The internet is only going to continue to grow over the coming years. Men have dreams and fantasies of just a laptop and a beach full of stunning Brazilian women, with an endless supply of money coming in from passive income to foot the bill.
The problem is that there is a lot of bad information out there. Many people are out to sell their $5,000 online entrepreneur course and will sell every one of your dreams coming true if you invest in them. I’ll be the first to admit: I don’t know everything. But after three years of trying various endeavors online, I’ve finally found a system that works well for me. That’s not to say it won’t work for you, and no—I don’t have some super duper course that gives you all my secrets.
With that being said, in addition to what has worked, I’ve also found many things that haven’t. I’ve also found that there are some ways of making money online that I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole. So before you book your apartment on the beaches of Rio, or in the center of Bangkok’s nightlife to bounce Thai women home—make sure you read this whole article.
In the span of the last two years I’ve seen no less than three friends undertake this task and end up having to return to the corporate world.
The reason isn’t because the trading itself is technical. Far from the opposite, actually. Even the two whom I’d consider to be “non-technical” people said the actual trading itself isn’t difficult. The charts look like monstrosities at first, but quickly become manageable. The programs themselves are not much more difficult to learn than your average middle-end to advanced office software.
What seems to get everyone is the emotions involved. Losing $500 suddenly turns into $5,000 because it’s not easy to just walk away from losing $500. The end result is continuing to go further down the rabbit hole rather than just walking away (for the day).
The other emotion that’s easy to get wrapped up: that you don’t need much money. It’s easy to think that you can easily make $30 a day and live in a cheap place like Ukraine. However, it only takes one mistimed move to send you into losing $30 instead.
I always had an interest in doing daytrading eventually, but the horror stories I’ve been hearing have made me want to forget this. I’d much rather put a bit of money in to a mutual fund (or even BitCoin) from time to time rather than dedicating my days to the ups and downs of the market.
Seems a bit hypocritical considering I’m now making a full-time living off my own site. With that being said, I attribute the financial success of my own work to many things.
- Dedication—posting every single day, even as a one-man shop.
- Time—I’ve been doing it for over three years, and didn’t really make any money for the first 2+.
- Brand—putting my face out there made a huge difference.
- Luck—simple as that.
- Stubbornness—I frankly probably should haven given up sooner. I was lucky that I enjoyed doing it for free. Many other bloggers who were “up-and-coming” with me two years ago are now nowhere to be found.
It’s just the difficulty of blogging as a whole. The frustration. The days, weeks, months where you get fewer page views than your dog’s Instagram.
With that being said, I think everyone should have a website. I think everyone should practice writing. I also think small niche sites are a low time and cost investment that can result in a nice little piece of web real estate. And if they don’t pan out, you can at least get the experience of writing, design, and general business sense that will give you a leg up down the road.
#3: Freelancing (Long Term)
Here’s one I’m torn on. I do think that freelancing is the way to go, starting out. If you have $5,000 in the bank, no job, and want to move abroad—cool. You probably should start by freelancing, and not planning to build a passive income system before you run out of cash. That’s a lot of pressure and it may not be realistic in six months.
However, many people leave their corporate hellholes and become freelancers. Sure, they have a much more flexible life, but ultimately nearly everyone I meet who is freelancing has more negative than positive to say about it. I think freelancing is a great way to start and the money is guaranteed. Someday though, it’s likely you’ll burn out of it or hate it as much as you did your corporate job.
The one huge upside to freelancing: retaining clients. If you can get just a few clients who love you and want to pay you long-term to write, or maintain their website, you’re potentially in a great situation. You don’t have to take on the biggest time sink (finding the work) of freelancing. And you have guaranteed money. You can use that spare time to build the passive income streams that we all dream of.
Bonus Tip: If you end up going this route and do the conventional UpWork or Fiverr route, keep in mind that the beginning part is going to suck. It’s a numbers game, just like online dating. It will likely take you 20-25 proposals to get one measly job. Until you have 5-10 jobs (and feedback) done, you’re just going to be working for peanuts. Accept it as getting your foot in the door much like an intern. It will get better after that.
Every time I do a private consultation with someone, many come in to that consultation with a common belief that making money online is really hard. That’s because there is truly so much bad information on the internet. It’s just information overload, people have no idea where to start. It’s not difficult, per se. With that being said, a lot of it is just a matter of putting in the work. If you want to quit your 9-5 because you don’t want to work 8 hours a day—forget it.
Making money online, at first, is going to take at least those hours, or more. The nice part about it is that you can do it spurts. Work 14 hours a day for week, and the just a couple the next. It’s all up to you. Over time, you can reduce those hours as you have more authority, retainer clients, or passive income.
Starting out though, there really is no shortcut to just putting in the work.
To learn more about online business and web design, check out Troublesome Solutions. For more travel and nomadic life, check out my niche site (a good example of an online business I would pursue), Eastern European Travel.