For many of us, the idea of an online business sounds like a dream. The chance to earn income in your sleep, work you want and achieve freedom from your job. However, it can sound overwhelming especially if you’re not familiar with the business models out there. I want to break it down for you, and show that it’s not overly complex. I will distinguish between the models based on an investment of your time, resources and effort required.

Watch the video or read the transcript below 🙂

#1 – e-commerce

This is the type of business model where someone sells physical products on the internet. This may be shoes, electronics, bags, furniture, etc. The main platform that most people shop on for physical products is amazon and ebay, but there are still many specialised independant online ‘shops’. An ecommerce business model requires that you have a product that you know sells to A target market. It will usually require your own website (if not selling on amazon), suppliers and a warehouse to hold the stock. Of course, there are expenses that come with a warehouse or physical space – i.e. rent and insurance. Amazon offers an option where they can arrange fulfilment for you, i.e. sourcing from the supplier, storing the product, packaging and dispatching to the customer – all for a cost.

This model is good is you have a product you are passionate about, have a reliable supplier and a target market in mind. It will generally require an initial investment of resources to set your business up, marketing and of course regular purchasing of supplies.
With the power of the internet, this model can be automated – and so will not require a huge slice of your time once the business is running.

#2 – Freelancing

This is where you provide independant services for another individual or company. This may be as a photographer, website builder, digital marketer. An example of this model is ‘Fiverr.com’ – a platform that allows people around the world to make money by providing a digital service, i.e. photo editing or adding subtitles to your videos.

Essentially your customers will be paying you for your time, so as you can tell – this is a business model that is dependent on you and your time in order to earn money. It is difficult to automate as you need to be there. But if you are good at the service you provide, you can do very well!

#3 – Consulting

Consulting is a type of freelancing where you provide services for generally higher ticket fees. You are providing your knowledge as opposed to a physical product. To be a successful online consultant you need to pick a niche where you have real expertise. In this business model, you are exchanging your time for money, but as mentioned if you really know your stuff – then with the right marketing you can charge lucractive amounts per hour. Consider online marketer Neil Patel who reportedly charges $5,000 per hour for consulting.

#4 – e-COURSES

If you have an expertise in a niche topic, and you know that thing is in demand – then creating a training course is one of the best things you can do on the internet. This business model can be lucrative because digital products, i.e. online training, can attract large prices – especially if it is a training course that many people are interested in and so there’s a demand for. Just imagine – you create your training course ONCE, and then with the right advertising, you will earn recurring fees. All you need to do is invest resources initially to create a professional looking training course and to market your training course on the right platforms to the right people.

This type of online business can earn you fantastic passive income – as you don’t have to do too much after you’ve set it up!

#5 – Affiliate Marketing

Many of the successful companies in the world, i.e. Facebook, Amazon, AirBnb, Uber are using the affiliate model. This is where you sell someone else’s products in return for a fee or commission. Take Amazon for example – the majority of the products on the Amazon website do not belong to Amazon. They simply provide a platform to bring sellers and buyers together…and take a commission. Similarly for AirBnb. They do not own the properties, but take a commission from people renting their properties to renters through their website. Affiliate marketing is the epitome of digital commerce. And you can do it too.

If there is a product or service you use and can vouch for, then affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions from marketing and selling that product. For example there’s a health drink that I like and can happily promote in return for commissions. Amazon has its own affiliate model, where you can promote amazon ‘products’ on your website and if someone buys it – you can get a commission. However, Amazon product commissions are low.

In order to make a sustainable online business based on affiliate marketing – you should seek those products that offer high ticket commissions, i.e. digital products – courses, consulting etc. This means with each sale, you can stand to make hundreds or thousands in commission. Why? Because those companies that sell digital products have very little overhead cost. They know that if an affiliate marketer promotes and sells their products – they know they can give up to 50% of the revenue to the affiliate marketer knowing that they still stand to make very good profit from the sale. A sale that did not require the product owners time, and involves little overheads. From the product owners point of view, they would rather make some money – as opposed to no money – for the same level of effort!

