The following is an excerpt from my LinkedIn Article.
The entrepreneurship rollercoaster is real. Every drop, twist, and turn is different. There are emotional flips, financial drops, and sometimes the infrastructure can feel upside down or backwards. But every part of the ride is a valuable part of the journey. There are lessons with every mistake that you’ll not only get for yourself, but you’ll share with others.
Over the years, my team and I have seen a number of clients before, during, or after they’ve veered off course. While there are a number of situations that derail people from their plan, below are the five most common pitfalls we’ve seen.
If you’ve experienced one or more of these pitfalls, know that you’re not alone. In fact, I’ve fallen prey to each one of them.
The following is an excerpt from my new book Market Your Genius.
Pitfall #1: Spinning Faster Than a Chick in SoulCycle
When I started my business, I turned to a trusted friend who has yet to let me down. That friend is Google. If I wasn’t working with a client, I was researching, trying to figure out what I should be doing and how I should be doing it.
I found a lot of advice.
A lot of conflicting advice.
Soon I found myself researching more than anything else. Researching to get more information. Then researching even more to validate the information I just found. I was spinning faster than a chick in SoulCycle down a path of confusion and overwhelm.
This vicious cycle of research, research, research cost me valuable time in building my business.
The world has no shortage of content. Between Google, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, podcasts, and books, you can consume content every day for the rest of your life.
The problem is no one piece of content can give you the secret to making your specific business succeed. Yes, you can find road maps, guides, tips, and tricks. You can watch webinar after webinar or take course after course.
But acquiring more information through content consumption alone will not guarantee success. The only way to determine if the information you’re consuming will work for you is by implementing it. And that goes for everything you read in this book.
The key is to implement what you learn quickly. Get in action. Put on your metaphorical safety goggles and run an experiment. Test that theory. Do the work.
Google is great. But if you spend your days behind the screen or with your nose in a book without putting any of the brilliant ideas into action, you won’t have a business.
Knowledge is powerful. Just make sure you implement what you learn instead of keeping it all in your mind.
Pitfall #2: T.M.I.—Too Many Ideas
I love notebooks. It has been on my list to come up with my own collection of notebooks, journals, planners, and calendars for a long time. Putting ink to paper is one of my favorite ways to get ideas out of my head.
In my first year of business, I had an entire notebook filled with a beautiful game plan for creating a content marketing course, a group program, a one-day workshop, and a seminar.
I thought having a lot of ideas would be a blessing to my entrepreneurial career. But too many ideas can be a problem. If you’ve ever watched original episodes of the reality TV show Project Runway, you may have heard fashion mentor Tim Gunn advise contestants to edit their work. In the show, fashion designers would compete for a six-figure grand prize by completing a sequence of fashion design challenges.
In season nine, designer Joshua McKinley became known for “over-designing” his garments. He’d bedazzle the heck out of a dress, blazer, pair of pants, or skirt. He’d use feathers, beads, or anything sparkly he could get his hands on. Independently, his ideas were good. Together, they were sometimes a disaster. When Josh didn’t edit out some of his ideas, he ended up with what the judges considered a “hot mess.”
When you have a billion business ideas, you don’t want to metaphorically put them all into the same garment. You’ll want to edit, edit, edit.
When you don’t, you end up confusing your target customer and slowing down the momentum in your business.
I’ve not only seen the curse of too many ideas be a problem in my own business but also with start-ups I’ve worked for, as well as with my coaching and consulting clients.
Until you’ve validated your first offer and know (1) that people want it, (2) that people are blissfully happy with it and will continue to buy it, and (3) that they will tell their friends about it, there is no reason to create a second product.
I’ve watched start-ups die because they tried to launch new products while their first product was consistently being returned and receiving one-star ratings.
Your products don’t need to be 100 percent perfect before you create another one. Let’s be real—that is pretty impossible. But it should be at a place where you have happy customers and a consistent lead generating system before you move on to the next one.
There are 3 other common mistakes that entrepreneurs make.