How Much Do Your Real World Friends Know About Your Online World?

by Tiptopcat 64 replies
I recently wrote a blog post about this topic and would love to find out what people here thought.

The Details

My real world friends know that I do some writing stuff and other nonsense on the internet in order to make money online but I have never really talked about it that much because I didn't want to become one of those online bores.

Well, recently I mentioned a freebie kindle book promotion I was offering and my friends were a little disappointed that I hadn't mentioned it before.

So I Have The Following Questions For You:
  • How much of your online world do you share with your offline friends?
  • Do they know what it is that you actually do online?
  • What is their reaction to the way you choose to make money?
I look forward to your feedback

Victoria
#main internet marketing discussion forum #friends #make money online #online #real #world
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  • Profile picture of the author Humbee360
    My Offline friends do not understand much about marketing online, beyond what they may have seen on TV which is usually very little. Even a discussion about servers, hosting, FTP or anything like that is met with blank stares or smiles (usually because they have no idea what I am talking about and don't want to admit it)

    I believe there are a lot more people that are looking for valid methods of earning online even if they don't admit it in public.
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    "Everything goes where attention flows..."
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  • Profile picture of the author GobBluthJD
    They know everything. Nothing to hide here!
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  • Profile picture of the author sogeshirts
    I tell my business oriented friends about what I'm doing. For the friends that don't like to talk business I just am very vague and general.
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  • Profile picture of the author wesawu
    In the IM world and the world in general you will come across many friends and family that are "negative energy" with regards to what you do or want to do for a living. More often than not it is because they simply don't understand or because they tried IM and failed because they didn't work hard enough. I have been doing IM for about 5 years now and none of my friends or family know what I do and I would just rather keep it that way. I have worked hard to get to where I am at today and would rather not give away my secrets to the folks that were "negative energy" when I started. I'm sure many of them will want to be my "best friend" if they knew how much I made. No thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author glennshep
      Exactly what and in how much detail I talk about it depends on who it is I'm talking with. As it's not yet reached a level for me whereby I can live off it it can be difficult at times to get across to people the fact that I'm doing a lot of work but not yet able to live off what I'm doing.

      I basically have three groups of people: those who just 'get it' and are enthusiastic about what I'm doing, ask me lots of questions and see the potential. So I tell these pretty much everything and get plenty of encouragement from them.

      Next there are those who are supportive and interested in what I'm doing, but if I try to explain any of the details there is usually an awkward silence as they clearly don't understand what it's all about. So when talking about it on later occasions I just talk in more general terms and don't give too much away, because I find that sometimes they can slip into the third group...

      Originally Posted by wesawu View Post

      In the IM world and the world in general you will come across many friends and family that are "negative energy" with regards to what you do or want to do for a living
      When people are negative about what I'm doing or I know them well enough to anticipate that they'll be close-minded and judgmental, then I pretty much just keep things to myself. IM brings enough of its own challenges without adding to them with a few people's negativity.

      On the whole, though, most of my friends and family are just curious and I'm happy to share anything with them that they want to know so long as they're going to support me
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  • Profile picture of the author datingworld
    all my friends know what I do online......i ddint tell much about myself to them when i had day job but since i resigned from my work, i have told everyone about my online stuff...
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    • Profile picture of the author Tiptopcat
      Originally Posted by datingworld View Post

      all my friends know what I do online......i ddint tell much about myself to them when i had day job but since i resigned from my work, i have told everyone about my online stuff...
      That's a different way around. Everyone knows what I do in the real world job. It could be down to the constant moaning about having to work for "Da Man" lol.

      Hopefully it won't be forever.

      Glad that you can shout it from the roof tops about your happy segue into online marketing. Congrats
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      • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
        Banned
        You've confused me here by referring to people as "real world" friends.

        The internet is the "real world". And you operate a business there in every equal sense as an offline venture.

