10 Things We Love About Having An Online Business



Photo of a couple sat at a desk looking at the camera with computers and a tv on the wall in a hotel room

Creating, building and managing our own successful online business has been the most challenging thing either of us has ever done. Everything (and we really mean every single thing!) is a learning curve because it’s all uncharted territory. Figuring out what it takes and how to succeed is just the beginning. We’ve had to completely change the way we look at work, life, and even our own personality traits and characteristics. Despite all this, starting our travel blog back in 2018 was the best decision we ever made.

In this guide we’re going to talk about the 10 major benefits of having an online business. You’ll read about some seriously amazing advantages to this lifestyle, but before you spontaneously quit your job and start your own online business, just know it’s not all sunshine and roses!

Photo of a couple in robes sitting up in twin beds on the floor in a traditional Japanese ryokan
Here we are in a traditional Japanese onsen ryokan in Hakone

1. We Relish The Challenge

If you ever decide to start an online business, you must be ready and willing to pour your blood, sweat and tears into it. A huge proportion of people who start online businesses quit after a few weeks or months because it hasn’t instantly made them rich. Well, that’s just not how it works. It takes a long time, a lot of hard work and a lot of belief.

Our business is only successful because we’re determined, perceptive and adaptable. And the constant challenge is one of the things we love the most. Every day brings a new challenge, a new problem to solve, ups, downs, wins, losses. You absolutely have to be able to take it all in your stride. It’s what gets us out of bed on a morning.

2. Huge Potential For Success

When we worked in our science jobs, the potential for success was very linear and limited. A promotion from scientist to senior scientist for example. Then maybe VP or director. But there’s lots of politics, competition and scrutiny over qualifications to deal with. In contrast, the internet is like the Wild West. There is no ceiling. Anyone can go viral, anyone can become famous, anyone can make a life changing amount of money.

One of the things we like the most about having an online business is this simple fact: What we put in, we get back out. Our success is defined by our own actions and hard work. If one thing doesn’t work or we don’t like it, we can move onto something else that might succeed. There’s lots of options, avenues and methods to getting exposure and making more money. Seeing positive results acts as a catalyst and it becomes addictive.

Photo a couple taking a selfie at night with coats, headlamps and backpacks on
This is us setting off on our hike through The Enchantments in Washington before sunrise

3. We’re Our Own Bosses

Have you ever had a boss who didn’t inspire you? Does your job feel like Groundhog Day? When you have an online business you are your own boss, so you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. If we don’t feel like doing a particular task on Monday morning, we don’t have to. We’ll just do it another time! We’re marching to the beat of our own drum, with nobody to answer to. We don’t have to hit targets or deadlines, we don’t have to work overtime, we don’t have to be on call. It’s a completely different way of working.

We’ll be totally honest, it can take time to be disciplined when you don’t have a repetitive structure in place. In our science jobs we knew exactly what we had to do and when it had to be done by. Now, we wake up and see what we feel like doing, which is a liberating feeling but it can also lead to procrastination and a tendency to shelve the less desirable parts of the job if you’re not careful. After 6 years, we’re pretty autonomous with how we approach setting and achieving targets, and we love being our own bosses.

4. We Can Be Creative

Something completely unexpected happened when we decided to start our travel blog: We unleashed the creative side of our brains. The left side was never an issue. Critical thinking, methodology and logic are how we’ve always lived our lives. And that helped us as scientists. But now the shackles are off on the right side and we’re relishing the opportunity to use it for what feels like the first time.

In order to build a successful online business, you really need both sides firing on all cylinders. And we’ve been pleasantly surprised by how capable we’ve become at designing things, developing ideas and using our imagination to create. It’s been probably the most rewarding aspect on a personal growth level. Who knew we had it in us? None of us really know what we’re capable of until we try it.

Photo of a couple standing together at sunset overlooking Florence in Italy
Here we are enjoying sunset in Florence, Italy

5. We Work As A Team

Some of our friends and family shudder when we talk about the fact that we spend pretty much every day together. We live, travel and work as a team. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. We did actually work together indirectly in our science jobs, but we rarely saw each other. Now, we spend our time bouncing ideas around, talking about solutions to problems and working towards the same goals.

