Below you’ll find an unedited chapter from my upcoming book 40 Rules for Internet Business Success. To receive updates about the book and get a free digital copy of my book in its current form, enter your email address in the sidebar to the right.
After you’ve made the decision to take the entrepreneurial leap and start your own internet business, the first question you need to ask yourself is “Why?”. Why are you starting your business? You likely have the option to continue working in your current place of employment and receiving a steady paycheck, but you’ve decided to put in several thousand hours of blood, sweat and toil to create a business where there was nothing before. You’ve decided that the buck is going to stop with you. You’ve decided that you’re going to be responsible for market identification, product development, marketing, sales, operations, customer service, accounting, legal, taxes and everything else that comes along with starting a business. You’ve decided that you’re going to be responsible for putting out every fire that happens in your business and that you’re going to be responsible for making the whole machine that is your business run smoothly. Building an Internet business from scratch is not an easy task. It’s downright hard. Not everyone can do it. When you decide to start a business, you’re signing up for months of hard work, sleepless nights and not getting to spend the time you would like with your family. If you’re going to start a business, you had better have a good reason why you’re starting a business.
You can’t kind-of, sort-of, maybe start a business. If you’re going to start a business, you need to commit all of your best energy into building it. If you’re going to have your head down for months on end building your business before you have any meaningful revenue, you need a have a very good “why” so that you can push through the hard times knowing that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. When you have to make the choice between working on your business that hasn’t had any traction yet and going out with your friends or family, it’s going to be very hard to make the decision to work on your business unless you have a very clear understanding of why you’re starting your business.
If you know why you’re starting your business, you can answer just about every other important question of what your business needs to look like.If your goal is to escape the nine-to-five so that you can work at home and spend more time with your family, you probably can’t go out and build a business that requires you to have an office and a bunch of employees. If you’re starting your business because you have to be the master of your own domain, you probably can’t start a business that will require you to raise venture capital, because you’re just going to end up with more bosses. If you want to quit your full-time job, you’re going to need to create a business that generates at least as much net profit as your salary paid you last year. If you want to have the freedom to do whatever you want with your time, you probably can’t build a business that requires you to be on-call for your customers during all hours of the day. When you have a clear and concise reason why you’re starting your business, you have a lens through which you must make every future business decision. You know the exact constraints that you need to build your business through.
The fundamental reason why I have my own business is that I want to be the master of my own destiny and I want the freedom to live the life that I want to live without the constraints of a traditional 9-to-5 job. I want my success to be fully dependent upon my ability to deliver and generate value. I don’t want my ability to generate income to be held back by the limitation and pay structure of a traditional job. I want the freedom to use my time how I want to use it. I want the freedom to be able to get up and play with my son every morning. I want the freedom to be able to go outside and exercise in the middle of the afternoon. I want the freedom to have lunch with friends, family and business acquaintances any day of the week. I want to be able to visit family and go on vacations without having to ask permission from an employer.
It took eight long years to get to the place that I am with my Internet business, but now I have total freedom over my time and my business makes more money than my family needs to live on a monthly basis. Starting a business seems like a no-brainer after you’ve made the journey and have built a successful business that’s working for you. At the beginning of the journey, you’re at the base of a large mountain that you need to climb. It’s very easy to wander off the path and give-up along the way. If you want to make it to the top and build a successful business, you have stay focused on the reason why you’re starting your business.