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4 Reasons Entrepreneurs Fail and How You Can Avoid Them

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4 Reasons Entrepreneurs Fail and How You Can Avoid Them

So you know you want to go the route of the entrepreneur, blaze a trail and help people along the way. But how? You’ve heard the often quoted stat that 90% of all new businesses fail within the first five years. But what causes these failures? If you know what to expect then you can plan how to steer clear.

Here are four reasons entrepreneurs fail and how to avoid them:

1. Trying to do it alone

The story of the lone individual, working tirelessly in a garage (or at a laptop) and becoming a self-made millionaire is just that, a story. No one makes it alone. According to multimillionaire entrepreneur Jordan Harbinger,The best people in any field always get coaching.

You need a coach. It’s possible you have a mentor at this point. A mentor is often someone from your recent past, such as a college professor, manager from a job you’ve had or a friend who is a little further along the life journey than you. are A mentor offers free advice, allows you to bounce ideas back and forth and encourages you. Mentors are people of value in your life. But a mentor is very different from a coach.

You pay a coach for their expertise. Generally a coaching relationship is for a specific number of sessions over a defined period of time, along with some communication between sessions. Although a coach will encourage you, that’s not the primary focus. A coach looks at where you are, helps you discover where you want to be and walks you through the process to get there. The best coaches give you very practical steps to reach your goals, then hold you accountable for taking those steps. Your coach will push you further and faster than you thought possible. They will do more for you than any mentor because, in part, the success of the coach is dependent on a satisfied client. Clients who succeed with the help of a coach are exceedingly happy.

“Sometimes you have to do what you don’t like to get where you want to be.” –Tori Amos

2. Quitting instead of pivoting

Let’s make this very simple. Most new businesses don’t fail due to lack of cash, a poor market or a bad location. Most new businesses fail because the owner decides to quit, when what they should do is pivot. There was a time, not that long ago, that Apple was about to go bankrupt. The company had been losing money for a dozen straight years and poured over $100 million dollars into a failing product, the Apple Newton. By early 1997, Apple was in serious trouble. Had Apple stayed on the same path they would have faded into oblivion.

But that didn’t happen. Today Apple is worth over $700 billion. Why? Because Apple pivoted. They hired back one of the original founders (Steve Jobs) who cut the Newton immediately, made a deal with the previous enemy (Microsoft) and reinvented both the categories of portable music players and cell phones (with the iPod and iPhone). Many other amazing devices followed.

When you are in the midst of what you think is the end, it’s probably not. It may be the end for a particular idea, method or product, but it’s only the end for your business if you quit. Entrepreneurs who succeed know when to pivot.

 

3. Expecting they’ll love everything about being an entrepreneur

Most entrepreneurs are excited about the idea of working for themselves. They assume that every hour of every day will be filled doing creative and fulfilling work. When that’s not the case they often stop trying and look for the thing that will allow them to have every day and hour filled with creative work. The process repeats itself over and over. It’s a futile pursuit.

The good news is that many hours will be filled with doing creative and fulfilling work. The bad news is there are things you’ll still have to do that you don’t love. Successful entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author Jon Acuff recommends every budding business owner create a “grit list”. These are the 10 things you absolutely despise doing, but must be done anyway.

I won’t belabor this point. Just know that while building your business you still have to do some things you don’t enjoy. Create your grit list of these things – then next to each one write down the value they bring to your business.

 Why do I have to fill out an expense report? That’s not my dream. You have to fill out an expense report because expense reports must be filled out.” – Jon Acuff

4. Not having a plan

You need a plan for your business. Not a 10 year all-encompassing plan. Those never work out. A plan for the next year. Perhaps as long as 3 years. The plan should have goals and action steps. It’s as simple as that. Then write it down. Your odds of accomplishing the goals on your plan go way up if you write it down.

On a personal level I had a recent business that was failing. Do you know what I did? Hired a coach, created a plan, pivoted when my coach suggested it and did what needed to be done. Did it work? Yes. If not you wouldn’t be reading this article.

 

Creating a successful business has no secrets. It’s really not about avoiding the wrong things, it’s about doing the right things. If you’ll hire a coach, pivot when necessary, know that some things just must be done and have a good plan then you’ll find yourself in that small group of new businesses that have wild success!

Which one of these four things do you need to implement into your business strategy to help your business?

I help people develop amazing relationships and love what they do every day. I'm a writer, speaker and coach and you can read my articles on great sites such as the Huffington Post, Addicted2Success, the Good Men Project and Lifehack. Happiness in life and passion in your work are my goals. Meet me at TroyStoneking.com and Troy Stoneking on Facebook.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Awais Afzal

    Jul 18, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Everyone fails at first glance. But sometimes we need someone who can really help us and teach us where we actually made mistakes. The young entrepreneur should always pay attention to another successful entrepreneur as how they manage their things and takes a decision. But it comes gradually. So a one should always have some patience.

  2. Hunter

    Mar 2, 2016 at 2:40 am

    I feel that I have been guilty of doing all of these things. I think that the hardest part of letting people in is being afraid that they will not understand my thought process or plan. With that comes the fear that they may try to convince me to change my idea or to do it a different way. The worst case possibility is if they try to explain that the idea or concept will not work at all. Pivoting instead of quitting applies to all aspects of our life. It’s like doing homework. If I can’t find the answer in my textbook, I can either give up or I can seek it elsewhere or ask for help.

    I feel that the last two go together. An important part of the plan that most people overlook is how they will deal with the aspects of entrepreneurship that they don’t like or can’t cope with. Entrepreneurship comes with the intended difficulties and long hours, but many people don’t consider the emotionally stressful and taxing side of it.

