Why building an online business is not easy

I was going to title this post “Why making money online is not as easy” (or even “not as easy as everybody wants you to believe”), but in the end I went for “online business”.


Because I wanted to emphasize that at the end of the day, you are building a business, not “playing around”. You have an investment (in time and money), expenses, risk… just as any other business.

When I got started (and especially after watching so many sales videos telling me how easy it was), I thought I could just work on it for a few hours, and everything would “click” straightaway.

Well, nothing further from the truth!

First of all, like with anything in life, there is a learning curve. And this is unavoidable. You will have to go through the four stages of competence. In the beginning, you will have no clue of what you are doing. At some point you will start thinking: “hey, I think I’m beginning to get it”, but a few minutes (or hours/days) later you will think: “I don’t have a clue about what I’m doing”.

And this is ok! This is perfectly normal, and you have to go through it whether you like it or not.

There is something else working against you: statistics.

According to Google, 8 out of 10 business fail. 90% of startups fail. 96% of business fail within 10 years.

What does this mean? Basically, that the odds are against you, and succeeding online is not the norm, but the exception.

Does this mean it’s almost impossible to succeed? I just said it’s hard, not that it’s impossible.

It will require a combination of hard work, resilience, focus and more hard work (ideally, a bit of luck too).

And then, as you are starting to see some light, you will get thousands of e-mails promising the next best thing. Try Facebook Ads/Adsense/Amazon/Pinterest/a secret traffic source/CPA/…

Then you would read stories about someone who got rich doing X. And you will want to do X. Then comes Y, and you think “ah, I should try that”.

Have you been there? I have, multiple times. And I still do sometimes. After all, we are all human.

Anyway, my purpose when writing this was not to discourage anyone, just to let you know that it’s going to be hard, but not impossible. And whatever you are going through, tons of people have been there, so it’s ok!

So after this philosophical post I’ll go back to more practical issues in the next days.

Let me know your thoughts!

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