        Do you refer to stockbrokers friends as "real world" acquaintances, as they do most of their work online, as do a whole host of other types of business's.

        I've not found that anyone treats me any differently simply because I conduct most of my business online, and friends and family are all fully aware of what I do . . . most of them being involved in some small or large way with internet life, as are the overwhelming majority of people in the age of computers and the internet.

        The question would have been relevant perhaps ten years ago.
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        • Profile picture of the author Tiptopcat
          Originally Posted by Horny Devil View Post

          You've confused me here by referring to people as "real world" friends.

          The internet is the "real world". And you operate a business there in every equal sense as an offline venture.

          Do you refer to stockbrokers friends as "real world" acquaintances, as they do most of their work online, as do a whole host of other types of business's.

          I've not found that anyone treats me any differently simply because I conduct most of my business online, and friends and family are all fully aware of what I do . . . most of them being involved in some small or large way with internet life, as are the overwhelming majority of people in the age of computers and the internet.

          The question would have been relevant perhaps ten years ago.
          Thanks for your feedback Horny.

          I suppose it would depend what your background is and what type of community you live in. I do not have any stockbroker friends. Everyone I know works at a job that they have to physically go to.

          Maybe I should have said offline friends as opposed to Real World friends, as the internet is as real as anything isn't it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
    I generally talk about what I do pretty freely when the topic comes up. Years ago, I thought of my business ventures as "top secret" information I didn't want to share in case someone decided to compete with me. I've come to realize at this point that very few people have the skills or power of will to get where I am today, so I'm less concerned about that these days.
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  • Profile picture of the author xxxJamesxxx
    I Don't tell 'em squat 'cause it's more fun watching their imagination run wild... And I can NEVER compete with that

    All they know is that I make a bunch of money, yet they never see me work. It's fun watching my friends trying to figure it out 'cause they live in a world of limitations and their belief is to make a lot of money... You must work long and hard for it.

    So have fun with it - be a mystery, it's a lot more fun that way

    James Scholes
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  • Profile picture of the author ninjaafk
    I have nothing to hide to anyone if they ask me about what I do. They either want to learn more or they don't. It's that simple. I don't even mind going into specific detail with close friends and family members how everything goes down. I figure I can tell anyone the things I have learned without it coming to bite me back in the ass ... because I know only a handful of people in the world are truly cut out to endure the reality of what it takes to start making profit online.

    Most people think when you tell them about making money online that it is easy. Everyone thinks push button software exist and that there is such thing as the silver bullet for making money, but they really don't understand that you actually have to be relentless in this business in order to succeed.

    So in essence ... I don't mind opening the door to anyone that has interest in the door in the first place ... whether or not they choose to walk through the door and keep going is all dependent on that person.

    I feel for what some of you guys above are saying about it being funner when it is a mystery to people, but I think the people that have enough interest to ask me about what I do deserve a full on answer from me...if they can handle it
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  • Profile picture of the author JHandy
    Personally I don't tell them unless they ask. I don't have anything to hide, but I also don't want to engage in negativity talk of the dreaded "internet scam" conversation which I know will come from certain ones.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    I have a lot of friends but there is only one person who knows about everything I do online. A longtime friend and a fellow internet marketer.
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  • Profile picture of the author ClaireVWalker
    Lol most of my friends have a vague notion I do something with websites but that's about it
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  • Profile picture of the author World Marketing
    Only a few of my friends know about what I do online....They don't really get how I can make money from home...It does not register with them because they don't have a head for it....But it's almost better that way....
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  • Profile picture of the author PerformanceMan
    None have a clue. I run a company and take a paycheck. The company gets revenues from the Internet. I doubt it's of much interest to any of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author satrap
    When I first started my journey of trying to make money online (3-4 years ago), my girlfriend was very skeptic to the point where she almost was making fun of me. And she was kind of mad at me too since I would come home from work and would spend hours and hours in front of the computer, reading, learning and taking action.

