So you want to start an online business?!
You fancy being an entrepreneur and you are buzzing with excitement and want to get going now?
Where do you start? How do you do it? What do you need to do?
It is hard at first because you don’t know what to ask when you don’t really know what you are doing.
I felt that way.
Maybe you feel the same way too?
You have ideas popping out your brain, or maybe no ideas at all.
We all start somewhere.
We all need a place to start from and get going.
Small steps my friends, small steps.
Here are my 6 steps that I used and learn from to get me started and move forward with starting an online business.
I have used the same 6 steps and will continue to use them again and again, as I develop more businesses in the future.
If you have any more steps, let us know in the comments below. Share those ideas people, help the online entrepreneur community grow.
Don’t forget the main overall step in the right frame of mind….determination and an ambition to succeed. If you have that, you are halfway there.
You don’t have to be the best at IT or have lots of ideas. What you do need is the right mindset and motivation to succeed.
1. Focus on what you know:
Ask yourself……Think about… what do I know about?
What interests me?
What do I look at online?
What are my interests?
Where do I hang out online?
Write a list of what you know and what you like and that’s a good starting point for a business. Speak from the point of your own interests.
If you are interested in something that really tickles the feelings in your tummy, that gets you going, then you will engage in the process better and you will get your flow.
What problems and issues are associated with this area of your interest?
What can you add to the world that will get to others interested in what you have to say? i.e. information, products etc.
For example, parenting advice for twins. You might fancy Blogging about the issues you face every day and offer solutions to these problems.
Or another example is gardening, growing your own fruit and veg. How to, when to, techniques, and advice. Build your audience and then move on from there.
What you are doing is adding value for people within the area of interest and the problems they face within that area.
Adding value means that you are offering your listening ear, your empathy, your knowledge and advice about their issues.
You put yourselves in their shoes and help them to sort out that problem. They will follow you as a person who can help them.
2. Get yourself out there.
What does getting yourself out there mean exactly?
Well in a nutshell it is…Social media.
Before you recoil with shock and fear. And if you aren’t a social media type person, don’t worry, make it work for you.
A presence online.
Blogging, commenting and being present and ‘alive’ in the social media world is a must these days and especially if you want to be an online entrepreneur.
Maybe like me (a few years back), you are a novice. I was scared stiff of social media.
I shied away from that whole thing. I don’t know why. It was just something I wasn’t interested in, I didn’t see the point of living my life online.
I didn’t register or understand why anyone would want to take pictures of their meals, post them and say how yummy they were.
I DID NOT GET IT.
A while down the line I’ve gotten over that fear.
I addressed my prejudices and thought “what the heck”. I love Twitter now and enjoy the connectedness of Facebook.
If you need some inspiration… have a look at those online you admire. See what they are saying and talking about.
Get yourself on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter.
Think about how you present yourself on these platforms.
I come from a perspective that I never put anything out there that I wouldn’t want my gran to see. (Think drunk night out on a Friday and showing your underwear in public).
Not that I do anything that I wouldn’t want her to see.
But you get the idea.
Keep it light, keep it focused.
Think about your social profile, as your doorway into who you are.
We don’t have to paint ourselves as perfect, that’s not great either. No one is perfect.
It is better to be authentic and real.
People want that from us. Be real, but not show every single aspect of your life.
It isn’t always pretty, is it!
So point 2 is get yourself out there, be a social presence online.
Comment, share ideas and the good stuff.
Don’t be afraid of being yourself, but keep it professional, people want the real you but not every aspect of you.
I recommend starting this as soon as possible, start building your social presence as soon as you think about being an online entrepreneur.
It will come in handy later on down the line when you are marketing yourself, or products, services etc.
Start building your online business profile today.
3. Be Individual.
What I’m trying to say here is….Think differently and bring yourself to the party.
People don’t engage with large companies anymore. They can be corrupt, we have misleading politicians, even so-called celebrities let us down and are out of touch with the real people.
People want to engage with real people; a story, a living, breathing life online.
Real people who understand their problems. A friend online who can help them solve their problems, their issues. Give back of yourself and add value to the world.
It is worth doing some work on yourself.
You might think heh “I’m a good guy, I do good and I think good thoughts”.
But maybe you need to do some work on yourself?
I’m not talking about changing your personality or getting a brain transplant, let’s be realistic here.
But are you open-minded
and do you know yourself?
What makes you tick – tock?
Are you authentic and real?
I thought I was a well-rounded person, spiritual, in touch with who I was, but I knew nothing 2 years ago, compared to where I am now.
Sometimes you need something external to kick-start an internal change in how you see the world and interact with it.
What did I do and how did I do it?
Well, I signed up with an online digital academy, who not only gave me the tools for the right education, but they set me down a pathway of self-discovery I would never have got from my job, friends, family, or life.
Sometimes we drift through life, doing the same things day in and day out.
We have such dreams and aspirations when we are 18, 21, 25…but life gets in the way; the media, TV, commitments, family, money, jobs, and the drudgery of what can be life.
After some life-changing events, I woke up again and my learning has sped up so fast.
You might be thinking well I’m okay, I know a lot about me. But do you really? Are you happy, fulfilled? If you are, why are reading stuff like this? you are looking for a change, I was, I know you are and that’s cool.
It is good and exciting and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
It is a Wake-up call.
Expand your mind. I started with Wayne Dyer (watched him on Your Tube), Bob Proctor (same and audiobooks), Dolores Cannon (audiobooks and YouTube), and it went from there.
It snows balls. It escalates to the point where you no longer recognise the person you once were. It can be a scary journey and it doesn’t happen overnight, but give it time.
I listened to audio books and YouTube webinar type information. I listened in the car, up and down the commute to my job, on the bus, on the train. Before I go to sleep at night.
