Becoming an entrepreneur is an insecure endeavor. You’re nervous about it from the very beginning, as you should be. This is not a carefree undertaking – putting yourself on the line, investing time, effort and sometimes money into a business.
The biggest reason that most people fail in this industry is that they don’t approach it from an executive point of view. As a solo entrepreneur, you no longer have a human resources department vetting your workers for you.
You have no financial management team ensuring you stay with your budget. There’s no boss hovering over your desk to see that you get your work done on time, and that it’s top quality.
Instead, you’re on your own. And that freedom can be a help or a hindrance, depending on how you apply it to your business. If you’re willing to go the extra mile to make this work, you should be able to succeed – but it isn’t all about what you’re willing to do, but also about what you have to watch out for.
Working for yourself sounds like an absolute dream, but for many it’s their Achilles heel. They don’t know how to properly discipline themselves enough to make sure they sit down and get a good amount of work completed.
Instead, they spend their time in limbo, always overthinking everything and reconsidering any decisions they’ve already made. When you’re able to set any hours you want, you sometimes make the mistake of saving it all until the last minute.
Those days spent binging Netflix shows or scrolling on Facebook, playing golf or laying by the pool are just too tempting. When this happens, and you try to live a rich person’s lifestyle before you’ve even made a dime, you’ll spend hours and days panicked – trying to finish tasks at the last minute.
The best thing you can do is be committed to your career in such a way that you crave work. Make it so that you can’t wait to begin a project and finish it to see the results and impact it will have on your audience.
You either need to be the kind of person who is capable of pacing yourself and balancing your work with your down time, or set up a rigid routine for yourself that you don’t deviate from.
Make sure you don’t go through too many excuses – like you have a headache and don’t feel like working. When you begin using excuses like a crutch, you quickly realize no boss in another career would put up with this type of behavior because productivity is never maximized.
One way a newcomer to Internet marketing avoids failure and disappointment is by continually purchasing new courses, tools, and services from other providers. This is a convenient way of deflecting personal responsibility for the progress they lack each day. This spending trap keeps the online entrepreneur in a cycle fluctuating between hopefulness and self-doubt, where they engage in shiny new object syndrome on a regular basis.
When you always have new ideas and tools presented to you, it serves as a convenient strategy for abandoning your current project and tools, giving you an excuse not to succeed.
Sometimes, online marketers do this as a way to satisfy the inquisitive nature of their friends and family. These people don’t understand the time it takes to build a solid business online, so being able to tell them that you just purchased a new program to implement eases the shame and frustration of not making it yet.
The best thing you can do in terms of finances is to pretend like you are the financial manager for your business at all times. Don’t allow yourself to go over budget for any aspect of your business, whether it’s courses, tools, or services. You also want to make a promise to yourself that you won’t continue spending money on new courses until you’ve fully digested and implemented the last course you purchased.
This will ensure, if nothing else, that you are gaining knowledge to be able to apply to your business at a later date, if not in that moment. The last thing you want to do is go into debt for a business that is incapable of turning a profit.
There are many courses and tools that will promise an instant and lucrative return on your investment. But you have to shop smart and understand that the marketing hype is never as it seems.
Too Many Ideas
Changing course with your business models isn’t just a pitfall due to the money situation. It’s also a way to avoid completion and possible embarrassment if your business doesn’t go over as planned.
Not only will you be disappointing yourself if all things fail, but you will be humiliated in front of friends, family, and fellow marketers. Falling into a trap full of ideas can sometimes seem exhilarating.
Going from a typical 9 to 5 offline job to a career filled with freedom and choice can be addictive. You no longer have to stick to a single business model, but you can choose multiple options to profit from. If you’re prone to suffering from “shiny new object” syndrome, then you need to make a plan that prevents this type of destructive behavior.
Aside from setting a budget for yourself, and promising to follow through on each course you purchase, you also want to have a process for determining which business models you should pursue and which ones you should leave for others.
One of the biggest problems with entrepreneurial shopping is that you purchase based on how much profit the course promises to deliver. The way you should analyze each business is not just by profits, but also in terms of the personal satisfaction they can deliver to your life.
If you aren’t fully engaged and excited by a business model, it will make it difficult for you to wake up and have the discipline you need each and every day to sit at your desk and complete your tasks. So gauge the opportunities according to whatever will deliver a combination of profits and personal fulfillment.Following the Wrong LeaderLeader
Following the Wrong Leaders
Another trap many online entrepreneurs fall into is listening to and purchasing from people who are not worthy of your time or money. Just because a marketer has earned a spot on a leaderboard, or made a certain amount of money, it doesn’t mean their ideas or ethics align with yours.
You want to grow a business that is capable of sustaining your family over a long period of time. Many of these hotshot marketers appear on the leaderboards, rake in some money, and get shut down due to the misbehavior of the marketer.
Many of them also lie about earnings and create phony statistics and testimonials to lure you into a sale. The best way to choose who you follow is to analyze their reputation and see for yourself what kinds of tactics they promote.
For example, you might find someone at the top of a leaderboard, but when you purchase their product, you realize the strategy they’re teaching is nothing more than spam.
How did they achieve leaderboard status? Because many marketers have a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” agreement where they promote one another’s products, regardless of its quality.
Many of the best people to learn from will not be on leaderboards for their own product or for someone else’s. They may have their own program and payment processor, yet they have a large following of dedicated individuals who are loyal to them because of their incredible ideas and moral compass.
