What if Your Online Business Cost $170,000?

Online Business | MindsetThe joys of an online business are abundant. You are your own boss. You set your own hours. And, you can be “in business” after spending very little money on start-up costs.

These same facts that make online business ownership great, are also responsible for a lot of online business failures. Because they make your online business feel a lot like a hobby. After all, you are doing something you love. And in the beginning anyway, you are getting paid little to nothing for it. Isn’t that the definition of “hobby?”

During the last week, we’ve been talking about ways that your online business should mirror a more traditional offline business. You can read about how to schedule your business, and how to connect with others to build your business if you missed those articles.

Today we shift from physical steps you need to take to build a profitable online business, and look at the mindset that’s required to have a successful business.

Mindset ~ love it, or hate it . . .

I know people either love mindset talk, or hate it. You should love it, because your mindset determines what actions you take and how you take them. And your actions determine your success.

The mindset problem stems from the fact that your online business does resemble a hobby more than a business in its early stages. And this fact makes it hard for most people to ever get out of the early stages of their business.

Shifting your mindset to that of an offline business owner is, for most people, more important than any of the factors we’ve talked about. And it’s going to take some practice. In the video, I used the example of an offline business owner who paid $170,000 to purchase a yogurt franchise store. You should think of what kind of store you would open if you’d decided to take the offline business route. Do some quick research and figure out about how much money it would take just to get started. Then use this as your frame of reference as you think about your online business.

Turning Around the “Trying It” Mindset

The critical question is, if you had paid $170,000 to start your online business, would you be treating your business the same way you are today? And I’m almost certain that the answer is “no.”

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is having a mindset that you are going to “try” to make money online. Yet the circumstances of your online business make such a mindset natural.

I can guarantee that you wouldn’t open the doors of your $170,000 yogurt shop with the mindset that you are going to “try” to make money in your business. So, it’s time to start thinking of your online business like it’s your $170,000 yogurt shop. It’s time to ask yourself, how would I schedule my time? How would I invest my money? Would I try to “do it all” in my business? And even harder questions like, how soon would I give up? What effort would I put forth to make sure the doors stayed open? What kind of deadlines would I set for how soon I need to be in the profit zone?

I’m not telling you to compare your online business to an offline business because it’s a good analogy. I’m telling you to do this because it’s reality. Your online business is no different than an offline business when it comes to the investment you make.

No, you didn’t pay $170,000 to start your online business. But you are, and are going to continue, putting in hundreds and thousands of hours on your business.  And you can’t discount the value of those hours. It’s time in your life that you’ll never get back. If you lost your $170,000, you could pursue something else and make the money back. If your online business fails you’re never going to get those hours back. So, what you are putting into this business is much more valuable than $170,000.

Get this mindset, and you’ll see a dramatic shift in how you work your business. And in how your business works for you.

Mindset Matters for Your Friends and Family Too

Finally, make sure your friends and family get into the right mindset too. They undoubtedly view your online business as more of a hobby than you do. Treat your business like a job, so that they’ll do the same.

Here’s a small example. My kids wanted me to swim with them the other morning. And I wanted to swim too! But, it was work hours. Could I have said, “I’ll do it later,” and gone out to the pool? Absolutely. But I wouldn’t have closed the doors to my yogurt shop so I could swim with my kids. So I didn’t close the doors to my online business either. The difference ~ and the beauty ~ of working from home is that I was able to sit by the pool and watch my kids while I worked.

Action Step

Spend a few minutes every day shifting your mindset about your online business. Soon, it will become habit. When your mindset sees your business as the real business that it is, you will start seeing real profits too.  I look forward to hearing about your successes.


  1. Great post! I especially enjoyed your metaphor that you wouldn’t open the doors of your $170,000 yogurt shop with the mindset that you are going to “try” to make money in your business! So, why stinking thinking about an online business?!? Thanks for sharing and great job!

  2. Great read, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Great post, Jennifer! I especially like ‘Turning Around the “Trying It” Mindset.’ It all makes a lot of $ense! Thank you!

  4. Great post, Jennifer. Mindset is so important with an online business. It is more than a hobby and no different than a brick and mortar business. Thanks for another wonderful article!

  5. One of the comments in my blog post this week was, “we don’t try to pick up a pencil, we pick up a pencil.” Here’s to more doing in our biz and a little less merely trying. Sage advice Jennifer, mindset is so important!

  6. Wow Jennifer this is such an important message for all online business owners! Love your analogy to a brick and mortor business…absolutely true that our mindset will affect our outcome online. Thanks so much for this important eye-opener!! Excellent!

  7. Great analogy! I’m sure most people with online businesses never considered thinking of it that way!


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