Well I’m back! Back from the proverbial wilderness, returning to the world of ‘creating an online business’, a world I swore I would never return to. You might be thinking, ‘well what’s so special about that?’ so let me entertain you.

Back in 2005 I started my online journey. I was seduced by the lure of making money online, I mean it was the new gold rush, right? Money would fall from the skies, we were all going to be rich, eh? Well that’s what all the gurus and online experts I saw at seminars said, they sold a really good story, I was hooked! Eyes popping and tongue lolling, I naively entered the lion’s den.

The next 4 years, yes 4 years, I worked my butt off…attending seminars, learning how to create websites, how to write copy, how to do ppc, write articles, seo…create my own products. Hour upon ceaseless hour I poured by heart and soul into this dream, much to the detriment of my relationship with my then wife, she didn’t say anything, but how could she not have felt hurt that I put this before her.

I was like a mad scientist, obsessed with learning the steps to building an online business. I would come home from work, quickly see the kids, have food and lock myself away in the small box room…there was single bed and a small table. I would sit there until the earlier hours…working and tinkering…nothing else mattered but starting my own online business.

I worked really hard, I didn’t sit there wishing and hoping and fantasising about learning the steps to building an online business, I took massive action; I learnt all that I could, went to seminars, joined coaching programs run by top internet marketing gurus, hell I even sold my house and used the equity to fund my project for a year…YES that is how committed or desperate I was to creating an online business so I could give up work. I moved in with my parents, a decision that would have fatal consequences for my marriage.

Looking back on those times, a little wiser and more detached…my desire to learn how to start an online business was motivated by selfish reasons; don’t get me wrong, I wanted to help people as well, but deep down it was because I wanted success, all those things…

  1. big house
  2. nice car
  3. money in the bank
  4. holidays
  5. status
  6. stuff

that we have been conditioned to believe by society from the day we enter this world, that defines success…and unless we have those things we have failed at the ‘game called life’.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong in going for those things and having them…I mean I want to buy a Tesla and have a castle…I mean who doesn’t want a castle eh? What I am saying is we need to understand why we want those things…or anything…people only do things for 2 reasons, to move away from fear or move towards pleasure…basically every human does everything…because they want to be happy; I wanted all those things because I wanted to quench/silence/kill this feeling on inadequacy I felt…plain and simple…I can see that now. That is the old outdated way of thinking, I was trying to do something, so I could have something, so I could be someone…i.e. happy and successful and secure:

Do >>> Have >>>Be

But this means we are always chasing, always in a state of ‘never being happy’ until we BEcome that person, whether it’s the grades, the job, the house, the partner. So, we are always in limbo, never really settled and happy.

So you need to examine the why behind what you are doing…otherwise you will keep chasing and chasing something…and whatever you get, will never be enough and your happiness will be tied to a future goal and until you reach that goal you will always see yourself as a failure. So now I have redefined my definition of success…yes, I am still taking steps to building an online business…but my reasons are different…more on that later.

That was a small detour, back to main event.

Despite all the hard work, coaching, money spent…there was no real success…sigh! I remember becoming quite disheartened and frustrated, but I didn’t quit…instead I adopted a new approach, hacks. By that I mean I started investing in software to spin articles, post links to bookmarking sites, create backlinks, blast my sites to the top of search engines and even more…I mean it was ugly at time, but I felt I just had to do it.

Finally, like someone in an abusive relationship…I realised I had to leave. I had got stuck, spiralling round and round…but not actually going anywhere…I had become quite irritable and angry…not a nice place to be. There was no fanfare, no last hurrah…no honourable retreat…I just slunk away, broken and battered…the life sucked out of me, even my bones hurt from the defeat, the sadness and grief. I felt like I was a casualty of war, cocooned in grief, wandering if I even had the strength to move on and bury the past. And of course, the mind went into overdrive.

• I knew you would never do it
• Lots of others have done it, why couldn’t you get it
• It must be me
• How can you look in the mirror?
• You blew it

I really felt worthless and unworthy…like I had failed because I wasn’t good enough.
Was indeed a dark time…not just the failure of starting my own online business…but the realisation that the future I had dreamed of, just evaporated right in front of me, just vanished in a puff of smoke…the weight of that was crushing.

It was over

For part 2 please go here: starting your own online business

9 thoughts on “Steps to building an online business – a story going back to 2005”
  1. Hi there,

    Thanks for sharing your experience, it’s good to know that other people are going through the same thing! I’d be interested in hearing what your current situation is in terms of if you still dedicate as much time to an online business and how you juggle your relationships at home.

  2. Great post! I started just like you, driven by images of cars, houses, luxuries, and thought that somehow cash will rain from the sky LOL Well, I guess it’s a classic beginner mistake and a great learning experience. It takes a lot of time to comprehend the other side of the medal too. Then, you can see the real picture. Thanks for sharing your story! I enjoyed reading it.

  3. Wow, such an amazing post. It is sad but true, that we are conditioned to believe on certain things as if they are they key element of life of which is not true. This needs to be share to majority of the human kind, because we are being conned money and our life by those that claim to being there, done that and now living a shiny lifestyle and we want to be like them. Thanks for sharing the post, there is great length of learning that we can benefit from this post.

    1. thanks…we stumble around living other people’s ideas of how our lives should be…nothing really works until we find our own inner peace

  4. Wow…. thank you for sharing your experience, that must be very hard and at the same time a little liberating. From what you’ve learned, what is different this time? What is your motivation this time, how will you approach it and what will you look to build?

  5. Good to know, that its a struggle for everyone.

    I started a blog last July. It’s been tough to get traffic but I’ve been making an effort to publish at a consistent interval since January.

  6. Wow, Tariq. You really went through a lot and it’s great that you’re sharing it with us, baring your soul.
    I know a lot of people enter internet marketing expecting to get money quickly and then get discouraged and leave quickly, or keep jumping around to different opportunities, but I’m amazed how much you put into this. I can see why you would feel you had to leave after all that didn’t work.

    It’s good for us to examine ourselves and our motives. I’m putting a lot of time into multiple businesses right now and it’s good to stop, take a look and make sure I’m not doing it from a place of fear or darkness. Thanks for sharing this!

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