Why Most People Fail to Make Money Online (And the ONE Thing You Can Do to Make Sure You Succeed)

Tung's Notes:

Hey guys, let's welcome our new member of the Cloud Living team. Amtej joined the team in December 2016 as Content Marketing Apprentice and he will be helping me produce even more high quality content for you guys. This is the first post from him. Hope you enjoy it and don't forget to say Hi in the comment section 😀

Getting sick and tired of slamming your head against the wall without making a single dollar?

I can relate.

I’ve had my fair share of nights spent looking up at the ceiling, wondering if dropping out of college was a mistake…while tossing and turning…trying to figure out what the hell I was going to do to make a little extra money that month.

Yet I wasn’t the only one.

Every entrepreneur goes through this stage. And that’s because the entrepreneurial journey is a beautiful struggle full of extreme joy and heart breaking failures.

Through my struggle, I’ve learned a thing or two that may help you.

You see, after having made pretty good money online these last few years (and also having failed many times) I’ve discovered the reasons why most people never make any money.

In fact, I’ve discovered that newbie online entrepreneurs OFTEN fail to make money NOT because their ideas suck or the market isn’t receptive – they fail to make money because THEY’RE the problem.

Tough pill to swallow?

I know. It was for me as well.

But if I hadn’t swallowed the pill and opened my eyes to reality – I would have never been able to change my behavior and finally start making money online (so I could live the life I always wanted to live – no more soul crushing 9-5’s YAY).

Now I want to help you do the same.

In this post, I’m going to identify the three common mistakes newbies make (and the ONE thing you can do to increase your odds of succeeding).

If you recognize these common mistakes and delete them from your character – you should be able to make good money within 3 to 6 months.


Mistake 1: Shiny Object Syndrome

Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS) is the act of pursuing one new opportunity after another without ever investing the time needed to actually succeed with one.

It’s the most common problem facing newbie online entrepreneurs.

And it’s very tough to shake.


Shiny objects are blinding. And with how fast the internet works – new opportunities and shiny objects are popping up every single day.

From drop shipping to E-commerce to Amazon Affiliate niche websites to freelancing - it’s easy to pick a business. But it’s hard to stick with it.

And that’s because once you pick a business - you’re bound to come across a friend who is making A LOT MORE MONEY with an entirely different business opportunity.

(Meanwhile you’re itching and clawing every single day without making a single dollar.)

So what do you do?

Your mind starts to question and wonder if you’re in the right business. And soon you realize you must be in the wrong business. You then pack up and set sail for the new, ‘exciting’ business venture.

A few months later, the same thing happens. And you’re off to the next opportunity. This cycle repeats itself. And you keep pursuing one business idea another another without ever investing the time needed to actually succeed with one.

This is shiny object syndrome. And it affects most newbies – it’s not only blindly – but it’s also very costly.

In fact, it’s why most online entrepreneurs WILL NEVER earn a single dime.

(Make sure to read to the end of this article to discover the ONE THING you can do starting tomorrow morning that’ll completely cure your shiny object syndrome).

Mistake 2: Unrealistic Expectations

The second common mistake (I made this mistake one too many times myself) is most newbie entrepreneurs enter a new business venture with unrealistic expectations.

Instead of getting a realistic feel for how much time, effort, and dedication it’s going to take to reach success – they assume it’s going to come quick and easy.

And it’s not entirely their fault for thinking like this.

We’ve become a society that sells quick fixes.

Just look at all the ads you see all over the web – it seems like every ad can teach you how to make $36,403 in one week or lose 30 pounds in five days.

This is BS of course, but it unconsciously conditions us to expect quick results and big money right after we launch our new business venture.

It doesn’t work like this. Obviously.

Instead starting a new business is like going to college (at least in the early days).

People enroll in College not to make money (right away), but to learn the skills needed to eventually make money.

And that’s exactly how we should approach our new business – we need to take on the same expectations and spend time learning and mastering the skills required to succeed…before we can actually make any money.

Yet most of us don’t.

Instead we think it’s going to come quickly and easily. And when the quick results don’t come – we grow angry with frustration and quit.

I’ve seen it happen far too many times. And that’s why most beginners never end up making any money.

