Back when I started blogging in 2010, there still weren’t that many people running an online business from their laptop. Or, well, at least not like there is now.
I’d go to networking events back in the day, tell people I ran an online business as a blogger and get the weirdest looks. Now, things are way different. The weird looks have turned into admiration and curiosity.
As I look back on the last seven years of my creative career, I’m glad I was ahead of the curve and continued on with my kooky idea of running an online business and becoming a full-time blogger.
Here are six reasons why starting an online business (and quitting my job to go for it full-time) is quite possibly the best decision I’ve ever made.
I’m location independent.
The main reason I wanted to have an online business was so that I wouldn’t have to deal with a boss for the next 40 years of my life. The next reason was because I didn’t want to be told where to be and when.
Fast forward a few years and the ability to run an entire business from my laptop allows me to work from anywhere in the world so long as I have a WiFi connection. If I want to pack up and go, I can.
A couple of weeks ago I was working from San Juan, Puerto Rico. Later this month I’ll be in Nashville, Tennessee and I’m likely going to Austin in May. In fact, I’ll be on a plane once a month through June.
Here’s another example of the power of location independence. Just yesterday a business colleague and friend posted that she’s been wanting to visit Nicaragua. I commented with, “Me too! Why don’t we just find an AirBnB with WiFi and go?” Long story short, I may be in Nicaragua this summer.
There’s a lot to explore and see in the world, and having a location independent business lets me see it without having to sacrifice my income.
An online business is low-cost.
I don’t need to spend a whole lot of money to keep my online business running. At least not in comparison to other businesses out there.
Even with an accountant on retainer, a manager and two contractors I’m still spending significantly less than most businesses. The reason is because I can use a lot of online tools to automate and scale parts of my business.
My goal for 2017 is to find ways to make my business more scalable. Fortunately, this can be pretty easy for an online business. But before I get into that, I must first explain what scalability is.
Freelance writing and consulting, which now make up a big part of my revenue, are not scalable because I need to trade time for money. This means there’s only so much I can do because my time is limited.
On the other hands, digital products like membership sites and online courses are scalable because I don’t need to trade my time for money.
In the case of the membership site, I have recurring revenue each month when people sign up.
In the case of digital courses, I can pretty much automate and systematize the entire sales process. Additionally, with the exception of some updates here and there, I really only have to create the course once and then keep selling it over and over again.
Another example of scalability is affiliate sales. I make monthly revenue from recommending products on my blog. I simply write the post once, focus on promoting it (which doesn’t cost very much) and make affiliate sales passively.
While I’m still working on putting all the systems together in my online business in order to make it more scalable, the fact that I even have the option to do it is a major reason why starting an online business is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
My entire team is virtual.
Part of what I love about running an online business is that my entire team is virtual. Not a single one of my team members is in my local area.
You would think this makes things difficult, but I don’t really need them to be physically present in order to get work done. Additionally, online project management systems like Asana allow us to communicate with each other and keep track of everything.
I’m not bound by my location for new business.
I’ve had writing and coaching clients from all over the world. I also have students and blog readers who reside in different parts of the world.
The ability to do this means I am not reliant on my local area for new business. There is nothing stopping someone in Asia from purchasing one of my courses. There’s nothing stopping someone in Europe from hiring me as their coach. And there’s nothing stopping anyone on the other side of the country from hiring me to write.
I’ve met the coolest people.
An online business has been the gateway for meeting some really cool people. I literally have friends all over the country and all over the world, many of which offer up their guest room or their couch if I’m ever in town.
These are also friends I’ve traveled to other countries with. They are friends I’ve learned from. Friends who support me and root me on as I keep building this business and this brand. They are friends who’ve expanded my world to new horizons all the time.
This isn’t to say that I haven’t met amazing people in my local area because I have. It simply means that the internet has allowed me to meet people I may not have gotten to know otherwise. This is by far one of my favorite reasons for having started an online business.
Starting an online business that I can run completely from my laptop has changed my life in ways I couldn’t even have imagined just a few short years ago. From location independence to meeting some of the smartest people I know, I know my life is better as a result of creating a business I can run from my laptop.