Throughout the years of running all different types of online businesses I’ve made quite a few mistakes.
Now, in my opinion there is nothing wrong with making mistakes. The key is to make sure that you learn from the mistakes that you are making and act on those lessons.
I think the biggest key is the acting on them.
It’s great to learn from them, but you also have to do something about it. That comes from action.
As a way of giving back, I thought I’d do a blog post on the 5 biggest mistakes I’ve made so you can hopefully avoid these on your journey to running a successful business, whether online or offline.
What Are the 5 Biggest Mistakes I’ve Made in Running My Business?
- Not focusing on building assets soon enough.
- Focusing too much on 1 traffic source.
- Trying to do too many things at one given time.
- Not outsourcing enough.
- Working too much.
You may have made some these mistakes yourself or maybe you are making them now. Either way, I encourage you to dig in below and really understand my reasoning behind the top 3 of these mistakes. I’m pretty sure the last two are very self-explanatory, but most of all remember that while work is important, you also need to refuel, re-charge and re-energize so you can be at your best.
So…without further ado:
#1 Not Focusing on Building Assets Soon Enough
One of the biggest issues with the online marketing world is that the barrier to entry is so low. I’m mean, really low. You can get a new business up and running for almost nothing these days. Even the tech barrier is incredibly lower since when I first started.
Now that has it’s pros and cons–one of which is distraction (but I’ll get to that in a minute).
The other major thing this leads to is a lack of treating your business like a real business.
What I mean is real business that has a focus on building assets.
– Email lists
– Customer databases
– Systems and processes
– Employees, staff and outsourcers
– JV partners
– Relationships with customers, vendors, service providers, JVs
– Products (information products/courses, physical products, intellectual property)
– and the list can go on and on.
The biggest mistake I made early on was NOT focusing on my email list. This mistake alone has cost me a massive amount of money and I would say definitely 7 figures.
If you are not focusing on building a list, fostering a relationship with that list and monetizing it with their interests (found out from surveys), you are missing out big.
Action Step: Focus on building a list, fostering a relationship with that list and monetizing that list with offers that match their needs/desires/wants.
#2 Focusing Too Much on 1 Traffic Source
In the online world, traffic can be king. Without traffic, you don’t have a business.
The bottom line is you need traffic to make money.
And there are tons of ways to get traffic.
You can do:
- FB ads
- and the list goes on and on.
Here’s the thing, though. A lot of these traffic sources are fantastic, but the problem lies in focusing too heavily on one particular traffic source.
For me that was SEO. I focused on SEO for a long time and still do. SEO traffic is a big part of my business and it converts like crazy.
However, I came to realize the hard way that being too reliant on one traffic source can be very damaging to your business.
Especially when you don’t have control over the traffic source.
I think there is a fine line here though. If you can get really good at just one traffic source you can still make boatloads of money.
So it gets tricky, but I still think diversification in traffic sources is the smart and solid long-term play.
My advice to my past self would be to get really good at one type of traffic source. If I could make a recommendation I’d have to say paid traffic and email marketing are the two sources to highly consider. If you need help finding a course that teaches these things, just email me.
These are skills that can pay dividends for you over and over.
Action Step: Focus on one traffic source, but diversify into other traffic channels. If you don’t have the skill set for a particular traffic source, learn it or hire it out within your team.
#3 Trying to Do Too Many Things at One Given Time
It seems like entrepreneurs are attracted to shiny objects, doesn’t it?
We are always seeing the opportunity in things and in doing so, we’re always getting ideas and wanting to start new businesses.
It doesn’t matter if we are making a lot of money in our primary business–it seems like everyone wants to build out other projects.
Now is this a good thing or is this a bad thing?
Well, it’s hard to say really because sometimes distraction can be good and a new project can take off. But more often than not, it’s bad.
In my opinion, distraction does a few things that are worth noting:
- Distracts you…duh!