It’s a shame.

If you really want to become a successful online entrepreneur, you have to be in it for the long game.

Taking time to develop your skills and knowledge is something you have to do. Or else failure is all but certain.

View it just like College…

In College, before you can get the fancy jobs with the big pay check, you must first learn about the profession and master the skills.

Online business is no different. Whether you’re starting an Amazon affiliate website or an e-commerce store – it doesn’t matter.

Focus on learning, experimenting, and growing – the money will come. Trust the process. And it’ll eventually lead you to the good life.

But keep in mind, the awesome thing about making money online rather than via the typical college route is you won’t have to wait years and years to start making money.

College takes four years. And only then can you start making money.

With your business, you can usually learn the skills and knowledge needed to make good money in just 3 to 6 months. It’s much faster. And a whole lot better in my opinion.

You just have to approach it with the right mindset.

And stick with it.

This brings us to the last deadly mistake…

Mistake 3: No Action

A lack of consistent action is the main reason why people fail to make money online.

It’s easy to think about making money online, but it’s much harder to execute. And when I say execute, I mean really execute.

Thinking about starting a new business…

Reading about starting a new business…

Coming up with logos….

And spending days and hours obsessing over the name of your company…

Isn’t going to get you anything. This isn’t really ‘execution’.

Only REAL execution will make you money.

Yet most wannabe entrepreneurs spend all their time on ‘low value’ activities instead of doing the ‘heavy lifting’.

This is why they fail.

In order to reach true success, you have to develop the right habits and consistently push your business forward. Every single day.


Because consistent action compounds. By taking action every single day, you’ll notice each action compounding on top of the one before. And that’s when you’ll see your efficiency soar and the big money start coming in.

Focus on taking one step.

Action, even small action taken towards a goal will get you to where you desire to go (eventually).

It really is that simple.

And by the way - no amount of reading, podcasts, or YouTube videos will bring you closer to your goals WITHOUT action.

It’s just the cold hard truth.


Now that you’re aware of the most common mistakes – I’m going to reveal the personal system I use to avoid these mistakes (and increase the odds of actually making money online).

If You’re Struggling To Make Money Online – Read This

It took me awhile to start generating money online. And like you, I tried a bunch of things. I was always wandering, from one thing to the next.

It was a struggle.

Then I stopped. And discovered a better way.

Truthfully, I would have never made ANY real money online if I had never discovered this alternate path.

Yep…it really is that important.

What did I discover?

It started with a book I read called, The One Thing.

The premise of the book is pretty straightforward – it asks you to figure out the MOST IMPORTANT action you can do that will make everything else easier or unnecessary.

I took this question and applied it to my new business – I was in the process of creating a new marketing agency at the time.

And to be honest – it wasn’t going too well.

For months I had struggled to make any money with it. I was dabbling with a lack of commitment.

Then I asked myself the question above…

…and I realized the MOST IMPORTANT action I could do to make everything else easier or unnecessary was to focus on sales and lead generation.

This was my ONE THING.

And so I decided to make a mental commitment to it.

For the first four hours of my day…I would only do my ONE THING.

And I was going to stick with it until I made money or died (this instantly destroyed my shiny object syndrome).

Sounds dramatic? It was.

But boy did it work.

I spent four hours each morning doing my one thing - creating ads, pitching clients, and closing deals.

First I sucked. Then I got better. And soon I was growing so much, I couldn’t believe it.

Here’s what happened to my businesses monthly income during this time span (in profits):

August earnings – $874

September earnings – $918

October earnings – $969

November earnings – $1835

December earnings – $6969

January earnings – $12250

As you can see, once I made the mental commitment to stick with my business no matter what, I lost the temptation to switch from one opportunity to the next.

And after I did my one thing EVERY DAY, the results eventually began to compound. And the more I practiced, the better I became. 

Until I had met my income goal in just six short months.

This is the exact same approach I recommend you follow.

1. Commit to making your current business a success
2. Figure out the most important action (aka your ONE THING) you can take
3. Do it every day for at least 4 hours

How do you figure out your ONE THING?

It differs from business to business.

Ultimately you have to figure out the most important action you can take to make your business a success.

Maybe it’s coming up with unique content.

