Statistically speaking, 2 out of 3 people want to be their own boss. Some want it for the financial rewards, while others for the ability to control their own time, what they work on and who they work with.
Running a business is tough, it requires a lot of hard work, dedication, perseverance, and a little bit of luck. However, running a business is not difficult, what makes it difficult is consistently giving 100% every single day and being able to push yourself through the struggles of being on your own.
If you Google the phrase, “how to start a business”, you’ll get hundreds of millions of hits instantly, and most likely you will end up reading a bunch of articles talking about how good it is to be your own boss and have the freedom to do what ever you want.
Regardless of the reason for you to start a business, focus on building a solid foundation for your business, focus on building an empire and not an overnight success story.
To help you run and grow a business with the goal of building a long term opportunity, here are 10 common solopreneur mistakes (and solutions) that you need to avoid at all costs.
1. Lack of Self-Discipline
Mistake (what people think): The first solopreneur mistake almost all new entrepreneurs make is thinking that since you’re the boss, you call all the shots, and you take time off when ever you feel like it. You may feel that there’s no rush to complete a project, you can always burn the midnight oil and get it done at night time, so you can hit the beach during the day.
As time goes by, you start developing a habit of working less and less and missing deadlines for your business. You have no discipline.
Solution (what you should do): When you work for a company, there’s always someone on top of you making sure you’re staying on track and completing your assignments. To avoid this solopreneur mistake, remember that owning your own business means that you only answer to yourself (and your customers), and you have complete control of ALL decisions; good and bad.
Setup deadlines for your projects, make sure you commit 100% to complete them within the timeframe you gave yourself. Remember, self-discipline is controlled by you, and no one else.
[ctt template=”10″ link=”29eA8″ via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]Self-discipline is like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it gets. @insoymedia[/ctt]
2. Thinking You Know Everything
Mistake (what people think): You have the knowledge and the skills to perform the necessary functions of your business. Everything is going well, so you don’t need to waste time learning new things.
Solution (what you should do): You might be getting by just fine, but if you truly care about your business and want to see it grow and move to the next level, you need to upgrade your skills to help your business get there. This doesn’t mean you need to go out and get an MBA, but you should always look for ways to improve your knowledge and do your job better.
Just like a new degree or a technical license adds more value to your job and to your employer; this ALSO adds value to your small business.
Want to learn a new skill? Visit Udemy to start learning today!
3. Lack of Routine (Good Habits)
Mistake (what people think): When you’re the boss, the working hours are what ever hours you feel like working. You can take as many breaks as you want, for as long as you want.
Solution (what you should do): The problem is that while you’re taking those extended breaks, you’re loosing out on potential business opportunities. Instead, create a schedule and stick to it, even if you’re working from home, stick to it.
Set a permanent work schedule, say 9-4, and take only the time you absolutely need for lunch, and commit to being engaged and working on your business.
Don’t allow the flexibility of being your own boss to derail you from your responsibilities to your customers and to yourself.
4. Giving Up Too Soon
Mistake (what people think): When things get tough, you throw in the towel and call it a day. You abandon what you were doing and your focus is redirected to something else, with the same enthusiasm that you had with the other idea.
Solution (what you should do): Understand that you will face hard times, you will hit many brick walls, but if you give up, you will never find out what’s on the other side waiting for you.
Instead, be persistent; commit all your energy to finish what you start, regardless of the obstacles along the way. Break down your goals into manageable portions so you stay on track and motivated.
If you start to develop the habit of giving up, you will never accomplish anything!
5. Ignoring Passion For What You Do
Mistake (what people think): You need quick cash, you see on the internet that people are making money working from home a few hours a week. To learn more and get to that level faster, you invest hundreds of dollars on tools and training courses, then you go off and start a business on a topic that people are making money in.
Even though you’re not particular knowledgeable and don’t really care much about a specific niche area, you still decide to launch a business because others are making a lot of money.
Solution (what you should do): Like the saying goes, “Do the things that you love and you will never work a day in your life.” In other words, if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, you will never be bored, you will actually look forward to rolling up your sleeves and working on your business, you will always have something to say, and that positive energy will translate to your customers and they will keep coming back to you.
