Always wondered why some entrepreneurs seem to grow their business effortlessly.
It is all within your reach, but you need to bust a couple of myths that are the real cause why your business isn’t reaching the heights it should.
Myth 1: I need buckets of money to grow my business
When you look at people whose businesses you admire, it’s tempting to put them on a pedestal and think, “It’s alright for them because they have the resources / they don’t have kids, or … [fill in the blanks]
We all revel in the success of moguls like Richard Branson, Simon Cowell, Mark Zuckerberg. We admire and envy them; we devour their publications and attend their events in the hope we will unlock the secrets of how to grow a business.
And we stop on our tracks because we don’t have the money or the money they say they have. Most of these folks also started small and made wise use of the resources they had and combined with taking risks.
I remember a couple of years ago. I attended a workshop where JT Foxx, also known as the Nr 1 wealth coach, said, “Let me show you my entire strategy.” After he announced the steps, I thought to myself “I practice that strategy already. Oh, this must be the basic bit, and then he’s going to go on to the advanced stuff, which most probably requires significant investment .” Then he said, “That’s it. That’s what I do.”
That’s when for the thousand times, the truth was staring at me square in the eye. There aren’t any advanced strategies, but entrepreneurs who manage to grow their business they have the basics in place and stick to them.
Myth 2: I can do it all myself
Many of us grew up with a mom that convinced us we could be anything and do anything if we set our hearts and mind to it.
While this belief may have come in handy in our teen years, if you continue to do it as a business owner, it is most probably because you do not trust your team.
I am an advocate of learning everything about your business, whether it’s finance, marketing, video, website, etc. Not to do it all myself, but to have enough ground to understand which services will I outsource or delegate and set realistic expectations about the deliverables.
When you are running a one-person business, your growth potential will be limited because there are so many hours in a day and we can become experts only in a finite number of topics. Running a business all by yourself because you think you can do it better will deliver you, at best, a living but not a lot of money.
Myth 3: A winning business starts with an idea
Often we bring products and services to the market that are a result of our knowledge, or what we are good at, forgetting that what we should do is to develop products and services that solve a need or fill a desire in our target market.
Don’t start with an idea. Start by identifying who you’re targeting and give them what they want/need. Know your market and use common sense. You can’t sell to consumers who don’t want what you are offering.
Sean Diddy Combs, who is a super successful entrepreneur, revealed that whenever he is considering a new project, he asks his team: “What do people need? What do people want? That is the start of a great business – just understanding what people need, and people want.”
All of this leads to the million dollar question: How do you find your audience?
Your audience should meet these criteria:
• They should be a group you belong to, are connected to, or deeply understand
• They should be a group that’s easy to reach
• They should be a group that pays for things
The sweet spot is a group of people that meet all three of these criteria.
Myth 4: I just need to get it perfect before I bring it to the market
“Done is better than perfect” is the mantra of every successful small business owner. And I know what I am talking about, as I am a recovering perfectionist.
At bridge2more, we noticed many starting entrepreneurs would see a website as their first business decision and by doing so many times ended with a site that was not suited for their business needs. They also wanted affordable sites and to be online in no time, so we created the Kick Starter Kit offering a responsive website, content and marketing advice at affordable prices.
I wrote the copy for the landing and the package page. In searching for perfection, I reached out for people in my field and asked them to review the landing and package pages and provide feedback. People were kind and passed on their reviews, but I felt appalled by the reactions. In refining the stuff, our great idea landed in a digital drawer.
Then I changed the mail message to “I don’t want you to tell me this is an interesting idea or it is clear; I want to know if you’d use it and pay for it” and sent it to potential clients instead of colleagues. I got definite yeses and launched the package in beta format to test and refine it with actual users.
When confronted with a decision, ask yourself:
• What is the worst that can happen?
• What is the best that can happen?
• What is what most probably will happen?
If you can live with any of the results, go for it.
Myth 5: I need to wait until the time is right
Next to the previous myth comes the freaking conviction that we still do not know enough and need to continue learning before we bring our message out to the public.
Many of us are more of a learner and fact-finders than quick action takers. I am one of the aim-aim-aim and then shoot kind of people. We suffer from not moving from learning to doing.
Well, know that the best way to learn is practice.
And when you are starting, and there are not many people following you the eventual negative impact resulting from a failure will most probably go unnoticed. In exchange, you will have now real-life-experience which will allow you to calibrate and apply all this to the 2.0 version of the product or service you want to bring to market.
And as Jeff Walker says “people procrastinate in the hope that their confidence level will increase the more they get ready. But confidence comes after you make the decision, move forward, and enjoy some success. So waiting for confidence means you’ll never be ready.”
Myth 6: Consistency is for boring people. I am a creative being!
Some people change their business focus every couple of months, and it’s confusing for your audience if they don’t know how they can rely on you. Consistency is the key to growth.
Successful people get rejected and knocked down, but they get up fast and move on. Failing is not a problem per se, but it is when you do not use the lessons learned from your failures, and keep doing things the same way, on and on.
If you write a blog, and there are no comments, don’t get discouraged, and above all, do not stop in your efforts. There’s this fallacy that good content always gets discovered, but the truth is that content needs distribution to be seen.
Ask yourself if you did follow the steps to promote it and let people know there is a new post. If you did, then review your content. Are you falling prey of schedule and end up churning blogs sacrificing quality for quantity? Are you giving your readers the high-quality input they need?
Myth 7: If I do good work, I’ll be successful
Maybe, but only if people know about it!
It is essential that you communicate the unique and valuable offers that you have to those who are ready to listen. Mostly it’s about letting your existing and potential audience know what great things you are doing.
Marketing is what will determine whether your business sinks or swims.
Good marketing isn’t about employing the latest growth hack.
At its core, good marketing is correctly identifying a legitimate problem that people will pay you to solve and show you are the right person to solve it.
Be aware that the people who are making the money you aspire to make are just ordinary people who are following the basics. They are being super-consistent and keeping things very simple in their business. They make clear, conscious decisions about what they’re going to do. They’re not trying to be everything to everyone. And they’re surrounding themselves with like-minded people.
Image by verne-ho-23722-unsplash