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What It Really Means to “Treat It Like a Business”


‘Treat it like a business.’ That’s an old cliche you hear all the time in the IM world. It’s funny because everybody treats it like a business, right? After all, you’ve got to if you want to make money.

Gear Up Your Mind!

Well, this phrase is one of those things we all say but I’m not sure everybody understands what it means. Let’s look a little more closely at this expression.

A Clear Plan

When you’ve got a business, you need a clear plan. This means an idea of where it’s going to go in the future. When you know this, you can choose the right steps you take to get it there.

Lots of us fly by the seat of our pants. We hop on new entrepreneurial ideas and get excited by shiny objects. Businesses do this too, but these are little side ventures. There’s always a main path that the business is on.

Think about your business now and envision it in the long-term. Pick a future date like, for example, ten years from now. Where do you want it to be? Be as specific as possible and ask yourself how your efforts today are helping you work toward that.

Consistency and Focus

Most of us think of our business as what we spend the majority of our time doing. If you’re not in IM full-time, it’s not a business (yet). But this is not the way it is at all. Your IM career could be something you work on late at night while you work your full-time job and it still needs to be a business.

Treating it like a business means bringing the focus and consistency to it that a business demands. This means that you schedule regular tasks and complete them. When working, you stay focused. You’re organized and prepared in each thing you do.

On the other hand, if you work on your online ventures whenever you’ve got time to spare or take the day off whenever you feel like it, this isn’t running a business.

Invest in Your Business

If you’ve ever reinvested profits in your IM career, that surely made you feel like it was a real business. Every business owner reinvests profits and it’s almost always necessary to do so.

Are you afraid to spend money on something that may not pay off? Are you always looking for a free way to do things? Well, okay, I guess we all are; but are you adamant about not paying? If so, you’re not operating with a very businesslike attitude.

Its not only about investing in the business its also about investing in you because the business will focus around you anyway so investing in personal skill sets and training not only benefits you but also the business – a win, win situation.

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None of the above is difficult. It’s all just a mindset that you have, and if yours isn’t the business mindset you can easily change it. Compare your online business to any other. Ask yourself, ‘Would I blow off work today to watch a football game?’ Or, ‘Would a business owner do this?’ If the answer is no, this is an area where you need to improve.

The cool thing is that once you start treating it like a business, it’ll act like a business and that means growth and profits.

Toby Russell


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