Who Do You Lean On When Nothing Is Working?

I’m at a party.

The pretext is simple, people drinking and chatting, attempting to form meaningful connections, to bond over shared interests.

As expected, everyone asks what I do. When I answer that I “work online” the response is an expression like I just said something in another language.

I attempt to explain how I spend my time turning a computer with an internet connection into an income stream. I can tell the distance between their comprehension and the reality of what I do is too big a chasm to jump.

The conversation moves on. It doesn’t take long to ascertain that I have absolutely nothing in common with this person.

I sigh and tell myself that’s fine, there are many more people to meet and I can’t expect to get along with everyone.

Unfortunately, as the night progresses, this pattern of conversation repeats.

Over and over again, party after party, I come to the same conclusion. The point of disconnect is me. I’m the square peg trying to fit into a round hole that everyone else seems so comfortable in.

It’s apparent that the language I speak and the subjects that I love are not commonly shared amongst the general population.

I’m the weird one.

What’s Wrong With Me?

I grew into an adult just as the internet became pervasive in our lives.

I lived and breathed the online world. I read books about the big companies at the time – Altavista, Napster, Yahoo!, Ebay and later Google, Amazon, and Facebook.

I spent hours on newsgroups and browsing from website to website, looking for explanations of how people were turning this new digital platform into income streams.

I dreamed of making not just a living from the internet but even more. I wanted true freedom and not just financial freedom – I wanted lifestyle freedom, to be the master of my destiny.

Unfortunately, the reality at the time was far from this ideal. I wasn’t making much online, I still lived with my parents and I still worked a part-time job.

This made things even more uncomfortable when I met people.

It’s hard to feel confident explaining how you make a living online when you actually don’t. It’s nice to say you are an “internet entrepreneur” but deep down you feel like a fraud.

The end result of all of this was an intense feeling of loneliness:

  • I felt alone because no one else was like me.
  • I felt alone because people didn’t understand what I was doing.
  • I felt alone because I wasn’t succeeding at my unconventional career choice.

Finding A Friend

One day a friend from my university told me that she had a friend who was sort of dating this guy who had an internet business. She suggested I should meet him.

His name was Will and he had recently moved back to Australia from Japan to start his own internet marketing consultancy.

Like with my business, it was early days for Will’s company too. He had no employees and worked from a home office trying to convince people to hire him to drive traffic to their businesses using online marketing.

We met one day for coffee. After a thoroughly enjoyable two hour long conversation it was clear that I had found someone who had the same interests as me.

We read the same books and websites, we had similar ambitions and when we talked about the technology we instantly understood each other.

It was a breath of fresh air in my life. I had found someone who spoke my language.

Walking The Path Alone

Besides the odd encounter with someone like Will, for the first five years of my online career, a period with only marginal financial success, I worked alone.

It was a hard time in my life. I was depressed and lonely. This impacted the growth of my business. I made many poor choices and wasted a lot of time because I had no role models and no peer group to support me.

Although today people look at someone like myself as being lucky for having jumped on board the internet bandwagon early, enjoying the rise of a new medium for business, there were many downsides.

Today there are so many resources to support you. There are courses and coaches, networking events and conferences, communication tools like Skype, Zoom and webinars, and countless Bloggers, Podcasts and YouTubers who are doing similar things as you.

You might take this for granted today — you probably feel overwhelmed by it — but for me, I had the opposite problem. I had no support at all.

Today the internet is one giant support group (assuming you ignore the trolls!).

Having peers to work with and motivate you is a HUGE part of growing a business. Having leaders to follow and emulate is also an incredible advantage.

Who Is Your Support Group?

The loneliest parts of my life during this early period were those moments when I felt my business was going nowhere.

I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I didn’t have any previous successes to rely on to give me confidence, or any income streams that could support me if my current project was not working.

I had to make my online business work and there was no one who could help me.

That’s scary, especially when you wake up in the morning and your website traffic is not growing, no sales are coming through, and you just received a refund request for the one sale you made last week.

This is when you need your community, your friends, and your mentors. This is when you need people you can go to who understand your situation, who have been there and know how to climb out of the dark holes you fall into.

Mentors can guide you, turning your attention away from the emotional train wreck you have become, and setting you back on to a practical and rational path of action towards a result.

It’s important to surround yourself with other people who are like you today. They are walking the same path as you right now, facing your conditions, dealing with the internet environment as it is presently.

This is your mastermind group, your community, your online family.

Don’t Go It Alone

There is no reason for you to go through what I went through.

