The 3 Biggest Mistakes I Made When I Started my Business
I remember the day so clearly.
I registered as an LTD company here in the UK — it was such a pinch-me moment.
I’m not one of those people who will tell you their entrepreneurial spirit shone through when they were 3 years old as they took charge of their lemonade stand.
I’ve always loved solving problems, story-telling, and strategy, but in truth, there was always a part of me that doubted whether I was cut out for calling all the shots.
It was something I wanted — deep, deep down — but I kept that to myself for the most part.
So when I received my letter in the post, I felt as if I’d just received my admission letter to Hogwarts. (OK — maybe not THAT exciting — but still, it was pretty bloody great).
I’d made the step I thought I’d never take — but little did I know how much further I had to go.
I’ve been taking a little time to reflect and wanted to collate the 3 biggest mistakes I made when I started out as a new business owner — so you don’t have to learn the hard way just like I did.
1. I wasn’t specific enough about who I was serving
I know, I know — I’ve been in marketing for YEARS. I should know this stuff, right!
We have to be laser-focused on who our products and services are for. When we don’t and try to be a catch-all for everyone — you end up attracting a big fat nothing.
Think about it. You’ve just had your first baby, and you’ve lost ALL your confidence in the gym (when you even manage to find ten minutes spare just to have a sit-down and a cup of tea). You decide to work with an expert to get back on your feet.
You do a quick online search, and you find Sally — a generalised fitness professional who works with anyone and everyone — and Suzie — a personal trainer with years of experience and specific qualifications in postpartum exercise.
I know who I’d go for — and it ain’t Sally.
Yet — when I sat down and started pulling the copy together for my own website — the FEAR caught up with me.
I worried about turning people off, about no one wanting to work with me — so I cast the net wide.
And yep — you guessed it — caught absolutely zero leads.
I reflected on what I’d done and realised I’d committed my BIGGEST sin — the one thing I preach about every single day — but it was totally different when it was MY business on the line.
I took my own advice and got super specific about who it is that I can help the most — and it all went from there.
The truth is, turning people away is what we WANT — because it means the RIGHT people will find it super easy to find us.
2. I didn’t understand what I was actually selling
Now — don’t get me wrong — I’ve been obsessed with marketing for what feels like decades now (although of course I didn’t know that’s what I was doing when I was 8!).
I knew what I was selling — but I wasn’t thinking about what it meant.
I know now that I’m not just selling copywriting techniques and marketing strategies.
I’m selling more leads. More money. More confidence. A better work/life balance. More time with your loved ones. Never needing to go back to the dreaded 9-5 again.
The opportunity to say YES to a wildly successful health & fitness business.
We buy on emotions — not features and benefits — and the moment I tapped into that was when it all fell into place.
3. I put off investing in my own mentor
This was a big one for me.
I saw it plastered all over LinkedIn that everyone and their dog had a coach of some kind.
But I looked at my finances and I just couldn’t justify the expense. I was in the early days of my business and felt that any investment just wasn’t worth the risk.
Looking back, I still think it’s a valid thought. After all, I’m cautious and considerate of how I spend my money — and I like that about myself!
But I can see now that I was too focused on the initial output and not thinking about how much I stood to gain.
When I looked at how I felt in my business, I realised it was my mindset that was holding me back. That same voice that had me doubting whether I could ever be an entrepreneur kept rearing her ugly head and filling me with negative self-talk and fear rather than seeing my business as the limitless rollercoaster that it is.
So, I found myself a mindset coach — and she’s bloody brilliant.
I’ve learned so much about myself in just 4 short months that has totally opened my eyes to how I live my life both inside my business and out. I can see where I was keeping myself small because it felt safer like that — but I was actually standing in my own way and putting a cap on what I could achieve.
The investment in my time with her has already come back to me financially and in so many other ways — I just wish that I’d taken the leap sooner!
To sum up
As you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re either another new business owner or someone cautiously teetering on the edge of entrepreneurship (one word of advice — just go for it!). I hope this post has helped you to answer some niggling questions you might have hanging around as you make the decision about where to go next — I’d LOVE to know if it’s been useful!
Let me know in the comments or connect with me on Instagram.
PS. If you’d like some more support, the doors to my marketing coaching programme, Brand Accelerator, are now open. If you’re ready to do the work, be held accountable, and say yes to being outrageously successful (yes girl!), book a complimentary 30-minute call with me here and let’s see what we can achieve together.
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