There’s a twisted feeling of excitement and desperation when you’re new to business. You can’t wait for your business to take off but you’re still on a very windy learning curve that only time and lessons will help you get through. Start-up solopreneurs have a lot to learn and there is a plethora of advice (both free and not) that is available on the internet and in books. I’ve read a lot of blogs, books and hired several coaches but what I can tell you is that it takes time, patience, creativity and a plan to have a successful business.
We want shortcuts. We want clients and customers and more money. We’re impatient and want to skip the painful process that most start-ups struggle with their first 2 years in business. With both time and many mistakes under my belt what I’d like you to remember is that you’re going to make mistakes and the process is going to take time but each day you’re getting closer to accomplishing your dream and making it all a reality.
As much as it’s impossible to avoid all start-up mistakes you can avoid many of them when you follow these 4 simple steps:
- Discipline If you can stay disciplined and devoted to your “why”, the reason why you started your business you will be able to pull yourself back from the ledge of quitting more often than not. But it requires that you stay true to what you are trying to accomplish. You should keep the vision of your success in the forefront of your mind. Simply look at what your life will look like if you continue to grow your business and WHEN it becomes the success you know it can be.
- Follow A Plan Here is the main reason start up Solopreneurs and Momentrepreneurs fail, they don’t follow a plan and they simply “wing it”. You can’t wing a business. You can’t “wish” for it to happen. You need to action your wishes. If you want more clients… (then you need to figure out what you need to do to bring in more of them. If you aren’t getting in front of enough prospects to introduce what you offer then you need to step up your networking. But this all requires a marketing plan. One that you follow on a regular basis that includes a list of methods that work for your business. Now these aren’t the same for every business and this is where the trial and error piece kicks in. You can be told 100 things to do to grow your business but only you will know what is working when you action some of them and you begin to see results. A marketing plan is an absolute necessity for every business and it’s a step by step process that you follow and use daily, weekly, monthly and yearly to attract prospects and convert them to customers.
- Face Your Fears I’ve been in sales and marketing for over 20 years and a long time ago I stopped taking “NO” personally. Many people are afraid of rejection. They’re afraid of having their business idea criticized, they are afraid of not making money doing what they believe in. Employed Solo Entrepreneurs are afraid that they won’t make the same money in their business as they do in their job and Mom Entrepreneurs are afraid they won’t be able to balance raising a family while growing a business. These are all legitimate fears but when faced head on they can be overcome. What are you afraid of? It can even be the fear of your own success. Take a look at what you are afraid of and face them now so you can keep moving down the path of success.
- Ask for Help Just because you’re a solo entrepreneur doesn’t mean you are really alone it just means it’s your solo business. While growing your business it’s critical to lean on those around you who can help support you. They may be your friends, loved ones, classmates or even mentors. Don’t assume you have to go through the aches and pains of growing your business alone. Not sure how to market your business online? Struggling to put together your first presentation to an audience? Having difficulty with an administrative task you’ve never dealt with before? Don’t waste the time trying to figure it out ask for help on what you don’t know and move on to the next. At every stage there will be more to learn but you’ll move through faster when you ask for help.
What have you overcome since starting your business? Have one thing you’re proud you’ve learned how to do since starting your business? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.