In online business as in life, ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. So I’m sharing 3 mistakes to avoid as you grow your business this year.

coffee spilled on a notebook

Let’s talk about a few of the mistakes you should try and avoid this year as you create or grow your business. These mistakes are common…I’ve seen them crop up often in the online space, with my clients, and I’ve definitely been through a few of them myself.

Mistake #1: Following a cookie cutter plan for your business.

This is one of the biggest traps that I see people falling into in the online space. It’s tricky, because there are so many amazing courses and programs out there. They teach you how to follow an exact model for business that may have been very successful for the teacher or coach. And they are often really convincing that it is the best and only way to go, and it’s easy to believe it will work for you.

Here’s an example:

Maybe you came into the online space and you started listening to someone’s podcast and they have a membership and they teach people how to create memberships.

It may be that the coach or the trainer was able to create an amazing business using a membership model. The problem is you are not the same as that person.

You may or may not have the same goals in your business. You may or may not have a developed community who is actually interested in a membership. You may or may not have the same training, abilities, or skills as that person. Your personality might be totally different and so that kind of model might not work at all for you.

“There are so many factors to consider when choosing what kind of business model to create, and following someone else’s path exactly is almost never the best way forward.” -Esther Littlefield

Mistake #2: Doing the right things in the wrong order.

Another challenge I see in the online space and with the women that I work with is that many of them are doing the right things, but they’re doing them out of order.

Here’s an example:

Maybe someone knows that creating a course is the correct path for them. They know that they love teaching and have the skills and the training for teaching other people how to do something that they have successfully done themselves or they’ve even helped other people do it in real life.

So they know that they want to launch a course. They know that course is going to be the thing that they become known for. They’ve created all the course materials, they have a course host picked out, they know how they’re going to get it out there. They even have their launch plan with a launch date and it’s all ready to go.

My response to this is:

That is amazing! Tell me how many people are on your email list?

And they say, oh I haven’t actually started my email list.

Ok, that’s alright, do you have a Facebook group or a following on Instagram or a community?

They don’t have that either. They have been so focused on creating the course they haven’t really been focused on creating a community or building up a base of people who might be interested in buying what they’ll be offering.

If this classic scenario sounds familiar, it means you’re doing the right things in the wrong order.

“I want you to avoid that feeling of discouragement I know can happen when you work really hard on something and then you have crickets.” -Esther Littlefield

Mistake #3: Pursuing more than one business idea at a time.

I know this one can be hard to hear and take to heart. If you follow this podcast, there’s a good chance you are a passionate person with lots of interests, just like me. I have fallen into this trap in the past, and I can tell you from experience that attempting to launch or grow more than one thing at the same time is going to make you less likely to succeed at any of them.

Here’s an example:

Multipassionate Molly comes to me to figure out how to get her business started. Here’s what she shares about herself:

  • She taught 3rd grade for 7 years, now stays at home with her 2 young kids, homeschools the oldest, and wants to contribute to her family’s income with a business
  • She is passionate about healthy living so she has been selling essential oils with a direct sales company.
  • She’s involved in her church and leads a Bible study and loves helping women grow in their faith.
  • She has a blog where she writes about homeschooling, motherhood, healthy living, and gardening, and of course, essential oils.
  • She has an IG account and also posts about all of these things there, and has a few hundred followers.
  • She tells me that she wants to launch her business to teach other moms how to garden, grow in their faith, and homeschool. She also wants to keep growing her essential oil biz.

Molly is fictional, but she is based on real life people I know, including myself.

Can you guess what my answer to Molly would be when she shares this with me? These are 4 separate business ideas! And it’s going to be incredibly tough to launch and see success with all of these (or even more than one)… at least at first.

Here’s what you CAN do!

You can have your primary business and then a passion project or a side hobby. In fact, in episode 170 of the Christian Woman Leadership Podcast, we discussed the fact that it’s okay to have a hobby!

Not everything you do has to be a business.

But if you do want to build an online business, you need to be focused in 2 key areas:

  • WHAT you are teaching/offering
  • WHO you are trying to reach

In Molly’s example:

She could choose to focus on homeschooling since she has 7 years of experience in education to build on. She could focus on reaching Christian moms who want to offer their kids a solid education at home but need some support to get started.

Then, based on her goals and how quickly she needs to earn an income, she could build her business in a few different ways:

  • Offering a done-for-you planning service where she determines the person’s goals and then creates a plan for their year, including the curriculum to use and what to teach throughout the year
  • Offering coaching for other moms who want help creating their curriculum plan for the year but don’t want done-for-you
  • Offering digital courses, resources, guides, and other materials to help with this same goal

If Molly does this, rather than trying to teach homeschooling, gardening, faith, and selling essential oils… I can assure you she will see success faster!

If you are multi-passionate and this point just made you want to cry, I understand! I love being able to do a lot of things. I have done lots of different things in my life, but the more focused I have become, the more clarity I’ve gotten around what I’m selling and who I’m serving, the greater growth and success I’ve experienced.

“The more focused I have become–the more clarity I’ve gotten around what I’m selling and who I’m serving–the greater growth and success I’ve experienced.”

That’s what I want for you too!

If you want some help to avoid these 3 mistakes, I invite you to come join me inside the Ideal Biz Bootcamp. It is free during this round! 

In this Bootcamp, I’ll help you avoid the 3 mistakes we talked about today:

  • Instead of giving you a cookie cutter plan, I’ll help you see the options you have and help you figure out how to decide which one is right for you.
  • Instead of getting confused about what order to do things, I’ll give you a recommended roadmap for the next steps in your biz, whether you are brand new or already established.
  • And instead of trying to pursue all your ideas, I’ll help you decide which idea to focus on–at least for now!

Join the FREE Ideal Biz Bootcamp so that you can create a focused plan for creating a business you love (even if you’re multi-passionate or have never sold anything before).

Click here to learn more and sign up: Can’t wait to see you inside!

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