- Limits your focus and allotment of brain power
- Pulls you in different directions
- Honestly I could list dozens of things, but if you think about how distraction works in your life, you’ll get a good idea of what I mean.
So the moral of the story is that for me, doing too many projects at one time cost me a lot of money. It made me distracted, pulled me in all kinds of directions, cluttered my brain, and a whole host of other things, causing me to be stressed/frustrated and also lose time and money.
Action Step: Think about how distraction is altering your business. Plan how to eliminate it and be able to focus on one business. You’ll be amazed at what can happen.
Now that you know my biggest mistakes I’d ask you to really consider any mistakes you are making right now in your business. Post them below in the comments and if you don’t know how to solve them let me know and I’ll see if I can help.
Also, I’d encourage you to make an action plan on what you need to do in your business to improve now that you know this information. The faster you can go and implement these types of changes the better off you’ll be.
Speed is very important here.
In fact, speed of implementation is critical to running, growing and maintaining a successful business.
Discover 5 Must Know Tips on Productivity That Every Entrepreneur Should Know
When it comes to being successful online or in business I find that execution can make it or break it.
If you can’t execute things that are going to get you results, you’ll be dead in the water.
There’s a difference between getting a few things done and executing effectively.
That being the case here are 5 things that I think will dramatically improve your productivity no matter what business you are in.
Side note: being more productive doesn’t have to mean getting more things done but rather getting the right things done.
- Weekly Planning – if you are not planning your week out every Sunday night you are really doing yourself a disservice. By planning your week out you can slot in all the important things first and build your schedule around the major wins you need to accomplish each and every week.
- Setting Daily and Weekly Goals – You should certainly set long-term goals and I like to focus on 6-month and 1-year goals myself. But no matter what time frame you’re working with, you need to design your days and your weeks to help you achieve those goals. This is critical, and by breaking down what needs to be done on a weekly and daily basis, you are going to give yourself a major advantage in achieving those 6 month – 12 month goals typically much faster than you thought possible. Don’t be lazy when it comes to this. Get detailed and very clear on what needs to be done.
- Setting Specific Work Hours – As an entrepreneur, you can usually choose whenever you want to work, especially if you work online. This can be a good thing and a bad thing as some people end up working less and some work nonstop–both of which are arguably bad. Figure out what time of day you work best and make those your most productive hours (I work best at night so I do a lot of work in the later hours).
- Work in 60-90 Minute Blocks – As entrepreneurs, I think we can naturally get distracted easily. Our brains inherently work differently and we should do whatever we can to focus. By working in 60 – 90 minute blocks you can be super productive and stay focused on 1-3 tasks. Once you finish them you can take a 5-15 minute break and do another session. I find that taking longer breaks after 2 sessions is key for my productivity. Also, during these focused sessions close email, turn off Skype, shut Facebook, and even turn your phone off or put it on silent. This time should be treated as sacred so you don’t want any distractions.
- Set Deadlines and Reward Yourself – Like any business, you should run your business with deadlines and project completion dates. To help keep you focused on reaching goals you need to have deadlines and completion dates for everything you do. It’s critical that you keep yourself, your employees and contractors accountable. The more you treat your business like a business the more you will be rewarded. When you reach the deadlines and complete your projects reward yourself even if it’s just a small reward. This starts to train your subconscious in a positive way.
Hopefully these 5 quick tips will help you get more done in less time all while focusing on things that will make a major impact on your business.
I want to throw in one more tip, so here’s a bonus tip.
Bonus Tip: Batching – Batch your work into similar tasks. For example, only respond to email in 2 batches a day, say at 11am and 4pm. Or as another example, only write content on one day a week and schedule it out across the week. Another great thing to do in batches is email swipe copy. Once a week, queue up all the emails you want to send that week and schedule them. This saves you time and allows for you to stay focused on one task at a time which leverages your brain power and the voice you use in your marketing.
If this was helpful please let me know in the comments below.
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