As heart-centered, multi-passionate entrepreneurs, we can burn ourselves out and end up quitting if we don’t set the right foundation when we’re just starting out.
These are the three mistakes that I see aspiring entrepreneurs making when they’re just starting out in the online space.
Not Having a Shut Down Time
When I was just starting out as an entrepreneur (over ten years ago actually, just not in the online space), I was also managing working fulltime and going to school. I was hustling, working all the time, saying yes to everything (not to mention judging those who were saying no), and bragging about the fact that I barely sleep. I’ll sleep when I’m dead was my moto (and if I kept going like that the time would have come a lot sooner than I had thought).
By the time I started my online entrepreneurship journey (almost 3 years ago) I was already fed up with the nonstop go go go and knew there had to be a better way. But being fully online meant that I had access to everything 24/7. I no longer had to commute to the office, get out of the house to go to a meeting, or worry about it being 5:00PM so I can leave the work. And since I was already tired of the ten years of nonstop action, I knew I had to set up strict boundaries. One of the most important things that you can do as you’re starting out is to have a shut down time. That means no more technology after a certain time (that’s 8:00PM-5:00AM for me). It gives me time away from the screen (which allows me to sleep better), time with my family, time away from work so my mind can get more creative, and time for me to do things for pure joy. Have a shut down time, you’ll thank yourself later!
Doing it Alone
I believe that the reason why most people quit is because they go at it alone. The online space is still very new and most people have no idea what an online entrepreneur is. Having no one around you who actually knows how to navigate these new waters can be very discouraging and frankly it can make you feel like you’re crazy. It’s simple: When there’s no one there to tell you that you’re not alone, you’ll make the judgment call that this isn’t “normal” and you’ll simply quit. I know, it sounds too simple but it’s true. When I was just starting out, I didn’t know a single person that understood what I’m doing (most people still don’t) so I purposefully sought out like-minded individuals who were on the same journey as me. It has saved me time and time again from throwing in the towel.
So how is it that you find these people? You have to want to serve first. You must be willing to give 10 times more than you ask for and do so without excepting anything in return. There are so many Facebook groups that you can join. You can search for these people on Instagram using the power of hashtags. And most powerfully, you will attract what you put out. If you’re so scared to post on social media about your journey, you will never attract what you’re looking for. Once I let go of the fear of being judged and actually started posting about my journey, I have had so many people contact me. I have found some of my best(est) friends online. You never know who’s watching and will be pleasantly surprised to see how many people around you are actually on the same journey but are too scared to speak up!Just because you're in business for yourself doesn't mean you have to do it all by yourself. Click To Tweet
And in fact, you can’t.
Not Doing That ONE Thing That You're Putting Off
There’s always that ONE thing that we’re putting off. You know, when you rather fold laundry, wash the dishes, and clean the house. Yes, that’s the thing. Often times, that’s the EXACT thing that you need to be doing in order to move your business forward. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve kept myself busy just so I don’t get to that one thing. Months (sometimes years) down the line I’ve realized that that’s the exact thing I should have done to begin with. So why do we put this ONE thing off? Because often times it’s scary, it pushes us out of our comfort zone, it’s in an unknown space and we’re afraid of being judged. But take comfort in knowing that others are feeling the exact same way. We’re afraid of being judged by someone who has the exact same fear. And that first step that you take, that’s always the toughest one. Take it now, get it over with! You won’t regret taking that step, as a matter of fact, you’ll regret not taking it.
You’re not alone, I’m here for you!
Putting it into action:
Are you just starting out in the online space? Here’s how you can be more intentional with your actions…
- What’s that one thing that you’re putting off doing? Next time you catch yourself procrastinating, pay attention to what task it is. When you opt to do those chores that you despise, rather than that one task, write down what that task is. What action are you avoiding? Why? If you think about it long enough, you’ll realize that it’s the exact thing that you need in order to take you from here to there. Then block out time in your calendar to actually do it. Schedule it in and get it done!
- Look at your schedule and come up with a time that you will shut down your electronics. That means no more answering emails, no more creating content, and no more work related social media. That’s your shut down time. Be realistic, set a time that will actually work for you and a time that you can actually stick to. Now, set a reminder on your phone. When that reminder goes off, you shut down from work!