Are you looking to build a serious online business? Are you disillusioned by the promises made by many internet marketers?

In this post, I will share what it REALLY takes to be successful online. If you’re building a business around content, then this post is for you.

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What holds you back

There are a few major issues that hold back entrepreneurs from being successful. Before we can even address what it takes, it's important to look at some of these issues.

I'm going to address three of these issues – procrastination, perfection, and mindset. With each of these issues, we'll cover old and new beliefs. The old ones are useless and the new ones are empowering.

I encourage you to get rid of the old ones and try on the new ones. But only if you want to grow your business.

Issue #1: Procrastination

Yes, you already know it. Procrastination is a real issue for wanna-be entrepreneurs. In fact, it's even still an issue for many proven entrepreneurs. It's the idea of putting off for “tomorrow” what should be done today.

Here are the three old beliefs that make procrastination so attractive:

  • I'm too busy right now. You know how we like to keep ourselves busy. It's almost like a badge of honor to say those words – “I'm busy”.
  • I will do it tomorrow. Yes, it's easy to say this. Especially when the task is something that isn't appealing.
  • I wish I had started X years ago. It's the “it's too late for me now” syndrome. We look at others who started earlier and compare where they are to where we find ourselves. Since it's “too late” in our minds, we give ourselves permission to do nothing.

Fortunately, there are three new and empowering beliefs we can embrace. If the above-mentioned old beliefs are beliefs you hold, consider adopting the following:

  • I have all the time I need. The reality is that we ALL have the same 24 hours every single day. Yet some people seem to be way more productive than others. If you find yourself lacking the time you need, then it's time to shift things around. Get rid of the less important activities and substitute high-value tasks.
  • Tomorrow will never come. Sounds strange, doesn't it? But it's true. Have you ever seen tomorrow? Nope. All you ever experience is today. In fact, all you ever experience is right now. By the time “tomorrow” comes, it'll be today. Embrace that and take action TODAY!
  • The best time to start is now. Yeah, I wish I started 10 years before I did. But there's nothing I can ever do to change that. What I can do is get started, and I can do that right now.

Issue #2: Perfection

This is a big one for so many people who want to start online businesses. It's especially present in the beginning stages. And once again, let's tackle three old crappy beliefs:

  • It needs to be perfect. This is for you perfectionists out there. The ones who need to make sure everything's as awesome as possible. The ones who find all the grammatical errors from people who are taking action. The ones who spend a ton of time trying to make everything . . . well . . . “perfect”.
  • When I perfect it, I will launch it. What's ironic about this is that because you're trying so hard to perfect it, you stay still. You do nothing. Others are out there “failing” forward, and you are doing a lot, but never sharing your value with the world.
  • If I don't get it right, people will look down on me. This is for those that are overly concerned about what people think. Because of fear of being judged/misjudged, you do nothing.

Of course, I can't leave you there. I have to share some empowering new beliefs that can help you get out of the perfectionism rut.

  • It's about progress, not perfection. The people you were meant to serve don't expect you to be perfect. And the ones who do care don't matter. Your priority shouldn't be to cater to the people who don't matter to your business. Your priority is to serve well and improve over time. That's progress. And that's what will move you towards your goal.
  • When they see my growth, they will know that they can do it too. If you're anything like me, you want to inspire others to do what you've done. Or, you want to inspire others to reach the goal you're trying to reach. If all they see is someone who appears to be perfect, they won't be able to identify with you. But when they see progress from someone who's just like them, they will be empowered to do the same.
  • I will launch now and perfect it over time. When you launch something, you get data. How many people will check it out? How many people will sign up? What do they think about it? What feedback will you get? What worked well? What didn't work at all? This is all data. And data can be used to make improvements. If you're trying to perfect without data, you will be wasting a lot of time. Put it out there and use real-world data to make improvements more effectively.

Issue #3: Mindset

This is what it all boils down to. In fact, the above two issues and what follows this one are all issues of mindset. Here are three old useless beliefs that need to be discarded.

  • What if I fail? The fear of failure is a big issue for so many wanna-be entrepreneurs. We learn that failure is a bad thing. We go to school and learn to try to avoid failure at all costs. So to avoid failure, we stay still and do nothing.
  • Who am I to do this? We tell ourselves that we aren't experts. We look at others who are “better than us” and use that as an excuse for staying small. Because we lack the degree, we create nothing and leave it up to the “real experts”.
  • I shouldn't charge for this. There are people who can't afford my services so I feel bad for charging. And if I charge, I try to keep it as cheap as possible.

