Starting An Online Business: Q&A
So, seems you’re thinking about starting an online business…
Let me just say, excellent choice. Starting an online business, leaving my corporate job, and moving abroad? Easily the best sequence of decisions I’ve made in my life, personally.
You should know, these questions below were originally published in my daily business newsletter. If you ask a good question that can be answered by an email, there’s a good chance you’ll get a response to your question, too.
The more intelligent, specific, and unique your question is, the more likely it is that I’ll answer and use it in a future email.
Alright, let’s dive in because I’ve got a lot and they’ll probably end up spanning multiple emails…
Starting An Online Business Q&A
“I am at a point where my mind is full of ideas to do this and that and it all evolves around starting an online business. Niche site, dropshipping, building my own graphic design website, freelancing. And all the different options that come with building a dropshipping store or a niche site. I have too many interests. And options are endless. But although I am aware that there isn’t a “right option” I am still in this analysis-paralysis mode where I over-think all the little things that don’t even matter in the end.
What’s the approach to get shit done in a situation like this?
I keep telling myself that I should start with anything and admit the fact that there’s gonna be obstacles and mistakes down the road, but it all boils down to the fact that (memento mori) we don’t have time and I don’t want to lose any, but in reality I am wasting every day that I do not work towards my goals of financial and location independence.”
It sounds like a combination of both paralysis by analysis and a bit of “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out) involved here.
Funny enough, the same thing happens to me, albeit in a different situation.
Every time I take a trip, I scour AirBNB over and over again. I look through nearly every damn page of the city I’m going into, and always have a difficult time making a decision. I don’t want to “miss out” on a better deal or a cooler apartment.
I waste a tone of time.
Now, this is important:
In business, the people who take action are rewarded. The reason is simple — to find success you must first fail — a lot. So it’s best to take action ASAP, fail a bit, and eventually you’ll hit on something. The simple laws of nature dictate that if you try enough different things you’ll likely find success.
My advice to this reader:
Start something no matter what it is. Draw it out of a hat if you so wish.
“I have a business question you may or may want want to field.
Your readers should understand by now, that selling is a path to freedom.
What we have not heard, (and maybe would put some people off) are some of the negatives, or challenges you face. In any endeavor, you should understand ALL of the potentials, good or bad.
When shippers have issues, this is screwing around YOUR customers.
Situations like this, etc…
Care to discuss?”
There’s a reason I stayed away from selling physical products for so long. I simply didn’t want to deal with the bullshit and hassle of it. At least, with my current business, if someone isn’t a customer, I can just ignore an email I don’t like or tell them to F right off. If someone wants a refund I press a button and that’s the end of it.
Whereas when you’re selling a physical product there is a lot more things that can go wrong. A person inquiring about something — you best be nice to them. They want a refund? You better handle it or you’re getting chargebacks.
You lose a lot of the control and power.
You got your suppliers, UPS/FedEx/DHL/USPS, and other potential hiccups in the chain.
It’s also easier to scale and therefore make more dough.
People are more likely to plop down $50 on some tangible, physical product they can hold in their hand than they are a $50 digital course. Think about when you go to a place like Target or Costco. You just grab everything and stick it in your cart. Physical products in action. Digital takes a bit more convincing.
Personally, I reached a very comfortable five-figure passive income number with my totally-stress-and-hassle-free businesses before I started reaching into this other realm of physical products. And, I’m glad I did it that way.
“hey Kyle. Really enjoyed those niche site video. Dope stuff. I got a question: for your site thisistrouble.com. What kind of platform are you using? WordPress premium/business? For someone who is just starting a niche site, which option would you recommend? Thanks”
A little unrelated to the niche, but how do you manage your time?
This is probably the biggest issue plaguing me right now. It’s not a lack of will or hard work, but simply time management.
How do you go about your business while still making time for other personal life stuff, like game?
Well, I’d start by looking in the mirror and asking yourself how much time you are truly utilizing in a day. There’s a good chance you’re wasting a good chunk of hours. Heck, I still do at times…
The biggest thing that has helped me has been to identify what is absolutely critical and essential to my business, and work on those things every single day — no exceptions to this.
In my case, that is:
- Writing the newsletter
- Publishing something to the main blog (usually 4-5x a week)
- Recording podcasts as necessary
- Assigning tasks to my VA that frees up more of my time
- Doing the things that “scale”. For a long time, this was editing/publishing articles on my niche site (outsourced most of that), and now it’s scaling up my Facebook ads on my Shopify store
Of course, these things can and will change over time.
Adjust as needed, but make sure you get those 5-10 really important things done every single day.
For those of us that know next to nothing about website development and/or blogging – and are interested in going down this route – where would you point us in order to get started and learn the fundamentals of website development?
“Where is a good beginners guide to understanding drop shipping in a linear manner?”
My friend James Holt’s “Start Dropshipping Stuff” — it’s pricey, but it’s extremely dense and about as “linear A-B” as you can get.
Keep in mind, you’ll need an additional $500-$1,000 to spend (read: LOSE) in ads alone to play the Dropshipping game, so factor all of those things together before you even think about enrolling in “SDS”.
If money is an issue, start with something else with low buy-in.
I will likely continue to update this post as the questions about starting an online business keep coming in.
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