7 Mindset Traps I discovered by running my own Online Business

You’re on a journey to making money online. Congratulations. Great decision!

But when you are out to make money on your own, and being your own CEO of your “hustle,” you will quickly realize that there are problems you weren’t confronted with yet.

While you, your mind, or your subconscious decided to become free of the 9–5 meat-grinder, your mind is not always your friend along the ride.

One thing I have discovered since launching my business almost two years ago and now making good 5-figures online is that we rationalize things into existence that are detrimental to our success.

As opposed to helpful.

Either way, this is not designed to discourage you from indulging on your journey to online $$$. This is designed to warn you that sometimes your mind will be tricking you and what people tell you is not always right. Actually, in most cases, it is best to ignore the people around you and their “tips.”

If you want tips from someone who actually makes money online, check out my Make money online for beginners post with practical, actionable advice on how to start.

#1 — Shiny-object syndrome

This is an obvious one but was a tough one for me to overcome.

You launched your business, a blog, a YouTube Channel, or even a full-fledged agency. And immediately you think about a cool logo to be on par with Pepsi and Nike.

You made your first bucks online, and now you think that $500 DSLR Camera would certainly make your YouTube Videos better and thus bring in more money.

Rationalizations for consumerism!

Your mind is tricking you there. Once I started making money online, I had a knack for buying courses. For all kinds of shit. I rationalized in my mind I need them because they help me make more money.

Equation: If I am more clever and have more skills = more money.

Sounds logical, right? But it’s wrong.

All you do is spending money, and then “wasting” precious life-time on working through these courses, as opposed to doubling down on the things that brought you the first Dollars already.

Content is what brings money. Value. Not a cool logo.

Before you pay people for a fancy website, expensive high-quality logos, and proper branding, you should focus on the content itself. The value you provide to your customers. THIS IS what they buy.

They don’t buy the logo. This helps to build trust later, but in the beginning, they buy the content, the product, the service. THAT IS where your focus needs to be.

And for this, you don’t need these shiny things.

#2 — Get-rich-quick

People sell you all kinds of courses and products, telling you how you can make $10,000 in one month.

The harsh reality of business is that there is NO get-rich-quick-scheme.

There are certainly niches and products you can make money with quickly. But not at the scale of millions. A few grand if done, right? Sure.

But this is a short-term mindset that will get you nowhere.

The better plan is to think long-term from the beginning. Start your business with the goal to sell it for $10 million at some point in your life. And, no, that doesn’t mean you need an expensive logo right now.

But if you set your goals in million rangers, you approach your business completely different than if you plan to “make your first grand online.”

It feels nice to reach that milestone, but that is a narrow-minded reality if you want to make it big.

Think long-term!

#3 — Opportunity-cost

This term is hard to put in numbers, but it’s a very important thing when starting out.

It means you have a high cost (or loss of profit) if you choose one action over others that have provided more money.

In clean English: If you choose to watch Netflix for 3 hours instead of working on your business, those 3 hours had a huge opportunity cost.

And it is hard to put in numbers because you cannot know what could’ve potentially happened. Maybe while writing you had a great idea which changed your life forever.
While networking on Twitter, you came across someone with which you could’ve made millions.

You never know what happens.

You only know the opportunities you lose when you spend your very limited time on bad decisions.

This also includes starting too many things at once (more about this below) instead of focusing on one thing and making it successful.

Opportunity cost has ruined many startups and fresh entrepreneurs.

Don’t be one of them.

Value your time. Have a clear focus.

#4 — Spreading yourself too thin

A common theme I see, especially with young entrepreneurs.

Online Business has a gazillion ways of making money. Every day I see people making money in a new way I haven’t seen before.

What I would do in the beginning, is jump on each train every time.

The issue is that this takes away time from the things that already work. In the beginning, I was mostly writing blog posts and selling affiliate products. Then I started writing books. Then I started a YouTube Channel, then I tried to grow my Twitter.

All within a few months.

Reality was that I did many things badly, as opposed to one thing right.


Spend 80% of your time on that one thing that works. Classic pareto distribution. If you don’t have a thing that works, yet. Choose one and work on it for months, before you make a decision.

