not a real business.
Although you may not feel like you are doing real business when it is online, as soon as you start making money, it becomes a real business. This does not mean that you have to immediately create a limited company, but you will need to start complying with your country’s laws and you will need to notify the government of your income. And yes, this does mean paying taxes… Just like Benjamin Franklin said – “there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes”.
Moreover, you need to be aware that if you are doing something illegal on the internet, you are doing something illegal in real life. You can get in trouble for it.
Many will pretend that they don’t know the rules, but the truth is that just because you don’t know something, it does not make you any less responsible for it. My advice is that you should always educate yourself on the issue. Treat your online business like a real business right from the start. This way you can avoid unexpected surprises.
10. I will have a lot of expenses
The last, but not least false online business belief is that once you start, you will have a lot of unwanted expenses.
All business owners know that a lot of money is spent on various necessary services, such as bookkeeping and different software (since your business is, in fact, online). But don’t let that discourage you. In the beginning, when you are not making a lot of money, it’s super easy to follow your finances, and you probably don’t need any of the really fancy software.
Also, when you start, in most countries and in most cases you can start your business as a sole proprietor. This means not having to open up a company, and therefore less legal things to keep in mind. But you should always consult with your authorities about the laws in your area in order to keep everything fully legal. Every country has its own laws.
By starting out as a sole proprietor, you have the opportunity to test things out before you fully immerse yourself into it. Again, this is what makes it so smooth about having a business on the internet.
And if do you see that things are going well for you, then why not be completely serious about it and establish a company? This kind of success is, after all, what you are looking for, right?
I hope you have enjoyed these 10 most common false beliefs about starting an online business. And regardless of all the possible difficulties, I want to end by saying that being able to have a business online is extremely fascinating and fulfilling. It makes such a difference in life.
If you feel that I missed something, please do share it with me in the comment section below. I would love to hear about it!
Thank you for stopping by and good luck!