18 Successful Entrepreneurs Who Will Make You Want to Start an Online Business

successful entrepreneurs

If you read this it’s probably because you want to start an Online Business but for some reasons you feel stuck.

I understand I’ve been there too! It took me 5 months of self-doubt, questioning and research before I started my first online business. And to be honest I didn’t even know how to do it. I felt overwhelmed.

What actually drove me to start was reading the stories of successful entrepreneurs on the Internet. That’s what gave me the motivation to make the first step.

To help you start too, I asked 18 successful entrepreneurs to talk about how they made their first dollars online. Today these entrepreneurs make thousands of dollars every year, even millions for some of them. I hope you’ll feel inspired to make the first step too…

She started to make money on eBay and then quit her job to work full time as a consultant

My first time making money on the Internet was probably when I sold products on eBay. My biggest win was misspelling something that netted 400% gains on the actual value of the product. That was a lot of fun.

But then I turned to this whole thing of preaching the benefits of social media, and lo and behold, through my blogging and writing, I started growing a client base through my knowledge of the space. It was amazing! I was able to quit my job and go full time as a consultant.

I still credit my Internet know-how, especially in online relationship management, as being why I am where I am. My consultancy has evolved into something else, primarily customer happiness, but I still find that every job I get these days is from how I present myself through the written world, not necessarily from a face to face with a potential employer or client. In short, I owe my entire livelihood right now to the money I make on the Internet.

Tamar Weinberg




Tamar Weinberg (Techipedia)

He made 8 cents and then built a community of more than +54,000 people

I don’t remember the details of my first dollar, but I distinctly remember the first 8 cents.  It came from my first Adsense click on my website. I called my wife in from the other room and while I don’t know if she was quite as excited as I was, we celebrated that first step in a long journey.  I knew that the hardest step is the first step, and that from that point I just needed to keep at it and I’d see increase.”

Bob Christian PF




Bob Lotich (ChristianPF)

He made $2000 in 24h

Back in 2009 I was partner/co-founder in a Danish IT consulting company and started an e-commerce web agency on the side. However the whole idea was that the entire production should be outsourced. I designed the product I was offering based on what I saw a lot of people asking about on an online forum for Danish entrepreneurs.

So I created a website (spend $63 on a WordPress theme and a logo design), found a partner who could create the e-commerce websites, and made an offer in the forum (all within a week). I had my first two paying customers within 24 hours and made $2000 of profit the first month.

Rasmus Lindgren




 Rasmus Lindgren (Retire My Ass)

After multiple businesses, he worked as a full time freelancer and never looked back

I honestly can’t remember how I made my first dollar online. I know it was through building a website that made cash through adsense ads, but I’ve built so many sites over my lifetime that I don’t remember the exact one (this was 10+ years ago so my memory is a bit hazy).

I do remember that when I first started making money online, I was so excited to know that I could make a living without having to work for a regular 9-5 type job. It took a lot of hard work, but eventually I made it to where I was making full time income freelancing, and I haven’t looked back since.

Mike Smith



Mike Smith (GuerrillaFreelancing)

He made his first million online after getting injured while playing professional football

I made my first million by working extremely hard for a few years and finding ways to add value to those who were looking for support and those who were already very successful.  It felt amazing, but then I had to figure out how to have balance in my life and learn to let go of doing all of the work myself.

Lewis Howes




Lewis Howes (LewisHowes.com)

He earned more than $2K from his first launch and today has a community of more than 200,000 people

I don’t remember the *exact* moment when my first Internet dollar rolled in – I was too busy trying not to puke.

This was during the pre-launch of my first ebook. I’d worked for months to pull together a 10,000-word “beta version” of the book, and I was terrified that no one would buy it. I released it over my lunch break one day – and then immediately logged out of Gmail and tried to pretend nothing was happening. I felt sick all afternoon.

When I logged back in later, my inbox was full of “your book has sold” messages. The relief washed over me – and then I was just giddy! I earned more than $2K from the launch, and I’ve earned well over $30K from that product to date.

