How to Solve the Biggest Challenge For Your Online Startup Business

August 31, 2009 - Written by Gyutae Park  

climb-helpEvery startup business, online or off, has challenges – that’s just the way it is. But it doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Struggles and obstacles are essentially growing pains that help new companies build character and establish themselves over time. Without these challenges, a business would not have the motivation to grow and move forward and a business that isn’t moving forward might as well be dead – especially in the fast-moving online world.

So what are some of the most common challenges startup companies and entrepreneurs face? Here are a few that come to mind…

  • Raising enough capital to support the venture (e.g. how much do you think you’d need to develop the next Google killer? How will you get a hold of that money?).
  • Utilizing the right technology to effectively implement an idea (e.g. using WordPress as your site’s content management system vs building out your own custom one).
  • Managing employees – getting the most out of them while creating a positive work experience (e.g. pay might be lower at a certain company, but employees get other perks like casual dress code, discounts, flex time, etc to make the job more attractive).
  • Cutting costs while maintaining high quality (e.g. outsourcing tasks like customer service to countries with lower costs of living).
  • Developing fresh marketing strategies to beat out the competition (e.g. how to rank higher than competitors in Google for popular industry search keywords).

The Biggest Challenge Startups Must Face

While these are all important challenges that many startups must face, I think there’s an even bigger one that eclipses them all. It’s something that entrepreneurs really need to figure out if they want to be successful. What am I talking about? Finding passion – both in yourself (as an entrepreneur) and in others (your partners).

If you think about it, most other challenges in business can be resolved with some sort of clear cut solution. Don’t have enough funding? Find investors who will back your ideas and business plan. Don’t know how to effectively market your business online? Learn the ropes yourself or hire an advertising agency to run your campaigns for you. Don’t have passion for the goals of your project? Now, that’s a little bit harder. There’s really not much you can do other than to get out while you can. The chances of success without passion are slim to none.

Passion isn’t the only thing you need to make it big, but it has to be the foundation of every startup.  As an entrepreneur, it’s what will drive you to wake up every morning and build your business, even when you’re not making any money. It’s what will motivate you to diligently tackle all of the other challenges your startup is dealing with – and enjoy the process.

Finding passion is definitely a HUGE challenge in itself, and unfortunately it’s not something that’s easily solved. After all, passion isn’t something you can manufacture or outsource. It comes innately from a unique entrepreneur.

My Example of Passion in Business

Let me give you an example from my own experiences running a network of websites. With the abounding business opportunities online, it’s always difficult for me to decide which industries and niches to go after. Do I build sites around big money topics that I care nothing about in hopes of big profit? Or do I build sites around topics that I actually know and care about? It’s definitely a struggle, but it’s my belief that passion wins out every time. Even though niches like pharma, weight loss, and travel have larger overall profit potential compared to other niches, an entrepreneur can break this mold and make more money for himself in a smaller niche if he loves his topic.

It’s the reason why I created a drum forum, Internet marketing blog, iPhone blog, and personal finance site. These topics are a big part of my life and I’m passionate about them.  Similarly, do you think Andy Liu of BuddyTV loves watching TV series? You bet. Do you think DK of Purpose Inc (a seasoned chiropractor) loves helping people and giving them massages? Of course. He’s always doing it at all of the conferences. 🙂

My point is that finding passion is the mother of all challenges for startups. As long as you have passion, other challenges will be easier to deal with. Most importantly, it’ll foster a more rewarding experience.

2 Crucial Steps in Finding Passion for Your Business

Here are some ways to solve the “passion problem” for your startup.

1. First of all, be sure to only pursue projects that you’re truly passionate about and have an interest in. Don’t start a business solely based on it’s profit potential or popularity. Fads come and go, but you want something that will last, firmly rooted in your interests.

Here’s a quick test you can use. Ask yourself what would you do even if you weren’t paid for it. That’s the niche you want to pursue (as long as it has some commercial viability of course).

2. Surround yourself with the right people who share your passions and goals. This includes investors, partners, and even employees. Your team is much more important than your business idea, which can easily change over time. Execution is really what matters and for that you need positive influences around you who are equally passionate as you are, if not more.

Where do you find these people? Start a blog in your industry of choice and attend conferences and meetups (like ThinkTank for Internet marketing and business). Networking is key.

If you’re dealing with a lot of different obstacles with your startup and it all just seems hopeless, there could be a larger challenge at hand. Are you passionate about the topics and goals your business revolves around? It could mean the difference between success and failure.

This article is my entry into the The Startup Challenge contest, hosted by Andy Liu on his blog Inspired Startup and by DK of Purpose Inc.  DK is doing an awesome thing and will provide an El Salvadorian student one year of computer training through the non-profit Future Hope for every entry. Check it out.

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34 Responses to “How to Solve the Biggest Challenge For Your Online Startup Business”

Agent 001 on September 2nd, 2009

Passion drives your life. It gives you pleasure and fun. And now income too. Thats nice.

And nice article. It is useful.

Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

Everything you do in life should bring you pleasure and fun, otherwise it’s just not worth it. If you’re in business for something you truly like – then the money will naturally come too.

Paul Wilson on September 4th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

You definitely need passion in this business!

I am relatively new to this business, but already know that I will make it 🙂

I am driven everyday to complete my tasks like you would not believe!

A great post, and truly inspirational!

Take care,


Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

Great to hear, Paul. With that kind of drive, no one can stop you. How’s business going so far?

Melayu on September 5th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

This post is very good for me.. i can get many tips and trick on this blog.. thank’s for u’r information my friend! this is my first time to visiting to your blog..

CanCan (Mom Most Traveled) on September 5th, 2009

I still feel like a start up, after more than 1 year. When do I graduate I wonder?

Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

It good to have a startup mindset, even if you’re big. That way, you can continue to be scrappy – never taking anything for granted and seizing every opportunity. Feeling like a startup doesn’t have to be a bad thing. 🙂

Gregory E. Nemer on September 5th, 2009

Excellent article!

If you find your passion you’ll find your purpose in life and business. The next step is to use your passion to benefit others. If you do this you’ll make money.

That’s what doing business on the internet is all about.

I appreciate your valuable insights that benefit, not only beginners, but seasoned internet marketers as well.

Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

Great points. Every business revolves around benefiting others – providing enough value for them to fork over their hard earned money. Of course, you’re in a much better position to help customers if you truly love what you’re doing.

catrosinfo on September 7th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

This is a useful article, I learn about the information that you shared.

Mirto on September 7th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

You got a very good point with passion for the business. I do understand business as dealing with people, and if you want to get others inspired or supporting it’s necessary to get the emotional side involved. All these good things transport by passion; making it a vehicle for success!

Take care


Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

Indeed. Passion is contagious. If you love the industry that you’re in, it’ll show in your actions and in the way you run your business. People are attracted to passion.

Syed Akram on September 7th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Internet marketing draws people from many different backgrounds. It is as diverse an industry as you will ever find. People from all walks of life and from countries all over the world have carved out a piece of the internet for themselves with varying degrees of success and more people climb aboard every day!

Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

That’s really what I love about this whole Internet business thing. Anyone and everyone can get involved – including CEO’s of top companies and stay at home moms. There’s an angle for everyone – it’s just a matter of finding it and making it work for you.

Richard on September 7th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

Not only a good point but an excellent and timely one. I don’t think something could be done meaningfully without passion. All the great discoveries happened because those people who pioneered were passionate in their pursuit. Their passion for the things they wanted to accomplished overcasts the need surrounding them.

Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

Thanks Richard. Think of all the great invention in the world – Edison and the lightbulb for example. He failed countless times before finally making it work. Success takes persistence, and persistence is a byproduct of passion.

Melvin on September 13th, 2009

For some reasons, reading this article makes me scared especially about the challenges that I might face in the future..

Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

Don’t be scared… seize the day!

Radu on September 14th, 2009

One should not let the money drive his life, because passion makes your life. If you can combine all, would be very nice.

Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

I agree that money isn’t everything – which is why you need to find something in business that you really like, not just something that presents the greatest economical opportunity.

Juhani Tontti on September 15th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

When you speak about start-ups, you speak about bigger ventures, than what we usual entrepreneurs are running. I had zero investors and I studied everything from the net, when I started. Now when the business is up and running, I began to think to use outside freelancers to be able to grow my business.

As to the PASSION- theme, you are 100 % right. I have one online business, which I started, because somebody said that there is much money on that niche, but now my main problem is, that I do not like to run it. I have not enough passion or positive feelings about it.

I also see, that if a marketer has not honest passion with his job, the customers and site visitors will find it. The feelings are the best we can give to the site visitors and these feelings then turn into sales.

Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

When you go solely for the money, you won’t find happiness nor money. If you go for a business idea that you’re passionate about, you’ll love what you do AND you’ll make money. Good example you shared.

Tek-Nos on September 17th, 2009

Those are some really beneficial tips. Thx

Richard on September 18th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

YOu are right on with this article. No matter how we fake certain activity, there is no replacement for sheer joy and the sense of accomplishment if it is done from the heart.

Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

You can fake your expertise or your knowledge and you might be able to get by – but passion is the one thing you can’t fool anyone with.

investasi emas on September 18th, 2009

my biggest challenge is where to start the business, in what market that have potensial for internet business.


Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

You need to find a business idea that mixes your passion and financial opportunity. This blog post about finding the perfect blog topic for you might help –

Internet Strategist @GrowMap on October 23rd, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

I hope your readers are paying close attention to each point you make. Few new business owners realize how many individual factors have to be addressed to create success. There are not dozens or even hundreds – there are literally thousands of steps we must take.

Michelle mentioned Local Directories and I have written about them frequently and shared a shortcut for getting listed in them. I recently decided on the top ten that businesses need to focus on and will be publishing that list soon.

I am currently researching which of the more than 500+ blog directories are the most important. Although additional links are useful there is simply not enough time to be active in all of them – especially the ones with communities.

Speaking of communities they are a great way to find Social Networking and blogging collaborators – what @ProBlogger called “blogging buddies”. Those who figure out how to network and lift each other up are going to rise to the top – and few are on board with that so far so starting right away will give an advantage.

Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

You’re right – there are a ton of little intricacies that are necessary to achieve success. And the point I’m trying to make in this article is that none of that is possible unless you enjoy the work you’re doing. You won’t go the extra mile unless you like it. Otherwise, it won’t be worth it.

John Glass on November 11th, 2009 Subscribed to comments via email

What struck me in your post was your suggestion to surround yourself with people who are passionate about the project. This to me is absolutely key for companies of any size. Both passion and negativity are contagious, if you surround yourself with the right people your passion will increase their passion and people outside of the company will notice this. When you enjoy what you do you will be more likely to provide quality goods and services.

Gyutae Park on November 12th, 2009

Totally agree. Your friends and peers have a greater effect on you than you might think. Going to conferences, reading motivational books, following bloggers, and meeting up with positive people are all very beneficial for this cause.

Chris Peterson on January 11th, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

Passion is necessary to build a business. If you have passion to learn and learn from mistakes then later or sooner your business will be success.

Chris Peterson on March 31st, 2010 Subscribed to comments via email

If we are new in online business we should have enough passion to judge or analyze whether it we will face good time or bad time. Passion is play key role to motivate of grow our business

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