8 Mistakes You Can Avoid In Your Business
Starting a business is exciting but what many people don't talk about is the challenges that come with it.
I see so many Facebook Ads saying "Quit your 9-5 and start a business. Then you'll have 5-figure months". While that's true for some, that's not the case for others.
One of the things that I like doing in my business is to learn from those who have been there and done that but not so far ahead of where I am. That way I can save time from making the common mistakes that everyone makes and speed up the process of building a successful business.
So in this post, I want to share with you 8 mistakes I made in the first year of my business.
Mistake #1 - Not setting goals that are in alignment with my heart
Goal setting is something I absolutely love doing and when I set goals, I go into the nitty gritty of each month what I need to do, achieve and feel.
Many of my clients didn't even know what goals they'd like to achieve when they came to me. This is a common mistake that many people do -- including myself.
This is also because we hear about goal setting so much that the importance of it gets watered down. I'm not asking you to set SMART goals. The way I teach and do my own goal setting is fun and exciting. I haven't had anyone (trust me.. not-a-single-person) who didn't have fun with it.
If you want to find out more about that process, I have a free training on it here.
Mistake #2 - Social media scrolling = time wasted
Whether you have an offline business (product based, in-person coaching, speaking etc.) or online business, we all need to have a social media presence -- of course unless yours is a very exclusive elite private niche business.
The problem is though when we're on social media, we get distracted with inspirational quotes and cat videos. And then there's a page we need to follow, another video we need to check out, another page we need to like and another person we need to check out. Before we know it, we've already spent four hours on social media -- getting nothing done.
Studies have shown that with every task we switch, we lose 20% of our productivity. So if we multitask five things, we've lost 100% of our day.
Today, I'm on social media probably for 20 minutes a day. That's it.
Mistake #3 - Undervaluing myself
As a newbie coach, I'd heard of stories where I needed to do some pro-bono work first before I could charge what others were charging. This is a choice by the way and it's about where we're making the choice from. If we make this choice from a place of integrity and being ethical, go for it. But if we make this choice from insecurity and lack mentality, then this is showing us the mental block we can work on.
Rather than undervaluing yourself, I suggest that you set a number of people you'd offer to work with at a very low fees at the start. Once you hit that number, increase your prices.
Mistake #4 - Investing in the wrong things
I'm a big believer in investing in myself and in my business. But the question is, what do we invest in? Many people make mistakes of investing in $6,000 websites, flashy techs and expensive copywriters before they're even clear of what their message is, who their target market is or even what their sales process is.
That's why I offer an extremely affordable web-design services only to my private clients.
I've invested in technology, systems and even hiring wrong team members. But out of those mistakes, the one thing that I did right was hiring several different coaches who put me on the path to where I am today. Learning their mistakes and not having to make them again saved so much of my time, money and headache.
Mistake #5 - Thinking I've failed when I haven't even fully started
Being in an online world can be fun as well as intimidating. Especially in the coaching space, when I started, there were only a handful number of people. Everyone knew everyone, and I started comparing myself with those who were doing well. Then the self-talk kicked in -- how I wasn't good enough. You can imagine the spiral that I went down.
I thought I'd failed when I hadn't even fully started yet.
When you start a business, the first two years is about building a foundation. During that time, you'll go through so many changes in your business. Yes I have so many clients who make back their investment with me within 3 months like Laurie but it all depends on timing as well as how willing are you to take action.
Patience is key here and keep trusting in the process.
Mistake #6 - Taking advice from the wrong people
Ahh! This is a big one. I'd asked for advice from people who had never started a business in the past. It's like asking for a relationship advice from someone who can't stay committed in a relationship or worse, who's never been in a relationship. This is a big no-no!
I've had clients who went and did the opposite of what we discussed because their aunt told them to do something else. I mean ... seriously?
It's important that when we ask for advice, we ask from those who have walked the path we're on and who's in alignment with the direction we're going in our life. Everyone has an opinion to share but opinion isn't always the best advice.
Mistake #7 - Not taking responsibility for my own emotions
Starting a business is one of the best personal development processes. We go through so many emotions, the highs and the lows of entrepreneurship (or a taste of entrepreneurship) and experience challenges. During that time, it's so easy to take it out on people around us.
I've had clients who lash things out on me. Whether it's the arguments at home, not seeing the results they want to see in their life or even the blocks they experience in life -- when they don't know how to deal with it, it's easier blame it on someone then take responsibility for it.
The thing is, when we start taking responsibility for our own emotions and actions, we empower ourselves to step into the role of a leader.
Mistake #8 - Not focusing on one thing but getting distracted by the shiny objects
Coaching business. Online program. Network marketing business. Speaking. Retreats. Masterminds. Video series. Webinars. Affiliate marketing.
Yes, yes I know what it's like. There so many things that we can do. And I've made this mistakes so many times that the past experiences have trained me well to say NO now to things even if they look really appealing.
Everything is vying for our attention but I see them as a test and a training to learn to focus. Focus is what's going to set you apart from the rest who won't make it. As I always say, what got me to where I was by saying YES but what got me to where I am today is by saying a lot of NOs.
The path to building a successful business isn't always going to be about sipping Pina Colada in Bali with a laptop on your lap. It is tedious, repetitive, and we go through trial and error. There were so many times I had to scratch off programs I spent months to create just because it didn't feel align to me by the time I was ready to launch them. There were so many times I thought about going back to the 9-5 job for the security of regular income.
But what sets success apart from failure is not failing. It's quitting.
I remember I said to myself that I'd rather live in a car with my dog, if it came to that point, to continue building my business than to go back to the corporate 9-5. Nothing against the corporate job. It was just a committtment.
When I made things non-negotiable for me, then I started to make an effort to make it happen. I stopped blaming my coaches, clients, family or friends, and I started taking responsibility for my own path.