    That went on for about a year or so. By that time, my first blog (BlogStash) started to earn me some money. And when I hit around a year and a half, my ranking and traffic started growing and growing. I was making twice ( and some months three times) what she was making at her job and what I was making at my day job.

    Soon, she started to realize that this thing is real and not just a pipe dream. Now she is very supportive and does respect my online work time. Of course the fact that we don't have to worry about not being able to pay our bills or the house payment on time does play a big role in her supportive attitude as well.


    As far as friends go, I don't have any friends here where I live (US) except one that is also my coworker at my day job. (yes I still work offline since I have depression, having to go out everyday and interacting with others helps me stay sane).

    He actually knows what I really do and that's because he became interested when I would talk about the money making part of the deal, so he asked me to help him get it going as well. And so I did (he is almost getting there).


    As far as my girlfriends family and friends are concerned, I do "stuff" online. .

    As for my family, all my family members leave back home in Iran (Persia). And they don't know much about the opportunities of online world since thanks to the Iranian regime the technology is like 10 years behind other countries. People just there have started to get into online businesses and things like that.


    Anyway, I think most people are coming around to the idea that people do make a living online. And I think that's partly because of the success of the big sites that made their founders famous and wealthy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart Walker
    They know I do things online but they don't know the in's and out's of it nor do they seem to ask many questions. No ones ever even asked to look at one of my websites oddly.
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    • Profile picture of the author starman21
      Originally Posted by RockingLastsForever View Post

      They know I do things online but they don't know the in's and out's of it nor do they seem to ask many questions. No ones ever even asked to look at one of my websites oddly.
      Pretty much the same here. A few know. I don't "volunteer" what I do but that's mostly because I don't have offline friends who seem to have any interest beyond email and facebook/pinterest/twitter etc.

      Like some others alluded to...unfortunately, I kinda like being mostly anonymous.
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  • Profile picture of the author hirechrisgunn
    How much of your online world do you share with your offline friends?
    When someone asks what I do, it's usually hard to just leave it at "Internet Marketing." Then I have to go into this spiel because 9/10 times they don't understand exactly what I do. They just know that I work from home and they think I'm semi-unemployed even though I work probably harder than they do.

    Do they know what it is that you actually do online?
    I share with people what I do for a living, but they don't understand the marketing, promoting, everyday social stuff that I have to do. Commenting on forums? Tweeting? Yes...essentially if I don't do this, I won't make money. I get paid to tweet while you work at a restaurant.

    What is their reaction to the way you choose to make money?
    Most people are favorable and wished they knew of a way to do what I do so they could be freed up - whether it's to live where they want, do what they want on their own schedule, or simply to have a white-collared job.
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  • Profile picture of the author Yadira Barbosa
    • How much of your online world do you share with your offline friends?
    Almost nothing, because they never understand what I do and make tons of questions that lead to more questions....

    • Do they know what it is that you actually do online?
    They know I do "something" on the internet, but do not understand exactly what I do.

    • What is their reaction to the way you choose to make money?
    They think my husband have a great job with a great salary
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  • Profile picture of the author Japles
    Originally Posted by Tiptopcat View Post

    I recently wrote a blog post about this topic and would love to find out what people here thought.

    The Details

    My real world friends know that I do some writing stuff and other nonsense on the internet in order to make money online but I have never really talked about it that much because I didn't want to become one of those online bores.

    Well, recently I mentioned a freebie kindle book promotion I was offering and my friends were a little disappointed that I hadn't mentioned it before.

    So I Have The Following Questions For You:
    • How much of your online world do you share with your offline friends?
    • Do they know what it is that you actually do online?
    • What is their reaction to the way you choose to make money?
    I look forward to your feedback

    Victoria
    I am so glad you brought this up.

    I find that talking about my online ventures usually has negative connotations.

