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In Toad it we'll get the best of you with our online design & branding ecosystem

Sep 12, 2014 at 18:32 UTC

The secret life of an online business owner

The secret life of an online business owner

The secret life of an online business owner

If you want to know what the lifestyle of an online business owner is like, we are about to share our story so far. We have been creating online businesses for over 6 years, including our most recent platform, which is called Toad it: the design and branding ecosystem.

\We have been witnesses of some successful ideas and some that were not. It’s not about whether you will fail, but it’s how you are going to react when you do (yes, you are going to fail). Learn from our mistakes and successes as you prepare for the most exciting, painful and happy journey of your life. 

How was our leap of faith?

It began when we realized that we had never been independent. We forgot that life had more to offer than just work. But we have never forgotten that we have a purpose in life.

A business always begins with an idea that excites us to the point that we believe we are rich just by thinking about it. You don’t know how important it is to love what you are creating. If you don’t, any possible obstacle in the way will stop you from pursuing your goals.

We didn’t have money. If you believe that you don’t need money to start an online business, you are wrong. You need it for your new business to rise, and you also need it to pay for your food, your bills and your dog's stuff. Most businesses take from 2 to 5 years to recover the invested money (unless you get very lucky).

Having our own business was not an option; we believed that it was our only way of having what we wanted. So we just started to work right away. 

Independence really means being independent?

Although it was all about being independent, we were working all day long, not sleeping much, and working on weekends with our girlfriends sleeping uncomfortably next to our laptops. We were far from independence, but at least we owned our time. The uncertainty and daily tension was the engine that wouldn’t let us give up. We knew success could come at any time (and we are still waiting for some things to succeed...).

On October 10th, we came to our office, and our main computer was gone, along with all of our precious information. We were robbed. Some thieves broke into our office and almost stole our dreams. But they didn’t! We stood up and carried on. Many things happened while running our business; we crashed our cars many times, we fought with our families, and we got sick, but we have learned something: there are no reasons to quit, just excuses.

All the effort would not have been worth it if we were doing it for someone else (working for another's company for example). We are always happy working for ourselves, but we also have to live our lives. We have learned to distribute our time between our personal lives and our job.

Although we were far from being rich (and still are), a member of our team decided to accomplish one of the biggest dreams he had: going to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Just to know what it meant to be free, it didn’t matter what others said about spending that amount of money; what mattered was living the dream. Our member recorded the next video, one of the happiest moments of his life. (Pay close attention to 0:20, and we apologize for the quality of the video— we lost the HD video in the robbery.-) 

Independence is not something you gain when you have money; it is something you earn by choice, no matter what. 

How is our daily routine?

We wake up every morning by choice and not by obligation and start working around 10:00am. We have a two-hour break for lunch, and then continue working until 7:00pm. We randomly go to the balcony for about 20 minutes to clear our minds and get some fresh air. We don't work on weekends (unless it is extremely necessary), and if something unexpected happens, we don’t have to ask for permission to go, we just do it.

Most of the time when you own a business, money is not a steady part of the routine. Some months you earn more, and some you earn less (sometimes you don't get money at all). We are not rich, but most of the time, we make a little more money than we would if we had jobs. We have friends with online businesses that earn more than we do, and others have had their websites for years, earning less than a hundred dollars every month.

We take our independence with responsibility, and we have learned that good luck is not enough.

To run a successful online business, you have to keep learning about almost everything. For example, being the first result in Google is something that changes from time to time, and codes for websites are always updating. There are always new bugs to fix and new software techniques and strategies. You will have to learn a lot about selling, relationships and people. Terms like "domains," "hosting," "HTML," "JavaScript," "marketing," "design," "SEO," "SEM," and many others are part of our daily lives. But most important of all: it may be online, but you still have to go out to make it successful.

Your dream may be closer than you think, but it needs a lot of work and perseverance. Your online business doesn’t have to be as big as Facebook for you to reach your dreams.

Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life; at the end, you decide what to do with it. 

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