I have been a business coach for over ten years and an entrepreneur for much of my life. It all started when I was in my early twenties, slinging CutCo Cutlery door to door! Over the years, I’ve seen people make a lot of mistakes in business…including yours truly! I like to learn from my mistakes, but it’s even better if you can learn from the mistakes of others and save yourself the pain. Here’s 7 business mistakes that will bite you in the ass.
1. Get rich quick
We live in a world of instant gratification. Buy my course and get 10,000 clients in a month! Join my program and you’ll be able to shit bricks of gold in six weeks! Ha! I made that last one up but you get the picture. The point is, a solid, sustainable business doesn’t achieve success overnight. It requires building a strong foundation and continuing to put in the work, day after day, year after year. There is no magic pill or cure all.
2. Overcharging or undercharging
If you’re charging thousands of dollars for your services, you need to have results. You need to have something solid to back up what you charge. Years of experience, certifications, verified client results, cold hard facts, awards, etc. In the coaching industry in particular, I’ve seen people throwing around astronomical prices in the last few years with flashy branding and lots of talk, but when you look behind the smoke screen, there’s nothing there, and in most cases, you are not delivering what was promised.
Conversely, know your worth! I’ve worked with many other coaching clients who are vastly under charging for their services and leaving money on the table. Stop building others’ net worth, and forgetting about your own! My previous post on time worth value is a good read on this topic.
3. Poor work – life balance
As much as I do not like this term, I prefer work-life harmony, it is a thing, and people talk about it all the time. Building a successful business takes a butt load of work and tons of self-discipline. If you think you’re going to quit your day job and work remotely four hours a day from the beach, daiquiri in one hand, tanning oil in the other, I’ve got bad news for you. Entrepreneurship is a hustle and grind there are sacrifices that for sure need to be made. Many entrepreneurs work way beyond 40 hours per week, especially in the beginning when they are in the building phase.
However, I will say that learning to balance self-care with elbow grease is the key to long term success. If you don’t learn to schedule in free time and self-care time, if you can’t set good boundaries and say “no”, you’re going to crash and burn. You can still be flexible with your hours, just don’t be absorbed into your work and forget to look up and breathe, spend time with your family, friends and yourself.
4. Set it and forget it mentality
Being an entrepreneur requires constant evaluation. Your business is a living, breathing thing. Like scientists monitoring an active volcano, you want your finger on the pulse of your business. With increasing automation in all areas, it can be easy to just “set it and forget it” for all kinds of operations and processes in our business. It’s good to question things. It’s healthy to refine and make changes. Encourage questions and input from team members. Have an open mind.
I like to put evaluations into my schedule (or my VA’s schedule) to check up on and revamp aspects of my business. For example, I recently took a weekend away for a creative work trip. I got out of the city and stayed in a beautiful hotel in nature to recharge and get a fresh perspective. During the trip, I took time to rewrite and update content on my website and collateral materials. My website isn’t old. It was just updated a year and a half ago. However, in that time I have grown, things have changed, and my voice has shifted.
Taking this time to reevaluate and update is also important for your email marketing and communication, social media, the questions in your Calendly, to your pictures, and more. Don’t forget about your target market, your strategic alliances, your pricing, and your products and services, too. Keep it fresh and new, up to date with who you are and who you are trying to attract.
5. Throw away culture
We live in an age of disposability. Vacuum cleaner broke? Don’t fix it. It’s cheaper to go buy a new one and toss the old one in the landfill. New iPhone out, you are first in line purchasing the upgrade even though yours is only a year old. And don’t even get me started on “Cancel Culture”! The only thing is, this mindset isn’t always the best for business. Many people lack troubleshooting skills. If something is giving us a hard time, we can get a case of the f#@* its and get rid of it.
This can happen with our products or services, or even with people on our team or clients. Before you give something or someone the boot, ask yourself, have you really tried to troubleshoot the problem? Have you asked someone else for help?
More often than not, we throw away before we even consider the impact. When we are in a constant throw away state of mind, we are not gaining traction, we are not staying rooted. We are making our long term goals even longer term and by the way, this throw away culture costs a hell of a lot more than the alternative.
6. Superhero syndrome
It’s OK to ask for help! You can’t do it all on your own. I see many coaching clients who try to stay small and save money by doing it all themselves. Hiring a VA can be a great place to start if you are short on cash but overwhelmed with the workload.
In addition, hiring a coach or asking another entrepreneur in your industry if they would serve as a mentor can be a game changer in the success of your business. The first step is: swallow your pride (and put away that cape). Asking for help actually shows great leadership.
7. Crab in the bucket
If you put a bunch of crabs in a bucket and one tries to climb out, the others pull it back down. They are real negative Nancys. Don’t be a crab. There is enough success and business for everyone. Lift up and support other entrepreneurs, even those in your same field. Don’t pull them down. Don’t step on someone else’s back to get where you’re going. I have been around long enough to see that karma in business is real, and it will bite you in the ass!
Are you struggling with any of these 7 business mistakes entrepreneurs make? Schedule a free business consultation call with me here: https://calendly.com/lynnhoward.