The First Key to Online Business Success


As you may have noticed, we’ve started upping our game here at Internet Business Mastery.  We have been producing more and more stuff that we think will create more value for you.

We’re producing more stuff to create more value for you.

This direction fulfills and excites me.

Now, there is a downside to this, and it may not be what you think.

I imagine that many would think the downside to adding more content is time consumption.   Clearly it takes more time to write and produce the blog posts, podcasts, AUDIOblogs, VIDEOblogs, and BOOKchats.

No more ‘4 hour work weeks’…and I’m glad about that.

If you love what you do, why would you limit it, right?

Anthony Robbins says that business success is 80% psychological (Mindset) and 20% skillset (technical business knowledge).  Most people come to internet business thinking the ratios are 99% skillset (things like:  find an audience, put up a blog, create content, social interactions, get paid) AND 1% psychology IF any issues come up.

I empirically disagree with BOTH.

After over 9 years working on my internet businesses, and helping others with theirs, I think the ratio is 90% psychology (mindset) and 10% skillset (technical business knowledge).  Getting over my own psychological issues, even now, is far more of a challenge then which WordPress plugin I should use to gain an SEO advantage or finding other ways to drive traffic to the site.

The FIRST Key to Success

With MY ratio in mind, I know that the first key to internet business success is PURPOSE, or as we call it, the Single Motivating Purpose (SMP).

The downside I spoke about before is that most people think the word purpose is spammy, overdone, useless or on the flip side, religious.  Frauds and scam artists seem to have sucked the life out of the word and that really makes me mad.

I want to take back the word right now.

Purpose means the reason for which something exists.  I see the Single Motivating Purpose as why I exist in regards to serving the world, or as far as Internet Business Mastery is concerned, the SMP is the reason why I exist in regards to serving my chosen audience.

This doesn’t take away from other fulfillment factors like taking care of your family or

making your community a better place or other personal fulfillment and responsibilities that have great importance to you.  The SMP will still be a part of those interactions, cause it’s the main part of you, but I’m talking about it in regards to business.

Ignoring the First Key to Success

I have rarely seen any of our colleagues talk about purpose.  If they do, it’s quick, like they want to get over it as soon as possible.


Purpose is hard and scary for people to think about and talk about.  Internet marketers want to get you to the buy button as soon as possible and purpose gets in the way of that, but here is why ignoring purpose is very detrimental in the long run, for you and your business.

  1. If you don’t consider your SMP now, the chances that you will choose a business that will fulfill you in the long-term are slim.This means you may have to start new businesses over again and again, hoping that one might just fulfill you.  It may take a bit more time now, but finding your SMP first will give you far more of a chance to find fulfillment in business then just randomly starting business based on the whim of what sounds good that moment.
  2. You’ll grow to hate your business, but be stuck doing it because of the income it provides. Kinda like the job you have now.
  3. You will have very little fulfillment, because you don’t have a deep connection with your audience.  I think it’s easy to start resenting an audience and sabotaging your business because of it.  I’ve seen it many times, including a couple businesses I’ve had in the past…

You may be able to last for a long time chasing money and/or business and marketing skill, but without the deep connection to the subject and the audience your lack of connection is a ticking time bomb.

We are dedicated to assisting you in building a business that will not only help you take control of your time, location, and financial freedom, but we want you to actually LOVE and be fulfilled by what you do.

Is that too much to ask for? NO.

Look, if we are going to take all the time and effort to make an internet business, why would we waste time not being happy with it as it succeeds?

Skip the mistake so many others make!

It’s so much easier to just start by finding a random niche and getting your blog started, but don’t fall into that trap.  Take the time you need to find your SMP, don’t rush it.

One of the things I see people do is grab an SMP is off the top of their head, like;

“I love nature”

“I like to help people”

“I teach people how to do x”

The process is much deeper than that.  I wholeheartedly recommend that you take the time to find the true purpose that will direct the REST OF YOUR LIFE!

We have a free episode to get your started.  It’s called, Single Motivating Purpose – The missing ingredient.  After you listen, if you’d like to go deeper, you can sign up for our Academy and go through the Freedom Business Blueprint course, it has an entire section dedicate to the step by step achievement of finding your SMP.

