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Thread: Risks of Running Your Own Online Business

  1. #11
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    Robert, I appreciate the response.

    Yes, online bears quite a bit of risks. However, I suspect I might know a thing or two about the search engines to get traffic no matter what and also from the non-SE sites. This is a "must do" point in my plan, otherwise it's indeed risky. I am not sure about running a 2nd site on the same topic, but I do have a 2nd source of income (website usability reviews and link building services).

    Also, I plan to work with several affiliate programs.

    That being said, I am actually wondering why any of you are still doing business, if you can't spend some time with your family or go out at least on one evening. Isn't it the point of owning your business, so you can escape the shackles of the 9-5 work and actually find moments to spend time with your family and unfinished things, like fixing garden sheds, the much needed summer/winter vacation?

    Also, I have to say that I'm thinking of a business with a physical product sometime later, too. I am not a lazy-poke that seeks a "Make money" button. I just need 3-5 years of relatively stable income to get in shape before starting an offline business.
    Last edited by A.N.Onym; 02-17-2009 at 07:13 PM.
    Yura

  2. #12
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    Ok, Yura, you've asked me outside of this thread to come here and share my answers to some questions that go along with the ones posed here.

    Why did you start your business other than being your own employer? Did it pay off?

    Because I kept getting laid off! Keep in mind that I've always been pretty much the best employee any boss has ever had. I'm an extremely hard worker, fairly bright, and have never disappointed a boss for even one second. I've got tons of employee awards and proof of crazy raises, etc. to prove it. For that reason, I was always one of the last employees to be laid off, if the layoffs came in waves. Nevertheless, at some point, the layoff came - usually because the company folded completely, or got bought out by someone else who replaced all the old employees with their own people. I worked for all manner of companies - small, medium, and huge. Size didn't matter. Perceived stability didn't matter. In the end, there was always a round of layoffs. After many years of this, I'd pretty much used up all my job possibilities. I had a fairly specialized talent by this time (2002 or 3 ish) (ColdFusion programming) and there weren't that many employers needing those in this area. I'd already worked for, and been laid off from, pretty much all of them. I was tired of dealing with it all, and that's what began my career of working from home. Did it pay off? Yes, but certainly not right away. I did work pretty much 24/7 for the first year, and not much less than that the second year. As hard as it was, though, it was fun and exhilarating too. (Well, at least once I started seeing some $$ coming in, anyhow). The better plan would have been to do it all part-time for a couple of years, and then go full-time with it. Hindsight...

    Do you spend more time thinking and worrying about your business, than thinking about your personal life? No, not any more than I ever worried about paying bills even with a "real" job. But i did in the beginning, yes.

    Do you take some time off and truly relax? Do you have time to go out with friends? Yes and yes. Again...not so much in the beginning. But now, sure. In fact, let me relay one little story that kinda sums it all up for me.

    For many many years (before I started working from home), I was a major insomniac. I was only getting about 5-6 hours of sleep per week. (so that's less than an hour per day). I was caught in a vicious cycle. I'd go to bed, worry about not sleeping, so I wouldn't sleep, and then just as I'd fall asleep about 5 a.m., I'd have to get up at 6 a.m. to get ready to go to work. By about 2 p.m. each afternoon, I'd be dog-tired and really needing to sleep, but I'd have to fight through it because I was at work. By the time I'd get home, it would be way to late for me to take a nap, because then I'd wake up and not be able to sleep through the night. Anyway, even if some of that sounds illogical, it was what it was. The biggest factor was that I was chained to a job that required me to be awake between hours x and y, when my body wanted to sleep during those hours.

    Now...completely different. I can take my nap every day at 2 if I want. Or any other time for that matter. If I have a bad night, and don't get to sleep until 5 a.m., so what? There's no boss to check in with. I can sleep till I wake up, and then my day starts. It just doesn't matter.

    No more worrying about sick days, or going to work no matter how crappy I feel. If I'm sick, I stay in bed. If I have to do certain types of business in the middle of the day because that's when some other business wants me to show up, I can just go. I don't have to try to explain to a boss why I need to leave at 1:30 and might not be back until 3:30. If something really cool is happening in the middle of the week, I can go. I no longer have to limit myself to attending things on nights and weekends only. No more 10-minute breaks - once in the morning and once in the afternoon. If I wanted to take a 2 hour break, I can and do. Rules, rules, rules - all gone now.

    Now, I do agree with most of what everyone said above me. But EVERYTHING is flexible, and that makes all the difference in the world to me.
    Last edited by dazzlindonna; 02-17-2009 at 09:32 AM. Reason: to bold the questions yura asked me elsewhere
    You'll never shine if you don't glow

    Donna Fontenot - eBusiness Coach / Consultant.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.N.Onym View Post
    So, I take it that a business owner has a lot more to worry about, than an employee, right?
    Yes! An employee has only to make their boss happy. The real responsibility is usually several links above you in the chain of command.

