If you’re reading this, chances are that you’ve considered starting an online business at some point in the past. Perhaps you’ve even started one already. It could be as straightforward as joining an affiliate network program or starting an eBay store. It can also be as complicated as designing and manufacturing an entirely new product or starting a software company.
No matter what path you’re currently on, you’ve likely spent many hours on the Internet researching the competition, looking for the right suppliers, buying your domain and tweaking your website design. You’ve also probably spent hours being distracted by online advertisements, irrelevant articles, social media and mindless videos.
While online connectivity may be exciting and appear crucial to planning out and growing your business, I would argue that being so attached to this global network actually diminishes the overall quality of your work and reduces the likelihood of your success.
In fact, in the early stages of business planning and development, there are at least five reasons why turning off the Internet and sitting down with an old fashioned pen and paper will actually lead to better business results.
Below I’ve outlined five of the most important reasons why disconnecting can lead to better business in the long run:
1. It jump-starts your creative side
The Internet is an amazing tool. It let’s us connect with people and things and ideas in an instant, from anywhere in the world. The creation of this interconnected information-sharing network has become one of our greatest accomplishments as a species, but it has also become one of our biggest weaknesses. The ability to find out the answer to any question with one Google search, or to distract ourselves from boredom with the push of a button, makes working out creative solutions to challenging problems unnecessary.
By turning off the Internet for an hour, or an afternoon, you will immediately start to regain control of your creative side. You will become aware of how much time you used to spend surfing the Internet to alleviate boredom or find the easiest solutions to your problems. You will then look for ways to fill that time.
I urge you not to go back online, but to see how productive ways can channel that energy. Meditate. Write down daily goals. Plan for the week ahead. Go for a run. Whatever you do, make it your own, and don’t rehash the thoughts and feelings you see being overshared online.
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.” – Joseph Chilton Pearce
2. It lets you connect with your customer
Another huge benefit to turning off the Internet and stepping away from the hive of like-minded people you find online is that it lets you connect with new potential customers in the real world.
Sure, conducting market research for your next project by creating a Leadpage or Launchrock site will help you gauge interest of potential customers online within a certain group, but by speaking with real people “in the street” about what inspires them or what problems they are facing on a day-to-day basis will help you build a deeper understanding of your target audience and develop a better service for your customers.
You may even be able to get ideas from people outside of your target demographic by speaking with people “adjacent demographics” – people you would normally never interact with online. This might seem obvious to some of you that read this, but I’m constantly shocked by how many people I see going through life unaware of what is going on right in front of their noses.
I see them walking from place to place with their headphones in and their smartphones out, oblivious to the amazing opportunities to connect with people and provide real value to those around them. Unhook, unplug, and ask one person a day about something that matters to them.
3. It makes you plan ahead
If you have the intention of starting an online business, unplugging from the Internet is perhaps the best way to start to develop a successful plan for starting and launching one profitably. More than 9 of 10 startups fail in their first year of business.
When you unplug from the Internet, either by turning off your wifi router (as I did just now to finish this post), or sit down with a pen and a pad of paper, you immediately cut off distractions and pop-ups that get in the way of doing deep work.
Setting aside a block of time of at least 2-3 hours of “deep work” per week (at the very least) that is focused on completing one strategic task or goal is crucial to the successful development of any business, online or in an office. The more frequently you are able to cut out distractions, the more you will be able to produce quality results for your business.
4. It forces you to start small
In business, you are either selling a product or delivering a service. You typically sell that product or service to another business (B2B) or to a consumer (B2C). The basics for every business are the same, but it is how you use the tools at your disposal that determines whether you will be successful or not.
Often, entrepreneurs face what is called “analysis paralysis” when attempting to build a new online product or service. The Internet marketplace is so large that they don’t know where to go first. Whose problem will I solve? How will my product be better than my competitions’? What industry trends will I capitalize on?
Stepping away from the Internet simplifies things, and it makes you think hard about what you do best and how you can deliver that to someone, anyone, who is willing to pay for it.
“Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” – Robert Collier
5. It drives you to take action
More important than anything else, unplugging from the Internet will force you to flex your action muscle. When you take a step back from the continuous stimulation of social media, online advertisements and entertainment, you will realize that the only thing that will help you get what you want is immediate action.
How has unplugging from the online world helped you with your business? Leave your thoughts below!
Image courtesy of Twenty20.com
3 Startup Workplace Trends You Need to Carefully Consider
One of the most notable parts of startup culture from the outside looking in is trends. You know the stereotype of the startup CEO — he’s wearing a hoodie that probably cost hundreds of dollars and running meetings from a bean bag chair. However, trendiness isn’t always the right choice for your business. It can be good for your startup to branch out, but some risks aren’t worth taking. (more…)
How Your Startup Can Effectively Collaborate With Influencers
As a startup, your priority is to attract, engage, and turn potential clients into lucrative, long-term consumers. And the optimal way to make this possible is by incorporating startup influencer marketing.
Most consumer brands these days collaborate with influencers to grow their business. Why? Because these individuals have built a lot of trust behind them, they can promote your product or services to their audience and get them to trust your brand. This is a huge sales-driving strategy, especially for new and upcoming businesses. (more…)
12 Things That Will Help Build Your Brand Reputation for Your Startup
Brand reputation drives the success of businesses, irrespective of what industry you are in. Currently, there are approximately 543,000 startups every month. 70% of these do not survive beyond two years, 50% do not exceed five years, and a third fail to cross the ten-year mark. Only a quarter of these businesses can survive beyond 15 years. (more…)
How Your Business Can Take Advantage of Instagram to Boost Brand Awareness
To step up an effective social media marketing strategy, you have to consider the various opportunities on how you can connect with your target market on different platforms. Although Twitter and Facebook can be great when publishing company updates, Instagram is an excellent visual solution to inspire and captivate your audience. (more…)
8 of the Most Important Traits You Need to Have as an Entrepreneur
How to Harness the Message Within the Nightmare
5 Must Watch Netflix Movies and Documentaries About Business and Entrepreneurship
It’s Time You Understand That Your Media Plan is Your Business Plan
10 Powerful Tips to Help you Refuel Your Passion
55 Inspirational Quotes That Will Change Your Life
30 Famous Quotes That Will Inspire Success In You
(Images) 52 Motivational Picture Quotes For An Epic Year Of Success
72 Positive Thinking Quotes For More Inner Strength & Growth
(Images) 56 Inspirational Picture Quotes That Will Motivate Your Mind, Body & Soul
3 Prince EA Videos To Change Humanities Path To Greatness
(Video) What Is Success? An Entrepreneurial Story To Inspire You
(Inspirational Video) What If Today You Knew You Were Going To Take Your Last Breath?
How To Make Enough Money From A Blog To Quit Your Job – Kate McKibbin
How Finding Your Passion And Becoming An Entrepreneur Can Lead To Happiness – Chiquita Searle
- Life4 weeks ago
Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things
- Success Advice3 weeks ago
5 Productivity Shifts You Need to Make to Have Your Best Year Yet
- Entrepreneurs4 weeks ago
4 Lessons You Can Learn From the Founder of Walmart, Sam Walton
- Entrepreneurs4 weeks ago
How I Built Nike: Phil Knight’s 4 Business Lessons for Young Entrepreneurs
- Life3 weeks ago
How to Protect Yourself From Other People’s Negativity
- Quotes3 weeks ago
19 Tom Bilyeu Quotes That Will Inspire You To Become Your Best Self
- Success Advice4 weeks ago
How a Nighttime Routine Can Make You More Successful
- Life4 weeks ago
How to Write a Personal Destiny Statement in 3 Steps