So you want to be an online entrepreneur? You want to go gangsta with the big bucks, travel the world and have the freedom that very few have. Perhaps you just want some grills.

I totally understand. The grills drew me in too…

But it’s not all making fast cash and ho’s.

The reality can be the polar opposite. It’s often boring, lonely and the improvements can be so incremental and small  its like watching grass grow. In the desert.

The internet marketing/ home business and network marketing industry have a lot to answer for when it comes to unrealistic expectations.


And to an extent, if you’re already in these fields, we’re all guilty. More often than not we’re selling the dream and not the reality.


I don’t feel there’s anything inherently wrong in selling the dream, in giving people a taste of the possibilities open to them.


Where it can go wrong is when you’re selling to people who are desperate or just plain unsuited to this gig, get roped in by false promises and large hype.


So what I thought I’d do is create a full disclaimer blog post about what it’s really like as an online entrepreneur and perhaps what it will most likely be like for you (at least in the beginning).


These are the 9 inconvenient and ugly truths about what it’s really like to be a 6 Figure Online Entrepreneur. (Warning: Its gonna get graphic…)

1. My LapTop Is NOT  My Personal ATM  Money-Making Machine


I looked at my online banking account…


No money.
I refreshed and stared harder (as if that would help).


I made myself a cup of coffee. I looked again at the steps I had to follow…


Done step 1 – opened an account… Step 2 deposit money into a trust account of a Ex-banker in Nigeria as faith money… Step 3 – wait for the torrents of cash to pour in…


I refresh my screen again…. coffee is getting cold.


Ok, so this was perhaps a silly example. But people think that just because you’re an online entrepreneur, somehow you have magical powers to make money appear in your bank account.


I don’t have magic powers. The closest I’ve ever come to magic was getting my wife to marry me. And I also tried to saw my sister in half once. That ended badly for both of us.


The only ‘magic trick’ I know is called ridiculous amounts of work.


The industry sells you that if you just buy this ONE THING, this one plugin, this ONE training or coaching, this one do-hicky it will turn your laptop into an ATM.


Hard truth: No plugin on earth can make your computer into an ATM. I know, I’ve spent hundreds of dollars ‘testing’.
Now, Yes, I’ve made some decent money. But due to my own… whats the nice word… laziness, it’s not always constant. Yet.


I have gone days, even weeks without earning a red cent.


And then I have days and weeks when money just pours into my different affiliate accounts.


So here’s an inconvenient truth – In the beginning – some days it will be feast, some days it will be famine.


A bit like my university days…


To earn money online you have to move from becoming the person who BUYS the plugins to the person who SELLS the plugins.


Crazy huh?


It’s a big mindset shift. And it has nothing to do with ‘knowing enough’ or having experience or results. It has to do with your focus.


Spend 80-90% of your time on marketing and promoting products and perhaps, your computer might become an ATM. Kind off.


I must admit though – it is kind off magical when the money does start coming in…


Back to checking my bank balance…


2. Nobody Takes Their Laptop To The Beach



If I see another picture of a person (someone ridiculously good looking) sitting on a beach with a  laptop, smiling because they’re making money while on a  beach – I will throw up.


Admittedly I have tried it.


Personally I look like a squinting idiot.


And I’m also confused because I want to go into the beach but now I have an expensive laptop to look after it. For a second I wonder if I can bury it…


And here’s 3 reasons why it doesn’t work:


  1. You’re on a friggen beach! There’s beautiful sun, the waves are crushing, sexy people are around and you look like a tool trying to be cool with laptop. So get off the laptop and onto the beach!
  2. Sun glare – if its a nice day on a nice beach, the sun glare will quickly get real annoying. I don’t read Kindles (even the nice paper feel screens for this reason) and I barely read books on beaches (see reason 1)
  3. Sand gets in your private parts. I like a bit of exfoliation but it can get ridiculous – especially if the wind picks up. Then there’s sand in your eyes, on your screen, in your undies, in the keyboard… you get the picture. (see reasons 1 & 2)


3. I Don’t Drive Luxury Fast  Cars


There’s a great book by  Thomas J Stanley called The Millionaire Next-door. Just like this blog its about dispelling the myths about rich people.


