Ask most solo-entrepreneurs why they are in business and they will tell you it’s to make a difference AND make money. Yet, the majority make the road to success much more difficult than it needs to be. In essence, they are sabotaging their success by what they do and by what they don’t do.
Let’s begin by defining just what a solo-entrepreneur is. A solo-entrepreneur can be a speaker, author, consultant, coach or business advisor.
Solo-E.com founder, Terry Zwierzynski, has a very clear definition of a solo-entrepreneur. “A Solo Entrepreneur (Solo-E) is a professional who chooses to go into business by themselves (go solo), collaborate with others, grow their business without boundaries and, more than likely, without employees. The Solo Entrepreneur may also be called a free agent, freelancer, solopreneur, self-employed, sole proprietor, personal business or home based business owner (although not all Solo Entrepreneurs are home-based.). Other terms used by government agencies (like the U.S. Census Bureau) that count and classify solo entrepreneurs include: nonemployer business, no-employee business, microbusiness (which usually means less than 5 employees), and SOHO (small office – home office).”
Every day, men and women are joining the ranks of the self-employed and solo-entrepreneurs. According to a recent report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), sponsored by Babson College and Baruch College, finds that 27 million working-age Americans–nearly 14 percent–are starting or running new businesses.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that many of these won’t survive to see the light of day due to one very simple reason; few potential clients know they exist.
When you look at the numbers, it’s no surprise that many “stars in their eyes” startups will fail. Many will blame it on the economy, competition, their spouse doesn’t support them, it’s too expensive to do all they need to do or any number of justifications for not fully going for it.
The bottom line is this; there is more opportunity today than ever before. In order to succeed you absolutely must be willing to get outside of your comfort zone to create the success you want.
To succeed, it’s essential to identify the most common ways you set yourself up for failure. In other words, what are the top ways you are sabotaging your success?
- Not having a clear vision for your business
- Not saying NO enough.
- Not being visible to potential clients.
- Not having a sense of urgency.
- Not having a clear path for people to do business with you.
Create a clear vision
It’s amazing how many so-called entrepreneurs haven’t taken time to determine where they want their business to go. They barely create a vision beyond, “I want to succeed.”
What does that mean? What kind of revenues do you want to generate? What products and services will you offer? How much of each will you need to sell in order to reach your numbers?
Without a clear vision of where you need to be, how will you know when you’ve arrived? Additionally, you must know how much, at a minimum, you need to generate to keep your doors open.
Just say NO
Entrepreneurs love to help others. That’s one reason we go into business. We want to make a difference. Yet, it’s absolutely essential to know when to say no.
Equally important is the need to say yes when the right opportunity arises. Not long ago, a client I’ve worked with for a few years, had a great opportunity to present a keynote to 500 people.
“I don’t think I’m going to do this,” she said during one of our calls.
I was somewhat taken aback due to this being the very type of opportunity she had been working toward.
She told me the reasons she was going to say no. What it boiled down to was fear. Every reason was really an excuse.
I strongly encouraged her to say yes to this incredible opportunity. Somewhat reluctantly, she agreed to say yes.
Not only did the audience give her a standing ovation, her consulting business filled up as a result of this one engagement.
There are times you must say NO and other times you absolutely must say YES! The way to determine which is to evaluate if the activity moves you closer (or further away) from your overall goals.
Many entrepreneurs are under the mistaken belief they will somehow get discovered with little effort to gain visibility on their part. If people don’t know you exist, how can they possibly do business with you?
Case in point: recently I was searching for information on how to Feng Shui my office space. Over and over, one expert’s information showed up. Not only did he have articles written, I found blog posts, videos and reports by this gentleman.
From my perspective, that of a potential client seeking an answer to a specific question aka problem, “How to Feng Shui my office,” the person who stood out was the one who was very visible. Not only did I read and watch much of his information, I signed up for his 60-page complimentary report.
There are likely many Feng Shui experts I would be willing to learn from, but I haven’t a clue who they are because they are not visible.
It is very apparent; the expert I am now following put a lot of effort into gaining visibility.
As obvious as this fact is, it’s amazing how many experts don’t focus daily effort on raising awareness in order that potential clients know they exist.
To not do so is one of the top five ways you sabotage yourself. However, to get the most out of your efforts, you must concentrate your efforts on where your market hangs out.
Create a sense of urgency
The sooner people know you exist, they know about your level of expertise and they know about the products and services you offer, the better. To succeed in today’s fast paced world, you absolutely must have a sense of urgency in what you do.
Urgency does not mean panic. It simply means you know time can either work in your favor or against you. Urgency means you know there are things you must do on a daily basis to get the momentum going.
Everything today is moving faster than ever before. This is even more prevalent in the business environment. There is a need for speed, but with focused effort. It’s not about simply throwing mud up on the wall and hoping it will stick. It’s about being incredibly strategic with all you do, especially how you manage your time and what you do with your time.
Create the mindset that you need to take as much inspired action as possible while in your office. The more focused, targeted and strategic you are, with a sense of urgency in what you do, the greater your results.
Make the path to do business with you incredibly clear
When I sought out answers to my Feng Shui questions, I was very impressed with how simple the one expert I gave my contact information to made things.
First, he made it very easy to find him. Next, he made it easy for me to opt in for his report. Next, his thank you page was easy to navigate. Next, he offered more high value information that continued to position his expertise.
Within a few hours, he sent me another tip on how to get the most out of the information I signed up for.
All of this was automated and very seamless. The only thing he didn’t have was a book on Amazon. Admittedly, I was disappointed. With as much as he had established his expertise, I would have likely bought a book written by him.
Although he did a great job of getting me, the potential client, into his funnel, he did miss a great opportunity to get me to make the first purchase with him.
The question that begs to be answered is this; are you setting yourself up for failure or success? When you read through the five ways entrepreneurs sabotage their success, where are you with this?
- Do you have a clear vision for your business?
- Are you saying NO enough?
- Are you visible to potential clients?
- Do you have a sense of urgency?
- Do you have a clear path for people to do business with you?
Your answers will determine the next indicated steps you need to take to create the success you desire.
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