Let’s face it: having a family is expensive. Babies need diapers. Kids need school supplies. Everyone needs food and a warm, safe home.
There’s a trick to money that is sometimes overlooked in financial advice, and it can change the way you think about money. Frugality has its limits because the ability to save money is dependent upon the amount of income you can make. At the end of a month, the amount that you can put into saving for your kid’s college is limited by what’s actually in your paycheck.
Here’s an example: If you make $3,000 this month and manage not to spend anything (which is very unrealistic), you still only have $3,000. More likely, you could earn $3,000 and be super-frugal and save $1,000 or less by the end of the month (depending on where you live and how large your family is).
The trick is to focus on more than saving money. You must make money, And making money is hard. Plus, it takes time to get started. How does anyone ever become a millionaire?
Jamie Tardy is an author and business coach who has spent years researching how people become millionaires. In her book, Eventual Millionaire, she shares many of her findings. They all can be boiled down to one common theme: Those who become millionaires start their own businesses.
Image via Amazon
Take this advice with a grain of salt: Not all businesses succeed, and not all business owners are millionaires, but a commonality among most people who become millionaires is that they find ways to create and grow businesses.
What do successful millionaire business owners have in common? They all tend to be the types who just keep trying and working at it. Tardy talks about this common trait of perseverance in her book. It’s titled "Eventual Millionaire" for a reason. It’s not about quick riches. The people she studied became wealthy gradually. Eventually.
Which brings us back to you. Maybe you want to be a millionaire someday. If so, that’s great. But many have much more modest goals than achieving wealth. You may want to afford a trip with the kids to Disney World, buy a bigger house or perhaps just enjoy the security of knowing that the kids will have a little help paying for college.
Whatever your financial goals are, the best way to ensure they come about is by starting a business. Becoming an entrepreneur allows you to earn extra income without requiring you to trade time for money or pinch even more pennies. Launching a business truly has the potential to change your life.
Here are seven secrets to starting an online business, making more money and meeting your financial goals.
Related Article: What Makes a Successful Online Store?
1. Start With An Owner’s Mindset
Before you actually start the business, you must start with a business mindset. You are taking ownership and responsibility for the business you make and the money you earn.
It’s a shift from being an employee—a role in which your job description and boss tell you how to spend your time. As an owner, you make choices, take risks and also get tthe opportunity to have a lot of fun along the way.
Your time is a finite resource, and trading time for money will always limit you. As an owner, your greatest challenge may be to move beyond getting paid for your time. If you’re working by the hour, then the only way to make more money is to increase your hourly rate. Owners don’t get paid by the hour—they get paid for what their company creates. Start thinking about yourself, your time and how you can earn extra income this way.
This is your owner’s mindset.
2. Commit and Start Now
There’s a lot to learn and do when you start your own business. Depending on your previous experience and knowledge, you might feel overwhelmed and be tempted give up before you begin.
You can do it—begin by making a commitment to taking action now. Building a business is like putting together a puzzle with a million pieces. It’s impossible to put it all together at once. But you might be able to find two or three pieces that go together. Start there—with what you know—and just keep moving.
Most businesses have to shift and change a number of times before they really start being successful. You may have to try a few different ideas before you find the one that sticks. If you plan for that possibility, you’ll be able to keep moving when it happens.
Changing what your business does (or how it does it) is much easier once you’ve already begun. Don’t try to figure out everything you need to know before you begin.
In fact, you can’t know it all until you begin.
Commit to starting and figure it out as you go. You can change things later. Your business is always a work in progress.
3. Find a Profitable Niche that You Love
Finding a niche is important in business. Your niche is a very specific need that you seek to meet. There are lots of different ways to make money online, but the common thread between them is that they are specific.
Your business should serve a very specific population and provide a very specific solution to a problem that that population wants to solve.
Let’s look at cooking blogs, for example. There are thousands of cooking blogs out there, so why would someone choose to follow one blog over another? Because that person is looking for specifically what that blog offers.
Here are some examples:
NomNomPaleo is Paleo cooking blog for families.
OhSheGlows is dedicated to plant based, dairy and meat free recipes—many of which are also gluten free.
Image via oh she glows
It’s no coincidence that both of these blogs are extremely successful. They each meet the needs of a very specific population.
So what is it that you want to help people with? How can you make it more specific and more niche? For further reading on the topic, check out this article on choosing a blog niche.
Related Article: 5 Tips to Finding Your Business Niche
4. Learn About Monetization Strategies
You'll find myriad options for making money through online media. As you start your business, move quickly toward monetization. What kinds of sales or subscriptions will constitute your product offerings?
Some options are:
- On-site ads
- Affiliate marketing
- Selling a digital product
- Selling a physical product
- Selling a service
- Selling a subscription
- Lead generation for other businesses
Every business has its own blend of these options. What makes the most sense for you will depend on the niche that you are hoping to serve and how you want to go about serving it. If you’d like to explore strategies in more detail, there’s a great overview of monetization strategies and their Pros and Cons over at StartupWithKids.com.
5. Work On It Every Day
As we’ve already covered, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by how far you have to go. Fight those feelings by committing to working on your business a little bit every day.
Treat your business like a marathon. You need to pace yourself. And, similar to training for a marathon, the more consistently you give time to it, the more successful you will be.
Carving out time to work on your business every day forces you take action. It’s easy to be indecisive about strategies and what to do next. Spend less time worrying and more time creating for your business and you’ll find what’s working best as you go.
The goal is to keep progressing.
6. Fake It ’Til You Make It
You’re not going to have all the answers when you start, so one tried-and-true approach is to "fake it until you make it." If you run into a challenge you have no idea how to meet, pretend you do know what you're doing until you figure it out.
And do it with all the confidence you can muster. It's amazing how often you'll find by the end of the "faking it" act that you actually did well enough that your colleagues and customers never knew you lacked knowledge.
One more thing: Don’t be afraid of your own lack of knowledge. Embrace the unknown as part of the startup process. You'll find there's plenty you can do even when you don’t have all the information that you wish you had.
One of the smarter moves you can make when you find yourself feeling ignorant or lacking in resources is to ask more experienced business owners for advice or guidance. For most of us, asking for this kind of help is a counterintuitive move—but it's one of the surest ways to invite those with the knowledge you need to invest in your success.
7. Don’t Quit
If there’s one true secret to starting a successful online business, this is it: don’t quit.
You’ll get discouraged. You’ll feel frustrated now and then, but don’t give up.
It’s okay to alter your focus a little or try different ways of doing business but don’t stop trying. Quitting is the one surefire way to guarantee you won't succeed.
Keep your business goals in mind, and trust that you can achieve them.
Related Article: Always Be Creating: How Successful Entrepreneurs Get Inspired
By now you should have a good idea of what it takes to start an online business. Income will be neither immediate nor easy, but starting some sort of website asset—whether blog, software subscription service, membership site, course or productized service—is the best way to reach your goals and create a good income from home.
It takes hard work to select your niche, figure out your monetization method, and get your product or service ready for purchase—but you should think of all that labor as an investment in your own long-term income and greater financial security.
So, what are you waiting for? It's time to commit to starting your business.