    Is it also untrue that you can rely on your business more, than on an employer?
    I think you can. My wife's opinion differs. Read Rich Dad, Poor Dad to get my perspective on this. As an employee you are limited by what your boss will let you do. As the business owner you can always make things happen. Unfortunately you often have to which is less fun and very draining.

    ...is personal relative freedom and income stability accomplishable at all or it's a myth promoted by 'make money online' bloggers?
    Both. Mostly myth though it is accomplishable over time with a lot of work, discipline, consistency and some luck. I make enough through online ads to support a child in Africa but not enough to care for my family in the US. I could very easily get that up to the point where it supports me, but covering the whole home would take a while.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Paulson View Post
    ...Then Google updates their algo and you drop from #1 to #20 - and with the ranking goes your money. Poof. Gone. That doesn't often happen in the brick and mortar world, where within a single work day you can lose your ability to make money.
    Illness, car accidents, family emergencies, the list goes on and on of things that can and do take you away from making money and as a business owner there is no paid time off.

    ...That being said, I am actually wondering why any of you are still doing business, if you can't spend some time with your family or go out at least on one evening. Isn't it the point of owning your business, so you can escape the shackles of the 9-5 work and actually find moments to spend time with your family and unfinished things, like fixing garden sheds, the much needed summer/winter vacation?
    I am in business because it's fun. I enjoy the flexability and the responsibility. It's all a puzzle to me: how do you make everything work and make money doing it? Every day brings new challenges, disappointments and rewards. Now that I am a family man I keep Sundays clear for family and make sure to spend some quality time with just Shiyla and just Gina sometime during the week. And I've finally developed the leadership skills needed to bring on and motivate employees. That isn't going to happen right away though I would be surprised to see my business being less than 2 full-time employees beyond myself by year end.
    |
    Clue in soon!

  4. #14
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    It seems like running one's business is indeed quite a hard task, but potentially rewarding.

    What makes you worth running your businesses, folks? Let's focus on the positives now

    Thanks again.
    Yura

  5. #15
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    So today I get to Napa and the topics of conversation are that the CEO just got axed (note: he brought the company to where it is, the share prices are good, profits have not fallen but they have not met the "anticipated growth" for this year). And that corporate is now researching infrastructure alternatives to reduce costs: outsourcing.

    I own my job and can take it anywhere. My business will continue on. Though this is a big contract for me and I will need to fill that gap if the worst should happen. But some money will come in and I can manage until I get something else in place. The people that are employees at this company have their whole lives riding here. They depend on their employer. I depend on me.

    It's a lifestyle choice more than anything.
    |
    Clue in soon!

  6. #16
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    Yura, it's a life style thing. You just have to weigh the risk versus the rewards (and the rewards aren't always monetary).

    Some benefits of your own business: control over your time, the ability to choose clients and walk away from bad situations, variety, the chance to work on a variety of interesting projects and with interesting people. etc.

    The downside: financial insecurity (although no job guarantees security any more), family and friends won't understand you, if you're not careful you'll be on call 24-7, you might have to take projects you don't like or want to keep bread on the table.

    As you can see it's mostly a personality issue: what risk/reward ratio you can live with, how self-motivated are you, how much variety do you need?

  7. #17
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    Freedom
    Disclaimer : My posts on SEO are just from my observations and I do not say it is a true fact... A real fact of life is that, I'm often wrong...

  8. #18
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    What Pops said.

    I don't think any one of us can lay out for you exactly what this would be like for you. Everyone values each aspect of running your own show differently - ultimately it's going to come down to you doing a gut check, squaring your shoulders, bending at the knees, then jumping in as high and as far as you can.

  9. #19
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    And really, right now, unemployed, what have you got to lose?

    Jump in and do it. Even if it only ends up being a side gig, that earns you some beer money, what's wrong with that? Remember what I always say:

    YOU'LL NEVER SHINE IF YOU DON'T GLOW.
    You'll never shine if you don't glow

    Donna Fontenot - eBusiness Coach / Consultant.

  10. #20
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    Yes, I do understand that it's more a lifestyle change, than the one with monetary rewards.

    What I have to lose, though, is that I won't run until I get stable income. It's the same as stuffing a sock in ones mouth and only getting it out, when one does get income to rely on. The thing that I can't do much w/o an employer is what pushing me towards running a business.

    At the moment, I am planning to revive my site, offer my services and to, maybe, get any job to pay the bills and get on the road. And only then I'll probably work on a new website.

    Thanks for all the feedback, folks. You did clarify a lot to me
    Last edited by A.N.Onym; 02-18-2009 at 08:37 PM.
    Yura

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