Let’s take a minute and have a reality check about starting an online business. Like any major change in your life, such as a career move or lifestyle change, starting your own business online takes more than just ability and a little desire–it takes real motivation, dedication, a drive to succeed and many hours of work.
Does that scare you? Have you bought into the emotional sales pitches of “live the life you always dreamed of,” or “make money while you sleep or vacation”? Don’t get me wrong–those things can happen, but it will be after you’ve put in the time to grow your business from infancy to the point where it can run for short periods of time without constant supervision and attention.
For some reason, other occupations don’t produce the same illusion of getting something for nothing. For example, would you expect to be able to become a doctor, earning a much better than average income and spending your spare time on your private yacht–all by putting in a few hours of work a week for a few months? Or, how about opening your own restaurant, raking in the cash, all while you sleep late and spend your afternoons on the beach?
Those scenarios sound ridiculous to most rational people, and yet the lure of making money by starting an online business without needing any knowledge or skills, or putting in any real effort tempts even the most practical soul.
So what’s the real truth?
- Yes, you can make money with an online business even if you only have basic computer skills…BUT you will need to put in time learning your new craftnext, as with any business. Hint–this will take considerably more than just a few hours!
- Yes, the only physical tool you will need is a computer with an internet connection…BUT if you don’t have a basic budget ($30-$50/month minimum) for software tools, subscriptions and advertising, you’re not ready for starting an online business.
- Yes, you can build your business using only free information from the internet, BUT expect to spend a very long time, if ever, to get to the point of actually making any money this way.
- Yes, you can start an internet business in your spare time, BUT your business will reflect the amount of work you put into it.
In summary, an online business is not a quick fix to money problems, a neverending gold mine that will make everyone rich, or an opportunity to make money with little to no work. It is a business, pure and simple.
If the thought of learning a totally new, fascinating and sometimes overwhelming business, working for months without seeing any tangible results, and, yes–the freedom to work where and when you want–gets you excited, then starting an online business just might be for you!
Maria Garza is an online entrepreneur whose goal is to help others navigate the waters of online money making without time-consuming and costly mistakes that are common to the business. She has a Ph.D. in computer science, and has written over 80 professional research publications. Her dreams of a work-at-home business led her to explore the world of online businesses in 2005. After several false starts and years of learning this new business model, she turned to teaching it to others to help them follow their dreams.