There are millions of people who would give anything to own their own business and work from the comfort of home. Many simply have no way of comprehending how to go about leaving the corporate world and succeeding on their own.
Even if they grasp the technical details of launching their own business online, they worry about being able to achieve success without a team behind them and a boss at the helm.
Planning which business model you’ll pursue is one thing many entrepreneurs assume responsibility for. But they often overlook the details about creating the right mindset to be a successful entrepreneur.
Leaving the Restrictive Mindset Behind
In a normal job, you’re hired on and told what to do, when to do it and how. There is usually very little deviation from what the company has laid out for you. For some people, there’s comfort in this – but for others, it takes a toll on them.
In some cases, you’re brought on to help brainstorm solutions, but it’s ultimately not your decision about which direction the company goes. It’s either left to the team to decide on as a whole, or one individual selects whichever option works best in their mind.
It’s sometimes hard for those who leave a corporate job working for someone else to understand the freedom they now have, or to embrace it once they do. It’s not comfortable at first, if ever – but it does have its perks.
Have you ever seen the image of the horse who is chained to a simple, kids’ size plastic patio chair? It can’t weigh more than three pounds, yet in the horse’s mind, it’s stuck, because all they see is that they’ve been tied up.
Workers can sometimes feel the same with a company – stuck. Even when they leave to start their own business, it’s often not enjoyable at first to realize this freedom. It’s unnerving at times.
Suddenly, it’s all on you to make your dreams come true. There’s no boss to blame, no coworkers to rely on – just you and your decisions, right or wrong. That’s a lot of responsibility to shoulder.
You are now free to decide which niche to pursue. You can build a business about things you love – from cooking to golf to gardening, if you want. You can spend your time working on things you once considered a luxury for whenever you had time off.
You get to pick whether or not you promote someone else’s products or create your own. You get to engage directly with your loyal audience who will look upon you as a leader in your niche.
You get all the credit for your insight, unlike how some companies never give credit where credit is due. You get to tailor this business to your life, as opposed to trying to have a life around strict company protocols.
You can live anywhere, work from anywhere and even schedule your content ahead of time so you can take long breaks from work altogether if you want to. There are no limits to what you can achieve and accomplish, except the limits you place on your own thinking.
Learn to Push Yourself for Productivity
With freedom comes responsibility and at first, when you have no deadlines and no one pushing you to complete projects, it’s easy to shove it all to the backburner and choose relaxation and procrastination instead.
You have to retrain yourself to be productive in spite of the freedom you have because if you can’t do that, you’ll eventually lose your freedom and be forced to return to the corporate 9-5 world, where the security of a paycheck comes with those old restrictions and burdens again.
So how do you increase productivity and defeat the habit of procrastination? The first thing you need to do is have a plan in place. You still need deadlines. They can be strategic to work around your life, but if you allow yourself to finish things whenever, you may never finish.
Map out all of the tasks that have to be done from start to completion. Estimate how long each one will take. Divide up the tasks according to however many days a week you want to work, and build in a cushion of a little bit of time to account for obstacles and emergencies that may arise.
Stay committed to your entrepreneurial endeavors. Some people need to continue getting up at a specific time, getting dressed as if they’re going to an office and working in a space strategically designated for their business.
Others enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of waking whenever, working in their pajamas and sitting on the couch. Whatever makes you feel motivated and inspired to work is what you should do.
Build your day in such a way that you prevent burnout. You don’t want to say you’ll only work 2 days a week, but those 2 days are 18 hour days. That might work for a week or two, but it’ll make you dread those two days horribly.
Spread it out so that you enjoy ample time off but when you are working, you’re focused and productive. Block out distractions as you would if you worked in a private office at a company. No Internet surfing. No Netflix. Just you and your success strategy coming together from start to completion.
Budget Like You’re an Accounting Department
As an online entrepreneur there isn’t the same kind of overhead that you’d have launching an offline business. There’s no rent due for office space, and no employee wages to pay if you don’t want to.
But you do have to watch your spending. It seems like something that wouldn’t be a big deal, but you’ll be swimming with sharks – and if you’re a newbie, they’ll smell blood in the water and be swarming around you, trying to get you to buy every new gadget and course you can imagine.
The problem is, they make it sound like it’s vital to your success. Like you can’t possibly move forward without it. You’ll hear words like push button and instant and the appeal of such fast and easy profits might make you hit the buy button again and again.
