Do You Have A Hobby Or A Business?

Do You Have A Hobby Or A Business?

One of the things that has really helped me in building my own business has been treating it as a REAL business.

i.e I try and work a certain number of hours each day, and a certain number of days a week.

Obviously I’m free to “bend” those rules when I like to take some time off, but I’ve found that if I don’t have some kind of structure and discipline, then my productivity goes WAY down.

This past week, I’ve taken pretty much the entire 7 days off to spend with my parents who are visiting us from Ireland (Photos to come soon! :-)).

I’ve only been online less than an hour a day to check emails and make sure everything is running smoothly.

The Problem With Being Your Own Boss

The benefit of having an online business is that you can still make money even when you’re not at the computer … BUT … Unless you have a plan or a system in place, then it quickly dies away without anyone there to ‘man the bridge’ and keep it going in the right direction.

I’m sure many of you reading this are in the same position I was in a few years ago – in a full time occupation (whether that be a job, school etc) and looking to become your own boss.

And I *know* how difficult it can be to accomplish everything you need to when you have so many other constraints on your time.

Thats why, regardless of where you are at in your business now, you NEED to start treating it like a real business and not just a hobby that you tend to every now and again.

Creating Your Business Plan

What I mean by this is that you need to have a goal in mind as well as a set of procedures, or a plan, or a system that will enable you to get there.

Write out a list of the goals you want to accomplish, and then write down the steps you will need to take to accomplish them.

If possible, try and give yourself a reasonable time limit to accomplish each step. That way you’ll find yourself less likely to be distracted by other things online.

What I do every single day is create a list of “action items” that I need to get done.

I then go through each one, crossing them off as I complete them, until I get to the end.

After the list is all crossed off, that’s when I allow myself time to “goof off” and get distracted by other things online.

It may sound kind of dull, boring and in many ways like a regular JOB, but the truth is, without discipline, it’s impossible for me to complete everything that I need to.

What’s Your Biggest Problem?

What do you find is your biggest problem when it comes to building your business?

Use the comment box below to write down what you need help with e.g.

Knowing what direction to go,
Time limits,
The “Techie” side of things,
Getting traffic,
Creating content … etc

I want to help you if I can, so let me know what is really keeping you stuck.

Also, try and see if you can create your own list of steps to accomplish your goals and keep you on track.

To YOUR success!


  1. My problem is that between my day job and caring for my grandkids who live with us(just 4 out of 20), my time is soooo fragmented I can’t seem to consistently focus on anything. And lately it is getting worse.

  2. Diana FitzGerald says:

    The techie thing has really baffled me all together. I have bought several on line courses only to abandon them as I haven’t a notion how to fill out HTML etc…frustration sets in and then I banish the idea altogether.

  3. Hi Richard,

    My biggest problem is getting traffic. It seems that I get several sign ups to my opt in lists but not many buyers.

    Maybe it is the auto emails that I am sending out…

    I would love a simple guide to getting 100 visitors or more each day while working under 1 hour to get those visitors, if that is possible…


  4. Right NOW I am using my primary eamil addres, verse my business address, because I can not get access to Google Mail OR Google AdWords. These are the types of issues I face.
    Othere than that trying to find one or two people I can work with, that have either the integrity or the patients to work with me.
    I LIKE your blog, and you are very close to hitting my problem on the head, as I do get distracted too easily. I am looking forard to the day that I get some money back out of these interent efforts.
    If you can help in some manner, I am more than ready. I just need to schedule around my FT JOB with erratic schedules.

  5. Dave Nicholson says:

    Hi Richard.

    Great to hear you had a wondeful visit :-)
    I have to agree disapline is a key factor those lazy days can catch up on you pretty quick šŸ˜‰

    One Thing I always find difficult is getting past the Freebie Seeker Traffic, Mind you the freebies are there for the taking :-) The current economy has yet to flip to more opportunity seekers as far as I can see. Should there be a much different approach now as to say 6 months ago? I realize one has to adapt to the current conditions. Some tips on what direction to go considering the times would be awesome :-)


  6. Hi Richard,

    I need help with ALL those things!:-)

    However, I think a big problem for us newbies is information overload – I’m on far too many lists, but am frightened to unsubscribe in case I miss anything useful! Thus, I spend far too long looking at emails and listening to free videos that promise valuable content, but which are really just animated sales letters for yet more ebooks to sit unread on my hard drive!

    A list of ‘action items’ sounds like a good idea – things to be done BEFORE I open my email inbox……..

    Mary Elliot

  7. My biggest problem is accomplishing anything without using videos or audios.
    My machine won’t play them. I’ve got every video playing software, that I can download. Nothing. I even tried “ASK”, no luck. I really like your blog.
    It’s fantastic. Easy to navigate, Very well organized. Very nice to look at.

