Negative Beliefs That Ruin Online Entrepreneurs

By Nate McCallister / a couple of years ago

It is completely reasonable to be afraid to work for yourself. It is not normal to work for yourself. We like normal right?  Wrong. Most people do not make their own money, they earn it by trading their time to build someone else’s dream. I dare you to not be “normal.” How can we live like the 1% when we are trying to be like the other 99%?

Being “normal” may mean avoiding trouble and some heartache, but what is the point in that? Keep in mind, the normal person is: overweight, divorced, in debt…need I go on?

“Normal people” and our normal society are going to fill you with doubts. You will feel helpless at times and will face many discouraging feelings. Here are the few that I want to lay to rest for you.

“My idea is unoriginal and already exists”

There are so many “micro-economies” out there that we don’t need to be the only fish in the pond to succeed.  We need to find enough buyers to sustain our model, that is all. Trust me, they are out there.

Do you want to be in the history books or have a freedom lifestyle? I would love to be in the history books, but I am starting with creating financial freedom for myself. I recommend you start with earning some income and then work on the philanthropic and world shifting stuff later. This means, you don’t need a billion dollar idea, or even an original one!

This may cause a riot, but stay with me. A need for complete originality can kill your chances of business success.

What do I mean?

Many aspects of business are hard to deviate from with success. This is because some concepts are akin to scientific law. They seem to work again and again in different business sectors. The best example is good copywriting. There is just a certain way that humans respond to things, so you can’t deviate too far from existing models.

Find a good balance between innovation and emulation. Don’t feel like a sell out for framing your work after the work of others. My blog for example is not completely original. While it is of course not plagiarized, the ideas are not completely unique to me. I didn’t invent the concept of, say, the Parado Principle.  What I do is put ideas in a way that shows relevance and context to my reader. It is an injustice to others to be original for the sake of originality. 

“Someone will take my idea and I can’t afford to protect it so there is no point”

Ray Kroc, Founder of McDonalds


Ray Krok, the founder of McDonald’s was once asked if he was worried about the competition from other burger joints opening up around him. He said,

“We can invent faster than they can steal.” – Ray Krok

If you don’t release an idea because you are afraid of losing it, that is so much worse. It is failure by your own doing (inaction that is).

“I have no time”

You do. If you really don’t, you need to address that anyway. There is a zen proverb that touches on this, in regards to meditation, but I think can apply here as well:

You (should sit in meditation) for 20 minutes a day. Unless you are too busy. Then you should sit for an hour. -Zen Proverb

“I don’t have enough money to invest”

You don’t need more than about $10 per month to host and own a domain. With online entrepreneurship, that is all you need really. Some businesses don’t even need that. Social media is so powerful now that you can quickly build a reputation and business with little time, marketing or budget. If you have the desire and passion, you can claw your way into a stable stream of income and reinvest it as you are able to so you can grow.

“I tried before once and it didn’t work”

I could go on a litany of “did you know that (insert successful person) was (insert failure synonym) over (insert big number) times before he/she (insert success),” but I will spare you.

Seriously though, resilience is the key to any lasting success. Continually leaning on the things that give you little or no difficulty will lead to a debilitating mindset that hinders growth.

“I am too old/too young”

No one on the internet cares how old or young you are. Well, I take that back, some people REALLY care how old you are, but not in business. Being concerned with age is more Chris Hanson, “To Catch a Predator” type stuff, not potential customers.

“I am not good with computers”

If you don’t use computers at your current job already, they are most likely going to be in your near future anyway, so you might as well learn now. Also, you don’t need to know everything, just the basics and how to do a few things well. It is more important that you know how to find the answers and develop a learner’s mindset.

“There’s too much competition”

I am sometimes turned off to business ideas because of competition, but not usually. This is true for some niches, but as I mentioned earlier, we have so many micro-economies that there is always something that needs done or done better.

Even in a crowded market, you can still take a share of it. You can differentiate yourself from your competitors and earn more with a leaner model.

Many other companies have huge overhead so they need to sell millions of a product to profit. You don’t need to sell a million of anything to make a killing when you are operating on such a lean level.

Remember, there is always demand for incredible value in any industry. If you can do something better, people will find out and they will pay for it.

“I’m not educated enough”

I mentioned earlier about how one of the great benefits of entrepreneurship is that you can basically burn up your resume because it doesn’t matter anymore. When did you last see a great product online you wanted to buy and thought, “Great! Now let me make sure that the creator has a degree or two.”

The equivalent of a college degrees in business are testimonials and strong portfolios. That is all. Your degree will just sound cool on the cover of a book, it won’t do much for you as far as getting customers to buy your product or service.

“It’s a bad economy”

It is, and this is exactly why you should quit your job now! Your current industry is already quite set on what they are doing. Chrysler didn’t decide to start selling clothes when people stopped buying cars. With your own micro-businesses, you have the flexibility to move from one market to the next as demand changes.

By creating multiple micro-businesses in different niches, you can endure dips in demand without the risk of losing everything. My business model is safe from tanking all at once. Of course, any business model can fail for one reason or another, but a diverse range of business types mitigate this risk greatly.

“My idea isn’t big enough”

Trying to hit a homerun on every idea leads to a lot of swings and misses. By not acting on an idea unless it is the next facebook, you will not have a good chance of making it very far. That is way too hard, fortunately, you don’t need to have a once in a generation breakthrough to make money.
dee-gordon-baseball-headshot-photoTo put things into perspective, Miami Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon has only 8 career home runs but is regarded as one of the best hitters in baseball because of his ability to make contact and get on base. In business, just get on base! If you get the chance, ask Mr. Gordon if it is working out for him.

There are so many “micro-economies” out there that we don’t need to be the only market presence, we just need to find enough buyers to sustain our particular model. Trust me, the customers are out there.

What I love about online business is that you don’t have to create something everyone wants to make a lot of money. Since you have access to the entire scope of the Internet, you just need to reach a microscopic fraction of the market in order to make a killing.

In one business, I made over $100,000 with 283 clients in less than 4 months. I didn’t need to win over the entire market, just 283 members of it. Put things into perspective and realize you don’t need to be on page 1 of Google to make money online.

Could you make 283 sales if you knew it would make you $100,000? When you look at business that way, you see how applying hustle is more important than the technical side of things like SEO and complex marketing tactics (although they do have their place).

About the author

Nate McCallister

Nate is the founder and main contributor of He is a lifestyle entrepreneur who spends his time building businesses and raising his two kids Sawyer and Brooks with his beautiful wife Emily. His main interests include copywriting, economics and piano.

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