It took me a full seven years to reach a point where I made $100,000 a year online. That’s incredibly slow. Who has time to do that in this day and age?!

Today you can pick a path from a range of online business models that are well established, study courses to learn how to execute an idea, interact with a community of people like you to keep you motivated, and speed up your results through coaching.

There’s no reason for you to feel isolated. There are so many events you can attend, conferences you can go to, online webinars and videos to watch.

Best of all, today people like you and me are no longer the weird ones. There’s an army of online entrepreneurs and leveraging technology in our lives is normal.

The parties I go to now are full of people building startups, or people who manage social media, or program software or record podcasts, or countless other online activities. These are all creative people who use the internet to share their creations.

Today the world is full of people like me – and you – so there is no reason for you to go it alone.

Your Invite To Join My Community

I’ll end this article with an invitation for you to join my community, the Laptop Lifestyle Academy.

The Laptop Lifestyle AcademyIf you’re a blogger or podcaster or video marketer who is building a business to make money by teaching others online using your own digital information (ebooks, courses, membership sites, email newsletters, articles, videos, audio, etc), then my community is the right choice.

The Laptop Lifestyle Academy consists of myself, my team and people working on their own Laptop Lifestyle business in all kinds of different niches.

We interact on a daily basis inside the community, solving problems, sharing experiences and working on accountability tasks.

I act as the lead mentor, so this is a coaching problem. I make myself available to personally support you, provided you are willing to communicate in a community environment so everyone can benefit.

I also encourage members to interact and support each other as you are all going through the same early startup stage together.

The Laptop Lifestyle Academy is an active participation program. You can ask questions, interact with other members and work at your own pace through the various short courses and guides I have created for you.

On top of the community membership and personal coaching from me, I also release special resources that only Laptop Lifestyle Academy Members receive. This includes prerelease interviews, launch swipe files, videos, and training resources.

You also receive invitations to all the live private webinars I conduct as part of my coaching programs and courses.

I can tell you from my experience, your results will come a lot quicker, and you will reach your goals, with the help of a coach and other people to support you.

There’s no reason for you to go it alone today.

Yaro Starak
Not Alone

About Yaro

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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  • Great stuff Yaro. I felt like I was reading my own story all throughout this. Coming from online poker it was intensely isolating and absolutely nobody understood it in the mid 00’s. I still get the are you an alien blank stares very frequently but it is becoming a little bit more understood. Moving overseas to an internet entrepreneur hotbed like Chiang Mai in Thailand also helped me finally “fit in” a little bit more. Thanks for this.

    • Hi Nathan – I’m hearing a lot about Chiang Mai lately, seems like a hotbed for internet marketers lately. Are you living there permanently?


      • Hey Yaro,

        I lived there for close to two years until just recently. I met dozens of people who come from the IM space, travel bloggers and my industry as well. Very low cost of living, great weather and like minded people. I highly recommend the place and will be back soon for sure.

        • Andy Iskandar

          Wow, I’m from Singapore and I’ve never heard of Chiang Mai being a hotbed of online entrepreneurs… interesting. Sounds like I should get out more…

    • I have also started my own online business but is was stuck and lost it because of some personal issues in my life. But now i recovered myself and started it again. This time no one can stop me from doing what i love to do.

  • Jason


    I find it hard to connect with people who can’t realise that there is a way to earn an income without bondage to a job. The whole concept of earned income only bugs me beyond belief. I connected with a Danish guy who gets me. We read the same stuff and understand that it’s okay to find a different way. We had a conversation the other day and both agreed on a path I should take with a project. It was like talking about where to turn on the light switch – natural.

    Sorry, I must say you’ve ruined my day with that dredded ?! punctuation in your post. I just don’t get it. If a question can’t express it then a sentence can. That’s where I come from. Anyway, thanks for the info you put out.


    • Haha, sorry I ruined your day with my combined question/exclamation mark. You can probably blame that one on my teenage years watching Japanese animation, where the characters often react with an over the top combined surprised/question look. I was about to add another question mark as well, good thing I held back!(?!?!).

      I know what you mean about the job concept being difficult to grasp. Although I can see how for some personality types, perhaps a majority of people, it suits them well. Thankfully there are other entrepreneurs on this planet and an internet to help us find each other.


  • Jason

    Sorry Yaro, just on the Ejinsider, is this open only to bloggers who currently blog or for people who will blog, or are in the process of setting up a blog?

