The Right Mindset For Online Business

mindset for online businessOdd headline, right?

Most people take online businesses to mean they have to always be online “working”.

Funny enough, most times, being online is not what makes you successful in online business.

I know you think I officially have a screw loose. You’re probably thinking:

“Tomi, whatever you’re smoking is of premium quality.”

Coursera business 728x90

DISCLAIMER: Don’t get the wrong idea. I don’t encourage smoking. Now, before you give me that “You dey try form holier than thou?” look, I’m not saying I haven’t. I’m saying I don’t encourage it. We’re getting off track, let’s go back to the post.

Stay with me for a minute and I’m going to show you what you’ve been doing wrong in your approach to online business.

Let’s begin…


The Right Mindset For Online Business

Yes, I know.

A big part of running an online business requires in a large part that you have to be online.

I also believe that. If I didn’t, I won’t have invested in nTel’s intriguing data plans, but that’s another story.

Yes, you have to be online, but you don’t need to be online all the time.

Which brings us to our first mind shift.


MindShift #1: Time spent online does not equal Time spent being productive in your online business

Think about what you do when you’re online.

I’m not talking about what you tell your friends or co-workers so you seem cool. I’m talking about what you really do online.

If you’re being honest, you’ll find that most of the time, you’re watching Youtube videos, chatting on Facebook, looking at pictures of one fine gehhh/guy on Instagram, and then maybe you write a sentence in that blog post every once in a while.

9 times out of 10, you’re spending more time online doing things that have no significant return on investment (ROI) for your online business.

Call it whatever you want- trying to network with influencers (chatting on Facebook), getting motivation (watching Youtube videos), and I don’t know how to spin the one about looking at pics on Instagram.

The fact still remains- You’re spending more time online not working on your business, than you spend working on your online business.

This does not compute.

If you want to be successful in online business, you need to flip this around. Stop getting distracted easily, and focus on spending more time working on your online business.

MindShift #2: Offline work drives Online Business Success

I was taking a walk yesterday, jamming to Kendrick Lamar’s “Good Kid M.A.A.D City” when this one hit me.mindset for online business

At your regular 9-5 job, what determines how good you get at your job is what you do from 5-9. Basically, what you do when you’re not at “work” is what determines how good you’ll become at your job.

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With online business, I have found personally that on those days when I don’t have data (Thank you, Airtel), I take more time to read up and learn things that eventually translate to more success online.

And data issues aside, most of my offline activities are what give me a higher ROI in whatever I’m doing online. Let’s take a look at some of my activities for a minute:

  • Reading up and learning online marketing (I’m inbound-certified by HubSpot but learning never stops).
  • Writing blog posts
  • Doing Site reviews
  • Writing an eBook
  • Creating an eCourse
  • (Trying to) craft an email newsletter (Trying because I haven’t quite figured it out)
  • Promoting my content on Facebook and Instagram

If you think about it, apart from the last one, I don’t really need to be online to do the others. Real talk.

I don’t care what kind of online business you’re into, the fact is, more of what you do when you’re offline will help you be more successful online. Whether you run an e-commerce site, or are one of those Instagram Comedians (Maraji, what’s up), you’ll need to actually do offline leg-work to find suppliers, offline content creation and video editing.

Stop spending all your time online; Spend more time offline creating, building and learning.

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These will bring you higher ROI in the long run.


MindShift #3: There’s No Such Thing As Overnight Success

I know many bloggers and online entrepreneurs admire Linda Ikeji. They aspire to be like her when their blogs/ online businesses fully grow up.

You know, the whole “Start a Blog and out of the blue, end up with a mansion in Banana Island” online business success plan.

mindset for online business

Beautiful, isn’t it?
[Image credit:]

I’ve been obsessed with decoding “Overnight Successes” for a while now. I’ve read up about many successful people from different fields who are considered “Overnight Successes” and I haven’t found any single one who was in reality an “Overnight Success”.

From Justin Bieber to Seyi Shay to Wizkid to Cynthia Morgan to Falz the Bad Guy to Tiwa Savage to Drake, there’s no single person who is successful that became a success overnight.