So affiliate marketing is a great option to create an online income. It requires little time on your part, except at the beginning to set up your website and marketing costs.

When deciding between these business models, you’ll want to weigh up how much time you want to give, whether you currently have a product and additionally your knowledge of a particular area. For example, if you have a fantastic product and want to automate the selling and fulfilment, then ecommerce could be an option.

If you have an expertise in a niche topic, but don’t want to commit your time – then a eCourse could be your calling. Of course, to make any business successful online – you need to become excellent at influencing and marketing. If you want to learn how to market effectively and create any of these online business models, then the company I am part of educates people on digital skills.

Click here to learn more.

Do you find that you get nervous, anxious or become frozen with fear at the prospect of a particular situation or circumstance? It’s completely normal and shouldn’t be seen as being weak. Here are my tips to help come overcome fears.

1. Prepare and practice

Firstly if something really stresses you out or you can’t face the prospect of doing it, you really should seek to work towards that event. For example, if public speaking is one of your fears and you’re in a job where it is common – the best thing you can do is prepare and practice until you’re proficient at speaking and it’s no longer a concern. Practice makes perfect as they say, but you don’t have to be perfect. You just need to get into a position where you can tell someone in a years time “that i used to really shit my pants giving presentations but now its second nature to me”.

You want to devote as much of your energy as possible to preparation. According to Thrillist.com, SEALs rid fear from their minds by practicing an upcoming mission until they feel naturally confident about it—until that unknown becomes, well, a little more known. They don’t lie to themselves about the risks, they simply put themselves in the best position to handle them, which inspires confidence.

2. Meditation

Meditation has a range of benefits, including stabilizing breathing and centering your mind. Someone who practices meditation daily will also have tremendous mind control over their emotions so they are agnostic to external factors. This includes stressful situations that induce fear.

One way to overcoming your anxiety and fears is to imagine yourself 15mins after the successful completion of an event or situation you fear.

The power in this technique is visualizing things ending in a successful way. Things may still not turn out the way you wanted, but you will increase the likelihood of success by doing this type of visualization.

3. Exercise

This may sound odd, BUT it works for me. Exercise right before you undertake that task or do the thing that frightens the life out of you. You’ll find that the natural high you get from endorphins after exercising works wonders.

Have you notice how elated and confident you feel after a vigorous workout? Well use that to your advantage. I tend to be not just productive and alert, but much braver after a workout session. It allows me to confidently give presentations, have that difficult conversation and take the steps that were previously holding me back from achieving a goal.

When you exercise, whether that’s weight lifting or cardiovascular you are essentially challenging yourself to overcome an obstacle you have set yourself. And when you conquer it in that session, you feel that you can overcome anything the day throws at you. Schedule that workout class in!

4. Become aware of the fear

Note that the fear we feel when facing a circumstance, event or thing, is not because of what is in front of our eyes at that moment – but because of the internal dialogue we have with ourselves. Essentially, your thoughts are the root cause of your fear and anxiety.

Fear makes you put things off. “I’m really tired. I have other stuff to do. It’s a dumb idea anyway.” These excuses probably sound familiar, don’t they? You’ve probably said this out loud and to yourself. Think about it. Is there any truth to these statements, or are you constructing excuses to avoid potential failure? It’s much easier and less painful to make excuses than it is to put in the long hours and energy it will take to work toward your goal, but excuses and opting out will ultimately leave you feeling unfulfilled.

Recognize when you are using excuses and figure out how to overcome them.

Too tired? Adjust your schedule so you can get a better night’s sleep.

Not enough time? Assess your priorities and find out where you can make time.

And the next time an excuse comes to you, make the decision to not give in to that little voice.

5. Count to 5

Alot of the time we use excuses when we’re in a fear state to avoid carrying out the task or activity. If you’re in a situation where you want to do something but feel uncomfortable, start counting to 5. At the very moment you start counting, start performing the action. Essentially you want to commit and execute the action before you get to 5. That way you’re not overthinking it and backing off.

