3 Lies About Online Business (And The Actual Truth)

I have suffered due to these lies. I hope that you don’t.

This was recorded live on our Facebook page, and it really seemed to help a lot of people. Here’s the video if you want to watch or re-watch it. The step-by-step breakdown is below it.

We are told these myths about starting a business – may it be online or offline – may it be in Pakistan, or anywhere else. The problem is not that we are told these things, the problem is, we end up believing them. So here are the top 3 lies you probably also believe in (and what the truth really is).

Lie # 1: You Need to Be “Technical” To Start an Online Business

I have been self-employed since college (I was selling website design in 1999, and earning 30,000 plus per month as a student!), and I have seen way too many people fall for this lie.

You don’t need to be a coder to run an online business.

You do need some technical skill, yes. How much? Well, if you can open and edit a Microsoft Word document, or write and reply to emails, you have enough technical knowledge to start your online business! I kid you not, the technologies today have made it very easy to start using them.

You probably do not know what Frontpages were, nor what Dreamweaver was used for. You may have heard of words like HTML and CSS and PHP – you need absolutely none of that.

So relax. You are more than ready to start your online business, when it comes to being tech-savvy!

Lie # 2: Your Business Idea Needs to be Great!

The concept of a “great business idea” is such a deception! We think that having a great idea is what makes a great business. We think that brining fresh, “innovative” ideas is what makes us money. So, so untrue!

  • Facebook was not the first social media network (anyone remember Orkut? Yeah, thought so).
  • Toyota was not the first car manufacturer.
  • Google was definitely not the first search engine.

And let’s bring this to Pakistan:

  • what is so “unique and innovative” about selling clothes?
  • What is the groundbreaking idea for a bakery?
  • Is teaching really a new concept?

But all of these business ideas are Crorepati-Makers!

Pakistani brands like Bareeze, Gourmet, Punjab Group of Colleges… none of them are unique ideas, but they are “big bucks”, right?

Same is for the online world.

You don’t need a unique idea… you need a disciplined execution of proven business systems!

Stop telling yourself your idea is not great. And remind yourself, that most businesses start when the owners feel “not ready”! Yet they still start.

Keep that adventure hat on, keep testing and experimenting in the marketplace… because the Internet allows for you to make “cheap mistakes”, don’t forget that.

Take advantage of that.

Test your ideas. You will be surprised – pleasantly inshAllah – with the one that actually sticks and makes you your first 100,000!

You won’t believe how many times I’ve heard great business ideas that went nowhere! And guess what, you will be surprised to see how many “average ideas” are making millions of rupees, earning lacs of rupees per week because they were executed properly and with determination by the entrepreneur!

Why this can’t be your idea?

Lie # 3: You Need to Know Everything About a Business Before Starting It

This myth is the most damaging I feel. It has certainly damaged my attempt to start or to scale profitable online businesses.

We are told that it is necessary for you to know “everything” about your business. Nothing can be farther from the truth!

Listen, whenever you are starting any project, there are three elements to any activity:

  1. The What: what is it that you are doing
  2. The Why: why do you need to do it – why is this task important for you and the brand
  3. The How: how will the task be done, and the actual doing of the task itself.

As an entrepreneur, you need to know the first two – the What and the Why – but you don’t need to know the exact How to execute profitably in your business.

An example from the offline world:

You want to install a signboard for your shop. That’s the What, right? The Why is that you want to promote your shop and tell everyone where it is etc, so you have the Why figured out. But you don’t need to know How the signboard will be installed right to the wiring used, the flex material, the ink quality of the printing etc… you leave that to the professionals that you hire to do the job for you. So you can focus on the real business of creating clients and making transactions.

An example from the online world:

You want a website made for your online course / tuition center. So you know the What and you know Why you need it: so you can build your community and have a place of business online so your students can log in. What you don’t need is to know how to install an LMS on a hosting server, you don’t need to bother yourself with what is load-balancing a server, nor you need to figure out the difference between a CDN and a DNS (they are totally different trust me).

We are actually encouraged in this behavior. That is such a waste of time… and an entrepreneur must learn the unique value of time! Don’t waste it. Speed of execution is what helps you in not wasting time. The successful entrepreneur gets comfortable in making wrong decisions, but he or she is always careful about not taking too much time, about not wasting time in “learning” about each and everything about the technical side of their business. They learn about running a business. They learn about implementing business systems. And then they go and execute and test their “ideas” in the market!

Listen, starting an online business and brand, that allows you to pay your bills and spend time doing what you love and enjoy, that is a worthy thing to fight for. Your talents and your resources are best used when you are doing meaningful things, inshAllah.

And yes, these lies, these myths, they have definitely hurt my progress, and I am certain they have contributed in killing so many dreams of so many of us.

That doesn’t need to be the case. The world awaits you to take action towards your dream. Imagine the satisfaction of living the life you know is within reach inshAllah. And I hope that removing these three damaging lies from our lives will help us be closer to being the best version of ourselves. Aameen.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.

I hope and pray that you found this useful.

God bless and talk soon,

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