The Secret to Creating a Successful Online Business

We've all heard that it takes money to make money, but in an age of instant communication and global connection, that phrase no longer rings true. When we all dreamt of white picket fences, 2.5 kids, a wife, and a dog, that might have been the case. But who wants to live in a boring place like that? Give me the city and the crazies on the bus any day. Oh, and I'll take success without the monetary investment first, thank you!

If you've wanted to be living proof of the rags to riches narrative, this is the best news ever.

With a computer and a stable internet connection, you can make money starting out with very little. Heck, even if you don't own one yourself, you can make it work at your local library.

So if it doesn't take money to make money, what does it take?

I've got an answer for you: willpower.

When it comes to willpower, most people feel like they just don't make the grade. Ever been on a diet and failed? The American Psychological Association says lack of willpower is the top reason people are unable to meet their goals.

Most of the time, when you think of willpower, you think of resisting temptation. Those of us who are able to stick to a diet and resist that perfect looking cheesecake sitting on the counter have amazing willpower and you want to be like them. You know you have a chocolate problem, but if only you could have steel reserve, you'd be able to resist.

But this is just one aspect of how willpower manifests in your life. Saying yes is often just as important as saying no. When we have a list of tasks to do, but know that we could just watch Netflix all day instead, willpower is what helps you tackle those tasks instead of, or at least before, giving in and watching the latest season of your favorite show. Willpower means doing this especially when you don't want to.

Kelly McGonigal has written an amazing book all about willpower called The Willpower Instinct. In it she goes into detail about what willpower is, and how you can apply it to your life She shows that willpower is what distinguishes those we look up to from other people, it's what separates those who are successful from those who don't end up achieving their dreams.

“Self-control is a better predictor of academic success than intelligence (take that, SATs), a stronger determinant of effective leadership than charisma (sorry, Tony Robbins), and more important for marital bliss than empathy (yes, the secret to lasting marriage may be learning how to keep your mouth shut).” - Kelly McGonigal, The Willpower Instinct

When I tell people I work at home, they think of me as being lucky. I get to goof off all day and make money at it, right?

Wrong. While I do have more flexibility with my schedule in working from home, if I don't work, I don't make money. If I did all of those things, I would not be successful in my business. When you work for yourself, you are in control of your schedule. There is nothing to stop you from watching Netflix all day except for your decision not to do so.

This is a big part of why not everyone and their dog is leaving their desk job to start a business.They thrive when they have other people to tell them what to do and ensure they are staying responsible. It turns out, having a boss to report to actually makes people do their job.

Although me and my dog are rockin’ the work from home thing, don’t you think?
Although me and my dog are rockin’ the work from home thing, don’t you think?

Even though you might feel like you don't have willpower, having the right motivation can help you do things that might surprise you. Here are two amazing entrepreneurs I look up to who have the willpower thing down pat.

Jorden Roper, Writing Revolt

Jorden literally went from zero to amazing solopreneur. Back in April of 2015, she got fired from her job before she could prepare herself to enter the field of freelance writing. Instead of giving up, or begging other companies to take her on, she busted her butt to make her freelance writing business work. She put in 12 hour days for months to get on her feet and start bringing in clients. And after 4 months, she was bringing in more money than she could ever make at a desk job. Now she's making it big with her Killer Cold Emailing Course and writing for clients in the B2B industry.

Jon Morrow, Smart Blogger

Jon is something of a legend amongst bloggers. Born with spinal muscular atrophy, Jon had it rough from day one. The only parts of his body he can move are above his neck. But instead of letting that discourage him, he met every day with vigor and the willpower to make the most of it. Determined to conquer the world at a young age, Jon is one of those stories that keep me going when things get rough. By the time he turned 18, he'd already started three businesses. Now he's generating 6 figures each month, and doesn't show any signs of stopping.

Even if you feel like you don't currently have a lot of willpower, you can work to gain and perfect it. Unlike money, you can create willpower from thin air. I highly recommend going through McGonigal's book. She's adapted her Stanford willpower course into actionable chapters.

You can also experiment around to see what motivates you. Why do you want to start a business in the first place? Do you have something that will keep you going when things get rough? Because I promise you that they will. Jorden and Jon didn't just throw in the towel when they faced opposition. They kept going, and that's what helped them get to where they are today. With perseverance and the right motivation, you too can create a successful online business.

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