The concept of online business as a marathon not a sprint

When I talk to people about running a successful online business, I am invariably struck by how little they are psychologically prepared for the inevitable struggle.

The struggle to get the site built, the struggle to get anyone to come and check out your site, the struggle to convert the visitor into the consumer and on and on.

Even though you see all the get rich quick ads on the web, the truth is, becoming successful in ANY field is hard work. I read a lot of online marketing blogs and literature every day (it’s kinda my job) and I almost never read people talk about the struggle.

Here are some of the hurdles you’ll face when you’re new in this space:

  • You have a rough idea for a website but it’s very rough..not clear at all.
  • You have no time but you need to make time but you have no time.
  • You have family commitments and did I mention you have no time?
  • You have no money to buy fancy tools and technology (but somehow you have money for daily coffee…interesting.)
  • You’re tired in the evenings because you have a full time job during the day and you work really hard.
  • It’s the summer and there are a lot of fun things to do besides sit at your desk and work on online stuff.

Life will throw many things at you to get you to stop trying to build your dreams. You need to push back and push beyond.

This process of learning this stuff will require determination and a level of sacrifice because everything worthwhile comes with an opportunity cost.

There will be many times when it will seems like it’s all too hard, your business idea will never be successful and it’s easier to quit.

I guarantee that. It is easier to quit.


But the truth is, you need to persevere. The web is the one place where you (for the most part) will get out what you put in. If you want to create or enhance your online business, there are tools out there that can help you get to where you need.

You just have to keep trying, never stop learning.

I’ll give you a personal example.

A few years ago, I had a site that was bringing in about $2000 a month and I knew I could make more. I instinctively knew the site could do better but didn’t really know what more I could do to improve revenue.

It all started with an innocent email at 3am California time.

I spent many months trying different formulas and they mostly fizzled and lost steam and the revenue was still stuck at around $2000.

One night/morning at around 3am I got an email from an account manager from Uniblue. Uniblue is a small software company based in Malta that sells software utilities for computers (driver optimization software etc).

Long story short, he talked me into becoming an affiliate for the company and placing their code on my sites. I placed the code on and I believe I made $75 the next day. Just from that one source of revenue.

For years after that, I made between $80 to $200 per day as an affiliate for that company.

Just like that and it all started with an innocent email at 3am California time.

Here’s my point

Never give up. If your gut tells you there’s a way, do the work, read the books, search the web, network aggressively, keep trying.

This is a marathon so you need to pace yourself. There will be ups and downs but the truth is, you just need to make that commitment to yourself to see your project through.

Once again, this is a marathon not a sprint. Pace yourself.

Use the comments below and tell me about any moments you had where you almost gave up. Did you or did you stop?

Curious to hear this from your perspective.

Leave a Comment Below

  • Great advice and great story.

    I get really sad sometimes because my traffic is about 15 people a day so it’s nice to hear that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.


    • 15 people a day is a lot more than ZERO people a day. It’s all relative.

      If you’ve been at 15 people day for 6 or more months, you’re probably doing something wrong but everyone has to start somewhere.

      Keep at it.


      • Very true. 15 a day may seem like nothing, but it’s all relative. A real business with a store front may only get 1 customer a day for the first few weeks. If you have confidence in your business, wait it out.

    • Hang in there, Marco. It will get better if you have a good website to offer and work your tail off! Best of luck. Nice article, Onuora!

  • I like this. We live in a microwave society and people are losing patience by the day. Patience as a virtue has never been more true.

  • The one key is will power. An online business requires a lot of focus and desire, which you clearly possess. It’s easy to surf the web or leave the computer or do something else, but you need to work just as hard as you would have to in a “real” business.

  • Great read, Onuora. I think to start a successful online website, you need to devote time to it. For a lot of people, that means quitting your job. If that’s something you can take, do it. But it’s extremely rare to be able to create a successful online website in your spare time.

  • The bullet points hit home. Work is hard. Simple as that, but if you are driven and believe in your business, it shouldn’t stop you from pushing through the bullet points. Excuses are just that: excuses.

  • Easy isn’t the way to make money. If you’re looking for an easy (and dumb) way to make money, play the lottery everyday. Other than that, you will need to work hard to make your money, especially if you’re the one starting the business. After you’ve worked hard for a decade, it will probably get easier, but you need to put the work in first.

  • Keeping things in perspective, having faith in yourself, and a willingness to sacrifice is key in the online business world. Nice example. Keep the faith everyone! It’s a long and winding road.

  • Great personal story. You never truly know how long or if it’ll come, but if you don’t believe and push forward, you’ll never find out. I’ll keep doing that hoping for my “3 am email.”

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