Monday, July 20, 2009


Nearly all online marketing business opportunities compare the favourable lifestyle being enjoyed by successful internet entrepreneurs with the supposedly more stressful and society-dictated lifestyle being endured in the corporate world as a means to entice new entrepreneurs to start an online business.

The question does remain whether generally, an internet marketing business is better at satisfying the needs of individuals than a 9-5 job. If we look at Abraham Maslow’s motivation theory to understand what motivates employees, he developed a five stage model needed to be satisfied in order, beginning with the lower order needs. The five needs are:

1. Physiological needs – need for food, air and water
2. Security – need for safe living environment, job security
3. Social Needs – belonging, family, love, work groups
4. Self esteem – the need for achievement, status and recognition
5. Self actualisation – achieving one’s true potential

According to Maslow, Physiological needs must be satisfied, before security needs. Security needs must be satisfied before social needs and so on.

Maslow’s theory cannot be confined to an individual’s place of work alone. His theory was focused on how employers can motivate their employees in the workplace by identifying their motivational needs that need to be satisfied. However, these needs cannot always be satisfied in the corporate world.

For example, it would be very difficult for a manager to motivate an individual to improve on his sales figures (Esteem needs) if he is worrying about his marriage collapsing (Social needs). Although the manager can demonstrate some understanding up to a point and give the employee time off, this cannot continue indefinitely. Perhaps, the nature of the job demands the employee work unsociable hours and this could be the main reason for the marital problems. Moving to another job is not easy and may not solve the problem.

However, an online marketing entrepreneur has control of his time and could adjust accordingly to meet the demands of his family. Perhaps their problems are exacerbated by the husband not having enough time to spend with the kids. As a work from home dad, he would have the time to take his kids to school and attend school functions as often as required.

Realistically, most of the needs of people are satisfied outside the work environment. However, the work environment does impose constraints on people in terms of time and money. In the case of internet marketing, although monetary success is not guaranteed, the internet entrepreneur does have the time to do as he pleases, which makes it a better bet than the corporate world. Having said that, money, although not a motivator per se, is just as important as time as a means to an end. An individual who is the sole breadwinner may need job security (Security needs) for obvious reasons. No amount of promise of high achievement (Esteem) will entice him to pack up his job for an online marketing business. Not at that point in time anyway. The security needs will need to be addressed before he starts thinking about achievement.

As a compromise, he may decide to start the internet business part time. The main motivation here will not be Esteem but Security still as the extra income from the part-time online business opportunity will help his household financially.

However, if looked at from the context of a successful internet business and a successful corporate job, there can only be one winner. In terms of time and money, a successful internet business gives the entrepreneur a good standard of living and a lot of free time to do as he pleases and live a high quality of life. A successful corporate job could be a brilliant standard of living but a lot of time constraints which could affect the quality of life.

Individuals increasingly satisfy their needs outside their work environment. Therefore, the more time they spend at work, the less they are working towards satisfying their needs. Although the road to success in an online marketing business may be a slow and painful one the rewards in terms of quality of life and satisfying needs seem to be higher than a successful corporate job.

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