Today, I want to talk to you about managing your expectations as an entrepreneur. Specifically, as an online entrepreneur in this era. This will be my first article in a series about how your online business is your treasure 🙂

Because I have a background in doing websites and graphics, I’ve known many people who thought they could put a website up and automatically get traffic and sales just by virtue of the fact that there are so many millions/billions of people using the internet – so an automatic audience is bound to stumble on their website. These days, that just doesn’t happen. If you put up a website, chances are you are going to get almost zero visitors unless you actively market your website on an ongoing basis.

That could sound like a bummer, but it’s not, because starting a business online is still the BEST, QUICKEST, and CHEAPEST way to be your own boss and gain potential financial freedom (and location independence!) With a business online, you have a global audience, and the startup cost and time is so low, it’s an opportunity for almost anyone who wants to try at it, no matter what their station in life.

Let’s put it this way. If you wanted to start a traditional business and give it the most chance at success, you’d probably want to open a franchise. Opening a franchise would instantly give you brand name recognition and the brand will already have systems in place to help its franchisees to succeed. After all, they don’t want you to fail, and they have already “invented the wheel” of success, so they want you to follow their path so you will succeed too. But…

Guess how much it costs to open a franchise…

At the time of the writing of this article, it costs:

  • $315,000 initial investment for a Starbucks
  • $1,122,100 initial investment for a 7-11
  • $2,200,000 initial investment for a McDonald’s

…I don’t know if that includes finding the right property in the right location in the right city, but I highly doubt it. Add to that that you can’t run it solo. You will need employees, and you will need to cover their benefits and the employment taxes you are responsible for as their employer. You will need insurance, and you will also need to devote all your hours to it, because you certainly CANNOT start a business like that part-time.

Basically, you already have to be rich to start a business like that!

And, you will not have location independence either. You will be tied to that franchise’s location. If you or your family want to move, or HAVE to move, it’s very difficult and you may have to start all over again.

Contrary to this, most online businesses can be started at a VERY TINY fraction of that – both in time and in money. AND, you are 100% location independent. You could move virtually anywhere.

The illusion that persists with most people though, is that they can get rich quick online. That is not true. Sure, there may be some odd success stories out there where for some reason, someone found a fast way to get super success within weeks or short months after launching their online business, but that is the exception, not the norm.

If you were going to start a franchise or other brick n’ mortar business, you would naturally expect to put in A LOT of time and A LOT of money, and you probably wouldn’t expect to be profitable for at least a year or two or three.

Similarly, if you were going to go back to school to get a different degree or certification to allow you to switch jobs and get more income that way, you’d have the tuition and student loans to pay off, and another 2-4 years of learning your new field, PLUS you’d have to start at the bottom of the ladder. So we are talking a lot of time and money again.

Starting an Online Business is still your #1 chance at financial and location freedom, and being your own boss on top of it.

But let’s manage your expectations.

I waited a year before I put in my application for SFM (SFM is the business education/system I used to build YourLaptopLifestyleAcademy.com). A whole year! And it only costs $29.95 to put in an application, so you KNOW I was skeptical at first!

During that year though, I tucked away savings, because I knew that when you start an online business, one of the things that can derail you is “money for marketing” or positioning yourself. Most people already have savings or they have credit cards to handle that — I didn’t have either, because if you’ve read my About Me story, I was completely financially devastated by the Great Recession and the outsourcing of my career, so I had very little financially to work with. But the system still worked because I worked the SFM system.

THEN, it takes time to LEARN how to do it!

There is a lot to learn, and SFM teaches you all of it. Do not downplay the learning just because it’s an online business that anyone can try. It’s like going back to school – you have to devote the time to it, and you have to learn new skills and maybe do some homework. Plan on some changes to your lifestyle to be able to accommodate that. For me, I made the decision to devote 2 hours every day to the learning, M-F, and on weekends, I devoted another 6-8 hours. If that meant waking up earlier, or not watching the latest drama on TV, I did it. The sacrifice is worth the gain.

If you treat something like a toy, it will be a toy to you. If you treat it like a treasure, it will become a treasure for you. So treat your online business like the treasure it can be, because it is.

NEXT, know that it will take time to BUILD your online business.

You don’t just click a button and POOF, there’s your rockstar money-making website. I was a graphic designer and website builder by trade, and it still took me a good two months to get my website set up, and all my autoresponders integrated, and landing pages designed, and analytics added, and all the little bells n’ whistles n’ gizmos up and running before I could launch. So dial-back your illusion that it’s going to be an instantaneous thing. Don’t rush the process! Do it correctly in the beginning because you are building your foundation. You don’t want to build a faulty foundation.

THEN, know that it will take time to MARKET to your audience.

Once you have learned the systems and built your website, it will be time to find your audience. This is an organic process, which again, takes time. By this time, if you were our student, you will have learned about sales funnels, high ticket commission, value per lead and conversion statistics, amongst other things. You will know how to advertise on different platforms, and what platform is best for you. As your audience grows, the “conversion statistics” will start to play out, and that’s when you will start to see some income.

Even with paid advertising though, it takes time to find the audience for your business… because if your marketing budget is very low like mine was (like $0 to $10/day), it will be a slower climb to the top of the mountain. You will still get there, but it takes longer than if you had a big fat marketing budget. Plan for a MARATHON, not a sprint, and you will be able to take the ups and downs in stride and with the patience you need.

You will get there though!

My own story goes like this…

Like I mentioned earlier, I waited almost a full year before submitting my own application for $29.95. That was because I was VERY skeptical, and did not trust that SFM would be any different than any of the other online business systems I had attempted. I was also suspicious that it was an MLM or network-marketing type venture, and I didn’t like those kind of business models. They work for a lot of people, but I had not had success with them myself, so I wanted to avoid them.

Once I finally submitted my $29.95 application and went through Module 1 and the Bonus Course, I saw the extreme value of SFM and how different it was to other courses. They didn’t hide “secrets” from me. They were very clear, and I wasn’t locked in to just eCommerce or selling my own products or just affiliate marketing either… I could choose whichever business model fit “me” and my goals. I decided to upgrade to a full student membership so I could access all the training modules at that point. By this time, I knew SFM’s program was legitimate. If I were going back to college to change careers, I wouldn’t think twice about spending money on tuition and books. I had to get education for my online business career, so it was worth the cost – the “tuition” – to me, so to speak.

I positioned myself as high as I could, and tucked away marketing money each week because i knew I would be learning and then building my website, before I could launch. I had about 4 months to “learn and build” before I was going to actually be ready to market.

You know how dedicated I was? I would be at the grocery store and want to buy two 12-packs of apple-flavored mineral water called “Bubbly.” It cost $9 for two 12-packs. But in my head, I said to myself “$9 is another day of marketing money for me. Do I want more marketing money or do I want my Bubbly?” Sometimes I’d choose bubbly, but most of the time, the VALUE of my online business success was more important to me than a can of sparkly apple flavored water. I had regular water instead and used that money I saved toward my online business.

In the first few weeks of marketing, I got my first “leads” (aka “subscribers”). I wrote blog posts that were helpful to them, and I created some videos to encourage people and help develop their entreprenurial mindset. I posted to social media and sloooooowly got “Likes” and “Shares.” It was organic, and it took time. Like planting an apple tree – it’s going to be a while before you get any apples, but they will come!

It took almost two months of marketing before I saw my first sale. But WOW, how exciting that was!

And then came the next one… and the next. And then some people upgraded too. And I got more “likes” and more “shares” and more response and more sales. I saw my first over-$1000 commission at the very beginning of my 9th week. That may not sound like much to you, but that was only the beginning – it has been growing ever since.

Remember though, that I took about 2 months to LEARN. And then, about another 2 months to BUILD. And then another 2 months to do my very first marketing before I got leads and SALES. I was consistent, I did the work, and I reap the rewards.

I still study, I still do my daily (more enjoyable) work, and I help others build their businesses too, and it has all been worth it.

The best tip I can tell you is to set your mind to devote a year to building your own Online Business.

Not that it will take that long to see profit (I saw my first sales after about 7 weeks of marketing with a very low daily budget), but it is WORTH it if you are truly looking to replace your dull job or fire your boss, or exit your waning career you have no passion for.

You would devote at least a year if you went back to school to switch careers.

You would devote at least a year if you opened a franchise.

So have respect for your online business. Have a marathon mindset and devote at least a year to building that as well.

Manage your expectations. Keep them rooted in reality, not “get rich quick.”

Treat your Online Business like the treasure it can be, and it will become a rich treasure for you.

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A Treasure, not a Toy

If you want to start your own online business, you’er in the right place. There are three things you can do:

  1. Dream about it (but do nothing)
  2. Learn a bit more about it (watch our free on-demand workshops by clicking here), or
  3. Put in your $29.95 risk-free application and get full access to Module 1 + the Bonus Course, so you can start to build your business today

The application gives you a full 30 days to explore our actual nuts n’ bolts business system, to see if building an online business is a good fit for you. It was the right fit for me, for the online business I’ve created (YourLaptopLifestyleAcademy.com) and I have never looked back.

Put In Your $29.95 Risk Free Application Today

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