Purpose Equals Fulfillment

I’ve talked about my SMP being that I inspire purpose-driven action that leads to freedom, fulfillment, and happiness.  You can have a business that brings you freedom without an SMP, many do.  But, if you want fulfillment and long term happiness, that comes by getting over the cynical mental training that makes you skeptical about purpose.

I’m taking the word back.  Your Single Motivating Purpose is the reason you exist in regards to your audience and how you serve them.  Purpose is now ours again and I hope you embrace into your business and the development of your long term fulfillment.

Whatcha think?

Have you found your SMP and would you mind sharing it?

Listen Now!

Download the MP3 Here


  1. Great post Jeremy. Having a SMP is vital to success and happiness. Several years ago, I went through an online program designed to help you start a business. One part was to get different stories and themes throughout your life and combine them into a mosaic. That mosaic gives you direction and a glimpse of what is really important to you.

    The result was 3 terms (much like Strength Finders) that described your life and purpose. When you combine those into a goal, you come out with a pretty good SMP. My 3 terms are:

    Creator – I create objects and solutions with my hands and digitally using my knowledge, skill, and eye for detail that provides beauty and utility to the world

    Problem Solver – I solve problems that others have difficulty with, generating novel and efficient solutions by utilizing my knowledge, skill in research, and persistence.

    Curious Improver – I am a continuous learner, using my nearly limitless curiosity to see out knowledge and information in a wide variety of subjects and applying that knowledge and information toward making the world a better place.

    Combining those 3 into my SMB: I create solutions to challenging problems using creativity and technology

    • That is a cool process and I really appreciate your sharing your SMP. That SMP really resonates with me! How have you taking that SMP out in the world? (Do you have a business that is helping you fulfill that SMP?)

      • My business, Book Worm Laser & Design (, does that. It allows me to use digital design tools (technology and creativity) and a laser engraver to create products and solutions for customers. I also have 30+ videos showing some of the interesting stuff I have laser engraved.

        Some of the unique products include Scrabble tiles (for an art project), toothpicks for what I assume was a wedding, luggage tags, cutting boards, and a key chain.

        Running a small business really helps cement the concepts I learn about on IBM and learn new skills. One of the best decisions I have ever made

  2. Hi Jeremy,

    I love this idea of taking back the word “purpose”! This is an area I’ve struggled with for a long time now, and I find myself returning to the idea of “sharing my passion for creative ideas and potential.” That still seems a bit vague, so I’m going to keep working on it. : )

    You made some great points too about the importance of not ignoring your purpose. Number three, especially, resonates with me as I’ve had that “resentful” feeling in the past. It always made me feel guilty, like I SHOULD be happy just to help someone in need of my services. However, because I was doing it for reasons that were more extrinsically motivated (like approval or $$$), I was never satisfied.

    Great stuff! Definitely keep these posts coming!

    • I hear you! I’ve felt all of them and #3 occurs for me too. Now that I’ve found and aligned with my SMP and put my total time and effort in to Internet Business Mastery, I don’t feel that resentment at all. I just feel an constant excitement for finding better ways to serve the audience. That is a nice replacement feeling!

  3. I have learned that if I am not creating something new that I get bored and unmotivated.

    • That happens to me too. Though, sometimes I have to realize that some things that SEEM like not creating actually are. For instance, we are working on upgrading our optin list and moving it so we can track things better. This seems tedious to me, until I realized that we are creating a better way to serve our audience and that fulfills my SMP. I try to remember that anytime we talk about the “tedious” parts of the process!

    • And there, Rebecca, is one of the most important aspects of the SMP — it has to create. Specifically it has to create value.

  4. Jeremy,

    This post was right on time for me. I’m in the academy now I’ll admit I was in a hurry to jump right in and start doing all the technical pieces, but I totally can see why you guys have the SMP at the beginning b/c its just that important. I’m sitting here typing in a cafe on my lunch break and this just really resonated with me, after a frustrating day at the office. I think the frustration is a good place to start because it forces something within you to actively work towards getting to your reason for being, your purpose. I feel like you guys have done something awesome building on Napoleon Hill’s concept, giving a timeless principle a relevant twist. The Single Motivating Purpose reminds me that its important to find your “single” focus and go from there. That can be tricky for creative types, but it definitely helps.

