Making Money Online vs. Building an Online Business

Are you working on “making money online” or on building a business? You may wonder if there’s even a difference – after all, isn’t the purpose of a business to make money? Of course, much of it comes down to how you want to define each expression, but let me illustrate a big difference in mindset that I believe is reflected in these two option

Watch the video and see the rest of this article to see how you can make sure you’re on the right track.

In this short video, I explain exactly what the big difference is, to me:

Here's a recap of the main points (also: search engine fodder):


People who are looking for ways to "make money online" are the favourite prospects of most online marketing product-creators and even affiliates. Why? Because they are most likely opportunity seekers. They can be sold on the big dream of finding that magical button that will just make the Internet spew out unlimited amounts of money, no work required. Just take a quick look at some IM forums and at about 90% of IM-related sales-pages. There's no shortage of people who are looking for a shortcut. Most people don't want to build and run a business. Building a business is something that most people associate with hard work, taking risks, management, support and customer relationship management, more complicated tax forms and other boring, un-sexy stuff. Want to build a business and be "the boss"? No thanks! How about making some money online? Yes, sign me up for that! Making money online is non-committal and this is reflected in the sales-messages of many products. Just install some software, push some buttons and watch the money roll in. Get automatic traffic. Never mind that those are actual human beings visiting your website. Never mind that the money you make comes out of other people's pockets. The most popular themes in online marketing require no commitment on your part: build a mini-site, fill it with auto-generated content, slap some ads or promotions on it and move on.

Investment Management

So, am I telling you that you should forget about mini-sites and affiliate marketing and either get a job or build a "real", public business with branding and customer service and all that? No. I do recommend getting out of the "make money" mindset and consider the following: start thinking of "making smart investments" as your primary goal. That is, in many ways, what business is about. Maybe you're just starting out and the only thing you have to invest is your time. That's fine. It's also about making smart investments concerning your time. The question should be: how and where can you invest this time, so that you can start making some income fairly quickly? And then, more importantly: how can you invest that income to scale up your operations? What's your take on this? Do you think of what you do as building a business or making money? Are you committed for the long-term or is it something you want to get over with so you can go to the beach (in your expensive car)? As always, I'd love to hear your take on this topic. Cheers,

About the Author Shane Melaugh

I'm the founder of ActiveGrowth and Thrive Themes and over the last years, I've created and marketed a dozen different software, information and SaaS products. Apart from running my business, I spend most of my time reading, learning, developing skills and helping other people develop theirs. On ActiveGrowth, I want to help you become a better marketer and product creator. Read more about my story here.

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