Read this if you’re an online entrepreneur, writer, or freelancer.
A year ago, when I was still neck-deep in doubt about whether I should quit my 9-to-5 or not, if you’d told me I’d be writing an article like this 365 days later, I’d have laughed and called you crazy.
But if there’s one word I can accurately use to describe the mysterious ways the Universe works, it would be this: crazy!
I couldn't predict how life would look one year down the line. Neither can you. The only things in our control are our mindset, how we respond to circumstances, and how we push past the hurdles life throws our way.
In today’s article, I’d like to discuss the seven things I had to give up to build a seven-figure online writing business. These tips are valid for online entrepreneurs, writers, and freelancers. Read on, and don;t forget to let me know your thoughts in the comments. If you’d like to watch a more candid version of this in video format, here’s a link:
Before we begin, a disclaimer: When I mention seven figures, I mean seven figures INR, not seven figures USD. I still have a long way to go before making seven figures USD in a year, but if I keep going at the current rate, it will possibly take two years or less. Super pumped to see what miracles the future holds.
My life was filled with several excuses a few years ago.
Whenever someone questioned why I wasn’t pursuing my dream, I had a ton of excuses ready on the tip of my tongue, including:
- I don’t have time to work on my hobby,
- My pastime cannot be monetized,
- I’m not a good writer,
- It’s too late to start now, or
- No one will ever want to read what I write on the internet, etc.
Today, I’ve recognized that all of these were just excuses. There was no justifiable reason for me to listen to any of these things and let them cause hindrance to my life. And the moment I stopped listening to these excuses, both my career and life made a significant shift in the positive direction.
“I don’t have time.”
The truth is that I began my online writing career while working full-time and studying for my Ph.D. part-time.
I used to leave the office around 8 or 9 o’clock in the morning and return home at 6 or 7:00 p.m. Then I’d exercise, cook dinner, and take a shower. And, even though I was fatigued, I used to write for one or two hours before going to bed every night. I did this because I believed that writing online could result in something big and positive someday soon.
That’s why I used to put in so much effort to launch a writing career.
Of course, everyone’s life story is different. But if I can make time in such a demanding schedule, so can you. All you need to do is rise above your excuses.
“My hobby can’t be monetized.”
My retaliatory question to this excuse would be “How would you know if you’ve never tried?”
I know lots of people who make money from videos of generic things like filming while cleaning their house and putting it up on YouTube.
I know of a person who makes a living by live-streaming himself sleeping, and challenges viewers to make random noises to wake him up.
If people can do so many random things to make their hobby profitable, so can you. All you have to do is think outside the box and start publishing your work online.
“I’m not good enough.”
Being replaceable is common in the initial stages of your career. This is true across careers like musicians, photographers, or whatever your hobby is.
If you believe you aren’t good enough, that’s fine. Nobody’s good at the start of their profession. Every great artist or business starts from ground zero and makes mistakes along the way.
When you put your work out there in the world, when you create in public, you collect constructive feedback and use it to improve your work, that’s when you actually grow as a writer.
Nobody expects you to be flawless at the start of your career. You’re permitted to make errors as long as you’re willing to put in the effort to keep learning and growing.
“It’s too late to start now.”
Again, my question is, “How do you know if you haven’t tried any?”
Just as an example, there was no such career as a “TikTok influencer” a few years ago. But now there are millions of people in the world who make a full-time living out of it.
No one could have imagined creating short videos as a full-time career. These people became millionaire influencers by making films every day and posting them online. And their lives changed for good.
You never know when it’s too late until you start trying. If you want to develop a successful online business or an entrepreneurial enterprise, stop making excuses.
If you love writing, here’s an excellent resource to help you earn 4 figures USD every month by blogging about whatever topic you choose.
2. The need to fit in
When you’re in your twenties or late teens, you’re constantly under pressure to fit into society. There’s a persistent sense of wanting to be involved in whatever your circle is doing, hanging out, and having fun.
But if you want to develop a great online career, you must be willing to hustle hard. And if you want to hustle while you have a job, you must work full-time on weekends. There’s no other way to turn your passion into a profitable business unless you put in that extra effort and time.
Let go of the desire to fit in. Believe that one day all of your effort and hard work will be rewarded. Bid adieu to all your pals who love to party and have fun. You can have fun later in life when you’re wealthy and accomplished.
