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Aspiring Entrepreneur? Avoid These 7 Mistakes

7 Mistakes All Aspiring Entrepreneurs Make

Remote Career

Aspiring Entrepreneur? Avoid These 7 Mistakes

7 Mistakes All Aspiring Entrepreneurs Make

Remote Career

This one’s for you, aspiring entrepreneur.

I want you to know that you’re not alone and we ALL started exactly where you are right now. Because listen, there is SO MUCH to consume on the internet. But the key is to not let it consume YOUR LIFE. 

There truly are so many successful entrepreneurs that… if I’m being honest, can really make others (including myself!) feel like we don’t know enough, we’re starting too late, etc. And although they’re trying to help us in our business, sometimes it ends up doing the exact opposite. 

But these entrepreneurs were EXACTLY where you are now. I was exactly where you are now. So I’m here to round up all the mistakes that I see aspiring entrepreneurs like you make, and what exactly to do instead.

1. You’re focusing on everyone else in the market instead of YOU.

Listen, I get it. Once you have this idea that you want to quit the 9-5 rat race and start working online, your brain is officially in the “digital space”. From here on out, you start looking at others who are doing exactly what you want: traveling all over the world and working from their laptop, boasting about their supposed “$10k months”, living out their four-hour-workday lives at the beach…and the fomo gets real. 

You start consuming all the content these other entrepreneurs are giving out, and on every platform no less. You feel like if you see enough of what they’re doing, you can figure out how they’re doing it. You’re obsessing over their success, without even knowing what it took for them to get to that point. 

Do this instead:

It’s already a saturated market. STOP focusing on the success stories and highlight reels that social media portrays. Instead, figure out what skills you have that people will PAY for. I’m sorry to say that no, passion does not pay the bills. Pay attention to what people come to YOU for, not others. 

As long as there’s someone out there in the world that finds that thing you do difficult, doesn’t want to do it, needs help in this area, and is willing to compensate, then you have a business. It’s an exchange of value. They are a couple steps behind you, lack your skill, knowledge, and experience and you can give them the result they are looking for. Don’t go down this rabbit hole of comparison – remind yourself that you don’t want a copy-cat business! Because it will show.

2. You’re drowning in Freebies.

These lead magnets, AKA “freebies” can be SO TEMPTING. Who wouldn’t want a free guide, ebook, checklist or online training? I know what it’s like to want to feel like anything and everything can help. Or simply wanting to know what kind of value other entrepreneurs are giving away (hello, market research!). But these freebies are just shiny objects that can FEEL like you’re making a step towards your business, but more often than not, causes overwhelm and confusion. You end up still not knowing what the next step is, and you don’t even implement.

Do this instead:

If the lead magnet has NO VALUE: delete and unsubscribe. If you don’t get value from someone’s freebie, why would you get any from their paid work?

If it HAS VALUE: Once you receive the freebie, save the email it came in to a dedicated folder inside your email. Organizing these emails will take away overwhelm and give you a space to come back to for inspiration when the time comes to write your own email newsletters.

At the same time, save the freebie PDF to a dedicated folder on your desktop so that you can go back to it for inspiration. This way, when you’re ready to build your own email list, you’ll know exactly what a good lead magnet looks like and how you can make yours better.

And before you download a free lead magnet, ask yourself: Is downloading this going to really help me in my business?

3. You think you need thousands of followers.

I know you’ve heard this one before, but NOBODY starts out with a social following, consistent content on multiple channels, or digital products to sell passively. The other successful entrepreneurs you’re following are where they’re at NOW in their business. They most likely have a team (and money) to help. They’ve put in the years of hard work necessary to gain those followers and leverage them for income. But guess what? The more the market grows, the more people want that personalized approach. So who’s really to say if those followers have helped them make money or not?

Do this instead:

Give yourself a reality check. Jenna kutcher started out as a wedding photographer. Amy Portferfield started as a social media manager. Vanessa Lou started out coaching people how to leave their 9-5 for FREE. So remember, they were ALL beginners. They ALL started from the very bottom (and now they here!). And sure enough, they probably all downloaded a million freebies in the beginning too.