For example, in the run up to a public speech if you’re ultra nervous, just breath and count to five and start walking towards the stage knowing that you are going to do the speech no matter what.

In another setting, if there is a girl you like – don’t think about it, just start counting to five and start walking towards her with the intention to talk to her. The rest will sort itself out. You want to have taken the action by the time you get to 5. What you are doing is overcoming your fear by taking action. Check out the book Feel the Fear And Do It Anyway by Susan Jeffers which includes dynamic techniques like this to help people face their fears head on.

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6. Know the benefit of overcoming a fear

The human spirit requires growth – mental, spiritual and physical growth. In order to achieve growth you need to put yourself in situations you find uncomfortable. This may be in front of a camera, public stage, having an honest and firm conversation, etc.

But when you’re afraid, you tend to stay in one place. What if you make a mistake and fail? You start to believe you can’t progress at all, that you’re incapable of it – the fear holds us back. Change the message you tell yourself. It’s not about achieving something and being perfect every step of the way. No one is ever perfect all the time, so stop striving for that. You have to be comfortable that you don’t know everything and you can’t do everything – and that’s perfectly OK. But you continue anyway – and this is the foundation of a growth mindset.

If you continue on a growth mindset and look back at your achievements over the last 6 months or year, you will notice how far you’ve come along. All because you overcame some long-held fears. And that is progress for sure so give yourself credit.

7. Failure is the best teacher

People worry that they will fail miserably if they attempt the steps to accomplish their goals. But like pain, failure can teach us alot about ourselves. In fact, failure is often a better teacher than success. Once you accept from the onset that failure is an inevitable part of success, you’ll be less afraid of it. Anyway, failure means you tripped up in your journey – it doesn’t mean you’ve quit. You just have to carry on because that trip-up can provide you with valuable learning experiences that will positively impact your future strategies.

The best thinkers, philosophers, business people and sports-people encountered failure on their path to their success. Its what helped them to learn, grow and try an alternate tactic or strategy. The quicker you realize your fear of failure is preventing you from making the decision to accomplish your dreams, the sooner you’ll be able to accept the possibility of failing and move on.

Having fears and feeling anxious is normal. You’re not designed to be fearless, so don’t worry. Feeling fear is healthy and our systems need fear in order to drive forward. But the more time and energy you spend thinking about a fear, the more you manifest it into your life. Try thinking on all the good stuff you want to attract into your life, and it will come.

Know your limitations but also know that nothing can stop you from getting to where you need to go.

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One of the problems many people and families face is making ends meet, relying on their next set of wages, and essentially living payslip to payslip.

First some stats…

A UK survey (by the Independent), stated that 1 in 4 adult have no savings. Per the Evening Standard, 70% of Brits are broke or just getting by.

An analysis, based on an RSA/Populus survey of more than 2,000 workers, found that the vast majority of UK workers don’t have sufficient savings to cope with a financial shock. In fact, the average savings in the UK is around £4k – for people that do actually save.

When it came to savings, 32% of respondents had less than £500 while 41 per cent had under £1,000.

In the US, a September 2018 Fox News survey revealed that 26% of registered voters said they were falling behind (income vs expenses), compared to around half who said they were holding steady and 22% who said they were getting ahead.

In fact, even the fairly moderate to high earners live paycheck to paycheck. One in 10 workers earning $100,000 or more yearly say they live paycheck to paycheck. This graphic by Financial Samurai shows how people making $500k a year can still feel like they’ve saved little in comparison;

High earner but struggling!
Why even people earning $500k a year still struggle to save much

So it seems that despite their incomes – many people still feel like they’re trapped in a rat race.

Why?

There are a variety of factors as to why most people are living paycheck to paycheck. Some reasons are external, but a lot of the reasons are to do with mindset and financial discipline.

