3 ‘mistakes’ I made in my first online business
I am super happy to tell that my online business is already up and running. It is going so well that I made my first hire! She is an incredible Virtual Assistant and I can’t wait to build my business bigger with her support. Honestly, I know that this business is going to work. How do I k now so sure? Well, I tackled a few serious mistakes that I made the last time I started to go online with my business. I would’t want to call them mistakes, it’s is all part of the process, but if I only knew than what I know now. I will share my 3 biggest ‘mistakes’ with you so can save yourself the time 😉
I had a successful health coaching practice in Amsterdam and people around me were starting to do all kinds of things online; foodblogs, video’s, online programs and more really cool stuff. I loved what they were doing and creating, I wanted to do the same! I deeply felt that I also had something to share with the world and therefore I was motivated to extend my business online with a blog and with online coaching. Together with a web designer I build a beautiful website I started blogging. It never came much further than a good read for my family and friends. This is why.
I did not do my homework
Starting an online business felt daunting to me, it was new and I was going to be ‘out there’. It felt so daunting that I failed to do my homework, which means, I didn’t study what it meant to have an online business. I did not look at what other people were doing and I had no idea about possible strategy behind it. In reality, if anybody would talk to me about strategy I would refuse to listen, and instead answer with; ‘’I am not interested in strategy, marketing or sales. I am coach, I just want to help people, I don’t want to be strategic’’.
It is cute that I thought like that but in hind side, it doesn’t make sense. If you want build a house, you will probably not just start and see how far you come. You will gather information and find out what kind of material you should use and what part of the house needs to be build first. Finally, you want to build a proper house, in which you can actually live. If you start an online business, it is the same. You have a goal, you want people to come to your website, you want your content and your message to spread and obviously you want to make money. So, you do your homework and apply it. Without any strategy your website is going to die in the crowd and your business will never be more than a hobby.
The second time around I got this. My business needed a foundation, I thought very thoroughly what I was going to do, how I was going to it, why for whom? Step by step I started to learn about strategy and I will tell you this. Applying strategy is fun, strategies are basically a bunch of tricks that help your business succeed. Strategy defiantly does not mean that you lost your integrity and that start bothering people with things that they didn’t ask for. No, it is merely a tool to help you spread your important message to the people who need it. I am taking it step by step and I apply something every week so it does not get overwhelming.
I did not show myself.
It was the time of the fitgirls. And the successful fitgirls were not afraid of showing themselves. But did I feel uncomfortable with that! I was super scared of what people would think about me if I would put pictures of myself online and share my true story. Probably they would think that I love myself a lot and that I am the center of the universe. I wanted to avoid that in all cases, so I hide myself in my business. I didn’t want to put too much pictures of myself or write distinctive content. The result, I did not make a difference. The content I wrote could be found anywhere on the web and lacked personality.
Anybody who has the intention to start a business online. Specially is you are selling service; Show. Yourself. These days it is more than ever important to become personal with your audience. People care for connection, they want to know and trust you before buying your products. You and your story are going to sell the service, the service will not sell itself.
I did not own my game
I was so afraid to fail that I did not OWN my game. My insecurity killed me and it was partly because I never answered the main questions about my business. ( Read; What are you doing, how are you doing it, why are you doing it and for who?) It made me uncomfortable to post my blog on social media because I was afraid nobody would like it or read it. I didn’t talk about my website a lot and it made me nervous to show someone my work.
It is impossible to succeed if you feel overwhelmed by the fear of failing. When I started my business for the second time I sat down with myself and decided;’ There is no failing in this game, it is all a process of learning and growing. You are worthy of this business and you are worthy of success. If nobody is reading your post or looking at your video’s you are not going to take it personal. You are going to take the lesson from it and try something else, maybe a little twist on your post can make it work and if that doesn’t work there is a million other ways to try. Long story short; you are going to own your game! If you do not own your game and are afraid to fail you don’t give yourself the chance to succeed in big ways, and you deserve to serve your audience in big ways. And your audience deserves to be served by you, in big ways
You may have noticed that these three points have one thing in common. Fear. Afraid of showing myself, afraid of failing, afraid of what people would think. I know I am not the only one who has been hold back by those fears. So, if I can give you one big piece of advice it is to work out those three fears, before you start working on your (online) business.
If you recognize any of this or if you are struggling with this right now, please let me know. I will reach out to help.