Even Linda Ikeji started blogging in 2007, before I even knew what blogging was. 10 years of grinding later, she’s living in a Banana Island Mansion and smiling to the bank, and some people think she’s an overnight success.

I’m not saying you can’t become successful quickly. I’m saying it’s better to consider that the exception, and not the rule.

Stop trying to be successful overnight and just commit to putting in the work to become successful, period.

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MindShift #4: The Work Never Ends

Someone once commented on a thread I had on Nairaland that he was tired of his blog and wanted to find out how he could sell it off.

My guy, if you’re reading this, no offence intended. I just have to make a point.

Do you know why you’re finding it hard to create blog posts, and keep going?

Why you want to quit and go do something else?

Because at some point you told yourself, that you’d be successful by “x” months in.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with setting a deadline for your goals. As a matter of fact, you should ‘cos like Steve Harris says: “A dream without a deadline is dead on arrival.”

The issue is when you set the deadline, you didn’t account for how difficult it was going to be and you underestimated the amount of work you’d need to put in to be successful by “x” months in, but I’ve laboured too much on this, let me get to the point.

Another issue is you’re looking at it as something you’ll do for a while, and then get out. That you’d work hard for a while, and then you’d be successful and the work would end.

If you’re reading this, and that’s how you also think, I have News for you:


If you think I’m lying, ask Linda Ikeji. 10+ years and fine, she probably hires writers, but she’s still grinding. I don’t think it’s because she wants more money. I think she just knows something more that most of us don’t know.

If she decided to “rest”, Bella Naija and the rest of them would come through and eat her lunch… forreal.

Stop that Secondary School Mentality of “Lemme finish my home work”.

Accept that this is your life now. Go to work everyday axe in hand, ready to go to War for your goals. And when you achieve, set bigger goals and keep going.

MindShift #5: Marketing does not equal Spamming

Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced this.

Somebody you don’t know and have no idea how they got on your Facebook account just starts sending you messages trying to get you to hire them for one service or the other that you have no interest in?

Annoying, isn’t it?

I’ve been there and I’ve even done it before.

I hate that shit, just as much as you do.

I’m not saying it doesn’t work. It does sometimes; I mean, even a blind pig occasionally finds a truffle. But the ROI is low, compared to the amount of people you annoy.

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Stop spamming, go on to this next MindShift.

MindShift #6: Value is the Best Form of Marketing

Just like I always say in my site reviews,

“Your visitors come to your site for a reason!”

The way people shop online has changed.

Promote and spam all you want, but if you don’t provide any value, they won’t click your links, read your blog posts and they’ll bounce from your pages quickly.

On the other hand, if you provide some value in the form of information, entertainment or education, they’ll stick around or even make an order. And if you really ‘wow’ them, they’ll tell their friends who would tell their friends who would also tell their other friends and the cycle goes on and on.

The only difference is this form of marketing doesn’t involve disturbing random people. It involves attracting people already interested in your product/ service and has a greater ROI since the prospects are more targeted.

The point is this – Stop spamming. Create the Value that will bring the customers to you.


MindShift #7: There is always room for improvement.

Someone once said “Grow, or Die.”

Okay, maybe I didn’t actually get the exact quote, but the fact remains the same.

The minute you stop trying new things, trying to improve, looking for better ways to do things, that’s the minute you begin to prepare for extinction.

There’s always someone out there getting ready to eat your lunch. Everyday, you need to push the envelope, blog in a different style, create a video instead of a blog post, the sky is the limit.

Keep learning new things. Push the boundaries.


Now, that you’ve got your mind right, you might want to check out this post about 10 things to know before launching an online business and start working towards building your online business.

If you’d like my help with that, check this out and let me know.

And with that, I’m off.

Keeping it 500,


Author: Tomi Joshua

Tomi is a case.

A bit brash, at first blush. But ultimately, he means well. There are very few things he won’t say or do in the presence of tolerant company (especially when it could make for a good story later).

Tomi is a Doctor, writer, certified inbound marketer (Shout Out to HubSpot), Digital Hustler, and online business addict.

He is most likely to be found dancing to the beat of his own drum, even in accapella.

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