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Happy day to you. 🙂 Hope you are enjoying yourself. It’s a holiday Monday and I’ve spent the day hanging with my kiddos and – yeah, I’ll confess! – working a little.

Public Service Announcement: What I love is that I have this flexibility. Yeah, the buck stops with me – so I have stuff to get done today and I can’t put it off. Buuuuut… I also get to call the shots every other day of my life. I get to hang at the rink with my skating-addicted 3-year-old. I get to chill on the couch with my littles when they’re sick. I get to take off for the beach in the middle of a workweek because we got a hot day.

So if you’re in that boat too – or aspiring to be – congrats.  You are blessed. Being an entrepreneur or small biz owner has its ups and downs. And it can be a boatload of work. But today let’s celebrate your freedom. You’ve earned it.

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled programming. 🙂

10 Fatal Entrepreneur Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Biz

Oof… sounds ominous. But here’s the thing: So often I see people with awesome ideas (and a much better work ethic than me) give up on themselves or pile on so much business debt they have to go get day jobs.

Yucky.

So. I wanted to talk today about the top mistakes I see people making that make your path to success longer, more zig-zaggy, and far more bumpy than it ought to be. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Mistake #10 – Expecting a 5-Figure Windfall Right Out of the Gate

Let’s be clear: This one’s totally not your fault. But if you hang onto this belief, it will totally destroy you.

Getting a business up and running is not easy. That’s the truth. The problem is that so many Internet marketing legends are advertising their stuff to you saying things like, “How to have a 6-figure launch, even with no list.” So you believe them. It sounds great, right??

It’s just not realistic – that’s the kicker. If you are just getting started and you land your first client, you ought to celebrate that – not beat yourself up for not landing 50 more clients at the same darn time. Small, incremental progress is how every successful entrepreneur I know built their business.

What’s that saying? Stop comparing your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlights reel.

Too many big-time Internet marketers these days are doing that to you, IMHO. They’re showing you their highlights reel and leading you to believe that’s the whole story and that you can have that same story if you only buy their thing. That’s not how it works.

Slow and steady wins the race. I promise. Keep going. Don’t beat yourself up. You’re doing great. (And if you’d like to learn how to get as many clients as you can, even if you’re just starting out, here’s my (helpful – if a little ranty) post all about it.

Mistake #9 – Building All Your Stuff First

Pop quiz: If you want to get clients online, you absolutely MUST have:

  • A) A website
  • B) A big social media following
  • C) An online course all built out
  • D) A webinar you can run live, or have it recorded and ready to go
  • E) None of that crap

The answer, my sweet friend, is E.

Oh sure, it’s an online business. Eventually you’ll want a website and all that other good stuff. But you actually don’t need all of that, especially when you’re just starting out – promise. All you really need is a great way to build your email list and then some tactics to figure out where your clients are hanging out on the Internet so you can start talking to people about what you do.

I know that sounds like an oversimplification. In a way it is… there’s a training I have coming up that dives into more detail of the only 3 digital tools you really need to get your online business up, running, and profitable – and I’d love to see you there… Here’s the link to sign up.

Yeah, it may be an oversimplification in some ways, but the truth is that when it comes to online business, we DO tend to overcomplicate matters.

You don’t need to spend months and thousands of dollars getting a website developed. You don’t need to spend months (and in fact shouldn’t, more on that in the next mistake) building out an online course complete with videos, Powerpoints, handouts, etc. etc. etc.

That’s why I love teaching the training I mentioned earlier. Because then we get to make it simple. Clear. Not confusing and expensive. Yay to the techie stuff not causing us to tear our hair out anymore.

Mistake #8 – Not Talking to Your Perfect Prospects & Dream Clients

This surprises a lot of people… but I actually am super shy. I’m a die-hard introvert. Generally speaking, I’d prefer not to talk to you. 😉

Maybe you’re a little bit (or a lot) that way too.

