Zimbabwe (and indeed many countries in Africa) has a high unemployment rate. The majority of those in employment are earning meagre salaries which they may not even get at all at times. The fact that most employers don’t care about employees makes it even worse.
Year after year increasing numbers of graduates are released onto a job market that is at best stagnant and at worst and more commonly, shrinking. According to some reports, Africa produces 10 million graduates per year and yet only 3 million jobs are created in a year.
This results in a large pool of desperate job seekers who may end up working jobs outside their expertise just to make ends meet. Others may end up being vendors or worse, engage in crime.
It is against this background that making money online can be a viable alternative source of livelihood.
However, there are some myths around making money online that stop people from trying. In this post, I demystify these myths and show you the truth. Hopefully, by the end, you will be able to make a better-informed decision. I have also written another post that explores the advantages of having an online business.
Myth number 1: Everything involved with making money online is a scam
They are a lot of online scams out there. Failed pyramid schemes like MMM are still very fresh in a lot of peoples minds in countries like Nigeria, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
There are also scams involving forex, binary and bitcoin trading
where some people invite people to invest with them so that they trade for them and in the end, the investors lose their hard-earned money.
Without a doubt, such scams have left a sour taste and people would want to refrain from anything of their sort.
It is true that there are scams on the internet, they probably outnumber the legal ways available to make money online, but it is also a fact that there are ‘working’, legal ways to make money online. The fact that there are scams should not put you off, rather it should impress on you the need for careful research before attempting any venture online.
You need to learn from people who are already earning online and see how they are doing it so that you can copy them turn out well.
With proper knowledge, you can make money by starting a business where you do not even risk your money e.g through affiliate marketing.
So the truth is, there are many legitimate and worthwhile businesses that one can engage in online.
Myth number 2: It doesn’t work in Zimbabwe or Africa
Some believe that its possible to make money online, but only if you are in first world countries.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
The beauty of the internet is that you can operate your business from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. So you can run your business even from the rural areas. The internet breaks down borders not only in communication but also in business.
With enough information and mentorship, you can start your own business that can even compete with the businesses run by people from the first world countries. No-one has a monopoly when it comes to online entrepreneurship.
Myth number 3: You need to be a tech whizz to earn online
Another common misconception is that for you to succeed online you
need to know such technical stuff as programming, coding etc. Scenes from movies and series where hackers and tech-whizz guys are portrayed doing incredible stuff on their computers only help to feed this misconception.
However, this is not true, you only need to be open-minded and resourceful to build a successful online business. A lot of the ‘technical’stuff has been simplified these days.
For example, anyone can learn to create a website using WordPress from simple, step-by-step videos available freely on Youtube.
If you are really determined to make money online then you will find ways to get your business off the ground. If you can surf the internet then you can set your own online business. You will either find a way or an excuse.
RELATED: Listen To My Podcast on Online Entrepreneurship
Myth number 4: You need to work on it full-time to make it work
A lot of people shy away from learning about creating their own online businesses because they believe that they need to work on the business fulltime. For most people with full-time jobs this is just too risky and as a result, they stop considering online entrepreneurship.
This is also not true, you can create your online business part-time balancing between school, work, family etc. Where there is a will there is a way. For example, you can choose to work on your online business during your lunch break rather than engage in idle chatting.
I personally started researching and learning about online entrepreneurship during the time I was employed and living in a place without any internet. I would download and print out pdf’s when I got internet and would read them during the evening by candlelight. What I learnt there led me to build a number of businesses that I run today after I quit that job.
So, why not spare an hour a day from watching movies and series (what I call mind-numbing entertainment) and invest that time into learning about a business venture that can potentially change your life?
Myth number 5: It’s an overnight success
Some people with some knowledge of online businesses believe that money can be made online overnight. This is dangerous for at least two reasons.
Firstly, falling into the “make money online now” trap will lead you to invest in products and services that promise this, with only disappointment at the end. You can then end up being disillusioned and thinking that making money online is a scam.
Secondly, you may quit way too soon after trying to set your own business. You can abandon a business that would have paid you well in the end just because you expected success way too soon.
The truth of the matter is it does take some time for you to get established, depending on your circumstances, you may go for six months or more without making that first dollar online. Times like these need one to be pushed by their self-belief, their resilience, determination etc. You need to trust the process an put in massive, consistent action.
It will be worth it in the end, and when you are set you can make ‘passive income’ which is money that you make even when you are sleeping! it does take hard work just like creating a successful physical business.
Let the quote below inspire you.
Myth number 6: At best you can only create a part-time income online
Some believe that you can only make a few dollars at best online. NEWSFLASH! You can get a 5 even six-figure income or more monthly from your online business. Yes, the internet has the potential to make you millions, but as stated earlier, it does take time to get to that point. It is possible to quit your day job and make a full-time income online.
I make all my income online and will never dream of being an employee again. You can read my story of how I became an online entrepreneur.
I know a lot of people in Zimbabwe, South Africa who are also online entrepreneurs who are doing well. One of the best things about making money online is that there is no earnings cap. Your efforts and beliefs are the ones that will limit you. This is so much different from working a day job where your earning potential is set by your boss.
Related: Why having an online business is better than working a regular job: Selling time vs selling products
So there you have it. I hope I have made it clear for you now the true nature of online entrepreneurship. Is there any myth you were believing in before reading this? Are there any other myths that I have left?
Do you think you can have your own online business? Share your thoughts in the comments below and I will gladly respond to them. Altenatively, you can also use the Ask Me Anything page.
To the success of your own online business!
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