It might sound like your idea of an agonizing nightmare, but it works for us! Since we got married in 2018, we’ve been traveling the world and making memories. Now we’ve put roots down in North Carolina, and we’ll be working to build our online business together. It’s all a part of our collective journey and we know our collaborative style will only breed more success.

6. The Flexibility Is Amazing

If you asked us what’s the most profound effect our online business has had on our lives, we’d tell you it’s the flexibility we now have. This is the one thing we’d struggle to give up more than anything else if we went back to a 9-5 job. We can’t even begin to explain how freeing it is to be able to work or take days off whenever we want.

There’s a family event happening next week, we can make it. There’s been an emergency with our daughter at nursery, we’ll be there in a flash. Our friends are planning a spontaneous week away, sure we can make it work. England’s football game kicks off at 2:00pm, I’ll just work around it. We don’t have to ask for time off, we just work around whatever life throws at us. It’s life changing.

Photo of a couple at a hike summit overlooking a deep valley with hills and trees
Here we are at the summit of a hike in New Hampshire

7. We Can Live Anywhere

Now take our flexible work schedule and take it up a notch. All we need to do our jobs is a laptop and the internet. So we also have flexibility over where we live. We can go anywhere and stay there for as long as we’re allowed with a visa or until we want a change of scenery. It’s what we’ve done for the last 6 years and it’s been the most amazing adventure. We’ve also been able to spend lots of time with both our families which has been fantastic.

But if we’re being honest, we also see this as a downside. How do you choose where to live when you can live anywhere in the UK or the US? There’s also more long-term digital nomad visas being announced every month so we could technically live in a lot of places. So how do you prioritize? Family? Weather? Schools? Affordability? Language? We wouldn’t want to give up the flexibility, but it’s also hard to make a decision on where we should settle down.

8. It’s Broadened Our Outlook

We went to school in the 2000’s when the internet was 56k dial up, Facebook became this weird new way of connecting with friends and computers were only just turning into a must-have household item. Back then, the only thing we knew was that after school we’d go to university and get a job like our parents and peers. Not many people knew or believed that there’d be a way to make money from an online business 20 years ago.

Even throughout the majority of our careers in science, we would never have considered giving up a “real job”. But the truth is, we’ve made far more money with our travel blog than we did combined in our science jobs. Our outlook on business, the work/life balance, making money, adhering to social norms and life in general has altered significantly since 2018.

Photo of a tourist standing next to three tall letters DMZ in Korea
Here’s Kristen at the DMZ in Korea

9. Tax Benefits

When you have an online business you have to deal with so many overwhelming administration responsibilities. Tax professionals, payroll, registering your business, it’s all paperwork and fees. And don’t even get us started on US healthcare! Things never go smoothly, especially for us in the last 6 years because we haven’t had an official home base. Even now, we’re always on the phone to someone dealing with something that’s gone wrong.

But when you register as an LLC or an S-Corp, you do get some tax benefits. These benefits and write-offs differ depending on how your company is set up, so it’s important to understand your specific circumstances to get the most out of your business from a financial perspective. Many expenses we incur everyday can be used as a tax deduction such as home office expenses, marketing, rent, travel expenses, meals, professional services, web hosting and so much more. All of these deductions contribute to lower our taxable income.

10. We Get To Help People Directly

We’ve saved the best for last. Having the platform and means to have a direct impact on people’s lives is genuinely our favorite thing about having a travel blog and an online business. In our science jobs we knew what we were doing was ultimately helping patients, but there were so many steps between us and the person, so it was never tangible.

Now we connect and communicate directly with real people. There’s nothing better for us than waking up to an email from Jane in Oklahoma letting us know that our road trip guide helped them have the most amazing family vacation. It’s by far the best part of the job. We feed off the positive emails and comments we get. It drives us on to keep writing about places all around the world.

More Personal Guides

Want to learn more about us? Head over to our about Where Are Those Morgans page to meet Mark and Kristen.

We hope you enjoyed our take on the benefits to having an online business!

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments below.

Happy Travels,

Mark and Kristen

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