    "Oh, is this another one of your 'get rich quick schemes'?"
    "When are you going to get a REAL job?"
    "You are a dumb@$$ for thinking that you can make money online"

    I have heard all of these before. From close friends to family members.

    I generally never bring up the subject of what I do online to my friends just because they do not understand it.

    I try to keep my business life and social life separate. However, there are those times that friends will ask what I do. If they ask, I tell them.

    Usually it is not perceived well and they are very questionable about the whole thing. However, when I show them proof that it actually works, they become very curious and ask me more and more questions.

    It's funny how people will write off an idea as a failure until they actually see that it works. Then they become very interested about the whole idea and some even want you to teach them how to do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author stone2010
    I like to make sure my friends know what I do online that I own an Online Marketing company because thanks to that I have landed clients thru them. The other day someone contact me on Instagram because a friend of mine mentioned my name about what I did and posted a picture of his website, so that person that followed him contact me about a website as well. So I would go with YES definitely they need to know what you do so when they know someone that needs what you offer your name pops up right away.
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  • Profile picture of the author Arete Infinitum
    I don't have anything to speak of yet, but I have thought about how I might approach this in the future as my success grows. This thread has been helpful.
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  • Profile picture of the author rmolina88
    How much of your online world do you share with your offline friends?

    Not much. I usually just say I'm an "Online Business Consultant".

    Do they know what it is that you actually do online?

    Not really. I usually tell them it's pretty steep learning curve (and it is!)

    What is their reaction to the way you choose to make money?

    They're curious when I talk about it and get scared and act in denial (they think it's not a legit method) when I show them the methods.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonBennet
    My Offline friends cannot understand how I am able to make money by using the Laptop. I have tried explaining to them and the first thing that come to their mind is that I am trying to set up a scam scheme to scam people. Haha I simply just tell them that I am a web designer and they understand the concept. Saves me the time and effort to explaining to them things that they will not understand.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    Years ago people used to look at those who found love online as some type of weirdos. Slowly but surely it is becoming more acceptable. I think the same will happen with online business. Most people are scared of or skeptical of things they know nothing about. As more and more people turn to the Internet to make money it will become a lot more common and acceptable.
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  • Profile picture of the author sdlive
    nobody will listen or give a damn until you start driving a ferrari
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    • Profile picture of the author WillR
      Originally Posted by sdlive View Post

      nobody will listen or give a damn until you start driving a ferrari
      I wonder what percentage of people who drive Ferraris actually own them. When I see someone in a Ferrari I think to myself, wow, that guy must have some serious car repayments each month. A lot of the people who drive those sorts of cars are just posers and can't really afford them. Follow them home and watch them as they park their Ferrari in the driveway of their one bedroom shack... or their mums place. :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author twister85
    My Friends Know that I'am and Email marketer and make money online That's all. They don't even know what an email marketer means or how I manage to make money online. They only know to ask me for party once I close a big deal. we all meet at Facebook but have common conversations, they aren't Interested or ask me how to make money and I like it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Bsperling
    Friends that have grown up thinking of the only way to make money is to go get a job and do nothing elsebut that job im very vague and if they probe me more i ask them if they want to start a business so they can work for themselves. My business oriented friends im pretty open to what things i tell them.
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    • Profile picture of the author Japles
      Originally Posted by Art of Marketing View Post

      Some people actually think that a JOB is security and online living is temporary....I just have to let them unless they have a real desire to learn.


      -Art
      Thanks Art. My thoughts exactly. People have been brainwashed into thinking that working for someone else and helping them fulfill their dreams and goals is more sustainable and secure than going down their own paths.

      But you can't fire yourself
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    • Profile picture of the author rmolina88
      Originally Posted by Art of Marketing View Post

      Some people actually think that a JOB is security and online living is temporary....I just have to let them unless they have a real desire to learn.


      -Art
      My roommate just lost her job the other day, so that's proof right there.
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      • Profile picture of the author LindaC
        Hi Tiptophat,
        Lindac here.

