I’ve been in business for over 5 years, and have had more than $1 million dollars of turnover in that time period, so I decided that it was time to reflect on the lessons I’ve learned. My business has been silently earning over 1 million dollars over the years, and it’s mind boggling!
Most of this income has come in the more recent years, but I’m tapping into lessons from early on and things that I’m still learning today.
One of the things that really bugs me about the online business teaching world is that you only see the “overnight success stories” but you don’t see all the trials and obstacles that people had to overcome to get there.
So today I’m breaking down some of the things I learned along the way, in the hopes that it will shave off some of your learning curve so you can reach your business goals faster!
1. People matter more than ideas, knowledge, or ambition.
It doesn’t matter how smart, dedicated, or gung-ho you are… at the end of the day business is about people. If you’re not there to connect, solve a problem, or make their lives better then you don’t have a business.
Every time that I’ve come up with a “genius idea” that didn’t start with people in mind, it flopped.
I’m also talking about all kinds of people here too: your customers, your team, your mentors, your peers, they all matter.
2. Creativity and implementation can (almost) be deposited at the bank.
For every system and blueprint you find out there, there are likely hundreds if not thousands of people following along step by step. The more you can break the mold and get creative with business strategies, the more successful you’ll be.
But beyond thinking up unique and creative ways to do things, you need to actually do those things.
I’ve seen entrepreneurs with notebooks full of amazing ideas, but nothing to show for it. When you combine creativity and action, you can practically guarantee results and money are just around the corner.
3. It takes longer than you think, always.
Oh boy, if I was the tattoo-ing type, this is one I’d put somewhere obvious like my forearm!
It takes longer than you want it to. We all want instant results. We want the six figures in the first month we open the doors to our business. We want the fame or recognition to happen with our first tweet, or the new website design project to wrap up in 3 weeks.
It will take longer than you think, and that’s okay. I truly believe in divine timing, and I also believe in deadlines. Without setting deadlines, nothing moves forward… but letting space for a little divine inspiration keeps everything feeling on track even when it isn’t.
4. Who you surround yourself with makes a world of difference.
If you want success, associate with successful people. It’s not snobby, it’s how our brains are wired. Thought patterns are contagious, so don’t catch the negative mindsets of people who look down on successful people if you want to be one of them.
But beyond hanging out with successful people, make sure that the people you choose to spend your time with make you feel good. If you share values and support each other, there’s no telling where you’ll go. Their perspective of what’s possible for you will be way bigger than what you see for yourself, and it will push you to go for it.
5. Everything changes.
There’s nothing to fear when it comes to change. The business you started is not the business you’re currently operating right now, and every day you’re correcting course.
The “stuff” you do every day may change, the market you serve will get more sophisticated, and you’ll evolve along with your business. The people you work with will change, the services and products you sell will change, and your perspective on business itself will change as time goes on.
Embrace it, don’t fight it.
6. Build everything with re-use in mind, and think long term.
For every task you do, think about how you can leverage it into the future. Many times I thought to myself I’d never need to write this same email to someone else, that I’d just make a quick PDF proposal, or that I’d re-do the videos later…
But when you put your time and effort into creating something, consider how you can make it evergreen and future-proof. If it’s a product launch, don’t use dates in your videos so you can use the same ones during your next launch.
If it’s a task you find yourself doing more than once, record yourself doing it so someone on your team can do it next time. This also applies to names of programs that might evolve over time, too.
7. The first dollar is the hardest, but don’t ever forget how you made it.
Asking for the sale on your very first product or service is the hardest thing to do. But once you’ve made this sale, you know how to repeat it successfully.
One mistake I made early on after my first blockbuster launch was to throw out everything I had learned and create a second product that nobody wanted. If I had followed the same methods that helped me succeed in the first place, I wouldn’t have flopped with the second offering.
That’s why I’m constantly going back to the people I’m serving to make sure that the next thing I build is always going to hit the mark.
8. People want results, they don’t care about the features.
As much as it’s important to you how you plan to deliver an offering (like 4 phone calls, 1 PDF, 3 videos, and email access)… the people signing up for it don’t care how you deliver it, they just want the results.
So don’t get married to a delivery mechanism for any of your content, and instead focus on making sure you’re creating what people want to get out of it. Ask them. Use their words in your marketing. Repeat!
9. Getting out from behind the computer is key.
My business wouldn’t be where it is today if I had stayed in my comfort zone, nice and comfy behind my computer. As an introvert, it takes a lot to get me dressed and out the door to interact with people face to face, but every time I do my business gets better.
Whether it’s attending a live event or conference, masterminding with my business friends, or just getting a change of scenery to experience something that will trigger new ways of thinking… it all helped me grow my business. And it usually comes back to people, again!
10. Ideas have a shelf-life, use them before they expire.
If you get a great idea and you don’t implement immediately, you’ll see someone else run with it. I think that ideas exist somewhere in the ether and are just waiting to be snatched up by someone. You often see different people take action on the same idea simultaneously.
I feel pressure to run with an idea before it goes bad. That doesn’t mean that all ideas are ripe though. Sometimes you need to let an idea evolve or grow into its fully formed state before you pick it. But once you pick it, you can’t let it wilt on your idea shelf.
11. Copycats and plagiarism happens, but don’t let that stop you from starting.
I used to worry that people would take my ideas or content… so I didn’t put them out there. Now, instead of letting this fear stop me from putting ideas out there to be stolen, I just make sure that I publicize my ideas as much as I can.
That way, others can steal as much as they want, but people will see them as the copycat.
12. How you feel matters.
If you’re inspired, it shows. Don’t partner with someone or take on a new project because it sounds good, or there’s “potential to make money”. Every time I go against my feelings, I get poor results, and I kick myself.
When I let my feelings guide me, I sleep soundly at night, and I get more lovely emails from happy customers. Every time.
13. Technology changes, and knowing how to adapt is an advantage.
I love technology, but I don’t get attached to any one system or platform because I know that things can be hot today and gone tomorrow. I’ve seen the popularity of social media platforms rise and fall, and I understand that the key skill is not knowing a specific tool but knowing how to learn new tools.
What one thing resonates with you?
Not every one of these is going to connect with everyone, but I’d love to know which one resonates and what your take on it is?
Leave a comment below and let me know!