The latest piece in our series called Adventures of an Entrepreneur—one woman’s first-hand approach to solving common small business problems.
For the longest time, I wanted to be the entrepreneur that “got big” off of a $100 investment. I’ve read about so many small businesses that had one great idea, $5 and a computer … and before you knew it they were on the front page of Entrepreneur magazine. Sometimes that’s how it works, other times and most times, it isn’t.
To be an overnight success I suppose luck has to be on your side, but we’re not talking about quick roads to stardom. We are looking to earn, grow and profit from every single second we think about, act on and improve our ideas in business owning. That’s essentially why you’re reading this article, right? To gain knowledge in order to take your business to the next level. I do it everyday.
I want to let you in on some eye-opening concepts that I learned the hard way during the first few years of owning Lean On Me Fitness. I’ll be the first one to tell you, however, that time builds confidence and clarity, so it was only after I had experienced these situations that I was able to grab things by the horns and really make it my own. You live and you learn. I’m a better person and business owner because of my mistakes.
People pleasing cheapens your product. I used to say yes to every new lead that came my way, because I was a new, nieve, giddy small business owner. Somebody wanted my service; I’d start planning the celebration party. I didn’t have a clue as to who my ideal client was, how to manage sessions efficiently or bring things up without worrying about sounding like a car salesman. This Yes Man approach quickly fell by the wayside when I started becoming resentful during my sessions and didn’t want to be there. I began working with business coaches, coming to terms that I can’t be everything to everybody, and getting really clear on who I was and how much my service is worth. This allowed me to feel comfortable in telling clients, “no” when I had to which made me feel ten times more confident in my job.
People want to be part of something big. That’s why you see Ellen DeGeneres, Dr Oz, Bethany Frankel, Perez Hilton all have such a massive following. Knowing you’re part of something great, and grand in scale will make you feel like you’re included. When I say that YOU and only YOU make the final call in anything related to your business, I’m serious. My inboxes are constantly flowing with barter offers, ideas, recommendations and stories that I love to read, but could influence me negatively if I didn’t stick to my guns as tightly as I do. Don’t let friends or family pull you in one direction or tell you what’s best. Listen to your gut. You do what feels best for YOU because in the end you’re the one who will be reaping the benefits, or experiencing the consequences. Not them.
I still have to remind myself of this one every so often. There is no way you’re going to be able to conduct business properly if you take things personally. When I first started training, I’d let things get to me. For example, if I started training a client for a month and then they decided to stop, I’d think, “Oh my gosh, they hate me, I’m a bad trainer, what can I do to make them stay, drop my rate?, beg them?, what am I doing wrong?” Yikes. That’s a lot of noise to have to deal with, right? I kicked that, “What am I doing wrong?” mantra out the door when I realized it was holding me back from making progress in my business. My new mindset, and one that I recommend to you, would be to truly OWN and FEEL how much your service is worth so no matter what curve ball is thrown at you, you’ll remain on top because of that indestructible courage and faith in what you do. Remember not everybody is your ideal client so you’re going to come across people who don’t want your service. It has nothing to do with you as a person.
I encourage you to write your adventures as an entrepreneur down so you can look back and perhaps give others advice, just as I have done here. Part of your unique ability as a business owner is to share what you know.