20 (More) Lessons From 20 Years As An Online Entrepreneur

Over 20 years of running different businesses online, experiencing highs and lows, as well as dealing with all the struggles that come with it… I’ve taken a lot a lessons myself. I thought I would compile some of the biggies into one blog post.

In the last issue, I shared 20 of them. Today, I thought I would continue our list.

Let’s roll…

Time is a more valuable asset than money. Never spend too much time trying to save a few bucks. In the end, you’re losing money in the long run by taking time trying to reinvent the wheel just to save a few bucks upfront.

Technology changes. Platforms change. People don’t. Focus on the people and the rest of it is just a means to an end.

Outsource before hiring employees. Some would disagree, but for a business like mine which runs lean and mean, employees are a huge expense. I’ve done it. It was incredibly expensive and the bookkeeping was ridiculous. If you can outsource to a contractor, do it.

Change your work environment every so often. Today, my primary work computer is a laptop. I can work wherever I please and it isn’t any different. Coffee shops are nice. Going out in the RV is nice. Hell, sometimes I just work from my back porch.

Don’t skimp on your computer and work equipment. If you plan to make your living with it, the least you can do is not cheap yourself out. You get what you pay for.

Don’t be afraid to show your personality. People like it. It makes you REAL. And speaking of “real”, just be REAL. Don’t have a different online persona than you do in real life. It makes things more complicated.

Don’t play follow the leader in your marketing. It is really easy to look at what somebody else is doing and assume it is working really well. If you blindly model it, your results may be completely different. Trust me, even the “gurus” sometimes just make a wild guess. Not everything they do is working even if they make it seem like it is. What’s happening behind the scenes is often different.

Those who make a point to flaunt their success are often not very successful in reality.The joy comes from the game of creating that success, not the end result of it. If I see somebody who is trying to flaunt their money, I immediately look at them as a source of entertainment rather than a source for anything meaningful.

Don’t waste time comparing yourself to others. Instead, compare to who you know you can be. Compare to yesterday’s self. Are you advancing? Are you better than you were a year ago? That’s the only true measure. Remember, if you judge people by what they say on social media, you’re looking at their public image but comparing it to your behind the scenes. If you’ve ever watched the raw footage of a movie and compared it to the finished film, you’d be surprised how different it is. Don’t make the mistake of comparing somebody else’s finished film with your behind the scenes footage.

Don’t buy an internet marketing product because of hope. Buy because you know immediately what you’re going to apply it to and you’re committed to action. Buying internet marketing products and collecting them for “someday” makes no sense. Yes, even if the product you’re buying is mine.

Passive income online is a pipe dream. It takes a lot of time and effort to make a passive income. When it comes to online business, “passive” simply means leveraged time. It means your income and your time are not connected. You can be out doing something unrelated and your business doesn’t shut down. It takes work to get to that point. But, in no way does “passive income” mean you’re not working quite a bit.

Don’t feel obligated to keep up with the latest news and trends. Most of it is stuff you don’t need to know. It is noise. The basics remain pretty much the same over time. Until you’ve mastered the basics and your business is humming along really well, you have no business trying to follow every little trend or launch.

Never compromise with your own reality. Never let others talk you into being “reasonable” or “realistic” about your goals. What is true is what is true from your perspective. Period. End of story.

Don’t ever make promises in your marketing that you can’t deliver on.

Your biggest periods of growth usually come when you’re most uncomfortable. Some of my best, highest-revenue periods in my business were when I was stressed out and felt like I was barely hanging on. I was doing things that made me nervous. It felt weird at the time, but now I look at it as a time of growth that I’m grateful happened.

Never be scared to fire a customer or client. Sometimes, the customer is not right. Sometimes they’re just being an a-hole and you’ll be better off banning them or telling them exactly what you’re thinking.

Low priced customers are usually more trouble. Customers who have paid very little for something are more likely to be complainers and ask for refunds. They are also much less likely to get results. It doesn’t mean there isn’t a time and place for low-priced offers, but you need to keep the bigger picture in mind on this and not rely on it. It is very tough to build a business on the back of cheap crap.

Don’t compete on price. Instead, keep your prices within reason and figure out how to compete on service, quality and experience.

Don’t let your business consume you. Your business is supposed to support you, not the other way around.

If an email list you’re on never does anything except try to sell you, then unsubscribe. At the same time, realize that every site needs revenue to survive so don’t get annoyed when they sell. Realize it is a balance. As long as you are getting value from that list, stay on it. Otherwise, leave.

Want to check out the remaining 64 lessons that I’ve learned?

Check it out:

84 Lessons From 20 Years As An Online Entrepreneur (Updated)