    • I’m so glad this was some Just In Time learning for you! You’ll have to let me know what you come up with for you SMP!

    • We’ve had brief moments where we wonder if we are making a poor business decision by putting the SMP right up front in the Academy. It’s not the easiest step for people to start with.

      But in the end we believe it’s just too critical to the process and we can’t shortchange that.

      I hear you on the “single” part seeming difficult or limiting. One of the most important realizations that I had is that the SMP should encompass the theme that pulls together all the different creative pursuits you have.

      It doesn’t mean you have one single business that is right for you. It doesn’t exclude all the wonderful things you like to learn or do. It is the drive, the core of all those things. Thanks for sharing your insight.

  5. Your business and underlying motivation must be in sync, otherwise you’re just replacing one unfulfilling job with another.

    It’s interesting that after all these years since season 1 of the IBM podcast I still find time to listen to your shows or read your blog posts. I believe this is because you (and Jay) connect with your audience at a ‘friendship’ level rather than a business level.

    You make internet business real for others by establishing a deeper, genuine connection with your audience. A connection that only comes from doing something that you love. It resonates with people.

    It’s the most important thing I’ve learnt from you and Jay.

    • I totally agree about business and motivation being in sync. I did it without and had a completely unfulfilled job!

      It really helps that we love what we do! Thanks for letting me know your thoughts about us!

    • Frankie,

      Thanks for that feedback. It means a lot to hear those things from our listeners.

      We wouldn’t be able to have a friendship-like connection on our show if we didn’t choose a target audience and mission that were driven by our intrinsic motivators in life.

  6. Great post, Jeremy. This SMP is actually something very close to my heart and I publicly share it on my LinkedIn profile (

    It’s to help people find their voice, and share that voice.

    This isn’t about singing. It’s about communication. It’s about using your voice – that is, the power of how you express yourself – to get across your ideas, to say what you want to say – what you need to say – in the most effective, persuasive, individual, emotional and transparent way. I’ve helped hundreds of authors hone their message and strengthen their voice, and in this process, over the course of more than a decade, I’ve launched over 75 books onto national bestseller lists. No one else has had my track record in creating bestselling authors. And I’m sure this is because I was able to identify my SMP at an early age and dedicate my life to fulfilling it.

    Thanks for highlighting this Jeremy, I always look forward to reading your content.

    Michael R. Drew

    • Impressive results from identifying your SMP. One of my goals is to help my kids discover their own SMP and give them the tools to go after it.Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • I’ve always felt as though my purpose was to help others with their purpose in life. I’ve never been a dreamer but I love to see others fulfill their dreams with my help :)

      • That sounds very familiar to mine! It’s fantastic to wake up everyday with the opportunity to help and actually make a living doing it!

    • Wow that is an awesome SMP and fulfillment of that SMP, thanks so much for sharing!

  7. I love this post, because it shows the complexity of finding THE ONE motivation purpose for your life.
    My SMP is pretty similar to yours. I’ve gone through a lot of thinking and pain before starting my online business. My job made me physically sick, so I’m really glad that you guys kicked my in the ass and finally made me confident, that I can do it!

    Since I’ve started I have one success after another and it’s absolutely great to be in online business.

    I can’t thank you enough and I’m really looking forward to the interview with Jeremy :-)

    • Wow physically sick! I had great back pain with mine, which was due to stress and hating it as well. I now sit in the exact same chair as my last job with NO back pain, imagine that!

  8. Thank you for calling B.S. on the misuse of the word “purpose.” It really has gotten a bad reputation, which is sad. I love listening to your podcast. I always learn so much and leave feeling refreshed and excited to implement the things I’ve learned. Thanks!

  9. Ah, Jeremy, you are speaking my language. But I’ve often thought about pursuing my life purpose without connecting it directly to the work or business that I do. I so appreciate you connecting the two! Cheers!

