You might be expecting this to be another boring theoretical list post.
Nope. This post is based on my real life experience after being an internet entrepreneur for years!
Being an internet entrepreneur is full of ups and downs, and I’ve learned some important lessons along the way.
Today, I want to share them with you so that you will avoid making the same mistakes, and skip all the heartache!
Listen to me, and take notes, okay?
10 Important Lessons I’ve Learnt As An Internet Entrepreneur
1. One Step At A Time. Keep Going.
When I first started this blog, I had a goal in mind that seemed really huge then. I got to it by setting smaller goals every month, every week and every day, and kept going.
While the goal of starting a successful blog or online business may be “difficult”, do not get intimidated by fear and stop trying.
The problem comes when you have a goal, but you get intimidated by it and never really get around to doing anything about it.
If you break down your big goal (say, reaching a certain income with your business) into smaller chunks, you will start forming a plan for your big goal and work towards it methodically.
It is normal to feel very overwhelmed when they first get started. This is where solutions like my course, Kickstart Your Blog, will really help. I can’t speak for other courses, but KYB gives newbies a step-by-step framework and guides them to make the right choices to start and launch their business.
There really isn’t a “secret” to being a successful online entrepreneur, it’s just hard work and not giving up.
There, I said it.
2. Pick One Online Business And Stick To It
Pick just one business and stick to it until you reach some degree of success.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with starting multiple businesses, you do have a limited amount of time.
It would be difficult to bring multiple businesses to fruition, as the beginning stages of starting a business are fraught with uncertainties and obstacles that require your full attention to resolve.
Every time I hear of someone (unestablished) who is “working on 3 businesses” hoping to experience a breakthrough, I know that it is highly unlikely that she will find traction in any of them.
3. Keep Track Of Your Finances
Keep track of your finances or it will control you. At the very least, know your revenue, expenses, and profits.
This is especially so when you are just starting out. Whether you’re making $0 or $1 billion dollars, you need to keep track of your numbers. Cash is king in any business.
I used to be really fearful of tracking my numbers, not because I hate crunching numbers, but because I hated seeing crappy financial numbers when I was first starting out.
But you have to do it! It will tell you the overall health of your business, where you are overspending in your business, what products are bringing you the most money, and so on.
For instance, I wouldn’t know that my profit margin (profits divided by revenue) for 2017 is 79% if I have not been keeping track of my numbers. I wouldn’t know that sales of my courses increased by 20% last month. And so on.
Don’t know where to start? Find out 3 key numbers: Your total revenue, expenses, and profits.
Otherwise, you won’t be an entrepreneur for long.
4. Follow Through With Your Purchases
If you purchase any courses, follow through with them.
I have had my fair share of purchased courses where I did not finish the course, but when I do finish and implement them – results come.
If you have issues completing your courses, I would recommend finding a 1:1 coach because you get an insane amount of work done, in the right direction when you have someone’s personalized support.
By the way: Here’s my work with me page to check out my services. I will guide you and give you the personalized help you need grow your successful blog + biz. 🙂
Fail and move forward fast.
5. Master Your Strategies
Today you’re trying vlogs, tomorrow you’re trying to create a new course. You don’t follow through on anything and nothing gets done.
You’re trying a new strategy every week. Of course you don’t see any traction!
Now, I’m not saying don’t try anything new. I’m saying pick something and see it through.
Stop digging into your bag of tricks, trying out new tricks when you haven’t mastered any of the ones you pulled out previously.
6. Focus On Your Strengths
Just because everyone is hopping to a particular shiny object doesn’t mean you have to follow.
The same methods don’t always work for everyone because each entrepreneur reacts differently to different challenges. The best online business to start differs from person to person.
A great example would be a particular client of mine who is 70 years old.
She has issues with techy stuff, and we had issues even getting her Skype set-up for our coaching call. However, she is a great cook and baker and has her own set of skills that I probably will never have.
Instead of trying to get her to do something tech-intensive like a course, I got her to launch her website first and then sell in-person cooking classes. This will boost her confidence when she gets a sale. From there, she can then look towards expanding her income streams.
Another example would be how I chose to blog instead of doing video. I talk more about how I got over my fear for video here. While I have got over any fears of doing video and at times enjoy it, I really love writing. Hence, you would have noticed that I do communicate a lot with you guys via my blog posts.
Essentially, when I’m good at something, I focus on that. I don’t force myself to conform to cookie-cutter strategies that fit someone else’s personality, although it helps to know what works.
Focus on your strengths!
7. It’s Never Going To Be Perfect
I know. I know. Instagram and Pinterest tell you otherwise, but really – every other business except for yours will somehow look more “put together” than yours.
Right now, I’m writing this post on a desk that is soooo messy, with last week’s papers still strewn over it. I know I should probably be organizing my table. But that’s the part you don’t see.
If things aren’t going perfectly for you, it’s normal.
I used to have the misconception that being successful means having everything together, but that is so far from the truth, yo.
