I get it. You’re new to business, just started your own company, and your day-to-day feeling is a mixture of reckless excitement with every sale and nauseous anxiety with every missed opportunity. Your brain’s racing and you voice your concerns to anyone who will listen. As a marketing consultant with more than a half decade of experience, I’m here to tell you that while your current beliefs are valid, they’re absolutely unnecessary to succeed in business.
For the past few months, I’ve been coaching new entrepreneurs on how to start their own businesses. With every question asked and every excuse lodged I’ve begun to see patterns.
Today, I’d like to list the four most common novice mindsets of the newbie businessperson and the alternative beliefs of success that will help you achieve your goals.
1. “I Pitched One Customer And He Didn’t Like My Product”
This is the doom-and-gloom newbie entrepreneur. If one customer call or one product launch doesn’t go well, all of a sudden “the entire business is on the chopping block, it’s in the wrong niche, woe is me”.
This novice businessman is obsessed with making assumptions about everything. This thinking is absolutely wrong. You don’t make assumptions about your niche, your product, or anything in your business until talking to a substantial amount of people. Without a large amount of data, you’re essentially throwing a dart at a wall with your eyes closed and saying you’re a terrible player at darts.
The advanced business owner takes each conversation as a small learning lesson to improve gradually. He or she sees it as an opportunity to refine their work after hearing some feedback, to better improve the screening capabilities of the company, and to gather proper data. The advanced entrepreneur doesn’t assume; the advanced entrepreneur learns from experience.
2. “I’ve Got My First/Fifth/Tenth Sale! Time For Vacation!”
A novice entrepreneur gets one, two, or even ten sales and thinks it’s a massive cause for celebration. Newbies find a few sales to be a sign that all goals for the company have been accomplished.
Someone who is successful in business and has been there before gets ten sales and thinks, “Oh! Maybe this is the real deal… a winning offer. I’m going to replicate this a million times over now”.
Advanced businesspeople know how rare it is to stumble upon a winning offer. It’s not an everyday occurrence and should be treated with respect.
Imagine how long it took you to get to the point of those first few sales. That’s just the beginning of your business. Amassing a truly thriving business takes a much longer time than a few closes so you can afford to go to the beach for a weekend.
Don’t set your goals so low. Ten sales is a good start, but there’s much more to come. When I got my first ten sales, all I thought was, “Okay, I’m on to something, I’ve got to replicate this a million times”. If I find something that works, I’ll have to replicate it and improve it for many years, not just months. That is the advanced mindset. And I’m committed to it.
Implement the following if you already have a business: take that part of your business which is already a winning offer and multiply it. Just spend a week, a month, or a year multiplying it. Later on, if you decide to automate parts of it, that’s fine, but for now, just start multiplying it. Do the work, multiply the results.
3. “My Clients Are Horrible”
There are many variants of this (“They flake”, “They’re lazy”, “They’re stupid”). What it comes down to is the novice entrepreneur is more focused on the problem in their head than the actual solution in the real world.
An advanced entrepreneur thinks, “Ouch! Someone flaked on me. How do I improve my sales funnel so fewer clients disappear so quickly?” The experienced businessperson also consults peers, Googles industry literature on the topic, and plans methods to improve for the future.
If your clients don’t have the proper mindset to succeed, teach them the correct one. It’s perfectly acceptable to elicit new behaviors and thought patterns from the people paying you to help them improve. It’s a common practice in businesses of all kinds. Even if you’re just delivering a product (instead a service), you can release it in an educational manner and gear it towards the ideal mindsets you want your customers to have.
4. “It’s Working For Someone Else, But Not Me”
This could also be called the “They’re Special But I’m Not” excuse. This is a very novice belief in business. Look, anything anyone else does, you can replicate and (usually) do it better. Especially if you’re more committed. You’ll have more leverage as a beginning entrepreneur; often the most successful people in business are complacent. They just want to keep their piece of the pie.
Therein lies your opportunity to hustle that much harder. An experienced businessperson looks at a competitor and thinks, “Well, they really must be working hard, I’m glad to see someone succeeding with this niche. Let’s see if I can do it as well, deliver better service, and improve the world even more”.
You can see many examples of this. Most businesses start from scratch in an established niche. They usually just look at companies similar to them and aim to do it slightly better. Think of the difference between a Mac and a PC, a PC and regular cell phone, and a regular cell phone and an iPhone. Similar but better.
You can do anything that anyone else can do in business, but if you hold onto the wrong ideas, you’ll only make the road that much longer for yourself.
Learn from your mistakes, keep a cool head, and stay on solid ground as you climb up this mountain. No one is cut from a different cloth, and if you’re willing to change yourself, you must just change the world as well.