I wrote a blog a few weeks ago and the responses that I got were truly amazing! I heard from people that I haven’t talked to in almost 20 years. Thank you to all of you that took the time to read it, I’m glad that it resonated with so many of you 🙂
Interestingly enough, I received a lot of messages about starting a business and organizing/growing a current business, so I wanted to share a few things that I’ve learned along the way about being an entrepreneur.
It’s really easy to get lost in the digital world these days. There are literally thousands of programs, webinars, courses and influencers shouting “This is the way”. But, it really depends on you, your business, your goals and your target market. Today alone I received an email telling me that Facebook was dead for business (it’s not by the way) and that I should focus only on Instagram. Then, on Facebook I saw an ad telling me that LinkedIn was the way to go- that I shouldn’t bother with any other social media platform. I see stuff like this all the time- I should be doing live webinars, extravagant marketing funnels, membership sites, podcasts and a million other things that may or may not work for my business.
I used to fall for them, but finally realized that, 1. I was wasting my time learning about these different tactics and 2. it doesn’t really matter what they are saying- what matters are the goals I’m trying to achieve. Some platforms/strategies may work and others won’t. But, don’t go and waste your time trying all of them- establish your goals first.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in- there are a few common things you should ask yourself whether you’re wanting to start a business or if you currently have your own business:
- Why am I doing this? This is what is going to get you through the hard days. Are you doing it for the freedom? Are you doing it for your family? Are you doing it because it is simply something you are so passionate about that you can’t imagine doing anything else?
- What goal(s) is my business trying to achieve? What am I trying to accomplish with my business? What problem(s) am I solving for my potential customers?
- What is my unique messaging? What do I have to offer and how can I communicate it to my potential customers so they want to work/buy from me? Remember this saying: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.” It’s true. They want an emotional connection. Share this with them- show them what is special about YOU and your business!
- Where are my customers hanging out and how can I reach them? For instance, if you’re a children’s boutique and are trying to reach mothers with young children- they would be more likely to be on Facebook and/or Pinterest and probably less likely to be active on LinkedIn.
- How do they like to be communicated with? i.e. do they like attending webinars? Or would they prefer emails? Or a podcast? A blog?
If you really want to start a business or you have a business but you’re not going all out like you know you should be, just start where you are. Start with a small step, like a small side gig- that’s how I started my digital marketing agency. It will grow, but you’ll never know until you try.
Another personal example, I know there are things that I need to do in my business like hopping on video and sharing more personal photos, but those things make me SUPER uncomfortable. I mean, I didn’t even have a videographer at my wedding, nor have I ordered photos yet…next year is our 10 year anniversary. But, I recently (like, this morning) had a come to Jesus talk with myself and have set some new goals to start including them in my strategy because I know that it will only help me grow my business. Don’t overanalyze or overcomplicate things, start where you are and adjust along the way!
Don’t give up
Trust me, you’ll want to, but don’t. Go back and think about #1 above. Things that have helped me get through the tough days are reading about other entrepreneurs who are crushing it and offer amazing motivation (if you don’t follow Gary Vaynerchuck, you should :), my family, prayer and the feeling that I get when I help small business owners grow their business. (Oh, and wine- lots and lots of wine )
Move Your Body
It helps clear the mind so much. Even if it’s a 10 minute walk- it can work wonders. If you can get outside for it, even better. My most creative business thoughts come to me when I’m running (maybe it’s my defense mechanism for not thinking about how much I hate running 🙂 ) You just feel better after getting up from your desk or task and take a mental break. Try it.
Life is too short to not be enjoyed. It sounds so cliche, but it’s true. If you read my last blog post, you know I lost both parents to cancer in the last 2 years and sadly, today I saw 3 posts about friends’ family members who are battling it. Life is so precious, make an effort to see the positive and have fun while you’re here on this Earth- it goes fast.
I’m not going to lie, it’s tough being an entrepreneur and some days totally suck, but don’t stay there. Remember this quote from the Lumineers: “Live the day, do what you can”.
Hope that helps! Feel free to reach out with any questions or comments that you have- I honestly love talking about business and helping other entrepreneurs grow!