Ah man, I just wrote that out and thought – those sounds like things I've thought at one point or another in my business. Fortunately, I've embraced the following new beliefs:

  • There's no such thing as failure. Only learning. I never fail. When I make a mistake, I look for the lesson. And you know what? That lesson teaches me something that helps me to make progress in my business. If a launch was unsuccessful, I ask myself why. Was it because of the content? Was it the messaging? What could I have done better to promote it? I ask others for feedback. And then I take action on that feedback. That's how we grow.
  • I'm exactly who I need to be to serve who I am called to serve. It doesn't matter what level you're at, there's always someone behind you. If you can teach them one thing they can learn from you. And you've had experiences that make your knowledge valuable to someone else. Don't hold back that value from them because of your own insecurities. They deserve more. You deserve more.
  • I'm not really serving if I don't charge what I'm worth. I've come to realize that people don't value something unless they invest. When someone pays you for your expertise, they aren't paying for you. They are investing in themselves. And if you give everything away for free, they will treat it as if it's free. It will be easily discarded. If your client pays you $1,000 for a meeting, they will show up differently.

So what does it take?

We have gone through those big issues and beliefs. Now I'm ready to share seven tips for building a successful business. Are you ready? Let's go!

Get rid of old, useless beliefs

You may have identified with some of the old beliefs I listed above. If so, great. Knowing is half the battle. Now it's time to get rid of those beliefs. They aren't serving you and they aren't serving the world.

Embrace new, empowering beliefs

Whatever crappy beliefs you identified, replace them with the alternatives I shared above. The reality is that all beliefs have consequences. You can choose the useless beliefs with useless consequences. Or you can embrace the new empowering beliefs with rewarding consequences.
Which do you prefer?

Take consistent action

With your new beliefs in hand, take actions that are in line with those beliefs. Start creating content. Record that video. Post to your blog. Promote your event. Do whatever it takes and be consistent with it.
Don't show up today and then wait a few months to show up again. Take consistent action!

Place a priority on service

If you're a content creator who is building an online business, there are all kinds of tips and tricks out there. But here's the reality. It's not about applying all the latest tips and tricks. It's about serving your audience.

Is that new tactic the best way for you to serve your audience? If not, discard it.

The more you focus on service, the more your audience will value what you do.

The more they value what you do, the more likely they will be to invest in your business (by paying YOU).

Get the help you need

There's no such thing as a self-made entrepreneur. Nobody really makes it on their own. If you are to succeed in business, you will need help. You will need training. You'll need support. You'll need a team of people around you to help you reach your goals. Get help!

Make strategic investments

If you want something to grow, you have to invest in it. That goes for relationships and also for your business. There are investments you can make to help propel your business to the next level. Quite frankly, one of the most strategic investments you can make is in your own self-improvement. When you become better at what you do, you're better able to build what you're trying to build.

But there's also investment in technology, resources, and people. Make those investments strategically. In other words, invest in things when there's a clear understanding of how it will help.

Treat your business like a business

If you don't treat your business like a business, your business won't treat you like a boss! There are too many beginning entrepreneurs who treat their businesses like a hobby. Then they wonder why it doesn't grow.

Don't be like that. Take this thing seriously. Plan out your business model. Figure out how you're going to make money. Focus on profitability. Show up when it's time to show up. Be professional.

When others see you take your business seriously, they'll be more inclined to take it seriously as well.

Need help?

Do you need help on this journey of starting or growing your online business? Then you should check out Monetize Your Message. It's my three-day virtual event where I help you create a blueprint for your online business.
If you attend, you will leave with a very clear action plan on how to build a business that's focused on your message. Don't know what your message is? No worries. I will help you with that too.


What it Takes



About the Author Leslie Samuel

Leslie Samuel a business coach for high-performing entrepreneurs. As the host of the Leslie Samuel Show, he teaches how to build an online business. "Changing the world one post at a time” is the mission he strives towards. As a former university professor, he has a passion for education. He's the founder of Interactive Biology, a blog and YouTube channel dedicated to making biology fun for students and teachers. As the head of training for the Social Media Marketing Society, he helps social media marketers get the training they need to stay on the leading edge of social media.

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