1) You’re too comfortable: Success in entrepreneurship requires consistency and adaptability. You cannot master these two traits being comfortable. It is very similar to fitness. Eventually you hit a plateau and you have to push your body with new exercises over time, otherwise you don’t see consistent results. You can’t keep lifting 10 lbs -- you need to move up to 15 or 20 lbs, because you’ve mastered the lighter weights. For success (gains), you have to keep pushing yourself, just like in fitness.
When I first started my business, I consistently did things that made me nervous, uncomfortable and to this day, I get freaked out by my goals. This constant push of doing things outside of my comfort zone is what allows me to consistently get media coverage, book paid speaking engagements and book new coaching/styling clients. Once you stop taking “no” personally, and realize that each “no” is one step closer to your big “yes”, you realize that being uncomfortable and adaptable IS LIFE. You may be tired, not in the mood, stressed or busy, but that is when consistency and adaptability matter the most. These are the times when something has to give…which leads me to my next point.
2) You’re letting your time manage you vs you managing your time: As small business owners, it may seem like there is never enough time to get things done. Guess, what – there’s not! If you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, you will never be “done”. Once you are tired of reacting to what happens throughout the workday, you learn to be proactive. Instead of taking calls and emails as they come in, set aside time to answer your voicemails and emails. When you look up and it is 3 o’clock but you feel like you haven’t gotten much done, you will plan out your day by allocating time for each task to stay on track. I always tell my clients that I am coaching, I reached my highest level of productivity once I mastered this. When I was writing my first book while growing my business and balancing the duties of wife and stepmom, I made these two changes and took control over my time management. People always ask me how I get so much done and say “Girl, you always have so much going on. I don’t know how you do it!” It is time management and the two keys from the first point – consistency and adaptability. You must stay consistent to a regimen so it becomes your habit. Another key to taking control of your time, is the art of saying “no”. It is not rude, doesn’t require an apology or explanation, yet this single word eludes so many new and emerging female entrepreneurs. If the “opportunity” presented to you does not draw you closer to your marketing goals, graciously pass on it.
3) You’re not analyzing your marketing efforts: If you are not analyzing your marketing and sales efforts, you are only spinning your wheels and wasting valuable time & money. Whether it is a sponsored Facebook/Instagram post, clicks to your website, conversion rate, or how many people used a coupon you distributed in goody bags at an event, your marketing efforts must be analyzed. Take time monthly, quarterly and annually to measure and track what worked, what didn't work and what needs more effort. Remember, your marketing efforts need to be consistent and integrated to identify trends. This means sharing the same message, but in different ways (i.e. videos, graphics and images) and platforms (i.e. social media, email marketing, and text message marketing) to identify trends and effectiveness. If you cannot track your efforts, then you should reconsider that strategy.
4) You’re not investing in yourself: There is only so much free information you can collect that will directly and positively impact your business. If I had a dollar for every time someone wanted to “pick my brain”, I’d be ballin’, but I can give so much more to people that are willing to pay for my time, experience and efforts. To truly get the information that is directly catered for you and your business, you have to work directly with QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS that will look at your business and your barriers to help you understand what you need to do to grow. You cannot listen to any ol’ body--hence the all caps with term ‘qualified professionals’. Look to work with people that are doing what you are looking to do, have some skin in the game and time under their belt. Attend workshops, conferences and when you are ready, work with a coach that can work with you one on one to help. If you want others to invest in you, you have to be willing to invest in your own ideas, goals and dreams.
5) You’re not honed in on who your customer truly is. Many times I see entrepreneurs starting a business and marketing to the wrong group. Oftentimes, your customer is not within your personal/professional network, which is a hard pill to swallow. You may wonder why your family, friends and co-workers aren’t supporting your business when in all actuality, you shouldn’t even be concerned with marketing to them! Now this has so much to do with the clarity and tone of your brand’s messaging, the pricing of your products/services, but if you are expelling energy hosting events no one is showing up to, sharing posts no one is liking/sharing, you may be overlooking your actual customer. Now is the time to go back to your SWOT analysis and target market profiles in your business/marketing plan, get to work and make some changes.
If you are doing these five things, chances are you are stunting your growth as an entrepreneur. Do you have anything to add, ladies? I'd love to hear! Leave me a comment on my Facebook page and share this post with your fellow female entrepreneurs.