Is Starting an Online Business Worth It? (The Truth)

Is starting an online business worth it?

Let me answer that question right out of the gate:

YES.

…With a few caveats, of course. 👀

Starting your own business is not all sunshine and rainbows.

It’s an insane amount of work, and it requires a dedication to your endeavor like none other. (50% of businesses fail by year five. Starting a brand that lasts is not for the faint of heart.)

BUT – once you’re invested, and if you’re doing something you love, it can be an incredible way to earn a living and make a unique impact on the world. ⚡

You just need to keep some Very Important Facts top of mind before you dive in.

is starting an online business worth it

Is It Worth It to Start an Online Business? (Video)

Starting an online business is worth it.

But only if you’re starting with the right frame of mind, expectations, investment, and work ethic. ✅

I started a business when I was 19. I loved to write and wanted to make a full-time living doing it. With the last $75 I had to my name, I invested in a pro to code a website for me, then learned how to upload the files myself.

I can’t lie – it was hard those first few years. Most of our income was a grind. I often worked 90-hour weeks only to see $30k/month from all that effort.

Then, in 2016, I pivoted and got strategic. I built the right mindset, and soon after, our growth shot skyward.

I grew that business mainly through content marketing, and have used content marketing to grow all my other brands.

strategic content marketing results

From that small, hopeful $75, I made a 13,000x return on investment.

But ONLY because I put in the strategy and hard work. ONLY because I adopted the mindset of high achievers and cultivated the patience and persistence needed to see my efforts pay off.

Similarly, if you want to start your own business, don’t go into it blindly. You need to be prepared for what the reality looks like – NOT what you think it will be like.

If you’re fully aware of the “don’ts” involved in starting a brand, it will be worth it to move forward.

Watch this video to get a full picture:

Is Starting a Business Worth It? 6 “Don’ts” to Keep in Mind

Before you can fully answer whether it’s worth it to start an online business, there are six “don’ts” you must understand.

1. Don’t Be in It Just for the Money

When the going gets tough in your business, what will keep you invested in sticking out the hard times? What will make you less likely to give up?

The money?

false

Nope.

(In hard times, you probably won’t be pulling in much revenue. And if you only care about the money, when it dries up, you won’t have much motivation to keep going.)

Money alone is not a good enough reason to start a business. Instead, the key to starting a brand that lasts is to build it on two pillars:

  1. What you know 🧠
  2. What you love 💗

In other words, prioritize purpose over profits. Start a brand doing something you love, something on which you’re an expert.

For example, if you were a marketer at your 9-5 and really enjoyed the actual work (not so much being an employee), it would make the most sense for you to start your online business in marketing.

2. Don’t Buy into the Most Common Entrepreneurship Lie

Most successful small business owners and entrepreneurs are not sipping Mai Tais on a beach somewhere. They’re not working two hours/week from the decks of their private yachts.

And yet, this is the promise so many flashy coaches and gurus are trying to sell you.

flashy coach with flashy promise

“All this can be yours! ….IF you buy my course.” 🙄

Don’t fall for this. You’re too smart to be distracted by shiny claims that don’t hold up and are just thrown at you to get you to buy a product.

There are definitely ways to save time and cut to growth faster – but they don’t work overnight, and you won’t make millions of dollars without a solid strategy guiding your footsteps, not to mention some consistency and hard work.

If you only want to work two hours a week, you should NOT be starting a business.

serious business owner

3. Don’t Be Afraid of Investing in Knowledge to Help You Reach Your Goals

The knowledge gaps you might encounter when starting a business can be huge.

Often, the difference between successful vs. unsuccessful businesses is a willingness to invest in closing those gaps.

Take a look at the top reasons startups fail via a CBInsights survey:

  • 38% just plain ran out of money
  • 35% said they failed because they later discovered there was no market for their product/service
  • 20% said they got outcompeted in the marketplace
  • 19% had a flawed business model

why startups fail

How many of these failures could have been avoided with the right knowledge and strategy?

All of them.

If you don’t have the knowledge to reach your goals, you need to be willing to go out and get it. You need to invest in your goals!

Specifically, you should absolutely invest in a program that will help you achieve a specific goal. Struggle with marketing? Have problems scaling and hiring the right people? Not sure how to validate your market offer? Invest in getting that knowledge from a true expert (not a flashy guru promising you the moon).

