What’s your biggest struggle with starting your business? Is it lack of money? Lack of ideas? Lack of know how?
Ouch! Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us!
As a coach who helps people start their online businesses, I’ve talked lots of people through their business misconceptions and we’ve unraveled so many of the lies people tell themselves about business, that I’ve started to see some patterns.
The top 10 lies people tell themselves about business:
(Imagine me counting these down, like on Top of the Pops if you’re in the UK, Late Show style if you’re in the US, and maybe Countdown for Australia? I haven’t actually hooked my TV up here yet!
Regardless of where you are in the world, here are my top ten lies that people tell themselves about business:
10. “I’m passionate about this, so it will work.”
Passion is important, but it’s not the most important thing. You can absolutely succeed at a business you’re not passionate about (although, you may not enjoy the ride as much) and you can absolutely fail at something you’re passionate about. Passion is awesome, but it’s not a magic bullet. Your idea also needs to have a market.
9. “I have to find a niche that nobody else is serving, or do something nobody else is doing.”
This is just plain backwards, but so many people think they have to have a totally unique idea to start a business. I’ve actually written about the fact that going into a business that other people have succeeded with is a good thing. The key is to differentiate yourself by being yourself.
8. “If I build it, they will come.”
This is a big misconception. You might have the most amazing product or service in the world, but if people don’t know about it, they can’t buy it. You must invest in marketing, whether that’s online marketing, networking, social media, getting referrals, speaking, or something else entirely.
7. “I didn’t sell as much as I wanted, so I should lower the price.”
I call this the WalMart effect. People think that no matter what their product or service might be, they have to have a low price for people to buy. But amazingly, sometimes the opposite is true; certain customers are more likely to buy at a higher price point, because they perceive more value. The other side of this is that price may not have been a factor at all. You need to look at your whole offer and ideal customer before you decide your price is wrong.
6. “I know everything already.” OR “I don’t know anything.”
These are equally damaging lies we tell ourselves. The better path is to believe in our abilities, but maintain an open mind and be willing to learn at every opportunity.
5. “I want to make tons of money with passive income.”
This is the biggest lie of the internet age, in my opinion. We see these internet millionaires touting their system for creating six-figure passive income, and we want to believe! But those millionaires didn’t just flip a switch one day to get where they are. In almost every circumstance, you are going to be better off by offering one-on-one services before you try to create leveraged programs. And the term “passive income” is incredibly misleading. There’s nothing passive about the massive amounts of work you have to do to get there.
4. “I can’t do X until it’s perfect.”
Where X equals “launch my website,” “sell my product/course/service,” “create a video” etc. This is procrastination and fear talking. The only way to succeed is to actually try something! So launch that landing page before your site is done, run a beta group for your new service, and shoot the damn video on your iPhone! It’s an evolution, but you must start somewhere.
3. “I need to learn to do X, Y, and Z before I get started.”
I especially see internet savvy entrepreneurs falling into this trap, because there is a course for everything. We get into this mindset that we have to learn about every possible detail or situation we might encounter now so we don’t do anything wrong. I find myself in this one too. But life and business are about making mistakes. I’m all for courses and coaching to get you where you need to go, but don’t get caught up in learning and not doing.
2. “I’m a solopreneur, so I have to do everything myself.”
Entrepreneurs starting their business on a shoestring often believe they have to figure out how to do everything themselves, when they could be getting quality help at a reasonable price, freeing them up to work on the things only they can do. You can find help at nearly any price point, and while you get what you pay for in many instances, outsourcing even a few tasks can make your life so much easier.
And the No. 1 lie people tell themselves about business….
1. “I’m not good at sales and marketing.”
Well, then you’re not going to be very good at business, I’m afraid. In all seriousness, unless you have the capital to hire someone to do these things for you, you’re going to have to get good at sales and marketing, because that’s what business is: attracting customers and then convincing them to buy. The good news is that it’s not as hard to learn as you might think. Just shift your mindset from “I’m not good” to “I’m learning.”
My point is this: Sometimes, it’s not an outside force getting in our way, but our own misconceptions and baggage. I happen to know from experience that having a coach can help you bust through these barriers. ;) But just recognising the lies for what they are will go a long way to helping you get through them.
I’d like to hear from you.
What’s the biggest lie you ever told yourself about business?
How did you get to the truth?
Let me know in the comments below!