light at the end of the tunnel

Light At The End Of The Tunnel

Motivation drain. Does this ever happen to you….?

Overwhelmed by challenges with both offline and online businesses – AND with family health issues – I recently felt less motivated and more challenged than is usual for me.

Maybe the challenges should have motivated me more. But they didn't. Probably because most were outside of my control and relied on other people taking actions. So I just felt buffeted about while others carried on with their own agendas.

Finally, I'm seeing light at the end of the tunnel – as various participants in my little dramas turn their own corners, letting me move on with my life… towards the light at the end of the tunnel.

Hopefully this story of how I have faced the challenges of starting a part-time online business will help anyone else feeling the heat.

Offline Challenges Couldn't Be Avoided

  • My Dad was ill so my sister and I, obviously, dropped everything and did what we could. Although nowhere near his former self, happily he's home and coping now. However we will both be doing a lot more for him going forward.
  • My largest offline business customer needed my input on software for their business that I couldn't develop alone. So I was reliant on outside skills. We're now moving forward with that, after a few tense months.
  • Solicitors wrangling amongst themselves delayed a family project. But finally they all got their opinions in agreement, so the family venture can now start.

Those challenges were outside my control – which is probably why I found them even more frustrating than the challenges I can control. Time to set priorities….

Dad, aged almost 95, was my top priority.

My online business is part-time while my offline business still generates the largest part of my income, so that must always come before the online.

Challenges Starting An Online Business

For those issues I have control over, my strategy was to choose between “Dump It, Delegate It, Do It“.

Dumping Challenges Starting An Online Business

  • For a few weeks I was working in an online group that wanted me to do daily Facebook Live Broadcasts. Quite apart from my reticence on video, who on earth has time to listen to more than – say – one a day, from your favorite marketer? I still see that group rabbiting away, but I don't listen. Many may laugh at me – but I was finding the peer-pressure to Do It overwhelming. Finally, I acknowledged how much it was upsetting me and decided to Dump It. Instant relief!
  • I have investigated a few automation tools, found them wanting or lacking in user-friendliness, so dumped them.

Delegating Challenges Starting An Online Business

  • With video, I added a little bit of Delegate It, as I asked a lady on Fiverr to create me a video from a PowerPoint presentation.
  • WordPress is a popular and stable blogging platform, yet I still hit more than a fair (to my mind) number of technical problems. Hackers cost me many hours grappling with damage I had no chance of fixing. Several moves to different hosting companies, and hours of blog tweaking, brought no improvement to my badly hacked site. Finally, in desperation, I decided to Delegate It and moved to Managed WordPress hosting where a thorough site-clean was free as part of the move. More expensive in $$ per month, yes, but it saved my sanity and hours of fruitless unrewarding slog. I would surely have deleted my blog before long without this move. You can read the story and meet the hosting company that saved my blog here.
  • WordPress scheduled posting and draft posts help me keep to my weekly posting schedule. Delegated to WP.
  • At one time I tried manually emailing my “list”, but anti-spam laws and common sense soon convinced me to Delegate It to GetResponse.
  • Social Media tool Buffer helps me keep a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn – Delegated to tools.

Handling Challenges Starting An Online Business: Do It

Blogging, per se, is just a platform to write about my online business and attract visitors who may be interested in my help starting their own online business.

If I had learned from someone else's mistakes, instead of making them all myself, I would have saved much stress, time and money.

That would have left me more time to “Do It“.

Creating new blog posts week after week is exhausting, and I don't always have the knowledge to write about something new and informative.

I delegated, and am now using a very special service to save time on my content marketing – click here to see the benefits.

So the question remains … what is my main online business, showcased within this blog. The answer is…

Multiple Streams Of Income

Past experience has shown me it's safest to have multiple streams of income. If one is “slow” (or worst case, collapses) you can work on another. Also, you can offer a range of products to suit different people's requirements.

Here are a few ideas and my thoughts on them: my rejected / selected portfolio.

Developing Digital ProductsRejected! This is NOT a method that suits me, partly because of lack of skills, and  shortage of time to learn them. Also my feeling that some Internet Marketing products “date” very quickly. (Unless you are a REAL expert in a very niche market – which I am not!)

Blogging – although not a main income stream, review posts generate a small amount of income sporadically. So far, disproportionate to the amount of work writing each review!

Instead:

Affiliate Marketing

Learn Internet Marketing

  • There are big challenges trying to make a living promoting low ticket affiliate programs. So apart from the occasional product review –  I Dumped this strategy.
  • The logic of High Ticket Programs in affiliate marketing is inescapable. Unfortunately the first High Ticket program I selected just hit delay after delay until I had no confidence to share it with others. Disappointed, I shelved the idea until I could find one that I could honestly recommend.

Update 2019: When I came back to Internet Marketing after my year off, I found this series of Internet Marketing courses that I heartily recommend to you. Whatever your needs there's something for you here.

Network Marketing

The most success I have ever had has been with network marketing – whatever people say about it.

The trick is to work with a well-established company, not a start-up that may never get off the ground despite being full of hype.

However, having had the rug pulled from under me by one too many companies, it's no longer a method that I'll be recommending to others.

Make no mistake, it CAN be a legitimate business and I wish anyone well with it. But it's too risky for me. I want to be in control of my own business. Not at the mercy of some parent company.

Spinning Plates To Handle Online Business Challenges?

If this seems to be me back to “spinning plates” again, well, yes. Guilty as charged.

challenges of starting online businessYet somehow I'm happier like that. While “online business” was slow, I felt down and demotivated. But with a few plates to juggle…. well, I'm just happier!

For those who aren't just adrenaline junkies like me, the real benefit of Multiple Streams of Income is that when one slows down you can work on another; or just rely on any passive elements you have in your portfolio.

So as regular readers would expect, I'm far from idle, and finding new positives beyond the delays and challenges starting an online business.

How About YOU?

Please share instances when you have been facing challenges starting an online business and how you overcame them.