The 3 Most Common False Expectations of Running an Online Business

JillMindset20 Comments

The allure of working under a palm tree. The promise of six figure years. The enchantment of the 4 hour work week. The expectation that it will all work out once you hit “publish” on your first post.

We hear it far too often: The former 9-5'er quitting their soul-sucking job to live the dream and assuming it will all work out perfectly. Because really, how hard could it be? Click play to find out the answer!

We know some people prefer to read rather than watch, so we included a free downloadable PDF transcript just for you non-video watchers!

Just click the button below to get your hands on it!

Click to read the transcript

Skip to the Good Stuff:

1:15 – why you need to manage your expectations when it comes to making money online
1:40 – why you can't actually work a 4 hour work week when just starting out
2:05 – the false allure of working from the beachΒ Β 

A Little Bit About this Episode:

It's a common myth that those of us working online have allll the freedom in the world to work as little as we want, and that the money will start flowing as soon as you hit “publish” on your first post.

Ummmm not so much.

I mean, I get it. I used to think that way too…until I actually got started running an affiliate marketing business and realized that so much more goes into the daily upkeep than I realized.

And while it is absolutely possible to get your business to the point of making BIG money without working long hours, that sort of model takes time.

So this episode goes out to all the wantrepreneurs who think it's all fun and games. Click play to see what I mean…or download your transcript.

Your turn: Did you hold any of these false expectations before reading or watching this? If so, which one? Share your thoughts below!


  • Jon

    Hi Jill and Josh,
    Great video. As someone who is just starting out in internet business (and who hasn’t yet quit his 9-to-5 job), I think it’s important to manage my expectations.

    I have a question about Expectation #1. If “fat cash” is a bit too much to hope for, do you think it’s reasonable to aim for subsistence-level income within 3-6 months? Or is that probably still over-optimistic? I don’t mind living the spartan life for a while, I just don’t want to have to choose between food and rent. πŸ˜‰

    Keep up the great work. I just found your website last week, and I’ve been reading a lot of it. It’s been very helpful!


    • Jill

      Hey Jon,

      I guess it just depends on what your subsistence-level income looks like. We hit 5k/month within 8 months so it’s absolutely possible to hit 2k/month within 3-4 months if you hustle your ass off and target the right niches and keywords.

      I also think it’s incredibly important to keep the dream of “fat cash” in the forefront of your mind and chase it…I just think it’s smarter to not expect it right away πŸ™‚

      Happy to have you around these parts and thrilled to hear you dug the video!

    • Mat

      John, another perspective. There’s businesses like Jill’s which are more about affiliate marketing which definitely can take a while to get off the ground.

      On the other hand 2-3k a month from services or consulting is achievable much faster.. it just requires more ongoing work. So there’s pros and cons for both.

      I took SEO consulting from 0 to 3k/m in maybe 3 months and I did basically zero hustling at all. I think I made a grand total of 5 phone calls (I took a few as well) and attended a few meetings.

      The 4 hr work week thing is definitely possible if you systemise everything.. I’ve spent pretty much the entire last 12 months working 2-6hrs a week on the SEO stuff. Actually I don’t think I’ve ever worked more than 10 hours in a week, ever, on that.

      (Obviously I’ve spent time working on other things too πŸ™‚ otherwise I’d die of boredom.)


      • Jill

        Nice work Mat!! That’s seriously impressive πŸ™‚

        I would love to be able to work 6 hours a week! lol

        One day πŸ˜‰

        And thanks for offering the other side of the coin. I think it’s important for people to hear that it’s not only our model that works for us webpreneurs.

  • Nice video – I’m definitely starting to learn some of this stuff from my own experience. Thanks for sharing!

    PS. Never realised Josh was Aussie πŸ™‚

    • Jill

      Aussie to the core πŸ™‚

      And happy to hear you’re working your way through this crazy world that is lifestyle business! It’s a good feeling, eh?

  • mame clark

    Loved the video……just love watching the two of you in action.
    P.S. Love the new shirt Josh lol!

