I think the reason some entrepreneurs say "focus on creating value" is because doing something solely for monetary gain is difficult to do. If you only do something for monetary gain, the second there is no cash flow you will lose your motivation and your creativity will wane as well.
Online business honestly isn't for me. I find it a heck of a lot easier to build something up offline and compliment it with a website. It also helps if you have a backup (ie. a job). I work full time for a good living and I'm building a side business in my spare time. I started out with a small initial investment and I don't plan on progressing further until I've made that investment back. But since I work, I don't miss that money. That's the key to any investment. Invest what you can afford to lose.
Also, you don't need an online business or a factory to make money. Just look at what other people are selling and ask yourself if you could do that too. Grow a garden and sell vegetables at the farmers market? Mow grass? Do some kind of craft? Sky is the limit. All competition means is that there's a market.