Josh Earl




Josh Earl (JoshuaEarl.com)

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$1 gave him the appetite for making money online

Making money online is not easy, but it feels great when you make your first buck!  I remember making money for the first time and it didn’t take too much work to implement.  I applied and added Google Adsense to my first blog about consumer electronics many years ago.  I was writing a lot of content about products and reviews, so I figured it could lead to good things.  I didn’t know how to monetize, but then found the easy to implement Adsense program. I added the code and within a few days, I had already earned a dollar!  It wasn’t much, but it tempted my appetite for making money online.  The first dollar led me to want more and learn how to include different forms of monetizing ads on my sites.  I have since grown my revenue and no longer just making a dollar here and there, but it was my first glimpse at the ability to earn money on the internet.

Grayson Bell




 Grayson Bell (Debt Round Up)

He thought that if he could make $1, he could make a hundred

It’s hard to remember how my first dollar happened, but I do remember what it felt like. When I made my first dollar, suddenly things became real. Instead of merely dreaming about earning an income online, I could see myself doing it, because if I can make one dollar, I can make a hundred, and if I can make a hundred… Well, you know how it goes. It was never about earning a lot right away, but ticking off tiny milestones. As long as I did that, I knew I’d end up doing it full time, which is what I do today.

Henri Junttila




 Henri Junttila (Wake Up Cloud)

He started with an ecommerce site that sold evil eye jewelry

The first dollar that I made online was through an ecommerce site that I started which sold evil eye jewelry imported from Turkey.  It’s a long story why I chose this niche, but it was stressful to build this site for months, not knowing if it would actually work.  The first purchase came in from a Canadian customer.  To be perfectly honest, when I saw that sale, I ran around my apartment and was jumping around for joy.  Not only did it validate that the jewelry business could work, it also showed that it was possible generate an online income.

Steve Scott




 Steve Scott (Self Publishing Questions)

She started making money online at 18 making MySpace page

The first time I made money online was for making a Myspace page.  I charged $50 when I was 18 years old, and it felt amazing knowing that I could get paid doing something I really enjoyed. Dare I say I felt like… a boss? Yep. Whether you’re making $50 here and there or bringing in thousands (what I’ve progressed to) with your business, that’s something to be proud of. Start somewhere and keep tweaking.

Maya Elious




 Maya Elious (Maya Elious)

He sold one eBook and cleared his debt

My blog was about a year old and I was in debt (credit card) and wanted to be able to keep it afloat. I told my audience honestly, that anyone interested in my advice should get my ebook and released it to the world, hoping for a small financial boost. It was received so warmly that I cleared my debt and was able to start making a living from my blog entirely. I was floored! If you’re honest with people, and make helping them the priority, they won’t lynch you for having a paid product 😉

Benny Lewis




 Benny Lewis (Fluent in 3 months)

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She made her first dollars by blogging about natural acne treatment

I had been blogging about natural acne treatment for about 6 months when I released my first ebook on the subject and put it up for sale! It was a scary step because I didn’t know what my readers would think (would they be mad?), but when the sales started rolling in, I felt relief and excitement for what was to come. I’ve since made many many “internet dollars” and business is booming 🙂

Tracy Raftl




 Tracy Raftl (The Love Vitamin)

He started making money with affiliate marketing and today live from his passion

I made my first dollar online through affiliate marketing. It was somewhere around 2002 or 2003 and I was promoting a product on ClickBank, but I don’t remember what the product was. I only made a couple of sales at that time but it was enough to get me interested in internet marketing and learning. And then it was a few years later that I really got serious and starting putting in more effort on a regular basis.

Marc Andre




 Marc Andre (ProfitBlitz)

He sold 150 copies of his ebook in 4 days

I spent 18 months writing articles, building up my audience, and taking care of my readers before asking for my first dollar. Finally, I created an ebook with months of exercise programming, diet plans, and so on – it was terrifying to release, but I felt really confident it was a product that could really help my readers cut through the questions and get started with getting fit. I hoped to sell just a handful in my first week to prove to myself it was worth all the time and energy, and I ended up selling 150 copies in four days! I’m pretty confident I teared up, as I knew my life had changed – that was the first day I knew I could make a living and dedicate my life to helping people get healthy – it was pretty damn fun. Five years later, still going strong!

