The Autopilot Business Lie

Think back to the last time you read the sales page for a product that promised you an ‘autopilot business’. I’m willing to bet they made it sound an awful lot like you would not have to do any work and money would just fall out of the sky – if only you knew the secret they were trying to sell you.

I hate to be the one to burst your bubble, but they are lying (or at least misleading you.) An autopilot business doesn’t run by itself.

The Reality of an Autopilot Business

Autopilot systems were invented back in 1912 to help airplane pilots relieve some of the constant effort and attention required to keep an airplane flying on course. As sophisticated as these systems have become, every airplane still requires a pilot – he or she just doesn’t have to spend every second of every flight with hands on the controls. The flight runs a little smoother (most of the time) and the pilot can focus on other important business with less fatigue.

Your business goals should be the same. It takes real work to create an autopilot business. But, with the correct systems in place, you don’t have to keep your hands on the controls all the time.

You can:

  • Setup automated order processing and product delivery systems that handle your sales
  • Outsource tasks like website design, copywriting, and customer support
  • Hire a general manager who completely operates the business for you on a day-to-day basis and frees your time for other things.

But, like an airplane autopilot system, you will still need to be in charge to make sure everything is working smoothly and that the business is headed in the right direction. You still need to be the pilot.

That might not be the most seductive description of an autopilot business you’ve ever heard. But, it is probably the most honest and realistic. My Internet based business is highly automated, but I still need to work on it actively to keep things going and growing.

Building Your Own Autopilot Business

Information publishing and Internet marketing are business models that allow you to create highly automated systems. Those systems can lead to a very profitable business that requires little time and attention to maintain. You can profit many times from the products you create and the marketing sequences you develop to promote and sell. But you are going to have to do some work, and you’ll have to stay in command all the time – even if you your hands aren’t constantly on the controls.

Don’t fall for the ‘success without effort’ sales pitches you see floating around. If they are not willing to tell you about the work involved to build your business, there are probably a few other details being left out as well. Any honest teacher will tell you that there is work involved – and then show you how to get your hands off the controls as much as possible.

3 thoughts on “The Autopilot Business Lie”

  1. Sasha,

    A successful business isn’t likely to be effortless (at least not at the beginning) but when everything is working well it might look effortless.

    Any work is an effort if you don’t enjoy what are doing.

    As I see it, the secret to an effortless business is finding work that you love and then getting busy at it:)

    Thanks for your comments,


  2. No business can be successful without hard work or successful marketing and advertising. In a way I’m glad scams like autopilot businesses exist as it’s a way to weed out the competition. I take my baseball cap off to autopilot businesses, cheers!

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