    This was a good reading and a great thought provoker. I enjoyed the read and look forward to more. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Stephen Osoko

    Dec 28, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Awesome post. Trying to do it all alone was definately something I felt was the way to success in my early days however I’ve learned that you need some help along the way, be it from mentors, fellow entrepreneurs etc.Once again, great post!

  4. Robb Gorringe

    Nov 26, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Hi Troy,

    I like your recommendation of the “grit list”. It’s so true. There’s just some things that you’ve got to do.

    I also enjoyed what you said about having a plan, but making sure its not too far out ahead. 1-3 years is best. I tend to agree. Sometimes our goals are so “dreamy” that they’re as unreachable as outer space.

    Great article,

    Robb

    • Troy Stoneking

      Nov 29, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you Robb. Man, those “long term” plans are just WAY too far out for me…and I suspect most other people as well. I appreciate your kind comments!

  5. Shaf

    Nov 25, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    You know I generally renegade online article advice on success and development as rehashed politically correct content that provides zero value – because most of the Internet is like that. I thought the same about this site when I saw feeds on Facebook. Today I read through some articles like this one and have to say this site is different. You did hit on finer points that makes a difference on the path to building a business… and also in many aspects of life

    • Troy Stoneking

      Nov 29, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      Thank you Shaf. I do my best when I write, speak, consult and coach to make things as practical and concrete as possible. If it’s not actionable it’s not worth sharing.

  6. Addicted 2 The Grind

    Nov 23, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Often times people fail because they are not willing to put in the work. If you work hard and smart you should see results. (#2 ^ ) Most people do quit to early because they don’t see the results fast enough. You have to be patient and put it the work. Great Post

    • Troy Stoneking

      Nov 29, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      You nailed it. I’ve been guilty of slacking off myself…more times than I care to admit! We have push through. Thanks for the great input!!

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Entrepreneurs

5 Tips for Young People Starting a Business or Side-Hustle

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starting a business at a young age
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The decision to start a business or any sort of “side-hustle” takes a lot of nerve, especially when you’re only in your 20s. Yet, the ability to power on and keep going – through all the ups and downs of business is a feat to be truly admired.

Although us Gen Y and Gen Z’s have grown up in the easiest time in history to start a business, we arguably need to work 10 times harder just to prove that we’re serious about making a success out of our ventures – and not just vying for the “digital nomad” lifestyle or the trendy title of “Entrepreneur” out of a sense of millennial entitlement.

So here are 5 tips to help young people when starting a business or side-hustle and finding their feet in the world of business:

1. Don’t let your age deter you

Young people can get a lot of flack for the cliché perceptions like entitlement and narcissism that surround our younger generations. And sure, we don’t yet have the life experience and work experience that comes with being older, but don’t let anyone (of any age) tell you that what you want to achieve in business cannot be done.

Remember that age is just a number – and that being younger (and therefore less experienced in life) does not automatically equal the inability to succeed in a business venture. It’s actually quite fortunate that we have time on our side, as time is our greatest asset as human beings. We have years to learn, try new things, pivot, fail, and succeed in whatever we try our hand at.

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they are going to tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” – Will Smith

2. Use social media to your advantage

We’re native users who have grown up with much of today’s technology (the main area being the internet and computers), but we have also learned to adapt to changes. Most millennials grew up during the transition from VHS to DVDs to Blu-Ray then to Netflix. This technological and social media savviness gives us the business edge – particularly when it comes to online business.

Even if you’re not a social media expert, or you’re not as proficient as you’d like to be, use your savviness with technology to learn more digital skills through avenues like online courses or YouTube. Social media is the holy grail of marketing in today’s business world. Sometimes, as native personal users, we take it for granted. You can take advantage of social media, and use it as your greatest asset when it comes to starting a business or side-hustle.

3. Network and collaborate

They say “your network is your net worth”. The people you meet on your business journey (including your existing family friends) are going to be crucial to your business success. So make sure you get out and network.

You could attend business networking meetings, conferences, participate in relevant business Facebook groups, collaborate with other businesspeople (you could even find a mentor), and build the all-important online community around your brand on your chosen social media channels.

Networking can lead to referrals which are one of the “golden nuggets” of business – they’re a powerful way to get new customer or clientele. So a strong network is what is going to help bring you those referrals.

4. Fail fast and learn fast

Remember that we have time on our side, but that doesn’t mean we should take it slow. When things aren’t working, when things have gone stagnant, or when things have gone wrong, we need to learn to pivot.

A good way to help pivot is to take on a learning mindset. Always be looking for new opportunities to not only upgrade yourself (personally, mentally and emotionally) but to upgrade your business, skills and systems as well.

See what other successful business people in your industry are doing or speaking about. Make sure you’re always keeping a tab on the latest developments and trends in the world of digital marketing and business. Being a ahead of the curve is crucial in today’s online business environment.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” – Richard Branson

5. Sacrifice

Building a business or side-hustle is going to take some sacrifice. Rather than buying the the most expensive and trendiest sneakers or the latest iPhone, invest that money into Facebook advertising, or an online course to help you up-skill.

Even though we live in the age of immediacy where everything is available to us at the tap of a finger on our smartphone, starting a business or side-hustle (let alone building it and sustaining it) is not easy. It takes hours and hours of work, late nights, sacrifice and self-doubts. You can’t expect it to be a quick process.

So while we’re young (and want to enjoy our youth while it lasts), when it comes to starting a business, there will be times when we need to make the choice between doing what everybody else our age is doing, or working in or on our business.

Of course, there needs to be a healthy ratio of work-life balance, but learning to sacrifice a few pleasures now (like going out on the town every Friday and Saturday night) will pay off in the long term when it comes to your business. With great sacrifice comes great reward.

