Online Businesses And The Reality Of Working For Yourself

working from homeA few months ago, I finally took the the plunge by quitting my full time job in order to focus 100% on my internet business, and so far, I have to admit it is the best decision I ever made: I don’t have anyone to report to anymore; I don’t have a schedule; I do what I want; and I can work from anywhere in the world. The best is, I make about as much (maybe more) than I did in my full time job. Looks great on the paper, doesn’t it? But is it as great as it seems to be?

Working From Home Made Me Lazy

That’s true, I’m a lazy ass these days… But I’ve got a good reason why I’m lazy though. I wrote 2 ebooks, both of them in a very specific niche, and I sell them through affiliate marketing (on ClickBank to be precise). One of those ebooks works alright, making me a few hundred dollars every week. The other one actually pays my bills, usually generating one thousand dollars per week in net profits.

When I first quit my job, I said to myself that I would develop one new ebook/affiliate program every month. At the time, it seemed like a very realistic goal. Writing an ebook can take up to 2-3 weeks, assuming you know what you want to write about, and putting up a website with a sales letter takes less than a week.

My laziness started to appear when I realized that my 2 current ebooks make me enough money to live pretty well. I’m not the kind of guy who’s going to bust his ass off to make tons of money. However, if I feel the financial situation is getting tight, I will work day and night to make as much cash as possible. I suspect there are lots of people like me in this world. We’re not hard workers; we’re smart workers.

So what do I do all day? Tough question to answer as I’m not even sure myself. I pretty much spend all my day online, reading news/blogs and on Twitter of course! Not very productive at all… Occasionally, I will take a walk to the post office to send back a Netflix movie. I also go to check the surf on a daily basis, and if there are waves, I will go out and surf for a couple hours.

The Negative Health Benefits Of The Internet

I am starting to realize that spending so much time in front of my computer all day is bad for me. Physically, I’m not as healthy as I was a year ago. The most obvious symptom is that I am constantly tired. I get up at 7.30am, and turn on my computer within minutes. One hour later, I will already be yawning. I was in Costa Rica for the last 2 weeks and I just spent a few minutes a day on my computer during that time. My energy level went way up right away as I used the computer less and less.

Another symptom of the perfect “work at home dude” like me is back pain. I have a laptop and I spend most of my time on the couch. It is very comfortable but it’s not a way to work. My girlfriend bought me a nice office chair to go with my desk but I rarely use it. I constantly have this pain in my lower back; nothing a good yoga session with Tina can’t fix, but it’s still a growing problem that I need to seriously take care of.

I think the internet is also making me socially retarded! When I worked at the office, I had to go out of my house every morning, walk to work, talk to my coworkers and talk to clients. In short, I had human interactions, which are vital to your social insertion… What do I have now? Twitter followers and RSS subscribers! It seems a little pathetic to me.

Being Your Own Boss Is Stressful

When I worked for the man, I used to think that working for yourself would be much less stressful because you wouldn’t have to deal with so many frustrating situations and that you could do whatever you want. I was partly right because now that I don’t have anyone to report to and no one to deal with, I have a much less stress to deal with. However, I have a whole new stress to cope with now: the stress of the paycheck!

If you’re currently employed, you probably don’t stress much about your paycheck. You now that twice a month, you will get a nice check for a defined amount you already know. You are paid the same amount every 2 weeks, no matter what (this applies if you’re a salary employee of course, which I used to be). I didn’t worry about my paycheck before. I knew that 2 or 3 months from now, I will still be making the same amount, and it was really reassuring.

Now I stress a lot about my paycheck because it is completely depending on my results. I am constantly looking at my emails to see if I received this magical email from ClickBank with the subject line “CB Sale”, telling me I just made another $40. Sometimes I have good days where I make $400. Sometimes, like 2 days ago, I have bad days where I make only $50. The most stressful to me is when I have a series of bad days. It completely freaks me out, until everything starts working again and making it up for the last few slow days.

Give Me Some Of That Internet Money

I do 2 simple things for a living: I have my affiliate programs; and I write for my iPhone blog. When people ask me what I do now, I just answer: “internet”. This short and simple answer is usually enough to satisfy the person asking you this question. I choose to answer this because I can’t put a real title on what I do.

Sometimes, if the person is genuinely interested in what I do, he will ask me more details. Explaining online affiliate marketing to a non-business savvy person is kinda hard, even though I try to simplify it as much as I can by saying that “I sell electronic reports and I blog about technology”.

A good definition of what I do though is that “I make money online”. I try not to use this term though because I think it sounds very cheesy. When you say you make money online, people think something like “oh yeah, just like the scammy late night commercials about how I can make money online working 4 hours a day”?

My friend Kayle is funny about it and always asks me to give him “some of that internet”, just like in the South Park episode where the kids try to make money online by having a video of Butters on YouToob.

