5 Keys For Running a Successful Part Time Internet Business, Part 1

There are two kinds of internet business people in the world. There are internet business people who are working on their internet business full time, and there are internet business people with other jobs. Usually these people refer to these other jobs as their “day job” or “J.O.B.” Having done this “other job” thing by choice for several years it’s clear to me that there are at least five critical factors involved in the success of part-time internet business.

Success Factor One: Begin with the end in mind.

As Stephen Covey has written, you need to really understand what it is that you’re trying to do. Otherwise, it’s going to be very hard for you to obtain and maintain the focus that you need to be successful. You need to find a program or plan and stick to that program until you’re successful. In that process you need to have a clear vision of what success means and what it is that you’re trying to do. Know what you are building.

Success Factor Two: Avoid bright shiny objects.

One of the big problems that I had when I first started in internet marketing was the fact that I didn’t know exactly what I was doing or why I was doing it. (See number one above.) So, every time a new offer would come into my inbox I’d go check it out. For months and months I was bouncing around between this offer and that offer; this guru and that guru. That unfocused approach is a recipe for disaster for the part-time entrepreneur. It is absolutely critical as a part time internet business person with limited time resources available that you maintain focus and turn off those messages in your inbox.

Success Factor Three: Understand the lifestyle that you’re trying to design.

On the Internet Business Mastery Podcast and in the Internet Business Mastery Academy, Jay and Sterling spend a lot of time talking about lifestyle design. Lifestyle design is even more critical for a part time internet business person because it means that you must build a business that’s sustainable part time. If you end up building a business that requires a lot of manual labor activity, customer service or consulting, you’ll quickly outstrip your ability to handle that business.

Of course, you’ll want to modify this thinking in the event that you plan to leave your day job, but until you’re able to do that you need to make that the lifestyle you’re designing for your business is compatible with a part-time business plan.

We will continue with Part 2 next week!

My name is Mark Mason from MasonWorld.com and I hope you have a fantastic day.

Mark Mason is a successful part time internet entrepreneur who helps people learn how to make money online with his Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast and Blog at MasonWorld.com.


  1. Thank you for the advice.. Very nice post. Especially the point on staying away from shiny things. Coz it has been a habit to jump from one offer to another.. Not realizing that you are just wasting precious time…. Thanks.

  2. Shiny objects will be EVERYWHERE when you get into internet marketing. Focus on the task at hand and it’s very important to write down simple goals each day to complete, that way you won’t feel bad if your mind starts to wander.

  3. Great advice Jack, I totally agree. After you do that for a while you will start to realize that you don’t need the shiny objects at all and that the time would be better spent with family or a hobby!

  4. That is a trap most fall into, especially me for the first couple years. I’m all about picking one thing and going with it until it succeeds or I see that it cannot, then I move on.

  5. Thanks for the nice comment, Michaels. I strongly believe that the best thing you can do for your internet business is maintain laser focus. Sounds like you already know that — which is awesome.

    After all, you only need two things for success on the internet — an offer, and a buyer. Once you have an offer, you should be focusing all of your effort on finding and converting buyers — not switching business models.

    @Jack — I love your approach of having specific daily goals. I use that one too. That approach forces both focus AND planning which is a double benefit.


  6. So, that should be “3 things..” Mark :)

    Clever though – you get to publish two “5 things” posts for the price of one!

  7. @James,

    I actually turned it into 2 posts, Mark gave it as 5 things in one post We are trying to keep each post to about 400-500 words and yeah, getting two posts out of a longer article helps with google!

  8. It’s pretty funny, James, because the first draft was 1800 words. Had to cut that by more than half, and then Sterling broke it in 2 parts. LOL. Good thing I did not send him the long one.

  9. Bob Skelton says:

    Mark when there are so many things to choose from and one is not sure even what kinds of marketing businesses exist on the internet, one has to chase all the brite shiny things. It would be nice to have some sort of directory made especially for newbies to explain all the facets of doing business on the internet.

  10. Bob — that is a really interesting idea. Certainly there is some sort of resource like that out there (but I sure cannot name it).

  11. Hey Mark,

    Good job on the link bait. Yeah, I know, it was Michael’s fault. LOL

    Actually I want to thank you for introducing me to the Internet Business Mastery blog. Will be spending a lot of time here, even after I come back to read chapter two.

    Gotta say that in the past three years every thing that shone was gobbled up by myself. Maybe we should make a suggested tarnish list. I bet you could come up with a few suggestions also.

    Have a great day!

  12. Finally….

    Mark….you’ve hit the nail on the head. I was a newbie marketer looking at everything under the sun to be successful and it was absolutely consuming my time. I had a little of this and a little of that….to be honest….I wasn’t good at anything at all. The lightbulb moment for me was exactly what you suggest in Success Factor #1…..stick with one thing until you are successful. I’m finally seeing the light and getting results…by no means an expert yet…but I know a lot more now in building niche sites than I ever did. The best part, I have many different monetization methods and they all work…


  13. Dude,
    As someone who works with you on the “9 to 5 job”, you’re grossly underestimating the amount of work you are doing. As with most day jobs, we are easily working 9 am to 9 pm. Keep up the good stuff!

  14. Richard Mason says:

    Great advice about focusing Mark.
    I guess YOU can’t answer Bob Skelton’s question but maybe I can. Check out Masonworld. com. That sounds like the resource you’re asking for. I should mention lol that I’m NOT related to Mark, my last name is an awkward coincidence but I HAVE been to his site and it is AWESOME! (if I broke a rule by mentioning Mark’s site, I apologize. I’m kinda new to internet marketing)

  15. Great Part I, Mark.

    Count me in with some of the others who have been prone to go from one new thing to the next; I’m worse than a honey bee gathering honey.