Here’s what this tendency often looks like: You have a business idea. You’re excited about it. You start dreaming about logos and building your first online program, how many modules it will have, what the bonuses will be.

And you’re actually kind of hesitant to actually say to someone, “Hey, I had this idea. Do you think anyone would buy it? Would YOU buy it? Do you know someone who might? Could I talk to them about it?”

I’ll be honest: I don’t know why this happens exactly. I think it has something to do with fear of rejection or fear of… as a friend of mine likes to say, “peeing on my rainbow.” (Gross, sorry, I know.)

We don’t want to road-test the idea because we’re excited about it and we just want to run with it.

…Buuuuuuuut…

If you’ve ever been in a position of building out a whole program only to discover you’re having a heck of a time selling it, well, you can maybe see why doing a little recon ahead of time might be a wise thing to do.

The good news is it’s never too late. Whether you haven’t had your first client (yet!) or you’ve been grinding away at your biz for years and have some testimonials to show for it, it’s always smart to get in touch with people and ask them for feedback. All you have to do is this:

  • Step 1: Make a list of people (friends, colleagues, past clients, doesn’t matter) who you suspect would be a great match for your product or service
  • Step 2: Reach out and ask if you can quiz them for 20 minutes or so.
  • Step 3: Ask them these 2questions: What’s your biggest struggle in this arena? If you could wave a magic wand and have 1 major outcome with this problem, what would that be?

The conversation will flow from there and you’ll get a lot of good intel as well as some great language to use in your marketing. Easy peasy! And, best of all, then you’ll know exactly what you ought to be building (see mistake #9) because someone who wants what you do will have told you exactly what they need.

Mistake #7: Not planning far enough in advance

I’m not going to lie – I still do this. I’m a work in progress, I’ll admit that.

But in the beginning, I was all about flying by the seat of my pants. I’m good at it. An insanely unrealistic deadline motivates me, what can I say?

…And then I got burned out.

My husband calls this “hair on fire” planning. It’s just not sustainable.

And I’m not even talking about from an energy perspective. You can do the hair on fire thing, not sleeping enough and eating fast food every day, for a pretty long time actually. I’m talking about sustainability from a happiness perspective.

The big problem here is that you wind up feeling like you’re failing. You’re exhausted. You never feel like you did a good enough job. You’re disappointed in yourself. You go through days of not showering and barely seeing your family. You forgo date night and you have crappy sleeps because you’re so wound up.

It’s not good for you. And it will make you feel like a total failure even though you’re taking massive action in your business.

My rule of thumb is to give myself a timeline and then add about 30% to that. That works for me… but maybe you’re a better planner than I am, I’m not sure.

It’s not possible to bring forth your best ideas when you’re all worked up and stressed out. However you do it… please make sure you do something about your “hair on fire” planning. You will be so much happier and make progress so much better once you do.

Mistake #6: Not taking care of yourself

…Which leads me to my next point. As an entrepreneur, it is oh-so-easy to have self-care go right out the darn window. You work as much as you can and whatever time is left over, you clean your house, you hang out with your kiddos, you mow the lawn, you zone out in front of the TV.

I strongly encourage you to build in a little “me” time into your life. If you’re really terrible at it, like I sometimes am, then start small. Like micro micro micro tiny small. Swap out 30 minutes of TV time for 30 minutes of fiction reading a week. Put your coffee in a to-go mug and take a walk around the block. You can do it!

The bottom line is that if you’re not looking out for #1, you won’t be able to take good care of your business. You need to fill your cup so that you have something to give. Okay? Okay.

Well! This post is longer than I expected! I’m going to leave my top 5 mistakes for another post. So stay tuned please!

And in the meantime, sign up for my free masterclass I mentioned, “The Only 3 Digital Tools You Need to Get Up, Running & Profitable Online.” No need to overcomplicate things.

I really hope you’ve found this post helpful. If you have, please do 2 things for me: (1) leave a comment below and (2) share this post with 1 or 2 people you think would really benefit. Thank you!

I appreciate you,

Kathryn