I wish I would have started my online business sooner. I was so intrigued by the idea of having an online business that makes money while you sleep. The problem was that I didn’t know anything about it. Heck, I knew very little about computers or the Internet until 2008. I was quite late to the party. My family didn’t have a computer when I was growing up in the late 90s to early 2000s. I felt I had a disadvantage for being so behind the times. I thought, maybe I should leave that to others who are far ahead of me, and I’ll do something else. Boy, was I wrong! Now I hear people tell similar stories all the time. If you find yourself in this boat, here’s my advice to you:
Don’t procrastinate. Don’t feel like you’re not ready. It’s not ready, aim fire. It’s fire, aim, ready. Be bold and take the first action step towards your dreams.
My train of thought began to change after I joined a network marketing company that gave me an excellent book in the starter kit. That book was called The Cashflow Quadrant by Robert Kiyosaki. It took me from being a person who hated to read to someone who couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next piece of information that would change my worldview. It didn’t take long before that happened. I began reading anything I could get my hands on that would help me improve my life.
I went from struggling to read a single book to being addicted to learning, reading and listening to audiobooks. I knew I would write a book…one day. But I thought that day was far away. After all, I still had so much to learn. I thought I wasn’t worthy. I thought it would be something I’d do late in life. It’s actually kind of strange because that’s not really how I felt in other areas. For example, I was 18 years old when I was dressing up in my uncle’s old suits and shopping for 4-unit apartment buildings. That’s because after reading The Cashflow quadrant I started reading books about investing in real estate. I knew that four units would still qualify as residential property and therefore would be easy to obtain financing for. Anything over four units would have been considered commercial property and would have been much harder to get.
My Dad thought I was crazy because I still lived with him. He said things like, “Boy, you need to rent an apartment first. Then you can buy a house one day.” But I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to throw my money away towards rent. I didn’t even want to throw my money away on a single-family house where most of my mortgage payments went towards paying interest. I wanted to rent out three units and live for free in the fourth unit. That way I could save as much money as I could to put towards future investments. This is the type of invaluable insight I got from reading The Cashflow Quadrant.
I didn’t think I was too young to buy an apartment building either. Why I thought I couldn’t start a successful online business is beyond me. It took me three years before I reached my goal, mostly because I moved to Florida and started fresh. My first property had only two houses instead of four, but the rent from one house and additional rent from roommates covered all my expenses. A success! I got my real estate license shortly after that and became a Realtor. I was the youngest one in the office and already owned two houses while many older agents didn’t even own their own home yet. I didn’t see my youth as a weakness. I saw it as a strength.
The funny thing is, I didn’t really want to be a Realtor. I wanted to be an Author. I learned a lot from the books I had read and was excited to build up my residual cash flow. I wanted to create enough streams of passive income to support my moderate lifestyle. And I would have loved to have done it by creating information products, just like the ones that inspired me so much. However, because I felt I wasn’t ready, I postponed my dream. I tried other business ventures waiting on the day that I would become ready. And it wasn’t until all the things that I was doing came to an end that I realized I was in fact ready. But now that I look back at it, I was ready the whole time! There was nothing stopping me from sharing my message with the world except myself!
Pursued what I’m most passionate about in life
This kind of ties into the first one, but its importance can’t be understated. As the saying goes, “when all work is play, you’ll never have to work another day.” Follow your dreams. You have to do some soul searching first, before you discover what it is you’re most passionate about. And you have to find your passion before you should get started. As Stephen Covey said, “Don’t climb the ladder of success, only to get to the top and realize the ladder was up against the wrong building.”
Some people already know what they’re passionate about and what they want to do. And that’s great! But for those that don’t, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- If you knew without a doubt that you would be successful, what’s the one thing you’d want to do with your life?
- What do you do that brings you the most joy?
- Is there something that makes you come alive when you talk about or do it?
- If money weren’t an issue, what would you like to do with your life?
Your passion can make you lose track of time because time flies when you’re having fun. When you’re doing it, you may not feel any signs of fatigue because you’re so engrossed with what you’re doing. If you notice things like this about whatever you answered to the questions above, you may have just discovered your passion!
Paid someone to create my website
I struggled to build my own website in the early days. I listened to the audiobook of Multiple Streams Of Internet Income by Robert Allen and was convinced that online businesses were the future. Not only did I want a website, I wanted to know how it was built. That way I’d have an understanding of the process so I’d be one step ahead whenever I built another one.
After a while of seemingly beating my head on a brick wall, I broke down and offered to pay someone if they agreed to let me watch them as they were in the process of building it. Basically, I wanted to watch the process so I could learn along the way. Well, that ended up being a disaster. It was a great idea, but I pretty much got burnt.
I tried to pick up where he left off by continuing to build it on weebly.com. But after putting in a lot of time in it, I just wasn’t happy with the look of the site. I built dozens of pages and was very happy with all of the content on my site, but I never did much with it because one look at it and you could tell it was built by an amateur.
It took me about four years after that to learn WordPress and get my site where I wanted it to be. Instead of being cheap and not paying anyone, I should have paid the price to get it built because I’d be 4 years ahead of where I am now.
I’m telling you all of this so you don’t make the same mistakes I did. Figure out what you want to do. Find out what the first major step is that needs to be done, and take the first step towards accomplishing it, everyday doing one more thing to get you closer to your dream.
Cheers to the first day of the rest of your life.