There are no rules when it comes to starting an online business.
There is no “system.”
You can be 100% passionate about your topic, or you can just be interested in it.
It doesn’t matter.
There is no right way.
What matters is that you move forward, because it’s through action that you will figure out what works for you.
Experiment. Learn. Tweak.
Here are seven things nobody tells you about getting paid to do what you love.
1. It’s harder than you think
Actually building a business around something you enjoy takes blood, sweat and tears.
Reaching the point where you get paid to do what you love takes work.
But at the same time it’s glorious work. It’s not easy, but oh so rewarding it is.
You have to be stubborn and keep moving forward no matter what. I’ve had times when I’ve wanted to give up. But I keep going, because I can’t not do what I do.
There are no options.
I love this stuff.
2. You’ll want to give up
There will be times when everything you do seems to be useless.
You don’t make any progress at all. You want to give up.
But what most people don’t realize is that progress isn’t a linear curve going up and up and up. Most of your time will be spent on a plateau.
During those times, you keep showing up and putting in the work, because it’s going to take time (in most cases).
3. It’s going to take time
Patience is not my forte.
When I started, I thought I’d build an empire in a few months.
Looking back, that didn’t happen.
It took me about three years and a lot of wasted cash to finally discover what worked, and what didn’t.
However, I didn’t have access to all the information you do today.
I was also stubborn enough to try and do things on my own. I didn’t want to work with a mentor, but when I finally did, things took off.
4. Inner demons await
The internal journey is the biggest hurdle for most people.
It’s not that it’s hard to figure out what works. It’s that we’re held back by our fears, worries and other inner demons.
You’ll feel like you aren’t good enough. Not talented enough. Not smart enough. Not fast enough. You’ll feel like a fraud.
All of those things will bubble up.
And they’ll be the strongest when you’re close to success.
The way through is to focus on taking one step at a time. Don’t back down. Keep moving.
5. You have to find the intersection
Passion alone doesn’t pay the bills.
You have to find the intersection between what people are willing to pay for and what you want to do.
You have to deliver value.
If you aren’t sure how to do this, you can learn it in the Lifestyle Liberation Academy.
If what you want to do isn’t profitable, you have to be flexible. Find something that is.
Whatever you choose is not permanent. Life is fluid and always in motion. Pick something and start, because if you don’t, nothing happens.
6. You have to SELL
A business has to sell.
Without selling there is no business.
Selling can be done in an ethical and elegant way.
You’re not forcing people to do anything. You’re helping them improve their lives and take action. That’s what selling is about.
It’s about expanding people’s world-view, so they can reach their goals.
If you want to get paid to do what you love, you have to sell.
It’s not hard. It can easily be done in an honest way.
7. You don’t have to wait
Like Steven Pressfield says in his book, Do the Work, “You have to start before you’re ready.”
You will NEVER feel truly ready. There will always be plausible excuses.
Stop waiting and start doing. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the resources to do what you think you want to do.
Just do something.
Use what you have and take the first step.
If you want to write, then write. If you want to build an online business, don’t wait for perfection, just start a blog, create a product, fail, and learn.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that you can get paid to do what you love.
You can start an online business around a topic you enjoy.
But it’s not going to be easy. You have to be willing to start before you’re ready.
You could sit on the sidelines and come up with excuses, and look at everyone else doing what they love.
But do you really want to?
I don’t think so.
Think about what you can do today to move closer to your goals, and do it.
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Sarah Dauzat says
Thank you so much for the encouragement. I like the way you are firm and brutally truthful. I really need this now because I’m just starting as a blogger and I am literally freaking out. I have all those inner demons you’re referring to because I’m not much of a writer and I’m not an expert in anything. No worries…I’ll work at it.
One step at a time is key. Keep moving! 😉
Balisson yannick says
Thank you for this post, i recognize myself mainly in the last topic ” you don’t have to wait ” and it is a smash in my face. I had already read Steven Pressfield’s “The War Of Art” book and that was too a smash in my face….Sometimes we must be smashed several times before keeping courage to start doing.
