There’s a funny thing that happens to people when they start their own online business. I’m not sure if it stems from the tendency for online marketers to use hype-filled sales letters with words like “quick” and “easy” or if it’s from misconceptions about working at home. Whatever the reason is, there are a lot of people out there who think that once they set up a website or even start thinking about starting an online business that money will start falling out of the sky!

You have to work to get ahead in life…and this even applies to working online. There are two types of people that start businesses online. There are those that either have the business experience to know that rewards only come from hard work and there are those that believe the hype and pretend to work instead of actually getting things done. If you’re in the second category, this is your wakeup call!

You are not going to find online business success by spending all of your time in forums. You’re not going to see those commission checks or Paypal deposits coming in by chasing down the next big idea online. You won’t see it by telling yourself that you deserve the afternoon off instead of doing what you should be doing on your path to online success.

The only way you are going to make your online business work is to work at it. Working for yourself requires a great deal of self discipline. If you don’t have self discipline, you’re going to need to build up that strength before you’ll see any success. You need a strong work ethic so you can do what you need to do, even if your favorite show is on or it’s a beautiful day to walk in the park.

The first step is to set clear reachable goals for yourself.

Be sure to set goals that are realistic for the next week and the next month. Write down your goals somewhere near your workspace so you can keep yourself focused.

Next, you’re going to have to identify what is work and what is not. When you work online, you may develop a clever way of tricking yourself into thinking that you are working when you are not. Searching for your website’s name on Google or reading the latest blog post from your favorite motivational author is not working. Creating content, developing backlinks, writing a product or taking part in advertising is working. There is a lot of time for all of those other activities, but save them for after you’ve completed your goal for the day.

If you’re not used to being self disciplined, it may take some time and some practice for you to develop this skill. But it will be well worth it when you start seeing results from your efforts. As long as you remember that you have to work to get ahead online and keep your goals nearby, you’ll be able to get the work done that you need to.

Dan Higby is the author of eBiz Snap a free newsletter for online marketers of all experience levels. He’ll show you the tips and short cuts you need to make money online. Find out more at eBiz Snap News Letter We use and test what we recommend.