Little financial education

School teaches us a lot of theory, but there tends to be little, if any emphasis on life lessons and financial education in particular. The basics financial principles are not taught in our schools whether it be primary or higher education institutions. This includes budgeting, seeking value, investments, debt and the financial system. So while people get out of school and earn money, they have little knowledge of how to use it properly.

Living beyond your means

Why do people line up for the latest phone while their current phone is working perfectly? The need for instant gratification can be addictive especially when trying to keep up with the Jones’s. If you continuously buy things you can’t afford, it only leads to seeking more ways to fund the habit, i.e. taking out credit cards and loans (more debt) to keep the habit going.

This kind of borrowing is known as ‘bad debt’, because you’re borrowing to buy things that don’t really appreciate or provide any sort of return (as opposed to taking out a sensible mortgage for a buy-to-let investment property which generates rental and capital appreciation in the long run).

Budgeting and allocation

Many people fail to budget and end up spending more than they earn. You should always have a plan of how you will use your monthly salary. This is helped by knowing what your monthly, regular expenses will be, i.e. mortgage, child-care (nursery, etc), car payment, groceries, phone and amount to be saved. This way you can see what residual amount is left over – for ad-hoc expenditure.

Cost of living?

Let’s assess wage growth compared to the change in the cost of items over time. Could this be an important reason for why many people struggle to meet their expenses? Has wage growth been sufficient to counter the annual inflation? (Using ‘CPIH’ which includes housing costs – which is a more realistic measure considering housing makes up a major chunk of expenses)

20 year period comparing inflation and wage growth

You can see that wage growth in the UK largely surpasses inflation (which includes house price growth). Therefore, it’s not entirely conclusive that cost of living has been unmanageable – although certain parts of the UK, i.e. London have had surges in house prices over time which translated to higher mortgage costs for many homeowners.

How to break free

Change your mentality

Do.you really need to buy that thing? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with desiring nice things, but when you’re struggling to save (and maybe knee-deep in debt) you really need consider your spending each time you pull out your card.

You should try and cultivate a feeling of abundance in your life. In other words, that you are grateful for what you have and have everything you need to be happy at this present time.

Start allocating

Take these 3 steps:

  1. Make a list of your regular, monthly expenses;
  2. Reduce or eliminate any unnecessary expenses, so that your monthly income is greater than your total monthly expenses;
  3. Whatever is left, save X% and invest Y%

Save X% of your salary for unexpected expenses or to pay off your debts/loans.

The investment portion should come out of your account automatically and straight away, i.e as soon as your wage goes in. That way its not something you can deliberate about.

The investment itself can be in a dividend reinvestment fund that delivers compounding returns. Consider that a 20yr old who saves and invests £50 per week will accumulate £2,600 per year. If he does this until age 65 and averages a 10% annual return (about the S&P 500 average return over the last 80 years), he will have over £2.1m at age 65!

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Look for ways to make more money!

With work and commitments, it may seem unattainable. but if you really want something you make time for it. Ideas for extra income include driing an Uber, freelancing and consulting work, sell your stuff and renting your room out in Air BnB.

Another great option is Affiliate Marketing where you can sell other peoples’ products and services online for a commission. It’s a great form of passive income as you don’t to own a product, seek storage space, undertake fulfillment or hire staff. You just need a laptop and an internet connection!

If you like the idea of affiliate marketing and want to explore how it can provide a great side income, click here to learn more.

Freedom is the goal

Living in a paycheck-to-paycheck cycle is not freedom. It’s enslavement. For alot of people, there’s no money at the end of the month and they wonder why.

It does not have to be that way. You can break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and have financial freedom. It won’t happen overnight, but you can do it if you start taking steps today. Click here to learn how I started my journey towards self discovery, earning money online and seeking freedom from the 9-to-5.

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I wanted to share some familiar excuses for why people don’t take the plunge and start something new. In this case – an online business. I would know as most of these applied to me.

“No time”

The lack of time to commit to building a business is the most common excuse based on surveys and polls. Time is a precious commodity, and we generally try to fill the free time we do have with enjoyable, rather than productive things. The desire is definitely there among young people but time is often cited as the excuse.

