The Internet has made it possible for so many people to become their own boss and have their own their business, and so more and more people are doing so. Advertising and reaching your target audience has never been easier and has helped small businesses and startups grow and move from strength to strength. All of which is amazing, but something that occurs to me on a regular basis is how hard and labour intensive some people’s businesses are.
So this post is purely my own opinion but i just wanted to share my views on it. The reason why I have always wanted to start my own business was to achieve my end goal of being able to support myself financially so that I could give up my 9-5 and have that extra time. I could then use the freedom of that extra time and the extra money to do things I wanted to do, have fun and enjoy myself.
This is still my end goal, and one that I am getting closer to all the time, but it’s been a steep learning curve and I tried various different things until I settled and focused on one approach.One of the most important lessons I have learnt is that a lot of business models will not enable me to meet my goals the way I see them.
My first venture into achieving my goal, which was many moons ago now, was with a Multi Level Marketing business. I know these can be quite a controversial topic of conversation and remain a very controversial business model. The company I was with was an ethically sound one, in my opinion and I saw many people become very successful with it. Yes they worked very hard as you have to with any type of business model, and while I have no aversion to working hard, I would rather do it on my terms and this is what ultimately what made me decide to knock this particular business model on the head. Weekends and evenings were the most lucrative and effective times to make this business work, which was fundamentally what I was trying to get away from. I was a nurse at the time and fed up with shift work. This weekend and evening ‘work’ was required on a consistent and ongoing basis for continued success. Plus there were other elements that I didn’t like; speaking to strangers about the business whenever and wherever I got the opportunity (I’m the kind of person who likes the self service checkout at the supermarket because I don’t have to speak to anyone)! And it was really expensive to get up and running and any spare space I had at home was just filled up with products. No, for me this was not sustainable.
I decided to focus more on the internet and to use it to my advantage. I had just finished a post grad diploma in physical exercise and nutrition (another attempt at to reach my goal!) so I decided to experiment with writing a book. I chose a nice ever green category; weight loss. I spent about a week and half writing it and editing it. I got my brother to do me the cover and uploaded it to Amazon and began selling it as an eBook. This did not cost me a penny and only a week and half of my time. The ongoing cost of this approach was about half an hour a day for a few months, marketing the book on Facebook – also free with regards to money. This was before Facebook ads had exploded. The book sold, over and over and over….. Ok i was only selling it for a dollar but that was not the point. This turned out to be a much more lucrative approach and I loved the fact that I had put the hard work in once and was reaping the benefit over and over again for very little effort! I was onto a winner!
Then the deadly ‘shiney object disease‘ struck me down and I got distracted with selling physical objects on the internet, again via Amazon. About 18 months later having spent a lot of time and money sourcing products from China, somehow managing to get them branded with my logo, shipped from China to the US, trying to negotiate with customs that they were not dangerous, life threatening or in anyway designed to end the human race, and then sent to various Amazon warehouses so they could be stored and dispatched to the good people of America, I decided enough is enough. Why am I putting myself through all this ongoing stress and expense when I have found a much more simple, effective and lucrative work model? I mean why??
So I am now a true advocate of the online digital business model. It just makes a lot more sense (to me). Make something once and the sell it over and over. It’s a lot cheaper, but investment is still required and it’s a lot easier – but hard work is still required. I have always been a big believer in not making things any harder or more expensive than they need to be. With digital products, you don’t need to worry about the cost or space of storage, you don’t need to worry about running out of products. All the costs that are required for buying products, mailing, shipping, storage, etc can be saved and can be spent on advertising your digital product instead of, rather than as well as. To me it’s a total no brainer!
Bye for now 🙂