        I'm always eager to help my family and friends
        Learn to earn online.

        Remember the saying (what goes around comes
        Around).

        Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. Teach your
        Family and friends to fish and by making good decisions
        they can eat for a lifetime.

        My Best 2 U,
        LindaC
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  • Profile picture of the author Bhekizwe
    How much of your online world do you share with your offline friends?
    Little.only with those receptive to such IM ideas

    Do they know what it is that you actually do online?
    Yes. they do.

    What is their reaction to the way you choose to make money?
    Many don't understand.Some are skeptical.Others are just dream stealers "get a real job", "if IM was.......blah,blah.....everybody would be doing it"
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  • Profile picture of the author rohit36
    you are asking about friends ?? even my parents don't know exactly what I am doing online but enjoy when I spend money on them that I make online

    They also don't understand much about IM, I have told my friends that I am a web designer (That I am) but they don't know anything else (all IM stuff) but I enjoy it
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  • Profile picture of the author dancemaster
    I get that alot,because I have been in alot of mlm`s in the past.I`m a member of NFL no friends left .your family and friend wont join.Find new poeple to share with,becuse they dont judge you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Osman_M
    There is not many people that know that I'm involved with internet marketing. Having said that the ones that do know are honestly intrigued and want to know more. Everybody deep down side would love to gain income from other sources rather then working a job so hence they become keen once they find out you are actually trying to achieve that dream.
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  • Profile picture of the author twinkenterprises
    Part of it I don't tell my friends because it's too hard to explain. They all know I somehow make money online, some know more then others because they want to know. A lot think that even the reputable things that I'm getting money from (sites i promote, affiliate programs) are some kind of scam that if they tried it wouldn't pay.
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  • Profile picture of the author highincome
    Most all of my friends know I earn money online. But they don't really understand how. Most of them react with the sense that it's good for me, but they wouldn't want to learn how or spend the time that it takes to make money online.
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  • Profile picture of the author reclark
    Hi Victoria,
    Ruth here.
    You already know how my family reacts. Very supportive, although recently I've noticed they don't mind interrupting me at any time of day when I'm working, whether by phone or in person. The reason is always unimportant and could have waited.

    So, I'm guessing that they are lovingly humoring me, and showing respect for their mother and grandmother. The friends...haven't mentioned it to them. Not sure why except that we don't see each other and it's difficult to explain in a short email.

    I'm glad you did this. It's good to enter into the WF discussions. I haven't done that until now. I was waiting until I had more knowledge. Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author Tiptopcat
      Originally Posted by reclark View Post

      Hi Victoria,
      Ruth here.
      You already know how my family reacts. Very supportive, although recently I've noticed they don't mind interrupting me at any time of day when I'm working, whether by phone or in person. The reason is always unimportant and could have waited.

      So, I'm guessing that they are lovingly humoring me, and showing respect for their mother and grandmother. The friends...haven't mentioned it to them. Not sure why except that we don't see each other and it's difficult to explain in a short email.

      I'm glad you did this. It's good to enter into the WF discussions. I haven't done that until now. I was waiting until I had more knowledge. Thanks.
      Thanks Ruth,

      The one negative thing about working online is that people don't care about interupting your time because they think you are at home playing online computer games or something.

      Glad you left a comment - it is a great idea to pose a question here just to gain another point of view on a topic. All opinions are valid and you don't have to agree with the status quo
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Burritt
    My Dad thinks it has something to do with building websites.


