So, you are desiring to create an awesome passion-based business....
You've decided to take the leap and create something of your own, something exciting and fulfilling....but maybe you are wondering "What do I need to avoid that could possibly derail my success."
I get it!
Starting a business can be one of the most fulfilling and thrilling things we can do as individuals. Helping others to accomplish a goal, assisting someone in making their day or week better, helping someone solve a problem that maybe they’ve had for years….its an awesome adventure with an amazing feeling of purpose and accomplishment! But the beginning doesn’t always feel so awesome.
It can almost feel like the game show – Win, Lose or Draw! Choose the right tool, right advice and the right steps to make what you envision for your life a reality; It's not for the faint at heart.
But to help you avoid some of the mistakes and pitfalls that so many new passion-based entrepreneurs make (including myself), I’ve written this article for you; 5 mistakes to avoid when starting your passion-based business.
Now, to be honest, choosing 5 was a bit of a doozie but I wanted to give you what I believe to be some of the top 5. The list is in no particular order so don’t pay attention to the order in which they are listed.
No.1 Your website is what you need to make money. It's Not!
This is one of the top mistakes that passion-based entrepreneurs make when starting their business. A lot of entrepreneurs get stuck in this mindset (I know I did). The truth is, if I’m spending hours on my website who’s spending the time to connect with people that aren’t even aware of my business or my website. Your website is more of a catalog, a place where people go to window shop (not always purchase). Where the catalog may have great information and awesome images – the truth of the matter is, it’s not what will convince someone to purchase from you. People buy because they feel like you can help them, trust me, it doesn’t take elaborate pictures (just nice ones) and a moving screen to prove that to them. What it does require is engaging in conversation, speaking their language, showing them that you understand and that you are able to help them solve their problem.
Now, I’m not saying that people will not purchase from your website, because people will. But, realize if you desire to make a major impact in the world, help as many people as possible through your services – spend less of your time on your website and more time talking to people, because those are the people that will become your clients.
Key: Whatever your service is, create a page about it, talk to people, market yourself and drive those people to that page-that’s where the money is and that’s when you begin serving your clients at its best.
No. 2 Not knowing your why and desires prior to jumping in. It's soooo important!
I wish someone had told me this before I started my business. Many new entrepreneurs don’t realize the importance of knowing what you desire and your why until late into their business. Most of us, when we start a business it’s because of simple things – money, freedom and passion. But what if you went a little deeper than that? How would it affect your entrepreneurial journey?
Let me share something with you, when I was frustrated and lost as to what to do next in my business and could have EASILY quit on it…I remembered my why and my desires - (freedom to travel when and where I wanted, freedom to schedule my entire day as I desired it to be, have an impact on the lives of others in a way that they began to live their best life, and more). Knowing those pieces made me pick myself up and refocus when things got difficult. That's the power of knowing your desires and your why. If you haven't identified your why and your true desires, i implore you to do so. Those two pieces will keep you motivated when nothing else will, grounded into the reality and not the drama and focused on the reason behind the entrepreneurial drive.
Before you jump into your dream biz, jump into your dreams and your why. It's the foundation of your business.
No. 3 Being a jack of all trades and a master of none (generalist).
This was another one of my mistakes – Being a generalist. I thought that being a generalist would get me more clients because I wasn’t pushing anyone away.
The truth is when you are a generalist, people can become a little confused about whether you are speaking to them about their problem, if you can solve their particular problem and whether you are the person they should even consider to address what they are looking for help on. I was once told “A confused mind never buys” – So, consider that thought when starting your business. Now, will you attract clients – Yes. It’s a matter of if you would like to serve a few clients or as many as your schedule would allow.
Consider this, if you had a migraine headache, would you go to the pharmacy looking for something that mentions headaches as part of the list of ailments that it can solve or do you look for something that is specifically for migraine headaches. Your challenge and key is to become the “Excedrin” for the “migraine” that your clients are having – and that’s how you will begin to stand out and become known for a particular issue that clients are looking for answers to. Being a specialist doesn’t repel clients it actually attracts them and eliminates any confusion about what you can help them resolve.
Key: When you are known for a particular thing or service, people will begin to say "I'm going to (your name) because I know she/he specializes in (your service)." Amazing right!
No. 4 Wasting a lot of money on tools
OH to apps and tools!! Don’t we love them! They make our lives so much easier, it’s even kind of fun (maybe that’s just me).. But here’s the kicker – tools don’t have to be EXPENSIVE to create productivity. Yes, Systems and tools are needed to make our lives easier and increase productivity, but productivity is not synonymous with pricey or expensive. There are free tools out there that will do what you need for now to create smooth business operations and productivity – just ask, research, google it and watch what you come up with. Choose what to spend your money on and what is not required for success – tools can become a money drainer if you let them.
Bonus – I have provided a short list of free or rather inexpensive tools for productivity. I’ve provided two or three in each section but know there are many others tools available to help your productivity at a low or no expense. So please do your own research, check them out for yourself and choose what will work best for you and your business. Here's the list:
No. 5 Thinking you don't need an attorney until you NEED an attorney
Okay, now maybe this isn’t associated with making money but it is definitely connected with keeping it. Now, I’m not suggesting you go out and hire an expensive attorney to work for you, but I am suggesting you connect with an attorney, begin conversations with one and DEFINITELY connect with an attorney for contract creation. It’s always better to be proactive instead of reactive – proactive may cost a little in the beginning but it will save you in the long run. But reactive, reactive is expensive all the way around!
Bonus No.6 If I don't do it myself, it won't get done properly
Okay, I understand that you want your brand, your product and everything connected to it to be nicely put together. And that’s great! But it doesn’t require you doing it for it be nicely put together. Have you ever heard the saying “stay within your zone of genius?” Well, that’s kinda what this is referring to. It’s focusing on the things that you are responsible for that will bring in clients and money (money making tasks). Money making tasks would consist of: getting in front of your prospective clients, talking to those prospects and having something to offer them that’s going to help them solve their problem.
Anything that’s not a money making task can be delegated.
Trust me, consider your day, your schedule and what you are desiring to create. If you are working a full-time job and putting together a business (that was my story), you have to get help in the areas that are not connected with you attracting clients and bringing in money. Consider it as a disservice to your prospective clients – they want your help, your skills and your services, but when you are focusing on everything else but that (the behind the scenes things), you are stripping them of the opportunity to work with you to get whatever breakthrough they are looking to receive through your services.
Make the decision today to look for people to help you – look for interns, freelancers, not so expensive individuals that are looking to build their business as well and begin focusing on your clients.
Do the research, ask questions and begin looking for help for the non-money making tasks that are not your “zone of genius.” Examples of things to delegate: website creation, landing pages, branding, contracts, email formatting (not necessarily writing the copy) and more…