3 Principles You Need to Launch an Online Business

While there’s no shortage of people who have “made it” online, a majority of self-employed folks find themselves on the first side of the wall. Every freelancer and entrepreneur I know works their butt off to make their dream a reality… but only few succeed. In fact, only 31% of freelancers make $75K or more per year. That means the majority of people trying to make it in freelancing aren’t necessarily reaching their goals.

If you’re in this spot and feel frustrated, I don’t blame you. After trying and falling on my face multiple times at this whole “online business” thing, I wondered if I was cut out for it, too. Heck, that’s why I’m writing this article: To tell you that I understand the place you’re in. It sucks to work so diligently while fate seems to have other plans.

So, let’s get real: What gives?

FURTHER READING: 3 Things I’d Do Differently if I had to Start Over

The Truth About “Making It” Online

Most freelancers and entrepreneurs DON’T create a luxury laptop lifestyle from their work, no matter what Instagram and YouTube try to tell you. 

Take it from me: When I took my first shot at entrepreneurship, I landed flat on my face! I worked hard, but the market said “no.” However, because I refused to give in, I eventually discovered some key principles that were crucial for climbing over the wall and creating long term success!

Listen to my story here: How I Turned $50 into $7,000 in 7 Days

So if you’re ready to draft your 9-5 escape plan and work for yourself, read on!

Three Principles that Helped Me More Than Anything

  1. The Power of 80/20

Known as the “Pareto Principle”, the 80/20 Rule states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your effort. 20% of salespeople get 80% of the sales, 20% of ads bring in 80% of the revenue, and 20% of freelancers are locking down 80% of the market. It’s consistent throughout nature and civilization, and it showed up plenty in my own story.

As I grew my businesses, I quickly noticed how a select few ads would generate most of the referrals and sales. This allowed me to replicate those, toss out the duds, and rinse and repeat. With enough repetition and showing up, my agencies slowly but surely grew, and before I knew it, I was making money online!

If you’re ready to implement 80/20 into your business, think of this way: Play enough, and you’ll eventually write that proposal, launch that ad, or make the call that makes ALL the difference. Don’t get obsessed over making every ad, call, or proposal successful… just keep playing, and you’ll eventually level up. Showing up really is half the battle… or should I say 80%?

  • The Tarzan Method

More work = more success and less work = less success, right? Wrong. It’s more complex than that… and that’s a good thing! Here’s why:

Trends shift, the economy ebbs and flows, and sometimes, you need to take a step back to see the forest through the trees. I learned this the hard way while I burned the candle at both ends, chipping away at a stone wall with a spoon. I assumed “success” was a straight line, but no matter how hard I worked, I used the wrong tool.

Here’s how you can trade in that spoon for a jackhammer: The Tarzan Method. Just like our jungle hero, we need to focus on taking the vines that are available to us, not just sitting in a tree waiting for the “perfect” swing to come our way. By thinking like Tarzan, we accept the zigs and zags that entrepreneurship brings, ready to adapt to whatever the market has in store.

My business grew tremendously by thinking this way, and I know yours will, too.

  • Relationships Return Results

Back in my early days, I underestimated the power of relationships. I convinced myself that I had to “make it” before I was worthy of meeting awesome people in my field. How wrong I was… it was the exact opposite!

Here’s why: Relationships return results. As I surrounded myself with entrepreneurs who knew more than me, I absorbed their wisdom like a sponge, even when I wasn’t trying to! Not only that, but doors flew open just by being in the room (real or virtual). On top of all that, I developed some lifelong partnerships and friendships that remind me why I love what I do.

So here’s my quick advice to you: Join Facebook groups, check out a local meetup, and reach out to people on LinkedIn. I promise those connections make all the difference.

FURTHER READING: How to Be an In-Demand Digital Marketer

Picture of Tom Gaddis

Tom Gaddis

Attended the School of Hard Knocks. A former restaurant manager in Oklahoma, Tom always wanted to be self-employed and free from the butt-smooching of the corporate world. He wanted success bad enough that he picked up his family, including two small children and moved to beautiful Maui, Hawaii. Starting from zero, Tom embarked on building a local marketing consulting business. And promptly fell on his face! It seems Hawaiians were lovely people, until you tried to sell them something! But he persevered and learned from his mistakes. Today he's arguably one of the most successful in his niche and expecting to grow over 100% this year alone.

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