Remember how exciting it was when you were a kid and you’d trade something with a friend? Maybe you’d give a pencil and get a marble in return. For a child, this may be a great deal. But the question is, where do these simple early exchanges take us? What are you trading now? Are you still making simple, boring trades? 

If you’re like most people – you’re trading your hours for dollars.

Right now, you may be making $13, $14, or $15 an hour. You’re begging, bartering, and working hard to get just a dollar an hour raise. 

This is not how you become financially successful. It is how you lose in the long run. 

If you’re wanting to boost your income via an online business, start by reevaluating your trade. Because you want to come out on top of the trade, you want to be the one winning in the trade.

There are 3 types of online businesses that are really popular. Everyone wants to do it. That’s not a bad thing and they can work… but only to a point. 

However, we have an idea for an online business that may lead to fast and unlimited growth. Spoiler alert: you’re going to learn a High Income Skill that will help you far beyond just making extra income.

Popular Types Of Online Businesses

When starting an online business, you need to know what type of work you want to be doing. Some of the most lucrative online opportunities are created for virtual assistants, freelancers, and social media agencies.

Each of these options comes with pros and cons. But the main question is, what’s your end goal?

This will be the ultimate determining factor in what type of business you decide to start.

Are you looking for just enough money to get by? Do you want unlimited freedom and growth?

You have the potential to create unlimited growth for yourself and your business so take a minute and adjust your mindset.

You shouldn’t be limiting yourself because you can always do more and do better. 

So let’s take a look at some popular online businesses and why they might be limiting you.

virtual assistant as a type of online business

Virtual Assistant

Virtual assistants, or VAs, help their clients with pretty much anything and everything. They file documents, build email lists, and basically do all the grunt work their clients wish to avoid.

Pros

Clients usually love virtual assistants. They do all the work their clients don’t want to do, so they’re highly valued.

If you have basic computer skills, you can be a virtual assistant. Pretty much anyone can do it.

Because there is always grunt work to be done, it’s easier to find clients.

Cons

Unfortunately, there are more cons than pros with this online business.

Virtual assistants are extremely limited in their growth and very inexpensive. You can only do so much in 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – and people don’t want to pay a lot for what is often viewed as basic skills.

Some virtual assistants only charge $50 for something that takes a week to do. That breaks down to pennies by the hour, which is not how you want to set yourself up. If you’re looking for long term financial success and freedom, you don’t want to get bogged down in this vicious cycle.

It can be hard to advance when there is such little cash flow. You could be making as little as $5 an hour doing mundane tasks that won’t necessarily build you any business acumen or lasting skills.

Think about it: 60% of virtual assistants have a college degree. All that money and time invested in a college education might seem disproportional to the minimum gain from building email lists and sorting files.

A lot of what virtual assistants do could be automated soon – even now. So there’s not really any job security in the long-term. At any moment, a program or an app could be taking over. 

This is not even a recommended side hustle to make some extra cash because you have to put in tons of hours with very little reward.

Being a virtual assistant is not improving your hours to dollars trade. You’d probably be better off in a regular 9 to 5 job. There’s more stability and better pay.

Even if you were to be running an agency of virtual assistants, you’d still be making pennies.

start an online business as a freelancer

Freelancer

Freelancers sell specific digital skills. These are your website and graphic designers, copywriters, SEO specialists, video, and photo editors – people who specialize in a single skill. We could even lump in accountants and lawyers – they specialize in a skill their clients seek out when needed.

So what are the pros and cons of being a freelancer?

Pros

You are at your first stepping stone to total freedom where you are your own boss, and you get to choose your clients. 

You can use your time as a freelancer to build a High Income skill and a 6 figure income – it is totally doable. 

The High Income skill you choose to specialize in will also help you in your future business endeavors. You’ll build business acumen along the way, which will help you to leverage that skill into a larger business with fewer limitations.

Since you have multiple clients, your income source will be distributed. Losing one client, no matter how big, won’t cripple your business.

Cons

As a freelancer, all the work is on you – and you still only have 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Sure, you could be working with 10 clients and charging each of them $1,000 a month to hit that $10,000 monthly goal a lot of freelancers aim for. But how many hours a week does it take to get there? Are there any hours left, and do you have space for growth? 

So you’re selling skill for a cost – you’re working in your trade of hours for dollars. But you’ve also severely limited. Sure, you could charge more. There’s some room for growth there.

But where does the real growth come from? What’s the secret to untapped potential?

If you want to go to the next step, you need to leverage your skill. It’s all about leveraging to get to the next level.

You don’t have to do something entirely new. You don’t have to learn a dozen new skills. Setting yourself up with your High Income skill and successful freelance career should have given you the business acumen you need to start a business.

You can build on the skill you’ve given yourself to take you to the next level. But a career as a freelancer alone comes with limited potential and growth.

Social Media Agency

A social media agency manages a company’s social media. They create content and posts and make content deals. It is a form of being an agency, which is a form of business we suggest. But this agency works only with a company’s social media, which limits them.

So why is it so popular? What are the pros and cons of running a social media agency?

Pros

There are a few distinct advantages to this form of online business.

