Successful Entrepreneurs Do This Early & Often
Striking out on your own is a big step.
Whether you want to become a full-time entrepreneur or you just want to start a business on the side, there are a few things I've learned along the way that could help you.
I want to share advice I heard several months ago but ignored until recently.
At the time, I told myself “this isn't the right time” and “you're not ready.”
However, if I'd taken the advice then, instead of allowing my self-doubts to hold me down, I might be further along in my entrepreneurial journey than I am now.
Yesterday evening I was having a Facebook chat with my friend Shey. She and I have gotten to know each other pretty well over the past few months since meeting at New Media Expo.
Shey and I are both passionate about helping people succeed in life.
She has an extremely successful podcast that helps people live healthier and lose weight, and she's about to launch a new site to help entrepreneurs and small business owners with their tech issues.
But as we got to talking, she asked me about different ways to ramp up a side business so she can make the transition to full-time.
I thought about it for a while and finally remembered the advice I'd heard months ago.
Isn't it funny how one conversation can make your remember something you thought you'd forgotten?
Here's the advice I gave Shey.
When you're building a business you have to talk about your products early and often.
If your customers don't see your product, whether it's on your sidebar or on your shelf, they can't buy it.
If you don't have a product to sell, well, you get the idea; they cannot buy it!
You don't have to talk about your products or services all the time, but awareness is the first step in the buying process.
I really wish I'd created a product earlier in the history of my business. I wish I'd had the discipline to sit down, figure out a way I could help people, and written my books sooner.
I've written three books to help people.
The first book is a toolkit; a guide really.
The Personal Branding Toolkit walks you through building your personal brand. I share my personal history that led up to me writing the book and I walk you through a series of questions which help you get to the heart of what you've contributed to your team and the value you've brought them.
After that process, I show you how to incorporate your answers into your resume, your LinkedIn profile, and show you how to protect your brand online.
The second book I wrote is designed to help you outline and structure your day.
My Empowered Guide to Personal Productivity shows you how to take control of your calendar, work from anywhere, and reduce stress. One person who read my productivity guide told me I should be charging 3x what I am. It's pretty cool to hear feedback like that!
How to Start Your Professional Podcast for $200 or Less is a topic I feel really passionate about. So many times while coaching people I've heard statements like,
I would ____ but I don't know how to ____…
or I've heard people say,
I've thought about starting a ____ but it's just so expensive.
With this book, I show you how you can get your message out to the widest possible audience for a very economical price. Some experts will tell you a quality podcast will take $500-$5000 to get off the ground; I'll show you how to do it for less than the price of a fancy dinner for two.
If I had the ability to go back in time to the very beginning, back to the start of my entrepreneurial journey, I would definitely have built products earlier.
Who cares if your products aren't perfect?
They're digital and you can revise them.
Who cares if your products aren't what you want to be selling 5 years from now?
You have to start somewhere.
I can't tell you how cool it is to sell your first product online. It's one of the greatest feelings in the world to have someone buy your book or your course etc. while you're off doing something else.
It really is addicting, and selling your first product will get your journey to full-time entrepreneur off on the right foot.
Question: If you're an entrepreneur, full-time or not, what is one thing you wish you'd done earlier in your journey?