  8. Anne Smith says:

    Hi Richard,

    Good post! I have limited time, and I find that the technical side of things takes me a long time (like being completely bamboozled by my hosting company changing the look of the cPanel).

    I therefore tend to do the things I am better at, rather than planning a bite-by-bite campaign to attack the things I find hard.

    Goals, plans, steps – you are quite right, they are necessary.

    Looking forward to the pics.

    Anne S

  9. I could not agree more. Its something we weed out continually when marketing a business, but the ones that have a hobby mentality loose focus easily.

  10. Richard,

    My gut tells me there are other ‘readers’ out there with a situation similar to my own.

    I’d like to have an income sourced through the Internet. This would allow me (so I’m told) to get more accomplished around the house and hopefully ‘free-up’ more personal time.

    And, I also realize that if one focuses on a ‘high’ interest, or hobby type, topic to ‘exploit’, they have a much better chance of becoming a success (at producing an income) from it…

    My problem is I don’t know what I’m interested in most and I’ve tried to come up with questions to myself to find out. Maybe that’s the ‘wacko’ factor – I don’t know but, I seem to be coming up with a questionnaire – of sorts – that maybe others might be able to use. I’ll keep you posted on that :0)…

    Anyway, what’s your answer (long or short)?

  11. This post has been informative!

    The hardest time I have had is with content.

    Thanks for your insight and help
    from your blog postings.


  12. William Akotia says:

    Hi Richard,

    Yes I need some help. I have tried just everything but with less succcess.
    I really enjoyed your program on FTP. I have two websites but they have never brought me any money. They are: http://www.valley4business.co.uk
    http://vvhp.co.uk. They are for trading in Inkjet Cartridges and in Computers online. My aim is to have a website built for me to sell Information Products.
    Best Regards
    William Akotia

  13. One of te things that i feel that i always too many things to do and there are always numerous things pending.


  14. William Brantley says:

    I think you’re 100% on the right track too, my business has been significantly growing since I’ve been learning from you, we finally got our first site online and have even received our first few affiliate checks.

    Thank you so much for all your help Richard! You’re THE most genuine online guru I’ve ever even heard of.


  15. My number one problem when ever I get really motivated and start taking the necessary steps to get the job done the money runs out before I even get started . most of my money is spent on advertising (Adwords). I find myself spending what I don’t have only to end up in the hole and lose motivation and eventually quit. I need to end this ridicules cycle and MAKE SOME MONEY!

  16. Hi Richard

    First thanks for the blog post and also for the opportunity to ‘tell someone’ what I need.

    I have my idea/niche researched and picked (dogs). I have to choose a 3 Column WP Theme template for a site that will be content rich (authority site) but I have been searching for one that does not require ‘techy Know-how’ and have not had much luck. Do you have any suggestions?

    I have trademarked my logo and domain name and have had an animated Index Page developed with my main ‘character’ who is also featured in my logo. Now I am am stuck…what to do next!!!

    I look forward to any assistance or suggestions that you may wish to share.

    Many thanks

  17. Hi Richard,
    You are so right – I have discovered that myself just recently. To make your Internet business into a “real” business that is making enough money, you need to treat it like a real business.
    I have only started a few weeks back to make a plan, and set out daily tasks, and have already seen a change in my efficiency of getting things done. Without a plan, and without structure, you are sailing through the muddy waters of internet marketing and have no idea where you are going – and that is usually where you end up – NOWHERE!
    Great post, Richard. :)

  18. Hi Richard,
    Excellent post and will always enjoy reading them.
    have been a loyal subscriber for about two years now. I do not feel that I have achieved my goal as yet. Frequently I am baffled at the number of products released as I see on my email daily. I need to concentrat and get somewhere. I need a good product that will help me establish myself and also retain my members.

  19. Amen, Brother! My biggest problem by far is being able to promote consistently. I get results when I promote using the various methods at my disposal to do it, but I may go a couple of days without doing it. It seems that when all you want is the information you need to take the next step, you get overloaded with “free” reports,”bonuses” that you have little use for, and constant sales pitches for yet more products when you haven’t had a chance to learn how to use what you just bought. I have more ebooks and reports than I will ever read in 2 lifetimes.

    Making a list definitely helps, as I have found I get more done and my mind is more settled when I make a list. Unfortunately, I don’t do this consistently either :-(!

  20. I need a way to get traffic that spends money, I get a lot of traffic
    but It has been a while since I sold anything, I use an optin email,
    millions of emails, but I think I probably need to start using a method
    that people use with KEY Words, Right?
    I have spent about $ 5000 and haven’t made enough money to
    pay my postage, but I keep trying, I know sooner or later, I will find
    something that works, I cannot be defeated,and I wont quit.
    That’s the truth, pc

  21. My biggest problem is me myself.

    Be blessed

  22. Joyce Thorburn says:

    Hi Richard,

    Glad to hear Adam is doing well and even likes his grandparents. You seem to have had a great week. Good for you!.

