Why Online Success Is Not a Spontaneous Experience

The dot com lifestyle is one that is defined by its freedom. You are free from your boss, manager or supervisor, because the only one in charge of your business is you. You have no one to answer to and every decision is wholly your own. You are free to work from practically anywhere in the world, so long as you’ve got reliable access to the Internet on the device of your preference. Have laptop, will profit. And you are free from the confines and restrictions of the conventional Monday to Friday, nine-to-five rat race, because you don’t have to hold conventional office hours.

But should you?

It’s true that time and location freedom are the two greatest things about making your living on the Internet. It means that you are free to attend your daughter’s ballet recital without the worry about being called into the office. You are free to choose that dentist appointment at 11 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, because you don’t have to be at work at that time. You are free to hop on a plane to Barbados or Bali on a whim, because all you have to do is grab your passport and your laptop.

And whether you decide to forge out on your own as an Internet marketer, a freelance writer, a graphic designer, an app developer, a professional blogger or any number of other possibilities, you cannot rely on inspiration striking you out of the blue in order for you to be successful at what you do.

Many people fall under this false illusion that the biggest “Eureka!” type moments in the lives of hugely successful people come about spontaneously. They think that they can just sit under a tree in the park, have an apple fall on their head, and they’ll suddenly come up with the next Instagram or launch the next Problogger. It doesn’t work that way. Great ideas (and great execution) are neither spontaneous nor magical. You’ve got to put in the work.

Even when you don’t really want to.

Absolutely, the flexibility afforded by being your own boss and living the dot com lifestyle means that you can adjust and adapt your working habits to best suit your specific circumstances and situation. Absolutely, it means that you can step away from your work at the drop of a hat if needed. But it also means that you are completely and utterly reliant on your own sense of self-discipline to get the job done and to get it done well.

The only assured way that you will be able to find success, in any field but especially when you work for yourself online, is by sticking with a predictable routine that is predicated on self-discipline. Of course, it is easier to get side tracked by social media and YouTube. Of course, it is easier to bugger off to the shopping mall for a few hours just to kill the time.

See, but that’s the thing. Everyone else is choosing to do the easier thing. Everyone else is melting into their couch for yet another Netflix binge session. Everyone else says that they want to start a blog or get into affiliate marketing. Everyone else says they have a great app idea or they want to write a terrific book. But everyone else isn’t putting in the work. Everyone else is taking the easy route. And you don’t want to be everyone else.

The only way that you’re going to find inspiration is if you’re willing to meet it halfway. The only way that you’re going to have that breakthrough moment is if you commit yourself to putting in the work on a consistent basis, constantly flexing those entrepreneurial muscles because that’s how you’ll make them strong and flexible and durable, just like any other set of muscles. Michael Phelps didn’t win all those gold medals because he decided to skip a day here and there, because he knew it would become a slippery slope.

What so many people tend to forget about achieving any sort of success is that just showing up, and showing up consistently and even when you don’t really feel like it, is the hardest part. But you won’t be able to find success if you don’t show up to greet it in the first place. Success isn’t spontaneous. It’s strategic. It’s planned. It’s constructed, built brick by brick. And you’ve got to show up to lay those bricks.

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