Need to boost your income to prepare for retirement? Start an online business. That’s what I love to recommend.
In a lot of ways, starting an online business is really easy. You don’t need a lot of capital. You can set up a website yourself, with no tech skills whatsoever. You can work on it at home in the evening or on weekends, all while keeping your day job.
But having an online business and earning real income online are two different things. Lots of people try to do this all the time and fail. It’s not because they didn’t have the skills to make it happen (trust me, you do), but they lacked the wisdom it takes to find and take advantage of a profitable niche online.
Luckily, that’s another easy fix. All you need is an online business mentor. I sought one out myself, and you’re on this site reading my blog as a result. Here’s why I, you, and everyone else needs an online mentor to succeed in the internet business world.
Because Science Says So
Before I dig too far into the real benefits of online mentoring, let me dazzle you with some facts. Business owners, analysts and scientists all agree, individualized mentorship will help you on the road to success.
One study by the SBA Office of Advocacy found that only half of small businesses survive more than the first five years. About 10-12 percent of them close every year.
But a 2014 survey by the UPS Store highlights and interesting factor that impacts business success early on. You guessed it: Mentorship. Their survey found that 70% of small businesses that receive mentoring survive more than five years. That’s much higher than the survival rate of non-mentored businesses.
According to another survey by Sage, 93% of small and medium sized businesses acknowledge that mentoring can help them succeed. Despite this, business mentorship is the first choice for only 9% of decision-makers to get business advice.
So we know mentorship is helpful, but we don’t seek it out? That makes no sense. Maybe it’s because we want to tangibly know what we’d get out of that kind of relationship. Well, just keep reading this article and you’ll find out.
Skip the Learning Curve
96% of Americans have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone. Meanwhile e commerce is growing 23% year-over-year. There has literally never been a better time to be doing business online.
Big businesses like Amazon are dominating mainstream e commerce, while smart small business owners are filling up the smaller niche needs.
You can succeed at running a small business online, if you can find an open, profitable niche as well. But it’s not easy. You could spend months, even years, traveling down a business path only to realize Amazon or another powerful player offers the same service you offer at a cheaper price!
Building a profitable internet enterprise takes a lot of thought and effort, especially if you’re starting from square one. Once you know how to identify a good niche and create a strategy to fill it, you’ll be a lot better off.
A good online mentor will have years of experience building this knowledge and perfecting their own strategies. They’ll be able to know, either off the top of their head or after a quick Google search, if your business idea has earning potential or not. They can help you wade through the common online business pitfalls, avoid the dead ends, and develop a business idea that can really compete in today’s online market.
It’s much better to know now if a business idea isn’t viable, so you can start focusing on a profitable path.
Avoid the ‘Fake It Till You Make It’ False Prophets
I just did a quick search on Amazon for “make money online.” Nearly 40,000 results came up. I can tell you right now “make money online” is the most popular ebook and Udemy course topic by far. People make guides all the time designed to teach you how to create and grow and online business. Some of them are written by seasoned professionals who run their own successful online businesses. 90% of them are not.
You don’t want online business advice from someone who just launched their first blog last year. It’s the same reason you go see an experienced lawyer for legal advice, not a 24 year old who got an B- in Intro to Litigation. Or why you don’t work with a financial planner who’s in debt. You want the pro advice.
A good online mentor will do more than just tell you they know how to run a successful online business. They will show you that they’ve done it before. An online mentor worth your time and money should be able to say with confidence that they’ve already made a million dollars online. If they haven’t, then how are they in a position to help you do it?
So avoid the false prophets: Stay away from ebooks, video courses, or other “how-to” materials out there created by people who are just trying to make a buck themselves. You’re throwing your money away. All you need is an online business mentor with a track record of success.
Learn the Smart Way to Do It Yourself
People try to start online businesses all the time, and agencies and freelancers out there want to help make it happen. Need help with SEO? Site design? Paid advertising? Someone will take your money and do it all for you. The more you can spend, the more they can help. Great.
But isn’t it better if you know how to do these things yourself? Even if you do decide to outsource the tasks, you want to at least understand what you’re paying for, right? How can you know if that SEO service you’re paying for is working if you don’t know anything about Pagerank?
It can be daunting, but individualized mentorship can bring order to it all and demystify the process. Step by step is much easier than tackling a great unknown all at once without even knowing the best order of operations.
This really resonates with me as I have a lot going on and could easily waste energy on blind alleys, distractions, or get confused and give up because of a lack of structure.
I look for systems where I can’t fail if I commit. If I make the commitment I can be pretty sure I’ll get the results. This is what works for me.
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Outsourcing is a great idea as you scale your business. But in the beginning, you need to gain some base knowledge so you know how to do it yourself. You need to know exactly what to tell your outsourced workers to do.
You Need Friends in the Online World
About 3.2 billion people use the internet today. They search on Google, Tweet, post to Facebook, comment on forums, shop on Amazon. The internet is noisy and crowded.
Online businesses, just like individual internet users, are vying to have their voices heard. But the cacophony of sound is so loud, that usually the only person who will really hear you is the one standing right next to you.
But that person is valuable. They have the power to pass on your message as well, expanding your reach beyond your own yelling distance.
Enough metaphors. The point is that you need friends in the online world. Networking is a must if you want people to find out about your business. Your mentor will likely be your first industry connection who can open the door to other opportunities to reach your target market. You can go on to spend years promoting each other’s businesses, making the relationship more valuable than the money you spent on online mentorship in the first place.
Ready to Find Your Online Business Mentor?
I hope that was enough to show you how beneficial it can be to find a great online mentor to work with. I really do think starting an online business is the best option to boost income for most people, but I don’t would never tell you to go at it blindly.
If you’re ready to find a mentor, make sure it’s someone you can trust, who can prove they know what they’re doing. Personally, I recommend Pete & Connie Sisco at ResilientPersonalFreedom and their program Safely Leave the Rat Race.
Here are a few reasons why:
- I’m a client of their program. Pete and Connie helped me build MyRetirementRehab.me
- Pete has been making money online since 1996. That’s like 100 years in internet age.
- They’ve made millions of dollars from various successful online businesses over the years.
- Through one-on-one mentorship, Safely Leave the Rat Race will help you identify your entrepreneurial passion and turn it into a viable online business idea.
- Pete started this online mentorship program simply because he likes helping people do this! It’s his dream business.
- He reveals all his knowledge, tactics and systems instead of keeping them veiled from the client’s view, as many consultants do. And he tells you the ‘why’ not just the ‘what’ to do.
- Because he enjoys it, he keeps undercharging us all for his online mentorship time. (I keep telling him to at least double his prices.)
- Get on his mailing list because he won’t accept people who just walk in the door. He needs to know you have read some of his emails and articles and will be a good fit for working together. Once you’re his client, you’ll really get to know each other.
There’s only so much you can glean from blogs, videos, and how-to-guides. If you want to build a new business on the internet from scratch, and skip the pitfalls and learning curve, online individualized mentorship is a must.
Ian Bond is a private banking senior executive with over three decades of experience in wealth and asset management with Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Citigroup. He has built major businesses on four continents.
Despite his professional responsibility for assets over $100B and revenues over $1B, after the 2008 crash Ian was personally going broke. Within five years he destroyed his debt, became an expat in 2014, and built multiple streams of income to fund his imminent retirement. Ian is also the founder of MyRetirementRehab.me created to help other executives and professionals rehabilitate their finances and make a prosperous, enduring retirement a reality.