throne of lies

The Online Business World Is Built on a Throne of Lies

If you’ve worked in the online business world for a hot minute, you know exactly how coveted the idea of making a living from courses and programs is.

I mean, the idea of creating something once and then making money from it time and time again is pretty appealing. It’s particularly alluring for anyone who’s abandoned the traditional world of work in search of the freedom of building your own business.

I’ve been my own boss for the past 14 years, and while that’s changed and evolved over time, I know all too well the vital need for freedom. For me, the need for freedom has never ever abated.

When you’re driven by freedom, it’s very easy to see how, as a business owner, you could be so easily lured into the idea that you can make money with very little effort or time invested on your part.

I mean, most of us would be lying if we said we weren’t into working as little as possible and making piles of cash.

From the day I discovered the online business world, I had a deep-seated mistrust of the concept of passive income and making money while you sleep. After all, if it sounds too good to be true, it must be BS, right?

I wish I could say that mistrust never wavered, but that’s not the case at all. Along the way, my hope managed to short circuit my common sense and led me down the path of chasing the dream of “passive” income.

And what I’ve found in that quest has been fascinating.

Before I go any further, a bit of context. I’ve worked behind-the-scenes in countless online businesses for over five years. In my own business, Small Business Boss, I’ve launched multiple courses with moderate success, created a membership community, and a year-long group program.

So this isn’t me just showing up as an armchair quarterback. I’ve been in the trenches, and that’s given me working knowledge of ins and outs of the online business world.


The online business dream is broken. It’s full of shit, and we need to stop lining the pockets of modern day snake oil salesmen.


To quote Elf, “You sit on a throne of lies.”


The majority of what’s out there in the online business world is built on straight up lies. On exaggerated income. On a lack of mastery.

Yes, there are people doing quality work and making bank, but they’re few and far between.

What’s much more common….

Self-proclaimed coaches who are selling hopeful, naive newbies the dream of being a coach so they can bankroll their lavish lifestyles.

Are people doing something exactly once and then teaching you their “system” for how you too can make millions?

Are dude bros selling the idea that you can scale your business and work at the beach while a team of grossly underpaid VAs runs your business?

Are people telling you that you can create your course as everyone has someone to teach? That you can launch a course and make a living easily?

I call BS on all of it. Every last bit of it.

Because the coaches who are spitting out newly minted would-be coaches turn around and then teach more people how to be coaches. Sounds a lot like an MLM, doesn’t it?

Because mastery matters, and doing something once and teaching who ever will pay for it isn’t a system, it’s a sham.

Because the online marketing dude bros are the same frat boys you loathed in college. Now they’re all grown up, entitled as hell, and still misogynistic pigs only interested in what you can give them.

Because launching a course is hard as hell. And you need people to BUY your course, and that doesn’t happen magically on the Internet.

The problem is clear. But what’s the solution?

This is a question I’ve been wrestling with for years, and over the last six months, it’s become very clear.

It’s time to opt-out.

To stop giving this toxic dark side of online business my attention, my money, or another iota of my energy. Because as long as I let this into my world, the temptation will be there to try this one last thing or to let it tell me that I’m not doing enough or I’ve got it all wrong.

The fact is, I’m never going to have all the answers, so I need to stop seeking. And when I do need help, I need to think critically about who I trust to give me insight, and most of all, who I let into my sphere of influence.

How you do this — if you choose to do this — is up to you.

For me, that’s meant working in my business in a new way and being open to defying conventional wisdom.

Deleting podcasts. Unfollowing people. Looking outside the online business world. Being ruthless with my business expenses.

Most of all, it’s meant doubling down on my service business. Don’t get me wrong, Small Business Boss — both the membership and the mastermind — aren’t going anywhere. But what makes Small Business Boss work in the first place is the fact that I’m STILL running a service business. (More on that in an upcoming post because I’ve got SO many thoughts.)

Together with my team, we’re actively working on growing Scoop Studios, and we have ambitious goals for 2019. These goals that have forced me to go back to basics. After years of working in the online business world, this old school approach to business and working with clients that aren’t constantly launching is refreshing as hell.  

Plus, escaping the hyper-speed, always-on nature of online business means I have more freedom than I have had in years.   

How’s that for an ironic twist?  


Click here to subscribe