If you’re reading this, you might already have an online business. Or you might be interested in getting one. It’s a bumpy transition from the corporate mindset to doing everything on your own. But there are definite perks to being a business owner. Once you get used to them, you kind of never want to go back.
The people in my family tell me over and over again that I should get a job with benefits. Do the people in your life do this to you as well?
They never really say what benefits consist of. They just say benefits. So, I am assuming that they think I should accept the yearly salary with extra gifts packed in.
These gifts are: paid vacation, 401k, and health insurance.
Okay. So if you or anybody else wants some benefits, that’s cool. But actually what benefits are is a trade-off. You’re trading your personal autonomy and your time, as well as capping your income potential, by accepting that J-O-B. It’s an agreement.
Agree to the salary, agree to let us control your time and what you do here, and we’ll give you these gifts in exchange.
The gifts will actually limit you as well. But the trade-off there is that you don’t have to manage your own benefits. People who don’t want to manage their own time, don’t feel comfortable paying the IRS on their own, don’t feel like setting up their own savings accounts with their own bank, should take the benefits.
Here’s an aside. It’s for people who really love the freedom of having your own business to remember. Maybe there’s something in your life that’s happening which makes you want a flexible schedule and total freedom.
That’s a fact of my life. Few people understand.
I am a mom of one boy. I really think a lot about what my child might need, and that typically involves social contact. Only children spend a lot of time alone, waiting for other people’s attention. They read a lot. My son is an avid reader. He doesn’t just read books. He consumes them. It’s great. He’s really smart.
But that’s also not a balanced way to be. So if there’s any workaround that lets me free up my time so I can bring him to the park, or drive him to a friend’s, or have a friend come over to our place, or bring him out to play sports, I’m all for it.
I know what my only child needs.
My family really doesn’t think a lot about what my only child needs. But I digress. The point is that having an online business works for me because of my life situation.
Now that my son is older, I have more flexibility to build a business virtually from whatever location I may be. You can do that with an online business.
If you’re a writer, a designer, a marketer, a person who creates products to sell, a coach offering services by email or phone, or an expert of any kind… you can run a website that makes you money. Enough money to live. Sometimes a lot of money depending on how you work it!
You can do this from anywhere in the world, at any time of day, as long as there’s a computer connection.
You can also take complete control of all those areas of life where you might accept benefits from a company in a traditional job scenario.
You can handle taxes on your own.
Pay the IRS monthly payments to avoid having to give them a large lump sum at the end of your tax year when you report your business earnings.
You can take that vacation.
Enjoy that day off when you need it. Goof around from 6:00 a.m. to noon, then start your work day. You could work all night. You can do anything you want as a business owner, and if you’re self sufficient and love what you do, this will be your absolute joy.
It should be noted that when you first step out into the business game, you’re not going to make a lot of money.
Building an income takes time. There are a few things you have to do.
Build your customer base.
Connect with people who want what you have and add them to your list so you can keep in touch. Put your sign up form everywhere. Share the link to your social groups. Get contact info when you attend in person events. Build, build, build your connections.
Establish your SOPs or standard operating procedures.
Create systems so your business can run itself when you’re not there. An online business is perfect for this.
Connect with your customers.
Share your stories. Answer their questions. Build relationships. Teach them things.
You can create a product from anything. Even if you’re a writer you can turn your writing into a product. Same for designers. These things are called information products or digital products. They’re hot and people buy them.
Depending on what you do, it may take a few years to get going with an online business, or a small physical business. But I’ll tell you one thing.
Once you start gaining that momentum, you should NOT suddenly stop and turn around and do something else.
To do that would be a huge mistake.
First, because if you’re going to suddenly duck out of small business ownership and sneak back into the 9to5 groove, you’re going to take a pay cut.
Nobody is going to give a $90,000 salary to someone who hasn’t worked in corporate America in 10 years or more.
So let’s say you get 40K. You got 40 g’s on paper. But then they take a chunk away to put toward your medical and your federal and state taxes.