Starting your own business or side-hustle when you’re in your 20s can be daunting yet incredibly thrilling at the same time. Whether you’re thinking about starting one or you’re already in the midst of the journey, put in the work and be proud of the path you’ve chosen – and remember that age is just a number!

Have you thought about starting a business or side-hustle? If so, how did you motivate yourself to start? Share your thoughts with us below!

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5 Pillars to Creating an Unfair Advantage in Your Business

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All of us want to create unfair advantages in our business that separate us from our competition. Nonetheless, doing this is easier said than done as everyday your competition is innovating and getting better. With today’s technology, overachievers are reaching higher levels of success than ever before. Naturally, if you are here reading Addicted2Success, then this means you too are an overachiever who is addicted to success.

Therefore, you need to create as many unfair advantages in your business as possible and you cannot do that on your own. You need to implement timeless truths and success principles that have worked for other successful people. You do not need to reinvent the wheel as it’s a waste of time. Instead, leverage the knowledge from those who are having major success right now.

John Malott, serial entrepreneur & co-founder of Build Your Empire, shared these pillars with me in a recent phone call and these pillars are the same ones he’s used in 8 companies that range from private aviation, real estate, blockchain technology, pharmaceuticals, and others.

Additionally he’s used these pillars to generate over 200 million dollars in revenue and be the king & queen-maker for 800-1000 6-Figure earners & 250 millionaires over the last 15 years inside his network marketing business that includes over 100,000 distributors.

The reason I share this is to show you that these pillars work to create unfair advantages regardless of the industry you’re in so pay attention so you can implement these 5 pillars right away.

Here are the 5 Pillars To Create An Unfair Advantage In Your Business:

1. Leadership

Ability to lead a team and develop other leaders. True leaders are able to develop other leaders by creating an environment of growth. In your business, you must have systems set up in place to develop other leaders. John C Maxwell, has developed an amazing 5 step process on how you can develop leaders in your business.

Follow these instructions in order:

  1. Do The Task Yourself
  2. Do The Task While They Watch You
  3. Let Them Do The Task While Watching
  4. Let Them Do The Task Alone
  5. Let Them Supervise A New Person While The New Person Does The Task

#5 is so important here because if you want to create true duplication in your business then you must show your leaders how they can develop new leaders themselves.

2. Culture

Culture is the vibe and energy of your business. This is the non-verbal energy in the room. This is the ambiance of how it feels to be a part of your company. Culture is the unspoken bond and relationship that your people feel towards you and your business. Having great people who love to be a part of your company is one of the best way to create an unfair advantage in your business.

If you have a strong culture then your people will work hard, stay late, come early, be friends with each other, and become the best version of themselves each day. And you want to know the crazy thing?! They will love doing it because they are happy about it! This is what happens when you build a great culture.

Culture duplicates and makes people happy and motivated. The best way to create culture is to treat everyone with respect, set expectations, hold each other accountable, and foster an environment for growth and positivity.

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek

3. Team Building

Team Building & Culture go hand-in-hand because your team will be influenced by the culture in your business. In order to build a great team you first have to become someone that others want to work with. This is one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to team building.

Ask yourself, “Why would someone better than me want to work with me? Why would this person want to invest their time and energy into what I’m doing?”. If you already have a team then you need to have team building exercises each month that bring your team together in a fun and engaging way.

In John’s companies, he frequently brings in authors to share their lessons with his people and he regularly plans retreats where his people can lock in, connect, grow, and stay engaged with each other by fostering deeper relationships. Lock people in and keep them together.

4. Social Media

Social Media is one of the best ways to grow your business and create an unfair advantage in your business. You can use social media to drive new leads into your business. John’s instagram community @BuildYourEmpire has over 1.5 million followers and growing each day. This is a major unfair advantage because this is an asset he can leverage to connect him with hungry and motivated individuals.

If you do not have a large social media following right now, that is okay. It’s not about how many followers you have, it’s about the value of the content you create. If you create valuable content on a consistent basis then your following will grow incrementally for certain. As long as you keep up your content creation more momentum and interest will flow into your business.

“I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures.” – Paul Barron

5. Track Record

This is self-explanatory. At the end of the day, you either put up or shut up. You have to have a track record showcasing what you’ve done in the past. A lot of people talk and say that they can do a good thing. If you want to have an unfair advantage in your business then you need to show your great work and have others do the talking for you! Nothing is more convincing than a respectful body of work. The best way to get someone to believe in you is to show them. As you continue building a track record you will notice more word of mouth referrals coming in.

These 5 pillars are essential if you want to create an unfair advantage in your business. Regardless of your industry, these pillars are universal and will work for you. If you can implement all 5 of these pillars then you will create unfair advantages in your business that separate you from the competition.

Which one of the above 5 pillars resonated most with you and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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5 Facebook ‘Ad Hacks’ for Quickly Attracting Customers to Your New Hustle

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Facebook has gotten a bit of a bad rap recently, with stories about changing algorithms and news feeds causing an increasing number of businesses to turn away from the platform. After all, what’s the point of spending your hard-earned marketing dollars if you aren’t going to get a solid return on investment?

Despite these fears, however, Facebook remains a quality resource for attracting customers to your e-commerce business. I should know — Facebook advertising has been one of the foundational elements that has helped me build several successful e-commerce stores.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that your successes or failures with Facebook advertising will be largely dependent on the tactics you use.

Without further ado, here are some of the methods that I’ve found to be the most successful in building a following and finding new customers:

1. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have been one of the best resources in my efforts to build a strong personal brand. My eCommerce Elites Mastermind group has quickly grown to be nearly 50,000 members, where new and veteran entrepreneurs ask for advice and share tips.