This form of agency can be done with very few people. You could really do it on your own as a freelancer, but having a team means a variety of talents and more hours.

Every company should have social media, so you have plenty of potential clients.

You can be creative with your social media approach. With each client, you can think of something new and try something else.

You work on retainer, so you have a relatively stable income. 

Cons

This is a popular business, but there are a number of drawbacks. You’re looking for growth, right? You want financial freedom and success.

A social media agency will make that very difficult – at times even impossible.

Social media does not drive revenue for a company, which makes it hard to charge decent prices. You could charge $4,000 for a retainer fee, but companies will only be willing to keep that up for so long without an obvious Return On Investment (ROI). A realistic retainer is more around $1,000 per client. 

In general, though, client retention is low and difficult. So not only are you working in a time-intensive business, but you’re also going to spend a lot of time trying to find clients willing to pay your retainer without driving revenue.

Offering services that drive revenue will allow you to charge exponentially more. 

So if this is your ideal form of business, be prepared for long term stress. You might have limited cash and time, and find yourself needing to pay a team to scale at any level.

the process of starting an online business

The Process Of Starting An Online Business

Which business form sounds right to you? These 3 popular types of businesses are all very limiting. Why? Because they consume your time.

Time is a commodity. You have to think about it that way: it’s limited and non-renewable. That’s the first thing to know about the Millionaire Mindset – the mindset you need to become a millionaire.

The Millionaire Mindset means thinking big. People tend to think small. They think, “I am making $13 an hour, how can I make a dollar more?” But that’s not how you become financially successful.

Click To Tweet

But to get there, you have to understand the process and the steps.

You’ve recognized that you’re trading your dollars for hours; now you need to realize that your hours are worth a lot more. 

So stop thinking small and get ready to trade for high dollars.

You’re not looking for a dollar raise anymore. You’re not looking to go from $13 an hour to $14 an hour. And you’re going to go from $13 an hour to $200 an hour. 

So where do you start?

  1. “I just want some kind of income.” You’re working in your job or starting your business, and you need to just make some money. This is the Virtual Assistant mindset. “I’m going to do as much work as I need to just to make some amount of money.”
  2. “I want an increase in income.” This is a freelancer’s mentality. It’s also where the jump in income is. You’ll learn your High Income skill and then know each of your hours is worth $200 or $300. But you’ll still be limited by your time. You’ll only have so many hours in a day to earn that money.
  3. “I need to disassociate my money with my time.” This is an agency owner. They are building a team with a diverse set of skills and their income is no longer reliant on their time. Instead, their income is reliant on their business acumen and skills. 
  4. “My money now works for me.” This is like being an investor. By this point, you’ve built a company and have a reliable income and cash stores. You can start expanding and setting your money to work for you online to earn you more money. 

These are the 4 stages of being a business owner, but where do you fit in?

Learn To Work In Your Step

Are you in step 1 of starting your business? It’s okay if you are. It’s okay to recognize that your current mentality is, “I just need to make some money to pay the bills next month.” But don’t get stuck there.

Since you know the next step, too, you can skip being a virtual assistant. Don’t let yourself get bogged down in mundane work when you could be building High Income skills. But know which step you are in.

Because you can’t skip from “I need to just make some money” to “my money is working for me.”

The key to growing a business is leverage, right? Freelancers need to leverage their skills to build a sustainable, scalable business. Agency owners need to leverage their position to make their money work for them.

Think about real estate. Imagine you’re someone making minimum wage buying a house with money down. You’re leveraging your money, right? You’ve put it to work building equity, but you aren’t making the money to pay your mortgage every month and deal with all the expenses that come up.

In the first month of owning the home, your toilet breaks, your hot water heat quits, and your ceiling develops a leak. But all your money is going towards your mortgage payment.

You weren’t ready yet for that kind of leverage.

 You needed to work up to home ownership – you can’t skip straight to it.

Building a prosperous online business is the same. You have to work through the process and lay down a good foundation before you can get to the point where your money works for you.

climb to the top with an online business

The Type Of Online Business That Works

If the business is about leverage, how do you go beyond? To improve your earning ability, you need to dissociate with your time.

You can do this with an online marketing agency.

Online marketing agencies have all the pros that virtual assistants, freelancers, and social media agencies do. 

You can work on your own time with people all over the world. Your income is tied to multiple clients, so if you lose one, your business won’t collapse. You can leverage High Income skills. Plus – you’ll be able to drive revenue for your client, which means you can charge exponentially more than most freelancers and social media agencies. When your clients can see an ROI, they’ll be much more likely to pay top dollar for your services.

But the key to this form of business is to disassociate with your time. 

You’ll be able to build a team of highly qualified individuals with a diverse skill set to work with you. That means leveraging your skills and their skills.

If the key to a successful business is being able to leverage, then the more skills you can leverage the better.

Have you been investing your time as a freelancer or a social media agency? This is your next step for a more sustainable, scalable business. Leverage the skills you’ve been learning and the business acumen you’ve developed to build a business that works for you.

Once you are able to build your business, you’ll be able to optimize your trade so it works best in your favor. Remember: how you manage your time for money trade is up to you.

How are you going to make the most of each of your hours?