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The 7 ways your ‘on-line’ venture may be doomed to fail



Read this and then be honest with yourself; is any of it sounding horribly familiar? (If it helps we’ve spent 6 years making and learning from these mistakes!) If you are prepared to acknowledge where you are getting it wrong then you’ve got a great chance of making this work.

But if you think you know best and this stuff doesn’t apply to you..? What can we say…be warned!


  • What you want -V- What they want

    You’ve joined that popular club full of misguided folk who think that just because you are passionate about doing something, other people will pay you for it. This is important- a hobby will not automatically turn into a business. It will ONLY become marketable if you are thinking more about what THEY want to HAVE than what YOU want to DO. (This lesson is usually only absorbed the hard way.)

    Do some research. Do you have any competitors? It’s a great sign if they are doing well. Replicate what works, improve on the things you think you could do better than them.

  • Too many ideas

    How many fabulous ideas have you got on the go at the moment? Just keep coming, don’t they?! Creative people love to think this is their greatest gift- it can certainly look pretty sexy compared to a remarkable proficiency for filing. But beware. A non-stop flow of great ideas will only lead in one direction- a lot of unfinished projects. You have to be disciplined. Don’t move onto something new until you are well underway to making a success of your first idea. Then can you allow yourself the luxury of indulging another plan.

    Establish some objectives and deadlines rather than keeping the activity more free-flowing and tricky to monitor. Don’t start anything new until you have reached some goals for your current project

  • Finishing tasks

    Who likes finishing things and who likes just repeating the same thing again? Boo- where’s the fun in that?! Innovation and novelty are much more likely to grab your attention, and hold it for more than 5 minutes. But if you want to make money you need to replicate what works. Save the innovation for slight tweaks to an already successful model. When you have made enough money- well, then you can do what you like!


  • Waiting for Customers

    Are you waiting for customers to come to you? Are you a little shy about bothering people? Does it make you cringe to think in terms of how good you are, let alone shout about it to others? Keep hiding, little wallflower; your modesty may be intact but your bank balance is probably looking a little shaky too.

    If you feel a bit uncomfortable about something, don’t reject the idea; push yourself to see how far you can go. This week we went on a radio show to talk about LovePlayWork. I really wasn’t keen but sometimes you just have to get over yourself!

  • Getting unbiased feedback

    So you’ve got a brilliant idea. No one has ever done anything like this before (not always a good thing btw!) Everyone you have spoken to thinks it’s revolutionary. You can’t fail. Or can you? Don’t rely on friends and family for feedback (they like you, what do you expect them to say?) Find a more impartial audience. Don’t invest anymore time, money or effort into this thing until you have a good idea if anyone might actually buy it. Use forums, social media, existing clients. Make sure your questions make it easy to give honest feedback (i.e. don’t go in with- ‘you do like it, don’t you?!’)

    Find out where your customers hang out. Check out some forums. If you have an audience or list already ask for their help with a short survey monkey questionnaire.

  • Your Priorities

    Whether you write, build, paint, create, produce, advise, fix or develop, you have a ‘thing’ that you enjoy and probably funnel all your energies towards. If you want to start making money from this then you have two choices; pay something else to sell for you or re-think your identity. There’s a reason artists are referred to as ‘starving’; it’s because most won’t prioritise marketing, not when it would mean time away from their studio. The necessary evil here is starting to see yourself as a business person and acting accordingly. You won’t have the luxury of ONLY doing the thing you love unless you are either prepared to pay for the privilege or accept that it will remain a hobby.


  • Sacrifice

    You want to make money online or from doing the thing you love but you need to take the kids to gym club, you have that boys holiday to plan, you are tired after a day at work….There are a million opportunities to create a fabulous lifestyle, leveraging both your skills and the internet …BUT you need to step up. You need to be prepared to learn, invest, listen, graft, compromise, get your hands dirty and above all, keep going. This isn’t for the faint-hearted. But if you are ready to do what it takes- it’s worth it!

    Do something today. Just one thing, but make a start and then follow it every day with another action. It takes about 3 weeks to form a new habit so stick with it to get the progress flowing. And if you think you might need help- find a community of people in a similar position to yourself so you can get some understanding, input and support


Do any of these sound familiar?


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4 Responses to “The 7 ways your ‘on-line’ venture may be doomed to fail”

  1. Such GOOD advice!! I’m fighting, as I have been for at least 40 years, that “I’m an artist, not a sales person” mindset. SOOO true.

    • Chris
    • Reply
    • Thanks Chris!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  2. This article is so true. It’s a great reminder of all the things we really need to focus on…and all the mistakes we’ve made and things we’ve learned the hard way. But I guess that’s all part of it!

    • We’ve all been there- hopefully learning along the way though! Nice to hear from you Karen. H

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply

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