I still do. It is so cool to expand that mind we have. But be warned… once you start down that road… there is no going back.
You unearth some pretty cool stuff, but you can’t go back to who you were.
The rawness and individuality of who you are is your biggest selling point:
Being an individual will be the thing that makes you successful, oh and of course some hard work.
Standing out from the crowd is okay.
Being unique is good.
Don’t be boring and don’t be afraid of taking some risks.
Don’t be afraid of showing who you are.
If others don’t like it, they can feck off and won’t bother with engaging, but being who you are will attract those that are drawn to you like a bee to the flower.
You being the flower.
We need those kinds of people in this world.
We need YOU.
4. You need a website:
A website is, you could say, is your real estate online.
It is where you set out your stall with who you are and what you are selling.
Build it, write on it, love it, show the world who you are and believe in it.
I think of mine as my child, I spent so long on it, designing it, creating it, loving it, putting part of me into it.
It was an experience to learn how to build.
Yes, of course, you are right, I could have had someone else do it for me and spent some money doing this, but where was the learning in doing that?
This journey is all about the learning.
Isn’t that what being an entrepreneur is all about doing things yourself?
Learning along the way.
I used WordPress (a place you can build websites), I took about 2 months (part-time) doing this.
I recommend the experience for anyone who is serious about being an online business person, an entrepreneur.
If you can build a website from scratch, hell, the digital world is your Oyster. You might not be able to write code, but you are rocking with the big boys and girls.
5. Get yourself the right education.
Surround yourself with those who are doing it online and doing it right and successful.
Who are you going to listen to?
Don’t take advice from your neighbour ‘John’ next door, who talks the talk but has never done what you are hoping to do.
Go to an expert.
Read and read again from those who cut the mustard, who are doing what you want to do.
Be inspired, and driven forward in what you want to do.
You want ideas to fire from your brain like bullets from a machine gun.
You don’t get that from night school.
You don’t get it from your mates down the pub or Tony or Sarah at the Gym.
Listen to those who have made it listen to their frame of mind.
Some of the main things I have learnt is that people who make it online, as digital entrepreneurs are focussed.
They know what they want and go for it, they work on their self-progression, education and are motivated daily.
They take action and move forward every day.
They do not procrastinate.
They do not stand still.
In my on-line academy, I learn about anything from building a website to building a company of products in E-commerce.
I get such a buzz, everything at my fingertips, they invest back into their education for the benefit of all.
6. Take consistent daily action:
Ok Jeff… “How can I do that?”
“I’ve got 3 kids, a full-time job, a partner and I play footy on a Thursday night. I’m too knackered to do anything else”.
Yep well join the club.
Who hasn’t got commitments?
It is probably those commitments that make you want to do something different in the first place.
If you want to succeed you need big balls whether you are male or female.
Success doesn’t just fall at your feet.
No sir or madam it just doesn’t.
Do you have time to watch Netflix on TV?
Go to the pub every Friday?
Browse ‘stuff’ online?
Listen to music in the car?
Ask yourself …how long each day do I spend on other activities apart from the necessities?
It is amazing how much time we waste.
We waste, we waste time.
There are ways around anything we really want.
What I did, and I was all the above. (Only 2 kids though).
I started by explaining to my partner what I was doing, it is crucial they are on board for this trip.
And I went from there.
Instead of watching crap on TV, I read or went online and did a webinar on digital marketing.
Instead of going to the gym, I exercised in my garage for 15mins and then read something that added to me moving forward.
I stopped the music in the car (sob, sob). And instead, I listened to webinars, lectures, audiobooks that educated me and enlightened me and my brain.
This doesn’t happen overnight. But if you want to be successful and change your life online… you must change your mindset.
Hence the doing the work on yourself above.
Not everyone makes it because they have a fear of failure (it is all in the mind) or they stop because they can’t hack it.
Are you one of those people?
Or does the burning desire to change and yes it burns your very soul, keeps you awake at night?
Do you feel yourself being pulled forward through time and space to a place where you want and need to be?
I do and have that within me. All the time. It doesn’t go away.
You need to get yourself in that mindset to succeed.
I took a long time to do it, I started slowly so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. And I planned.
Then a few months later I negotiated with my manager at work to condense my hours at work, I told him what I was doing. Generally, people seem supportive when you are looking to improve yourself, I always find.
So, I take Fridays off as a non-work day.
I take the kids to school breakfast club. I come home and tidy up, do some yoga or work out for 15 mins. Then I crack on.
I study, I work, I build my future for me and for my kids.
I improve myself.
I learn and improve my mind.
I work 10-15 hours.
Then I do another 5-6 hours on a Saturday if my partner is off.
Then I schedule in jobs to do around the home and garden and then I have time with the kids and Sunday is a family day. I do a bit after work but generally, I get tired, so I can’t do so much. Hence it is taking me longer.
But it is at my pace.
You’ll be different.
You might have more energy and your circumstances will be different.
It sounds overwhelming when you read it here, but to tell you the truth I’ve had so much fun.
It sounds a bit mad, but I love my Fridays, I built an office in my garden with my kids and dad over the winter.
I have my own space where I can write and create. It is space to create a different life and I love it.
You have got to love it really, otherwise what’s the point?
So, there you go my 6 top tips for starting your own online business.
If you want to know what academy and education I attend, check it out here, I can send you some free videos to watch and see if it is something you can learn from.
The beauty from this online academy is that everything is under one roof, so you save time by not searching around and you have a supportive network and community to help you.
If making websites is your thing and all the technical stuff that goes with it, check out the place I use for my domains and how to build a website.
It is a one-stop shop for everything you need to set up your business online: Digital Business Lounge.
Don’t forget if you have any other tips for starting an online business share them in the comments below.