There is a lot of work that goes into building, running and growing a successful, feel-good business. Believe me, I know. I’ve been on an 8 year entrepreneurial journey to where I am today in my business.
I’ll admit, I’ve done a lot of things right -- things that saved me time, delivered BIG wins and resulted in amazing business growth (I’ll be sharing those next week!) -- but I also did a lot of stuff that didn’t work so well. Things that slowed me down, wasted my time and had little (or negative) impact on my business.
We’re often only told what we should be doing. We get item after item that we need to add to our business “to-do” list.
Today, I’m going to share with you the 6 things that DIDN’T work when building my business, so that you can save yourself some valuable time, money and energy as you continue refining and expanding your business.
(As you know, because you’re a super smart, talented lady, the items listed below are all based upon my personal experience, so please evaluate each one for yourself. The best way to do that is to ask yourself, “Do I feel good when I do this?”, if YES! great, if No, then rethink it.)
1. Doing everything myself didn’t work.
The sooner you embrace other people’s talents to improve your own business, the better off you’ll be. For YEARS, I did EVERYTHING myself, and for years I made very, very little money. When I finally wrapped my head around the idea of bringing in talented women to support me and my business, things transformed. I now make my previous yearly income in a month!
If this concept is new to you, start small. One of my favorite resources is Fiverr.com (where people list tasks they’re willing to do for just $5!). Want a PDF made fillable, want a video or audio edited, want a graphic created? Fiverr.com is your go-to. Send along anything that would eat up a lot of your time and is totally worth a couple bucks to outsource. (You’ll get hooked!)
2. Trying to figure out everything by myself didn’t work.
One of the most uncomfortable places to be in your business is at a seeming dead end. You’ve exhausted all your options and all your good ideas, and you feel totally stuck.
You start wondering...
How can I make more money?How do I grow my list?How will I ever make this work?
But, you are never alone and, to quote one of my business mentors, Marie Forleo, “Everything is Figureoutable”. Yes, perhaps right now you’re choosing to run solo, but that’s a choice. The guidance you need is there, if you seek it out.
Here are some ideas to get unstuck when you’re at an impasse, you could…
Join a mastermind, start actively participating in awesome Facebook Groups (like this one), work with a coach, have coffee with a mentor, enroll in an informative program, hire an expert.
3. Stressing about money & getting clients didn’t work.
I’m sure you’ve realized this to some degree, but have you ever noticed that stressing out only exacerbates the problem? It doesn’t actually solve anything.
When I started (as best I could) to look at stressing out as a choice -- something that was within my control -- I felt empowered. I no longer felt like I was a victim of my situation.
Plus, when I started to feel better about myself and my business, things started actually getting better! I started bringing in more and more money and working with more and more amazing clients. Pretty cool how that works.
4. Putting a ton of pressure on myself to “succeed” didn’t work.
I tend to put A LOT of pressure on myself. For years, I actually thought that was sort of a good thing. Virtuous.
I’d tell myself that it was part and parcel with being an ambitious entrepreneur. I thought that pressure kept me taking action and moving forward.
Not so. I’m a go-getter by nature. Whether or not there’s added pressure, I get up, do the work and keep moving forward. It’s just how I function.
When I realized that I was choosing to put crippling pressure on myself, and that the pressure was actually slowing me down because it was taking me out of my creative flow, I felt a huge sense of relief. And, my business has been more FUN (and successful!!) ever since.
5. Efforting a lot when my heart/gut told me otherwise didn’t work.
You know those days when you’re just in a really dark place about your business, questioning everything, and you can’t see your way clear?
On one hand, you want to just take the day off, do something else, anything else, but then you think to yourself, “I need to work. I need to keep at this. I’ll power through this awful feeling and just keep plugging along.” So, you open up the laptop and get to work...begrudgingly.
On days like that, we get NOTHING accomplished. And, our super negative mindset often results in other unwanted stuff showing up. Computer problems, miscommunication, things that should take a couple minutes take forever, you know how it goes.
The best thing to do on days like that? Take a break! Give yourself permission to stop and regroup. Meditate, go for a walk, read something purely enjoyable, enjoy a long, hot shower, go out for coffee, call someone you love, create a new Pinterest board, plan a date night or vacation, do something creative, go for a drive, listen to an inspiring podcast or audiobook.
Do something -- anything -- that will give you a reset. Take as long as you need. Then, when you’re feeling ready, get back to it. Your efficiency and renewed enthusiasm when you return will more than make up for any “time lost”.
6. Perpetuating negative beliefs didn’t work.
We can’t have a super successful, fun, fulfilling business if we’re thinking negatively about it (or ourselves) most of the time.
Start to notice how to speak about yourself and your business to others and in your own head. Is most of it positive, uplifting, optimistic, or does it tend to be a little negative, pessimistic or even harsh?
The journey has to align with the destination.
We can’t get to our “super successful business” by telling ourselves we’ll never get clients or there’s never enough money coming in.
The sooner you can start to curtail your negative storylines and start planting new, positive beliefs, the better off you, and your business, will be!
Next Wednesday, I’ll be back with a list of things that DID work really, really well for my business, but until then, I hope these 6 items have given you something to consider.
Perhaps there are a few things on this list that you can stop doing, too, so that you can fast-track your business success.