Whether you choose to start your own Facebook group or become an active participant in another industry-specific group, these communities offer a great opportunity to interact one-on-one with your target audience. Sharing your own insights is a great way to build niche authority, without needing to spend a lot of your marketing budget.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

2. Find the Engaged Niche

Targeting can make or break your Facebook ad campaign. While many businesses try to expand their reach as much as possible, this isn’t always the best course of action. For niche products, you may be better off targeting a smaller group — in particular, the “die-hards” of the industry.

Let’s say that you sell specialized artwork and photography of National Parks in the United States. While targeting interests such as “hiking” or “nature” may get you some sales, a U.S. specific product may be insignificant to many of the people in these groups. In this case, a wiser course of action would be to target individuals who like the National Parks featured in your artwork.

While the overall audience size will be smaller, these individuals are more likely to be the “die-hard” fans of these parks who are also more likely to purchase related products. A narrower niche can actually lead to more sales and a lower cost per conversion. For best results, check the affinity score for pages similar to yours to help find the most relevant audience interests.

3. Live Content

Going live may sound intimidating, but it can significantly improve your reach on Facebook. In fact, the social media giant reports that close to two billion people have watched at least one live broadcast on its platform. It isn’t hard to understand why.

For one thing, Facebook sends a notification to your followers when you go live. In my Facebook group, this has been a great way to share announcements and behind-the-scenes content, and such events have always generated great engagement.

Even more interesting, however, is that Facebook now allows for the placement of video ads during certain live broadcasts. Though Facebook has implemented stricter rules regarding who can broadcast ads and how often these ads can be played during a live stream, snagging a placement in these high-engagement posts can be a great way to reach new customers.

4. Rotate Your Ads

Facebook display ads continue to be the standard for many e-commerce businesses. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs waste their ad budget by creating a single ad and repeatedly running it to the same group of customers. The more often someone is exposed to the same ad, the more likely they are to get annoyed by it.

One study found that by the time someone sees an ad on Facebook for the ninth time, clickthrough rate decreases by nearly 50 percent, while the cost per click increases by over 160 percent.

If you want to have a successful display campaign on Facebook, be willing to spend a little extra on the creative end of the process. Switching up the wording and images will ensure that your target audience won’t experience ad fatigue and develop negative feelings toward your brand.

“Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do.” – Mark Zuckerberg

5. Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger Ads are a relatively new marketing tool, but they offer a lot of potential for e-commerce businesses. This allows you to send sponsored messages to a user through the Facebook Messenger app to promote sales events, offer special discounts and more. Messenger Ads can become especially effective when you utilize a messenger bot.

These chat bots allow for automated responses to a potential customer’s communications through Facebook Messenger. Not only does this reduce the time you need to spend actively monitoring these campaigns, but they can also help you achieve a higher clickthrough rate than standard email marketing.

Brand-Building Through Facebook

Facebook is a highly competitive marketplace, and there’s no denying that finding “ready to buy” customers can sometimes be easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. As you implement these tactics, you’ll be able to see better results from your Facebook marketing efforts and achieve the business growth you’re working for.

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Here’s Why Most New Entrepreneurs Will Fail

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Image Credit: Twenty20.com

For the last decade, I’ve traveled to hundreds of entrepreneurial and self-growth events where the themes are all about thinking big, and bold. I’ve done the world’s most intense experiential training designed to unlock power and purpose. What I noticed was simple, yet scathing in impact.

Most people weren’t going to achieve their dreams and vision for one reason and one reason only —lack of focus. Without focus, all the energy and possibility created would be lost, scattered and ultimately spent in places that didn’t really matter.

Most entrepreneurs and solopreneurs have no problem creating a powerful, bold vision. They don’t have issues cultivating the skills required, and most love learning and do it automatically. In most cases, they’re also surrounded by other people who are doing big things. These are all powerful markers and must-have ingredients for long term success.

Yet, what’s missing is what moves mountains, creates results and provides deep levels of achievement, and fulfillment: ruthless levels of focus. This is what you’re here for, because it matters — and bringing your dreams to life has to happen. So, how do you harness this level of focus and ensure your dreams come to life? In a distracted world, it’s never been harder and simultaneously rewarding.

Below, are 4 steps to help ensure your entrepreneurial success:

Step 1: Achieve clarity or pay the price

The first step to harnessing the power of focus is knowing what to do. Sounds simple, but clarity for entrepreneurs is crucial — otherwise your day will be filled with distractions. If you have no idea what to do, you’ll spend your time on the easy action steps and wonder why you aren’t seeing big results.

The best way I’ve found to do this with myself and countless clients is to set 90 day targets. These are much better than one year targets since they increase urgency due to how close they are, and are enough to produce a ton of results.

Ask yourself:

  • Where do I want to be in my business in 90 days? Set specific targets for revenue, audience size, content creation, etc depending on your specific business.
  • What can I do to get there? This is where you brain dump everything and don’t stop until you feel you got nothing left. Step away from it, and come back later before asking the next question.

Out of all of these, which are the 20% that will have the most impact? Circle the top priorities. These are usually the bigger projects that aren’t urgent, yet crucially important. Armed with clarity, it’s time to move on to the next step.

“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

Step 2: Put your big initiatives first

With the most important work identified, you’re now going to fill your calendar or workflow with the most important items. This means you start your day with time blocks solely dedicated towards those projects. Here’s why: Most people start their day with little tasks; checking off small things making us feel like we’re making progress —but don’t actually produce results.

Instead of checking email, social or even your websites subscribers first thing in the morning, do your most important work. I personally start the day off with a 90 day timeblock to tackle these, and the results have been incredible. It won’t be easy at first, but stick with it and you’ll start to gain confidence in your capability to bring your vision to life.

Step 3: Protect your focused time

You’ve got clarity, you’ve set your time blocks to work on the big movers in your business. You’re all set right? Wrong! It’s one thing to create time blocks, it’s an entirely different ball game to execute on them.

