How to Start a Successful Online Business

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 How I Went From Being a Broke College Student to Living a Rich Life What does living a Rich Life mean to you?

When I started I Will Teach You To Be Rich, I was a broke college student who worked hard to get scholarships so I could afford school. Back then, living a Rich Life meant eating Taco Bell’s Mexican Pizza.

Since then, I’ve spent over half a decade of my life and a million dollars of my own money creating online courses to help my students achieve their Rich Lives so they’re able to spend extravagantly on things they love, automatically save for retirement and other expenses, and take control of their lives.

After helping hundreds of thousands of students, I could buy enough Mexican Pizzas for life. Or a fancier car than my 2008 Honda Accord. But I don’t care about those things. (OK...,) 

I still care about Mexican Pizzas, but I’d live a very short life if I ate only Taco Bell.)

What’s important to me now is having an online business that allows me to live on my own terms. When I started out, I Will Teach You To Be Rich was a fun project, then an extra
stream of income.

Now, my business gives me total freedom. Freedom to choose projects that fascinate me, make money while I’m on vacation, buy drinks for my friends without worrying about
splitting the tab, and travel whenever I want. I feel liberated knowing I never have to worry about my finances again.

Yes, if you’re wondering, I still work. It just doesn’t feel like “work” because I’ve built my business around things I enjoy and am good at. That’s why I’ve had so much fun creating courses proven over 10 years, in 34 industries, by 15,000+ paying customers.

But when i started, i practically begged people to buy my $4.97 ebook.

It took me YEARS (and lots of hard work) to get to where I am now and even longer to test  and perfect my methods of creating and growing an online business.

I quietly refined my systems and waited until I could share my insights from nearly a dozen successful launches. Now, I want to show you the path the exact systems, strategies, and tactics I wish someone would’ve shared with me when I started.

"How Do I Get Started?"

Step 1: Repeat after me: PASSION IS NOT ENOUGH Most “experts” teach you that once you find your passion, you’ll magically become wealthy.

I don’t have to tell you that this plan is missing a few vital steps, such as an actual plan. Before you invest your time and energy creating an online product, ask yourself these questions:
▶ How do I know which idea will be most profitable?
▶ Will people actually pay?
▶ How do I bring in traffic and buyers?
▶ What can I do to set my business on autopilot, so it runs on systems instead of on my (limited) time?

Step 2: Solve the right problem (it’s probably not what you’d expect)
I asked readers, “What excites you about starting an online business?” Over 1,000 readers  responded with ME-FOCUSED responses about what they wanted from an online business.

OK, we all want something for our work, whether it’s extra money, more free time, or the ability to be our own boss and give ourselves vacation days when the weather’s nice.

But what about your customers?

Nobody will ever give you money to solve your problems..... But they’ll love you and happily pay you if you help them solve theirs. And by focusing on them, you’ll immediately stand
out in a sea of online businesses that are only looking out for themselves.

What would happen if you said, “I’m really good at helping my friends with their relationship problems. I don’t want to just help people 1-on-1… I want to help THOUSANDS of people.” Or
“I love helping people get in shape. I want to help as many people get fit as possible.”

It’s a huge psychological shift.

Once you’ve identified something you believe in, you need to know what idea people will pay for, how much to charge, and how to sell it without being sleazy.

It starts with figuring out what kind of online business you want.

Which Online Business Ideas Work Best?
When you're starting an online business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by tactical minutiae. Should you create software, a physical product, a coaching system, or
something else? How do you choose the right software, create your website, figure out drop shipping, and accept payments?

But when you drop what doesn’t work I spent years figuring this part out you’re left with 6 main options for an online business. I’ve systematically tried them ALL over almost a decade, and I’ll let you know exactly which ones are good and bad.

Your 6 Six options for starting an online business are software (including apps), physical products, ads, affiliate marketing, coaching, and online courses. And they aren’t all created equal. 

What’s the first thing you notice about the illustration?

1. This simple framework lets you see if a business model is attractive right now, instead of investing time and money on the wrong thing (most people skip this step and regret it later).