    My biggest problem is not having any technical savvy, whatsoever.

    I did hyperventilate my way through an html tutorial and actuaqlly it
    wasn’t all that hard. It has helped me.

    staying focused and on track is another problem. I’ll go through a few days of writing posts in my blog or adding pages to my Website and
    submitting articles to ezines. Then, suddenly I’ll run out of steam or
    my mind goes blank and I’ll end up playing MAh Jong on my lap top.

    I’m a senior and also mobility challenged, as we so quaintly call it now.

    So I definitely have plenty of time.

    You are one of the very few people whose e-mail I still open, and actually
    enjoy. You’re helpful, personal and not pushy.

    I used to spend about $ 200.- buying worthless e-books. I have enough of them on my hard drive I could fill the Congressional Library if they were hard cover.

    Now I don’t spend a cent anymore and “bum-market”.

    Keep up the good work. You ARE making a difference.


  23. Hi Richard Legg,

    Hope you are doing well, your little son Adam also doing fine and you are having great time with your parents.

    My problem is I donot have services of Auto responder though plenty of free autoresponders and paid ones are available and since I donot have squeeze page in my website I donot have any optin list, so I cannot mail to any one but thanks to some programs I can send some emails regularly to few of them.
    My another problem is driving traffic to my website though I am surfing regularly in some TEs and member of different social forums I do have regular contacts with members of forums exchanging our business related issues still I cannot able to attract the type of traffic to make some kind of regular income online.
    To be frank, only recently I am entitled for some affiliate commission for the first time after a struggle of nearly six months in online business without making any dime other than earning few bucks in paid surfing. I donot really know where the problem lies. Can you please figure this out?
    I also do regular advertising in ad forums.
    Please visit my website and give your opinion where should I improve upon and is there any modification needed to attract more customers? Your valuable suggestion is highly appreciated to improve my website.

    Finally, last but not the least what is SEO ? How to get high ranking in SEs to make our site visible I know the last question cannot be answered in few lines but give me your valuable thoughts on this.

    Thank you,

    Warm Regards,


  24. Hi Richard,

    Thanks for this post, Im sorry I have never lern english but I have to try to get help enyhow. so I wonder if you can help my. I have a Blog that is Rankin good on Google its on the second plaic of 10,200,000 pages, but I dont make eny sales from my Blog, so I wonder what I do wrong? Can you on a ease way tell my that?

    This is my Blog: http://wholesale1.blogspot.com/

    Best Regards
    Baldur Bjarnason

  25. Hi Richard
    Info overload is, and has been one of te biggest problems, especially when it seems that everyone has the answer. The problem starts with the need for information, so one subscribes for every course and every ezine.
    Then one needs traffic and because newbies are warned off PPC until they know what they are doing, we go for free ads, opening our mailbox to a host of solo ads, email ads etc.
    Result: we spend days looking over other people’s offers and downloading programs, e-books and bonuses/freebies and never get through any training and marketing.
    Days become weeks, weeks become months.
    Thousands become hundreds, tens and then dollars and finally dimes.

    I now have commited myself to the following
    1) focus on one program until I make a success of it and then I will move to another.
    2) studying PPC until I master it. –
    3) continue with other types of free marketing, excepting solo ads and other exchange type of ads like safelists.
    4) open the email of only a few carefully chosen successful online businessmen/teachers/mentors that are committed to teaching others.
    5) vowed to repay those who mentor and teach me by supporting them
    6) design a way to help others avoid the pitfalls mentioned above that I and many others are falling into.

  26. Shakuntala says:

    Dear Richard :

    Hello. You’re advice has always been very valuable to all of is.

    Is it possible to give us all a daily step-by-step plan for us for follow which lists the various steps to take on a daily basis to bring traffic to our site which includes mainly free and maybe some low cost paid traffic generating methods.

    A blueprint like above will give us the starting point to build on and we could go on to add any new traffic generating ideas to that or refine the list as we go along.

    Thanks for everything. God Bless.

  27. Just like Mary, my problem is I’m on too many e-mail lists,
    but am afraid to delete my name incase they either update
    a product I’ve already bought, or give me a link to some
    more really useful information.

    The reality is I probably have all the information I need
    if only I could focus on it long enough to benefit.

    Great blog post as always.


  28. I’ve been trying to make money online for the past year or so. I get hyped when I see a new opportunity online and I buy it. Then after working on it for a month or so I get frustrated because I can’t wrap my head around the technical part of the business. Admittedly, I don’t even know how to unzip or zip files or programs properly. Also uploading files and programs are very difficult as well. Being disabled, my funds are very restricted. For this reason, I would like to own an online business that will be successful. I hope you can lead me in the right direction.


