Internet Business Life Cycle: Too Short to Handle?

business life cycle
Business life cycle
From my 2 years into webpreneurship, I learn a thing or two about Internet business life cycle that you might want to ponder upon if you want your webpreneurship career a long lasting one.

Like many who enter the make money online arena, I was ultra-enthusiastic at first. I expect seeing plenty of greens coming my way, easy. However, I found out online money making to be challenging at best. The number one problem each and every webpreneur must face is the short Internet business life cycle.

But first thing first – to clarify, this article is NOT about rants. I am a big fan of webpreneurship and believe that making money online is THE way to go (I AM making money online!) This article is about keeping your feet to the ground and your mind focus to what’s important so you can do what’s necessary to be successful online.

Some misconceptions and facts

Unlike what many gurus and experts teach and claim today, raking in “$60,000 a month online – GUARANTEED!” is rather misleading, in my opinion. “No experience required,” “no hard work needed – be a beach bum,” “just plug and play into the profit system and you’ll rake in $$$,” and other statements are, too, misleading.

Here’s a simple way to justify to offer those – if make money online is so darn easy, why many of us today are struggling financially? If it is that easy, why I’m NOT making $60,000 a month online?

Many suggested answers to those questions, such as:

  • You are not trying hard enough.
  • You are not doing what was told you to do.
  • You are following the wrong advice.
  • You don’t have the resilience in pursuing your dream.

The above are true but a bit general. Well, from my 2 short years online, here are my answers to those questions:

  • I haven’t found the right way to make huge money online, yet.
  • I end up doing too many things at once.
  • I try to reinvent the wheel.
  • The most important one: I overlook the Internet business life cycle.

Pretty similar, but many just don’t get it about the Internet business life cycle.

Before offering you some advice, here are some thoughts you need to consider when pursuing your dream in making money online and webpreneurship:

Is “making $60,000 a month being a beach bum” a scam?

The $60,000 a month claim (and other similar claims) you read is highly probably true, IF you are the system owner that is experienced and has a huge list of leads. From the threads on many forums, I never know someone that can make even half of what’s claimed (correct me on this.) I concluded that it’s largely a marketing gimmick to let you know how much the system creator is making, in such a way that you are enticed to buy the product or join the program. That’s why you’ll see small prints on the sites’ footer telling you that earning claims are not guaranteed.

You could, however, make a good amount of money following the creators’ advice, despite in a (much) lower amount. The key is in choosing the right mentors and gurus to follow, and remember, when you see “plug into the profit system easy” offer, it might just tell you the whole story: It is super-easy to get yourself into the system, but it might NOT be that easy to get much from it. Be careful.

The make money online guides you follow might not be there forever

The ebooks or software you buy from Clickbank or other vendors are having their own life cycles. Chances are, when their popularity is declining (or starting to decline,) the owners are probably either selling the system or let the systems die on their own. Shocking, I know – but I have some facts I can provide you if you need them.

“Be the next Facebook” is ridiculous

Unless you know what you are doing, you need to follow what’s in trend today, and bail out when you see a declining trend. Reinventing the wheel is just resource intensive. “Be the next Facebook” gimmick can work only if you have: A. The ability. B. The team. C. The financing. Missing one ingredient won’t make your online business “the next Facebook.” So the best bet for the rest of us is to follow what’s hot, profit from the trends, and bail out when you start seeing something is wrong.

One example to this: Two years ago bidding directories are hot – I own some bidding directories and I have made thousands of dollars in monthly revenue easy. Last year, bidding directories are “obsolete.” I today make less than $50 a month from them. Arrgh!

Another example in smaller scale: I own a Twitter tool site that thread Twitter conversation – I bought it for $450. It’s one of a kind at that time, but now the exact script my site is using is sold for $20 (and there are literally hundreds of similar sites.) Ouch.

Tips to beat the short Internet business life cycle

Those being said, here are some tips I ‘distilled’ from my experience for you to tackle the Internet business life cycle:

1. Choose an everlasting niche and/or type of online business/web property.

If you can’t deal with the ever-changing world of wepbreneurship, I suggest you to choose an online business or build a web property that serve an ever-presence market. Some online business ideas you can consider:

  • The way to go for the rest of us: Info site (blogs,) micro niche sites/marketing, website flipping, membership sites, and affiliate marketing (this is probably the safest, the surest and the most profitable of all.)
  • If you “got the stuff”: Product launch (ebooks, software, etc.,) online mentoring or consulting, web design and developing (e.g. Premium WordPress themes site,) SEO/link building, and more.

2. Observe, copy, modify

I’ve mentioned about this a couple of times, and I’m going to say it once again: The best way to go is to observe, copy and modify.

You need to find a way to monitor trends closely. Aggregating RSS feeds from Google news and important sites is one way (so that you can get updates the soonest you can.) Watch a trend that interest you, follow the trend (as well as watching what others do working on the trend,) and monitor your progress – if yours are proven to be successful, repeat and rinse.

If you start seeing many competitors, watch the trend closely – when it’s too hot to handle, bail out the soonest you can because tarrying would only leave your web properties with less and less value. Please bear in mind, that “too hot to handle” situations refer to trends that are largely buzzed by the media and many webpreneurs are trying to rake their portion of the pie. Is Twitter-related online business too hot to handle? What about Facebook-related sites (e.g. Facebook apps developers)?

3. Kaizen

You need to learn all the time to stay competitive. The “learning materials” come from many forms: ebooks, news, articles, forums threads, social networking buzz, etc. When you learn continuously (kaizen = continuous learning,) you might surprise yourself when you start seeing and sensing a trend is about to decline.

4. Get a life!

Once again, I stress this one out to you – work hard pays off, indeed; but doing so leaving your social life behind is not right. You must maintain your work-life balance, because at the end of the day, you don’t want to be that filthy rich person who has nobody to share his wealth and knowledge with except with him alone.

I conclude…

As a conclusion, I would remind you once again that in every entrepreneurship endeavour, either online or off line, hard work is a must (along with following the right mentors and being in the right place at the right time.) There is no such thing as easy million-dollar money making opportunity (except if you were married to an heir or heiress or steal other people’s money.)

Ewen Chia, one of the most successful Internet marketers today with a good lineup of best-selling online money making guides, such as Fast Track Cash, told us that he is who he is right now because of hard work and perseverance. Before he went full-time in online money making, he worked in a day job, starting up online from 11 PM to 3 AM day after day for years. Are you willing to pay the price to be successful?

I hope this article can help you to see things clearly and better. I truly expect you to be successful in your webpreneurship endeavour. Good luck!

Ivan Widjaya
Internet business life cycle