Build Winning Online Business

Matt ZavadilWritten by Matt Zavadil
Updated June 26, 2016

Allow me to introduce you to two of the most misused and misunderstood concepts in the world of online marketing:

  1. The idea that you must become a marketing Super Star
  2. The idea that you can get 1000s of $$$ monthly at the push of that magical button those guru guys love to talk about.

By the way, where is this elusive button anyway? I’d like to know, LOL

But seriously, in this post I’ll share with you exactly how you can and WILL create a successful online business that allows you to leave your job, pay off your debt, send your kids/grandkids to college…

…or simply allow you to finally stop and breathe for a few minutes!

Most importantly, how to build your winning online business without the need for any bizarre marketing tactics, gimmicks, or games… I’ll show you how regular folks like you get success simply being themselves…

But, first, understand the big problem standing in your way…

Problem: You’ve already purchased many “guru” trainings (or at least been on their webinars, Youtube vids, etc).

You know:

  • How to use FB ads
  • How to use Youtube
  • How to use Twitter
  • How to use Network Marketing
  • How to use a physical products online store
  • How to sell affiliate offers

…to make thousand$ of Dollar$ online and GET RICH BABY.

Question: Are you STILL struggling to make a consistent $100-$500 a month, yet alone the $1000’s of dollars these guru guys keep promising you?

  • The problem isn’t that those guru tactics don’t work (most of the trainings are excellent).
  • The problem is that you’re all over the place with your efforts.
  • The problem is that you don’t have a plan.
  • The problem is that you’ve put the cart before the horse.

Allow me to explain…

OK, now that I have your attention, let’s back up one extra step before I get into how to build your thriving online business.

Understand What IS & What ISN’T a BUSINESS

The other day I received an email from a guy I’ve been following and learning from for over 10 years now (HINT: this IS a “guru” to listen to): Perry Marshall

Here’s a couple of things he said that are absolute truths…ideas that will transform your online efforts from time wasting activities to money making activities:

Perry said: “A business that requires free traffic to survive isn’t a business at all. Until you can spend a dollar and acquire a customer at a profit, you’re just killing time until that traffic source dries up.”

Is Perry correct? Before I explore that with you, let’s see what another decade plus online veteran has to say about this.

About a week after I received Perry’s email, I received an email from Jeremy Frandsen (HINT: Jeremy and his partner Jason are two “gurus” to listen to…in fact, their education about how to select your niche was instrumental in building my own online business).

In the email Jeremy told his story a bit…about how when he started online he was making money but it had hit a plateau.

His mentor at the time…a guy named Tom…had already grown an eight-figure business online.

Tom told him: “Jeremy, you’re struggling to grow your business because you don’t have a real business…not yet.”

Jeremy WAS making money so he was floored but trusted Tom…so he asked him to continue:

“You’ll have a real business when you can pay to bring in new customers and quickly make your money back plus profit.

“You’re not alone. The brutal truth is that most online entrepreneurs base their entire business on making money from free traffic and big launches alone. You can’t multiply free traffic like this. There’s a limit to how much you can get and it’s slow to grow.

“Even worse, with one change in Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. their traffic could vanish overnight. Then, they’d have ZERO income. They are playing with fire.”

Are Perry and Jeremy/Tom correct?

I say yes. My answer comes from personal experience.

I won’t bore you to death with my story, but real quick…

Back in 2004 I had just quit yet ANOTHER network marketing business I failed in miserably.

I went online. I knew there must be a way to pull income out of that new computer sitting on my home desk.

I went on a journey of making money making niche websites, generating FREE traffic and monetizing with Adsense…until Google changed their algorithm & the Adsense program and those profits disappeared.

I built and ran a website for a buddy’s new debt elimination business between 2006 and 2010…parlaying my new-found Internet skills into making over $200,000 a year in the process…until new industry regulations killed his business.

I then built a network marketing business to almost 5 figures monthly using my online lead generation skills…until the owner did something stupid and the government shut the business down.

I’m not alone in this “start & stop” failure cycle.

Others were taken down between 2010 and 2012 when Google made MAJOR changes to their algorithm.

One minute folks were getting free search engine traffic and making money hand over fist.

The next minute all that traffic disappeared and so did the income…just like Tom warned Jeremy about.

The same has happened when Facebook made major changes to their algorithm.

The same happened when Instagram made changes to their algorithm.

The same happened over at Youtube.