I am a french reader of your website and i just want to say that it is always a great pleasure to read you. It is so a shame that no french blog same as yours exist in french language.
It would be a very nice idea to translate your blog in french version so your knowledge could be shared with so more many people speaking french. As you must know in many European french speaking countries things comes with 5 to 10 years late compared with english spoken countries…and it is so about the world of blogging, web business, and so on….
I think it would be a great opportunity for you to be known in these countries….
Tell me what you think about this idea….
With my best regards…
I’ve been thinking about translating my content. It’s something that will happen, but not something I want to focus on right now because I have my plate full.
TJ Miller says
Everything you posted in this is right on — I’m in the middle of it for about the 5th time for the same dream. It is a constant struggle. I have to push myself, and keep the faith, or I will never make it up the big hill. I’m a little further up the hill, but I’m not sure I will ever be able to coast on the other side of the curve. It’s all worth it.
Robert Chen says
Excellent truths Henri! Spoken like a true action taker. Keep up the great work!
Over the past few months of my life I have become a huge advocate for the “Just do something method”.
I realized back in September that I eventually wanted to start my own business. I spent months and months trying to figure out the perfect business. I had plans from opening up my own gym, starting an international exchange for students in the inner city, to language translation services.
But here is the problem: they were all ideas. To paraphrase the great words of Derek Sivers “execution with a good idea kicks the crap out of a brilliant idea with no action”.
I no longer beleive that we should start with a great idea the move forward. Now, I think all we need to do is start with an idea, take action, listen to the market, adjust, rinse and repeat until we have something viable.
This is why I started a blog a few months ago. I am reading books, taking courses and trying new things EVERY day to learn how to turn this into a business. I have learned more in the past month than I have in the last 3 years about running a business… And I am still in the midst of massive failures. I can’t even imagine the learning when I start to turn the corner.
Couldn’t agree with you more, Izzy.
Like Derek says, don’t try to start with version 10.0, start with version 0.1. Get something out there, take action, tweak and learn.
That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am at now, and that’s how I’m moving forward. So it works.
Nitin Aggarwal says
I agree that just thinking does not work. there will be time when we have to take actions.I started doing a lot of study related to the topics which i want to start but later i realised that i keep reading without realising that i am spending all my time in reading and not taking any action. So while knowledge is important it’s also important to start applying the knowledge. Biggest barriers to start anything is our own fear which stops us to take action. The best way to overcome with our fear is to start taking steps towards reaching our goals. Baby steps works as we are comfortable to make these steps. Also to make a weekly plan helps me to take action and achieve milestone.
A good rule to follow is to just learn what you need to know to take the next step.
Learn, take action, learn, take action. A simple, but powerful formula.
Mohamed Elbeera says
Thanks alot for the post. It’s very inspiring,motivating and what’s more important “realistic” I wish you a good luck. God Blessings :))
Same to you, my friend 🙂
Jamie Alexander says
I’m glad it takes years to get paid for doing what you love. It would be much harder if it was easy because of all the white noise of everyone doing it. And nobody would want a real job, lol.
M A Naseer says
Your approach seems to be very practical. In fact I am struggling for the past 3 years to find-out an activity that matches my passion and at the same time generate income. Recently I started baby-steps in an activity and hope the results will come at appropriate time. I firmly believe that start doing what we want to do, patiently waiting for response will pay dividends. Through your article I got moral support.
Glad to hear it!
Chris Gaynor says
Useful info here,
I always take action, small steps are best steps. I never thought I would be able to create a mobile app or have the idea for just one, and now, I’ve taken action, and created three, and probably could have another realistic four done by end of year.
This is the same for starting a mobile app business. Take small steps, get something out there, and then develop and learn as you go. That’s what I’ve done.
I got the chills as I read this. I like your straight forwardness and authenticity. This is the first article I’ve read in your blog and couldn’t wait to tweet it. Good job!
I felt so much lighten-up reading this post.
Yeah as you said, “there will be times when everything you do seems to be useless. You don’t make any progress at all. You want to give up”.. I really know how that kind of feeling.. I want to continue also.. Give-up is not an options!!! Thank you for this post..