There are two types of the rich:


  • The ones that look rich
  • The one who actually are rich
Most of the images of wealth and riches we see in the media are not the reality. Most millionaires (according to this exhaustive study) are boring middle aged guys, driving reliable boring cars, and they are just nice people who often provide useful services or people to many people.
The people who you see ‘being rich’ make up a really small percentage of rich people. Most people who are rich don’t look rich.
Quick story:


Last year I went to a high end mastermind in the Bahamas, I’m chilling in the lounge. I see some of my coaching friends, and I come to a group of people, I notice some of the folks as real online Gurus, and we strike up a conversation.


We have a great chat and then its time to head off for lunch.


I notice a guy, kinda like me, he’s been listening in, we exchange a few pleasantries, he’s nice enough.


I ask one of the guru’s later who was this guy in the corner lounge.


‘Oh, thats Darren. He’s like the number 1 earner in MOBE. He made like a quarter of million last month.’


Jaw drops.


When I grow up I want to be like Darren.


4. Life Is NOT A One Stop Party


True story – the last party I went to was my daughters’s 3rd Birthday. That was in April. It’s now almost July.


Hint: If most of the guests in the party aren’t toilet trained yet, then its not a party.


(until they start drinking the cordial and the Frozen sound track comes on – then its a party!)




Truly, life as an online entrepreneur is more often than not, pretty boring.


Here’s what most days look like for me:


7am I wake up, I wipe the drool from my face and after adjusting myself I start my day.


I check my campaigns from overnight, I launch new campaigns. I send an email blast. I write a blog post. Sometimes.


1pm I network. I watch a few Youtube videos. There goes the afternoon…


4pm I have (another) coffee. I try and jog around the blog. I check my affiliate stats.


I high five myself when I make money.


I cry and eat ice cream when I don’t.


5pm I tell my wife ‘we’ need some more ice cream.
6pm I spend time with my loved ones, have diner, and sneak in another hour or two of work.


10.30pm I go to bed happy and grateful. Fade into black.




5. Its Actually Gets Quite Lonely


Having to go to work, give you routine. You might not like all of your workmates, but there’s usually one or two that you get along with and the friendly banter helps pass the day as you work.



Thats not what happens when you work for yourself.



If you don’t like listening to boring work colleagues just try listening to yourself  for a few months.




Its enough to make you go postal on your own ass…



Take your most boring work colleague and 10x them. Thats you.



Even the most shy and introverted of us are still (curiously) social creatures. We crave human interaction.




This is a picture of what happens when you let a bunch of internet marketers outside to play.


Thats why you see all these photos and movies of affiliates and entrepreneurs having fun and making out on the beach in all those promo shots.


Its probably because they haven’t seen another adult (bar their significant other) for weeks or months.



It hard to be taken seriously as an adult if it’s 4pm and you’re still in your pajamas and your fluffy slippers.



Which remind me… *removes fluffy slippers*


So yeah, you could say that after a few weeks of cabin fever its nice to get out.



Which is why I think its important to have some resemblance of a life.


I try to go out and network at least once a week, I have toastmasters to improve my speaking and listening skills. I run with my running friends. And seriously, my family keeps me sane. Or a resemblance of sanity.


6. Say Goodbye To Your Social Skills…





The above cartoon says it all. And this one –


7. Get Used To Failing (Lots Of Failing)



Don’t like failing? Don’t like getting proven wrong (yet again) and feeling like an idiot?




Don’t become an entrepreneur.



Don’t like wasting time? Don’t like wasting money? Don’t like striking out 7 out of ten times?



Don’t become an entrepreneur.


In pop psychology and feel good motivation it’s all about ‘Go Hard! Fail lots! It’s getting you closer to your goals! Don’’t view it as failure view it as challenges!!’



