Do you need to learn #allofthethings in order to start an online business?

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Starting a new business can feel like a large and difficult undertaking at first, especially when you understand that a lot of pieces need to be set up so that your new business can be profitable. When starting this blog, I made a list of all the topics I knew I needed to master to better serve my readers: affiliate marketing, SEO, blogging, pinterest traffic, traffic strategies, digital products, email marketing, funnels. And that doesn’t include all the tech for running the blog itself.

The quick answer is, no, you don’t need to know everything first in order to succeed at your new online business. There will be some things you can outsource right away and some you might have to do yourself with the help of good ole Google.Part of your online business journey includes learning new things and facing new challenges.

I’m a big fan of planning, so I use it to make sure I feel I have control over the situation. Notice how I say “feel” because this is really what it’s all about. Your inner sense that things are under your control.

Do your research

Research is fun if you look at it like a way to dream about all the possibilities out there for you and your future business.

The best strategy is to limit the time you put into research, otherwise it becomes a way to procrastinate. A good way is to separate the weekend and do your research during that time. If your weekends aren’t available you can do it during the week, but it always feels like an adventure when you dedicate your entire weekend to the topic of starting and running your online business.

Setup either a spreadsheet or a document where you write down the answers to your questions and the links for the information that proves most useful. You will probably want to go back there every now and then to get direction and inspiration.

What will you research?

Let’s say you chose dropshipping as a business type.  You will need to know

-What is dropshipping?

-How much money do you need to start a dropshipping business?

-What tools or resources do you need to set up your dropshipping business?

-How much time does a successful dropshipping business require?

-Who are your competitors?

-What are your competitors doing to succeed?

-How do you find customers?

-How do you bring traffic to your dropshipping store?

-How much money can you make dropshipping?

-What do you need to make your business legal?

-How will you get paid?

Organize and choose the most important tasks

Once you’ve gone wild with researching and got plenty of notes it’s time to organize it in a logical manner. That means from the basic things you need to get started to more advanced.

You won’t be able to implement every strategy right away. You have to implement the minimum needed to start your business. 

This is important for two reasons:

  1. Keeping things simple and manageable
  2. Set up your business as soon as possible so you can start making money

Keeping the dropshipping example, I’d want to write out:

-what I need to start that store (do I need a website?)

-How to choose a supplier

-How to choose products that sell well

-When and how will I get paid

-Any legal requirements to run the store

I like to write a big to do list and just start checking off things, but that could lead you nowhere fast.

You can separate it in phases

  1. Choosing  suppliers and products
  2. Setting up the store and payment processors
  3. Put in place legalities

Set up a logical timeline

Once you have your phases or your to do list, you need to put in some deadlines. This is really important. Without a deadline, there is no rush for you to get things done. Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. This means that if you give a task three days or one week, it will take that exact time to get completed in both cases.

Feel free to give yourself a bit of time for the tasks that seem more difficult or the ones that need outsourcing. You might need an expert to setup and configure your Shopify/Etsy store. Either way, give it a deadline.

Will you feel pressured to finish your tasks on time? Yes. Will this take out of the enjoyment of doing a side hustle for fun?  Yes, a little bit. You will stress, especially if time has gone by and you haven’t managed to achieve everything you wanted to. That’s why this last step is very important.

Check your progress and update your timeline

If you’ve never set up a dropshipping business before you might not be able to accurately assign the time needed to do certain tasks. That is OK. In this step you will check after each phase you’ve completed and see what kind of progress you’ve made.

Now that you have more information on what the tasks you had to do entailed, you can update your deadlines more precisely.

Keep doing this after every phase. Every milestone you achieve on your online business journey will bring new lessons about time and resource management.


Some of us love learning, and half the fun of starting a new business is the excitement of all the amazing things we are going to learn while setting up and running that business.

But if you look at successful entrepreneurs, you will see that they do not necessarily know every single thing in their business. They understand pretty fast the value of finding the right talent to help them.

Can’t afford to outsource or hire help? Then you will definitely have to do most, if not all, the tasks in your business. However as it takes off you will want to reinvest some of the profits into outsourcing either the tasks that require more expertise, or the ones that take up time you need to do more important things.

However, it might simply be that you, like me, feel a sense of pride in saying you’ve built your business yourself. But we need to be smart about it, otherwise our business won’t be able to grow and scale.

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