People spent hundreds and thousands of hours mastering all these free techniques only to see their success disappear overnight…

The Lesson?

The only way to long-term success online is to develop a REAL business that’s sustainable, doesn’t rely on free traffic Tactics/Gimmicks/Games and sells a REAL product/service that people REALLY WANT.

What You Must STOP Believing In

To illustrate a point, allow me to finish my story…

If you’re anything like I used to be, you’re easily swayed and distracted by what many call “Shiny Object Syndrome”.

I used to go to MLM meetings and get all starry eyed as the speakers talked about big, easy income.

I used to watch online sales videos and get starry eyed by all the “easy” ways to get rich…MLM, affiliate marketing (selling other people’s products), online stores for physical products, “hacking” Amazon, eBay riches, etc.

Finally, after seeing my efforts rise to some level of success, then crash and burn (over and over) for almost 10 freakin’ years I got smart. I wised up.

I stopped believing that the next big, wonderful product my network marketing company came out with was the solution to my income problems.

I stopped believing that I could promote the next big Guru Launch and get rich selling other people’s products as my only revenue source.

What I did do is finally take full responsibility for my past failures and my future success.

What I did do is take time out to analyze the authentic online success stories that are all around us.

Essentially, I started thinking like a true, real entrepreneur.

Does that mean I don’t promote affiliate offers or build a network marketing business?

Of course not…I still do…BUT I do it with a solid plan behind my efforts. I do it by taking responsibility as a businessperson for my online money making efforts.

I did all this by boiling every success story down into a simple 7-step process. The focus of today’s post includes steps #1 and #4 in this process.

If you’d like to see all 7 steps laid out in a simple one-page document I created, click here to download my 7-Step Flowchart: Analyze in 33 Seconds If You’re Entering a Proven Business or a Silly Online Scheme

7-Step Flowchart: Analyze in 33 Seconds If You’re Entering a Proven Business or a Silly Online Scheme

In just a few seconds, you’ll know whether you’re looking at a business that translates into profits and success or whether it’s just another one of those “gimmicks”…

Click here to access my free 7-Step Flowchart

How You Can Finally Create a Wildly Successful Online Business

Let’s revisit what I told you above:

  • The problem isn’t that those guru tactics don’t work.
  • The problem is that you’re all over the place with your efforts.
  • The problem is that you don’t have a plan.
  • The problem is that you’ve put the cart before the horse.

Everything changed for me when I learned a couple simple concepts:

  1. How to identify what any online business must include in order to qualify as a real business (meaning it generates predictable profits for its owner).
  2. How to use an Online Franchise Business System that predictably allows your business to grow its profits over time.

Allow Me to Start Teaching You How to Do This

The first thing you must do is shift your thinking. Understand that the act of working a network marketing business or promoting an affiliate product is not a true business.

Not for YOU.

They ARE businesses for the owners of these enterprises.

So, there are 2 things you must learn:

  1. Learn how to analyze whether any business opportunity you choose to promote has the backbones of a REAL business.
  2. Learn exactly HOW income is generated online and use a proven systemized approach to building your chosen business.

7-Step Flowchart: Analyze in 33 Seconds If You’re Entering a Proven Business or a Silly Online Scheme

My FREE 7-Step Flowchart will solve both of the above issues for you. It will help you analyze whether any business is worthy of your time/effort AND it will take you on a journey into the next step: Understanding how income is generated online and how to duplicate that exact winning formula…

Click here to access my free 7-Step Flowchart

The Path to Frustration & Failure

Let’s analyze the usual (failure) paths most folks walk.

This is part of a process I call the Start & Stop Failure Cycle, where you’re constantly re-starting… when one method for online income generation doesn’t “work”, you jump into the next one that pops up in your email or Facebook newsfeed…

…before allowing the one you’ve already put effort in to mature…

Path 1: Network Marketing

Some folks, for example, fall into network marketing. They have a friend or family member who shares the product or business…or they see something online talking about making easy online profits…and they end up joining an MLM biz.

The next thing they know they’re encouraged to either:

  1. Create a “warm contact list” of everyone they know so they can call these folks and try and get them to an opportunity meeting or to buy the products. For most people, this is extremely awkward and doesn’t work…maybe you can relate.
  2. OR, they’re told to get on social media and scream about how great these products are or how much money can be made in the business…maybe you can relate.

This kind of “marketing” is ridiculous.

It’s not targeted in any sense of the word.

It doesn’t work because no one cares about your self-promotional rants about how great your products or opportunity are…maybe you can relate.