2. you don’t have to quit your job and raise millions in venture capital funding (i’ve done that too… but i love i Will Teach you To Be rich way more).

3. There are 2 clear winners that have the highest profit and lowest cost: 

Online courses and coaching

Take a look at the next graphic to find out which one is right for you. 

Coaching and courses are both great models.

I love coaching, and I’ve taught thousands of people how to become freelancers, consultants, 

and coaches using my Earn1K course. In fact, coaching is the single-best way to start learning business skills.

But if you want to scale your business—create something once and profit for YEARS to come that’s where online courses come in. You can make more money with them than other business models, and you don’t have to mail anything or directly trade your time for profit. And you can help more people, since you aren’t working with them 1-on-1.

Let me walk you through how I went from selling a $4.95 ebook to a premium $12,000 course. 

What online course could you create?

Many people don’t even think they can launch an online business. They hold themselves back by saying things like:

"I'm not an expert at personal finance, finding a dream job, or [fill in the blank.]"

“I don’t know anything people would pay for!”

Are you sure? Unless you’ve actually tested your idea, the answer is “no.”

“But Ramit, my idea’s too weird/dumb! Nobody would ever pay to learn about it.”

I used to think that, too, until I discovered how many other weird people are out there. Here are just 3 profitable courses I’ve seen in the past year:

  1. Toilet Trained cat
  2. Train cats to use the toilet. 
  3. Revenue from books and courses.

Hear and Play learn to play piano by ear, without sheet music or years of lessons. revenue from courses.

The Ultimate disney World Savings Guide Vacation at disneyworld for half price. revenue from ebooks.

Do these seem like ideas for normal, successful products? Of course not. These people simply found something they’re good at, then tested the market to see if other people were willing to pay for their knowledge.

WhaT SkillS ARE yoU already Good aT?

Most of us are experts or at least better than most people at something.

Jot down the first things that come to mind when you read these questions:

  • What are you good at?
  • What do your friends call you for advice on?
  • What kind of sites fashion, sports, marketing. 
  • Do you read while you’re waiting  to check out at the grocery store?
  • When you’re done jotting down your responses to those questions, pause.
  • Did yoU noTice WhaT haPPened aS yoU WenT ThroUGh ThaT liST?

I only asked you what skills you’re already good at. But notice how you’re already getting way ahead of yourself:

🥇But what if i’m not sure what i’m good at?

🥈An online course? But i don’t have a website/traffic.

🥉What kind of software should i use for…. 

🏅What will i do if i have to decide whether to stay at my job? SLOW DOWN.

If you were on a first date, you wouldn’t ask someone if they want kids... because you’d be getting way ahead of yourself. But somehow, when it comes to making money, our brains concoct far-fetched scenarios about the future to keep us stuck where we are.

When I started I Will Teach You To Be Rich in my dorm room, I didn’t worry about SEO strategies or creating powerful online courses or optimizing revenue.

🥇No, I focused on the first step. I’ll help you get there, too.

🥈Just know that you do have passions and experiences people will be happy to pay you for even if you aren’t the best in the world at them.

🥉You’ve already learned more from this guide than most people learn after months (or even years) of reading blog after blog. The next question is, how long will it take you to launch our first product and start making money?

Revealed: How to Build an Online Business Faster

Nobody can teach you how to build a successful online business overnight.

But you can learn from the mistakes that cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars and 

months of my time… and from how I grew I Will Teach from my dorm room to 6 figures, to a multimillion-dollar business that’s helped thousands of students.

I’d like to share some of the highlights of the exact system I’ve used to start a successful online business one that lets you take what’s inside of you and share it with the world, including:

▶ How to find an online business idea people will line up to pay you for (using the deep psychological frameworks I’ve developed to launch successful product after successful product). 

▶ Advanced strategies for getting traffic. 

▶ How to sell online without being sleazy, even if you’re not a “natural” at sales. 

▶ The exact systems to set up so your business works for you (and not the other way around). 

▶ Never-before-shared conversion secrets I discovered and perfected in the I Will Teach You To Be Rich test labs, so you can reach more people and make more money. 

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