But also, “No.” Let me explain Internet businesses to you…
Absolutely, starting a successful Internet venture can give you much more freedom–to work when you want to work, to travel, to spend time with family, etc. There are, however, many different types of Internet businesses.
What you might be thinking of is working hard for a few weeks or months creating a digital product to sell online; after which, all you need to do is create an effective, ‘automated’ marketing funnel, and let it do its job as you collect passive income (and travel the world). This is possible, and it has been done. If you can do this, awesome!
Just read Tim Ferris’s best selling book (if you haven’t already you should), the “4-Hour Workweek” and you’ll understand how it’s possible. I’m not saying it’s easy, but it can be done.
However, there are many successful, happy, and very rich Internet entrepreneurs I know who do not live a 4 hour work week lifestyle. They have Internet businesses, live good lives, but they work like wild dogs! Forget the 9 to 5, they work more like 6:30am to past midnight almost everyday!
For example, certain drop shipping businesses can be lucrative but can also take up a lot of time and effort. If you’re unfamiliar with what drop shipping is from an online business perspective, here is a brief explanation.
Let’s assume you have an e-commerce website that sells pet supplies. A customer orders some pet food from your store, but the customer doesn’t know that you do not physically carry inventory. In other words, the pet food isn’t even with you! Instead, once you receive the order through your website, you then place the order with a drop shipping partner who has the inventory. The drop shipper will ship the exact product to the customer with your own company branding.
Sounds pretty simple, and compared to running your own e-commerce website and handling your own inventory, it definitely is easier. Likewise, the entire process can be automated. When a customer places an order through your e-commerce site, your site can automatically place an order with your dropshipper. So in this respect, it can be low maintenance. Some dropshipping companies handle all returns and customer service issues, too. (If you want to learn more about Drop Shipping, check out this Drop Shipping Guide.)
This sounds good, right? So why am I saying that this type of Internet business can be a headache?
Well, I have several friends who run successful drop shipping companies yet they work almost non-stop. They don’t need to focus on fulfillment of products, but they continually have to work on and worry about everything else!
One of my friends sells medical devices. He doesn’t own the devices; he just has his own e-commerce website and uses a drop shipper to fulfill all orders. Now, it’s been more than 6 years since he started the business, and he has finally gained good positioning to make things easier, but let me tell you, he still spends countless hours working on generating more leads and customers. Before his business ‘stabilized’, he lived at his desk 24/7 managing multiple PPC campaigns and implementing SEO strategies (this isn’t easy for a medical device site that has over 10,000 products!).
My main point is that starting an Internet business can be, and normally is, hard work. That’s the reality of it. Making passive income through the Internet is absolutely possible as I mentioned earlier. Many people have done it, and I have, too. Any day of the week I would choose running an Internet business that sells digital products over managing an offline business. But even this takes a lot of dedication and hard work. If you run an Internet business that involves tangible products and many ‘touch points with customers’, you’re in for a big surprise if you think you’re going to be living a 4 hour work week any time soon.
Do you agree? Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.