    Which of course it does.
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  • Profile picture of the author RachelLily
    Most of my family and friends know. They think that working from home is something that can be easily done. Thus, one of the biggest challenges for me is staying productive.
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  • Profile picture of the author CandyxLand
    I would say that the majority of my friends have no conception of what I do, except that it vaguely involves a website (as other people have said.) I do not think that they are very interested in it, and I generally do not bring it up. I would say that the best way to describe their reaction is "wtf." I do, however, have other friends who are quite interested in it and wish that they had the time to learn more about it. I suppose I enjoy those conversations because they make me feel smart, but they are sort of one-sided: them asking questions and me answering. C'est la vie.
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  • Profile picture of the author pdrs
    Real World? Friends? What are these things?

    all kidding aside, my "real-world" life and my "online" life are quite separate and I prefer to keep it that way. My buds and my folks/gf know I make a living online but I mainly tell them that I do web-design which seems like the easiest thing to say (and is true to a point), they accept it as normal and carry-on, I've always been a "computer guy" in some sense or another so it makes sense to them. My dad is always a bit more curious than the rest and probably has the best understanding of a lot of what i really do, he always wants to know "how the business is going".
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  • Profile picture of the author Schmitz
    Banned
    Yes,they know everything. Nothing to hide here!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sam Mann
    Not much. Very very little. It's very hard to tell them what we do lol. All they know is that, I am doing some really weird stuff online and parting everyday offline....
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  • Profile picture of the author clg21
    hey,

    personally I would tell them about my online business however I would not advice to tell them everything. You can tell them half of it so they can give you referrals and advices but you should not tell them how much you earn because they might want to compete with you.
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  • Profile picture of the author alvinchua91
    They only know I have a fat loss website. They don't even know exactly how I monetize it.

    Like what someone above mentioned, they don't care; until you start driving ferraris and lamborghinis. Then you can be sure as hell they will bug you to teach them.
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  • Profile picture of the author ange3262
    I don't tell them because they wouldn't understand it anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author markobrien
    I'm vague about it like someone else said when the wealth starts showing, the questions may be more pointed.
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  • Profile picture of the author RockNRolla
    I tell my friends pretty much anything they ask. My group of friends don't understand it at all though so it kind of becomes a waste of time even talking to them about it.

    If I had a tenner for every time one of them said they would like me to teach them, only to never hear any more about it, I'd be loaded.
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  • Profile picture of the author Moneymaker2012
    internet marketing is a different world, when you join, you don't find enough time for yourself, or tell others about you do. None of my friends know any detail of my work they only know that i am making good money.
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    • Profile picture of the author PazG
      My go to answer about what I do is 'I run an online advertising company' and I leave it at that. I tend not to go into details, some people seem to think that I am obligated to teach them how to make money online. When I refuse, their sense of entitlement comes to the fore, like I am somehow in the wrong. Just my personal experiences though, they have been overwhelmingly negative. I also prefer to remain a mystery
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  • Profile picture of the author kencalhn
    they don't understand, so I keep virtually all my online empire stuff to myself when around people in the real world... like that song "parents just dont understand", it's like "real world people just don't understand" this whole internet online thing much, even after all these years... a "check out my facebook page" is about as relevant as they can "Get".

    after being online fulltime for 12+ years, I don't even bother trying to explain to people. if you say you make a living online they'll say "oh yeah, like ebay right? my aunt betsy sold some stuff there".. lol and true
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  • Profile picture of the author NTeddy
    Well, my offline friends know nothing of me doing online marketing. My family just know that I'm doing some online related stuffs. And when, I'm at home doing my online stuff they will just think that I'm playing computer games.

    Just as Victoria mentioned I get interrupted frequently and when, I said I'm doing online marketing they won't believe me .

    Only after, I showed them my results then, they started to believe me.
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    • Profile picture of the author cebrg1
      Only in the vaguest terms possible to friends of mine and people I work with know what I do online, unless I know they are interested and even then I tend to test them out at first. This probably stems from the fact I've been in MLM and anything that isn't accepted by society at large, like working at your computer instead of for someone else, gets ridiculed. If I tell people I have my own business, THAT they understand, but it's a double edged sword. There are times I want to explain it to them (though I know they won't understand) and then there are times when I'm glad I feel anonymous.
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