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The dirty little secret behind successful online businesses

Updated: May 21

My social media feed is filled with online course creators, marketing funnel strategists, and coaches of all walks of life. Thought leaders with quippy memes, inspirational posts, and now TikTok videos run rampant across my screen, following me everywhere I go online. Marie Forleo pops up when I'm diagnosing myself on WebMD. Donald Miller emails me every morning. Amy Porterfield is encouraging me to quit my job and become my own boss in just a few easy steps. Jeanine Blackwell wants me to join her bootcamp to learn how to generate 6-figures with an online course.

Udemy has over 150,000 online courses available on everything from how to meditate to doomsday prepping (both of which are probably smart things to learn right now). There are more and more people getting into this online entrepreneur space because there's a desire to learn skills from people who have been in the trenches and have done the hard work so you don't have to. Sounds appealing, right?

People like Marie and Amy and Stu McLaren have built multimillion-dollar empires showing people how to create and sustain successful online businesses. They make it look sexy, polished, appealing, and so very easy. They're continually upbeat and genuinely excited to share their knowledge with you. They're certainly not afraid to have you join their world. Their mantra is: the more, the merrier. This is in direct opposition with the traditional business world where it's dog-eat-dog and lots of fighting for market share. They are, by all accounts, very successful and loving every minute of it. When you see this, you want it all for yourself and are wondering what sort of blood sacrifice you have to make to get a taste of it too.

That's why I want to share their dirty little secret to success...

They are willing to fail.

Type-A people like me probably cringed when reading that. But it's true.

They are willing to jump in and figure it out. Almost no one gets anything right the first time they try it. The world of online entrepreneurs is not something you will learn in college. You have to get in there and experiment. And that you will probably fall down, get yourself dirty and bruised up.

The big difference between a traditional job and being a successful digital entrepreneur is mindset. The most successful entrepreneurs have an adventurous spirit. They see this new journey as an experiment. They don't expect that their first foray will be an overnight success. (In fact, Amy Porterfield just did a podcast episode about the myth of an overnight success). They seek to keep the atmosphere light, filled with curiosity. They hustle. They experiment. They use rejection as fuel. They are students of their craft. They want to serve. They do the work.

When I work with entrepreneurs, I always ask them WHY they want to create an online offering. In most cases, it's because they are subject matter experts who want to help more people be successful. They're often limited by the number of hours in a day, so creating something online will help them serve more people more efficiently. This is a strong reason to create a business. If your goal is to simply make money, people will feel it and it will be harder to get them to buy in.

With a strong "why" at the heart of your business, it becomes easier to rope in people to help you with the HOW portion. This is where you can bring in writers, videographers, designers, etc. Or, you can try to learn it for yourself. But you are responsible for the vision and ensuring that the content stays true to your "why." You are responsible for taking the steps to make your dream a reality. No one will ever love your idea as much as you do, so take ownership in it and get involved. Don't be afraid of what you don't know... dive in there and figure it out. Ask questions, Google things, request informational interviews with people you admire, start putting out content even if it's not perfect. Play, test, try. Don't wait around for someone to give you the green light. Set your mind to the idea that it will probably take you a lot longer than you think before you feel successful. Be ok with the idea that you will probably fail a lot before something strikes. In short, have an entrepreneurial mindset.

There is no one stopping you but you.

Blog - The dirty little secret behind successful online businesses by Christine Day

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