NHA Lifestyle Blog

Is it the right time to start your own online business?

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I am now in Lviv, having left Kiev after a trip up to the Exclusion Zone in Chernobyl. From here I will travel into Poland and start preparing for an outdoor adventure but for now, I thought it would be interesting to address something which has been on my mind lately. You see, I think most people misinterpret what it takes to create an online business and as a result, they panic when things are not going to plan. For this reason, I try not to encourage people to jump right in and get started when they ask me for advice.  But why would I do this and what do I mean exactly?

How to make money online?

Every other week, I receive an email from someone wanting to know how to make money online. I’m not surprised by these messages as this was my own mission two years ago – to answer this same question. However, I get the impression people are often disappointed with my response and even annoyed when I fail to volunteer any ground-breaking information.

Now let me explain something, I also wanted to ask people for guidance starting out and so I do understand if people feel disappointed from my vague response when they do ask. After all, the prospect of making money online can already seem secretive and exclusive to people with a better understanding of the digital world.

Fox in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Time and sacrifice

The thing is, what people do not realise is that it is much easier for me to be vague, rather than tell people what they do not want to hear. Because the truth is, there are no secrets to starting an online business or becoming a freelance writer – there is only work and sacrifice. People who are willing to put in real work and make sacrifices will succeed. On the other hand, people who grow tired or frustrated with the process or time it takes to make things work, will fail. Boring but true in almost every instance and I have learnt through first-hand experience that the reason most people will fail is because they succumb to one of two things – excess or excuses.

Excess and excuses

I was quite lazy growing up and even in recent years but the alarming decrease in my bank balance began to change this unrewarding habit. When I started my online business, I put in more time and more effort and I made more money. When I stopped watching movies or sleeping more than necessary, I found more clients. When I stopped whinging about feeling tired, having no time in general or any other excuse not to work – I realized that willpower and persistence could make up for my lack of qualifications, experience or knowledge.

And then comes the excess. Money is something I have never valued or respected. I will admit to this being a very unrealistic and irresponsible way to approach the future but this is what happened and this was something I needed to change. If there is any secret in this article, it will lie in the fact that I have spent no money this year. Instead of opting for the safety of hotels and guesthouses, I decided to live in a tent. Rather than waste my earnings on clothing, fancy restaurants or excess of any kind, I gave up alcohol for one year and began limiting my spending to small luxuries such as a daily coffee or a hotel stay once every month.

Bumper Car in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

Vague advice and the quality of life

And you know what? The quality of my life has been pretty damn good these past two years. I have travelled more than twenty countries and even saved enough dollars along the way to hike the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail next April.

Anyway, this was how I created an online business with no experience or qualifications and I’m sorry to anyone who feels cheated in some way, to find out that there are no secrets involved. Because the truth is, there is only work and sacrifice and if this still comes across as a little vague, it may not be the right time to start your online business.

I'm an Outdoor Adventure Blogger from Dublin, Ireland. In late 2013 I began riding a bicycle across Africa and it was during this adventure when I discovered a passion for the great outdoors and the general uncertainty of life on the road. Next April, I am hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

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