How To Start A Successful Business: 5 Killer Mistakes to Avoid

“Smart people learn from their mistakes. But the real sharp ones learn from the mistakes of others.” ― Brandon Mull

You’ve dreamed about how to start a successful business doing that thing you absolutely love.

Being your own boss means having the freedom to do what you want when you want.

Spending your time and energy on things you actually care about doing sounds like the way life was meant to be lived. . .

And while you know there will be lots of hard work involved, you’re also no stranger to hard work.

You can do this.

But there’s bad news. Finding your passion wasn’t the hard part. 

Maybe you’ve decided you want to be a coach, a copywriter, a yoga teacher or inventor. Whatever it is, if it’s your passion, I’m guessing you’re very, very good at it, or at least motivated to be.

So for you, the hard part isn’t doing what you love.

The hard part is the business around doing what you love.


How To Make The Hard Part Less Hard

If you’ve quit your job and gone full time you’re thinking, “Oh, sh*t, this was a bad idea. How am I going to pay my bills? And am I going to have to go crawling back to my boss?”

If you haven’t quit yet you’re either thinking, “How the heck can I make this work?” or “This is never gonna work. I’m going to be stuck in this job forever.”

And if you’re doing it on the side you’re probably thinking, “Wow, this is harder than I thought! I’m going to be in my job forever!”

It all comes down to one thing:

When you are an entrepreneur it can be game over quickly. You can’t afford to make mistakes someone else has already made.

Be smart and learn from other people’s experience.

[Tweet “When u r an #entrepreneur it can be game over quickly. U can’t afford to NOT learn from others.”]

Opening a Business Isn’t What Your Momma Taught You

So what can you learn from looking at other people’s business mistakes?

If you were opening a mom and pop business and you were the only game in town years ago, things were different.

But now competition is fierce.

And now, probably more than ever, people are going into business based on their passions rather than based on research about what the market actually needs.

If you’re ready to hang out your shingle doing what you love, you can still make money doing it.

But you need to avoid the common mistakes that creative and passionate entrepreneurs make over and over.

Those mistakes kill their businesses. 

Don’t let one of them kill yours.

Here are 5 of the most common business killing mistakes I see passionate entrepreneurs just like you making again and again.

1. Assuming people will care once they see your work. 

Your artwork is amazing. There’s absolutely no doubt about it.

And you? You’re an amazing coach with the ability to help people have life changing breakthroughs faster than McDonalds can serve up lunch.

But does anyone care?


I know it may seem a little harsh, but it’s true.

Because until someone stops what they are doing (and their lives are insanely busy and content overloaded) you won’t even be noticed.

And not only do you have to get noticed, but they have to care about what you’re saying. Which means your stuff has to be important to them. To their lives.

You need to translate for them why what you’re doing matters.

It’s not enough to say, “I’m a great life coach! Sign up today! Everyone should have a life coach!”

You need to connect with the issue your coaching client is trying to solve and tell them how you solve it with them.

Giving them a reason to care – making them care – is your goal.

Asking them to care or take some action or just look at you is not.

2. Not taking your business seriously.

Many new passionate entrepreneurs are a little shy about what they’re trying to do.

What if it fails?

What will people think about me starting a business?

These and other worries creep in, and you begin to take your business less-than seriously.

Maybe you don’t go after that big client.

Maybe you are quiet about it at dinner parties.

Maybe you never quite get around to opening a bank account for your business.

However it manifests, make no mistake – not taking your business seriously can kill it.

Because if you don’t take your business seriously, who will? 

Just because you’re just starting out doesn’t mean you’re not an expert, and it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything you can to help your business make it.

But that brings me to mistake #3.

3. Creating too much “overhead.” 

Taking your business seriously does not mean you go out and rent a huge office, hire a bunch of employees or even buy yourself a new computer – unless you absolutely need it.

You see, over investing too early can kill your business by eating up all your cash.

You might think you’ll make it up in sales, but if those sales don’t materialize, you’re sunk.

Lots of new entrepreneurs think they need to “set up shop” when what they really need to do is employ the Lean Startup Model of doing and having the absolute minimum in their business at first.

This is an affiliate link, which means I do make a commission if you decide this is right for you and purchase through my link. However my relationship with you comes first and I NEVER promote things I don’t believe in.

4. Being afraid of the S-A-L-E.

Though some people seem to think so, money is not a dirty word.

Are you a passionate entrepreneur who believes that because you love your work so much you should be doing it for free?

Or, you’re kind-hearted and you squirm at the thought of asking for money?

Whatever it is, money becomes hard to deal with. But without it your business starts to look a little pale.

5. Not knowing who your customers are (or should be). 

This one is harder than it looks at first.

The tendency is for new entrepreneurs to want to market to everyone because they can see how their product or service might be useful to lots of different types of people.

For example, if you’re a yoga teacher, you might think about marketing to people with chronic back pain, people who want to lose weight, those who are recovering from a sports injury, people who want to become more spiritual, and pregnant women.

But while yoga might help all of those people, your marketing will be spread really thin, and your message really scattered, if you don’t focus on just one core issue and group.

Ask yourself who you really can help, who you want to work with, and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

That will start to guide you to find the clients that are right for you to work with.

How NOT to Lose Your Shirt (and Break Your Heart)

These are 5 business-killing mistakes you should avoid if you’re learning how to start a successful business.

But the truth is there are more. And you don’t have to learn them the hard way – the way that can cost you your business.

When you go into business doing something you love, you do more than risk your money. You put your heart on the line too.

Instead of leaving everything to trial and error, learn from the mistakes of people who learned the hard way.

I’ve started a group coaching program that’s designed for new, passionate entrepreneurs who want to learn the business side of their business, and avoid the mistakes that could force them back into work they don’t love.


Announcing: Can’t Eat Passion.

No one plans to be a starving artist. But if you don’t nail the business side of your passion-based business that’s just what you become.

And one can’t live on passion alone. You can’t eat passion. You need actual money – a real business – to survive.

Whether you’re going into business for yourself to become a coach, a writer, an artist, a designer, or something else you’re passionate about, it doesn’t matter.

If you’re starting an online business you need to know what you’re doing in business before you start.

You don’t need another course learning more about your craft.

You do need to learn how to market, sell, and think about your business as a business person with heart.

Let me help.


Career Change, Entrepreneurs, Success

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