When I sat down to think about the biggest mistakes I've seen small business owners make (including myself), I came up with a laundry list that went on forever, but a few bigger conceptual mistakes REALLY stuck out to me that can encompass all the little ones.
Mistake #1: They give up before they really get started
When I started my network marketing business in 2011, I remember having a great first month. I was SO excited and my energy was through the roof. Then December came and business slowed down and I gave up. After ONE MONTH, I gave up?! I treated my business like a hobby I only did if it was easy. If it was fun and easy, I'd do it. The second it got a little hard, I threw in the towel. I realized pretty quickly that this wasn't going to bring me in consistent income, and sure as heck wasn't going to let me quit my day job. If I was going to build a six and multiple six figure business I had to ACT like a six figure business owner.
Six figure business owners do not give up when they hit a hard patch. They also don't have a "Plan B" or timeline to have success in their business. Sure, we can have goals and benchmarks we'd like to hit, but if we don't hit our goals by that time, do we just throw in the towel and call it quits? No! We evaluate. What went well? What went wrong? How can we change it for next time? We need to start looking at our "mistakes" "failures" and "pitfalls" as learning experiences that we can tweak for next time.
The entrepreneurial roller coaster is REAL, and if we don't mentally prepare ourselves for the tough times, we're going to give up before we even get started. And the funny thing is, we usually have a breakthrough on the other side of a struggle.
My biggest tip for you to bust through these hard times and not make the mistake of giving up too quickly, is to find the FUN in the everyday. What part of your day can you look forward to? What (inside AND outside of your business) can drive you and give you purpose? Those things will keep you going and find joy in the process rather than just focusing on the destination.
Mistake #2: They try to do everything themselves//zone of genius
For the longest time I wore "figuring it all out by myself" as a badge of honor. I didn't think I needed help to build my business. I'd just google everything, save money, and be good. BOY was I WRONG. Not only would that strategy take me FOREVER, but it's really lonely. Being an online entrepreneur can be a very lonely endeavor, ESPECIALLY if you're trying to do it all alone. Investing in coaching and masterminds have not only helped me have more skin in the game and learn how to have success from someone who's already been there, but it's made the entire process so much more FUN.
I have a community of like minded female entrepreneurs who I can go to when business gets tough. My friends outside of entrepreneurship, while amazing, won't always be able to relate to what I'm struggling with within my business, and having women who truly "get it" has made the biggest difference in my business (and sanity and happiness!).
Even if your first step is to join a free community, seek out help in SOME way! I have a great Free Community you can join here.
Mistake #3: They don't have a life outside of business and make their entire identity and happiness dependent on their business
While I absolutely LOVE my business, it is not my entire life. My business GIVES me life. I am forever grateful for it, but if I based my entire worth or identity on my business, I'd be a basket case. As an entrepreneur we're going to face so many ups and downs and if we ride that up and down emotionally every single time, we're going to be a wreck. I have a pretty smooth flowing business and team operating efficiently and we STILL have things "go wrong" every month. It's just the nature of business and the fast changing pace of social media. If something doesn't go as planned, I don't completely freak out and think my life is over. Is my family happy and healthy? Am I happy and healthy? Great. Then I'm good.
Life will happen. And when it does it can be very hard to show up in our business. If we can separate our business from our personal life and plan ahead for times like these, we can have "life happening" without our business crumbling. And vice versa. If we are having a tough point in our business we don't have to let it completely affect our personal life.
Setting boundaries with our business and personal life is going to be HUGE. I personally don't work weekends or after 5PM most days and my clients know and respect that. Setting boundaries (and actually sticking to them) are what's going to help you create that work/life balance that sometimes seem so elusive. I promise you, it's not :) You can have it too!
WRITTEN BYMegan Yelaney