I have been looking into making money on the internet for a really long time. Looking at every type of internet marketing guide and the 4 hour work week made me believe there was a way I could work for myself. One of the first attempts I made was with something called Google Payload back in the mid 2000’s. My friends and I sat around for a couple hours trying to figure it all out and get it to work.
We came to the conclusion that it was a bunch of bunk and didn’t work. The idea was basically buy ads that go to your adsense page. It not only didn’t work according to how it was set out, I found out it was going to take a lot of work. I wasn’t prepared for the amount of self-discipline it would take to constantly be testing things out and losing money until something worked.
At the same time, I always showed up to work at the beer store ready to go, passionate about what I was doing. This was for hours and hours during the day. This came much easier because I was basically being told what to do. I didn’t have to run the store by myself, I just showed up and put in work. There’s a lesson here.
Clubber Lang vs. Rocky
I can remember back to when I was a kid and seeing Rocky 3 for the first time. My first thought was hey there’s the guy from the A-Team. One scene in the movie always stood out to me though. There’s a scene in the movie where Clubber is talking about his training and how he “trains himself”. He said this in a way that made it seem like he was superior for this training method.
It always stuck with me that this boxer trains himself. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that before and it got me thinking. No boxers ever train themselves because it takes incredible amounts of self discipline to put yourself through the rigors of getting ready for a boxing match.
This is the type of self discipline you will need in order to make it running a business of your own. Every day you have to get up and go to work. You won’t even get any results for a while, and you still have to keep grinding until you set up a system where you can back off a little.
It’s not hard to be disciplined in a 9-5 job
I had this revelation about working a typical 9-5 job the other day. It’s easy to be disciplined in a 9-5 job because there’s a lot to lose if you get fired. Your whole way of life is on the line if you slack off in your job because you are constantly being monitored and evaluated by higher ups.
When you’re in a 9-5 job, it’s not the lack of discipline that gets people in trouble usually, it’s the soul sucking meaningless of it all. Every day you get up at some time you don’t feel like, and it becomes routine. Driving through traffic is one of the biggest causes of stress, and yet people do it every day. This is discipline.
My dad drove about 40 minutes every day just to take a train to New York to work, he then took the train and 40 minute drive back at the end of the day. This was to support his family. This was incredible discipline, but if you ask him today he’d say it wasn’t that hard.
Working for yourself takes vast amounts of self-discipline
When you are working for yourself, at first there’s a great deal of freedom. You feel refreshed knowing that no one is looking over your shoulder constantly judging you. With this freedom comes a cost though. Eventually you have to start looking over your own shoulder.
The reason that working for yourself takes a lot of self-discipline is that if you slack off, no one notices. In a world with constant interruptions and distractions, what’s the cost of clicking over to something else and stopping your work? If you don’t do any work for a day and completely slack off, what happens? Nothing. I know this because I have slacked off so many days, and nothing has happened. I’m still alive.
Working for yourself takes a lot of focus and self-discipline, and not that many people will tell you this. The reason is because they want it to seem easy so that you buy their products. The truth is that it’s much more difficult to start your own business than get a 9-5 job. Getting a 9-5 job is easy! I have had a number of them. IF you are thinking about starting your own business, you should know that it will be a huge challenge.
Be wary of anything get rich quick
Get rich schemes are all over the internet, they don’t work because the people who do them usually aren’t willing to incur the risk or testing phase to make them work. After reading the 4 hour work week, I thought I could just throw up a website and start making money immediately. I had no idea at the time about making websites, payment processors, or marketing. It was laughable.
In order to get the 4 hour work week, you have to spend a number of weeks working all the time in order to set up the system. Once the system is in place you can then sit back and maintain it, which takes a lot less time. This is true of any get rich quick scheme out there. You have to work hard in the beginning to set up a system, and even then it may not work out. The point is that it will take time no matter what.
How long do you work on your business?
There’s a lot of people in this space that think they are entrepreneurs. I’ll usually see them commenting on blogs I frequent. I’ll click over to their site and take a mental note. A couple months later the site still hasn’t been updated. They gave up. Most people are just pretending to be an entrepreneur to flex their freedom muscles. They don’t follow through unfortunately.
An easy way to tell if someone is pretending is to see how many hours they work on their business. This will be different for people still working a 9-5, but if it’s just a couple hours a week there’s a good chance that it’s not serious. If you are having trouble making money, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate how serious you are.
Compare how long you work per week to how long you would be working if you were in a 9-5 type job. I used to work 40 hours per week when I was in my old 9-5 gig. I didn’t come anywhere close to that when I started working for myself because I lacked the discipline to do so.
Important point, this is a job
Just because you are working for yourself now, and you have the freedom to work whenever you want, doesn’t mean that you actually should. With that attitude, you’re apt to not work at all. If you are having trouble with your business because you find yourself getting distracted, start treating your business as a 9-5 job.
Think about this for a second, how much more profitable would you be with your business if you started cranking out 40 hour work weeks doing nothing but grinding. No distractions, no checking facebook, no twitter. Consider your laptop just for work from now on. Keep open the tabs that are used strictly for your business.
Once you start treating your business like a vacation or something, it’s hard to get back on track. Let’s not forget that Tim Ferriss almost went insane with the amount of work he was doing for his supplement company before he turned it into a money making system. Do likewise gents.
Mastery over self
Once you start to cultivate the self-discipline it takes to work on stuff when you don’t have to, you can literally do anything. I believe self-discipline may be the number one thing you need to obtain if you are going to succeed as an entrepreneur.
I have witnessed dumb people making boat loads of money just by being disciplined. I have also seen really smart people slaving away at a 9-5 job they hate, wasting their creative potential.
You won’t learn mastery in school, you learn it by taking action over and over again, every day for the rest of your life.
If you are finding yourself lost or not being successful making money online despite knowing what to do, challenge yourself. Treat your business as if it was a 9-5 job for one week. Have the alarm get you up at some time around 6:30, struggle out of bed, grab a shower and breakfast, get changed into work clothes, then sit down at your desk and get to work for 8 hours. Take a lunch around 12 and have it be for about an hour. To make it more realistic, drive to a coffee shop or somewhere that has free wi-fi and work there to simulate the commute.
Do this for a whole week to see how much work you get done if you believe it’s a real job. Pretend there is a boss peering over your shoulder judging your work. Have no distractions to get in your way for this week, your laptop is now your work laptop.
If you find this challenge too difficult, perhaps you need to shock your system into learning more self-discipline. For that I would suggest checking out my review of 30 Days of Discipline as it’s great for that.
Like this post? Check me out on Twitter!