I’m not given to abstract inspirational stuff. So, when I talk about online business, I prefer to focus on practical steps and palpable challenges.
But lately, I figured that having the wrong mindset is another major reason people fail in online business. Even if you get every other thing right, your success or failure down the road hinges largely on your mindset about the business you’re getting into.
Over the past couple of months, I received and read several emails from people — mostly Nigerians — looking to venture into one online business model or the other. And one thing I noticed is that each email clearly revealed the mindset of its sender — which isn’t right in most cases.
Since I haven’t addressed the topic of mindset before now, I decided to do justice to it in this post. So, I’d be revealing seven of the most common bad mindsets that make many newbies fail woefully in online business.
Now, let’s dive right in!
1. “I’m not sure this can work for me.”
This is the “doubting Thomas” mindset. My friend, nobody except a heartless scammer would give you a guarantee of success in any online business model. The truth is, you’d either succeed or fail. But one of the easiest ways to fail is to keep nursing doubts over your chances. Self-confidence alone can go a long way in propelling you to success. And that’s one huge weapon you need in your arsenal.
If you’ve gotten every other thing right, you can still fail woefully — or end up not starting at all — if you’re endlessly wallowing in the quagmire of self-doubt. Have a strong belief that this can work for you. Motivate yourself and boost your self-confidence by reading the success stories of others who have made it work for them. And you’d easily gather all the energy you need to start your online business and run it effectively until it blossoms.
2. “I need a quick way out.”
Many people have sent me emails, telling me all sorts.
“Mr Abass, I’d be retiring in 3 months time, and I need to start an online business that can keep me financially buoyant in retirement.”
“Hey Mr Abass, what online business can I venture into that can start fetching me around N200,000 monthly within two to three months?”
“Hello Doctor, I’m a job-seeking graduate. I’m really broke right now and I need to start a blog ASAP, so I can get a life…”
“Hello, Sir. For some time now, I’ve been looking for a means to generate some income by the side. The salary I earn from my regular job is no longer enough to settle my bills…”
There are several others, but let me just end it there.
If you read each line, you’d notice that there’s a common denominator — the need to start making money urgently. But the truth is, online business isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. And I won’t stop reiterating that.
If you start an online business with this kind of mindset, you’d quit within a few months because you’d be desperate for results and won’t be patient enough to do things correctly as a result. Worse, you’d try to cut corners by adopting strategies that would only burn your fingers. And when the results aren’t coming, you’d chuck the whole thing and hop onto something else.
If you’re looking at online business with this mindset, I’d advise you to look elsewhere. And that’s why I strongly recommend that people have a good source of income before venturing into online business.
3. “I’m not spending a dime for now.”
One of the upsides of online business is that the financial barriers to entry are quite low. You don’t need huge cash to get started. And in fact, some models such as freelancing don’t require anything to start. But then, whenever spending is necessary or recommended, you should spend.
But many newbies don’t want to part with one kobo when starting out – even when spending is necessary. To them, it doesn’t make sense to spend on anything when there are free alternatives available. To them, it makes no sense to pay for hosting or domain registration when there are free platforms like Blogger. And it makes no sense to buy an e-book or pay for an e-course when all the information they need can be found for free online.
Well, I’m not saying you have to pay in all cases. But there are times when paying is just necessary. When was the last time you saw a new Blogger-based blog ranking prominently in Google’s result pages? Think of random queries and punch them in Google, and 8 times out of 10 you’d see that the top ranking sites for each query are based on WordPress or other platforms like Joomla. But definitely not Blogger! There are reasons for that. And those reasons explain why you shouldn’t start your blog on Blogger.
In all, whenever it’s necessary or strongly recommended to pay a price when starting your online business, don’t hesitate to pay. Seeking free alternatives all the time would set you back in ways you never imagined.
4. “I want accurate projections.”
Someone once called me on the phone. He wanted to start a blog and wanted me to predict when exactly he would start making money and how much exactly he’d be making per month. And I was like, “Wow! So this one has taken me for a soothsayer?”
As I stated earlier in this post, there are no guarantees in online business. The fact that someone else started earning a certain figure after a certain period doesn’t mean you’d replicate the same record exactly — not even if you follow in the person’s footsteps. So, there’s no way you can get accurate projections with regards to traffic, income, and other metrics that matter.
Success in online business is down to many factors, and some of these factors are plain unpredictable.
5. “I need an autopilot money-making system.”
I’ve lost count of the calls and emails I’ve received from people who want me to help them set up an online business “system” that earns money automatically. Here’s the usual line:
“Hey Mr Abass, I want you to help me set up an affiliate site that would be preloaded with the required content and affiliate links, and that will make money on its own. How much would you charge for that?”
So, if there’s a way to do that, you think I wouldn’t have built hundreds to thousands of such sites for myself? If you’re looking to have something like this set up for you, you need to wake up! There’s no autopilot income model that doesn’t require a massive investment of money, energy, time, and other resources from the outset. And you know what? You won’t find someone else to build it for you. I mean, if they can build it at all, they’d rather build it for themselves.
As a starter, you should focus on giving your online business model all it takes to succeed. It’s a sweet thing to make money while sleeping or on vacation, but getting to that point takes time and effort.
6. “I want an all-in-one system or multiple systems.”
I once chatted with a guy who wanted to set up a blog on entertainment, fashion, agriculture, and sports. And he wanted to monetize with Adsense, affiliate links, and freelance services. And I was like, “Only you?” Similarly, I’ve met people who wanted to set up three blogs at the same time, each targeting a separate topic.
When you’re just starting out as a netpreneur, you can easily get tempted to set up an all-in-one model or set up multiple options at a go. Neither option is advisable. Your best bet is to start in the easiest possible way and aim for the easiest goal. And from there you can gradually scale-up and expand. If you try to bite more than you can chew, you’d get overwhelmed and you’d quit very soon out of frustration.
7. “I want to build something like that.”
I’ve been left shocked several many times after hearing what some newbies aim to achieve. Some want to build something like Nairaland. Some want to build a site like Jiji.ng. Some want to build a site like Quora. And some want to set up a social media platform like Facebook.
No, I’m not saying replicating these huge platforms is impossible. But it becomes quite interesting when the person hoping to achieve that has no idea of how much money, time, technical know-how, and even connections is required for such a project. Those I’ve met aim for it as though it’s something they can achieve within a few weeks with little effort.
Your first online business venture should be a small one that you can easily start, run, and grow without spreading yourself too thin. No doubt, success only comes with hard work, but that’s only when you work hard on something realistic.
Have you ever nursed any of these mindsets? Do you have any questions, objections, or contributions? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.