If you have any interest in internet marketing (and I’m pretty sure you do) you will have seen the ads promoting the ever elusive laptop lifestyle.
You know, some guy or girl sitting on the beach, miles away from any wireless or mobile signal surfing on the web without a care in the world. In fact, I’m sure every time you go to the beach you’ve tripped over one of these individuals while they were busy logging into Paypal to count all their money.
Okay, enough of the sarcasm. If you were really making tons of cash on the internet the last thing you would be doing on the beach is dragging a laptop around with you. It kind of defeats the object doesn’t it?
I’ve been generating online income since around 2002 and I’ve met many successful online entrepreneurs. I’m not talking about the big mouths who promise to teach you their ‘insider secrets’ but the people who actually run online businesses for a living rather than just telling others how to do it. These guys range from chefs teaching online cookery lessons, guitarists running online academies, stock market traders teaching how to trade successfully and so on. As you know, the ways to generate income online are almost infinite.
They all have one thing in common though. These guys work their butts off. They often have teams working for them managing customer service, order processing, website maintenance, monitoring forums and blog posts as well as the usual day-to-day business tasks. The most successful online entrepreneurs I know blog daily as well as post a number of social media comments spread throughout the day.
I’m not saying that online life has to be like this and I personally prefer to avoid ‘busyness’ but in order to be successful at anything you need to put the effort in. If you want to be rich you have in invest money in yourself and your business, if you want lots of free time you have to invest time.
If you are smart, you will build systems such as FAQ, autoresponders, hire a virtual assistant and automate as much as possible including order processing and fulfilment. BUT, you will still have to be an integral part of the business, at least to start with.
I’m certainly not a pessimist and I’d never tell you that you can’t live the internet lifestyle because I’ve been doing it for a long time. I’m a little more on the pragmatic side and am to be found somewhere between realist and optimist. I’ve seen what it takes to be successful online and whatever idea you have of it in your mind you might want to double the amount of effort you think it will take and also the amount of time.
I’ve had two major breaks from working online. First was when I ran my IT training company and I only taught two weekends per month. The rest of the time I relaxed. The second time was when I sold the company and took six months out to enjoy my new born daughter. I got a little bored after a while and started my next online adventure.
Was there a point to all of this? I guess it’s this:
- Consider what you want your online lifestyle to look like
- What sort of income do you want to be generating?
- How hands on do you want to be?
- Will you be hiring others and if so to do what?
- Will you want to be working while on the beach or in relaxing mode?