So you need to manage your money wisely. It’s especially easy to overspend when everything is priced so low. You might see dozens of offers for $10-$30, but if you’re continually buying things and not finding the time to use them, you’ll be wasting a lot of money.
People who get into online businesses often overspend on things like domain names they’ll never use, software they plan to figure out later, and courses that they never crack open to implement.
There’s nothing wrong with doing things your way without all the bells and whistles. You can use the free WordPress themes, write content yourself, and get out there and share links without spending a dime.
What you want to do is watch and see where your time is being used too much because of a lack of talent or understanding. Sometimes it’s a wise investment to spend money on outsourcing or tools that free up your time.
For example, if you’re not a good writer at all, and struggle getting the words and your message out, it might be worth it to invest in some readymade private label rights to help you.
Don’t blindly spend money without analyzing how much you’re spending over time. Check in with yourself on a weekly or monthly basis and tally up everything you’re shelling money out for and decide whether or not you’ve been seeing a return on your investments.
Be Careful with Who You Bring Onboard
Although being a solo entrepreneur is mostly a career where you’ll be working by yourself, there will be times when you’ll be interacting with other on a professional level, not including your customers and clients.
The first scenario is when you work with freelance service providers or even employees you hire to do work for your company. As your business expands, you might hire talent to come onboard to do things for you like customer service, graphics creation, and so on.
Freelance service providers aren’t officially employees, but they still work for you on a contractual basis, handling things like ghostwriting, graphics creation, site building, or virtual assistant tasks like customer service.
It’s important that you choose someone who is reliable and ethical for these purposes. You don’t want to set a deadline for something like a product launch, only to have them flake out on you at the last minute and leave you holding the bag.
Look at their feedback on sites like Upwork and see what other clients have had to say about their reliability. When it comes to ethics, you want to make sure the person you’re working with isn’t the kind to scrape content from someone else’s site, copy their sales letter or steal their graphics or ideas.
It won’t help for you to simply blame the other person – it’ll reflect bad on you personally, so trust is imperative when it comes to working with others. The second scenario you need to be careful about is when you network with joint venture partners.
There are many marketers out there who love to partner up and launch as a duo. The problem is, this can taint your reputation if the other person doesn’t have the same kind of ethics as you do.
The same issues can arise as when you’re working with freelancers, but it also includes the problem of how they handle customer service and whether or not they’ll be fair with splitting the money.
Before you partner with anyone for a joint venture, take time to get to know them. Ask around about their reputation and be strategic when it comes to ironing out all of the details about the money, customer relations, and more.
Don’t Let Perfectionism Be the Enemy of Progress
As a solo entrepreneur, you might get cold feet when it comes to putting your name on something. Whether it’s something as simple as a blog post or as important as a product launch, you want it to shine when your name is attached to it.
You might stall out when you start comparing yourself to other marketers and their efforts. You’ll think their idea is better (or even just first), their sales pages more exciting, and their product delivery super sleek.
But there is no need to worry about what someone else is doing. As long as you’re delivering your very best, that’s all that matters. People don’t like only learning concepts from one person.
They like a variety – so even if your competitor is putting out a fifteen-part video course with one hour coaching calls, it doesn’t mean you won’t have an audience who enjoys and even prefers to download a PDF and read the same kind of information.
Your teaching style and your insight will never be identical to someone else. They may be serious, while you’re light-hearted, or vice versa. People love a smattering of style and tone differences, so embrace who you are and deliver what your target audience desires.
As you join the online entrepreneurial community, you’re going to see how intimidation and lack of confidence stalls many marketers. They can’t cross the finish line because they’re so worried about their product or blog or emails not being perfect.
Imperfection is relatable with many people in your audience, so they aren’t as turned off by flaws as you might think they are. This is not something where a panel of judges is going to grade you on your performance.
Have some standards, such as not being sloppy with your editing or graphics and presentation, but don’t quit before you get out of the gate because you’re concerned that it’s not 100% perfect.
Use free tools like Grammarly to help you edit content. Ask fellow marketing friends on Facebook how the sales copy or graphics looks. Get some free feedback and then tweak things along the way.
Remember, if anyone spots an error, you can easily edit things online and upload new files. It’s not the end of the world. You’ll gain knowledge about how to do things and improve as you grow your online business.
Setting yourself up for success as an online entrepreneur doesn’t have to be a grueling process. It doesn’t require deep pockets or a PhD. You just need drive and determination, which is something anyone can adopt if they have the will to succeed.