The biggest enemy of people starting an online business.

Posted May 5, 2017 by Brett Rutecky in Training Articles

Today I want to talk about the biggest obstacle people starting an online business have to face:


Starting an online business is a dream many people have and I can understand why. Being able to work when you want, from your home, with no boss looking over your shoulder has a lot of appeal. Its also something that is not at all easy. Starting an online business is extremely challenging. However despite all the challenges people face there is one major obstacle that is by far the biggest anyone will face.

That obstacle is themselves: The truth is that people are their own worst enemy when they are starting a online business. Ill explain in a minute bit first I want to qualify myself by saying I am speaking as a person with experience. Not only do I run a successful online business that grosses 7 figures per year in income, I also work, or speak to, hundreds of people every month in various stages of starting their own. Some are just getting started, some have no clue, some are established but not quite where they want to be yet, most of them face similar challenges though, and most of those challenges stem from that one simple truth. People are often their own worst enemy.  In the time I have spent working with people I have been able to identify some of the biggest ways this is true.

#1 Stinking Thinking: This is a favorite of people just getting started and of people looking for an excuse to justify why they are not getting the results they want. It usually takes the form of blaming their problem on the fact they are just getting started. You hear things like this: “I have no following”, “I have no authority”, “I have no contacts” etc.

Some people say this things as an excuse, a reason to push the blame for their lack of success on anything other than themselves. For these people the only hope and solution is for them to accept that no one and nothing is responsible for their success or failure but themselves. They need to move the focus of their energy away from justification and towards acceptance and action.

Others say these things because of a lack of confidence. They don’t feel that they have what it takes to do what needs to be done. Self doubt is the killer of dreams. These people need understand a simple fact: most successful people are not smarter, better, or luckier than everyone else. There is nothing special about successful people. In fact some of the most successful people I know are not even that bright. Confidence is something that has to be learned (and earned) in many cases, however when it comes to confidence I can say that is the one time its ok to ‘fake till you make it’. Self doubt is a hard thing to over come initially so people feeling it need to work hard to push it down and ignore it. While for many (like my self for instance) it will never 100% go away, as your business progresses and you become more established its likely you will find that it becomes smaller and smaller.

If you find yourself caught in the trap of ‘stinking thinking’, for whatever reason, you do need to accept one thing though. The excuse of “I am new so I cant do it” is no excuse at all. Every single person successful in anything, be it business, sports, entertainment, politics, everything, was new at one point. No one is born an expert. No one is born with a following. No one is born a personal success.  There are literately thousands, no millions of living proof examples of the fact that “I’m new” does not mean a damn thing if your dedicated and hard working.

#2 Not being dedicated or motivated: This is kind of related to stinking thinking in the fact that stinking thinking can lead to it. Or perhaps stinking thinking is the excuse for it. But either way it is a major obstacle for people not just with online business, but in general. People are not motivated.

We live in a fast paced world full of instant gratification. Well many of us do at least. Cold, turn up the heat and be warm in 15 minutes. Warm, turn up the air conditioning and be cool in 15 minutes. Hungry, pop something in the microwave and be full in 5 minutes. Bored, flip on the TV and have 500 channels of shit to chose from at your finger tips. People want what they want and they want it five minutes ago. More than ever our society is becoming a people who expect what they want to be at the tip of their fingers waiting for them on demand.

Success however is not like that. Success is earned. No one is going to give it you. You have to take it, and you take it through hard work and effort, by the sweat of your brow and the strength of your will. By self motivation and sacrifice. By forward thinking, knowing that your working now for next to nothing (and in some cases less than nothing) believing, no .. knowing ..that you will reap the rewards a hundred fold later.

Lots of people say they are dedicated and I really believe that they believe they are. But they are not. The world is full of distractions and when you couple that with the fact that many people are spoiled by a culture of ‘instant results’ and a thought process of ‘I deserve’ the inevitable result is a lack of dedication and motivation.

Being motivated does not mean buying every piece of polished shit that claims its going to get you rich over night. Being motivated means not getting the latest iPhone so you can have money for Facebook ads instead. It means staying up all night after your wife and kids (or whatever) are all in bed learning tech stuff and studying marketing tutorials. It means giving up things you have now,  so you can have more later. It’s something many people can’t bring themselves to do, and that is the reason why many will never earn success.

Lack of motivation is particularly hard with an online business. When you work for yourself, especially from home, there is no one to tell you to do your work. There is no boss that is going to fire you or yell at you. Its all on you, and be assured its not easy. Also it does not get any easier.. ever. At first its hard because there is no initial reward. Its not easy to work now for a reward later. But when you get established its hard for the exact opposite reason. When you earn $10,000 in one day its really easy to say “screw it I’m going to take off” the next day. But you cant, you have to push yourself because that ten grand is not going to last forever and your probably going to want to eat next month.