Write 50 blog posts before you decide blogging doesn’t work or you choose something else. Make 50 YouTube Videos, before you decide the Channel is not working. Grow your Twitter to a certain number, before you decide you can’t make money with it.

#5 — Compete on value, not price

When I first launched my products, I would be running discounts virtually every day on Twitter.

There was a feedback loop involved because people bought the product.

However, this also meant outside of the discounts and promotions I ran every day, nobody bought to full price.

The online market is heavily saturated with all kinds of products. Competing on price is a bad idea since it ruins your margins. And especially if you sell physical products, for example with dropshipping, you will never beat Amazon on price. They have such huge volumes they will always be cheaper than your shop.

It’s much better to compete on value.

You want to charge more money? Provide more value in your products. Add free bonuses, add a free consultation, whatever it is.

Give people more for the money you want to charge, quite simple.

#5.1 — Be vary with free stuff

These days, you virtually need to give out your best content for free so people buy anything from you.

Or so the tale is spun.

What I discovered is that people DO NOT ACT on free stuff.

I gave out whole courses, books, etc. out for free. I never heard back from these people.

In my opinion, and this is an unpopular one, how you position your product deems what kind of people you attract.

If you give out a lot for free, you will get freeloaders and cheap people who think a video course you’ve spent 20 hours on should be free.

Now, of course, this knowledge right here is free, the articles on my blog are free, and I have a free eBook if you sign up. But everything else I offer you could say is quite expensive.


I want people to ACT on the things I give them. And this is because I have noticed myself that when I have spent more on something, I want to “get the value out of it” in return.

I am much more determined to actually make use of that expensive product.

#6 — Solely focusing on money

In the beginning, you will be very focused on money. The first few Dollars online and I get it. I was the same.

Everything you need will elude you.

It is fine to get money, but you shouldn’t depend on it. Especially not in your online business.

Don’t focus on making the money itself. Focus on adding value, simplified.

Make things simple for people and add to their life.

Stop caring about money, and you will get a ton of money.

It’s the Universes’ paradox.

The less you care about sex, the more you’ll have it.
The less you care about fame, the more you’ll have it.
The less you care about money, the more you’ll have it.

Neediness kills success.

And if you solely focus on making money, you will lose the important thing out of side that actually BRINGS the money: how to add to people’s lives.

Many entrepreneurs forget that there are real people who buy their products. They want something in return for paying you.

You need to fix their needs, problems, issues. This is your job. In return, you will be paid. A lot.

Focus on providing value.

#7 — Being a loser

Triggering headline, I know.

The most important part comes last: Online business is TOUGH!

You cannot run to your supervisor if things don’t work out. You cannot complain to a colleague, and you cannot expect to have money in the bank each month regularly.

You are on your own, and you will have to go through some shit.

Many try to make money online for the sake of having an extra income stream.

Grave error.

Unless you want to build your own business and be happy with running it every single day of your life, I don’t recommend starting such an endeavor.

There will be days where nothing works. There will be months where you don’t sell one thing. There will be days where everything looks like shit.

And if you are like most people I came across, this is precisely when you give up and try something else. Or go back to Netflix.

Consistency is key.

I had many times where I questioned my path. This is natural. The key to success then is to persist. Trust in your dreams, your goals, and that someday you will make it.

This is why business is self-improvement. It’s not just self-employment, you also need to grow as a person. You need to build mental resilience, discipline, willpower, and a thick skin.

This will happen throughout the process, but only if you KEEP GOING.

But in return, you have the possibility to build your own empire. To be free of supervisors, rude bosses, and people pushing you around.

However, nothing worthwhile is ever easy.

Because if it were, it wouldn’t be worthwhile.

Since everyone would be doing it.

If you want to be different than most, congratulations. Online business is your ticket to freedom. I wish you all the best and remember these mindset traps I consistently kept falling into until I finally learned the lesson.

And if you want more lessons on how to start making money online with step-by-step guides, check out my blog post here.

Alexander Graves
Founder selfconquering.com




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Alexander Graves

Alexander Graves

Blogger, ecommerce entrepreneur and master of mind and masculinity. I run www.selfconquering.com to help other men achieve success.

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