Someone once said that the most uncommon thing is common sense. A lot of people may find this article on common sense in online business an insult to their intelligence. If so, I apologize. In my defense let me say that the following list is an amalgam of lists I had asked my experienced businessmen friends to prepare.

These points were thought, by consensus, to be the most important. Please note that none of these experts had all these points in any of their lists.

  • Never bore your family and friends with constant talk about your online business. Keeping them informed of what’s happening is fine, but if you overdo it they will turn off. Your family and friends wish you well and may often have information or ideas that will help you. But if they think opening their mouths will launch you into a long boring talk about business, they will keep quiet.
  • When working alone from home it is easy to start taking it easy and spend the day in pajamas. After all who’s going to see you? Fight this temptation and set up a disciplined work schedule. Working from home and being your own boss means that you can be flexible in your timing – but only within reason. Working all night because you want to take the next day off to go to a ball game may complete your hours for the week, but what about the potential business you have lost by not being available on schedule?
  • Have a backup plan for when you are sick. If you are so sick you can’t work, what happens? Remember that if everything stops for 3 days, it could take you 3 weeks to regain the lost momentum. Have a back up plan ready. Also plan your holidays well in advance and make sure your business won’t come to a standstill. If nothing else, you can take a laptop with you and work for a few hours wherever you are, as long as you can get online. It’s not a perfect solution, but it works. There are lots of online resources to help you with your work.
  • It’s easy to spend the 16 hours a day at your computer, trying to (and hopefully succeeding in) making money. 6 months of this and you could be too sick to work. Never neglect your health. Exercise, watch your diet and coffee consumption and get enough rest. Forsaking your family and friends for your work is a really big mistake. What’s the point of being a success if you have no one to share it with?
  • No real success comes easy. Be prepared to tough it out when the hard times come – and they will. They won’t last forever, but make sure you have the financial, mental and emotional support you need to get through them.
  • Success rarely comes overnight. It may, and often does, take longer than your plan. Have the patience to hang in there till the tide starts to come in. But also know when to call it quits. Don’t hang on to a business when you KNOW it has no future. No one gets it right every time. Be prepared to start again using the knowledge you have acquired to help you succeed the next time. It will be a huge asset.

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