4. You think in order to start you need all.the.things.

This might be the NUMBER ONE roadblock I hear from aspiring entrepreneurs. In your mind, you think you need to have a website, beautiful instagram feed, and a catchy company name before you can even THINK about starting to work with clients. But here’s a quick reality check… 

You can’t come up with that catchy brand name without knowing WHO your dream client is in order to attract them in the first place! You can also work on your beautiful instagram feed, and once you’ve started to work with clients, you’ll understand their pain points and can then create content that supports it. You also can’t create a website until you’ve worked with clients that’ll allow you to build up a portfolio of admirable work and glowing testimonials!

Do this instead: 

Once you’ve decided who your dream client is, build a sample “click-bait portfolio” to attract that person. This will show them your ability to deliver GOOD WORK and leave wanting to know more about who you are and what you offer. And if you really want, you can always create a single page site with a quick introduction, sample portfolio and a button to book call. Simple as that!

5. You stalk your competitors’ offers, take a course, and try and replicate it.

I see this one happen ALL the time. You’re focusing and wasting so much time looking at how other entrepreneurs are packaging their services. Suddenly, you see something they’re offering that you’re not. Suddenly, you don’t feel skilled or confident enough (once again). Your solution? Buy a course on that one thing and try and replicate it. I’m cringing just writing this!

First of all, how do you know if anyone is actually BUYING that perfectly packaged up service? Let’s look at Jenna Kutcher. She sells a 30-page ebook on instagram for a whopping $250. I thought, “Great! I can easily make this myself.” I then quickly created a near duplicate product. I never did anything with it…and I still feel like shit. But then it hit me: who on earth would buy a $250 ebook?

Do this instead:

HINT: you DON’T want to have services that look like everyone else’s out there. You want to create something you know your prospect NEEDS to have from YOU only. You want to stand out from those other entrepreneurs out there – not blend in. So use those services you love so much as inspiration. Do your competitor research. How can you differentiate yourself from them? 

6. You’ve been told the money is in passive income.

Suddenly everyone out there has a course they’re selling, right? Or lightroom presets? Or dumb-downed guides? Feeling the need to get on the trend, you start focusing all your attention on what your passive income model should be when you don’t even know what PROBLEM you want to solve in the market yet – please stop doing this!

Do this instead:

In order to create a passive income model that’s actually sustainable, you need to start working with real human people FIRST. Passive income is not the money maker, working with real clients is! Plus, after you’ve worked with real people, you’ll then have an actual audience that knows you, is engaged, trusts you AND your work. From here, you have leverage to sell that one thing. Otherwise, you end up selling it on somewhere like Etsy or Creative Market, where they take a huge percentage of your sales. And who wants that?!

7. You’re skipping STEP ONE.

The hardest part about being your own boss? PATIENCE! Stop trying to skip the first steps and take the easy way out. Because newsflash: there is no easy way out! You have an amazing business idea? GREAT. What’s next…build a logo, a website, a business plan, a marketing strategy, etc.? WRONG. The number one step from here should have nothing to do with YOU, it’s about THEM (AKA your dream client).

Do this instead:

HIT THE DIGITAL STREETS and start having real, engaging conversations with your dream client. Ask them what they need to excel, grow and scale their business. WORK with them 1:1 and do this with at least 5 people you consider dream clients. From here, find the common themes and create a simplified, replicable version of it. 

Because guess what? You might start working with these people and realize what you THOUGHT they needed is completely different from what they actually want. Not to mention, your dream client could change in the process! 

Don’t get discouraged when the work you do in the beginning changes dozens of times. This is a good thing! You’ll have to go back, revise, rework and re-do continuously.

But hey, who on earth ever said entrepreneurship was easy?

meet the writer

A brand and marketing strategist who put society's expectations behind me to embrace a life of uncertainty and fulfillment. I'm here to empower you to embrace the unknown, find meaning through travel, and inspire a journey full of growth and clarity on your life's purpose.

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