    • All the above Jason. At the moment the members are more towards the just building up their profile stage, with a handful still needing to create their first online presence, and a couple who already have money making blogs.

      My strengths are blogging, email marketing and selling digital products through those two channels. If you want to do something similar, then EJ Insider is for you.

      • Jason

        No worries Yaro. I love the Japanese anime, novels are good too.

        Thanks for the feedback. I guess, mentally, I have always struggled with the concept of e-mail marketing. It sure is powerful, though, as it seems for people who use it. Blogging I like as a reader, but not sure if I want to do that as the main part of a business. I do see it as a neccessity though. Selling products is what I naturally feel comfortable with. I need to give it some thought, but your offer seems good and could be beneficial. I’m at the stage of not being establihed but knowing where I want to go with a few strategies and tactics to be worked out.

        Thanks again.

  • Tracy

    Hi Yaro, this definitely is a problem when talking to people out in the real world. I’ve spoken to people about my ideas in the past and get the old “oh, that’s nice” but it’s clear they think you are nuts.

    Jason, I’m one of the people recently signed in to the insider community and also am only in the very beginning stages. I’ve had a couple blogs in past years that were pretty much only personal interest stuff that were sidetracked and not returned to.

    I think in part, some of the not returning was due to the fact that during the growing stages, you don’t seem to have an audience to get feedback from. When no on in the “real” world is a part of it things can seem a bit pointless. I didn’t have that extra oomph to get past the growing stages.

    Now I have a few more ideas and one I really like that I’m working through and it’s nice to be able to talk with others, or read different topics of people going through similar issues. It helps to see others having success and see them while they are actually doing it. Not just reading a sales page about how they did it.

    I’ve also come to the conclusion in the past day or so, in thanks to discussion on the insider forums, that I’m going to change my focus on topics to begin blogging on. Partially due to the upfront lack of obvious interest in my original idea (google search traffic interest) and partially due to waiting on approval for use of equipment needed to create the product.

    Anyway, I’ve personally already seen value in the community just from being able to bounce ideas off of people that “get it”.

    • Jason

      Hi Tracy,

      Thanks for sharing that. It’s good to hear you are getting something from the community. As you said, a lack of feedback comes from doing it alone. And with only people who may not know what it is all about to talk to, it’s less and less effective. I don’t want to be known for blogging and am not sure if I want my ideas to just be a website with a blog, or a blog only. Anyway, thanks again.

      • Tracy

        You are welcome Jason, good luck with your decision and future.

  • Yes i agree with the points above and i want to say that nothing is bigger than willpower, so become a fighter in life……..

  • Hi, Yaro and readers of Yaro’s blog,

    I’m one of the beta members of the EJ Insiders. It’s a great community of people – some of which have been blogging for several years, all the way to brand new bloggers.

    How it works is that we post our question (or current situation) and ask for advice. I’ve gotten the best info from everyone in the community, including Yaro. Yaro is generous in giving his experienced viewpoint and the other community members always give me ideas I haven’t thought of.

    I pop into the forum daily and it’s one of my best times of the day. I can get advice, talk to my new friends and see what’s going on with other bloggers.

    I recommend EJ Insiders whole-heartedly and would love to welcome you as a new member!
    Sue Anne

  • Hi Yaro

    What a wonderful post. I felt like you were talking directly to me. I can SO related to your story because that’s what my family and friends are like whenever I try to talk about my online business and what I’m trying to achieve. Almost feels like I’m the black sheep of the family.

    And for that reason I rely heavily on supportive communities. Like you say, it can (is) be a VERY lonely place online.

    I think I was one of your earlier members and although I already had my business started when I joined, you and the insiders have been there at times of overwhelm and confusion.

    In fact, just a couple of weeks ago you really helped me through a rough patch and pulled me out of a phase of procrastination. If it wasn’t for the support I received I think I’d still be there now.


    • I’m so pleased to hear that Kerry. Emotional support is not something talked about openly as a key ingredient to build an online business, yet I think it’s one of the most important elements to manage well.

      Here’s to continued action and no procrastination!


  • Andy Ngai

    The feeling of being alone can often effect your emotion, if not handle properly it could draws more deteriorate to different aspect in life too. Finding an onlone community to be involve at would help.
    In my opinion, a paid membership or mastermind group in similar subject as you are doing will be better option then open forum. As these types of groups includes people with similar interest in mind and often much more helpful.

    • Great to have you in the EJ Insider too Andy!

      I’m still waiting for you to reply to my question about your niche.

      I’ll see you inside.