Path 2: Affiliate Marketing

Other folks discover that they can re-sell other people’s products…otherwise known as affiliate marketing. The creator of that product encourages them to “drive traffic” to the sales page and promises instant riches.

There’s a huge problem with this. If you don’t know how to drive TARGETED traffic to an offer, you won’t sell a damn thing…maybe you can relate to this.

This includes those Guru offerings where the Guru says,

“Just join my system. I’ll give you everything you need to make instant profits. You’ll get the lead capture pages to get leads with, the sales pages, the email swipe copy, etc. Everything is done for you.”

Riiiiiight…Once again, if you don’t know how to drive traffic to those “awesome” lead capture pages and sales pages, how many sales are you making?

If you said “zero”, you’d be correct.

Frustration Mounts & The Failure Cycle Goes Round & Round

You get frustrated with your MLM company or affiliate offer. It’s not working. The natural thing to do next is look for some other way to accomplish your goal of working from home online.

So what happens next?

You search around online and find a different MLM or affiliate offer that sounds great. It’s the same pitch as the MLM or affiliate offer you’re currently frustrated with but for some reason you put out the money and join in the fray.

A month or two (or five or six) later it’s the same frustrating story. You couldn’t drive traffic to the so-called “awesome” business or offer and you’re off to the next cool sounding “deal”.

Is this resonating with you? Can you relate? Are you ready to break this Start & Stop Failure Cycle?

How do I know this so intimately?

Because I went through the same thing! And I’ve heard the same story time after time from others inside my coaching business.

It’s an insidious cycle and until you decide deep inside to stop it, it will:

  • keep you on the hamster wheel
  • keep sucking precious dollars out of your bank account as you watch the next dog & pony show presentation that promises “Instant Online Riches”

The Solution: Commit to the “Business Approach”

In my 7-Step Flowchart: Analyze in 33 Seconds If You’re Entering a Proven Business or a Silly Online Scheme, I show you the “7 critical success steps” all proven business models encompass, teach and provide.

Click here to download this enlightening one page resource

For now, let’s just focus on Step #4, which says:

Commit to Becoming a True Business Entrepreneur, NOT a Rep For An Affiliate Or MLM Company

I call this the Business Approach, where you finally decide to take ownership of your online money-making journey.

Let’s go back to what Perry Marshall says:

“A business that requires free traffic to survive isn’t a business at all. Until you can spend a dollar and acquire a customer at a profit, you’re just killing time until that traffic source dries up.”

Let’s revisit what Jeremy’s mentor said:

“You’ll have a real business when you can pay to bring in new customers and quickly make your money back plus profit.”

Today’s post isn’t about HOW to accomplish success with paid advertising. There’s no point in teaching a person how that’s successfully done until AFTER they’ve mentally shifted from the Insidious Road to Failure, which says:

“How can I make $10,000+ a month for free, without investing $1 to advertise my business?”

Can I ask you to do something?

Simply sit back a bit. Take a deep breath, pause, and read that sentence again:

“How can I make $10,000+ a month for free, without investing $1 to advertise my business?”

Ponder this one as well:

“How can I make $10,000+ a month without investing much time in the business?”

Sounds silly, right?

I mean, can you imagine someone starting an OFFLINE business and saying,

“My goal is to become ultra successful with this new business. However, I’ll do it without advertising and without showing up to ‘work’ the business.”

You’d think they’d lost their mind, correct?

Yet, what do folks always ask when starting a business online?

It goes something like this:

“how can I do it with no money outlay and little to no effort?”

The right answer…the honest answer…is

“You don’t!”

Good grief…

You put in “work”. You invest some skin in the game (money).

Now, let me say this: working “hard” inside an online business is pretty easy. We’re not talking about hard labor here LOL

We’re talking about learning a few simple marketing concepts and putting them into place, analyzing what happened, making a few adjustments….and then, when your business starts earning its first profits, simply rinsing and repeating the process to create larger, predictable profits for you.

Simple Steps To Building a Winning Online Business Without Being a Flamboyant Marketing Super Star

My job is to build your confidence that you can do this. Then your confidence creates the activity that leads you into profit building habits and ultimately, the success you’re looking for.

I imagine everything I’ve presented so far is making sense. I imagine you’re ready to move into the Success Cycle.

If so, take the following 5 specific steps in the right direction and watch as your confidence, activity and habits greatly improve.