This is where boundaries come in. Make yourself unavailable to others, delete apps, and get off the smartphone. Recent research states the average American worker checks his or her email 88 times a day. Don’t be this person. Do anything you can to protect your focused time, and you’ll become an efficient, purposeful and consistent machine.

Step 4: Stay consistent and be patient

As I mentioned earlier, the lure of easy tasks and busyness can feel great, but it does very little to move our business forward. Using this system, you will feel tempted to go back into your old routines and habits.

The key to making this work, like anything —it takes consistency. The truth is you won’t notice a big shift if you do this for a week, but stay with it for the next 90 days, and you’ll be amazed at what you can create.

You’ll be making real progress with your brand, product or service —and fall in love with focus. Focus itself is a powerful driver of purpose and fulfillment. We’ve all had days as entrepreneurs where we were busy, yet exhausted at the end of the day. The power of this system is you’ll finish your work day knowing you’ve moved your business and life forward. No amount of motivational Instagram quotes can hold a candle to this feeling.

“Your life is controlled by what you focus on.” – Tony Robbins

Focus is your competitive advantage

Lastly, remember this: In a distracted world, focus becomes your competitive advantage. You’ll start to rise above in your niche as someone who is consistent and always delivering. People will start asking for your secret — and the latest hack.

Best of all, you’ll know you’re putting in the real work to make your dreams come to life and never look back. You’ll develop confidence instead of feeling stuck and scattered. As time passes, getting into your focus states will get easier, and the pay off will be even bigger.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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5 Tips for Young People Starting a Business or Side-Hustle

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starting a business at a young age
Image Credit: Unsplash

The decision to start a business or any sort of “side-hustle” takes a lot of nerve, especially when you’re only in your 20s. Yet, the ability to power on and keep going – through all the ups and downs of business is a feat to be truly admired. (more…)

With the desire to go "digital nomad" and help businesses with their social media, Chelsea Tobin founded her boutique social media agency, Queen of Swords Media, in 2018. She attended Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Business (Marketing major) and a Bachelor of Communication Studies (PR major). She enjoys speaking and writing about her journey so far in the world of business, self-development and mindfulness as a young millennial woman navigating her way through life, and of course social media. You can follow her on Instagram here.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Awais Afzal

    Jul 18, 2018 at 8:14 am

    Everyone fails at first glance. But sometimes we need someone who can really help us and teach us where we actually made mistakes. The young entrepreneur should always pay attention to another successful entrepreneur as how they manage their things and takes a decision. But it comes gradually. So a one should always have some patience.

  2. Hunter

    Mar 2, 2016 at 2:40 am

    I feel that I have been guilty of doing all of these things. I think that the hardest part of letting people in is being afraid that they will not understand my thought process or plan. With that comes the fear that they may try to convince me to change my idea or to do it a different way. The worst case possibility is if they try to explain that the idea or concept will not work at all. Pivoting instead of quitting applies to all aspects of our life. It’s like doing homework. If I can’t find the answer in my textbook, I can either give up or I can seek it elsewhere or ask for help.

    I feel that the last two go together. An important part of the plan that most people overlook is how they will deal with the aspects of entrepreneurship that they don’t like or can’t cope with. Entrepreneurship comes with the intended difficulties and long hours, but many people don’t consider the emotionally stressful and taxing side of it.

    This was a good reading and a great thought provoker. I enjoyed the read and look forward to more. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Stephen Osoko

    Dec 28, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    Awesome post. Trying to do it all alone was definately something I felt was the way to success in my early days however I’ve learned that you need some help along the way, be it from mentors, fellow entrepreneurs etc.Once again, great post!

  4. Robb Gorringe

    Nov 26, 2015 at 12:17 am

    Hi Troy,

    I like your recommendation of the “grit list”. It’s so true. There’s just some things that you’ve got to do.

    I also enjoyed what you said about having a plan, but making sure its not too far out ahead. 1-3 years is best. I tend to agree. Sometimes our goals are so “dreamy” that they’re as unreachable as outer space.

    Great article,

    Robb

    • Troy Stoneking

      Nov 29, 2015 at 11:00 pm

      Thank you Robb. Man, those “long term” plans are just WAY too far out for me…and I suspect most other people as well. I appreciate your kind comments!

  5. Shaf

    Nov 25, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    You know I generally renegade online article advice on success and development as rehashed politically correct content that provides zero value – because most of the Internet is like that. I thought the same about this site when I saw feeds on Facebook. Today I read through some articles like this one and have to say this site is different. You did hit on finer points that makes a difference on the path to building a business… and also in many aspects of life

    • Troy Stoneking

      Nov 29, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      Thank you Shaf. I do my best when I write, speak, consult and coach to make things as practical and concrete as possible. If it’s not actionable it’s not worth sharing.

  6. Addicted 2 The Grind

    Nov 23, 2015 at 2:57 pm

    Often times people fail because they are not willing to put in the work. If you work hard and smart you should see results. (#2 ^ ) Most people do quit to early because they don’t see the results fast enough. You have to be patient and put it the work. Great Post

    • Troy Stoneking

      Nov 29, 2015 at 11:01 pm

      You nailed it. I’ve been guilty of slacking off myself…more times than I care to admit! We have push through. Thanks for the great input!!

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Entrepreneurs

5 Tips for Young People Starting a Business or Side-Hustle

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starting a business at a young age
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The decision to start a business or any sort of “side-hustle” takes a lot of nerve, especially when you’re only in your 20s. Yet, the ability to power on and keep going – through all the ups and downs of business is a feat to be truly admired.

