Here are some powerful lessons I’ve learned as a new entrepreneur
Being a new entrepreneur has been one of the most expanding experiences I’ve had in my life. But it’s also the scariest rollercoaster ride I’ve ever been on. The highs are full of so much potential for a life full of true freedom, one where I can design my lifestyle on my own terms. But the lows? Oh darling, the lows. They are hard as hell, full of anxiety and self-doubt.
It’s hard to grow a business from the ground up. This is especially true when you get caught up in the hustle, comparing yourself to others, and feeling the pressure of trying to do everything perfectly.
While I know this is only the beginning, so far I’ve learned:
Entrepreneurship is a pressure cooker for personal growth
The amount of personal growth I’ve done in the past 6 months is probably more than the last 5 years combined. Most of this growth has been centered around mindset and releasing fear. Success and confidence are all about mindset.
I’ve had to work through a lot of baggage, including my fear of failure, my fear of success, and my fear of being seen. Even with that, maintaining a positive mindset is a daily practice. But the best part is that in being your own boss, you get to know yourself on a whole new level.
Clarity comes with time
When I first launched my business I had a general idea of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to work with. But I wasn’t really clear on the specifics. What was it going to look like? What was going to be my message? How would I stand out from the crowd?
There was this mental fog around my brand. Of course, the first advice you hear from other entrepreneurs and business coaches is to get crystal clear. For months this caused me so much anxiety and thoughts of “I don’t know what I’m doing”.
But the more projects I worked on, the more content I created, and the more I interacted with others, the clarity and confidence poured in. I started to learn what really resonates with me.
It takes time to build your foundation and there is nothing wrong with not having it all together right away. Plus you are more than likely to rebrand or pivot your business after your first 6-12 months anyway. If you are feeling overwhelmed or unclear, give yourself the time and space to recharge.
You don’t have to do all the things
As a new entrepreneur it’s easy to get overwhelmed with everything you’re told you need for a successful business: blogging, sales funnel, email marketing, social media marketing, content freebies, webinars, advertising, etc. But the truth is you don’t need to do #allthethings. Especially not at the beginning.You don't have to do #allthethings for a successful #business. See more #entrepreneurtips Click To Tweet
It’s better to start off with 1-3 strategies at a time and build from there. Test what works and what doesn’t work. Just because something works for someone else, it doesn’t mean it will work for you. Business is one giant experiment, so allow yourself to try different things out. Plus, you’ll be more successful with the sales and marketing strategies that feel good to you, not the ones you dread.
Consistency is key
In some ways I think I slowed down my progress because I wasn’t consistent in the way I was showing up or the strategies I was using. I would sporadically email my list or post a new blog post. But when you do this, it’s hard for people to know what to expect.
Same thing for social media, if you are not consistent in what you post, how are people going to remember who you are and how you can help them? Visibility requires consistency.
If at first you don’t succeed, don’t give up.
It’s easy to give up on an idea when you think it’s not working. For example, the first Facebook Ad I did completely tanked. It got hundreds of link visits but the conversion was almost non-existent. I only ran it for a few days and decided Facebook Ads were not for me.
Months later, when I realized I probably should have analyzed what went wrong, I found out that the mobile version of my landing page had a glitch. People weren’t able to submit the form. If I had looked into this earlier instead of just accepting the failure, I would have fixed it in time. Again experiment, re-evaluate, and keep going.
Course addiction is a thing
I have signed up for so many courses in hope they would give me the secret sauce I need to make more money. The sad thing is, I haven’t gotten around to completing half those courses.#CourseAddiction is a thing. Stop looking for more info and start implementing. #entrepreneurtips Click To Tweet
It’s so easy to look outside ourselves for answers hoping that if we throw money at someone they would just fix everything for us. But at some point you have to stop searching for more information: reading more blog posts, signing up for challenges, or buying more courses. Instead, start implementing and experiment with what you have already learned.
Connections is where it’s at
Get out there and connect with people. Building relationships opens up doors to so many new possibilities and helps you expand as a person. Not only does relationship building lead to more clients, you are going to need a supportive tribe.
I truly value the friendships I’ve made with other creatives that understand the struggle and journey. It can be lonely as an online entrepreneur when most of the “regular” folks in our lives don’t understand what we do. That is twice as true when you work from home. If you are a new entrepreneur, relationship building should be a top priority.
This is a long game
Success is not going to happen overnight no matter what others make you believe. At the beginning, you are planting seeds and they take time to take root. I know it’s hard to stay motivated when you are not really seeing results.
There are times I feel day after day I do so much work, with not much to show for it in my bank account. But it takes time to build a legacy. In the meantime, that means you need to make a plan and prioritize. Plan out 2-3 goals, tactics, or strategies you want to focus on each month. And to keep moving forward, stay focused on the long-term vision.
Embrace your own pace
Like many new entrepreneurs, I fell into the trap of comparing myself to others. It’s easy to get discouraged when you see people post their successes online and you can’t seem to get where you want. But the truth is you can’t hear your own inner wisdom when you are focused on what everyone else is doing.
Everyone’s path is different, embrace yours. There are also times when we need to move slower: to reflect, plan, and regroup. Honor that.