I know of a millionaire that still gets stressed when she tries to write an email. So there.
8. Don’t Compare Your Chapter 1 To Someone Else’s Chapter 5
Don’t compare yourself to the pros! It just isn’t fair to yourself.
Does a 12-year old look at a 21-year old’s exam paper and tell herself, “Oh no! I can’t do this, I’m so stupid.”
No, because she doesn’t expect to know what an adult will know, yet.
She gives herself time to grow.
So why won’t you?
9. Don’t Skimp On Tools
Invest in the necessary tools you need.
This includes courses. My online courses were made with the intention to save people months because they now have all the strategies they need to kickstart their blog or get more traffic and subscribers.
Every time I hear about someone refusing to self-host their blog (more about why this is important in this article about choosing the best blogging platform) to save a couple of dollars, I shake my head internally. It just isn’t a very smart move.
You end up wasting time and wouldn’t get good results with sub-par tools.
I’m not saying buying the most expensive tools, but invest in what you need.
10. Avoid Drama
This is something that I feel very strongly about.
Do your own thing, avoid drama.
Don’t reply to non-constructive hate mail. Don’t reply to hate comments. Do not entertain people who do not agree with your dreams (unless their criticism makes sense).
Don’t read Facebook “rants”, and most definitely do not comment on them.
These are time-wasters that distract you from doing your thing. Most importantly, they distract you emotionally.
Unlike real problems, it is often not possible to “solve” such drama – you simply have to let them pass.
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I hope this helps!
Wow, I’ve most certainly bared my soul for this blog post. I hope you enjoyed these 10 lessons, because I spent quite awhile thinking about which lessons to share with you guys.
Just keeping it REAL, y’all. 😉
Now, keep going and keep hustling!
P.S. Ready to get serious with your blog + biz? My course, Kickstart Your Blog, is the all-in-one resource for beginner bloggers and entrepreneurs to start, launch, and grow a successful new blog.
Or if you’re just getting started and want to learn how to start a blog, check out this 4-part blogging for beginners guide where you will learn how to start a blog in 20 minutes. It’s been shared over 50,000 times and has helped thousands of new bloggers start successful blogs.
Susan Velez says
Lots of great info here and I am guilty of a few of them as well. For instance, I’ve purchased several courses in the past and haven’t taken the time to follow through with them.
No course will work if we’re not willing to put in the work and do what it takes to implement the lessons.
I’ve recently started practicing #5. Since starting my blog I was trying to be everywhere because that’s what everyone said you had to do.
Now I am just focused on 2-3 traffic methods and learning how to master those. I’ve stopped trying to focus on all the social media sites.
I am now instead of trying to learn the ins and outs of Pinterest. Once I learn that then I can move on to the next one.
Great tips and thanks for taking the time to share them. No doubt they will help people who are just getting started or need to focus again.
Have a great day 🙂
Raelyn Tan says
Dear Susan, Thank you for stopping by! I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Keep going and stay focused!
I am about to launch my blog and am guilty of a few of the ‘mistakes’ you refer to. After reading this post, I’ve decided to refocus – ignore the income reports that make me feel I will never succeed, work at one thing at a time – in my case, launching my blog and creating good content and having a goal and working with it constantly in mind. It’s true that we are bombarded with so many success stories about having several income streams that a newbie gets intimated and is tempted to give up before they even start. Thank you for this post. You achieved your goal in teaching me a few valuable lessons to put into practice with my blog.
Raelyn Tan says
Thanks, Poovanesh! Keep going!
Laurens Bonnema says
Great post. I knew all this already, but it really helps to read these tips again (and again), and realize how easy it is to get sidetracked.
So, thanks for putting me back on track today!
Raelyn Tan says
Hey Laurens, thanks for stopping by! And I’m glad that you’re back on track. 😉
I really enjoy your information, Raelyn. I have found I learn much from your experiences. Thank you!
Raelyn Tan says
Hey Laura, thank you for your kind words and I’m so glad you stopped by!
Stefan Alexander says
Hi Raelyn! These are all great lessons! #7 has been causing most of the trouble. I’m always looking for perfection, even though I know it is not possible to get it every time (or any time). Still, I’m obsessed with getting things done in the most perfect way possible. It even takes from my time to focus on other matters. However, I’m learning slowly to let go of perfection, but without losing sight of getting and doing the very best I can. I’m mostly afraid that if I sacrifice my search for perfection, I’d lose sight of quality. But I’m finding that balance and working to get it done. Thanks again for this!
Raelyn Tan says
I am exactly like you! I can totally relate. It’s a constant process. Keep going! 🙂
As someone who wants to start monetising her blog this year, this is excellent <3 I'm tempted by your Kickstart Your Blog course, too, I'll have to enrol once I've been paid! 🙂
Raelyn Tan says
Hey Sarina, thank you for your kind words! 🙂 I look forward to seeing you in the class! x