So you have a brilliant idea but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’ve started but don’t know what you’re doing? Congratulations, welcome to the entrepreneur’s club! I can almost guarantee you that most entrepreneurs you know didn’t know everything they needed to know when they first started their business.
What they had was an idea, the drive to go after that idea and confidence in themselves that they were capable. One thing I have learned in my personal journey as an entrepreneur is that we learn as we grow and we grow as we go.
There are things I know now that I didn’t know when I first began and I am glad I didn’t allow that to stop me. The more you keep going, the more you will learn, the more you will grow and the more you will be successful. To judge your ability to become successful and not launch a business based on your lack of knowledge is a premature decision wrapped in fear. Why? Because fear magnifies our weaknesses rather than showcasing our strengths.
Starting a new business? Check out this blog I wrote about the top 10 mistakes you should avoid when starting a new business.
We learn as we grow and we grow as we go.
So what are the 5 common mistakes first time entrepreneurs make?
1. Analysis Paralysis: Ever been stuck in analysis paralysis? You over analyze everything? Let me help you girl, stop it! Just stop it right now! You are enough and you have what it takes to begin. You are smart enough to launch that product and that business idea. You have all the resources you need to move forward. No, your mama and best friend may not agree or support you but do it anyways. Tracy, Monique and Helen won’t support your new venture but go after it anyways. Stop worrying about what you have or don’t have, stop worrying about this or that, like Nike, just do it!
2. Lack of Confidence: If there is one thing I have studied over the past few years between successful people I know via social media, TV or my friends that are successful, it’s the attitude of confidence they’ve all adopted. Simply put: they believed in themselves, their talents and what they were bringing to the world. That’s it. No magical formula. They had an idea and went for it with everything they had. They became relentless, worked hard and remained consistent. Lack of confidence will have you questioning yourself, your ideas and cause you to lose focus. Lack of confidence will have you ponder on the same ideas for months, even years only for you to never take the first step to work on your dreams. Girl today is the day, give yourself permission to be confident. Walk in it because you are more than capable to accomplish what you set your mind to do. And if nobody ever told you, I believe in you girl. I am here to cheer you on. Here, send me a snail mail and let me know how I can lovingly encourage you because truth is, we’re in this together.
3. Lack of Consistency: Girl! Let me help you: You will not be successful overnight. You will not make a million dollars overnight (unless you win the lotto but that’s another story). You have to put in work in order to see results. Just like when a seed is planted on the ground, it takes time for it to produce a tree which takes time to produce fruits – the same applies to you. You can’t plant an apple and expect to reap a mango. Just because you like mangoes, only an apple will come out of that apple tree. The same goes with the work you put into your business. You cannot sow inconsistency and expect to reap success. You just can’t. And if you ever do, that will be a success that is short lived. So as you are embarking on this new journey, brace yourself. Put in the long hours; study your craft, keep planting seeds and watering your seeds. When the time comes, you will reap a harvest of success. So remember this simple formula: Consistency x time = success.
Related: Everything you need to know about being an entrepreneur
4. Lack of Community: So this one is a big one! I am a firm believer that we were created to live in community and we thrive in community. Although I am an extroverted introvert, I so value the ability to be in a community of like minded individuals. I thrive when I am surrounded by people who think like me, challenge me and cause me to share my knowledge with them. Listen girl, entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. There will be days when you will want to pull your hair out or flat out give up. This is where a community of like minded individuals come in. These are the people that are going through or have gone through what you’re going through. These are the people who will cheer you on when you’re ready to give up. These are the people who will encourage you and fight for you and your dreams. If you don’t have a community that believes in you and supports you, take the time to find one and if you can’t find out, feel free to slide in my inbox and let’s be BFFs because this is so vital to the success of your business.
5. Lack of focus: Who are you serving? Who is your ideal customer? What problem are you solving? If you cannot answer these questions properly – let’s get back to the drawing board. Knowing and understanding your ideal customer will help you tailor your business to best service them. You can not serve everyone and not everyone will be drawn to your business. Think about the last time you bought a product. Why did you buy it? What drew you to it? Name brands spend time defining their ideal customers, down to the things they like, can afford, wear, listen to and so on. You have to be able to define your customer base and be able to describe your ideal customer from head to toe. Knowing your customers on this level will help you remain focus because all your effort will be placed in creating products specifically tailored and appealing to them. Lastly, this will also free you from aimlessly creating content that won’t serve them.
You can not serve everyone and not everyone will be drawn to your business.
Now that you know the 5 common mistakes most entrepreneurs make, tell me in the comment below what are some mistakes you’ve made and how you’ve made changes to bring your business to the next level?