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.