I have been thinking about writing a book. It would be called “How To Get Rich Online” and would be a combination of my most interesting blog posts and practical how-to advice for creating money making websites and market them. So far, I wrote the introduction and the epilogue, I just need to write the actual book part. Here’s my book introduction:
How To Get Rich Online
The great thing about starting an Internet business is that there is always the potential to make millions of dollars. Paypal sold for $1.5 billion, Skype sold for $2.6 billion, Myspace.com for over $300 million. Even more amazing is that these companies did this within only 3 years of launching their websites.
In contrast, if you open a traditional store, restaurant, or office it will most likely go out of business in the first few years, and even if it manages to survive you will probably just make enough money to live on. With websites, it’s a whole different ballgame. The costs are so much lower, and the Internet is growing so fast, that it is hard not to make a money. Over time you may open new sites or change the direction of your company, but at least you will stick with it.
The crazy thing is that on the Web you don’t even have to have to make a profit to get rich. Youtube.com was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion, even though it was losing millions of dollars a month (from the video hosting costs), and many other companies have huge valuations even though they make no money. All that really seems to matter is that you build a site that gets a lot of visitors.
Even if people tell you your idea is stupid, there is still a decent chance you will succeed. It is very hard to predict which sites will make it and which won’t. Who would have though selling shoes online would be big business? But, recently, online shoe store Zappos.com was purchased by Amazon.com for over $900 million.
I have found that there are two types of people looking to start an Internet business. Some have seen all the money companies like Google and Facebook are making and want to grab their fair share. With a business plan in hand, they are looking for investors so they can build a giant company. Other people want to start a home business or small office to try to make enough to live on (and maybe get rich in the process). Maybe they don’t like working for other people, want the opportunity to make more money, can’t find a decent job, or don’t like working in an office. Or, maybe they think they have a brilliant business idea and need to give it a try while they are a student or work full time at their current job.
Whatever your goals are, what really matters is just getting things started, no matter how you do it. Once you get your site launched you will have a much better idea of its profit potential and what needs to be done to make it a success. Too many people waste months or years planning how to start their online business when instead they could have just setup a simple version of their site and then seen the response. Many times I have thought a business idea and had it up and running the next day.
One reason many aspiring web entrepreneurs take so long to launch their business is that they don’t know how to do everything that needs to be done. There are many pieces to the puzzle, and without knowing about all of them, it is hard to get anywhere. My book will give you all the information you need to get started, and the confidence to feel like you know what you are doing.
Part of feeling comfortable running your own Internet company is knowing more than just the practical aspects of your business. You will eventually be exposed to all sorts of opportunities, and to handle them correctly it helps to know as much as possible about a wide variety of business topics. After a few years you can get this confidence through on the job experience, but hopefully my book will help give you a head start. I have launched hundreds of websites in all different areas of business, so the stories about my successes and failures are a good overview of the kind of ventures you may come across in cyberspace.
You might say to yourself all of this sounds interesting, but you really just want to open an online vitamins store (for example), so all you need to know about is what it takes to sell vitamins online. Keep in mind though that Amazon.com started out on the book business and now sells almost everything, and much of what they do relates more to the warehousing and distribution business than to any particular industry. Even Google is no longer just a search engine like back when they first started. Their main business is advertising, and they are also in many other markets such as cell phones and browsers. To be a success in the Web, you can’t only know about your little niche, you need to know a little of everything.
Another factor that holds people back when starting their business is lack of money. Building a big business is very expensive, but I can show you how to get a small business started for almost nothing. So, cross that excuse off your list. If your small business goes well, you can then use your initial profits to expand, or you can search for investors and at least have a real website and a track record to show them.
One reason that running an Internet company remains a mystery to many people is that most business books are written from the perspective of creating and running a large company. They talk about business plans, venture capital, hiring and firing, managing, meetings, IPOs, business trips, and all the proper things that need to be handled when you become big. That is great information to know and to plan for, but even Facebook or Google had to have a successful website before they started worrying about any of this. So, it is my recommendation that no matter what you long term goals are, the most important thing is to just dive in head first and get your website launched.
In addition, if you read enough of the best selling business books, you will eventually notice that for every book that says to do things one way, there is almost always another book saying to do the exact opposite. For every Donald Trump type tycoon, there are dozens of other real estate investors who got rich using completely different methods. Warren Buffet and Richard Branson are both made billions creating huge conglomerate corporations, but their stories are in no way alike. On top of that, much of what is written in famous business books does not even apply to Internet businesses, since the Web has totally changed the entire dynamics of business. It is not that there is anything bad about the success strategies proposed by the leading wealth gurus, the problem is that these books lead the reader to think that there is only one right way to do things.
My own story is not a roadmap for you to follow on how to be successful, it is just one of the many paths an entrepreneur can take. What I will show you in this book is that you can get rich no matter how you run your business. For example, as crazy as it sounds, I own a very profitable multi-million dollar Internet company where I:
* Have never met any of my employees.
* Bought 2 retail flower stores thousands of miles away from me without visiting them first or knowing anything about the flower business (or even about how to run a store).
* Opened an office, but never once went to it.
* Tried to go public on the stock exchange, through a reverse merger.
* Have never had a business plan.
* Bought and sold hundreds of websites, all without ever meeting the people I was dealing with.
* Have never used a lawyer.
* Had my sites mentioned in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Popular Science, Entrepreneur, Readers Digest, and Inc. Magazine, as well as numerous radio and TV shows.
* Have never been to any industry conferences or trade shows.
* Invented a toy and got it sold at Toys “R” Us.
Then recently, after 12 years of running my unconventional business, I sold half of my sites for $4.5 million to a buyer whom I never met and only spoke with once by phone.
The point of this book though is not about how I got rich. What follows is a combination of practical advice (names of websites and companies you can
actually use to help launch your business) and tales of my most interesting business adventures, which together will give you the knowledge and confidence to blaze your own trail on the Web. It is time for you to finally start making millions instead of just dreaming about it.