Then they set aside some more money for you for your 401K or whatever you have going on. This money comes out automatically, which makes it easy, but you also lose control of it.
Your corporate job also takes up all of your time. People don’t think about this. Not only will it take up your time, but they will also try to control your time. Employers now have ways of making sure that you are connected during regular business hours.
What about loyalty? Nah. It’s gone. The people who tell you to get that corporate job don’t know that companies don’t keep the old dogs around anymore.
Also, thanks to the internet, your boss can reach out to you anytime and put extra responsibilities on your shoulders. Any day of the week can become your obligatory work day because you’ve got a boss breathing down your neck who can reach you on an email, text and your smartphone no matter where you are.
So you really don’t have control over the situation. Remember that at those times when you start to believe people who say you need to get a J-O-B.
There’s also a lot of red tape and political crap that goes on with a regular job. My sister-in-law works in HR. She deals with people who sue their workplace, get money, then continue to work there. I find what they do rather repulsive. Make no mistake. I’m not judging her choice. It’s great that she likes doing what she does and maybe her work environment and coworkers rock. But workers suing their state government employer and continuing to work there? I’ll pass.
So when someone, a family or a well-meaning friend, has an idea that you should stop what you’re doing and do something else, just at the point where you’re gaining forward momentum in your business online and starting to make more money… just block them out.
When you’re in business you can kind of feel when things are coming together for you. It’s a flow. The flow affects your bank account. You will know those points when you should really keep on going. It’s kind of a gut feeling.
The people who have never had their own business really don’t understand this intuition. So they come along and start whispering advice in your ear, or shouting it in your face depending on the type of personality they have, about how you should stop what you’re doing, do a complete 180 and go for the benefits package.
My advice to you is to ignore them. Block them out.
If you know that you’re gaining momentum in your business, starting to make more money, starting to have things running smoothly and everything seems to be flowing in the direction of your bank account, then it is NOT the time to switch it up and do something entirely different.
Think about it. If you’re climbing a mountain and you’re halfway up, do you turn around and go home. No! That’s the worst idea ever!
There are other things which could go wrong which might force you to pivot and decide to take that job.
But don’t do it because someone in your family had a big idea. Only do it if you’re really miserable in your business and if you know in your heart that what you tried to do isn’t working and might even be a big mistake.
But if you’re feeling the flow? Honestly. Just keep on going. Block out those negative naysayers. Block out the people who squint at you when you try to explain to them what you do.
They don’t get it because they haven’t been there. They’ve never had a taste of total freedom. In fact they might even be a little bit petty and miserable because of their lack of control in their own lives.
Here’s to deal with naysayers when you’re a small business owner:
If you want to limit naysayers and people who distract you from your goals, this is what you should do.
Don’t tell them about your problems.
Everyone has problems. People who make $90,000 or more a year have problems in their lives. They rack up credit card debt. Their relationships break down. Their lives aren’t always all peaches and cream.
Stop sharing details about your business with them.
When you start talking about your problems and you’re a small business owner, people always want to say to go get a job. The way to get them to stop saying that is to avoid the topic.
Instead shift the conversation towards them, or change the subject.
If they persist, just limit your time with them. They might start talking behind your back because you don’t share. That’s okay. What people say behind your back is their business. Listening to their negativity and letting it get to you is really what will bring you down.
Seek alternate support.
Where can you find encouragement? What about information, resources, commiseration, solutions, and support? With other business owners like you. Join a network. Make some friends who have businesses. Keep in touch. Celebrate each other’s success.
Loving what you do, focusing on running your business the best you can, setting goals to better serve your customers, finding more income streams, and increasing your profits, WILL bring you success, satisfaction, happiness and total freedom.
Are you a natural self-starter? Not everyone needs a boss. Some of us don’t thrive on being told what to do everyday. Some of us mostly already know what to do. And for those occasions when we don’t know what to do, we can always reach out for advice when we need it.
Do you just have this gut feeling that you’re going in the right direction with having a small business or internet-based business?
Don’t let the naysayers distract you or pull you into their petty world.
Stay strong. Keep going. You can do this.