Let me start this off by saying: the mistakes are always going to be inevitable. This is not true just in a business sense, but almost anything that you do that is worth doing.
Suck with girls? Prepare to get rejected to get good with them.
Socially awkward? Prepare to be awkward to develop the skills.
Want to make a business successful? Get ready to screw it up royally in the process.
It’s important. Without it, there is no growth. With no growth, there is no end game. The point is, you’re going to screw up and you’re going to do it in style. Allow yourself time to lick those wounds, but then get back on it.
A man who dwells is a man who doesn’t sell.
A man who doesn’t sell is a man with no hustle. No hustle means your business lacks bustle, and it’ll die. To the grave, it won’t be saved.
I’ve screwed up a lot, and I’m proud of it. Not because I screwed up, but because I genuinely feel I learned from these situations. And yeah, I’ve screwed up learning from screwing up. Follow me?
You do have to learn how to make mistakes. But that’s a post for another day.
Here are the top 10 business mistakes I’ve made in the last year and change since I quit my full-time job.
Top 10 Business Mistakes
#1: PARTNERS, TOO MANY TIMES
Multiple times I’ve gone into partnerships with people, only for them to falter. I’ve realized now that if I’m going to make it, it’s going to be alone.
I would far father just pay someone to do what needs to be done versus going in with someone so it’s “easier”.
If it’s too easy, it’s not worth it—let that sink in.
Plus, you lose an element of freedom.
Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely business situations where it makes sense to go at it with a partner. I am sure I will try it again someday. But it will be in a much more controlled, and logical fashion.
And it probably will never, ever be with a friend. There is a reason this is #1 of my top 10 business mistakes.
#2: THE PEOPLE YOU SHOULD WORK WITH ARE TOO BUSY
To follow up on #1, if someone is super eager to jump into a deal with you, or is pressuring you into going into business with them—ask yourself…
Why are THEY wanting YOU so bad?
Is it because their knowledge pales in comparison to yours, and you bring more to the table?
Let’s face it, the person you probably want to go into business most is more successful or knowledgeable than you…right?
If you could pick one person in the world to go into business with—do you think they would go into business with you? If they’re already successful and slammed with their own pursuits—the answer is probably NO.
I mean, why would they want to?
#3: NOT MEASURING DEMAND
I’ve created products because I knew something about them—not because my audience desired them.
Big, big mistake.
Always follow supply and demand. It’s what makes economics, and therefore, the world, go ’round.
Considering the fact that I have an economics degree that I never use, I should at least know better. Alas, I did learn from this one and improved future offerings on it.
#4: NOT TAKING MY EMAIL LIST SERIOUSLY
“Who uses email these days…pssssssh.”
That used to be my thought process. I never took it seriously, because I felt like it just didn’t matter. Who cares if I can send people an email?
They get dozens of emails a day anyway, right? Who would want to open my emails?
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
Because I provide value, deals, and other cool information I don’t post publicly to them. It adds value to their lives.
Every time I do a sale or launch a product it amazes how well the email list converts. Every time. I wish I’d taken it seriously from the get go.
On the flip side, look at how many social platforms have died out over the years. MySpace is the one that jumps out the most.
While Twitter might eventually die off because of censorship, Facebook doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Regardless, email is never, ever going to die off. And it’s the most personal connection you can make with someone on the internet.
Heck, this is so important it should probably even be #1 on my list of top 10 business mistakes I’ve made…but I’ll try to make up for it.
I use ConvertKit for my email list.
#5: NOT REPLYING TO EVERY SINGLE COMMENT AND EMAIL
I’m nothing without an audience.
If your goal is to build an online business, you’re nothing without it, either. An audience is a customer. Every potential person in your audience (anyone who finds you on the web) is a potential customer.
Audience = potential customer = top 10 business mistake if you don’t engage them.
Engage everyone you can. And do it often. It’s the only way to be heard in the world. Plus, you never know who you just might connect with.
#6: SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA
This is a top 10 business mistake I see a lot of people doing…
Sorry, tweeting is not doing you any good unless you have something to tweet people to.
If you have a non-existent website and are tweeting all day, guess what—you’re just treating it like a diary. Therefore, it is not a business.
Do not try to kid yourself and think that it is.
Things change once you have something to direct people to that puts money in your wallet.
Up until that point though, it’s akin to hustling on the street corner to sell air.
Sounds pretty stupid, huh? That’s because it is.
#7: NOT DEDICATING A SPACE
The real magic happens when concentration kicks in. If you can’t sit down and focus, nothing will get done.
It’s better to work with intense focus for 3 hours than it is to work 12 distracted hours.
I’ve proven it time and time again.
Example: Writing a book in a day.
Now, if you can work for 12 straight hours with intense focus—great. You should. I do it occasionally, but I also know myself well enough to know that I can only do it for so long.
Dedication and true focus comes from having a place that you know means business. This easily a top 10 business mistake many people have made.
Has any college student actually written an essay from the beach? I don’t think so.
Nootropics are a big help. Grab some Modafinil, trust me.
#8: NOT ASKING FOR HELP
Flying blind is one of the worst feelings in the world. There are few more helpless feelings than trying to get from A to C, but having no idea what B is.
It’s better to ask, but in the right way.
The wrong way is to expect someone to give you all of their secrets and answers. The right way is to ask the right question, experiment for yourself, and then report back to them with your success. Or failure.
Asking for someone’s time and advice and then not carrying it out is the most insulting thing you can ever do.
#9: SPREADING TOO THIN
I’ve made this mistake relatively recently. I fired up too many niche websites with too many people (see #1), and got overwhelmed.
I had two staff members plus three partners. All of whom were depending on me to some degree.
Well, both those numbers are down to 1 and it’s much more manageable.
Some day, the Troublesome empire will be big enough for a staff of that size, but now is not that time. For now, it is still about growing.
#10: ENJOY THE RIDE
If you’re willing to work your ass off for the success that comes from business, you gotta enjoy it. A bit.
Life is short, and then you die.
Don’t kill yourself so hard that you never have time to step back and admire what you did. Recognize that you broke free. Recognize that you are building something tangible for the world.
And recognize that sometimes…you gotta let loose.
PS: If you’d like to be on the SPECIAL email list for when my new product launches (June 28th), click here to sign up for early access and the LOWEST price.