By the way, here’s the Success (Momentum) Cycle:

  • Success builds Confidence
  • Confidence creates Activity
  • Activity creates Habits
  • Habits create Success
  • Success builds Confidence (and the Success, or Momentum, Cycle continues on!)

Step 1) Decide to make the mental shift from MLM or affiliate rep to true, real entrepreneur

Think through the intentions behind the actions of the owner(s) behind any network marketing company you might join or the creator of any affiliate product you’re marketing for sale…

Is it their intention to ensure YOUR PERSONAL SUCCESS or to sell more of THEIR product(s)?

THINK about this DEEPLY.

Don’t gloss over this concept!

Your future online business success depends on “getting” this.

You know the answer…it may be tough for you to admit it and what it means for your success.

It took me YEARS to stop drinking the Kool-Aid these guys convince us to drink and it’s my mission to help you get there sooner…

Are these people “bad”?

Of course not…you just need to understand that they’re running THEIR businesses…

…and convincing you that you’re starting your own business inside their business.

Absolutely not true. It’s “sort of” true…but not the full truth.

Yes, they’re providing you an opportunity to start making money on a shoestring.

Yes, they’re providing you a vehicle to start Part-Time and build toward a larger income.

BUT, they are not concerned with YOUR PERSONAL SUCCESS…and you definitely don’t “own” anything — see my story above where one wrong, dumb move by the owner took down the entire enterprise…and ALL the incomes of the supposed business “owners” —

…they’re using a “numbers game”…exciting a ton of reps to sell their stuff and raking in the profits from the reps who master the marketing game…

…while over 98% of all the other reps are LOSING THEIR SHIRT.

Watch this short video for more on this…

YouTube video

I’m giving you a peek behind the curtain of the hype and dog-and-pony-show stage presentations.

It doesn’t mean MLM or affiliate marketing is a “scam” or anything underhanded is going on…

…again, I still promote a network marketing business…it’s just that mentally I don’t drink the Kool-aid and see my identity as: “MLM rep”…

…instead, that revenue source is a PART of my overall online business efforts…just like the affiliate products I promote are only a PART of my overall online business.

I fully understand that a REAL BUSINESS is one I create…true, long-term, sustainable success doesn’t come from cutting corners, being lazy and simply promoting someone else’s business.


If you’re already in a business opportunity, don’t take one more step with it until you’re sure it’s a legitimate opportunity.

If you’re still looking for the best way to earn income online, don’t buy another training product or get in another opportunity until you know how to properly analyze its worthiness.

Either way, my 7-step Flowchart will help you understand this process

Step 2) Commit to learning Exactly how income is generated online…

There is a specific process ANY successful person you’ve heard about (in any niche) has moved through to create that success.

Don’t do what I did for too many years where I tried to cut corners and take shortcuts. Doesn’t work. Commit to learning the Entire Process that creates Success Stories…then Implement it.

Watch this short video for the process that creates income online…

YouTube video

The above video explains the general process used by the owner of every success story you’ve heard about or will hear about online.

Remember the mental shift I’m encouraging you to make: you’re no longer a simple “rep” for a network marketing or affiliate company.

You’re now an authentic businessperson.

If you gloss over this concept you’re back into the Failure Cycle.

If you don’t learn these basic marketing concepts and sequences, you’ll get eaten alive by the few smart marketers promoting your same deal. These guys HAVE gone through these steps, created a simple sales funnel and offered REAL VALUE upfront that scoops up all the prospects the rest of the MLM or affiliate reps are scrounging around for.

Again, make the Mental Shift from “rep” to businessperson/entrepreneur…a person taking full responsibility for their success…no longer relying on some “magical system” or business to create the success for them.

Step 3) Determine Your Niche

Once you’ve used my 7-Step Flowchart to know for sure you’re promoting the correct home business, affiliate offer…OR, my Flowchart has helped you instead move into creating your OWN products around your passions…

Next you must determine your niche so you know the precise person your marketing efforts will target.

There’s nothing worse when it comes to marketing a product or business than taking the “shotgun” approach, where you think “everyone needs this!”.

Wrong. Each product, each opportunity fits inside a specific niche. Inside this niche are people hungry for what you sell. Focus your time and attention on only those people and success follows.

From Wikipedia: A niche market is the subset of the market on which a specific product is focused. The market niche defines as the product features aimed at satisfying specific market needs, as well as the price range, production quality and the demographics that is intended to impact. It is also a small market segment.

Another way to define niche: a specialized but profitable corner of the market.

For example, if you’re in a health and fitness MLM company selling a way to fight diabetes, there are ways to target all your marketing efforts to the people craving that specific solution.

If you’re selling an affiliate product in the weight loss niche, there are ways to boil your marketing messaging down so the only folks seeing it are those craving the solution you provide.

If you’ve created your own information products that teach folks how to become better golfers, there are ways to make sure only those who crave that end result see your marketing.

This step is critical. It’s a step ALL online success stories took before embarking on their journey to sell their stuff.

One of the best resources I’ve ever found for getting this step accomplished is right here…and it’s free!

Step 4) Create Your Sales Funnel

I don’t have space here to give you an entire sales funnel training. What I will do is give you the basics and then move you into learning more.

I think of a sales funnel as simply Relationship Building.

Times have changed. It’s not 1985 or even 1999 when you could beat people over the head with a sales pitch and “convince” them to buy from you.

Most folks won’t buy from you until they’ve had the chance to get to know you, come to like you and finally feel some trust in you.

A proper sales funnel does all this for you on auto-pilot (once you do a little “work” & set it up).

The most basic sales funnel consists of:

Lead Magnet: a free gift you offer your prospect…something of VALUE (ebook, video, cheatsheet, list, etc)…something that helps your prospect solve a small problem.

Lead capture page: a page where your prospect can enter their email in order to receive your lead magnet.

Thank you page: a page your prospect sees immediately after entering their email into your lead capture page. On this page, you allow them into “your world”…allowing them to get to know you a bit better.

Email followup series: Using a piece of software called an autoresponder, you email more value to your prospect, teaching them tips, warming them up to you more…BUILDING THAT RELATIONSHIP

There are more sophisticated steps you can take, such as placing code on the above pages that allow you to “retarget” your prospects elsewhere.

For example, you can place a Facebook pixel or Youtube code on those pages and later advertise only to those specific people on Facebook or Youtube.

BUT! I want to keep things simple on this post, so let’s just focus on the basic 4 step sales funnel process. Again, it’s

  • Lead Magnet
  • Lead capture page
  • Thank you page
  • Email followup series

Step 5) Use an Online Franchise Business System

I’m sure you know what a franchise is…think of a McDonald’s or Subway restaurant.

You buy into it and are trained on exactly how to create a profit.

You can do the same online.

Rather than go through the above steps I’ve outlined above by yourself, there are opportunities to essentially buy into a franchise…at nowhere near the $100,000+ price tag of an offline franchise.

In the case of an online franchise business system, you’re provided the basic “system” of a successful business…

…you’re provided all the tools necessary for success…

…you’re provided the ongoing education for how to put all the pieces together…

…you’re provided a support group of other smart marketers to keep you on track…

While an online franchise is similar to network marketing and affiliate marketing, it’s more of what I call a hybrid approach…

….one where you can market that franchise to others OR…

you’re provided everything you need for learning how to put in place your own product line, your own sales funnel for that product line, and the traffic generation method that makes it all “go”.

Think of it like an online college where all the ingredients of a successful online business are taught.

You’re taught details about what I’ve introduced you to above:

  • Lead magnets
  • Niches
  • Sales pages
  • Sales funnels
  • Lead generation
  • Traffic generation
  • Email marketing
  • Personal development
  • and everything else you must know to create online income…

Best of All, You DON’T Need to be a Flamboyant Marketing Super Star

Once you have this knowledge, you can profit from marketing literally ANY type of product in ANY niche that excites you.

And the best way to make it all “work” is to simply be yourself…there’s only ONE “you”…the “right” people will attract to you, your personality, and your offering(s).

Let’s Wrap This Up & Give You Your Next Action Step…

I’ve given you a LOT here, haven’t I?

It can seem a little overwhelming, I know…

I could tell you the same lie you’ve heard over and over:

You don’t have to work. You don’t have to learn anything. Just push this button and make millions.

But I think you’re tired of that bullshit, right?

I believe you’re ready to FINALLY get this done so you can set your family free.

SO, let’s just back up a second and start you off at the beginning…

Click here to download my flowchart

My flowchart starts you back at the beginning of this entire process. Inside my flowchart, I provide you a link to the next step:

Learning exactly how to move into the Online Franchise Business Solution. So, download the flowchart now and let’s move you forward in an authentic manner.

Were these online business building tips helpful to you? How do you plan to use them for your own business pursuits? Let me know in the comments area below…

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