When I started working online back in 2013, I was super green (but aren’t we all in the beginning – maybe not everyone). I fell for so many tricks, marketing tactics, gimmicks, and craziness that goes on out there.
I’d like to say that I’ve learned a thing or two since then, but sometimes I still catch myself falling for some crazy ass stuff. Que super slick marketing copy here. It’s very tempting to get caught up in the Shiny Course Syndrome that so many people who work online have.
I’m getting a little better at all of this, though.
There are still some things I wish I’d have known before I started working online, though. The thought flowed through my mind a couple of times as I was questioning if working online was right for me (note: it is and always will be, but that’s another post).
Let’s get started, shall we?
8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Working Online
#1 That I’d Be Stressed A Lot
Ok, most of this is self-induced, but still. I tend to stress out easy anyway, and working from home hasn’t changed that at all.
It might seem glamorous to be able to set your schedule and wear what you want, but news flash – it’s not. There are days where I might not even get out of my pajamas or wash my hair (gasp!). Other times I might neglect work, even when work needs to be done, simply because I’m the boss.
I learned something along the way, though:
Automation is a big thing I needed but didn’t know about until way later. I wish I knew about it at the beginning. By automating certain things, like social media, it can save you a whole heap of time and sanity.
My stress levels have dropped slightly, but it’s a daily struggle. For real.
#2 That I Would Change Business Ideas a Million Times
Before I started working online I wanted to be a school teacher, but that changed when I started substituting at an elementary school.
Since starting online, I may not have changed my business idea a million times, but sometimes it feels damn close.
I keep having people tell me, “your business is a living breathing thing, and it evolves with you.” And, to that, I say, “I must be one evolving mother effer!” (excuse the language)
This isn’t to say that I haven’t considered doing a million other things – because I have!
You know the whole “the grass is always greener” thing? Yeah, I’ll tell you more about this later, but it totally messes with your brain when you see others rockin’ out with their socks out, and you’re over here dilly-dallying with the rest of them.
I’ve gotten used to it a little by now, but there are still times where I’m like, “OOO, I can totally make money doing that!”
Is that just an entrepreneur thing? They’re all about making money from different avenues, right? I like to think so at least.
#3 That I’d Become Addicted to Courses (my fault)
A mentor and good friend of mine, Megan Hale, had me sit down and list out ALLLLLL of the courses I had bought over the past 3-4 years. To say I was surprised was an understatement. Probably the understatement of the year.
What’s bad is that the list of “have not finished” far outweighed the “finished” list O_O. Not cool man.
It’s an addiction that started when I started working online and is slowly stopping now. I could have stopped it sooner, but I was in denial.
Not only that, she challenged me to complete them and not invest in anymore. (Sorry Megan, I failed at the not buying challenge!)
There are so many courses out there now, and what’s bad is countless more keep cropping up. Don’t fall into the course buying rut. Please! Take it from someone who’s been there and is being more and more cautious with course buying. Truly, I am. I only buy it if I know it will drive my business forward.
- Email marketing help
- Social media growth help
- Traffic growth help
Those are the categories I’m looking at, and if they’re regurgitating what I know it gets left behind.
Pick your top 3 areas (no more) that you want in regarding your business. Start there and then expand once you’re golden.
#4 That It Would Be Life-Changing
Wowzers! Working online is like entering another dimension. I swear it’s amazing to me all the different things that go on in a virtual business and how they compare to a brick and mortar company.
Did you know that you can make $15-$50 an HOUR working virtually?!? It’s crazy!Of course, you’ll have to pay for your taxes, but you can also write things off.
Of course, you’ll have to pay your taxes, but you can also write things off. That’s a plus in and of itself. Business write-offs make working from home super awesome.
Working in pajamas and on my own time is nice too.
But, those don’t top the biggest life-changing thing – the community.
Some amazing people work virtually around the world. They’re kind, amazing, helpful and so much more than I ever expected.
You’ll still find your bad eggs in the virtual world, but more times than not they won’t be around long. If people don’t like you, they won’t buy from you. Plain and simple. If you’re not making sales, then you won’t be around long. Again, plain and simple.
