So let’s talk about some of the things online entrepreneurs don’t like to talk about.
First up, accept that people who are not running their own businesses will never understand what the hell you do for a living.
Not your friends, not your parents and probably not your spouse or significant other.
I should know.
I’ve tried dozens of times to explain my business to people at parties, family get-togethers and down at the pub.
Most just stare with a blank look on their faces.
Some are even concerned about whether what I am doing is immoral and/or illegal.
Most of these people have jobs and they can only relate to things that can be defined as a ‘job’.
So, when asked, I now tend to respond with “I build websites”.
That’s not a lie because it is a (small) part of what I do.
But people can see ‘website building’ as a job description.
And it enables people to pigeon hole me easily so we can move onto talking about the weather.
Another thing we internet marketers don’t like to own up to is…
There are days when you want to throw in the towel and give up.
It’s part of the landscape when you’re an entrepreneur.
Not everything smells of roses every day simply because you work from home.
In fact, there are still days when things aren’t quite going to plan or where I’ve massively cocked things up or I’ve put in 12 hours and have zero to show for it, when the idea of a ‘job’ seems very appealing.
With a job, you know how many hours you have to put in, you know what you have to do at any point in time and you know that you will get paid whether you earned it or not (at least in the short term).
As an entrepreneur, none of that is true.
There is no boss telling you what to do.
The success or failure of your business is 100% down to you.
And ‘having a bad day at the office’ flat out costs you money.
This is, of course, scariest when you are starting out.
But I own up to still having the odd day when nothing’s going my way and I wonder what the heck I’m doing all this for.
The trick is powering through those occasional days and coming out the other side.
That’s something few people can do.
Most people can’t handle being completely responsible for their own success or failure and not collecting a guaranteed pay packet every month.
And it’s why entrepreneurs are in the small minority.
The ‘upside’ to being an entrepreneur is that there is no cap on your income.
But the ‘downside’ is that there are no guarantees about earnings or pretty much anything.
All of that said, it’s one of the most exciting adventures I’ve ever been on.
To succeed, you don’t need to be clever or experienced.
Above all else, you need to be persistent.
And that brings me onto another downer with internet marketing.
Most of your working day is spent at home and alone in front of a computer screen.
There aren’t any co-workers to stand around the coffee machine with, to chat about last night’s Game of Thrones, or to share office gossip with.
Frankly, I find that the most ‘difficult’ aspect to deal with.
My background was working in small professional teams and I loved the creative buzz of bouncing ideas around.
My answer is to schedule something that gets me out of the house and in contact with other human beings at least once a day.
Finally, in this litany of despair, the big one…
When I tell people that I work from home, they typically respond with, “That must be great, having the freedom to work whenever you want”.
Any entrepreneur who is being honest will tell you that he or she puts in far more hours than someone holding down a 9 to 5 job.
And that’s doubly true when starting a new business.
When I first got started online, I had lost my ‘day job’.
I didn’t have a ‘Plan B’, so my typical working day was 6 am to midnight.
I resolved to be my own boss and that meant doing whatever it took to make it happen.
Now, many years later, I don’t have to worry about ‘failing’.
Yet I still regularly put in 12-hour days and the occasional 6-day week.
I guess I’m driven to work hard and always move forward.
And that’s possibly the biggest reason most people don’t become entrepreneurs.
Most people would say that, if they earned a shed load of money, they would give up working and enjoy it.
I have never met a successful entrepreneur who said that or did that.
After all of the above, you may very well be asking why anyone would want to get involved with this internet marketing malarkey.
All of these very real ‘negatives’ are swamped by the massive ‘positive’ of being completely in control of your own future and destiny.
It’s an amazing, liberating feeling that is almost impossible to convey to anyone who hasn’t experienced it for themselves.
Steve Jobs said it far better than I ever could…