Brand new entrepreneurs and veteran business owners alike face challenges each day. Some days they may see mountains to climb, while other days may feel like they reached the summit! In order to be successful over time, one should avoid the following pitfalls.
Thinking you fully understand all parts of the business world, especially the legal and tax aspects! When I first was getting started, I didn’t even know what I didn’t know! I highly encourage any business owner to always be learning. The best money you ever spend is on your lawyer and an accountant to help guide you. I found an attorney who worked in my industry (sports) for many years to help me set up my business properly within both the state and federal legal system. I regularly meet with my CPA to think through the tax benefits of being a business owner. In addition, I regularly seek out others who are 3 to 5 steps ahead of me in my industry to provide me direction. Finally, I am always on webinars, reading business and leadership books and podcasts to keep learning daily!
Only having 1 mentor!
Many business owners only have one mentor and can get stuck trying to just replicate their mentor’s same system. I have found having multiple trusted sources that I seek guidance from has been extremely beneficial. The fun part comes when I hear similar advice from multiple sources so it reinforces the direction I should take with my business!
Thinking business will come to you only from social media posts!
New business leaders are often looking for new leads only from promotion all over Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. I highly recommend that you still get out and attend networking events such as toastmasters, BNI groups, service organisations and your industry specific conferences. I even met a lead for my leadership business when I volunteered to speak at a local church. I have actually landed more business from being face-to-face because they get to build rapport with you, as nonverbals can help you dictate the direction of the conversation!
Letting emotions dictate your business decisions!
Most entrepreneurs have highs and lows on a weekly basis. Make sure that your mindset is one of continuous growth. I believe in the concept of Kaizen, a Japanese principle for continuous improvement. I had a mental training coach, Tami Matheny, tell me regularly it is about getting 1% better daily. It’s also important that we have positive self-talk and avoid being around, as Jon Gordon puts it, “energy vampires”. Surround yourself with people who will inspire and encourage you when you face adversity. If you can keep the perspective of small steps of growth and stay positive in the valleys, you will see success over time!
Focusing on the product, instead of the results your product or service provides!
Any time that I am doing a speaking engagement, I always try to understand the problems that the audience bring into the room. If I can show how my product or service can make their life easier, people are more likely to buy! If you are helping someone finance a home, help them to see themselves in the home. I do consulting for high school student-athletes who want to play sports in college but don’t understand the college recruiting process. Having been a college coach for 14 years, I help them to see the value of being a college student-athlete. They realise they need someone to help guide them through the process AFTER they see the desired goal. Help them see that you can help achieve the results they want, versus the details of your product or service!