    • Steve,

      It’s funny (or sad really) that society really doesn’t train us to connect the two, as if work can’t be fulfilling or purpose-driven. I guess that goes back to some old misconception about work ethic that it has to be hard to have value. Glad you find that connection enlightening.

  10. Jeremy and Jason, you guys really know how to tap into what we “hopeful” Internet business owners are experiencing in our own quests. By revealing what you have gone through and have ended up succeeding in what you really want to do, it makes us truly believe we can do the same. You live what you preach as you obviously empathize with us! Thanks again for all you do and, Jeremy, you are doing a great job with your copywriting. Your philosophical discussions are spot on! Jason, I love how you explain the technical aspects of things. Your teaching style is great. It makes the Micro Site Niche course very user-friendly.

    Now, I JUST have to get over my own fear of starting a podcast and/or video series ;) Thanks guys…now on to discover my SMP!

  11. This is why companies and organizations have a Mission Statement describing the aim of the organization and why it exists. Those that veer from this will decline and even fail.

  12. Jeremy and Jason,

    I really enjoyed this post and the audio is super cool. I can hear your passion. By the way, you guys were the first podcast I heard about making money online. I appreciate the introduction and I am finally taking action to see that it happens.

    Purpose is intrinsically spiritual. I agree with you about the high-jacked religious overtones that manipulate people into doing all kinds of detrimental things. However, we are spiritual beings and we should embrace that understanding because we cannot have real fulfillment without it. Purpose is not what we do – it is the essence of who we are. That God shaped hole that only He can fill up.

    I am not on this planet to build niche websites or make money. Your purpose is to discover what path that leads you. Luckily it is different for everyone. Anyway, I hope that doesn’t come across too new age sounding.

    Keep up the good work – I get the sense that you are re-aligning yourself with your purpose and that is so fun to watch. Thanks for being willing to put yourself out there. It is not easy, but so worth it.

    God Bless,

    Matt Sullivan

    • Not to “new age” sounding at all. I’m not here to make niche sites per say, we have taught how to do that so that it can help people see how easy and how not scary it is to make a website. We then teach that the way to financial freedom and fulfillment is creating a purpose-based business. Money is simply a tool, I don’t do business to make money, I trade value in a purpose based way. I highly advise internet business people to do the same!

  13. Jeremy, you sir, are the man that i would have come give a speech to my co-workers and myself. I don’t love my job but i am very focussed and determined to better myself in the field i have chosen. I am lucky to have a drive and ambition to want to be the best and i will train myself to get to that level. Thats my SMP.

  14. Hey guys, love your podcast. I think my SMP is to create digital assets that earn income for my family. I have such passion for this business and it drives me to take DAILY action.

  15. You guys have helped me out a lot, and you have given me the inspiration to find my SMP, and I have found it, and I am so happy. Because you guys have helped me reach there.
    I will update you guys in a couple months to let you know how well I am doing, thanks a million guys! :D

  16. Great post guys.

    My SMP is that I never want to be tied down, I want to be free to travel and work from wherever I am.

    I’m beginning to have doubts about my ability to produce niche sites on a technical basis – i.e. there is a gap and I’m filling it. Considering putting all my energy into something more fulfilling and enjoyable. The fact that that isn’t necessarily as profitable is sorta weighed down by the fact I’d put a lot more into it to make it profitable.

    Not sure if I’m right on that – just a thought on purpose :).

  17. Thanks for the video, I definitely feel that mastery is a huge motivator – becoming an expert in something that will benefit my life and writing about it / providing expertise would be awesome. Just a shame that most of em are really saturated.

    As for money as a motivator, I’d like a lot of money in the future but only really in order to fund a lifestyle of travel and experiences. I guess you need to start out with a balance between putting everything into your passion and putting work into something more solid that can provide income.

  18. So true! I realized just how important purpose is for success first hand when someone gave some great insight and told me why I was screwing up for a while.

    What happened was that I was trying something out that I was highly passionate about, and then it didn’t really work out. It was, plainly said, my dream. And losing that dream, was causing me so many problems that I didn’t even realize it until someone told me.

    Truly accurate article. Awesome!