What brings them to Internet marketing is the dream of owning their own online business that gives them the income, stability, and freedom to enjoy life without answering to a time clock, a job they hate or a boss they despise. They want the lifestyle . . . but with minimum effort put into the business that supports it.
Yet most start out down the path that leads them away from the lifestyle and in the direction of a business where the owner is like an indentured servant - bound by contract to perform personal service for many years into the future. They create a job for themselves which forces them to become a slave to their own business - one who is forced into long hours, boring daily execution in front of the computer, and doing menial tasks that they really hate.
I'm going to share a secret with you, one that will assure you understand the difference between a genuine lifestyle business and a business that is a "job" for the owner.
This secret to creating the business that isn't just another job actually has three components:
1- You must be fulfilled by what you do. You can't waste time, fill your day with busy-ness, or simply "show up" for another day at the computer. Yes, doing what you enjoy helps. Yes, dealing in business for which you have passion and experience is a good thing. But being fulfilled by what you do means you derive personal satisfaction, wellness, and excitement from your business. It means you witness or actually realize your hopes and dreams while in business. How do you do that, especially in a new business? You become fulfilled in the journey, you enjoy the ride. It's not about how much money you can make - don't focus on money as your ultimate goal. Derive satisfaction in the moment and don't stress over money.
"Hold fast the time! Guard it, watch over it, every hour, every minute! Unguarded it slips away, like a lizard, smooth, slippery, faithless, a pixy wife. Hold every moment sacred. Give each clarity and meaning, each the weight of thine awareness, each its true and due fulfillment." Thomas Mann, The Beloved Returns (1939)
2- Create a business that doesn't trade your time for money. Such a business can be a real challenge, especially in the beginning. Most often true lifestyle businesses require some heavy lifting up front, especially if you don't have money to invest in the business and its marketing. The point is . . . you only have so much time . . . so you can only trade it for so much money. The practical application of this principle is that you must find (or create) intellectual property, products, or automated services that you can trade for money rather than your time.
Remember that in a lifestyle business your goal is to conserve your own valuable time for things other than the business. If that's going to happen you've got to have something that can be traded for your customer's money. In my experience, having your own product(s) is the way to go!
3- The magic doesn't happen until the sale is made. You are a salesman, first, foremost, and always and you are in business to make repeated sales - thousands of them! What's the best way to do that? Leverage. You must leverage yourself as a salesman in order to extend your reach.
Automated selling systems and funnels are leverage. An army of affiliates are leverage. Hundreds or thousands of "entry points" to your business are leverage. Word of mouth advertising and social media sharing are leverage. Distributed articles, press releases, ebooks with links, and forum signatures are leverage. Take advantage of all of it if you can. Outsource marketing to competent help if you can. Do whatever it takes to sell using other peoples' time - not yours.
There you have it - the secret to creating a business that frees up your time so you can enjoy other pursuits.
The good news is . . . even if you currently are a slave to your business you can re-direct your effort to transform your time-based model to one of a lifestyle business with a little creativity and smart strategy.
I'd be interested in your thoughts or contrasting opinions.