Another aspect of that is not being a ‘go getter’ and instead being the kind of person who expects people to do things for you. This is related to being self motivated. Let me give you a real life example:

A few days ago a gentleman sent me a support request asking me for a hosting recommendation. This really is not support but I answered him anyway because hey why not help the guy out, also I thought it was cool that he valued my opinion. So I told him to check out HostGator since that is what I use. His next email shocked me. When I saw it in the support desk I expected him to be thanking me for answering what was not actually a support question for one of my software but instead he had another question. He wanted me to tell him what the pricing was of HostGator hosting. I could not believe it, and this is the perfect example of what I’m talking about. It never even occurred to him to just go to their website and look up the pricing for himself. He lacked even that little bit of self motivation. Instead he opted to ask me to do this for him, and wait even longer to get an answer, as opposed to putting in a tiny bit of effort to get an answer for himself. This is a part of being self motivated. If your the kind of person who’s first thought is, ‘do it for me’ and not the kind of person who’s first thought is ‘I need to do this’ your in the exact opposite of the success mindset.

I kind of think motivation is something that is not learned. Some people are just driven people, some people are not. If you are a driven person is a question only you can answer. Its a very personal question but it is one that everyone starting an online business really should ask themselves and answer as honestly as possible. If you find that you are not a self motivated, forward thinking, driven person, well that’s fine, its not a bad thing, but it does mean that starting an online business is not for you.

There are many other trials and pitfalls to building a successful business. But over and over I see these as being the two major problems people have. They are problems that in effect make people their own worst enemy because they are problems that come from the people themselves. They are also things that simply must be over come if there is any hope at success.  Good luck, and thanks for reading 🙂


 A quick note about the reviews I do on this site. The product vendors give me access to their products for free in order for me to do my review. However I make no promises to them regarding the results of my tests or what I will write in my review. Should you click a link that takes you to a sales page for a paid product for sale this link will be an affiliate link and I will be paid a percentage of the sales price should you decide to invest in it.

About the Author

Brett Rutecky

Brett Rutecky is a full time online marketer, web developer, and entrepreneur. He has developed scores of Facebook apps, dozens of custom web sites and hundreds of scripts.



    Hi Brett ,

    Thanks for your insight and direct candor when it comes to explaining what it takes to make money online. I have been trying to do exactly that for quite a a few years now without to much success. So to sort of put myself in your shoes so to speak, in order to realise what it takes to put all of the pieces of the puzzle together for myself. I will have to learn a few new skills regardless of all the products that are out there saying, this is it, you have found the holy grail look no further. Instinctively that says to me interent marketing is still the wild west, Now overrun with bounty hunters IE the people who already have the skills by defualt who now can turn predator in an arena that is filled soft prey ie The Internet.

    My point here is unless you had an education and then a career that has evolved as you have learnt, in an industry that gave you an opportunity to diversivify, I am going to be stuck behind the 8 ball forever. Because the skills I need to get to at least square one, will be lacking no matter what in order to see the needed Big Picture. Which comes to people with the skills already quite easily.

    Now to ask a question to you as a software developer, how can you speak the same language to me in order for me to understand it. Without being predatory about it. I dont think you can when money is the motive. Pls dont take this as being my sob story. No, I do think I am raising some valid points here, and would not put in writing to you without me thinking you are the right person to ask. After listening to and reading our blog posts.

    Many thanks for listening. Regards Barry from Australia.


      The internet is full of information for anyone who wants to learn it. In fact I learned to be a software developer online (I was self taught). A lack of skill is no excuse frankly, though being totally honest, an online business is like anything, regardless of what people say it is NOT for everyone. Not for lack of potential, or ability, simply because some people just wont do what they need to do. Some people are not self motivators, are not determined, lack the will to make sacrifices etc. These people will NEVER do well. FYI: What your doing here is #1, your using a lack of skill set and experience as your excuse. As I said, I was not a developer before I learned how to be one (by studying the many online tutorials). What is the difference between you and I? Nothing, I just took action instead of letting a lack of knowledge hold me down.


    Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Brett.

    In the past:
    1. I used to repair televisions and I built a business out of that.
    2. I used to sell people stuff and show them how to make their own ‘At Home’ printed T’shits.
    3. I used to pick up old car batteries refurbish them and sell them.
    4. I used to install electronic automatic gates.

    I work hard at fiverr and do make some money, but I want to have a little more control so I’m learning every day.

    If I can do it on fiverr I can do it elsewhere.

    I Got This.

    Thanks again.


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