I’ve been in business for a long time. And I’ll be the first in line to tell you that I’ve made my fair share of mistakes along the way. In fact, I’d love to sit down with the Erin of the past and give her a few pointers. But since I can’t, how about I give you the advice I should’ve taken. Here are the things I would do if I were starting my business from ground zero.
Develop a Strong Foundation.
Here’s the thing. I’m a creative person. And that means I tend to get super excited about ideas and thoughts that may run through my mind at any given moment. That whimsical approach doesn’t work for business though.
Instead of flying by the seat of my pants, I’d start my business with a solid and intentional foundation. This means knowing exactly what my business does, knowing who I’ll service and how I’ll be reaching that person.
It also means getting ultra clear on goals. Why do I want to do this? What am I trying to achieve? Even better, what legacy do I want to leave behind?
Pick a Platform.
This one makes me crazy. It used to be taught that you needed to be EVERYWHERE to be successful. And truth be told, at that time, it didn’t really hurt… except that it did. Sure, I was able to get more eyes on my business but the content was diluted. Which meant I wasn’t giving the best of myself nor were my people seeing the truth in my passion.
Instead of being everywhere, which really DIDN’T serve me in the long run, I’d be super intentional about picking one or two platforms and focusing on creating content there.
Tune Out the Noise.
It’s so easy to just follow what everyone else is saying and doing. After all, you want to be successful so it only makes sense that you would do as successful people do. But this strips a person of authenticity and causes something unexpected.
Blending in. Oh, I have been so guilty of that! Of trying to fit a certain “boss” image or doing what is supposed to be done in business.
You know what I’ve learned, though. It never feels fulfilling. It never feels right. Because the person presented outwardly isn’t authentic and isn’t doing what you truly desire.
People do not want perfection. They want to see real and relatable. If you’re waiting around to be perfect, you’re going to be disappointed again and again because perfect isn’t achievable!
Many times, we create this “perfect” goal because we worry what others would think if we were less than perfect. Truth be told, no one actually cares. No one is sitting around secretly judging you on mistakes made.
And let’s be honest. If they were, they’re not your people anyway.
This is a BIG challenge for me. I am painfully shy and getting myself into social situations can feel absolutely overwhelming. Add into that my introverted nature, and it’s a pickle!
But this is something that I would challenge right from the get go because I know that building strong connections helps build a strong business. Not just because of the “it’s who you know” gimmick but it’s so important to have a group of people that you know and trust and will understand you as you go and grow.
Running a business isn’t something that actually comes with a manual. There are lessons and blogs for sure, but so much of what we learn comes from experience. Don’t be afraid to learn lessons along the way and always remember you’re in charge of your next steps!