Proverbs 13.20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.”

 

Don’t be afraid to go after your big goals and invest in those more readily, either.

For my own businesses, the biggest growth came with bigger investments, not just in knowledge or skills, but in strategy and a roadmap to reach my goals.

  • The majority of my $5-100 purchases in courses and digital guides resulted in a 10% improvement.
  • In contrast, my $2k, $5k, and $10k investments in a coach or program resulted in 10x growth.

My willingness to invest (both time and money) directly correlated to the growth I experienced.

  • Reading a quick, low-investment guide = some good tips gleaned, but no true foundational wisdom for building my business.
  • Working strategically with a coach or spending dedicated time learning in a program designed to help me reach my goals = priceless wisdom gained to achieve a transformation in my business.

The latter is exactly what you get in my coaching program, The Content Transformation System. I teach you every single part of a content approach to growing your business – and not just content creation, but also how to hire people to support that process and grow for years to come. This + live mentorship along the way = a true road to growth! Apply today to get started.

4. Don’t Expect Starting a Business to be Easy

There is no “easy button” for this journey you’re on. 🆘

There are shortcuts…

But the shortcuts aren’t easy, either.

Following the wise can get you where you want to go way faster, but earning wisdom is no walk in the park.

There will be trials, setbacks, failures… and you’ll have to go through it.

…But just because it won’t be easy doesn’t mean it won’t be worth it.

5. Don’t Ignore the Power of Content Marketing for Biz Growth

If no one knows, no one will buy.

It’s that simple.

You can’t sell to an empty room. And chirping crickets certainly can’t purchase your product/service. 🦗

How do you become known?

Let’s put it this way: The power of content marketing is unmatched for not only becoming known in your space but also building trust that leads to conversions and sales.

In fact, content marketing is the only marketing left.

It brings in 3x as many leads as traditional marketing (paid ads, etc.) but costs 60% less.

SEO blogging brings in 1,000% more traffic than social media. 🤯

And 1 in 10 blog posts are compounding – meaning they build traffic and domain authority over time.

1 in 10 blog posts are compounding

It definitely takes time and consistency to build an audience that likes and trusts you, but the results are so worth the effort. (At CH, our primary avenue for traffic and leads is our blog! 🎯)

6. Don’t Forget to Listen to Your Customer

Your customer should be the most important person in your business life.

Your customer is paramount. 👑

That said, I’m not just talking about the great ones (the ones who leave you glowing reviews, organically share your brand on social media, sing your praises, engage with you regularly, etc. 😇)

…The bad ones need your ear, too. Even the ones who are rude, wrong, or hard to deal with.

These literal tough customers can guide you to make great strides and improvements within your systems, services, products, etc.

The key is to shelve your ego and glean any valuable tidbits you can from those bad reviews, mean comments, complaint-ridden phone calls, etc. (And even if you generally see very few of these, the ones that do come through can still help you achieve even better levels of synergy with customers if you just listen for the true criticism underneath all the emotion.)

Serve your customer well, aim for some kind of positive outcome from each interaction, and you’ll continue to have more customers.

Is Starting a Business Worth It? YES – But It Won’t Be Easy

Is starting a business worth it?

The short answer is YES, but, it won’t be easy, and you can set yourself back if you go at it wrong.

Don’t buy into some rosy, “get rich quick” idea of starting a business and making bank.

For a long-lasting business you can build sustainably (so it doesn’t run your entire life!), that’s just not how it works.

If you want staying power, true freedom, and business systems that run like clockwork…

You need the right mindset, roadmap, skills, and support.

In the Content Transformation System, I’m offering you all four. 🧩

business building course 4 s's

If you’re ready to get out of the grunt work of building a sustainable business and into the magical delight zone, this coaching and mentorship program is the answer.

The journey you’ll take through this program will change everything. Apply today to get started building a business that won’t suck you dry.

About Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy is an entrepreneur, 6x author, and a leading strategist around creating exceptional content and brand presence that lasts online. At 19 years old, in 2011, she used her last $75 to build a 7-figure agency, Express Writers, which she grew to $5M and sold ten years later. In the 2020s, she's devoted to running The Content Hacker, where she teaches creative entrepreneurs the strategy, skills, and systems they need to build a self-sustaining business, so they are finally freed up to create lasting legacy and generational impact.