|The 10 Most Popular Myths |
About Running A Home-Based Business Online
© 2002 Elena Fawkner
Several weeks ago I finally took the plunge into the world
of network marketing. I had been running an online business
for almost three years by then but knew that I would
have to make the leap to network marketing at some point
since it was such an obvious fit with Internet marketing.
And I haven't been disappointed.
One thing did surprise me though -- the number of people
who approached me about my network marketing business,
interested in running their businesses exclusively online, but
with the mistaken belief that it would be somehow easier
and less expensive than establishing and running a home-
based business offline.
Well, let me tell you, there's nothing easy or inexpensive
about running a home-based business - online or off. The
Internet is just a different way of going about it. And that's
Here's my top 10 myths about running an online business
(and in answer to the missing Myth#11, NO, you CANNOT
run a serious online business with WebTV - get a REAL
MYTH#1 - It's Easy, Anyone Can Do It
FACT - It's not easy, by any stretch of the imagination,
and no, you may not be able to do it.
Reality is, establishing an Internet business is a long, slow,
frustrating process. Your first attempt at creating your
own web site will be an abomination. You'll look back
at it in 12 months and shudder. I know I did.
You'll feel utterly overwhelmed by the sheer amount of
information you need to absorb. And the fact that six
different "experts" each tell you six different things
doesn't help. (There are no "experts", by the way, just a
lot of people with a lot of opinions. Bottom line? Do what
works. For you.)
The only way to learn is by trial and error. Some days you'll
feel like you're on a roll, the next you'll feel like you're
backsliding and FAST. No sooner do you manage a
respectable ranking on Altavista, than your Yahoo listing
disappears altogether, and where the hell did that number 5
listing with Google go?
After spending an ENTIRE DAY trying to work out what's
going on with your search engine listings, giving up, going
searching for yet another "expert" to tell you what you're
doing wrong, finally realizing there is no such expert and
you're going to have to learn how to do it all yourself after
all (dammit to hell!) you suddenly realize that you've done
absolutely nothing all day to promote your business and you
still have to write the article for this week's ezine which has
to go out tomorrow but you can't work your business
tomorrow because you have to go work at your J.O.B. ....
Many, many people, give it up. Most, probably. It's hard
work and it's frustrating. At the end of the day, most are
just not prepared to do what it takes.
MYTH#2 - I Can Get Wealthy Overnight
FACT - The only way to get wealthy overnight in this world
is to win the Lotto. Period. It will NOT happen on the
Internet. Not these days, anyway.
MYTH#3 - Once I Build My Website I Can Relax And
Let It Do the Work For Me
FACT - Hah. See Myth #4.
MYTH#4 - Once I Build My Website The World Will Beat
A Path To My Door
FACT - No. It won't.
Merely creating a web site and uploading it to your host's
server means that your web site is available for viewing by
*those who know it exists*. Only problem is, you and your
web host are the only ones who know. And even your web
host doesn't care (at least as long as you pay your monthly
You now need to submit your site to the search engines
(no, they will not just find it automatically and no, your
web site is not just automatically added to some great
universal Index once it's uploaded). Then you have to wait
several weeks or months to find out whether it's been
indexed. And if by some miracle it has, where and for what
keywords. And then fix it.
In the meantime, you have to drive traffic to your site via
other means. You'll need to submit it to directories,
negotiate reciprocal links with other complementary web
sites, start publishing a weekly ezine (electronic newsletter)
and start promoting that to start developing your own
opt-in list, start writing articles and submitting them wherever
you can (including a link to your site in the resource box at
the end is good free advertising) and, shudder, advertising.
And not in the FFAs and free classifieds either. In other
people's ezines. On other people's websites. In the
classifieds section of newspapers (yes, the kind that leaves
black stuff on your fingers when you read it). All of this
costs money. Plenty of it. If you're running a network
marketing business, you're also going to need to pay for leads
during this period as well.
MYTH#5 - I Don't Have To Spend Money To Market My
FACT - Yes, you do.
You wouldn't expect to be able to market an offline business
without financial outlay. Well, guess what? It's just the same
in your online business. See Myth #4.
Oh, and by the way, when you're re-reading Myth #4, keep
this in mind. You haven't made a dime yet.
MYTH#6 - I Can Put the Whole Thing On Autopilot And
Make Money While I Sleep (Or Vacation)
FACT - True. To a point.
By automating as many of your tasks as possible you
necessarily free up time to do other things. You COULD
use that time to sleep or vacation and you MAY make money
while you're sleeping or vacationing. THIS time. But you
must sow before you can reap and if you're not continually
planting and growing your business, the time will come in the
not too distant future when you have nothing left to
harvest. You'll wake up one morning and find that, far from
filling your inbox with overnight orders, your business has
bitten the dust.
So, instead of taking that freed up time and spending it
sleeping or vacationing, spend it working your business.
In other words, you'll get out of your business precisely
what you put into it. Just like anything else in this world.
Funny about that.
MYTH#7 - I Don't Have To Deal With People, I Can Do
Everything Via Email
FACT - Email is what you use to handle routine administrative
issues and a tool to get prospective customers or networking
partners to contact you. Once that happens, you take the
relationship OFFLINE. You get on the phone and actually
TALK to these people. The Internet is not an iron curtain
that protects you from having to have real life conversations
and relationships with people. It's just a tool that brings you
together so that the real work of establishing relationships
can begin. Offline.
MYTH#8 - I Will Be Able to Fire My Boss And Work Where
I Want, When I Want ... In Six Months Or Less
FACT - Don't give up your day job just yet.
MYTH#9 - When I'm Working For Myself From Home In
My Online Business I Will Be Able To Spend As Much Time
With My Children As I Want
FACT - When you're running a business you're running a
business. It's not a pleasant little hobby that you fit in
between the stuff of your REAL life. If you're not going
to run your business as a business, forggeddabouddit.
MYTH#10 - The Internet Is A Magic Wand
FACT - See Myths#1 through #9.
** Reprinting of this article is welcome! **
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Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ...
practical business ideas, opportunities and solutions for the
About the Author
Hello, and welcome to A Home-Based Business Online.
I'm Elena Fawkner. An attorney in my real life, I relocated
to Los Angeles from my native Melbourne, Australia, in July 2000.
Before the move, I worked full-time as a corporate lawyer in Australia
and had been running AHBBO, dedicated to work-from-home
entrepreneurs, part-time since July 1999.