If you’re passionate about your business, you will sell more and your customers will appreciate it. You can close down the doors for a business that you don’t care about, but you can’t close the doors and walk away from your passion.
[ctt template=”1″ link=”d9rcV” via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]If you’re truly passionate about what you do, you will sell more products and services. – @insoymedia[/ctt]
6. Procrastinating Too Much
Mistake (what people think): You’re very excited about your new business, you’re pumped up to start doing business and making money, but then things get tricky, things don’t go as planned, and the forward momentum you had starts to slow down and all the sudden, things are being left undone.
You take some time off to recharge your batteries, maybe take a few days or weeks off from running your business, that should help you get things into perspective.
Solution (what you should do): Never put off what you have to do today for another day, the moment you do, you will start to develop this pattern and the habit will start to form.
Be proactive at all times, break down your goals into manageable tasks and work towards accomplishing your goals one day at a time.
The best way to beat procrastination is to give yourself a timeline to complete the task, and stick to it!
[ctt template=”11″ link=”be190″ via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]Break down your goals into manageable portions so you stay on track and motivated. – @insoymedia[/ctt]
7. Not Networking Enough
Mistake (what people think): You believe that the products and services you’re offering are the best in the market, so the customers will come to you, the business relationships will be initiated by them, not you, because your brand and what you’re offering is superior.
Solution (what you should do): In today’s world, if you’re not networking, you will quickly fade away, and so will your company and your products.
No matter what you sell, you need to constantly bet networking to build your personal brand, your company’s brand, and build more awareness for your products and services.
You can’t wait around for customers to come knocking on your door, especially during the startup phase. You need to go out there and be the biggest evangelist of your brand.
8. Lack of Investment
Mistake (what people think): You borrow some money from family and friends to start your business, your friend helps you design your website, some graphics for marketing, and you’re in business.
You don’t need anything else because that’s all you need to run a business, or so you read online
Solution (what you should do): Yes you should be frugal, but not cheap. To find customers, you need to advertise, and to advertise, you need to spend money on creating the graphics, creating the marketing campaigns, driving traffic to your website,etc.
You need to assure your customers that your business will be there tomorrow, and to do that, you need to look and act like you’re running a successful business.
I’m not saying to spend thousands on your website (we offer a basic package with a 5-day turnaround for $499 – CLICK HERE to learn more.), but make sure to invest your money wisely on things that will help you build your brand.
9. Lack of Culture
Mistake (what people think): There’s no need to worry about creating a company culture, eventually as the company grows, a culture will form.
What matters is how many customers you can sell to and makes money, right?
Solution (what you should do): You need to define the culture of your business, even if is just you. Try building a culture of passion and enthusiasm, your customers will be infected by it.
The most effective way to acquire loyal customers is by adopting a culture that truly cares about the customer’s well being. Think about how Zappos has created such an amazing culture, they can sell you a pair of shoes you could buy in a store near you for half the price, and you would gladly pay for it.
There’s companies out there that may not have the fanciest offices, may not have the top of the line products and services, but they are so good at customer service and they believe so much in what they do, that it gives them a competitive edge over their more established competitors.
10. No Work / Life Balance
Mistake (what people think): You want to get your business up and running fast, and you want to start making money as soon as possible. The last and probably one of the biggest solopreneur mistake is thinking that the only way to do this is to burn the midnight oil every single night, lock yourself in a room on the weekends and work on your business every second you possibly can.
Solution (what you should do): The fact is, running a business, especially if you’re doing it part time while working full time, is very tough, especially if you have a family.
Yes, to get your business going you need to put in a lot of work, long hours, and a lot of support from your friends and family.
But, you have to set rules and be smart about them, don’t get burned out the first year because you’re working so hard that you forget you also have a life.
Just like your body needs rest to function, your brain needs rest from your business from time to time, so you can think clearly, relax, and come back in motivated and with fresh ideas.
If you’re working nonstop, the odds are that the motivation and the passion you had for your business will soon become a burden for you.
Learn how to balance your business with your personal life, and make sure you dedicate time to yourself, to think, relax, and do the things you love with your family.
Starting a business is easy, building your business for long term growth and financial independence takes time, planning, and taking calculated risks along the way. Running a business is not just about working hard every single day, you have to balance your business with your personal life.