  • Becky

    Yes, and how INCREDIBLE it is when you DO finally meet someone IN PERSON across a coffee (was simply my husband’s friend’s girlfriend) who is on the same wavelength and doing direct marketing etc…I just found that person yesterday and we never stopped exchanging everything we knew…was absolutely amazing. I’ve spent years going it alone, even though had various mentors online and joined communities..no one in the real world as a mum seems to relate to any of what I do..so tended not to say anything anymore and work ‘underground’ in this ‘second life’ as I call it. Well the tables have turned for me and I now realise the power in getting OUT from your computer and getting to LIVE events – this is the next thing I MUST do to make more ‘in person’ contacts as it’s so SO uplifting and makes everything so much more enjoyable and real. Cheers Yaro.

  • Beautifully articulated, and so recognizable as some of my own experiences – although I would say sometimes the plethora of community support sometimes has a paradoxical effect if you are striving to build an online business in niches other than the conventional ones. Being a self publisher is how I look at it, by calling it ‘blogging’ or some other familiar name it tends to obscure the power you can have in your own hands – only 15 years ago you hade to be very wealthy to even contemplate broadcasting, publishing or presenting T.V – now you can do all of those things cheaply and with a massive online audience if you set it all up correctly and have something to offer. Brilliant post, and so helpful, it can be still a lonely road being online.

  • Wim Telgt

    Hi Yaro, read Your Blog and like Nathan wroet, I felt like reading my own story. I am a healthcare- practitionerand now for 30 years. My problem is that people come to my office but don’t read my mails ( I don’t want to call it blogging yet). How can I build a solid groups of followers . My field is antiaging, supplements and skincare.

    • I’m not sure what you mean by they come to your office but don’t read your mails?

      Do you mean they visit your website but do not read your articles? Have you verified this somehow?

      As with everything alone, engagement is all about providing education or entertainment in a package that is compelling. When you make the right offer with the right medium at the right time, you capture attention.


  • Anna

    Hi Yaro,

    If I sign up for your 3 month membership and half way through decide that I want to join for the year, is it possible to extend and pay the difference then? I’m just starting out and a bit strapped for cash, so this is a big investment for me. I just want to be sure that it is something that will help me along my path of (hopefully) financial freedom.

    • Hi Anna,

      Yes of course – just send me an email ([email protected]) when you decide to upgrade plans. The same goes for a refund within 30 days if you find it’s not for you.


      • Anna

        Thanks Yaro. Good to know you have a 30 day refund, look forward to joining your program.

  • Great stuff Yaro – as many others have said above, this really resonated with my experience.

    I actually ended up starting a Meetup group in my home town around Online Business. It’s taken a while to meet people with the same mindset – I still have many coming along that don’t really understand what the group’s about – but it’s helped me to develop some great face-to-face contacts, which I think an invaluable.

  • This is a really interesting read. It is hard to connect to people when they don’t really understand what you do or why you do it. People just expect you to have a full time job. EJ Insider sounds great though. It sounds good to have a community of like-minded people. I’ll be sure to check back when I start my blog, thank you!

  • Hi Yaro,

    That situation in the party I totally understand. I’m personally excited and love what I do but I HATE and dread when people ask me what I do.

    That blank look on their face, the look of jealously, confusion or complete un-interest is almost always guaranteed.

    I haven’t meet anyone offline yet who I can relate to.

    Hopefully I find my ‘will’ soon!


  • dev

    Well, it seems like someone has stolen my words and put it here more elegantly. Yup, I find it hard to explain what I do to people and especially to my mom who think I am doing almost nothing.

  • I know this story Yaro. Too bad we didn’t meet each other at a party back then!

    When I decided to learn how to market on the internet, I was in the process of transitioning from a different type of entrepreneurial venture. I was a successful burned out clinical psychotherapist. After almost 20 years I had reached the point that I just could not absorb other people’s deep mental health and emotional problems any longer. I was good at what I did and I loved it while I love it, until I didn’t love it anymore.

    I wanted to NOT work with people..LOL. And so I approached the (dial-up) internet. Except for one internet marketing class that I drove 10 hours round trip to attend, I spent two years teaching myself into the wee hours of the night after my family went to sleep. I swear it was like trying to learn Greek, but it was being taught in Greek. To do “A” you had do understand “B”, but “B” was dependent on “X”…etc…

    Luckily I landed on Twitter quite early in its existence and met others burning the midnight oil and trying to figure it all out. We became an online community. We tweeted for support and watched out for each other as we all learned how to market, build websites, understand HTML (no wordpress back then).