    I like your idea to pick a plan and stick to it until you’ve got it to profit before you move to the next thing. In fact, I’ve been doing that for a while now. However, I still do get the urge to jump to something else now and then.

    I look forward to reading the rest of your tips in this series.


  16. I think there should be another thing added for ALL webmasters; a grading system. That way there wouldn’t be the
    number of scum-bags out there who think the heck with
    the consumers. If I don’t take their money, somebody else will.

  17. Hey Freda — there is a thing like that — sort of. It is called IMReportCard. Here is my grade:



  18. Howdy Mark, very informative guest post here. I totally agree with Success Factor #1: ALWAYS HAVE THE END IN MIND. Unlike my J.O.B., which is pretty predictable and boring, internet marketing is a totally new frontier for me. In the two years since I started “learning the SEO ropes”, it seems there is still so much to learn and, to be honest, my patience and perseverance is already being tested to it’s limits. But I hang on to that VISION of success I have in my mind that I know I can eventually realize soon. And that alone keeps me going…


  19. Well said, Mark! I, too, was distracted by the shiny objects, but have learned to tone down my enthusiasm and really look at the value of what is being offered.

    It’s also helpful to actually remove some of the sources of those shiny objects, which is why I’ve chosen to follow only a few internet marketers that I trust and can relate to. Besides, a good chunk of them promote the same stuff anyway so unless they add a lot more value to their readers, it’s best to just pass them by and focus on the ones that you feel comfortable with.

  20. Thanks Mark for an insightful post.

    I have been doing exactly what you said, chasing shiny objects for over 12 months, I recently realised I was killing so much time and am now focusing on one online business model.

    You can certainly easily get caught in the big “Guru” marketers traps and get milked!

    I recently got your Niche Adsense Themes (excellent BTW) so you can no doubt guess my niche :-)

  21. Thanks for the great advice, I am reasonably new to IM and have a lot of offers and systems coming through my inbox that are pretty shinny to say the least. Sticking to one thing at a time sounds like a good idea : )

  22. I am very guilty of having bright shiny object syndrome! I used to get so distracted and nothing ever got done. I still get distracted pretty easily, but I’ve learned to focus on the goal and keep moving forward, saving those bright shiny things for later.

  23. Great Post.
    I have gotten my shiny object syndrome under control. It took a lot of self discipline.
    I never thought of going into a business with the end in mind. That is a good point. I have semi done that, but now I have to work on fine tuning my end.
    thanks Mark

  24. For me bright and shiny is like nectar to a bee..it’s an addiction that I fight everytime I open the email!

    Great article with good advice – I’m looking forward to Part 2.

  25. John Ballentine says:

    All –

    I think these rules apply to every business. At my current company, we could stand to implement these first three!

  26. @Rich — I love your idea for the “tarnished list” — I will have to think about that one. For me, one thing that I thought was cool was Filsame’s ButterFly Reports, and that died a slow painful death. There are several like that.

    I am also really glad that you like IBM. I love referring people here because I really believe in what J and S are teaching.

    @Bill — glad you are seeing some success. In my podcast in 3 weeks, I will have Sterling on. You’ll find that he recommends that same focus. Be sure to look for that interview (you’ll love it).

    @Jensen — thanks, man. Working with guys like you is one of the reasons that I keep my day job.

    @Richard Mason — are you sure we are not related? LOL. Thanks for the kind words. I really appreciate readers like you and hope my content is helpful.

    @Karen — my really good friend Lynn Terry always talks about working on projects “from start to profit”. That always helps.

  27. @jamie — really glad to hear you are making progress. One of the great things about Internet Business is that it tends to accumulate. You keep working your plan, and one day you look back and are amazed at all the things you have accomplished. Keep going!

    @Mark S — I totally agree with the idea on only following a few. I do the same. I call that being on an information diet — which is something I stole from J&S of Tim Ferris or somewhere like that.

    @Vince — thanks for your purchase of the themes. I really appreciate your support. People are making a ton of money with AdSense. No reason you should not be one of them.

    @Jeremy — Welcome to Internet Marketing. Glad to have you as part of the community.

  28. @Loretta: We all have that bright-shiny object thing going on. It’s just a matter of control and degree. I know you are making great progress in your business, so you must be doing something right.

    @Dawnaurora: Beginning with then end in mind is a Covey 7 Habits thing. But, Sterling covers that in our interview coming out in a few weeks at MasonWorld.com. Look for that, you will really like the way Sterling talks about it. He gives some great examples too.

    @Steve — thanks for reminding people about part two. Not sure when J&S will release it, but it is coming soon.

    @John — Isn’t is amazing how much the simplest ideas can help almost any business?

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

  29. The hard thing to me is not the shiny objects in terms of other businesses to pursue, but the massive amounts of “latest tools” and strategies that it seems impossible to keep up with. It’s very difficult to figure out what are the important things and what can be put aside.

  30. Hey Mark,

    Some awesome points here. I never started with the end in mind when I went online and it got very messy over the first few years…. Luckily now I have a good direction and a mostly shaped end in mind.

    Also the tip about shiny objects is very very important. Most of us just buy too much stuff when we start and even now I can be wooed away from my direction by a shiny product or a tech item.

  31. Thanks for all your great articles on internet business. It is illuminating.

  32. Thanks for all your helpful articles.

  33. Great article. I am all for going part time first and seeing what happens without too much pressure. It is difficult at first to draw a balance between lifestyle and hard work.

  34. I have started my part time business and i’m really enjoying it. Your advice is commom sense to people until they start their business. Once they start they soon forget and become distracted.

  35. Jay and Sterling you guys have been instrumental in keeping me going when I would have normally quit, Have been an academy member for the past 4 months and really enjoying the content keep up the good work.