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Have You Developed The Mindset To Go The Distance.
Mindset is crucial when starting a business, without the proper mindset to withstand the ups and downs in business, you can trip yourself up over the successes and wins of others.
When you look at corporate companies or a branch of the service such as the Marine Corps, there is one thing that is of key importance regarding these entities. Let’s take a look at the Marine Corps, before a man or a woman can begin the duties of their branch, they must first go through boot camp.
The Marine Corps has one of the most strenuous boot camp requirements that many don’t make it through.
Discipline: when a new recruit enters into the service, they are given a regimented schedule to bring them into a place of endurance and perseverance. This must be a trait of the entrepreneur, because there will be many peaks and valleys as you progress through your journey. There will be times when you want to throw and the towel and settle for that 9-5 job. Discipline must apart of your mindset when making the decision to begin your entrepreneurial journey.
Mindset: The service also makes sure to break the recruit’s thought process and retrain them to think along the lines of their value system as well as their code of conduct. The recruit is put through various phases of testing to insure that when they are finished their training they are well equipped to with stand the duties of their assignments.
So what does this have to do with entrepreneurship? When you begin your journey you must become mentally and emotionally prepared to encounter the struggle and hardship as well as setbacks, that comes with the territory. You must also be prepared that your friends and family may not support you on this journey.
You cannot allow your process of where you are to create insecurities and intimidation for those who are experiencing growth and success, comparison is very dangerous and shows their is more development needed to become secure in who you are as an entrepreneur.
We hear so much about, know who your target audience is, show up regular and provide great value, and while all of this is of vital importance, what needs to be reiterated on a regular basis is are you prepared for the mental battle of entrepreneurship? Do you have a plan in place when the going gets tough how will you navigate through it?
Not everyone who has started on their journey finished well, some went back to a 9-5, some are building the business as they work, and some are still spinning their wheels because their mindset is not in alignment with their actions. Proverbs 23:7 As a man thinks in his heart so is he.
Whatever your current reality is, it has come directly from the thoughts your think. So how do you buildup your mindset to withstand the trials of being in business.
Surround yourself around like- minded people.
Join groups that support you on your journey.
Read books on self development.
Meditate on God’s word.
I find it therapeutic to write down my experiences that I go through, this becomes a blueprint for me to reflect on, especially days that I may have been totally stressed out, but in the next entry I see that I pushed through it and now I am on the other side of the problem.
Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, it will test who you really are, it will show forth your character and integrity. You cannot make others believe your product or service is valuable if you don’t believe in yourself. Often times people want to see who you are, before they buy into what you offer.
Begin to build up yourself, your first strategy should be learning how to handle who you are as an entrepreneur, especially when you feel as though everyone is winning and you are stuck feeling alone in the process,. I am reminded is that the race is not given to the swift but to those who endure until the end.
The only comparison that you and I should have in our lives is how much have we grown from our last attempt at something. So the key thought I want to leave with you is, when you change your thoughts you change your life.
Are You Experiencing Burnout As A Solo-preneur?
Being an entrepreneur is such a liberating experience, and there are many reasons why we desire to throw caution to the wind to create and set our own distinctive mark on the world.
If truth be told we can crash and burn, so we must take intentional steps to prevent burnout. Many of you started this business as a one man one woman show, some of you may still being working a full or part-time job, which makes you more prone to burnout.
Even full-time entrepreneurs experience burnout, because either they are easily distracted or get stuck in to the creative/perfectionism mode.
So how do you avoid burnout as a entrepreneur, I'm so glad you asked.
Rest: I know this may be a no brainier, but when I stay up long nights working on a project, I am not at my best the next day, I notice I get brain fog, I am more sluggish, and I am not as productive. What I have learned about myself is that when I am pulling a long night to get a project finished, I will schedule the next day low activity, not some meeting with a client or something that is going to exert extra effort for energy that I don't have.
I can use that day to read a book or articles that I have archived for later reading (that we sometimes never seem to get to)
Exercise: I am one who doesn't like to exercise, (there I said it) it takes such energy for me to do it, but I know that when I go for a 15-30 minute walk I can think clearer, I feel revived and I get a flow of creative ideas. Just as you are building your business you have to build your stamina as well to take on the growth of the business.