Let me tell you something you already know. Failing sucks.



I’ve not wanted to get out of bed sometimes. I couldn’t bare to look at my screen for weeks at a time.




I’ve been in near tears with my wife when I had to admit how much ‘my failures’ had cost us.


Real failure really, really hurts.
If you don’t like failing, get a nice comfortable job and work until you get some sort of pension.



Honestly, its just as good as any path out there. Don’t let anyone tell you that there’s anything wrong with being average. There’s stoic pride in being average.



So why would I go through all of this? Why go through all the beat up and self loathing?


In the industry we call ‘failing’ ‘gathering data’.



Yes we are gathering data that will irrevocably tell us we suck in this particular campaign.


But did you know, a baseball hall of fame-r. Someone who’s the best of the best at what they do. They’re batting averages are a bit over 30%.
That means they Strikes OUT 7 out of 10 times. Imagine swinging 10 times and only connecting 3 times.



And they earn millions of dollars. Like ka-jillions.



Sometimes it pays to be a failure.


8. Not Everyone Is Meant To Be An Online Entrepreneur


This is not an easy pill to swallow.



I’m a naturally optimistically person who truly believes everyone can be anything they want to be.



But not everyone is cut out to be an online entrepreneur.


Some people should just stick to their day jobs.


Some people are as thick as bricks.



Some people are perpetually confused, stressed, bewildered and fearful. These people need Zoloft.



Some people can’t handle failing. Some people are control freaks. Procrastinators. Perfectionists.



Actually, all the above was me at various points, and sometimes all at the same time.


Perhaps I’m not cut out to be an entrepreneur.


But then I have a cup of coffee. And stare at my affiliate stats again.



9. Your Boss is An Idiot


I didn’t know who was worse – my idiot of a boss or the fact I was working for him. I glared at him hard…



And then I found a zit in the mirror and squeezed it.


Everyone expounds the idea of how great it is to fire your boss.


“You’re boss is an idiot! You can do so much better then him/ her!”


“Yeah! I bet I can do better than him all day! I’m sure all he does all day is steal office supplies and watch porn!”


In that moment you have this overwhelming desire to say screw it and you have an ‘entrepreneurial seizure’ as they say in the e-Myth.



Seizures aren’t pretty. Neither are bosses. (Unless you were my third boss, daaamnn!)




I’ve had some horrible bosses in my time. I’ve literally been shaking in my car when I rocked up to work. Thats how bad it got. But I was grateful to have a job.


But when you work for yourself – guess who your boss is?


Its you.





If you’re anything like me that thought should terrify you.


So you’re psychologically unemployable. Does that make you a good boss?



Most likely not. I wasn’t even a particular good worker. I was always stealing office supplies.



Now you’re the boss – you’re either


  1. A boss who has a you as a worker who steals the office stationary
  2. You’re the boss and you are stealing your own office stationary
  3. You both ok that the other is stealing the office stationary
  4. You both occasionally watch porn during office hours


Either way, if thats your business, you’re screwed.


Okay Sam, I Get It… Being An Entrepeneur Sucks


Whoa there Amigo… who said anything to that sort?


Being an entrepreneur rocks, it rocks hard. I wouldn’t trade it for all the cushy stable jobs in the world!



What I’ve tried to do, perhaps with a bit of tongue in cheek humour, is to pop the ballon for you a little.



I want to pop that balloon called ‘My Illusions’.



Being an entrepreneur isn’t all rainbow and sunshines.


Sometimes I don’t even see the sun!



But it sure beats the alternative (for me anyways).




When we stop selling the fairyland and start admitting the reality, something awesome happens…



We can start accepting where we are and get onto the important work of making money and making a difference.


And you can make A LOT online. Both in terms of money and difference.



I hope this blog post made a small difference for you.



Watch out for my followup post to this – 7 Reasons Why Being An Online Entrepreneurs Rocks Hard!



P.S Which Ugly truth resonated for you? What should have been on this list? Comment below!