Online businesses are tough (especially when you get started)! Hearing success stories is not enough to keep you motivated.
Let’s face it; we can’t help but be a little envious when we hear about the success of others.
How did they do it? Why can’t I seem to break through?
Don’t worry; I had these same questions before. I’ve been there. These are my top motivational tips for online business owners:
#1: Push Yourself but Don’t set Goals that are Out of Reach
Let’s face it, as entrepreneurs, we all want to go from “0 to hero” as fast as possible.
And this isn’t a “bad thing,” unless there isn’t a proper plan and a proper execution in place.
Be realistic but push yourself. You don’t want to have a trail of disappointments. Set smaller and realizable goals that fit into a bigger goal or plan. Celebrate the little accomplishments.
Don’t Always measure success with revenue. While revenue is a significant indicator, it’s not the only one.
#2 Never Take the “Easy way” Out
There are going to be so many opportunities to take shortcuts (that turn into longcuts) when it comes to building an online business.
If you haven’t experienced this already, people will try to sell you BS “packages” and “training” that will “solve all of your problems” and “give you unlimited traffic” and “unlimited sales” and “unlimited income.” These fake unethical claims all sound great until you buy these products/services and are left with no money and no commitment.
What to do Instead
Instead, put in the work. Create real products and services unique to your industry. Set aside time and deliver quality.
If you need help, go with a company committed to your success that won’t take your money and “run.”
And I know, I know, you probably think I’m trying to sell you on my mentoring (done with you) services, and I admit, while it would be cool to work with you, it doesn’t matter if it is Apt Applications LLC. However, make sure whoever you’re working with is as committed as we are t0 your success.
#3: BE PRODUCTIVE, not Busy!
There is a big misconception that typing away and clicking around on a mouse “doing research” is being productive.
There are so many distractions that get in the way of you making money. One of the biggest is trying to be the guru/expert in all fields or aspects of your business.
If you don’t have a way to generate income, you don’t have a real business. Sit down and ask yourself how many different ways you can make money from a website/digital asset. Check out this article to see if your sales funnel is adequate for business.
Focus on revenue generating tasks first and then branch off into creating free content, designing a photo, researching, etc.
Accept that Nothing is going to be 100% perfect
You can’t pause progress trying to get something “just right,” otherwise you lose out on opportunities.
There are things that you could spend years learning that don’t deserve your time.
For example, I offer SEO services for business owners, but I am probably only “intermediate” in SEO. Does that mean I can’t provide those services if my clients need them? Of course not.
Do you think you would ever see him cleaning a lobby and acting as a hotel receptionist? No. But the people that do that work for him represent him. So make sure that those who do work for you or represent you do it well and you can trust them.
Make it impossible to procrastinate.
Give yourself a better or best option at all times.
Discipline yourself so that you can pin yourself down into doing a task for a certain time.
#4: Take Calculated Risks and LEARN from Mistakes
Understand that not everything you try is going to work out the first time you try it. That’s ok. I failed 17 times (arguably 18) before having success online.
Don’t torture yourself over a miscalculation. Instead, learn from your mistake and treat it as “business insight” of what not to do.
Move forward, not backward after an idea “flops.”
Be Patient Enough to See the Results
I would say the #1 thing that stops entrepreneurs from seeing success online is merely giving up too early.
Realize that you’re in it for the long-term. Not some get-rich-quick “e-commerce one-and-done print-on-demand t-shirt scam.”
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a website that had a TON of potential, but because the owner didn’t catch the vision of long-term revenue and credibility building, they lost all that potential. Don’t let this be you. Stick with it!
#5 Treat it for what it is: A Business
Too many people have been mentally hypnotized into believing that an online business equates to drinking mojitos on a beach with a laptop making money. And, don’t get me wrong, it can become that, but you have to put in the work first.
The bottom line to any business (online businesses are no exceptions) is profit and loss. How much is coming in and how much is coming out. Make sure you have multiple ways to generate income. Not just your main product or service. Check out this article for tips on Upsells.