Change of Environment: Changing up your environment is key to your productivity and wellness, think of the many disgruntled desk jockies that have to come to the same place day after day, and year after year, no wonder some of them treat the general public with such an obnoxious attitude, they are stuck in that job. This is the beauty of entrepreneurship, you can pick and choose where you want to work at on any given day, be it at your favorite coffee shop or library, on in your backyard you have freedom of choice.
Socialize: It can get really boring being a solopreneur there is no one to interact with during your work day's or take lunch breaks with, and when we are in isolation we can tend to push the boundaries of our work and never come up for air. Spending time with other entrepreneurs can effect our mindset for the positive, find groups not just online, but find groups in your area where they have networking events or workshops and build and develop relationships with other like-minded individuals so you can steer clear of burnout.
Becoming A Savvy_Preneur
This question may seem as a no brainier, some may say they invest both, so why are you asking such an obvious question. Allow me to pose the question to you in this way. Are you putting money into your business but have no clear plan of how to make the money work for you?
Are you spending money in your business, but because it's not directed in the right areas you don't see the ROI (Return On Investment). I am speaking from a place of experience as well as frustration, by not having a marketing plan in place to ensure that my actions are giving me the insight I need so I don't continue to repeat the same mistakes.
Some entrepreneurs approach their business in this way and wonder why they see no results. I know a marketing plan can see overwhelming to the novice entrepreneur and although I am by no means an expert in marketing, but what I have learned is this. For every action there must be a well thought out plan of what I desire to achieve, and before I sink any money into an area I must be able to understand that even the data from a failed attempt is a starting place of insight for my next action. Some entrepreneurs are afraid of taking risks because they fear the loss of money as a failure, instead of strategy to what's not working.
Investing wisely in the business comes with a mindset shift to discern that you need to level up in order to get the other components that will give you keys to build and grow successfully. Shifting my mindset was one of the hardest for me to do in the beginning, because like so many other startup or solo-entrepreneurs, we try to either go the free route or at a very low price point. I am not saying that I would pass up on a good deal, but I had to understand those who are truly crushing in their businesses have invested large amounts of not only time but money to be able to offer varying price points to their clients and customers.
Time, this is another key component that I want to address, as entrepreneurs we need to take the time to research and read and learn about our business so when we are ready to launch out we are making well informed moves. I know each business venture comes with risks, but the risks become greater when no time is spent on truly knowing the space we choose to occupy, be it online or brick and mortar.
Now when I invest money into my business it has to align with my business goals and what I desire to achieve, and that may be in the form of a business coaching program or business conference where I am learning how to level up in my business.
How are you investing in your business? Where does your time and money go & can you track the data on both sides to see the results and tweak if necessary? We have to become savvy_preneurs and stop wasting time and money and get to business.
Are Your Customers Confused?
Are you confusing your customers and potential clients with your branding message.
Lets see what the definition of branding is.
Branding: The promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design.
What I have begun to notice is that some entrepreneurs are cheapening their brand by adding products that are far from the what their brand message supposed to relay. You would never see Apple sell picture frames, why because it dosen't fit in to what their brand promise is supposed to relate to their customers.
You can be the best barista on the side of the East Coast, but if that's not what your brand promise is about, then please don't offer coffee blends on your site and cheapen your brand. I know as an entrepreneur we have so many gifts and talents that we desire to put it all in one place.
Mixing products that are not brand related comes across to your audience as, confused and disorganized. Would you by sneakers from Mac Donald's?
If you're building your brand as a fitness coach, then build and scale it to add products related to that niche. If your brand is a digital marketer then build upon that brand, don't mix products or services that are not brand related, and in the event that you do have to take on a side hustle allow it to be just that. Don't confuse your customers by becoming an all in one stop shop, unless that is how you are positioning your brand.
Know your why and what your brand promise is to your customers, and continue to build from that vantage point.
Are you experiencing burnout due to a lack of organization in your business? Staying organized is a vital component to running a successful business.