  29. Randi Brammer says:

    I really want to create an e-book. My trade is in Accounting and Tax Preparation, but I also like to create NEW designs for quilts. I would like to put a few of my designs into an e-book that I can sell online, but I do not have the first clue as how to begin. What do I use to type in text? How can I make a quick video? Etc., etc. Can you help me?
    Thanks so much,

  30. Charles D. Hart says:

    Hello Richard & family, I`m glad you had a good visit with your folks.
    I`m still having trouble getting files from my computer to my ftp and
    up to my website, but i`ll get it yet. regards, Charles

  31. Hi great post,
    I read a lot of blogs and you get the most comments you all ways give good advice and like all the other reader I am at a stop,
    thanks for all of your help Henry

  32. Hi Richard,
    I have all the problems of those above and probably more. I can design good web sites (or I think so). I can upload them using FTP light but that is it.
    When I try to upload something or upgrade a page I foul it up every time. I am to scared to redo the whole web site again as I do something wrong and I cannot get it back properly.
    I use XP and then publisher then save it as a web page and then download it to the FTP. BUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am heading towards 70 and want to get this site up and running properly to go with my will as I want to get these homes set up all over Australia.
    I also have another site ready to go with items to purchase for people like those in here that are grabbing all they can get.
    When you are on a limited budget such as a pension and your dollar is only half of the price being asked, it does make you do this and these items that we have purchased or downloaded FREE always come in handy as give a ways.
    When someone gets in touch with me I send them a thank you email with a download link for a FREE BEE. I have only ever made one Cheque in all my years on the nett but I still plod along trusting I will get there eventually.
    It would be so much better if I had a mentor that is prepared to guides me.

    Richard I also have items that will help those that have many affiliate links or member sites that will help them keep records and save their passwords & another that will do the downloading for them at any time they set and even go back on line if it cuts out and continue until finished.
    Plus many others.
    Let me know if you want to check them out.
    Take care all and do not give up.

    This is my goal.

  33. hows it going dicky?
    my biggest problem at the moment has got to be(like a few posts above)the technical side of things. i am a complete beginner at computers, i don’t know how to do word processing or spread sheets or anything. i have downloaded nvu thanks to a link you gave me and i am trying really hard at learning it but it’s like giving me a book written in japanese and telling me to translate it, anyway i’ve got a template from somewhere because i thought it would give me a little bit of a headstart but it has made it even more difficult. i open nvu and then on the top toolbar i click “open” there are all sorts of weird letters like q3yert but i eventually find the template and i “open” it, i’m able to delete sentences and then write my own but i can’t do anything else. i can’t delete paragraph boxes and the “images” that came with my template don’t seem to be anywhere, it keeps saying “no item found in search”, also when i try and save what little i’ve done i don’t know where my work goes because the next time i open nvu i can’t find it. i am completely baffled, all my “work” time is lost because this is all i do and i’m on the verge of quitting. please help!!

  34. hello again,
    it’s me again from the last post. after writing about my problems i thought i would have another go at learning nvu and i wish i hadn’t bothered! i just opened it and started to edit my template, i wrote for a while and the page began to look quite good so i thought i would save what i had done and do some more tomorrow but then lo and behold i ran into problems and almost smashed my computer against the wall. i clicked on “save” and instead of saving it said “save file failed” so i just clicked on the little x in the right hand corner and it said “save changes” so i clicked yes and it said exactly what it said before “save file failed”. so now apart from being extremely angry i can’t “close” nvu without cancelling all the work i just did. i just can’t seem to do anything right and even if i do, something like this happens! what the hell am i supposed to do when everything is against me like this? please help me before i go insane or should i say more insane!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Creating content. I love to write. But it just seems like the same content is being recycled over and over. Coming up with new ways to tell the same story has even become less appealing.

    By the time someone come up with something “innovative”, it has already become passe… How can one produce great, creative content?

  36. Hey Richard,

    thanks again for a gooood post. My problem is to get subscribers and create good content.

    Nice day for all

  37. Good Post.
    This may be a bit off the wall, but how about a Christmas present for all your subscribers. Take a number (say 50) and promote one of their products to your list F.O.C.
    You may find that this is the kick start they need and it should be benificial to you too.
    Hope the idea gets you thinking.

  38. Hi. RICH:

    I guest I’m having troble because of cash really and not wantting to jump in on something that’s not going anywhere because some of these things been out for awhile . iguest I’m looking for something that’s going to really make some cash and not give me a whole lot talk and lot to read just come rigth out and say do this and that with honesty .


    PS: Hope you enjoyed you mother and father visit. And always let them know that you LOVE THEM VERY MUCH. GOD BLESS.

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