Online entrepreneurship: the ultimate work-life balance
"During my absence ‘at the office’ my business is still running.”
It’s fantastic when you think of all the possibilities nowadays, for us entrepreneurs. In this era of the knowledge economy - or information society - where a substantial part of economic growth in society comes from knowledge, the internet and social media have created a completely new way of doing business and making money. To which you and I have access, always and everywhere...
You can gain your knowledge online and learn skills that you can apply in the offline world. You can bring your own knowledge and skills to value in a way that wasn’t possible 10 years ago. It offers professionals the opportunity to create an online business based on a topic they’re experts in and passionate about.
While writing this blog, I am on the train from Paris to Zurich. I had a meeting with a group of business buddies in the French capital, and I will meet my own business mentor and fellow entrepreneurs in Zurich. During my absence "at the office," my business is still running. I can travel the world and use my knowledge online so that others can use it again in their offline existence. And with me, many other modern knowledge entrepreneurs. This is a new generation of entrepreneurs who give a new meaning to the word entrepreneurship.
"It is a business you can manage wherever you are, in the cloud, always available and accessible."
The term online entrepreneurship has taken on the wrong meaning here and there. This negative sense comes from spam ads on Facebook and YouTube, from passive money-making, empty promises and a laptop lifestyle (in which the hammock is of course not missing). Doing business online is absolutely possible, but is misportrayed this way.
Online entrepreneurship simply means that you have your headquarters in the cloud, a cloud company. It means that you don’t close the door behind you every morning, go to the office by car and return home in the evening, where you can continue your life again. Online entrepreneurship is about the combination of private and professional life. Your online business supports your life and creates freedom while you’re making an impact in the world.
Online business usually gives you flexibility in both your schedule and your location. It is a business you can manage wherever you are, in the cloud, always available and always accessible. I travel a lot, sometimes for training and work, sometimes private. But I’m always capable to do my writing, my coaching, and consulting with my virtual team. Being location independent is part of my online business. I’m able to take my children on city trips, while my business continues to generate revenue. That is the ultimate freedom for me.
"Change your way of thinking and you’ll transform your life."
Until 2014 I had a ‘traditional’ offline media company. This usually meant that I constantly needed to ‘produce’ to meet deadlines. So when I was out of the office, not sitting behind the computer, this meant that there was no money coming in. Since 2014 I turned my life around. I consciously chose to go 100% online. Thanks to this decision, I have made dreams come true and what seemed impossible in the past, is ‘the new normal’ now. It took me six years to get to where I am now. To be fair, it all really started when I stopped standing in my own way.
Your own limiting thoughts and beliefs keep you small and stop you from taking action to create the life you want to create. Doubt and fear and sceptical input from 'traditional' people stop many entrepreneurs from doing and realising all the possible things they want. The way to freedom starts in your mind. Your mindset. Change your way of thinking and you’ll change your life. Everything you need is already there: inside you.
"Put the technology to work for you and create the online business that you’ve always dreamed of, full of freedom"
Successful entrepreneurship has a different meaning for every entrepreneur. There is not an all-embracing meaning. But for all the entrepreneurs that I work with - and it certainly applies to me as well - freedom is paramount. Freedom of time and location, plus being financially independent. That in combination with being meaningful and creating impact. Making the world a better place together.
This era of the knowledge economy has opened up a completely new world of possibilities for both new and experienced entrepreneurs. It is now time to leverage it and not to settle for "I have always done it that way" and to be locked into old-fashioned and restrictive entrepreneurship. Put the technology to work for you and create the online business that you have always dreamed of, full of freedom.
"Life is too short to not do the things you want."
Online entrepreneurship is not a hype, but it’s put in the wrong light sometimes. And you don't have to travel the world through Asia with your backpack to be an online entrepreneur. You determine the rules. You decide what your business looks like and what kind of life you want your company to support.
Life is too short to not do the things you want. Create a business that helps you with your wishes in life, your dreams and your goals. All the possibilities are there. Everything is at your disposal. The knowledge, the technology. It isn’t always easy - you’re not counting your passive income in your hammock from day 1 - but it is definitely worth it. What you get in return transforms your life.
If you are willing to work seriously and full-focused every day, you will definitely achieve your goals. There is no immediate success. Every story of immediate success has a deeper underlying story of years of knowledge and experience. You have entrepreneurs who like to talk about everything they want to do, but also entrepreneurs who really do it. Be part of the last group. Take action and create the business and the life you want.