Maybe it’s coming up with new marketing strategies.

Maybe it’s cold calling.

I don’t know. Only you can figure that out.

But once you do – make the mental commitment to do this one action every single day for at least four hours.

And you will win…eventually.


There are A LOT of opportunities available to make money online.

And this will ultimately be the downfall of far too many people.

They’ll end up chasing all the opportunities and never getting anywhere.

You won’t.

Instead you’ll pick ONE and double down on your ONE THING and stick with it until the sky caves and your lungs give out.

If you can make this commitment – you’ll magically double your chances for success INSTANTLY.

And you’ll be one of the few people who ACTUALLY makes money online.

What's the ONE thing that you will do today to accomplish your business goals? I'd love to know in the comment section below. 

Amtej Dosanjh

Amtej Dosanjh is CloudLiving’s Content Marketing Apprentice. He’s been an entrepreneur at heart since the age of five, having started off selling baseball cards and slowly... [Read full bio]
  • Your profit growth from October to January is simply unbelievable. Do you contribute all growth to your dedication or were there some other factors? I really needed to read something motivational today.

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Hey Ales!

      Appreciate the comment.

      Totally agree. I never expected growth to occur this fast (my past businesses have always been slow and steady). But the thing I did differently with this business venture is I discovered early on that my marketing agency would live or die based on my ability to sell.

      Once I realized this, I focused on sales and lead generation exclusively. Literally nothing else mattered but getting clients. And growing the business.

      During the initial few months, I wasn’t really selling my services in the best light. But after having done it day in and day out for 60 days (I primarily used my copywriting skills to get clients) – I soon discovered a new ‘angle’ I could use to position my services (this occurred in late November). And that made a huge difference.

      Another thing that played a large role was after I got results for my initial clients – I used those results as ‘proof’ and went after higher paying clients. This explains the large jump in earnings from October to January.

  • Welcome Amtej to the community. Great post and tips for newbies. l really suffered from the shiny object syndrome for years and l still get 200+ emails a day from Warriors’ forum, Jvzoo, Clickbank and a hundred others from various Gurus. It was only after opening a new email address and focused on only ONE course that results started to show. Thanks for sharing.

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Thanks Amos!

      Definitely agree – having an email account that is swamped with messages from ‘gurus’ is the quickest way to fall victim to shiny object syndrome (I actually did the same as you and opened an entirely new email address – made a HUGE difference).

  • Wooow!!! you hit the nail right on the head. I have been guilty of the shiny object syndrome. I was always persuaded by the stories of the green pastures on the other side without realizing that I needed to consistently and patiently water mine too. I have learnt it and now I embrace the discipline.

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      I’m with you Stephen – I think a lot of us have to go through the ‘shiny object syndrome’ stage, before we can take a step back and realize it’s a strategy rooted for failure.

      Glad to hear you embraced the discipline 🙂

  • Excellent first post, Amtej. I agree 100% that people who get into the online business and any business for that matter start with wrong expectations.

    Myself included.

    It’s only with time and your own experience you start to realize that that stuff takes forever.

    But with focus and continuous effort you’ll get there if you COMMIT. And only if you commit.

    Again, great and insightful post.

    Thank you

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Appreciate the kind words, Max.

      Definitely – I couldn’t agree more.

      “But with focus and continuous effort you’ll get there if you COMMIT. And only if you commit” (I loved that – you summed it up perfectly)

  • HI good reading I did like a lot.

    Thanks in advances , yes these days when you have to many options out there you can easily lose in the crow .

    And Yes I think you should stick with one thing until success , but sometimes you can make some changes for the good.

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      For sure!

      Adapting to the current environment and making changes to ensure you’re heading in the right direction is a must – 100% agree.

  • Bohot vadiya post paaji. Lots of good takeaway messages.

    Thank you

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Ha! Love the punjabi reference.

      Thanks man. Appreciate that 🙂

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Worry not, Kani!

      I used to suffer from all three mistakes myself – it’s only after I recognized these mistakes that I was able to eliminate them.

  • Great post!

    Tung, when will you be updating us on your authority site? It’s been a while.

  • FOCUS is the biggest weapon to achieve anything in life.

