To be fair to myself, I “knew” most of these things when getting started with my business. I did not however fully embrace, follow, or live by them as I am encouraging you to do now.
Identify a problem, and solve it. This is where your content creation for social media, emails, and products stems from. It is quite literally the heart of your business. If you’re not solving a problem, you are not going to sell to people. You’ve got to make their life easier, more joyful, less painful, more convenient in some way. Identify this, and stick to it like your life depends on it…because the success of your business does.
If you suffer from analysis paralysis, congrats, you’re a normal entrepreneur doing it all yourself. Been there, and reading Essentialsm by Greg Mckowen saved me. We need action to make moves in any facet of life. Practice identifying what is absolutely essential, what is a hell yes? Eliminate all else. This often means removing or saying no to GOOD THINGS. But these things are not essential for the success and progression of your business. This will carry over and effect every area of your life. And it will be one of the most freeing things you’ll experience.
Oh honey, be patient. Daymond John says “every over night success was made over 15 years.” I could not love that phrase and reminder any more. Please also understand that patience is not synonymous with stagnant or without action. It is synonymous with being steadfast. Take action, make big steps, while being patient and enjoying the journey. Your story will be written, it will be fabulous, but it will take TIME. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Same goes for your business. Therefor you should….
Everyone looks like they have their shit together, but no one does. One of my favorite phases of my business is when I was in B-School. I was learning and applying and didn’t take a single second to look up and see what other people were doing. When you’re solely focused on your vision, your goal, creating your path, and serving your audience it is BEAUTIFUL and AUTHENTIC. We often look up to see what others are doing when we are feeling stuck, insecure or questioning our direction. Nothing good comes from this comparison. So go ahead and redirect your eyes and thoughts towards your purpose and vision, be grateful for what you’re creating, and grind on my friend. P.S. Everything you’re seeing is a highlight anyway. Don’t waste your precious time there.
This may be one of the biggest regrets I have as a business owner. I did what I saw others doing when that was NOT my calling. That was not my purpose, or even what I enjoyed doing. I hosted 20 day challenges, and created three six week programs. While these were PACKED with value and quality products, they were not attracting who I ultimately wanted to work with, and that’s not good for business.
Over the course of 2018 I had to phase these programs out, and completely shift gears with WHO I was talking to, creating content for, and serving through my programming. In reality, those embryonic programs gave me experience, and generated cash flow. However, if I would have just taken a few more to follow some of these steps ALL IN, I could have saved two years of misdirection. Determine the problem you solve, create one or two products at most. Go 150% into that. You’ll save yourself heaps of time, and you’ll likely make more mula in the end.
You don’t own social media + email is not dead. If facebook or instagram shut down tomorrow, how many humans would you have access to? How many potential customers can you contact? You NEED more than anything to build a mailing list of humans who love you and want to buy things from you. You have a business, you need to make money. By all means have social media. It is an UH-MAZING way to establish your presence, business, brand and philosophy. But always be driving those humans to a more controlled setting – a mailing list (something I am still working on…join mine here)
Allow me to repeat myself. You own a business. Businesses need money to function and be profitable. Yes, you want to hopefully be doing work that you “would do for free, for the love of it.” But that’s called a hobby. If you want a hobby, cool, do it all for free. If you want to own a business, charge people accordingly. Do not low ball your pricing because you’re unsure or you think that is what people will pay. This is why it is VITAL for you to nail down your ICA.
Also something I half-assed when starting out. It has since, bit me in the ass and slowed things down. I have an Ideal Client Avatar Creator here if you’re interested. This goes hand in hand with what problem you are solving. You will attract other “types” of people that will buy from you and resonate with what you’re putting out into the world. BUT, you need to know who you are talking to on a level that can be very difficult to get to. You want to live inside your ideal clients head. You need to be SPECIFIC. If you’re talking to everyone, you’re talking to no one. If you nail down your ICA, you are golden. You know what problem to solve, you know how to speak to her/him, you know what to create because you know their needs, deepest fears, and what brings them joy.
Read books that resonate with your business dreams. My three favorites are Essentialism, The 4 Hour Work Week, The Big Leap and Profit First. Follow entrepreneurs you aspire to be like. My favs to pull from are Marie Forleo (the business WHY), Amanda Bucci (how to connect with your audience), Grant Cardone (money and mindset), just to name a few. Like I said, read their books, listen to their podcasts, follow them on social media and…that leads to the next point.
You need to take action. Learning is literally pointless without applying that knowledge for forward movement. So many, I’d even say MOST fresh business owners suffer from not taking action. Action creates movement. So by all means, learn. But please use that knowledge and apply it to your business however you can.
That phrase comes from the beloved and in-genius self-made Marie Forleo. I “learned” this in B-School but wasn’t willing to fully embrace the ideal. I am honestly not a fan of problem solving. Ya girl does not like wasting time. I want answers, and I want the problem fixed WITHOUT trial and error. But there is so much beauty in the beginning of owning a business. You can learn so much about yourself by fully adopting this phrase. Take a deep breath, shit happens, and it WILL be okay. Those times are test of grit, innovation and character. Know that you can and will figure it out.
There you have it. 11 things I wish I knew when starting a business. Start by grabbing my Ideal Client Avatar Creator here, and take these points to heart. They will absolutely make your life easier.
I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.
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