With the rise of digital nomadic lifestyles and working remotely, more people are looking for ways to work from anywhere, join the flexible lifestyle workforce and build profitable online business. However, a day job is still a 9 to 5 online or off. It doesn’t offer the same flexibility to travel, spend time with your kids, and focus on work you actually enjoy. On the contrary, a location-independent business empowers you to create a lifestyle you love. Still, it comes with its own set of challenges before you can get started.
Researching the most profitable online businesses and experiencing analysis paralysis may stop you before you ever get started. It’s normal to feel like you should instantly know if the business idea is the right one or to feel unsure if you’ll be able to make money while following your passions. Another big obstacle is imposter syndrome and believing you don’t have what it takes to succeed. Maybe you’ve been down this business-building road before only to find yourself at a dead end with your confidence stalled.
Some women also fear that they’ll end up picking a location-independent business idea they loathe and feel stuck in it, much like the day job they were trying to escape. Sometimes the issue points back to a lack of market research, or lack of self-awareness. When you pick a niche based on other people’s lifestyle preferences and skills, you usually can’t replicate their success and perpetuate the feeling you’ve failed.
Success and viability are essential to running a profitable and rewarding online business, but your idea should also align with your existing talents, skills, and what you want to accomplish in life. Reinventing the wheel from scratch is difficult and frustrating while working with what you already have and building upon it is a more satisfying and efficient way to work.
So the big question remains: How do you find the intersection between these areas and build an online business you love running?
How to Launch a Profitable Online Business to Work From Anywhere
Instead of guessing what profitable online business to launch, you can follow a proven process that gets results. When you identify your abilities, passions, and calling, it leads to finding fulfilling, flexible, and profitable work you enjoy doing.
What do I do best? Whether you’re in your zone of genius while organizing, copywriting, or creating marketing decks, we all do something well. You can also be great at several things and leverage their strength at the same time. To find your unique abilities, list everything you come up with, so you have a better sense of what you have to work with.
What did I excel at in school? Sometimes we forget what we excelled at during our school years. You can reach back to high school for this answer or count up all your accolades from your university years. Remember to include after-school activities, too. If you were a natural at coaching others at your after-school track club, this counts as an ability you excelled at.
What has always come naturally to me? Fortunately, we already have whispers of insights into our skills from the time we’re young. Your natural abilities are anything that you can do well without thinking much. Whether it’s designing inspiring rooms or taking compelling photos, we already have the natural inclination to do things well without much direction or input.
What type of work makes me feel rewarded? Now is the time to get honest with yourself. It’s normal to stall on this question, especially if you’re facing burnout and are tired of anything related to work. Think through past jobs, tasks that feel effortless, or times that you felt the most energized in your career. Drawing inspiration from volunteer efforts also yields clues to what type of work makes you feel the most rewarded.
What do others ask me to help them with? Your friends and colleagues probably tell you exactly what you’re great at without you even realizing it. Do they come to you for advice on how to hack their time management problems? Or maybe they’re always asking for help with big-picture financials? Make a list and if you’re stuck, ask your inner circle directly what they think you do well. They’ll likely offer feedback you never considered before.
What am I better at? This is the opportunity to refine your answers and figure out what you do better than others. Could it be relating to people? Working with your hands? Working with data/information? Getting complex projects done? Narrowing down your preferences and which area you serve the best offers more insight and inspiration for which profitable online businesses to choose.
What’s a result or project I’ve produced that I’m really proud of? Taking pride in your work isn’t just an incredible feeling. It’s also a confidence builder that keeps you motivated. To identify this, think back on a project or two that yielded impressive results. And remember, it doesn’t have to be a work-related project. If you’ve successfully managed a home renovation project or an interstate move, then those project management skills will absolutely translate to online work.
Your day job has probably clued you in to what you don’t like doing, even if you’re good at it. After all, being good at something doesn’t mean that you’re passionate about it. Your abilities and passions won’t always align, and that’s an important consideration when brainstorming unique online business ideas. You shouldn’t dive head-first into a business just because you know you’ll be good at it. You deserve to enjoy it, too.
Despite the idea that passion means you’re in love with an activity or subject, not everyone knows what they’re really passionate about, especially when it comes to choosing a profitable online business. But not knowing how to answer this question doesn’t mean you don’t have passions. It just means you need to reframe how you approach tasks, interests, and hobbies. Here’s an easy process to narrow it down:
1) When you’re engaged in this activity, time just flies by, and you’ve entered a deep creative flow. You’re in the moment and buried in the task without needing to think much about it.
