3 Problems I Didn’t Expect to Face While Running An Online Business (& How I’m Navigating Them)

Being self-employed has its fair share of perks and pitfalls.

3 Problems I Didn’t Expect to Face While Running An Online Business (& How I’m Navigating Them)
Photo by Vlad Deep on Unsplash

Being self-employed has its fair share of perks and pitfalls.

Five months ago, I quit my 9–6 job to become a writer.

Since then, I’ve written hundreds of articles, dealt with sponsors and clients from across the world, and built a thriving online business from scratch.

It’s been one hell of a ride. If you asked me what I’d do differently if I could turn back time, I would say — absolutely nothing!

That said, though the ride of being self-employed has been incredibly fun, there are some downsides to it as well, which I hadn’t anticipated before. In this post, I’ve listed three downsides of being an online entrepreneur that I hadn’t expected, and how I’m navigating my way around them.

If you know a friend who has quit their job to pursue their passion, then read on for a unique perspective you can get into their mindset. If you yourself have chosen to pursue what fuels your soul’s drive, then I promise you, you’re not alone in your struggles. I’ve got your back. Now read. :)

1. Being self-employed is fun until…

You get an incredible idea at 12 AM, work on it until 2 AM, and are exhausted. Your body shuts down, reminding you that you need to sleep. But your brain is still buzzing with ideas, making it impossible to calm down and get some rest.

At times like this, you almost miss the predictability of your old 9-to-5 job.

Just kidding!

I wouldn’t trade the self-employed life for any job in the world!

Working on crazy ideas at midnight might be tiring, but it’s your idea, and working on it is still 100x more fulfilling than working on somebody else’s idea.

Do you agree? I’d love to know your thoughts on the self-employed vs 9-to-6 dilemma in the comments.

2. Your biggest enemy is you

20 days ago, I launched my first info-product: A 90-day guide on how to land high-paying freelance clients.

I didn’t know any web design.

I didn’t have any kickass marketing skills.

All I had was my knowledge and experience that comes from 13 months of writing for freelance clients. I put it all together into building the 90-day guide and then poured some extra love into it.

I was super worried about releasing it. I knew there were so many ways I could make it better, so many ways to polish and fine-tune it. But I also knew if I let my insecurities hold me back, the writers who struggle to find high-paying gigs will keep struggling.

As someone who has carved her own way, it’s my responsibility to give back to the community. And so, with all my fingers and toes crossed, I hit the “Publish” button.

The result?

My guide sold 19 copies in the first 24 hours and has helped 60+ writers since then.

The very first reviews were incredibly heart-warming. The people who used the guide have been messaging me to tell me how actionable it was and how they are already applying the steps they learned.

Imagine what would have happened had I let my inner critic from launching the product? So many writers wouldn’t have found so much value in it and got the courage to change their lives.

3. Your instincts would want you to settle for less

Whenever I’m building something new, my brain convinces me to write an article. For me, writing an article is easy. It’s what I’ve done since 2020. It’s comfortable, safe, and there are 0 risks.

But growth doesn’t happen in your comfort zone. I need to actively remind myself to stop writing and start building.

Every person has their equivalent of writing an article — something that you’ve done for so long, it doesn’t require much thought or effort. It’s fun to do easy, risk-free things.

But remember what Master Shifu said in Kung-Fu Panda?

“If you only do what you can, you will never be more than you are now.”

What steps are you taking to move out of your comfort zone? When was the last time you did something super scary that your brain convinced you 100 times not to attempt? Let me know in the comments.

Want to be a successful freelancer but struggling to find good clients? Check out my 90-day guide to finding your first high-paying freelance client. You’ll find 5 pitching secrets, 2 email templates, and a solid framework to get your freelancing career started.

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