Although us Gen Y and Gen Z’s have grown up in the easiest time in history to start a business, we arguably need to work 10 times harder just to prove that we’re serious about making a success out of our ventures – and not just vying for the “digital nomad” lifestyle or the trendy title of “Entrepreneur” out of a sense of millennial entitlement.

So here are 5 tips to help young people when starting a business or side-hustle and finding their feet in the world of business:

1. Don’t let your age deter you

Young people can get a lot of flack for the cliché perceptions like entitlement and narcissism that surround our younger generations. And sure, we don’t yet have the life experience and work experience that comes with being older, but don’t let anyone (of any age) tell you that what you want to achieve in business cannot be done.

Remember that age is just a number – and that being younger (and therefore less experienced in life) does not automatically equal the inability to succeed in a business venture. It’s actually quite fortunate that we have time on our side, as time is our greatest asset as human beings. We have years to learn, try new things, pivot, fail, and succeed in whatever we try our hand at.

“Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something. You got a dream, you gotta protect it. When people can’t do something themselves, they are going to tell you that you can’t do it. You want something, go get it. Period.” – Will Smith

2. Use social media to your advantage

We’re native users who have grown up with much of today’s technology (the main area being the internet and computers), but we have also learned to adapt to changes. Most millennials grew up during the transition from VHS to DVDs to Blu-Ray then to Netflix. This technological and social media savviness gives us the business edge – particularly when it comes to online business.

Even if you’re not a social media expert, or you’re not as proficient as you’d like to be, use your savviness with technology to learn more digital skills through avenues like online courses or YouTube. Social media is the holy grail of marketing in today’s business world. Sometimes, as native personal users, we take it for granted. You can take advantage of social media, and use it as your greatest asset when it comes to starting a business or side-hustle.

3. Network and collaborate

They say “your network is your net worth”. The people you meet on your business journey (including your existing family friends) are going to be crucial to your business success. So make sure you get out and network.

You could attend business networking meetings, conferences, participate in relevant business Facebook groups, collaborate with other businesspeople (you could even find a mentor), and build the all-important online community around your brand on your chosen social media channels.

Networking can lead to referrals which are one of the “golden nuggets” of business – they’re a powerful way to get new customer or clientele. So a strong network is what is going to help bring you those referrals.

4. Fail fast and learn fast

Remember that we have time on our side, but that doesn’t mean we should take it slow. When things aren’t working, when things have gone stagnant, or when things have gone wrong, we need to learn to pivot.

A good way to help pivot is to take on a learning mindset. Always be looking for new opportunities to not only upgrade yourself (personally, mentally and emotionally) but to upgrade your business, skills and systems as well.

See what other successful business people in your industry are doing or speaking about. Make sure you’re always keeping a tab on the latest developments and trends in the world of digital marketing and business. Being a ahead of the curve is crucial in today’s online business environment.

“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing and falling over.” – Richard Branson

5. Sacrifice

Building a business or side-hustle is going to take some sacrifice. Rather than buying the the most expensive and trendiest sneakers or the latest iPhone, invest that money into Facebook advertising, or an online course to help you up-skill.

Even though we live in the age of immediacy where everything is available to us at the tap of a finger on our smartphone, starting a business or side-hustle (let alone building it and sustaining it) is not easy. It takes hours and hours of work, late nights, sacrifice and self-doubts. You can’t expect it to be a quick process.

So while we’re young (and want to enjoy our youth while it lasts), when it comes to starting a business, there will be times when we need to make the choice between doing what everybody else our age is doing, or working in or on our business.

Of course, there needs to be a healthy ratio of work-life balance, but learning to sacrifice a few pleasures now (like going out on the town every Friday and Saturday night) will pay off in the long term when it comes to your business. With great sacrifice comes great reward.

Starting your own business or side-hustle when you’re in your 20s can be daunting yet incredibly thrilling at the same time. Whether you’re thinking about starting one or you’re already in the midst of the journey, put in the work and be proud of the path you’ve chosen – and remember that age is just a number!

Have you thought about starting a business or side-hustle? If so, how did you motivate yourself to start? Share your thoughts with us below!

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5 Pillars to Creating an Unfair Advantage in Your Business

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All of us want to create unfair advantages in our business that separate us from our competition. Nonetheless, doing this is easier said than done as everyday your competition is innovating and getting better. With today’s technology, overachievers are reaching higher levels of success than ever before. Naturally, if you are here reading Addicted2Success, then this means you too are an overachiever who is addicted to success.

Therefore, you need to create as many unfair advantages in your business as possible and you cannot do that on your own. You need to implement timeless truths and success principles that have worked for other successful people. You do not need to reinvent the wheel as it’s a waste of time. Instead, leverage the knowledge from those who are having major success right now.

John Malott, serial entrepreneur & co-founder of Build Your Empire, shared these pillars with me in a recent phone call and these pillars are the same ones he’s used in 8 companies that range from private aviation, real estate, blockchain technology, pharmaceuticals, and others.

Additionally he’s used these pillars to generate over 200 million dollars in revenue and be the king & queen-maker for 800-1000 6-Figure earners & 250 millionaires over the last 15 years inside his network marketing business that includes over 100,000 distributors.

The reason I share this is to show you that these pillars work to create unfair advantages regardless of the industry you’re in so pay attention so you can implement these 5 pillars right away.

Here are the 5 Pillars To Create An Unfair Advantage In Your Business:

1. Leadership

Ability to lead a team and develop other leaders. True leaders are able to develop other leaders by creating an environment of growth. In your business, you must have systems set up in place to develop other leaders. John C Maxwell, has developed an amazing 5 step process on how you can develop leaders in your business.

Follow these instructions in order:

  1. Do The Task Yourself
  2. Do The Task While They Watch You
  3. Let Them Do The Task While Watching
  4. Let Them Do The Task Alone
  5. Let Them Supervise A New Person While The New Person Does The Task

#5 is so important here because if you want to create true duplication in your business then you must show your leaders how they can develop new leaders themselves.