Two Weeks Later…

Well, it’s been about two weeks since I first started writing this post and things have changed a bit. First, I worked on a new website that is now live and generating additional revenues. This website is part of my previous post about how to hit different niches with the same product. This website doesn’t pay the bills, but it’s still extra money.

The second thing I did is trying not to spend as much time in front of my computer. I now get off the internet for a few hours to read a book or a magazine. I am also starting to run! If you knew me, you wouldn’t believe what I just said, but yes, I do run for a couple miles and I kinda like it. It definitely boosts my energy level.

For the last two days, I haven’t been working from the couch. I put my laptop on the kitchen table and work from there. It’s really comfortable and I get to see what’s going on outside.

Finally, in order to fight my anti-social behavior, and after talking to my therapist who confirmed I need to interact with others (duh!), I am looking into participating in a Toastmaster club. This would definitely help me meet and talk with others.

I guess the goal of this post was to bring me to realize that I can’t just sit around all day and do nothing. I have this great opportunity of making a ton of money and I should take it because it might not last long.

15 thoughts on “Online Businesses And The Reality Of Working For Yourself

  1. This just sounds so like me! I have the same probs trying to explain what I do to people. Actually I have the same problem trying to explain to myself what I do.

    I have been trying blogging and internet marketing for a year now and just keep going around in circles. I have set up various WordPress blogs and then abandoned them.

    I Have started walking. Doing 1 hour at 4 miles an hour, 4 times a week is working wonders for me. It’s great for burning fat!

    I have my laptop on my dining room table and watch the world go by.

    I am being told all the time that I need to get back amongst people. I used to have hairdressing salons and now I am in the house all day by myself. I quite like it but if I don’t make some money this week I will have to start doing some hairdressing again. Boo hoo.

    Thanks for this article. It is great to know that real people are making money on the internet. It really is my dream to do this.

    Cathy

  2. Thank you very much for your comment Cathy. “Making money online” sure takes time but if you stick to it and don’t give up, you will eventually reap the rewards!
    Sebastien

  3. Hi

    Although I ca accept this idea – being your own master- I do not support it. Why? First of all I love to be around people and around ideas; I love dressing up for the job; I love learning new things and I do love team – buildings! I am planning to have my own business some day but I want it to be made out of people and their ides. One question for you: how do you see yourself in 10 years? still behind the laptops?

    All the best

  4. I get your point, Nancy. In 10 years? Yes, I still see me behind a computer screen. But by then, my fiance and I will have kids and hopefully I will have learned how to work more efficiently so I can spend more time with my family, and less time working.

  5. I would like to make money online as well but i do not have the know-how! Good for you because you already made it big. I envy you on that! Wish i could also earn so much money through internet one day!

  6. Sebastien, you have a good plan there. I hope it works for you! I trust that – in such a busy world – finding the right balance between work and family has become the ultimate dream. Your solution it might work!
    Someday I’ll search it too.

  7. Hi, Sebastien.

    The best way to cure back pain for me has been to use a Swopper for part of the day. Of course, putting your laptop on your desk and using an external monitor and/or keyboard/mouse will help with neck strain (if you’re not noticing the neck strain yet, you will soon, unfortunately).

    The crappy thing about working at the computer is we get away with bad habits for quite a while because the human body is able to adapt. So working in these horrible manners that we ALL have done doesn’t hurt at first, even though it’s hurting our bodies and leading to a chronic condition.

    That’s enough of a rant about RSI (repetitive stress injury) for now. :)

    Good luck with a pain-free work at home experience!

  8. This job sounds like a relaxed but I think that you should go to a sport. You will to understand sooner or later. It’s nice when you are the organizer of your time, but it can be dangerous.

  9. i’m wanting to work on an ebook soon… i’m interested in moving to selling my own products instead of other people’s!
    i work only from home too and i’m trying to make sure i get to the gym 4-5 times a week and i get to chase around a 2 year old all day… i couldn’t imagine having a ‘real’ job and not being home with my daughter!
    i can totally relate to getting lazy though and needing to make time to get off the comp – if i don’t make myself move, i will spend hours in the evening glued to the comp which then messes up my sleep because my mind is still going… its 11:11pm right now for example!
    i’ve found that starting a routine of having a long bubble bath late in the evening (with some wine of course) and a good book is helping me to get away from the comp, and sleep better!
    i’m enjoying your blog :)

  10. I guess many people think that making money online is as simple as clicking here and there. But in fact there is a lot of work to be done and continuous improvement is needed to maintain the website content. It requires a lot of discipline and patient. And I wouldn’t dream of quitting my full time job anytime, even if I can make a lot of money from my website. Is it business as usual in the Internet world 10 years later? A question that no one has a firm answer to it.

  11. The success of a business depends upon its visibility. You need to make your presence felt online in various search engines that can provide you with good traffic and profit for your business. This can now be done by SEO..

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