Making Money Online: Expectations vs Reality

start an online business

I’m not gonna lie, before I started my first successful online business (a dropshipping online store), I used to have a lot of beliefs about starting a business and making money online and how it was going to completely change my life and make me rich overnight. However, I quickly realized that a lot of them were false and that I needed to work my ass off to see some kinds of results. Today, I’m going to share with you the most commons myths (that I, of course, had myself) so you can start your online business with the right mentality and vision. Just like every other business, everything starts in your head. If you’re realistic about yourself and your objectives and know it’s gonna take work and sacrifice, you’re up for a really good start, maximizing your chances of becoming successful! 

“I am going to become rich very, very quickly”

rich man

One of the main reasons that attracted me to start my own online business was the money and I’m sure I’m not the only one. That’s why I want to kick off this article with this topic that seems to attract a lot of people into the online business and entrepreneurship world. 

First of all, I want to clarify that yes, you can make a lot of money online( a LOT). However, it shouldn’t be your main focus since starting an online business is not meant to be a get-rich-quick type of project. In fact, as an online entrepreneur, you will need to work countless hours and sacrifice a lot if you want to see real results

So, if you’re thinking about starting your online business to make money online, PLEASE keep in mind that it may take a lot of time (months, and even years) to start seeing some kind of monetary result. Don’t get discouraged, trust the process and keep working hard.

“I am going to retire very soon”

I know some of you think that you can just start a profitable online business right away and just sell it for a millionaire amount. Or work your ass and make tons of money online until you’re a millionaire before your 35th birthday. Well, let me be the first to tell you that it may not happen like this.

And I’m not even talking about the money, I’m talking about the fact that once you start an online business, it becomes an addiction and you will have a hard time telling yourself to stop and just stop working and settle down.

Entrepreneurship is pure passion and if you create something for the right reasons, you won’t let it go so easily.

I’m in my twenties right now and I make some money online. However, I know damn well that even if I become a millionaire at a young age, I just simply won’t stop working and building an empire! That’s because I love it! 

And, I’m not saying you can’t retire a lot sooner and enjoy the rest of your life living in a paradise. Of course, you can! However, your motivations and desires will certainly evolve once you start your entrepreneurial journey.

“I can do it all by myself”


When starting your online business, it’s quite hard to let other people or even a simple software help you. You think you can do it all by yourself and don’t need to pay for third-party softwares to automate a lot of work that can take you a lot of time to do. 

When I started my first online business, a dropshipping store, I used to do everything, and I mean EVERYTHING by myself: web design, web development, product fulfillment, facebook ads, photoshop,…

Even when I started seeing some results I just didn’t want to pay other people or pay for a software to free me some time so I could focus on the most important tasks.

The problem with that is that you just can’t do everything in the best way possible way because your time and skills are limited. You just can’t be an expert in everything!

That’s why I want you to stick this principle in your head FOREVER: 80% of your results will come from 20% of your actions. It’s called the Pareto principle.

That principle is very important to understand integrate into your entrepreneurial journey. You need to have a solid team as well as automate processes if you want to succeed as an online entrepreneur, simple.

A lot of tasks require a lot of time but don’t contribute a whole lot to your results. That’s why you must embrace automation and implement robust software into your business to be more effective so YOU can focus on the tasks that actually matter.

“I can work from anywhere I want!”

person working on a beach

This one is pretty funny because I used to picture myself working from virtually anywhere except an office: the beach, the beach, the beach and… the beach (did I say the beach enough?).

Well, even if it’s true that I don’t really need to work from a corporate office I still work from an office: my home (didn’t see that one coming, heh?).

Trying to work from remote locations all the time is just a pain in the ass. Personally, I like to have everything set up, ready to go and just be in the zone. When I’m at the beach, I just can’t focus as well as I do when I’m at home. Don’t get me wrong, as on online business owner, you CAN work from beaches and exotic locations. However, at least for me, it’s not as convenient and I don’t feel as productive as working directly from my home office!

“I will work 2 hours a day tops”

lazy person

Man, if you think you can build an online empire just by working 2 hours a day, you should reconsider your sources of information. In reality, in the beginning, you’re most likely going to spend a lot more time in front of your laptop working than before. That’s because building a successful online business is not easy and takes a lot of dedication, sacrifice, and great planning.

Just so you know, more than 90% of online businesses fail within the first four months. It means that you need to work hard and build a solid base so you can have more free time in the future and potentially work 2 hours a day once your business can run without you being there.

“This project is going to work”


Sometimes in life, things don’t go the way we want them to. Online businesses are not an exception to this rule. So, even if you think that your business is going to work because you have a solid plan and a lot of numbers to back it up, failure is always a possibility and you should be aware of that.

I’m not saying this to discourage you. On the contrary, what I want you to do is to have a back-up plan in case things go wrong. Also, before taking the entrepreneurial route, make sure you put aside AT LEAST 6-8 month’s worth of expenses as an emergency fund.

“You have to see failure as the beginning and the middle, but never entertain it as an end.” -Jessica Herrin

“I can finally wake up late!”

man sleeping

Having an online business gives you flexibility and freedom, that’s a fact. However, it doesn’t mean you can wake up at 3 pm every day, work for 2 hours and go to sleep… it doesn’t work that way! As I’ve said multiple times (because it’s fu**ing crucial), if you want to be successful with any type of business, whether it’s online or not, you MUST work hard, make sacrifices and learn in the process. Being lazy is out of the question for an entrepreneur. 

Final words

Before you leave, let me tell you something very important. Even though I talked a lot about having to work countless hours and making a lot of sacrifices to get something in return, building an online business is DEFINITELY worth it. Not only because of the financial benefits (You can make a fortune) but because of the freedom and satisfaction it can give you. The entrepreneurial path is not for everyone, that’s for sure… but it’s a beautiful and fulfilling one! 


Get access to exclusive content by signing to our newsletter.

Invalid email address
We will not spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Don't forget to share!

Nicolas Olaya

Nicolas Olaya is a digital marketing student, founder of The Practical Money Land. Making money online, blogging and helping others reach their goals are his main passions. With his content, he hopes he will help you excel at your business or, at least, motivate you to start your own online business!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *