Pros & Cons

The Pros and Cons of An Online Business

When you think about the idea of starting your own business, one where you’re working from home, what is the first thing you think about?

Do you think about having the freedom to manage your own time? Waking up and working whenever—and wherever—you want? Are you driven by the idea of being your own boss?

Or perhaps it’s the complete opposite—the fear of becoming unproductive, lazy, and perhaps having moments when you lack motivation?

Indeed, owning an online business can provide you with plenty of benefits. At the same time, there are some drawbacks to consider as well.

I’ve experienced first hand the highs and lows of running an online business. No doubt, the freedom and flexibility is priceless. For the most part, you can set your own hours and do things based on your own terms.

The other day Connie and I were deciding where our next travel destination will be. I like the fact that with this type of business, I can open up Google Maps, pick a country or city, and go without restriction or apprehension.

It’s an undeniably great feeling—but like all business endeavours, there are also some downsides.

The misconception is that just because you own a business, you are set…but it’s not the case.

In this post, I’d like to layout a few of the most common advantages and disadvantages of running your own online business.

Advantages of an Online Business


This benefit goes at the top of my list. With your own business, you have the freedom of working when and how you want. With an online business, you get the added benefit of being able to work wherever you want as long as you have wifi connection.

It is you who takes charge of the direction your company is headed. You call the shots and have the power to shape the business into whichever form you want it to take.

That’s the business freedom side of things. There’s also the freedom to choose in your everyday life.

Connie and I prefer to go out and about to cafes, stores and restaurants on weekdays as opposed to weekends when it’s usually busier.

We’re also flexible in terms of booking flights and accommodation. We usually book on cheaper days when there’s less occupancy. Hotels tend to be more open to offer further discounts during weekdays as opposed to weekends.

A  Feeling of Achievement

With 100% responsibility comes the opportunity to learn about and experiment with new tactics and strategies. In fact, your success depends on it.

It gets you out of your comfort zone to learn and to think creatively, rather than just working day-by-day not consciously thinking about your actions and emotions.

I was going through a stage where things got quite chaotic — emails, requests, deadlines, projects and more. It was all on my hands. It had to be dealt with somehow so I hired a virtual assistant. The biggest hurdle was training him. It took weeks to create the procedures and then guiding him until he was able to manage the tasks himself.

The end result was that I was able to let go of a lot of the tasks that were holding me back from moving the business forward. It was hard at the start, but totally rewarding in the end.

Best of all, the work you put into your business grows your business, not somebody else’s.

You Can Start On a Small Budget

Unlike a traditional brick and mortar businesses, an online business doesn’t require huge overheads, building up inventory, or the hefty expense of paying for a rental space.

Take blogging for instance—you can launch a blog with zero upfront costs by taking advantage of free sites like Blogger or WordPress.

Outsourcing At Your Fingertips

We are lucky to live in a connected world, one in which you can now, more than ever, take advantage of all that global communication and the Internet have to offer.

Virtually any type of work can be outsourced to overseas talent on sites like, allowing you to fill your needs at a fraction of the fee you’d have to put out in your own country.

In my eBook business, there are eight of us who all collaborate and do our bit. For instance, I have a writer who writes the eBooks, a designer who designs the eBook covers, a voice over who records videos tutorials and a project manager who puts it all together.

Here’s an inside look of a current project we’re working on using a team collaboration tool called Basecamp:


Collaborating with team members from around the world.

Each member of the team are from entirely different locations. My writer’s from the U.S., designer from Indonesia, assistant from the Philippines and video guy from the U.K.

Tap into a Global Market

Depending on the type of online business you have or want to start, you can reach an audience far larger than one you’d have in a single location.

As my business is not restricted to locality, 70% of my customers are from the U.S., while just 10% are from Australia.

It’s also easy to accept payments  as there’s plenty of payment processors such as PayPal, Stripe and

Customers simply purchase my products via PayPal, the funds get deposited into my PayPal account instantly and they simply download the product after purchase.

The Strength of the US Dollar

The US dollar is the most commonly used currency for online transactions.

Being a strong contender against most other currencies, the US dollar allows you to get more out of every cent you make. For instance, at the moment $1 USD equals $1.41 Australian Dollars (my local currency)

conversionThe US dollar’s been strong against the Australian dollar lately


Disadvantages of an Online Business


For obvious reasons, working on your own can get lonely. Many others may not understand what you do and what you’re going through.

I remember times when I felt like giving up and thought that this whole business wasn’t going anywhere, that it was too good to be true. It felt like there was nobody I could talk to about the struggles I was going through.

You may be feeling the same.

But, if having a lot of alone time is not your thing, then there are always ways to make your work more interactive. You could rent a co-working space, or arrange weekly or monthly meet ups with like-minded people in your industry.

However, you can make virtual connections and meet like-minded people online. During my time as an online business owner, I built some close connections with others in the industry.

Here’s a picture taken recently in Singapore with some partners from around the world at a yearly brainstorming meetup…

MeetupThings can’t always be too serious!

You Are 100% Responsible—for Everything

Depending how you see it, this, of course, can be a good thing or bad thing. As an entrepreneur, it is you taking the risks, and you making the decisions. Yes, it’s all up to you—no one is going to do it for you.

Balancing Work and the Rest of your Life

As you take on more responsibility, you are naturally going to be working more hours, at least in the beginning stages of getting your business established. You’ll either stay up later, get up earlier—or perhaps both—to get more done. This is not a bad thing of course. But, as a result, you’ll probably have less time to socialize and spend with your partner, and that’s not for everyone.

Learning to manage your time takes a while to get used to, but once you do, it’s worth the challenge.

No Employee Benefits

Being self-employed usually means you won’t get paid holiday leave and sick leave. So if you take time out of your business, you can’t expect to get paid.

On the flipside, you can look at this as an advantage. When you don’t rely on benefits, you’re put into a position of responsibility to make sure you’re always working towards your goal.

Results Don’t Appear Overnight

Building and growing a business does not happen overnight. The people you’ve heard about who made it overnight don’t exist. Many years of learning and implementing came before that big breakthrough.

Like the pyramids, a successful business is built from the foundation up, brick by brick, layer by layer, until the structure is tall and strong enough to support itself.

It’s about progression—that’s what makes a business successful, and, more importantly, resilient.


In the end, for me and in my tenth year of online business, the pros always outweigh the cons because it’s the most rewarding feeling to be able to see the progression and result of your work which was once just an idea but now a reality.

What are your thoughts?

If you are a business owner, what do you like best about being your own boss?

Or, if you are still thinking about giving it a try, what kind of business do you want to start up, and what’s holding you back? Share your comments below.


Bali In monochrome

A series of photos during the 30 days while we were in Bali. Some candid, behind the scenes and random captures in black and white. Enjoy the visual content! xx


Departing from Sydney to Bali


Relaxing by the hotel pool


$1 lunch meal, priceless view


Dining amongst the rice fields


Not ready


Humble abode of an eighty five year old widow


All smiles with this 105 year old man


One step at a time


Modest living


Coconut delivery


Cocktail shell and reflection of palm trees


Poolside snacks


Solid hours of work in this coffee shop


Uber ride interior


3:30 itis fuel


New shopping centre in Seminyak Square


Walking out refreshed after an aloe vera and cucumber scrub


Traditional Babi Guling with extra crispy skin please – Pak Malen must try


A dear friend’s private villa stay in Ubud


Rooftop pool


Alfresco interior


Cocktails and sunsets


Ready for harvest


Seafood supper for six


It’s not statue of Liberty


Piercing screams from the jet ski


Taxi ride read and favourite coffee to go


Shack Snack


Riding back to our friend’s villa


Pathway to never ending huts


Discussions after lunch


Our friend’s smitten moment


Asked them to smile, one participated


Ready for a foot massage


Check mate


Shady siesta


People-watching from the taxi


Brothers and burger business


Corridor light


Selfie as we wait for a lift


Early morning walk to the beach


Grocery shopping around the corner


Everyday view of laptop, coffee and beard


Daily struggle of what to order and eat


Chasing waterfalls, chasing dreams


How I Make Money Online

How I Make Money Online – My 5 Sources of Revenue

The misconception that many people have of online entrepreneurship is achieving the ‘overnight success’. I don’t believe in overnight successes. Most people who are now successful spent years of trial and error to get to where they are now.

When I first heard about people making money online, I didn’t have a single bit of knowledge about starting a business. But I did have a desire to learn. I took action, I stayed persistent, and I managed to put the pieces together. If you had asked me five years ago how to start an online business, I would have faltered and responded with something entirely different to what I would say now.

One of the things that has been most valuable in my journey is the support I have had the privilege to enjoy. If you can find it, support is invaluable. In the forefront of your business, there’s you. Lurking behind all of the technical aspects of running your business, there’s your support, the people who keep you grounded, who give you feedback, who keep you accountable, and always having the best interests in your goals and aspirations.

My other half, Connie, has been my inspiration, an incredible partner who has an eye for detail and creativeness, and who is always looking for ways to make the business better and understanding my customers’ wants and needs. It is no coincidence that my business more than doubled in revenue over the course of just these last twelve months as a result of the support, encouragement and feedback that my partner has given me. At the beginning of this year, we set goals, and not just met them but exceeded them.

Together, our contributions have shaped the way the business operates to be reflected in the products created, our overall presence as a brand, in our customer support, and email messages.

However, as grateful as I am for having reached this point in my online business, it didn’t start out like this. I began by selling my unwanted goods on eBay, then learned how to build a website, sold my first-ever eBook, and went on to expand my business into even further avenues. It wasn’t a small endeavor.

My 5 Sources of Revenue

Of course, there are many different online avenues available to make a living, but let me share, here, what has been working for me, a quick breakdown of the business models that have generated cash flow for me and are continuing to do so.

What are my sources of income?


Product Launches:

First up, a dominant 60% of my revenue comes from releasing two new products a month. What type of products am I referring to? eBooks. Books that can be read on a computer or mobile device are gaining popularity every day. And I don’t just offer a .pdf, version of an eBook. The difference is that I offer the rights to the customer to edit the eBook (includes the Word doc) as they wish and to claim authorship. This saves the customer from having to write their own eBooks.

Although there are a variety of topics in this day and age that would have a wide range of readership, the topics I usually focus on are around online business and self-improvement. With the support of a regular group of other sellers with whom I collaborate, plus my own email database, we combine each other’s followers to promote the launch. The result is an influx of sales and buzz around the product.

Once the launch ends, (usually after about five days), sales tend to slow down, as the majority would have been made during the launch period, but then, it is promoted as a ‘recommended product’ when customers purchase other eBooks of a similar topic — kind of like what Amazon does when you go through their checkout. At this stage, I then simply repeat the model for the next product.

Membership Site:

My next source of income, making up about 15% of revenue, comes from the membership site.

Each month, members receive a new eBook on the topic of either self-improvement or online business. (I usually alternate topics each month). The same rights are included with a product launch are offered, but this membership adds the convenience of a guaranteed new product each month. The membership site that I run is The membership fee is $10.00 a month. And now you may ask, how much maintenance is required for running a membership site like this?

All that is required is to add a new product at the beginning of each month. My team takes care of most things, from topic suggestions, designing, writing, and customer support. It’s a truly passive business that gives ‘predictable income’ because members are paying for access each month.

Affiliate Marketing:

One of the beautiful things of an online business is that you don’t necessarily need to develop your own product to sell. You can sell other people’s products as an affiliate or referrer, and earn a commission for every sale you make. Affiliate marketing makes up about 20% of my revenue. I’ll give you an example.

When I post articles or videos on my blogs, such as or, I sometimes recommend or suggest products that can be beneficial for my readers. Check out this post, where I share a video and article about how to create an opt-in/landing page. There are two products that I am recommending in this post: OptimizePress and LeadPages.

Whenever I make a sale for either of these companies, I make a commission of anywhere from 20% to 40%. This page has made thousands of dollars for me since I first posted it on June 30th, 2006. It is getting traffic from search engines when people search for keywords like “optin page”, “how to create an optin page”, and many more.

Ad Revenue:

About 4% of my revenue comes from ads that are placed on my smaller ‘niche’ websites. I don’t focus much on this model, as I’d rather focus my efforts towards product launches and growing the membership site. But there’s definitely nothing wrong with monetizing your site from ads. It makes for great pocket money. Just keep in mind that it’s important to focus on the 80/20 rule, and put your strongest efforts into the endeavors that will generate the 80%. In my case, the product launches and memberships.


Services are not a big part of my business due to the fact that my forte is in digital products and the passive side of it all. In other words, I am more interested in creating something once and allowing the website to sell and deliver my products without needing a huge amount of my focused attention. The only service that I currently offer is an installation where customers can choose to have my team edit and upload their eBook to their website.

This model currently only makes up about 1% of my revenue, but I do plan to expand on this area.

What’s Next?

It has taken me ten years to get to this point. I’ve learned to work smarter, but there are plenty more lessons and challenges that I know I will need to go through to continue growing this business.

In 2016, I plan to put much more effort into the membership model side of things, not only because the recurring revenue is great, but because I’d also like to have a place where members can go, besides accessing my personal support, to converse with other members in the community.

As far as eBusiness Lifestyle goes… As you may realize by now, this blog is something that Connie and I started together this year because it’s something we’re both passionate about. We are committed to continue posting on this blog and on other social media, hoping to reach and connect with other active or prospective online entrepreneurs wanting to start or expand their own business.

The future is looking optimistic and it’s just a matter of keeping the momentum going and setting new milestones and goals, perhaps even some rather audacious ones, too.

8 Tips to Kick-Start Your Goals

8 Tips To Kick-Start Your Goals

I find the best way to pursue what you want is, simply to start. I know just as much as anyone that it’s way too easy to make excuses and let fear get a hold of you. But once you take that all-important first step, the ball starts rolling.

In continuance from my first blog post The Fear of Pursuing Your Dreams, here are 8 tips that I personally apply to get over the challenge of starting anything:

1) Get rid of distractions – When Aurelius and I got engaged almost five years ago, we moved in together and chose not to have a T.V. in our room or home. I know my weaknesses—I could easily be a couch potato if I had a T.V easily accessible. So whatever distractions you may have, eliminate it, especially if you have no self control.

