In 2019, after much deliberation and a chance encounter, I changed the trajectory of my life and created my digital home within a global community of over 2 million. These are 5 critical lessons from my 1st year as an Online Entrepreneur and Content Marketer.
The learning has been profound and the success, inspiring, to say the least.
Perhaps you are sitting on the fence and wondering if this lifestyle could or would work for you. If that is the case, here are some things you may want to consider.
1. Believe in Your “Why”
I always wanted to retire early. In my vision, it did not mean that I would stop working. What it meant to me was that I would gracefully surrender the corporate labyrinth, simplify the construct of my life and live on my terms.
Being a free spirit is the oil that turns my engine. Living life with personal freedom is of utmost importance to me and I am not prepared to compromise my values, ethics or morals to remain tied to any entity that is not in sync with me.
This is not arrogance or my feeling that I am any better than anyone or anything. Far from it and quite the opposite. You see, having worked for many people and organisations, across the world, I have come to believe that the model within which they all operate goes sharply against the grain of my belief and my “why“.
That is my “why” – choice. The ability to retain and protect my personal right to choose what is best for me and create a lifestyle that I want. I have chosen the entrepreneur path and I have chosen the online vehicle to get me there.
I can build my business(es) in absolutely any way that I choose to, work with whoever I choose to and earn whatever I choose to.
My destiny is truly in my hands and I am just not prepared to compromise.
2. You Must Be Resilient
At the age of 4 years, I started working with my grandmother in our country’s Central Market. Granny bought and sold produce. She could not read or write and I was her human resource who did that for her.
I learned my resilience from her. It is a gift that I am passing on to my daughter as she quickly moves into her teenage years.
In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, resilience is among those strengths at the bottom of the pyramid that keep the structure standing tall, regardless of the adversity that it faces.
Survival Skills they are called. To me, those skills just come naturally and I tap into them whenever I need to.
I have made a business out of helping people learn how to be resilient.
Being an entrepreneur will test every ounce of your mental and emotional competence. You will not make it if these aspects of your functioning are weak.
There will be times when you will fall, fail and wonder why you started the journey. Those are the times when all you will have to lean on is your own internal strength and determination to succeed.
Do not wait to be tested. The sooner you start to strengthen your resilience, the better it will be for you in the long run.
3. The Devil is in the Details
The online world is flooded with content!
Much of it will never be seen, read or listened to. Much more will be viewed as fluffy, lacking quality and relegated to the abyss. you do not want your content, your business, to end up there.
Building quality content requires intense focus and the ability to zero in on aspects of a product, service or idea that others have missed. You have to see the cracks, hues of colour and grains of character that rest within your topic(s).
This is how you find your niche.
You take a broad idea or concept and you massage it until you hit that tiny nerve or one muscle that is being neglected. When you find that orgasmic point you will know because it will loudly scream your passion for all to hear and see.
You will take that discovery and make your visitors hungry and thirsty for your offering. Suddenly, they will be asking:
“How did I ever live without this?!”
Of course, the best product or service to provide them with an answer to that question will be yours.
You have to become granular, listen with your eyes and speak compellingly with your words.
4. Structure for the Long Term
Building an online business is not a quick-fix and will not happen overnight.
Yes, you may be able to buy one of those bling, promise-the-world programs and get a few dollars a few times over but, if you want to build a sustainable business, you must think and structure for the long term.
Depending on the choices that you make early on, the learning that you invest in and the support that you have, you could start to see emerging successes within a year to 18 months. Some find it even sooner.
If you use those early successes to leverage your upward steps and remain consistent, more and greater success will follow.
Every day, I see people starting their online journey all hyped up and excited and then burning out in a short time. They did not invest any effort into their foundation and breezed along flippantly thinking that it would be easy.
Perhaps the glamour of the success of those who have been toiling for years makes them short-sighted.
When the going gets tough and the volume of work required to grow and scale their business confronts them, they disappear as hurriedly as they appeared.
You do not want this to be you.
Starting an online business should be approached just as you would an offline business. You must be passionate about your business idea, you must do research and you must have a plan that you work on every day.
Finding support within a community of like-minded people would be an asset and that is something I can guarantee to share with you. It is because of the learning community that I walked into that I have been able to realise so much success, so quickly.
5. This is Not a Sprint
So you have read this far. If you are still here, it means that your desire is strong and you are searching for the help and support that you need to start your online business journey.
Am I right?
Well, the fact that you have stayed here this long tells me that you may not be a sprinter and that’s a good sign. What is a sprinter, you ask?
A sprinter is someone who jumps in without reading the label or the fine print. S/he doesn’t realise that the t-shirt is the wrong size or cannot be returned once the package is opened.
You do not want to be a sprinter.
In my online business community, we often say that you are running a marathon not a sprint when you work online. If you are running a marathon, you train differently.
You need to focus on your horizon more and train your body to go longer without water. You have to lighten your body mass so as not to be burdened by too much weight. You must keep an even pace to minimize the amount of energy that you use.
Your breathing should be regulated and tempered. Your mind should be clear with a distinct picture of your end destination etched firmly.
6. Your Lifestyle Will Change
This was not a lesson or something that I expected. It was something that evolved seamlessly as I learn and put the lessons into practice.
The internet offers you a world (pun intended) of opportunities and possibilities. To make the most of these, you must be open to change and adapting to the many positives that will come your way.
Of course, my reasons started off as perhaps yours would. I wanted to have the flexibility of time and the ability to work when and how I wanted.
As a single-parent, these are even more important.
What came unexpectedly was the change in my lifestyle and how I reprioritised what was important and what mattered to me and my daughter. Working online opened my eyes to many different ways of thinking, doing and being.
I am truly grateful for all of those things.
Now that I have time at my hands to focus on what I want to, I have been able to broaden my perspectives, try many new things, meet some most interesting people on the planet and most importantly, give back in the most meaningful way.
In our community, we don’t just talk about it, we really do it.
I can proudly say that I am a much better human being than I was 1 year ago.
How I Became An Online Entrepreneur
I currently live in my Birth Country, Trinidad and I am the proud mother of a truly beautiful 10-year old daughter. She is a very talented Dancer, Ballerina, Moko Jumbie and Swimmer.
As an Entrepreneur, I have started businesses in New Zealand, the USA and here in Trinidad. I have lived and worked all over the world – England, USA, Africa, New Zealand, Central America, (to name a few).
We LOVE! to travel and explore cultures.
In October 2019, after drifting around the internet, I launched my Digital Entrepreneur Footprint with Wealthy Affiliate.
Today I manage 3 profitable websites, coach other Digital Entrepreneurs, design training programs to strengthen the personal leadership required for business and, I educate my daughter through travel and other human and cultural experiences.
Would you like the freedom to build your own successful online business and enjoy the lifestyle that suits you best?
Leave a comment below and let me know if I can help you join the growing profession of Content & Affiliate Marketing.
It will be my pleasure!
6 thoughts on “6 Critical Lessons From My 1st Year As An Online Entrepreneur”
I loooove your article and your honesty. Thank you. You are truly amazing.
Can you coach me to become and do as you do, or better please? I know, I know I just have started 4 months ago but this is not an excuse. I really really have and need to become an online business successful entrepreneur, please help!
Thank you, you r indeed amazing!
Your comments are very kind and touching.
I appreciate your authenticity and your confidence.
As a Coach, our goal would be to ensure that you become much better.
Our Wealthy Affiliate Community is designed to ensure this, as you can see from my profile:
I am always open to exploring how I may be able to support.
Again, thank you for your interest.
Thank you, Cassandra, for an inspiring article on your journey as a content and affiliate marketer.
It gives hope to new affiliates to get to see the inside makings of this business. It is clear that is it only through genuine efforts one will be able to make it in this field.
Your generosity in your sharing is unsurpassed many would keep such insight to themselves and yet you are able to share freely.
I still look forwards to my first earning and because of your article, plan to use it to further build my business.
Thank you for sharing your wealth of knowledge.
You are very welcome, Ntlhane.
I appreciate your kind feedback and am always open to sharing my experiences.
Life is a cycle.
The more you give, the much more you get. 🙂
Keep moving, learning and taking action.
Success will be yours.
Wishing you the very best.
Excellent review of your first year as an online marketer. Your six points hit the nail on the head as to what it takes to become a world-class digital marketer. We learn as we proceed on our journey, and that learning never stops no matter the degree of our success. Monetary gain is the natural result of our effective service to others. Enjoy your journey and appreciate your success. All the Best.
Joseph, thank you for the time you have taken to read and comment.
The 1st year was not an easy one by any means but the rewards far outweigh any other that I have received.
The learning and support that I have been given are priceless!
In time, the financial rewards will grow, as will the lives that I will impact.
I look forward to seeing you again.