What are the target goals that you would like to accomplish within the week, month or quarter? What are the tasks that you need to perform to reach the goals that you have set? What are the systems that you need to use, to measure and track in meeting those goals.
Having no set plan or goals results in wasted time and low to no productivity. Even if you are on a budget you can use free tools that will keep you organized for the day to day tasks of your business.
All of the above systems are free, and this is gold to those who are bootstrapping their business.
I highly recommend Trello it's a productivity system that allows you to create project boards, to do lists, week at a glance, and appointments. You can assign team members to projects as well.
I am the type of person that I need structure, or I will be busy but not productive. On Sunday's I go into Trello to create the tasks that I need to work on for that week.
1. login to Trello first and see what's on my to-do list for the week,
2. login to Asana to setup any projects or client meetings and monitor my progress, when tasks are completed I checking them off.
3. I have made it a rule to spend 10 minutes checking email, while I have my coffee.
Time station is another free resource that I love, because I can setup the various projects that I need to work on, print out a time card with a QR code and it gives me the time I have spent on a project, this is great when you are working with a client for an hourly rate, you can print out the report to show them the billable hrs.
I can download the app on my phone and when I am ready to work on a particular project I will scan the card and login to the project that I need to work on. (don't forget to logout)
This is such a great resource because you can set up the pay rate and add employees or a VA, and it's free.
Another favorite resource is Wave Accounting, as entrepreneurs we need to get paid and also keep track of our expenses as well as revenue. Did I say it was free, Yesss! Send invoices, track expenses and accept online payments.
Whew that was exciting, I love sharing with you ways to grow your business and save money at the same time. As you grow you will move on to all-in-one systems, but for now baby steps. You no longer need to be a Frazzled-Prenuer, (unless the coffee pot is empty) 🙂
Where Are Your Customers?
Knowing where your customers hangout online is vital to your success as a entrepreneur. You could be wasting valuable time and resources if you are posting on the wrong platform.
Determine the goals of your posts, do you measure the engagement with each post across your social media platforms? Facebook is a popular platform, but if your posts are getting more engagement on Instagram or YouTube, then you need to spend more time sending content to those platforms.
Work smart and not hard, if you provide great content to your target audience, when it’s time for you to present and offer, it will be a no brainier.
Measuring your results should be a regular practice as you are developing your marketing strategy. Post relevant content to your audience, posting to various platforms where there is zero engagement can mean various things.
You are not asking your audience what content they would like from you.
You are not solving a problem for them.
You are not consistent with showing up.
Smart consumers want social proof, they want to know that you can deliver on your brand promise. Consistency is key when building your business. Stay committed and show up for your tribe, and they will respond with repeat sales.
Do You Have A Business Mindset?
When starting on your entrepreneurial journey, have you taken into consideration that you have to shift your mindset to allow growth and change to be a constant factor? When starting a business as a solo business owner, there are various things that must be taken into consideration as you embark upon your journey.
As with anything the Father promises to bless you with, it is going to take faith to accomplish it. Starting out on your entrepreneurial journey is no different. You have to speak life over your business daily, your words have to align with your faith to accomplish the desires that the Father has put in your heart.
You have to believe that all things work together for the good of those who are called according to His purpose.
You have to stand having done all to stand even when you have no supporters, even when your family looks at you with the side eye because your excited over the 10th business idea that you've had in the last 5-10yrs.
The reason so many entrepreneur's fail in their journey, is because they have no sticktoitiveness. When you start and stop and repeat the process, what you are actually saying is you have not developed a business mindset to stay the course. This was my mindset early on, I was so excited about what I thought was my passion until reality set in and I realized one of 2 things.
1. This is not what I want to do the rest of my life.
2. What is my life's purpose and how can I relate that into a viable business?
Here is where the mindset shift has to come into play, you have to know if you are in right alignment with your purpose even during the startup stages of your business. You have to continually stay focused on the goal your why. Why you started the business and surrounding yourself around people who are purpose driven. You must not relate to others who don't understand your journey, stay focused on the path set before you.