Also, make sure you block out time to work on task so that you can hold yourself accountable.
Don’t be Afraid to Spend Money
When I talk to local businesses owners about an appropriate budget for their business, it’s funny to hear what they expect to pay on traffic: $100 or $300 per month. That’s just enough to do some appropriate testing.
Just think of all of the other forms of advertising there are such as Billboards, radio ads, coupon booklets in the mail. If you told someone to pay you $2000 to put up a billboard for a company, he/she probably wouldn’t bat an eye.
But because it’s digital marketing, everyone somehow envisions that a couple of hundred dollars should do. If you put that same $2000 into a FB ad campaign, you would be 10X better off with targeting, and you would have valuable data to back up your marketing efforts.
Don’t be afraid to put money into advertising. It will be well worth the investment. But also keep in mind this next point:
Stop the “Bleeding”
Sometimes you will use tools and software to better your business, but the fewer the expenses, the better the outcome. For example, if you find one software (like clickfunnelsTM or Zapier) that can do the work of 3 or four other software tools, cut off the other three and work with what works for you. Bring your expenses to a minimum. Revenue up, expenses down.
#6 Shut Out Negativity
We are in a world that pushes all harmful content: negative news, negative stories, negative books, negative coworkers, negative negative negative.
Stop dealing with people who tear you down (mentally, physically, or verbally).
Turn the radio off! Instead, listen to audio books that will get you thinking like an entrepreneur. Audible is a great alternative: Download audible here.
#7: Reward Yourself
Every time you accomplish one of your mini-goals, reward yourself. Pat yourself on the back or take a small outing.
This will keep you on track and motivated to continue striving to achieve your higher goals.
Studies have shown that “work expands to fit the amount of time you give it.” Let me explain:
If you say you need to finish a project but have a month to do it, you’ll almost always end up procrastinating. But if you break your project into 5, 40-minute blocks and plan out the tasks you HAVE TO get done by the end, you’ll be surprised how fast you can actually finish.
Nobody goes into business to work nonstop. You have to have a balanced life with good relationships and recreation mixed with personal fulfillment.
You can’t keep operating non-stop for months. Otherwise, you are going to burn out fast.
#8: Remember Why you started in the First Place
Before you start your business you should have already determined what you want in the first place. Otherwise, you’ll never be satisfied or know how to measure success.
Although you don’t see the dream fulfilled immediately, you have to keep on keeping on.
I’ll be the last person to tell you that an online business is easy. But you can’t give up during the process. People are depending on you. Remember their faces when you want to give up.
Never let your business define you, or worse: destroy you. Don’t change yourself to please others or put on a mask to “fit in.”
It is so easy to get caught up in pride and arrogance when you start seeing success. Don’t slide down that slippery slope.
Stay true to who you are and make sure your dream is big enough to push you to the next level.
#9: Be Teachable
No matter how successful you become, never think that you know it all.
Some people have snippets of valuable information that get you to a new level. Be willing to spend money on useful information and content, but don’t overdo it.
You never know when someone is going to “spill the beans” on some valuable insights. I personally keep a physical notebook or email myself ideas when they come to me.
Everyone can teach you something valuable. I doubled my business one time by listening to a guy who was trying to sell me cologne in a Walmart parking lot.
Listen and take notes!
#10: Be Resourceful
This is one of the biggest things that separate the good business owners from the failed ones.
There are so many excuses that can prevent you from getting to the next level. If you let every little circumstance get in the way of you succeeding, you’ll NEVER reach your goals.
Everyone has obstacles or circumstances that get in the way of them succeeding. Don’t make excuses. I don’t know who said this originally, but it’s true: “You can make excuses, or you can make money, but you can’t do both.”
Look for what you can do, what you can sacrifice, who you can talk to to get over those hurdles.
Get around people that know what they’re going and always ask yourself “How can I get over ___ obstacle?”
Online business owners need motivation more than almost any other entrepreneurs. But keeping these motivational tips in mind should skyrocket your success.
If you need some professional mentoring or help with your online business, don’t hesitate to contact me here through my website.