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5 Questions You Need to Answer to Keep Your Lifestyle Business From Failing

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lifestyle entrepreneur

Nobody starts a business wanting to fail. Yet, that’s exactly what happens to 8 out 10 entrepreneurs and that too within the first 18 months according to Bloomberg. Why would that be any different for a lifestyle business?

A lifestyle business simply put is a business that supports the lifestyle the owner wants. This could be travel for some or the flexibility to run your day on your own time. A lifestyle business is the greatest opportunity given by the internet but it also has several cards stacked against it.

The number one reason why lifestyle businesses fail is a lack of focused effort and strategy. There’s even a name for this ‘condition’ that causes you to veer off tangents from your initial goal. It’s called Shiny object syndrome.

This (almost) sinister syndrome is most prevalent in the online environment because of the fast pace at which information products, courses and ideas are released and discussed.

How do you stop yourself from falling prey to Shiny object syndrome and going off tangent from your initial goals?

Here are 5 questions you need to ask yourself:

1. What are your big hairy audacious goals (BHAG)?

Would you board a plane knowing that your pilot didn’t have the itinerary or map needed to navigate the plane to its destination? Of course not. But don’t you think so many of us sway from one shiny course to another? Implementing a different strategy every other day, without a clear idea of where we’re going?

This is why it’s important to have ‘big, hairy, audacious goals (BHAG)’ This is a term introduced by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras in their book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. These are goals that usually have a time-frame of 5, 10 or 15 years.

When you keep these goals on your wall, you immediately chart a certain path to get there. Every time you’re at a crossroads with a decision you have to take, ask yourself which decision will align you more closely with your long term goal. Which decision will play a role to help you achieve that goal? This streamlines your efforts on what you need to do to get there.

“If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” – Ray Kroc

2. What actions can you directly influence?

Every single day there is a rush of new tools in the market that help us analyze our metrics and statistics-bounce rates, engagements levels, heat maps, SEO optimization.

While these are no doubt important, a focus on metrics and statistics in the early stages will often leave you feeling demoralized and jaded. These are numbers that you cannot directly influence.

For instance, have a look at this target: Get 10,000 subscribers within 3 months. You can’t influence this directly. But here’s what you can influence:

  • Create a specific lead magnet aligned with your product
  • Pitch one site a week to guest post on
  • Focus on building one social media platform where your target audience hangs out on
  • Run a paid ad campaign

See the difference? By focusing on actions you can directly influence, you won’t be tied down to metrics or statistics.  

3. Who are your mentors?

Are you scratching your head thinking: How does that even matter? According to a study by UPS, 70 percent of small businesses that receive mentoring survive more than five years – double the survival rate of non-mentored businesses.

As an online entrepreneur who is just starting out, paying to be part of a mastermind or paying for mentorship may be a costly option. But this doesn’t stop you from studying their actions, strategies and writing.

Look at how you can incorporate these teachings into your own business. But here’s where the caveat comes in. Make a clear distinction between who you admire and who you want as your mentor.

You may admire certain entrepreneurs but not necessarily agree with their values or practices. By trying to follow and emulate someone whose values you don’t relate to, you risk being miserable and misaligned with your ‘why’.

“Ideas are easy. Implementation is hard.” – Guy Kawasaki

4. What will move the needle in your business right now?

When you feel overwhelmed, ask yourself: What do you need to do right now to make progress? Nothing else matters, does it? Is there a particular skill you need to move forward? Is there a certain investment in a tool or course that would help in getting over a plateau or to move forward?

For many entrepreneurs, this might be switching to a new software platform, public speaking or writing better copy.

Once you have nailed down what you need to do to move forward, ask yourself if you can do this yourself, if you need help or is this a necessary investment in a tool or course. Overwhelm often comes when you have too many directions and options to pursue.

5. What do you bring to the table?

What’s your value proposition? How different are you? Each of us has a unique mix of strengths and weaknesses. It’s this unique makeup that draws people to you and your business.  Is it the way you write? Your style? Your voice? Your approach to things?

Nothing about your product or content is original. I think we can all agree that everything has been done and said in one form or the other. But the way you articulate your message has to be original. You have to affect people in a way that they either love your work or get repelled by it.

Stay grounded to your ‘why’. It’s easy to be thrown off tangent by shiny object syndrome. But these 5 questions will keep you grounded to your goals and your ‘why’ for starting your business.

What other tips would you add to this list to help your lifestyle business succeed! Leave your thoughts below!

Meera Kothand is a certified email marketing specialist, blogger and a self-professed email nerd. She blogs over at MeeraKothand.Com where she helps bloggers and solopreneurs create authentic blogs and businesses minus the sleaze to build an unmissable online presence and to make an impact online? Click here to get started.

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Are you completely new to networking?

Then this article is a great place to start. Networking isn’t hard on paper…you go along to online and in-person meetings, make new connections and build relationships, and those relationships lead to more work so you can grow your business! The challenge is that in reality, it isn’t quite so straightforward, as our emotions get involved and make things much tougher.

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Rock up with confidence

If you want to keep those nerves at bay and ooze confidence at networking get-togethers, you’ll need to downplay it rather than seeing it as a big occasion. Try not to put pressure on yourself and see it as a casual meet-up with a bunch of people with similar goals to you. To help you relax in the run-up to the event, be sure to set achievable goals and expectations before you go.

Keep your chin up and your goals in mind – positivity is key. One easy goal for your first networking meeting is very simply to speak to one other person and see where the conversation goes. Introduce yourself and your business, but take the time to listen to their story, too. It’ll only take a few minutes and will be over before you know it, so it’s nothing to fear. You may even enjoy it and want to speak to a few more people, too!

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

Where to go networking

If you’ve never been networking before, it might not be very easy to find a group – but only because there’s so much choice and you don’t know where to start your search! Groups come in different sizes and styles, so it’s important to find one that suits you and your business. Informal, formal, big, small… the choice is yours.

For your first meeting, start small to ease yourself in – a big group could prove too daunting, and stop you from feeling comfortable enough to get involved. After all, you want to make a strong first impression!

If you’re wondering which group to opt for in the long-term, give a few a go! Get a feel for them, speak to as many people as you can, and see which one suits! You’ll know when a group feels right for you, and you can see where those all-important relationships are most likely to be built. If a group doesn’t feel like the right for you, give a different one a go.

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Once you’ve made relationships with people who you trust, and they’ve had a positive experience working with you, you can even ask for referrals! But don’t rush this, as you don’t want to inadvertently push people away or try and force the relationship along too quickly.

When you do get an opportunity to work with someone you’ve met at a networking group, go above and beyond to offer more value than they’re expecting, as then, they’ll be much more likely recommend you and introduce you to more of their contacts!

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