June 10, 2010, 6:05 am

Managing an Online Business with Real Life

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Business,Make Money Online
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Hey all! I’m MD and I’ve been blogging about personal finance, entrepreneurship, and anything money related for the past 1.5 years. I’m honoured to be accepted into the family here at The Financial Blogger to express my thoughts on all topics finance related.

I wouldn’t consider myself an anonymous blogger. If you ask for my name I have no qualms with divulging it. I’m simply not too crazy about personal branding and talking about myself. I would much rather focus on my writing and sharing what I know with you guys.

I’ll get straight to the point and tell you guys what’s in it for YOU and what you can expect from me around here:

–         Discussions on real estate (looking at every angle, comparing renting to owning, etc.)

–         Time management tips and tactics.

–         Balancing work, school, and other areas of life.

–         Investing tips for young people.

I’m also completely open to write about any other random topics that you guys may request. Please feel free leave a comment here or feel free to email me:  md at studenomics.com

There are many internet entrepreneurs that manage to run a happy family life and an online business (blog, niche store, affiliate marketing, etc.). How do they do it? I’m not sure. I live with my family but I don’t have a family. I don’t know how Mike does it (family life, going to graduate school, and running an online business) and I won’t even attempt to try to figure it out.

This is an article for all of the young professionals out there that want to run a solid professional life (school or work) and social life (dating, gym, and sports), while starting some sort of an online business.

Time management is key.

The more I learn about time management the more I realize that I’m absolutely horrible at it. If you don’t learn how to effectively manage the little free time that you have in a day, you’ll never get anything productive done.

I could throw out 20 time management tips your way .However, that won’t accomplish much besides suck up time that you simply don’t have at the moment. I will share one time management trick with you guys. The neatest little mental hack that I found is to put a sticky note at eye level (usually on top of your laptop), with the following writing: am I being productive or just active?

This one question alone will promote you to challenge yourself and what you’re doing at the moment.

Focus.

I know it’s cool to pull out your iPhone to check your blog stats while out with friends. You could consider this “multi-tasking” or you can call it diluting important tasks. When you go on the computer to work, you can’t have your Facebook account open in another window. You’ll end up having a mediocre conversation with a friend and not going much work done on the business end of things. Wouldn’t you rather get your business stuff done and then have a distraction-free conversation?

I feel that the art of multi-tasking has been glorified for beginners. You’ll be much better off focusing on doing one thing properly than performing many tasks at a mediocre level.

The 80/20 Rule.

Pareto’s Principle, better known as the 80/20 rule is pretty much mandatory when it comes to starting out with an online business. There’s a plethora of great (and not so great) advice out there. Some of it is free, but very time consuming. Some of the information is also expensive, but there’s not enough time to absorb it all effectively.

It’s not simple to actually quantify what 20% of your efforts will generate 80% of the results for your online business. However, it’s safe to say that spending a majority of your time on Twitter is not the most effective strategy to getting your new online business off the ground.

Let your close circle know.

When I first started blogging I was very hesitant to inform my close circle of friends about this. Why? Perhaps I was worried about what they would say or how they would react if I failed. Regardless, it’s completely foolish to not inform your close circle of friends about your new online business. You’ll need a strong support system during the first few months when it feels like you’re not getting the results you desired.

Hopefully after reading this article you’ll have a better feel on how you can manage your new online business with real life. Is there anything I missed?

(Note: This article was very theory heavy. I’ll be writing more practical and hands-on pieces in the future.)

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Comments

Great post MD, welcome aboard! I agree, I personally feel like the focus is the most difficult challenge. Even with some regular jobs, it is difficult to completely let go but that is even more true when you own the business. The word “vacations” still exists, it’s just a bit different.

I think it’s important for our families to understand that we might get more vacations or more money, etc. But there are some smaller downsides, such as the need to connect once in a while, even when on vacations…. the line between “at work” and off of work is more blurry. It’s not a bad thing (or a good thing), but it’s just life I guess.

Hey MD! So what gave you the incentive to start blogging?

@IS Thanks for the welcome! I thought my girlfriend (at the time) was going to kill me when I checked my email on vacation. I had to switch up my timing and check when she was taking 1 hour showers lol.

@BMSP Here’s the short version: I always found myself sharing tips with friends on saving money and financial matters. One day I figured that I would try starting some sort of business in this field. Then I realized there was a profession called “financial advisers.” So then I looked online and found a thing called “personal finance blogs.”

After contemplating it for an eternity I finally purchased the domain and got my blog running on November 7, 2008.

Hey MD,
My wife was giving me 10min/day during our last vacation to check my emails.

It’s not always easy 😉

How are you doing so far with your blog? Do you have a long term plan?

I’m glad to have you on board!

Good post. The last point about letting your closest friends etc. know about your blog is difficult. I am trying to create some online traffic first as most of my friends are not really my target market.

I’m interested in building an site involving selling homemade products. Are there more complications than I think there are in this process?

@TFB Long term plan? I have a million ideas running through my mind (newsletter, videos, case studies, etc.) and my goal is to actually sit down and get stuff done.

@Ecommerce

The first complication I see is shipping and custody. If you want to sell out of your country, you should take a look at the fees incurred by such transaction.

Cheers,

I 100% agree with the point that you’re making on being focused. You need to have a detailed list, at least mentally, of your objectives and execute them one by one. There are too many distractions but if you have a clear path then you can actually achieve them with less duration if you set out a game plan.