Being afraid to put yourself out there is a common pitfall for many online entrepreneurs who are new to the scene. You may go to all of the effort to learn how to create your own course or promote someone else’s, but you freeze up at the idea of following through with a message to an audience who is then capable of judging you and your insight.
There are many reasons why newbie online entrepreneurs get scared in this business. The top concern is failure. If they try something and it doesn’t succeed, they worry that they will then have to return to a typical 9-to-5 job.
This might be because they, themselves think this way – or because their significant other has made it a conditional requirement for their attempt at online marketing. If they try and fail, they promise to go get a “real job.”
Aside from being scared of failing, some newcomers to online marketing are fearful that they will make a mistake along the way. For example, they don’t want to go to the effort of setting up an entire website and creating content for it – along with a product – only to discover they have made an error with their search engine optimization that they feel is critical to the success or failure of their site.
For some newbie online entrepreneurs, the fears are more surface level. For example, they may not want to create any videos because they worry about what they look like on camera.
They may hesitate to create a podcast because of the sound of their voice. Or, they may not even want to write for fear of ridicule about their ideas. It doesn’t help that many in this industry go on the attack whenever they see someone doing things differently or better than they do them.
This can be quite intimidating for someone who is new to this career. They may see customers reacting rabidly to a vendor who they think has let them down, and worry about receiving that kind of reaction from someone in the future. The best thing you can remember about dealing with fear in this career is that just about everyone pushes forward in spite of it. They do everything while afraid – creating videos, launching products, approaching affiliates, and dealing with customers.
Over time, the fear subsides somewhat and allows you to make progress without focusing so much on those worries. However, you can also use this fear to your advantage.
When you’re nervous about the outcome of something, it helps you make more of an effort to present your best self and your best products to the public. If you had no fear of any repercussions, you might be more lazy about your efforts.
Being a perfectionist sounds like it would be an admirable trait and beneficial to any online entrepreneur’s new business. However, perfectionism is the obstacle of progress. If you are constantly nitpicking everything you do, it will be very hard for you to approach the finish line. Many people wear the label of perfectionism as a badge of honor.
The truth is, perfectionism is often a delay tactic that newbie entrepreneurs use in an effort to stall the release of a new product or the task of putting themselves out there in any way. Whether it’s writing your own book or info product, launching a new service, or even developing free materials for your audience, perfectionism acts as a cushion between you and the ultimate decision of whether or not you will succeed in this business.
Some people use perfectionism as a crutch to prevent them from receiving bad news. The best thing to know about this behavior is that, if you let it go, you will be able to see progress and simultaneously tweak and correct things that go wrong in your business along the way.
Whether it’s repairing simple typos or revamping an entire website, going back to fix things is still better than never following through on a project at all. And with the Internet, you can republish things quickly and easily in a split second.
Being unwilling to learn new skills is another trap that dooms many online entrepreneurs who are new to this business. There are many people who blame their intelligence, their age, or other issues for why they can’t move forward in this business.
The truth is, Internet marketing requires a commitment to continual learning from each and every individual. The Internet is always evolving. That means the platforms you sell on, the tools you used to build a website, and even the needs of your customers will change.
You have to be willing and able to learn what those changes need to be, embrace them, and implement them without fail. If you keep putting this off, or avoiding it for weeks, months, or years to come, then your competitors will push past you and consumers will begin to view you as a relic in the industry.
It’s understandable to be frustrated by change. Technology changes, for example, can be very confusing. But there is always help available to assist you through the evolution. For example, there are videos that will walk you through most technical tasks that you can watch for free on sites like YouTube.
If the presenter is moving too fast, all you have to do is pause the video or rewind it and go over it a second or third time. The best way to learn how to do things a new way is to get a variety of viewpoints about how to do something and then implement it as you learn.
Take your time with each step and ensure that it’s working right before moving on to the next. If you get stuck with something, the online marketing community is available in forums and social networking sites where are you can ask questions and clear up your confusion.
There are many online entrepreneurs who pursue this line of work simply because they are desperate for money. They may need to supplement an offline job or they may have lost that job and are now seeking to replace the income.
This desperation can sometimes cause people to make poor decisions with their business. They spend money they don’t have, desperately trying to find their footing in the business, but then sometimes make unethical decisions that they otherwise would not have pursued.
If you are in a desperate money situation, it makes it easier to believe the lies and hype of a marketer who doesn’t have your best interest at heart. He or she is merely promising exactly what you want to hear so that they can take your hard-earned dollars.
Another problem with desperation is that it may cause you to rush your work so that your deliverables are not up to par. For example, you might write an eBook and in your desperate state of mind, you cut, paste, and rewrite someone else’s work.
Normally, you wouldn’t think of plagiarizing someone else’s product. But due to your desperate financial situation, you make an exception and promise to do better later. You have to think about long-term consequences when you make a knee-jerk decision like this.
You don’t want to ruin your reputation because of a temporary, desperate financial situation. It’s better to go offline and find a job that can deliver an influx of cash so that you can return to the online marketing industry with a level head and your reputation intact.
There are many traps that a newcomer to online marketing will fall prey to. Part of the problem is the large number of unethical marketers who are eager to take advantage of your lack of knowledge and desire for success.
But you can’t blame everything on them, because it’s still your personal responsibility to manage your business properly from the very beginning. With a little careful analysis and caution, you’ll be able to succeed without putting your brand or your bottom line at risk.