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If this is your first foray into entrepreneurship, you probably feel you need to do things “the right way” from the start. I’ll be honest, no matter how many times you’ve tried to set up a business you’ll probably always feel that way when starting a new one.
There are some things you have control of, and most of them have to do with your own mindset. We tend to forget that and allow negativity and overwhelm to derail our efforts.
Here are 8 tips to keep in mind when starting your online business.
Establish a strong “Why”
It is common knowledge that whenever you want to achieve something, you must first take stock and figure out a strong reason for why you want that objective to come to pass.
I explain this better in my article “Why Everyone Keeps Bugging You To Find Your ‘Why’”, starting with the fact that sometimes you are in survival mode and your biggest reason to make a change is to get out of that mode. You can download my “Find your Why” workbook to help you figure out yours.
And I’d like to add that you shouldn’t feel it’s bad for your reason to be money. Life is hard when you don’t have enough money to support yourself or have choices, and striving for a better way of life is a commendable goal.
Focus on the positive, not the negative
Our brains are powerful and they can sometimes take control. What does the brain like best? Deep emotions. It doesn’t matter if they are positive or negative emotions. Unfortunately we have created triggers in our thought processes that make sure the negative emotions always stand out.
I know it’s a cliche, but you should look for that silver lining instead of wallowing in everything that’s going wrong or even what could happen “if…”.
Being positive takes a lot of work. In the past, whenever I made a mistake I would start self flagellating, punishing myself for that terrible mistake. It didn’t matter if it was big or small, I could only think of how terrible a person I was for having made the mistake in the first place.
I would like you to practice self awareness and try and see when your thoughts turn negative. You won’t always be able to catch yourself at the beginning, but eventually you’ll realize what you are doing and take steps to correct it.
Allow yourself to be creative
Sometimes when starting an online business we follow the trends of what is popular at the moment making sure our business conforms to the industry standards. However, if you are an entrepreneur, that means you are creative, and you need that creativity to flow.
What is creativity? “The use of imagination or original ideas”. Our brains need to exercise the use of imagination. The constant exercise of imagination and creativity will help you be sharp and curious and enhance your life.
Don’t think that creativity only comes into play with art,music or design. No, it will affect every part of your life, including how you treat others.
Think outside the box
Don’t just stop at allowing yourself to be creative, go all the way out and find solutions that are innovative and bring your customers joy.
When you instill a culture of innovation in your business, “you” are the one setting the trends and making the changes.
Being unique, however, can be difficult. There will be a lot of pressure to prove that your method or product actually works and a lot of stress will come into your life.
In my opinion if you find a crazy technique that works and brings positive results fast and within the client’s budget, you should stick to your guns.
Hug your customers
This sentence comes from a book by Jack Mitchell (“Hug your Customers”), a businessman that grew his business by going above and beyond the call of duty to satisfy his customers.
While I wouldn’t do many of the things he did to make sure his customers were satisfied, there is a lot to be said about making sure your customer has a great experience while dealing with your business.
It’s all about creating relationships that get our customers to know, like and trust us. And then have them become superfans (Superfans, Pat Flynn) who buy every product we put out.
Always give value
Now, don’t mistake this as me saying ‘give value for free’. That’s not what this is about. While one of the strategies to grow your audience/customers/readers is in fact producing content of value for free so they get to know, like and trust you, not everything has to be given for free.
There are conflicting thoughts on this, one of them being that you as a person and as a business are investing your time and skills in developing products or services that help others. Why should you give them away for free?
Another thought is that if people see how much value you give for free they’ll jump at whatever product or service you offer because they know that you’ve given your all for free so what is paid must be of the highest quality possible.
Stay true to yourself
What makes your business stand out from others is the “you” factor. Your values, beliefs, skills and talents make you unique.
You might think you are just a normal person, but there are things that make you different. How you treat people, how you do business and even how you treat yourself and your family.
As your business grows, things will change and you might be tempted to go with the flow and just let things be. Don’t do that, follow those inner guidelines that helped you succeed and use them to keep growing. Don’t let success change you.
Starting and running an online business can be a lot of fun but also a lot of work. Many obstacles will appear in your way and you need to be able to be resourceful and when you fail, be resilient enough to get back up again and again.
What was called before toughness training (especially for athletes), is now mindset coaching and it is the one thing that will get you to realize your goals.
I will confess I usually get pretty crushed after I’ve lived what I considered a failure and it’s really difficult to get yourself out of that negative state of mind in order to be able to get back on track.
I have probably not said anything new here that you haven’t heard before. The trick is to keep these tips close so that when you do an evaluation of where you and your business are, you review them and see if you could have made better decisions by sticking to them.
Make it a point to evaluate your business and your goals at least every quarter to make sure you don’t get off track. It’s so easy, especially when it is a “side hustle” that’s not supposed to be as important as your 9-5 fulltime job.