  • Diana

    Hi Josh & Jill,

    Nice video guys! I have been doing research on lifestyle businesses and so forth for awhile now, so I think my expectations were on point with #1 & #2. I plan to give myself a year to see decent income once I get a business started, if nothing happens after a year, then I’m gonna have some issues. I have no problem busting my ass off as long as I’m busting it for my own business and not someone else’s. However; I did picture myself lounging on the beach with my laptop, a frozen hurricane and two hot guys fanning me with banana leaves, ok maybe not the hot guys part. I would probably be too distracted by others having fun on the beach while I’m working, so I guess a beach side office is out, lol.

    Thanks for the eye opener!

    • Jill

      Hey Diana!

      Girlfriend, keep the 2 dudes fanning you…just get off the beach and into somewhere more comfortable! hahaha πŸ˜‰

      In all seriousness, I absolutely think you can make things happen for yourself in less than a year! A year is a relatively long time if you are committed to busting your ass and getting your business in gear.

      Sure, you might not pull in big money right off the bat but it is 110% possible to generate enough income to live very well in a developing country.

      I guess it depends what kind of business you want to start but we truly believe you can start covering basic expenses within your first year if you do it right πŸ™‚

      Thanks for being honest with your false expectations and good luck with the biz!

      Let us know how it goes πŸ™‚

      • Diana

        Thanks Jill, you know I will!

  • Tracey

    Hi Josh and Jill,
    This is great. I would like to build an affiliate marketing business.
    You said above you guys reached 5k in month 8, is that from affiliate marketing only or includes something else. I would like to give myself a year with the goal to have 3-4k monthly income. I am hoping that is feasible. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    • Jill

      Hey Tracey,

      Yep we hit 5k in less than 8 months. We started our sites around January 2012 I believe and they didn’t really do much for like 3 months…I think we made like 2 sales! lol

      Then we decided to give guest posting a try and that made ALL the difference for us. In April we hit $1100 and by the end of July we had hit $5200 strictly from guest posting alone for links.

      We weren’t making money any other way than affiliate marketing – we still don’t! That’s the only way we generate income so far πŸ™‚

      As for your goal of 3-4k in one year…I truly believe that is 110% doable! Just hustle your ass off. Pick solid keywords, write like a mad woman and start finding sites to write for to get links to your pages.

  • Ali

    oooo joshy, always making the face!

    • Jill


  • Hey guys, we found a way to make 3 work (kinda). We found a beach bar with wifi, tables in the sand and cheap wraps for lunch. Its off season here in Portugal so the bar is reasonably quiet. If it gets to busy or we’re distracted we head home. But we’ll be leaving here next week for Chiang Mai so the beach will be no more. Might see you around.

    • Jill

      Oh we looooove Portugal!! What part of Portugal are you in?

      And exciting that you’re coming to CM!! Hopefully we can meet up and say hi πŸ™‚

      • We stopped in Porto for 9 days and now we are house sitting down south in Ferragudo. If only the water was a little warmer it would be perfect. Oh and the piri piri chicken…fantastic.

        We arrive Friday week in Chiang Mai. Coran already has some plans to meet other DC peeps, so I’m sure we’ll cross paths.

        I have a screw Q for you: I see that you work in a share office space. Why do you prefer that over working from home or a coffee shop? As we are just starting out and keeping costs low at what point to you think its worth paying for such a space.

        • Jill

          Ugh don’t even get me started on the piri piri! Or the champagne sangria! We absolutely loved it there πŸ™‚

          Didn’t know you 2 were DC’ers! Not hitting up BKK this weekend I guess?

          And thanks for the Screw Q! I’ve added it to the list for the next round we shoot πŸ™‚

          • Been following the podcast for some time now. Just joined this week tho πŸ™‚

            We miss BKK by 1 day due to this house sit. We’ll be in the air as it happens *sigh. We’re a little dumbed but there’s always next time.

          • Jill

            Aw shame! Definitely next year πŸ™‚ This is our first one…I’ll take notes for you πŸ˜‰