2. Culture

Culture is the vibe and energy of your business. This is the non-verbal energy in the room. This is the ambiance of how it feels to be a part of your company. Culture is the unspoken bond and relationship that your people feel towards you and your business. Having great people who love to be a part of your company is one of the best way to create an unfair advantage in your business.

If you have a strong culture then your people will work hard, stay late, come early, be friends with each other, and become the best version of themselves each day. And you want to know the crazy thing?! They will love doing it because they are happy about it! This is what happens when you build a great culture.

Culture duplicates and makes people happy and motivated. The best way to create culture is to treat everyone with respect, set expectations, hold each other accountable, and foster an environment for growth and positivity.

“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek

3. Team Building

Team Building & Culture go hand-in-hand because your team will be influenced by the culture in your business. In order to build a great team you first have to become someone that others want to work with. This is one of the most overlooked factors when it comes to team building.

Ask yourself, “Why would someone better than me want to work with me? Why would this person want to invest their time and energy into what I’m doing?”. If you already have a team then you need to have team building exercises each month that bring your team together in a fun and engaging way.

In John’s companies, he frequently brings in authors to share their lessons with his people and he regularly plans retreats where his people can lock in, connect, grow, and stay engaged with each other by fostering deeper relationships. Lock people in and keep them together.

4. Social Media

Social Media is one of the best ways to grow your business and create an unfair advantage in your business. You can use social media to drive new leads into your business. John’s instagram community @BuildYourEmpire has over 1.5 million followers and growing each day. This is a major unfair advantage because this is an asset he can leverage to connect him with hungry and motivated individuals.

If you do not have a large social media following right now, that is okay. It’s not about how many followers you have, it’s about the value of the content you create. If you create valuable content on a consistent basis then your following will grow incrementally for certain. As long as you keep up your content creation more momentum and interest will flow into your business.

“I use social media as an idea generator, trend mapper and strategic compass for all of our online business ventures.” – Paul Barron

5. Track Record

This is self-explanatory. At the end of the day, you either put up or shut up. You have to have a track record showcasing what you’ve done in the past. A lot of people talk and say that they can do a good thing. If you want to have an unfair advantage in your business then you need to show your great work and have others do the talking for you! Nothing is more convincing than a respectful body of work. The best way to get someone to believe in you is to show them. As you continue building a track record you will notice more word of mouth referrals coming in.

These 5 pillars are essential if you want to create an unfair advantage in your business. Regardless of your industry, these pillars are universal and will work for you. If you can implement all 5 of these pillars then you will create unfair advantages in your business that separate you from the competition.

Which one of the above 5 pillars resonated most with you and why? Let us know in the comments below!

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Entrepreneurs

5 Facebook ‘Ad Hacks’ for Quickly Attracting Customers to Your New Hustle

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Image Credit: Digital Uncovered

Facebook has gotten a bit of a bad rap recently, with stories about changing algorithms and news feeds causing an increasing number of businesses to turn away from the platform. After all, what’s the point of spending your hard-earned marketing dollars if you aren’t going to get a solid return on investment?

Despite these fears, however, Facebook remains a quality resource for attracting customers to your e-commerce business. I should know — Facebook advertising has been one of the foundational elements that has helped me build several successful e-commerce stores.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that your successes or failures with Facebook advertising will be largely dependent on the tactics you use.

Without further ado, here are some of the methods that I’ve found to be the most successful in building a following and finding new customers:

1. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups have been one of the best resources in my efforts to build a strong personal brand. My eCommerce Elites Mastermind group has quickly grown to be nearly 50,000 members, where new and veteran entrepreneurs ask for advice and share tips.

Whether you choose to start your own Facebook group or become an active participant in another industry-specific group, these communities offer a great opportunity to interact one-on-one with your target audience. Sharing your own insights is a great way to build niche authority, without needing to spend a lot of your marketing budget.

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising.” – Mark Zuckerberg

2. Find the Engaged Niche

Targeting can make or break your Facebook ad campaign. While many businesses try to expand their reach as much as possible, this isn’t always the best course of action. For niche products, you may be better off targeting a smaller group — in particular, the “die-hards” of the industry.

Let’s say that you sell specialized artwork and photography of National Parks in the United States. While targeting interests such as “hiking” or “nature” may get you some sales, a U.S. specific product may be insignificant to many of the people in these groups. In this case, a wiser course of action would be to target individuals who like the National Parks featured in your artwork.

While the overall audience size will be smaller, these individuals are more likely to be the “die-hard” fans of these parks who are also more likely to purchase related products. A narrower niche can actually lead to more sales and a lower cost per conversion. For best results, check the affinity score for pages similar to yours to help find the most relevant audience interests.

3. Live Content

Going live may sound intimidating, but it can significantly improve your reach on Facebook. In fact, the social media giant reports that close to two billion people have watched at least one live broadcast on its platform. It isn’t hard to understand why.

For one thing, Facebook sends a notification to your followers when you go live. In my Facebook group, this has been a great way to share announcements and behind-the-scenes content, and such events have always generated great engagement.

Even more interesting, however, is that Facebook now allows for the placement of video ads during certain live broadcasts. Though Facebook has implemented stricter rules regarding who can broadcast ads and how often these ads can be played during a live stream, snagging a placement in these high-engagement posts can be a great way to reach new customers.

4. Rotate Your Ads

Facebook display ads continue to be the standard for many e-commerce businesses. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs waste their ad budget by creating a single ad and repeatedly running it to the same group of customers. The more often someone is exposed to the same ad, the more likely they are to get annoyed by it.

