I’ve worked with literally hundreds of entrepreneurs throughout the years (might even be in the thousands at this point) in all different stages of their entrepreneurial careers. Every entrepreneur has had two things in common, success and freedom. They crave some form of success (impact the lives of others with their awesome product/service) and they all want more freedom. Hard to believe, right? It’s true. BUT, and this is a big BUT there is something very strange going on the waters of entrepreneurship, especially in the online world.
I can’t seem to put my finger on the why or how this myth came to be but there is this stigma that it is easy and that it is not a lot of work. I don’t know what is going on lately, many entrepreneurs, not all, but many come to me and are like yeah, “I’ve been in business two years and my goal is to make 250k and to work 20 hours a week.” WHAT?!?! Tell this to an Internet entrepreneur from the pre-facebook days and ask them if they think this is possible. They would laugh at you.
There is this whole stigma going on in the industry that you make this product, throw it up on a website and magic people will buy it. Can I get some of whatever it is they are smoking to believe that? I sometimes think to myself perhaps it is the “overnight successes” that people talk about online or the videos that “go viral” that make people believe it is magically easy to make this stuff happen. Who knows…but let me tell you, it’s a BIG BIG problem because more and more internet entrepreneurs are born every day and more and more are facing the harsh realities of what it takes to succeed online….
Reality Number 1: If it was as simple as making a product and throwing it up on a website everyone would be doing it, right? When you break down becoming an internet entrepreneur this what many people need to do but what they forget is there are a lot of other things that need to happen for this to be successful. Here are just a few:
- You need an audience to market to
- You need a product that your audience wants to buy
- At a price, they can afford and will actually get their credit card out to buy
- You need to have a brand that attracts the ideal client
- You need to have some knowledge about whatever product you are selling
- You need to create the killer product
- You also need to figure out all the technical shit that needs to magically happen so people can get said product (whether it is physical or digital)
Yeah so sort of a lot goes into making a product to sell online….and once you make that product and launch it , you should be working on the next product and building your audience.
Reality Number 2: I can work less hours than at my 9 to 5 job. This is true in some instances but when you are first getting started that isn’t typically the case, JUST SAYING! If I’m in launch mode or have lots of client projects going on I typically work more…sure it might not be the 9 to 5 sitting at a desk more but trust me I work more than if I had a 9 to 5 just not in the traditional sense.
Reality Number 3: People are going to steal and/or copy your idea whatever it might be. It happens. Yes, it is uber annoying and I’ve had it happen (even with clients). Take it as a compliment and move on to the next idea. You an original, keep being original. The people who are legitimately copying your facebook updates and “repurposing” your sayings and content won’t be able to hang when it comes to the client facing stuff and will get what’s coming to them. Don’t you worry your pretty little heart.
Reality Number 4: There are going to people who don’t like you. If you are doing your marketing right you SHOULD have people who don’t like you. If you are trying to be everything to everyone you are doing it wrong. It’s great when someone unsubscribes and tells you why. This is a learning opportunity for you and your team to determine why AND it shows that you are being authentic. It simply means that person isn’t your ideal client.
Reality Number 4: You don’t get to do what you love day in and day out. What they don’t tell you in “entrepreneurial school” is that while yes, you get to follow your passion doing what you love they don’t tell you about all the other hats that you have to wear when you become an entrepreneur. You get to wear all the hats, sales person, accountant, content creator, operations manager, customer service and the list goes on and on. While there are going to be amazing passion filled days you need to understand that the first year can be really hard and you don’t always get to do what you love.
Reality Number 5: Build it and they will come. Long gone are the days of throwing up a website and a facebook page and hundreds of thousands of people jump on and buy what you have to offer. Whether you are selling a higher end service (1k plus) or you are selling an online class under $500 bucks you need people to sell too. Which means you need traffic to your website, people on your email list, and guess what? YOU need to do that. J You need to meet people and actually have meaningful conversations where you connect with them and talk about what you do.
These are just a few of the internet realities out there. I’m sure there are more….do you have one you want to address? Drop it in the comments below.