You’ll also grow along the way. I started growing in my first year working virtually. The expansion was crazy hectic, scary, and amazing all at the same time.
#5 That I’d Feel Like I Was On A Roller Coaster Ride
The roller coaster is more emotional than anything. I also didn’t know I’d have two kids on this journey and that during the first year of my second child’s life that my husband would be deployed. Kinda threw me for a loop.
There have been many ups and downs along the way, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
The high points more than makeup for the low points, because during those low points I’ve been carried and helped by some of the most amazing women I know.
When I started working online the roller coaster became something I would try to analyze and anticipate. That doesn’t always work though. Sometimes you just have to sit back and try to enjoy the ride as best you can.
Best thing to help? Self-Care!
#6 That I Would Meet Some Amazing Folks and Some NOT So Amazing Folks
I’ve been in some of the most amazingly active communities around the internet the past 3-4 years. Some of the most helpful, positive, radiant, generous, kind, loving and awesome people you could ever want to meet.
But, there are also some not so awesome people I’ve met along the way. Some are still in business, and some I just quit following.
It’s amazing to me that some people would love nothing more than to trample on the successes of others. This is not the way to act, and they’re only hurting themselves in the end because others take note of that and will remember.
And those amazing people, they will help you out whenever you need it. The.Best.Feeling.Ever.
Find a community of people who are doing what you’re doing or want to be doing.
#7 That People Try to Rip You Off With Crap Products (shouldn’t this be common sense for me by now)
You’d think I would know before I started working online that people can be ripoffs! Maybe I’m just oblivious, though.
Online, everyone thinks their course/eBook/audio/product is a gift to the world, and that people should pay for the perceived worth of the course/eBook/audio/product. It’s not a bad thing until it is. The sad thing is they’re not all created equal, and not all products are great and worth their price tag.
I’ve bought some things that far exceeded the cost associated.
I’ve also bought things that were highly overpriced. This is probably why I’m still procrastinating on creating a course or eBook.
Sure, no one would have my unique spin or knowledge tidbits, but I also don’t want to regurgitate what others are saying for the sake of making money.
Don’t hop on the creation bandwagon if it’s regurgitated!
#8 That Life Is Only As Great As You See It (“grass is always greener” kinda thing)
The grass is always greenest where you fertilize it. I learned that the hard way.
The grass may very well be greener on the other side, but it’s probably because they fertilize.
When you start comparing yourself to others (because it happens to the best of us) just remember that you don’t know everything they’ve done to get to that point. You may not know the entire story – even if they “tell it.” I’ve found that very few people will disclose the hard parts of how they got to where they were.
All those failures that lead up to the breakthrough are there hiding in their mind, but they’re not ready to admit them. It might have taken me a while to realize this, but once I did it was so much easier to start fertilizing my own grass.
Things I Recommend:
I use Tailwind to schedule out all my pins for the month. It takes a few minutes to get them all scheduled and I’m done. In the dashboard, you create the schedule of how many pins you want it to pin each day and then you can source them from Pinterest or even websites to save and schedule. I’m creating a How-To post for Tailwind soon (maybe next week) so keep checking back.
I use BoardBooster mostly right now for its pin looping capabilities. It’s amazing in that it will take one (or more) of your boards and “loop” your pins from oldest to newest and then delete the one that’s not performing the best. I’ll be playing with this in the future and detail my strategy so you can copy it.
I tried to stay away from ConvertKit because Mailchimp is free and they just added in autoresponders, but ConvertKit is THAT much easier and better in my opinion. Again, I’ll be writing a blog on this soon. But, in short, you can email your entire list at one time vs creating multiple campaigns for different lists. They make segmenting and tagging a breeze. And, they make using content upgrades a no-brainer!
The best affiliate marketing training on the “market”. Michelle knows her stuff and has been doing this since like 2010. She grew her Aff marketing income to well over $50k per month and it keeps growing too. Check out her course and be sure to sign up for my email list below. I’ll be sending out discounts to my list that you might otherwise miss.
WHICH THINGS DO YOU WISH YOU’D HAVE KNOWN BEFORE YOU STARTED WORKING ONLINE? SHARE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
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