2) You look forward to engaging in this activity, and you enjoy it while you’re doing it. It’s only natural that afterward, you feel proud of what you’ve accomplished and look forward to doing it all again.
3) You don’t mind putting in a bit of sweat equity if it means making progress. You’ll put in the work and do whatever it takes to accomplish the job, and you’ll stick with it for the long term.
Once you’ve jotted down a few ideas about what your passions are, you can ask yourself a few questions to refine the process further.
Think about your current corporate gig side hustle. What are the things you look forward to doing the most?
Is there a particular subject matter that you find yourself gravitating towards on nights and weekends? For example, this subject is probably something you would be interested in even if it weren’t earning you money.
What are you always reading about or learning about? Take a look at your e-reader or Audible collection to find insights about what you’ve been consuming the last few years. If you don’t gravitate towards books, think about your favorite blogs or websites by checking your search history.
Whom do you follow on social media? Influencers are called influencers for a reason. Whether they have a large crowd or a small following, we look to them for influence and inspiration. Which ones are your favorite? Beyond influencers, you can also think about groups, organizations, and thought leaders you enjoy following along with on social media.
What tasks do you feel the most inspired by and leave you feeling rejuvenated? Unlike work that we don’t enjoy doing, our passions give us energy and keep us feeling energized and motivated to do more.
The next step for coming up with unique online business ideas is thinking about your calling. Think about the impact and results that matter to you the most or your mission behind creating a location-independent business. You should envision how you want to show up in the world and serve others to the best of your abilities while honoring your passions.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What drives you? If you’re feeling drained from work, you already know that money alone doesn’t motivate you. Whether it’s spending more time with your family, traveling, creating brilliant designs, or all of the above, determine what drives you to keep going.
Who do you want to help? Showing up for a job is different than knowing you want to serve in your business. Still, zero in on commonalities to see if there is any crossover. You may want to help female entrepreneurs, small business owners, or nonprofits that support causes you care about.
What problems do they have? The most profitable online businesses solve problems for the people they serve. Think about who you want to help, then consider what problems they have from marketing to administration to fundraising.
What solution would they be willing and able to pay for to solve this problem? In order for someone to pay for a service, it needs to offer quality and value. You’ll have a hard time finding someone to pay much for generic business advice, but many would be eager to pay for help designing a fundraising campaign that gets results.
What is the cost for them not to pursue your help/the solution? Many budding online business owners skip over this question, but it’s an important one. It’s not just what someone else is willing to pay you for a solution; it’s about what they lose if they don’t get your help. That answer could range from money to time to the ability to scale their business. Opportunity costs are often huge.
Here are a few examples to help you brainstorm this process to narrow down your calling:
“I enjoy helping women (people group) get unstuck (problem) so they can launch and grow their online business (goal), by teaching them how to manage their mindset, as well as teaching them practical skills they’ll need to thrive (solution).”
“I enjoy helping women (people group) ditch the 9-to-5 grind (problem) by building online businesses that light them up (goal) by teaching them how to manage their minds and take massive action.”
Find the Intersection
Now that you’re equipped with understanding your abilities, passions, and calling, it’s time to find the intersection between all three. When you can see how they all come together, you have a clear idea about which unique online business ideas to choose from. Here are a few examples of how to find the intersection for yourself.
“I want to use my abilities as a marketer and my passion for mindset work and community-building to create a community of like-minded women who want to work remotely, the work I love to do.”
“I want to use my abilities as a graphic designer and my passion for global charities and entrepreneurship to create marketing materials that empower females to start their own small businesses in developing economies, the work I love to do.”
“I want to use my abilities managing teams and my passion for businesses that develop therapeutic toys and gadgets to offer Online Business Management services to like-minded companies, the work I love to do.”
Finding that profitable business idea that inspires you and makes you feel motivated to keep going in the long run doesn’t have to feel overwhelming. When you launch a profitable online business that supports your lifestyle and leaves you feeling fulfilled and engaged, you can create the life you want without feeling drained by a 9 to 5 job. The goal is to feel empowered by your business while earning a profit, not stuck in an inflexible lifestyle you feel like you stumbled into.