As I interacted on one of the Facebook forums recently, I witnessed one of the glaring reasons so many entrepreneurs – especially among online information marketers – have such a high rate of failure.
One of the members of the group painstakingly laid out how he had wasted two weeks of productivity trying to design a website himself, but he was now reaching out for advice on the best way to get help and even demonstrated that he was willing to pay for help.
Sadly, several people jumped in and suggested he just get a WordPress theme and get some hosting. Seriously, these people missed the message. Their fellow member was saying “enough! It’s time for me to get help because in trying to save money, I’m actually losing money.”
And this is what prompted me to write this article …
Over the years of working with entrepreneurs, I’ve come to recognise the telltale signs of whether someone will succeed or fail in their business. And a huge part of recognising these telltale signs is having made all of these mistakes myself … so there is no finger pointing here, just candid transparency.
And whilst there are probably a number of reasons entrepreneurs fail, I want to highlight the three most common traits I’ve noticed over the years and present to you some easy fixes.
THE NEED TO KNOW IT ALL SYNDROME
The entrepreneur needing to know everything about marketing the business and their topic is usually one who lacks confidence, self esteem as well as needing to be in control. However, in trying to know everything there is to know to get their business going, the reverse actually happens and the end result is usually despondency before they eventually declare defeat.
If only these entrepreneurs would just work with what they already have and what they already know, they could make a big impact with just a little.
I’m not denying that new skills and information is necessary to become successful, but constantly consuming new information will lead to information overload or information constipation. Sorry!
Having a workable business model framework with clear objectives and a defined niche, will most definitely help you stay focused and greatly reduce the need to know everything there is to know about your particular business and the marketing of it.
The easy fix to knowing all there is to know about your topic is to decide who your market is, what their problem is and then the solution you’re going to give them that will solve their problem.
To broaden your knowledge about your topic without getting overwhelmed, my suggestion is to choose 4-6 books on your topic from the top influencers in your industry, read the books (not scan them) and then start by choosing just seven of the most valuable points covered in each book. If you’ve read 4 books, that’s 28 points or 28 talking points that can be turned into articles, podcasts, videos and social media updates.
THE NEED TO DO IT ALL SYNDROME
I totally understand the often need to save money when we first get started, but as the forum member in my example above demonstrated, trying to do it all yourself can be a productivity killer, especially in the early days when you have so many other things to think about.
Whilst it’s neither practical nor wise to outsource everything in your business, the best way to ensure you stay focused and keep moving forward, is to decide what you will keep in house and what you will outsource.
Though I build WordPress blogs, I’ve always outsourced the graphic design element. Not only am I no good at graphic design, I don’t enjoy it. And even though it’s a highly creative task, focusing on graphics is to me a creativity killer.
If you’re a great writer and love copywriting, find other things in your business that you can outsource, but keep on doing what you love.
When it comes to outsourcing, I do agree with Dan Kennedy who said that the one thing you should never outsource is your marketing. I’ve done it and regretted it. You need to put your own voice into your marketing and it would take an extra special person or company who would be able to do that on your behalf.
If you have an information product and you want to outsource elements of your social media marketing such as Facebook or Twitter marketing, you could give your product to a social media manager and get them to extract quotes verbatim from the product rather than give them a free reign on what they publish on your behalf.
It may actually surprise you, but Richard Branson writes all of his own blog articles. Because he’s dyslexic, he does have to have them proofread and edited before they’re published, but when you read his articles, you can hear and feel that’s it’s him speaking.
So in your quest to rid yourself of the “need to do it all” syndrome, be selective about what you need to control, know and do, and outsource the rest.
WANTING TO GET MAXIMUM RESULTS FROM MINIMUM INPUT
This is a classic pattern that I’ve seen too many times prior to an entrepreneur aborting their mission.
Let me take lead generation or list building as an example to illustrate my point … This entrepreneur writes 5 blog articles and then complains that no one has signed up to their newsletter or for their updates or even their ethical bribe they’s spent so many hours creating. They insist that the 5 articles they’ve published are so good, therefore they see no reason why people are not visiting their site and not signing up.
Like every other business in any other industry, consistency and frequency are paramount to success. I’ve learnt this the hardest way possible and will tell you about it soon.
So to avoid joining the ranks of the unsuccessful entrepreneurs, the easy fix to this problem is just to put more time, effort and value into your publishing.
Whether you’re publishing to Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google Plus or Instagram just to name a few publishing platforms, to get more out, you definitely have to put more in … more frequently and more consistently.
Be encouraged by the fact that some of our most successful entrepreneurs had one or many failures before they ever became household names. So the only real failure is giving up.
If you’ve read this far, I’m going to assume you’re ready to change those things that haven’t been working and let go of the need to know it all and do it all.
Why not consider joining The Influential Woman community.
All the best,