    Thank goodness for this, as it formed the nucleus of my online friends, many of whom are now also extremely successful and we are mostly all still connected today. It’s a beautiful thing to see how and where everyone ended up, from those crazy beginnings. All of us were like you at that party…exploring a brave new world that no one understood or even cared about!

    Thanks for this post Yaro. It triggered great memories and stories!


    • Thanks for your input Deborah, and you are so right – it is those supportive communities that keep us moving forward even when people around us might be wondering why we spend so much time on the computer!


  • Yaro, a great article! I believe that having someone to rely on and / or go to for advice or a sounding board is crucial in overcoming any kind of adversity. It helps us stay on track and more importantly, that person can often just remind us of what we already know but had forgotten because we got caught up in the emotion of the situation. It can be difficult finding someone like that and joining groups like yours is fabulous. I can’t tell you the number of times a simple conversation with a like minded individual has opened the flood gate to potential new solutions to a problem I was struggling with!

  • Jack

    Hey Yaro,
    I’ve been living in Chiang Mai for 2 years now, but yet to meet a serious or a successful IM as yourself. There are plenty of fake it till you make it type of people, but very easy to spot them. Met lots of millionaires and a few billionaires while I lived in Pattaya for 2 years 🙂 but we never got around to discuss business, too busy partying! anyway they were not into IM :).

  • Thanks for sharing this !

  • Virgil Cooper

    Hi Yaro and this Group,
    I’ve been following Yaro’s blogs for about two years, always planning to get my own Blog going, but never reached the point where I felt I had accumulated enough knowledge to pull off getting things actually started. I retired from the world of mainframe computer-based remote computing services just as the Microcomputer Revolution turned on as Microsoft battled Apple. Five divisions of Greyhound Corp were my accounts — Corporate, Greyhound Leasing, Amour-Dial, Greyhound Lines (nationwide bus line) and Ask Mr. Foster, Greyhound’s nationwide travel service. Two Motorola groups using my company’s microchip design optimization software. GM Proving Ground southeast of Mesa, Arizona. Engineers did design work and data reduction on my service. I was on the sales/marketing side of things. Those were the days that the Internet was limited to dial-up speeds. At that time, companies typically linked their in-house mainframes and minicomputers with my company’s mainframes via high-speed telephone lines and accessed proprietary software products and used massive database packages. How the world of computing has changed with the broad, worldwide expansion of the Internet.

    My goal these two years of “exploring” the world of Blogging has been how to get started and what product focus should I try to start with? I enjoy communicating with people all over the country and world with e-mails. I have tried to avoid Facebook and Twitter, etc. My feeling has been what is posted on the social networks is subject to censorship. Recent news is bearing my concern out. Best to have a website under one’s own control. I would like to build an e-mail database using Blogging to bring traffic and sales to my website. But so far, my ideas have been merely exploratory. I haven’t earned any money, yet. But I’m optimistic about getting past “dreaming” and getting serious about actually getting started.
    Thanks for letting me share my thoughts. I guess I’m a old timer at 75 years old. But I find the possibility of having/building a Laptop Lifestyle very attractive.
    Virgil Cooper
    Vernon, Arizona, USA

  • Hi Yaro,

    Man, did this bring back memories! Heck, I still get “the stare” when I talk to most people. Or “the nod” like they understand or want to look like it-LOL!

    Your Blog Mastermind course and the Laptop Lifestyle community continue to deliver value to me.

    Thanks for getting past that dreaded hump and staying the same quality dude you were when I first found you ten years ago!



  • Just rewinding my Internet days as a blogger. Internet lifestyle is different for everybody. Loneliness will kick you all the ways behind you. Thanks for sharing this article.

  • It can be VERY difficult for people to understand the kind of work that goes into businesses that are primarily based on online exposure for income production – for most, they understand a 9 to 5 type of job but not others that deviate from that. Anyhow, thank you for posting this, as it is struggle finding something/someone to lean on.

  • Hi Yaro,

    Thanks for that article is for me! I agree with Jeff we do have a value and support! But most important have a laugh as well.

    Thank you very much for the inspiration.

  • I worked in the corporate space for 20 years, and after I had enough I decided to step out on my own and start a business at home, and it’s seriously hard to keep yourself motivated.
    I had to isolate a ‘work’ section at home and check in and out to separate my personal and work space, otherwise it was all too easy to head downstairs and binge watch game of thrones.
    Good article, thank you

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