While living and working online is a joy for me, few people who work online tell you the full story. I work harder online than I ever worked at any other job. I’ve dealt with countless unforeseen frustrations. I’ve screamed at my monitor like it’s a red-headed step child.
While I wouldn’t change my working situation for any job in the world, I do want to give you the full picture before you decide whether or not to begin working online.
While working online offers tremendous freedom (scroll down if you want the rosy picture), there are several cons to consider.
Most of us work online because we have to.
People work online because they are misfits.
Working a real job is simply intolerable to us, as we are eccentric and idiosyncratic. We are prima donnas and princesses. We work online work alone because working with others is not in our DNA.
We also tend to think we are smarter than the average bear (often we are) and simply cannot, for any amount of money, imagine having a boss tell us what to do.
If you are a social person who gets along well with others and follows instructions (that’s not a back-handed compliment; those are useful traits to have), then working online might not be right for you.
You will be alone most of the time.
If you are a social person, working online will be a challenge. Your work online is done in early or late hours when no one else is around. There are web forums, sure, but there’s no one at the water cooler to shoot the shit with. You’re going to be alone most of your working day, which is ideal for this introvert.
There are more “work spaces” cropping up. A work space is a large open area where you pay “daily rent.” You get to talk to other people, but if you spend too much time talking to others your online businesses will fail.
Headphones and house music will be your new best friends.
Good help is hard to find.
Some people work online because they are impossible to work with due to a belief we know better than everyone else. Others are online because they couldn’t hack it in a real job due to poor work ethic or substance abuse problems.
People at my skill level rarely freelance, which is annoying. I would love to hire someone like me to help me get to the next level, but most guys who know as much as I do would rather coast on the passive income coming in from their various websites than argue with people all day. (You wouldn’t believe how many people who can’t even build a tiny audience try arguing with me about online marketing.)
Thus most of the freelancers and consultants will have minimal competence.
It’s hard to grow your knowledge.
Most of what you read online is a scam, so it’s hard to find actionable information. And the information you do find is always a sales funnel into another scam.
Other than a few books I’ve read and stuff learned from Chris and Victor and discovered for myself, everything I’ve learned online was a lie or outright scam.
Of the thousands of hours of self-study undertaken, maybe 100 of those hours were useful. The rest of those hours were spent filtering through scammy material by hucksters like Stefan Pylarinos.
It takes a long time to make a lot of money.
Don’t quit your day job just yet. For the first year online, prepared to make $0 a month.
After all, most of your early time will be learning how to make money online, since there are no credible courses on how to get started.
Either have some cash stashed away, or work online as a side hustle.
You have the same pressures as every other business owner.
Your website is a business – You, Inc. While there is pride in owning your own business, you will have all of the same pressures other business owners face – and then some.
You don’t get a paycheck or paid time off. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. If you get sick or injured, too bad so sad.
There is no boss pushing you to meet a deadline. It’s easy to be aimless and unfocused when you’re the boss of yourself.
You have to learn taxes, accounting, and investing for the self-employed. If you want your business to grow, you have to figure it out yourself.
Your work is your play.
This seems like a plus but it’s easy to overwork yourself and burn yourself out when there is nearly complete overlap between work and play.
Avoiding burnout is a serious challenge I deal with nearly every day of my life.
can confirm RT @Cernovich: When your work is your play you don’t know when to stop, even when you should.
— Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero) August 2, 2015
If you’re anti-social and difficult to work with, being online is the place to be.
You can make money being the “real” you.
If you want to rant on Twitter, have oddball politics, do YouTube challenge videos, and write a book on mindset, then the Internet might be the place for you!
You really can show multiple dimensions, as you only need 1% of 1% of the world to like you in order to make a living online.
You can also show less of yourself to attract a broader audience, although in my experience the web is shifting towards micro-niches and tribalism.
It may actually be smarter business to act as I do online than to be more mainstream and palatable.
Once you make it, you’re set.
In marketing parlance Danger & Play is an authority blog, and I’m a trusted authority. People believe what I say. So long as I do not betray the trust, I’ll be able to earn a comfortable living online for the next decade at least.
In fact I could make a lot more if I offered what you guys want. People keep asking for private forums, paid forums, consulting, conference calls, and mastermind groups. Maybe one day.
You don’t have to work with anyone.
If someone pisses me off, then I don’t work with that person. It really is my way or the highway.
This is a level of freedom known by few people other than the super rich.
You will meet some amazing people and make great friends. (The most interesting men in the world are on the Internet.)
You’ll meet amazing people as the talent pool is deeper. 99% of people you meet in real life are boring. Yet it takes a lot of effort to meet 100 people to find that 1%.
There are billions of people online. You simply would not have enough time to talk to all of the fascinating folks who will ultimately find your product.
Getting online gives you a shortcut to those 1%.
Chris/Good Looking Loser and Victor Pride/Bold & Determined are two of my closest friends. We’ve met in real life, and I even lived with Victor for a few months. I met both of them through Danger & Play.
I’ve also got to meet readers who are doing interesting things. I’ve been shown around Croatia by a local, had a guest post from Europe’s Hedge Fund Manager of the Decade (capitalized as that’s an actual award), hung out with a world-famous BJJ black belt, and had more interesting conversations than I can keep track of.
You develop real passive income.
Why would I buy a rental property and deal with tenants and lawsuits when there are websites I hardly touch bringing me in income every month? Fit Juice alone pays my rent.
Sure, there is no such thing as passive income. The web is goofy, SEO algorithms get changed, and stuff breaks. That said there is no way I’d buy rental property when there is so much money to be made in online real estate.
I could also walk away from Danger & Play today and continue earning money for years to come.
You can make real money online.
You can also use the skills learned running your own website to build other businesses. Can you build an email list, send out an e-mail campaign with a high open and click rate, set up a Twitter and explain analytics, and launch a product? If so, there are businesses willing to pay you a lot of money to help them.
A lot of you would actually be better off taking the skills you’ve learned building your blog to a business that has no online presence rather than do what I do.
You’ll know people in every country in the world.
I can travel to any medium-sized city in the world and meet up with a Danger & Play or Gorilla Mindset guy. In a big city like New York over 50 guys will show up.
That’s pretty cool.
You cut out the bullshitters. When you’re online you can track direct and measurable results.
I like direct and measurable results. Opinions mean nothing to me. I get bored when people tell me what they believe about the world. Prove it!
Very few people have any understanding of the Internet. They think because their friends like their stuff on Facebook, they’ve made it online. They’ll then start sharing their genius wisdom with me. No thanks.
When someone tells me how to run my social media or websites, I ask them for their data. What’s their click and conversion rate? How many views or impressions are they getting?
If you don’t have data, you don’t make sense.
If you earn money in dollars and convert those to Thai Bahts or Vietnamese Dongs, you’ve just tripled your money.
While living overseas is not as cheap as the con men online claim, you can stretch your dollars out by about 3x living in Thailand or Vietnam, and both of those countries are beautiful and more free than the United States.
The dollar is even strong relative to the Euro. I’m currently living a nice life in Paris. While I don’t get the geoarbitrage of living Thailand, it’s still less expensive to live in Paris than New York or San Francisco – and it’s a lot nicer here.
You can work from anywhere.
When you get really good at this Internet stuff, your laptop becomes a license to print money.
I can’t imagine not working online.
Going into an office or having a boss or having colleagues argue with me about bullshit is intolerable.
But there are many ways to live life, and I’d never say my way is the right way.
Do you work online? If so, what are the pros and cons?
Post your comment below!