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The 7 Deadly Virtual Business Mistakes

Michelle Dale - Monday, October 31, 2011

To celebrate Halloween, I decided to do a horror themed post – actually it turned out more like a virtual whip cracking. I was just on YouTube, browsing as you do, when I happened to stumble upon a trailer for an older movie now called “Se7en” with Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt. I quite like a good thriller, and this is a bit of a classic, although quite shocking in several places… It’s one of those films I was happy to see once or twice, but wouldn’t want to ponder on it over my breakfast cereal.

There is a good and bad side to everything, even winning the lottery, and I was thinking about how I could use the film to show that there are reasons why some people make it in this industry and others fall by the wayside. Having an online business has many perks, you work pretty much wherever you want, whenever you want. You can live almost anywhere, and spend much more time at home with your family. This almost sounds like an easy ride – well, let me tell you now, it’s not always. A Location Independent Digital Nomad Travelling Entrepreneur, like every other self-employed business owner needs to work really hard to develop their business. Money doesn’t and will never grow on trees, it has to be made, and earned through hard work and determination.

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The “7 Deadly Online Business Mistakes” can hinder your progress and business development and prevent you from truly gaining an advantage over your virtual business competitors.

#1: The “I’ll Do It Later” Attitude…

Later often never comes, and you need to maintain a high degree of discipline in order to get things done. Sure working at home in your pyjamas is nice, but it’s not a free pass to Lazyville. Remember, there’s no time like the present.

#2: Not ‘Investing’ In Your Business

Just because your business is virtual and all you need is a PC and the Internet, that doesn’t mean to say that you can skip investing in your business. Keep your equipment up-to-date, and your website running smoothly, don’t go with the cheapest option, shop around and find the best quality. You wouldn’t live in a house that was about to collapse because it was a cheap deal – have the same respect for your business.

#3: Too Many Online Coffee Breaks

It’s easy to get distracted online, especially with all the RSS feeds banging around, social media updates, and emails coming through. Restrict your coffee break time online and don’t get too distracted by things outside of the work you’re doing.

#4: Not Using The Virtual Lifestyle To Your Advantage

If you have a virtual business, then you are blessed. If you don’t make the most of it by actually doing all of the things it allows you to do, then it’s a crime and Brad Pitt will come to investigate! Travel the world, experience new things, work in unusual places, and take advantage of this rare opportunity if you feel inclined.

#5: Undervaluing Yourself

Many people who work from home will undervalue themselves and their business. I know when I started out, I used to think to myself, “Who would really want to pay me money for doing these tasks from home, on my computer?” You can sometimes feel that because you work from home, and you may have children around, that you are worth less than someone sitting in an office block with a headset strapped to their head — it’s a misconception, and in many cases the work you can provide is much better, based on the fact that you own your own business and you want to see it truly succeed.

#6: Taking Everything You Can Get

When you start out in the virtual world providing a service, you have a tendency to take whatever you can get. You could end up working with any client willing to spend their money on you, and you may allow the client to dictate the terms of your relationship because you feel something is better than nothing. By doing this you are seriously letting yourself down, and it can lead to unhappiness and an unproductive work environment. Respect yourself, work on your terms and your clients will find this same respect for you as well.

#7: The “Woe Is Me” Mindset

If you’re just starting out, finding things slow, struggling to generate business and beginning to think you’re never going to make any money online and feeling ready to give up, you’re in the ‘woe is me’ mindset. Anyone can run a successful business, if they are willing to push themselves. Do whatever it takes, learn from others, do your research, take risks and gambles, step outside of your comfort zone. So you may have to work until 3am at night, or get up at 6am, so be it, it won’t always be that way, but everyone has to start somewhere, everyone has to learn and adapt and eventually it will pay off and you will have the kind of life that you dream about, but there is no overnight solution. Don’t waste time feeling sorry for yourself, help yourself get out of the rut and back the horse…

Lol, that was scary! But on a serious note, take full advantage of your virtual business and the lifestyle it can bring, and never lose sight of the end goal – It WILL get easier I guarantee it, just don’t give up on yourself, and stay focused!

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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