Don’t forget, each day on earth represents a greater portion of our time left to live compared to the previous day. Scary right?
With that in mind, surely you’ll want to spend less time commuting and working unsatisfactory jobs and more time with family, passions and growth?

This is why having an online presence is the best thing you can do considering so much interaction and commerce is done through social media. It is astonishing that with people and networks at our finger tips, we’re not taking advantage as we can and should.

Solution

  1. Make time. if you want something badly enough you’ll find a way.
  2. No time at this present moment, and too many commitments? Then consider an affiliate business model where you promote and sell other peoples’ products/services for a commission. This requires less time and can help build a solid side income.

“No technical skills”

Three months ago i didn’t know how to build a website or set up email systems, write blogs or create custom graphics. There are so many resources and its so easy these days. Especially when it can be just a case of point and click, and drag and drop interfaces -which means no HTML code learning required!

Solution

  1. Digital Business Lounge (for integrated hosting, website building, email, landing page) – all in one place!
  2. Outsource all the technical parts to your business using Fiverr.
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“Don’t truly believe I can do it”

I am part of a community that consists of all types of people with varying skills and beliefs. From truck drivers through to big shot lawyers. They all have one thing in common – they want to change their life. Whether that’s more money, time, fulfilment. there is an underlying ‘why’, and that’s what you have to discover for yourself.

And yes, they all had initial doubts as I did, but the first step is always the hardest.

Solution

  1. Everyone starts somewhere, but to embark on an entrepreneurial journey, you need to sort out your mindset. Mindset, confidence and being clear on your ‘why’ is discussed on regular ‘WakeUp’ calls within the SFM (Six Figure Mentors) community. Check it out!
  2. Get inspired and learn from mentors through podcasts, books and motivational videos. I particular love listening to Jay Shetty’s and Satori Prime’s podcasts.
  3. Daily visualisation practice so that eventually your future successful self becomes ingrained in your sub-conscious.

“I don’t have a product or service to sell”

This is something I struggled with initially. I always loved the idea of an internet business but just didn’t have a product or service. What to do?

Solution

  1. AFFILIATE MARKETING – As mentioned above, affiliate marketing is a great online business model for people who are looking to dip their toes into online marketing and start making money. Affiliate marketing is essentially recommending other peoples’ products and services that are aligned to your content, and that you have used before. SFM is a platform that not only teach you how to become an effective affiliate marketer, but also allow you to earn high-ticket affiliate commissions ranging in the $000s.
  2. E-COMMERCE – Amazon is the e-commerce platform of choice for millions across the globe. If you don’t have your own product, no problem. It is so easy these days to find wholesalers that produce t-shirts, camera bags, bikes, etc, and have them redesigned and re-branded according to your taste. Additionally, you don’t even need to hold stock in your garage or bedroom. With Amazon drop-shipping, the product can be collected from the wholesaler’s factory and dropped directly to the customer. The SFM teaches individuals this Amazon drop-shipping process- step by step.
  3. YOU are the product. as you have so much to share that certain people will resonate with you. Give and share what you know/love about a particular topic, area or product and before you know it, you will realise rewards from the value you give your customers and readers/viewers.

“I want to see examples of people like me make it first”

People fear the unknown and that’s entirely natural. Therefore it is completely understandable that whenever starting something new, it helps us to see evidence of success in that area thus giving us something to model on.

Before I started my journey with the SFM, I was intrigued by claims that people like me – in respective jobs earning comfortable salaries, managed to replace their salary with impressive profits from their online business. Conversely, there were also individuals in the SFM community that had nothing like the academic education or training that I had yet were commanding huge respect from their successes.

Solution

Click here to read real testimonials from real people, get inspired and change your life!


Conclusion

I wanted to shine some insight into the excuses that most people (yourself included?) say to themselves to avoid starting an online business. And with forecasted online sales of $25 trillion by 2025, surely you’d want to build your internet business and claim a tiny chuck of that??

