The Brutal Truth: Building an Online Business isn’t Easy

I’ve been working with clients trying to build online businesses long enough to know one thing: building a successful online business is much harder than most people assume.

Whatever effort you’re envisioning it will take to succeed right now, double or triple that expectation.

Now you might be in the ballpark.

And I’m just talking those of you starting with realistic expectations. If you’re still of the get-rich-quick mindset, you probably need to reset your expectations by a factor of 10, although I’m sorry to say I’m doubtful you’ll ever actually succeed if you’re susceptible to that mindset to begin with.

This isn’t just about hard work or the length of length of time it takes to succeed, either. You need to set your expectations higher for how much dedication, guts, determination, resourcefulness, compassion, empathy and self awareness you will need, because you’ll need all of those things in spades.

I suppose it’s natural to gloss over the details and just envision the results you’re hoping for. Goals and results are a great motivator in the beginning, but one single end goal won’t keep you going if you massively underestimate what it will take to reach the goal.

And trust me, you’re underestimating things right now. It’s natural because you don’t know what to expect.

Here’s the greatest piece of “success” wisdom I’ve learned over the past couple of years:

Learn to love the process and the daily little wins

Learn to love the journey. Love the challenge. Love the interactions, the creative flow, the learning and the scenery along the way.

Learn to love the uncertainty of it all. You cannot make progress without uncertainty. Jonathan Fields shared that special gift with all of us at the World Domination Summit this weekend. You have to embrace getting out of your comfort zone quickly and often if you want to do great things. Thank you Jonathan for that.

Most of all, learn to love the delivery of value to everyone around you. Figure out what your gifts are and start giving them to everyone you come into contact with.

If you deliver enough value, making money becomes the easy part.

Building an online business will probably be much harder than you’re planning for right now. I learned that myself the hard way, and nearly gave up dozens of times along the way. Not setting my own expectations and not learning to love the daily little wins probably caused a lot more stress and time than I needed to succeed.

Even still, no matter how difficult this challenge has been, it is worth it in ways I cannot describe. In fact, the challenge has been more worth it because of the difficulty.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Are you up for the challenge?

I'm Corbett Barr, co-founder of Fizzle and entrepreneur for a decade. Get my weekly curated email of useful things for independent entrepreneurs »

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