Freedom Newsletter

The newsletter archive of the digital nomad revolution.

The Top 3 Reasons Online Businesses Fail. . .

2016-11-29 20:06:32

Quick question for you:

Have you ever inserted a coin into a vending machine or an arcade game and then suddenly realized that the machine didn't give you credit for the coin that you just put in? It should have worked, but for whatever reason, it didn't?

It's not a good feeling, but it's a smaller scale version of what I know a lot of entrepreneurs go through.

We put in a ton of time, effort and money into our business, and then suddenly we notice that we're not seeing the results we had imagined. Sometimes we just feel stuck no matter how many hours we spend on our business.

After speaking with thousands of upcoming entrepreneurs face-to-face, conducting a load of research and analyzing several data points, I've been able to pin-point three major reasons why new entrepreneurs get stuck and why the results just aren't there.

It's important to know what these are because then you can avoid these traps as you continue to move forward in your business.

Here they are, in growing order of magnitude, starting with:

#1: We Try to Do Too Many Things at Once

We entrepreneurs are born with two specific diseases that set us up for failure right from the start:

  1. "Bright light syndrome" or "squirrel syndrome." Whatever you want to call it, it's in our blood to say yes to every new opportunity that comes our way. And when we say yes to something new, we're often saying no to something we had planned to do earlier, and so nothing gets finished.
  2. Superhero Syndrome. This is a phrase coined by one of my best buds, Chris Ducker ( and author of Virtual Freedom), which describes how we entrepreneurs think we can and have to do it all.

The truth is, you don't have to do it all, and you shouldn't. Because if you do, one of two things will happen—you will either burn out, or you will never grow like you expect to.

You don't get the full return for your invested time (and money).

The solution: prioritize.

Understand what comes first and work on that and only that until it's complete. Everything you learn about, only make it about that prioritized item, and put everything else aside until you need it.

This is what they call "just in time learning," and it's been the number one productivity tip in my productivity toolbox.

And even if what you're working on fails, at least you gave it a chance to do something for you, because even if you're ninety-five percent complete with a potential project or task, in reality it's zero percent to the end user.

Make sure you prioritize, or else you work on everything, and nothing gets done.

#2: We Are Impatient

We're all used to things happening extremely fast these days. We live in an "era of on-demand" where a Google Search happens in 0.29 seconds, Uber can pick us up in minutes, and Netflix can give us hours of entertainment without ever leaving our couch.

But when it comes to your online business, you have to be patient in order to win. There is no such thing as an overnight success, and most overnight success stories that you hear usually have a much longer story hidden behind them.

In each of my most successful businesses, it took about 1.5 years to get to a point where I felt like it was successfully monetized and growing at a rate that made sense for the work I put in.

In the beginning, I was definitely putting in more than I was getting back, but the beauty of online business is this:

The content you produce now, whether it's on a blog, podcast, or video, will always be there to continue working for you in the future as soon as you publish it.

Some of my older content that I wrote back in 2008–2009 has just recently, due to rankings in Google, become some of my highest trafficked webpages, which are now automatically driving new visitors to my site and people into my email list.

Some older podcast episodes have been found and shared by some influential people who have large audiences that have driven more traffic back to my site.

All this to say, if you continue to provide amazing value and service your audience, you will eventually start to see results. It's impossible to pin-point exactly when results will happen, but the truth is if you give up on what you're working on, you will see no change.

A solution to staying motivated: Appreciate your small wins along the way. Take those giant goals and break them down into smaller chunks, and celebrate when you reach those tiny milestones.

#3: We're Not Sure What Our Next Steps Are

Being an entrepreneur is one of the most exciting and rewarding things in the world, but at the same time it's one of the most frustrating, too.

Figuring out what to do next isn't always so obvious, and many times we don't even know where to begin.

And that's where I come in. My goal is to help you with your online business journey. Through this subscription, through the content on the blog, podcasts, and videos, I hope to give you what you need in order make progress in your business.

Tens of thousands of success stories have come out of people finding their way through Smart Passive Income, and I'd love for you to be one of those success stories.

One of the most helpful things I can recommend for you right now is to get connected. There are more than 15,000 people in the SPI Facebook Community, where people in all stages of their business are getting feedback, asking questions, and giving answers.

My only ask of you, before you join, is to make sure you contribute as much as you ask, if not more. When questions are asked, they more than often get answered by several community members, which creates an amazing environment of support and motivation. If you pop in and know an answer to a question that's being asked, please don't be afraid to chime in, and feel free to make real connections and friends with people in there as well.

(And also, don't be too self-promotional, except on "Free Speech Fridays" where we all get to share what we've been working on.)

Click here to join the SPI Community on Facebook!



P.S. Thanks again for being a subscriber. I truly appreciate it and I have a lot more great free email content to help you grow your business coming up. Next up, let's talk traffic generation. . .