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I’m going to be blunt. This is important, as it will make you self-aware and change your approach in life. But essentially, how you got here…won’t get you there.

What that means is that everything you have done in the past and decisions made to get to this point in your life….will not help you get to where you want to go.

So if you are not satisfied with your finances, your weight, your relationships, career or any aspect of your life – you have to review the approach you have taken so far. You have to review your daily attitude. You have to review your strategies, tactics and plans – if there are any at all, in order to set about changing things. Here are the key shifts required:

Set goals and know your why

When you set a goal, you are acknowledging to your conscious and sub-conscious that where you are, is not where you want to be. As a result, you feel dissatisfied. That’s when you have real power and motivation to achieve the goals, because pressure and tension drive human behavior.

Set goals explicitly, and also be clear why you want them. How will they make you feel? This is important because the purpose of the goal is much stronger than the outcome. The purpose of goals is what they will make of you as a person. Because at the end of your life, what’s important is who you are as a person.

So enjoy the process, and don’t get too hung up on the outcome…it’s more sustainable that way.

Also ask yourself how would you feel and what would it cost you if you didn’t achieve the goals? Tony Robbins suggests setting goals twice a year, review the goals monthly and review your top goals daily.

Mentors

To get to where you want to be, you need to surround yourself with people who have been through a similar path and have been there and done it. Having a mentor is so important as you need role models and someone to pick you up if you stray. Surround yourself with books, attend courses, and listen to podcasts that are aligned with your goals.

In fact, it has been proven that listening to someone speak through audio, i.e. a recording or podcast, has the same effect as if that person was sitting next to you. You want to immerse yourself into powerful podcasts! Ex-monk Jay Shetty and life-coaches Satori Prime have awesome, inspiring podcasts I highly recommend.

Momentum

Daily tasks and routine leads to consistency, which leads to momentum.


“When you experience positive momentum, you’ll never want it to stop.” — Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach

You will notice that successful people keep progressing and conquering goal after goal. They’ve worked hard to develop their momentum and know what it feels like to not have momentum. Being without momentum is rough. It’s how most people live their lives. And without momentum, results are minimal, even with lots of effort.

This is why consistency is key to developing momentum. By putting intentional effort toward a singular goal or vision, and eventually, the compound effect takes over, and you find that your reward is beyond what you expected.

So the key shift you need to make is setting aside time daily to work towards your goal. This time needs to be pre-scheduled and allows for your full focus and determination. Continuous work and practice at anything will eventually allow you to master whatever it is. Author Malcolm Gladwell’s research based on review of successful people, states that 10,000 hours of repetitive effort is required to become an expert at anything.

Think bigger!

This is an important shift, because we don’t always allow ourselves to dream. Remember there is no boundary to what is possible. Instead of seeking to earn £100k a year, why not aim for £1m a year. There’s no rule out there or judgement of you that says you’re not allowed to achieve that target. The universe can deliver whatever you want. Instead of setting a time horizon of 2 years, why not achieving it in 6 months?

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By thinking big, your brain automatically starts to think about the steps and tactics to take so you are positioned to achieve those big goals. And a huge part of this, is to reconfigure your reticular activating system (RAS) using visualization.

In any case, by setting larger goals you will find that you will surpass your initial, smaller goal at a much swifter pace. Consider that….

When I started my online venture, I realized that I had to make some shifts in my daily habit, take action and and changes my mindset. Some examples include;

  • Scheduling time in the morning, afternoon and late evening to work and acquire skills
  • Visualization and meditation
  • Getting a new laptop
  • Buying a camera tripod
  • Going beyond my comfort zone
  • Using downtime to mastermind and research
  • Ensure my fitness goals weren’t being sacrificed.
man sitting on cliff feeling free

Remember, where you are in your life at this moment is down to the decisions and choices you made. All it takes is a mindset shift and your path can easily change to one of freedom, choice and fulfillment.

Click here to learn about an Entrepreneurial mindset and valuable online marketing skills to start your own profitable digital business.

Best wishes