    I have almost same story like you. Back in 2015, I wasn’t doing well in my business. So at the end of 2015, I decided to attend Affiliate World Conference in Bangkok.

    Here I learnt two things – automate the business and stick to one thing.

    I came back to India and started hiring more people to build my niche blogs. I was doing the research, allocating them tasks and tracking everything at my end.

    Within 4-5 months, I had tripped my income. From $5,000 a month to $15,000 a month. Things went more crazy when I made $22,000 in a month. I was flying, I was happy. And to be very frank – I became careless, as the blogs were running at automation and money was coming in my account.

    I went so careless that one day that blog got panelized and I was back at zero once again. Not exactly zero, as I was still making $1000-2000 a month, but compare to $22,000, this was nothing.

    Soon I realized that I was not focused once again.

    Now I am back at the stage where I am hitting $3,000-5000 a month and looking forward to reach at $20,000+ level again in 2-3 months.

    Now I am FOCUSED and ready. 🙂

    Thanks for the awesome article.

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:


      Great story, Kulwant.

      Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Thanks for the write up. i totally needed it. I’ve had the same issues with committing to a thing. After reading this i think i know the next step to take.

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Appreciate the kind words 🙂

      I think we all need a little reminder every now and then – glad I could help.

  • Hey Amtej,
    Really excellent article! These are great reminders and something I can relate to. That SOS is a tough one but I find if I remind myself in detail (again!) of the incredible potential of the current opportunity I’m working on, then I can renew my enthusiasm and refocus (most times). It’s definitely a learned skill however. Anyway good luck on your journey and I look forward to your future posts. I’m sending this on to my 15-yr old son who is starting to pursue his own “online riches” dreams. He will be way ahead if he learns these lessons now instead of years from now.


    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      “That SOS is a tough one but I find if I remind myself in detail (again!) of the incredible potential of the current opportunity I’m working on, then I can renew my enthusiasm and refocus” – MAN you dropped a REAL gem with that line. Loved it. So true.

      I agree – it’s definitely a learned skill.

      Enthusiasm is always the highest during the early days – probably why it’s so easy to fall victim to new shiny objects. But like you said – if you can constantly harness that enthusiasm for your current business – you’re golden!

      Thanks for the wise words, Andy!

  • Another fire post on CloudLiving!

    Mistake #3 is very important. A lot of people try to live the 4 hour work week before they’ve even built a profitable business!

    One word I didn’t see in this article, which is also important, is “patience”. Patience + Massive action is a great formula.

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      You hit the nail right on the head with that formula, Doug!

      Definitely something I have to constantly remind myself of.

  • Hi Amtej
    Congrats to join the cloudliving’s team 🙂
    And awesome your first post, Thanks

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Thank you, Efraïm.

      Appreciate your comment – means a lot 🙂

  • Hi Amtej,

    This is totally my problem and i’m in this stage around 6 years(a lot i know). I’m always looking for new opportunities and also when i see a new bussiness i jump to him. Now im trying to stick to one.

    Awesome post, Like it so much! Thanks

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Hey Saul,

      You’re definitely not alone! (I spent A LOT of time in this stage myself).

      I’m happy to hear this post connected with you and you’re going to stick with just one business venture – keep us updated on how it goes! 🙂

  • hey brother,

    thanks for sharing. i was excited earning money online. i bought a site, did a little tweak n did nothing at all. i am stuck, dnt know where.

    with your message, hoping to figure out the “one thing” for me.

    ps. continue sharing, you never know how it will impact others! (me)

    • Amtej Dosanjh says:

      Appreciate the comment, Ian!

      Stick with it 🙂

  • Nice one Amtej Boss. Another big problem for newbies is that ost newbies dont want to learn and at the same time want to make money online with their lame ideas.

  • Thanks a lot Amtej for this wonderful piece. Bookmarked for continuous reading.

  • Hi Amtej,

    I´ve failed in some of muy business, one of them was FBA with Amazon (so far), now I am really interested on creating a niche website. How much time and money do you think a newby could spend before start making some money out of affiliate programs?

    I´m really commited to create and have something by myself rather than living from a 8/5 boring job.

  • Nice read . Lack of passion is the main blunder which prevents from earning money online.

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