Steve Kamb




 Steve Kamb (Nerdfitness)

She has built her online business while travelling the world

I’d been running a website as a hobby since 2000 without any really thoughts that earning money online was a possibility. Then in 2005 I discovered Google Adsense and decided to give it a try. I added the code to many of the 500+ pages on my site and waited curiously. I had been used to old school pay-per-click schemes that paid $0.000001 (or something ridiculous like that) per click and had long given up on them so, imagine how surprised I was when I almost immediately got a click worth $0.03! It was kind of a momentous moment for me and then about 5 minutes later I had another click worth what I thought was an insane amount – $1.25! I didn’t know much about how Adsense worked but it was this $1.25 that really spurred me on into building more sites an starting to put some serious work and research into it. I think I earned around $300 in that first month and it really blew me away to think that earning a living online might be possible. These modest earnings led me into affiliate sales and beyond, and over the years I slowly built up a liveable income. But I remember that first $0.03 click very well and that first month as a successful Adsense publisher really showed me what was possible in the world of online earnings.





 Kirsty (Nerdynomad)

He didn’t believe Google would pay him to display a little ad

I made my first dollar on the internet through the use of Google Adsense on our blog. It was a fantastic day and I remember asking myself, “How on earth could Google afford to pay me a few dollars per day to display a little ad?!” As time progressed, I read more about internet marketing and eventually transitioned away from Adsense in favor of affiliate marketing opportunities. If you will remain persistent and work hard, there are a thousand ways to make money blogging.

Jacob and Vanessa




 Jacob (Cash Cow Couple)

She started making money on Amazon

Three years ago I had no money in my account and no income. What I did have, however, was a book by Robert Kiyosaki called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. From it I learned that the rich create assets and let the income from their assets buy “things.” I had been working on a book called How NOT to Practice Social Work and decided to put this approach to the test. Enlisting Amazon’s free publishing platform, I uploaded my book and sent out email announcements that the book was available for purchase online. Within a day I had two sales! And even though my sweetheart was one of the first ones to buy it, when I saw those deposits in my account I knew I had cracked the code to unlimited wealth — it felt amazing! To date I’ve made thousands of dollars from that first experiment that cost me virtually nothing, and have also made money with affiliate marketing and coaching. The possibilities are truly endless.

Eva Forde





Eva Forde (EvaForde.com)

 She made her first dollars with ads and today makes $15,000/month as a freelancer

I made my first dollar online through an advertisement on my website around six months after I started blogging and freelancing online. Those first six months were hard since nothing was being made but I was pouring almost full-time hours into my side freelancing jobs. It felt absolutely amazing to know that my hard work actually had the possibility of paying off.

Michelle Schroeder





Michelle Schroeder (Making Sense of Cents)

13 comments… add one
  • Gina Horkey January 18, 2015, 8:38 pm

    What a great idea for a post. I loved the round up of individuals and was happy to see I knew many, but was also introduced to some new faces. Fun to learn their stories too!

  • R.D. Hayes January 19, 2015, 7:18 pm

    If nothing sparks your interest to make money online, this sure will. I have been a freelance writer for years, but went into hiding after losing my son and joining the military. I came back a few years later and realized that the game had changed. I feel like I am starting from scratch all over again. This give me hope.

    • The Becomer January 19, 2015, 7:41 pm

      Wow! Your story is deeply moving. I’m honored to give you some hope.

  • Tirzah January 20, 2015, 12:11 pm

    Thanks Simon, this post has fuelled me to keep moving with Patience, Time & Determination. I’m getting there. Cheers!

  • Ben Luthi January 24, 2015, 5:08 pm

    Some amazing stories here! The “becoming” is rarely ever visible, just the success afterward.

    • The Becomer January 25, 2015, 8:07 pm

      That’s quite true Ben! Thanks for you comment 😉

  • Corey Hinde July 23, 2015, 10:31 am

    Great article! Very motivating, I’ll add Google Adsense to my blog tomorrow!

  • grasya August 9, 2015, 3:17 pm

    great read! i wish i could follow their success too ^_^

    • The Becomer August 9, 2015, 9:08 pm

      If you work hard and implement the right strategies, you’ll succeed 😉

  • Buy Box Experts February 2, 2017, 8:08 am

    There stories are an inspiration to everyone. Indeed, they were able to conquer the online business world. You too can be one of them if you have the passion on what you are doing and have the patience to keep going until you succeed.


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