2) Dedicate 1 to 2 hours everyday to move forward – If you don’t have enough time, watch less television, be selective to social events, cut down on social media usage, wake up an hour earlier, or if you’re not always a morning person (like me), dedicate some time before you go to bed. There’s always time to be made and be productive, you just have to prioritise to make time for what’s important to you.

3) Set goals – Set goals for each day, week, month and year. Constantly look back and revise to see if you’re on track and if you need to alter your goals so that you are constantly moving towards your end goal. Make your goals specific, this has helped me get clearer and closer to reaching my goals. For example, we want to blog regularly on eBusiness Lifestyle, be specific like: We want to create content for the blog at least once a week.

While you’re at it, set some unrealistic, far-fetched goals and dreams, too. It’s amazing the way the universe works—if you focus and take action on it, if there’s progress, you’re moving forward and you’ll eventually get there.

4) Always ask questions – Questions help overcome obstacles. Some questions I normally ask myself which motivates and gets me started: Is it a long-term goal? Will it make me happy? What’s my purpose? How is it going to affect me and surrounding in a positive way? Your questions to get you going may be different.

5) Don’t compare your journey with others – This is something I have to remind myself, all the time. We’re always our worst enemy when comparing, it really gets the better of us and makes us lose sight of why we started in the first place. Stay true to who you are and your vision to get the end results you want. You have your own journey and challenges that you’ll go through and that will create your own personal story.

6) Avoid negativity – You’ll come across challenges with people who won’t believe in what you do, judge, question, doubt and point out the flaws. It’s a constant battle I go through. It’s sad and disappointing but don’t let it deter you. No doubt, take in constructive criticism where appropriate but block out the negativity and focus on what you need to do for yourself.

7) Take a chance – What have you got to lose? Are you willing to sacrifice time? Finance? Lifestyle?

When I was running my wedding business, I missed out on a lot of weekend social events, birthdays and weddings. But those were the sacrifices I knew I had to make to run a business in the wedding industry which requires dedication to weekend work.

Earlier this year when I decided to live abroad, I sacrificed finances to set myself up a little and give myself a bit of buffer. I cut down on shopping and spending considerably and made do with what I already have.

A lot of people say they really want to start a business or want to do something, but rarely want to give up the luxury aspect of their lives to take that leap.

If you aren’t at least give it a chance, then you’ll never know what lies ahead.

8) Surround yourself with positive, supportive people – I can’t stress this enough. Aurelius is definitely my greatest supporter. He constantly makes me want to do better and grow. I always learn something new and see a different perspective when I surround myself with like-minded and positive people.

I hope this has enlightened and given you a little push to start whatever that is you want to pursue.

Also, here’s an eBook by Aurelius which he’s been wanting to share with you all. Aurelius shares 20 more tips and lessons about getting started and working smarter. It’s free to download. Enjoy!

Hello World

We’re reflecting on how quickly this vision of ours is unfolding. It hasn’t fully hit us that we’re about to start an experience of a lifetime. But here we are, on a flight 35,000 feet up in the air, sitting side-by-side, full of optimism, ready to discover the opportunities that await us. It’s so surreal.

We’re not sure how long we’ll be working away from home – maybe a year or two. We’ll be living an unconventional lifestyle, making a living, creating content, giving back, learning, finding inspiration, all whilst enjoying life around the world. We’re so grateful that we’re able to embark on this journey and live purely on our own terms.

It’s been comforting to witness the outpouring of positivity and support from people we know and even strangers who have sent us emails sharing their stories so far. Thank you, we appreciate you taking the time to show us your support, giving us great inspiration to continue doing what we love.

Our Travel Plans

To keep you up to date of the places we’ll be staying, we’ve created a map of places we intend to visit. It’s a rough guide of our plans, a mixture of business opportunities and networking, charity work, bucket list, and visits to family and friends. Cities and countries are not concrete yet, in fact, we’ve only got firm plans up to February 2016.

There is room for spontaneity for other locations as well. So if you’re going to be at or near any of these places in the next year or two, and keen to meet up with us somewhere, drop us an email. Strangers with positive vibes, new friends and old are encouraged to get in touch! 😉


Bali  Taiwan  Vietnam  Singapore  Philippines  Thailand  Japan  Korea  Mauritius  London Amsterdam  Belgium  France  Monaco  Italy  Malta  Spain  Morocco  Peru  Chile  Argentina

We want to create a sense of community here on eBusiness Lifestyle where we can openly share how we’ve been able to start this dream of ours, our experiences and our journey as it unfolds.

Feel free to keep updated with us through our newsletter, Facebook and Instagram if you haven’t done so already.

Do you have any travel plans in the next couple of years or any highly recommended places to visit? Let us know.

Stay happy and healthy!

– Aurelius & Connie