What Kind of People Start Online Businesses?

A figure made of Amazon boxes stands on a night time street. He represents what kind of people start online businesses

So what kind of people start online businesses these days? It used to be that if you announced you were about to start an online business your friends and family would think you’d gone mad. There might still be a little of that attitude around but with so many people now doing it the question is usually more HOW? than WHY? these days. As part of an online business community myself I wanted to look at what kind of people start online businesses in 2019.

The short answer to “what kind of people start online businesses” is all kinds. I personally know two helicopter pilots, an airline pilot, 5 property developers, numerous successful corporate executives, lawyers, doctors and traditional business owners who are currently transitioning to the digital world.

Not you might think, the typical laptop lifestyle dreamers who used to be associated with what used to be called the make money online brigade.  The people your friends and family didn’t want you to become.

Forget What You Think You Know

These are successful, driven people who have invested tens of thousands in training, mentorship and digital systems in order to radically change their lives.

Of course there will always be the dreamers searching endlessly for the perfect get rich quick scheme. There will always be people willing and able to take advantage of them (although its getting harder for then to do so as the Internet has seriously cleaned up in its game in the last 10 years)

What we’re talking about here are realistic, forward thinking people who see where the world is going and want a piece of it.

But what do they and others from more mundane walks of life who are on this journey have in common?

In my experience what they (we) are all looking for is more freedom in general. Specifically they want more time and location freedom.  It’s not always as you may assume about the money. The Internet genuinely does offer all of those things in spades.

The Common Threads

Close up of a needle with a number of grey threads which turn multicoloured as they pass through its eye. This represents the different types who people who are starting online businesses

If you look at all of the professions I mentioned above you’ll notice that all of them take decades of hard work and sacrifice.  That points to a certain kind of mindset and work ethic. To be successful – to rise to the top – you need to understand the idea of goals and investment.

Very often by the time goals have been reached and investments have paid off, driven people are still not satisfied. The financial rewards may have been great but the sacrifices have been greater. Relationships, passions and dreams have been sidelined. They are really not living their ideal lives. The decades of hard work and commitment have left them cash rich but time poor. 

Then along comes the internet. The type of people I’ve been talking about are my own generation – the baby boomers. We’ve watched the Internet and all things digital change the world in front of our eyes. Younger people take it for granted but we built our lives before it existed.

It’s not surprising then that people from business and entrepreneurial backgrounds see the potential of doing business online. It’s easier and much cheaper to start an online business than a traditional one. The Internet offers a gargantuan market place, which ignores geographical and time barriers. Its global and its open 24/7/365.

So Much For So many

The Internet offers so much to so many.  A lot of Internet business is automated and is running irrespective of whether you are actually working on it or not. It can be scaled very easily. In the old world we exchanged time for money. In that system we can’t duplicate ourselves to earn double. We generally need to travel to and from fixed places of business or work. It’s a hugely inefficient system and it takes up a huge amount of our time.  As the internet has none of those restrictions its not difficult to see why its so attractive to so many different types of people.

Most Pilots like flying and make a career out of it so they can spend more time flying.  Musicians like making music and usually have to take on day jobs to keep a roof over their heads. Mothers like spending time with their children and have to sacrifice careers to do so.  Corporate execs get made redundant; retirees want to stay active after long careers come to an end. Business people find themselves chained to the business….the list goes on

So we can see why a business that can be built around life rather than the other way around is very attractive to all sorts of people.  The Internet offers that in a way that nothing else can.


If there is a single trait that we share it’s having a big enough WHY.

If that’s you then you are the kind of person who starts an online business. Like I said at the top what you need is not the WHY but the HOW and I can offer you the same answer that I found. I’m not a helicopter pilot but I was made redundant from a successful corporate career 7 years ago. 

I realised that I could possibly find a similar career though at 47 and in a recession it would be tricky. I also realised that I’d been sidelining my real passions – making music, photography and travel for many years. Maybe now the Internet could offer a better alternative. But what kind of people start online businesses? I asked myself. Dreamers? Idiots?

After a lot of searching and a few false starts I happened upon the community based training platform that I mentioned earlier. It also offered a high profit partnership opportunity so ticked all my boxes. That’s where I met all those people I’ve been talking about . It’s also how I was able to move from the city to the seaside, work less but earn more than I ever did as a business development executive.

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