One study found that by the time someone sees an ad on Facebook for the ninth time, clickthrough rate decreases by nearly 50 percent, while the cost per click increases by over 160 percent.

If you want to have a successful display campaign on Facebook, be willing to spend a little extra on the creative end of the process. Switching up the wording and images will ensure that your target audience won’t experience ad fatigue and develop negative feelings toward your brand.

“Advertising works most effectively when it’s in line with what people are already trying to do.” – Mark Zuckerberg

5. Messenger Ads

Facebook Messenger Ads are a relatively new marketing tool, but they offer a lot of potential for e-commerce businesses. This allows you to send sponsored messages to a user through the Facebook Messenger app to promote sales events, offer special discounts and more. Messenger Ads can become especially effective when you utilize a messenger bot.

These chat bots allow for automated responses to a potential customer’s communications through Facebook Messenger. Not only does this reduce the time you need to spend actively monitoring these campaigns, but they can also help you achieve a higher clickthrough rate than standard email marketing.

Brand-Building Through Facebook

Facebook is a highly competitive marketplace, and there’s no denying that finding “ready to buy” customers can sometimes be easier said than done, but it’s not impossible. As you implement these tactics, you’ll be able to see better results from your Facebook marketing efforts and achieve the business growth you’re working for.

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Entrepreneurs

Here’s Why Most New Entrepreneurs Will Fail

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entrepreneurship
Image Credit: Twenty20.com

For the last decade, I’ve traveled to hundreds of entrepreneurial and self-growth events where the themes are all about thinking big, and bold. I’ve done the world’s most intense experiential training designed to unlock power and purpose. What I noticed was simple, yet scathing in impact.

Most people weren’t going to achieve their dreams and vision for one reason and one reason only —lack of focus. Without focus, all the energy and possibility created would be lost, scattered and ultimately spent in places that didn’t really matter.

Most entrepreneurs and solopreneurs have no problem creating a powerful, bold vision. They don’t have issues cultivating the skills required, and most love learning and do it automatically. In most cases, they’re also surrounded by other people who are doing big things. These are all powerful markers and must-have ingredients for long term success.

Yet, what’s missing is what moves mountains, creates results and provides deep levels of achievement, and fulfillment: ruthless levels of focus. This is what you’re here for, because it matters — and bringing your dreams to life has to happen. So, how do you harness this level of focus and ensure your dreams come to life? In a distracted world, it’s never been harder and simultaneously rewarding.

Below, are 4 steps to help ensure your entrepreneurial success:

Step 1: Achieve clarity or pay the price

The first step to harnessing the power of focus is knowing what to do. Sounds simple, but clarity for entrepreneurs is crucial — otherwise your day will be filled with distractions. If you have no idea what to do, you’ll spend your time on the easy action steps and wonder why you aren’t seeing big results.

The best way I’ve found to do this with myself and countless clients is to set 90 day targets. These are much better than one year targets since they increase urgency due to how close they are, and are enough to produce a ton of results.

Ask yourself:

  • Where do I want to be in my business in 90 days? Set specific targets for revenue, audience size, content creation, etc depending on your specific business.
  • What can I do to get there? This is where you brain dump everything and don’t stop until you feel you got nothing left. Step away from it, and come back later before asking the next question.

Out of all of these, which are the 20% that will have the most impact? Circle the top priorities. These are usually the bigger projects that aren’t urgent, yet crucially important. Armed with clarity, it’s time to move on to the next step.

“The successful warrior is the average man with laser-like focus.” – Bruce Lee

Step 2: Put your big initiatives first

With the most important work identified, you’re now going to fill your calendar or workflow with the most important items. This means you start your day with time blocks solely dedicated towards those projects. Here’s why: Most people start their day with little tasks; checking off small things making us feel like we’re making progress —but don’t actually produce results.

Instead of checking email, social or even your websites subscribers first thing in the morning, do your most important work. I personally start the day off with a 90 day timeblock to tackle these, and the results have been incredible. It won’t be easy at first, but stick with it and you’ll start to gain confidence in your capability to bring your vision to life.

Step 3: Protect your focused time

You’ve got clarity, you’ve set your time blocks to work on the big movers in your business. You’re all set right? Wrong! It’s one thing to create time blocks, it’s an entirely different ball game to execute on them.

This is where boundaries come in. Make yourself unavailable to others, delete apps, and get off the smartphone. Recent research states the average American worker checks his or her email 88 times a day. Don’t be this person. Do anything you can to protect your focused time, and you’ll become an efficient, purposeful and consistent machine.

Step 4: Stay consistent and be patient

As I mentioned earlier, the lure of easy tasks and busyness can feel great, but it does very little to move our business forward. Using this system, you will feel tempted to go back into your old routines and habits.

The key to making this work, like anything —it takes consistency. The truth is you won’t notice a big shift if you do this for a week, but stay with it for the next 90 days, and you’ll be amazed at what you can create.

You’ll be making real progress with your brand, product or service —and fall in love with focus. Focus itself is a powerful driver of purpose and fulfillment. We’ve all had days as entrepreneurs where we were busy, yet exhausted at the end of the day. The power of this system is you’ll finish your work day knowing you’ve moved your business and life forward. No amount of motivational Instagram quotes can hold a candle to this feeling.

“Your life is controlled by what you focus on.” – Tony Robbins

Focus is your competitive advantage

Lastly, remember this: In a distracted world, focus becomes your competitive advantage. You’ll start to rise above in your niche as someone who is consistent and always delivering. People will start asking for your secret — and the latest hack.

Best of all, you’ll know you’re putting in the real work to make your dreams come to life and never look back. You’ll develop confidence instead of feeling stuck and scattered. As time passes, getting into your focus states will get easier, and the pay off will be even bigger.

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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