3. Getting affected by online hate
When you put your work in front of the world, you’ll undoubtedly receive a lot of criticism.
I’ve been writing online for about nine years. I’ve had a lot of weird texts from strangers all over the globe. From marriage proposals to death threats, I’ve seen them all.
But I’ve learned over time that you can’t allow these trolls to influence you. Most of the times, these are people who have nothing to do. They gain some sadistic satisfaction by showing others down.
If you want to succeed, you must develop a thick skin and stop being influenced by internet hatred.
All you have to do is concentrate on your work, maintain your shine, learn to ignore the negativity, and only accept criticism from others if it’s constructive.
4. Waiting for motivation to kick in
I won’t lie, my career took an exponential shift since I stopped depending on motivation to kick in for me to start working.
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing — that’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar
This piece of advice is so true!
Motivation never lasts, not for anyone in the world. It is their burning passion that ignites the fuel helping them stick to their work and become better than everyone else in their domain.
There are times when this passion can get extinguished too.
This is why it’s important to link your passion, your dream job, and your disciplined efforts with an end goal. This ensures that you stick to your goals and keep working until you achieve everything you want.
You must be disciplined because your passion for your profession may diminish one day, but if you have the right systems in place to help you see through the bad spots, no one can stop you from becoming a successful internet entrepreneur.
So, stop counting on motivation. Instead, create a system, develop healthy habits, and use your discipline to carry you through the early hustling phase.
5. Taking advice from people who haven’t done it themselves
When you need to take a bold move, like shifting your career and pursuing your passion, there will be a bunch of people who’ll advise you that you shouldn’t do it. If you ask them why, they won’t have any valid reasons to back their statement. They simply reflect their insecurities onto you, claiming that it will fail in a few years as you may lose motivation or might stop earning money after a point.
But the fact is that these folks haven’t done it themselves. Everything they say is based on their limiting beliefs. It has nothing to do with you as a person or your talents.
The only thing that matters is your belief in yourself. Stop listening to anyone who’s living a life that you don’t want to live.
6. Shunting off boring tasks upright
When I say boring, I’m referring to tasks that aren’t intellectually stimulating.
They are mind-numbing and make you want to give up.
But guess what? If you want to be a successful entrepreneur or businessman, you have to do a lot of things that are extremely boring, like:
- Cold emailing,
- Replying to emails,
- Social media engagement,
- Content scheduling, etc.
Even if you hire a virtual assistant or outsource this work, you must thoroughly review them before they go live. As a result, boring tasks will require a significant amount of time and effort.
If you try to avoid this tedious process by claiming that you’d only do what you’re enthusiastic about, you won’t be able to build a profitable business.
A large part of my online empire was built by completing such monotonous and uninteresting tasks. I wouldn’t be here talking to you today if I ran away from them and focused solely on writing.
7. Hoping to earn passive income right from the beginning
In the universe of online entrepreneurs, passive income is a myth, especially at the start of your career.
There’s a critical difference between passive income and scalable income. A way of looking at scalable income is: build once, keep marketing, sell multiple times.
Passive income, on the other hand, is build once, sell multiple times. The money you make from stocks or mutual funds, which you invest in today and don’t do anything with, is a great example of passive income.
The “passive” income you earn from selling books, courses, or having a paid community doesn’t come simply by building these products. You must devote a significant amount of time and effort to market whatever you build, thus increasing your community and expanding your network. All of these small efforts will help you scale up your income.
If you’re a new creator or entrepreneur who runs after passive income, please don’t start walking that road. The truth is that passive income mostly doesn’t exist in the early stages of your career.
Perhaps when you’ve been on your path for five years or longer, you’ll be able to make a truly passive income. However, if you chase passive income right from the beginning then you’ll be in for an unpleasant awakening.
So there you have it: the seven things I had to give up in order to earn seven figures online.
- The need to fit in. I chose to stand out instead.
- Getting affected by hate from online trolls
- Listening to people who haven’t done it
- Waiting for motivation to kick in. Instead, I built systems.
- Running away from boring tasks
- The hope that I’d earn passive income early on in my career. Rather, I started focussing on building scalable income streams (build once, sell multiple times).
I hope these facts resonated with you. If you have any questions regarding any of these stages, please let me know in the comments. I will gladly answer your questions.