When you are in right alignment with your purpose, you will not be envious or intimidated by the success of others. You must develop the mindset to put in the work and allow the process to propel you as you mature in your business.
You must not despise the days of small beginnings for if you remain faithful to the call you will see the blessings that make you rich and add no sorrow.
Stay focused and continue to speak life over your business daily, take frequent breaks to give yourself a change to come back fresh and clear on the next steps that you need to take. Seek out those who are successful in their entrepreneurial journey and inquire what steps did they take to overcome their frustrations.
There is always someone who is willing to help you along your journey, sometimes you have to step out on faith and ask.
May you have exponential success in your business endeavors.
There are many businesses that startup each year with high hopes of turning their business into a 6 figure and above business venture, and while this is a great goal to reach for, there needs to be realistic goals at the onset of starting a business.
What skills do you bring to the table in this business venture?
What knowledge have you gained that sets you as an authority in your field of business.
How will you position yourself to enter into a saturated market?
What will be your specialty that makes you stand out above your competitors?
These are some question that entrepreneurs early on don't consider, with the noise of social media, how will you stand out above all the noise?
Luke 14:28 For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’
You must be faithful to build well what the Father has entrusted into your hands, many have entered into doing their business instead of building it.
Learn your business from the ground up, even in interim that you bring on employees or VA's. Master your business and continue to learn and keep your self current with the changes in your business. Many have started out but failed to plan well, allow your growth to be steady and consistent instead of a few good sales here and there.
Lay your foundation first and it will continue to support you as you grow.
3 Tips to Building a Sustainable Brand.
These components are vital when building sustainability in your business. If your business is not credible no one will trust you, so how does a startup gain credibility in their business? Whether you know it are not, you are building your brand credibility by how often you present yourself on & offline. Your consistency with following up with clients and your followers. Are you just putting out content to be putting it out there, or is it relevant with the mission of your company.
Each time you show online should be strategic, being strategic is not being false. Having a strategy means I care enough to know that each time I present my brand before other's, there is an end goal. The end goal can be to inform, educate or encourage, this is being strategic knowing that your not just putting content out there to stay relevant, but you have something to say that gives meaning and purpose to your brand.
What is your brand promise? Are you fulfilling that promise to your customers and clients? You may know of brands that make guarantees and promises, only to discover when you experience their products and services, they fall short in meeting that promise. Never state a promise that you cannot deliver on.
What is the time frame of your brands fulfillment with a product or service? This can hurt your brand tremendously, you know the saying, you only get one change to make a first impression. First impressions are lasting, if you are not fulfilling your clients orders in a timely manner this can hurt your business before you get started. There are many businesses vying for your customers business, and if you drop the ball you may not have a repeat customer. Never take on more than you can handle, be upfront about your fulfillment times and deliver before then, this is what brings great value and credibility to your business.
By Michele Riley 2/7/18
Habakkuk 2:2 Then the Father said to me, "Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others.
Planning is vital when you are building a business. If you don't plan how will you know what to track and what to make adjustments to. Planning does not have to be an overwhelming tasks.
Start with a small schedule of 3-5 tasks that you want to accomplish for the week, and track to see if you need to implement anything based on those tasks, before you add on other tasks.
By Michele Riley 2/7/18
Creating lead-magnets can assist in helping your business grow, but you need a strategy behind what you are giving away for free. Do you have the next step planned out after someone has signed up for your freebie or downloaded your checklist? As an entrepreneur you must realize how important it is to build your email list. Are you just building a list of names of names who will subscribe and download your freebie and then unsubscribe. Through trial and error I learned just building an email list is not enough I need to make sure I am building a list with people who will be engaged with my content even after they have received the free lead-magnet.
Where do you find those people? believe it or not they are all around you I am sure you see questions everyday on social media of people asking questions on how to do something within their business. I have seen this in groups that I am in, but sometimes we are so focused at working on our business, that we can miss out on providing a service for other entrepreneurs who are beyond spending hrs of research to get their questions answered or even those entrepreneurs who are not tech savvy.
Before you create your next lead-magnet or freebie, make sure you are creating something that is a need within the industry you serve.
Michele Riley 2/5/18
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