I have been giving a LOT of thought to the question, “If I had to do it all over again in my business, what would I do the same, and what would I do different?” As I contemplated the ideas, I realized that there might be some benefit to my musings for others…especially those who are just starting out. So over the course of the next several post, we will explore the “Do’s” and “Don’ts” of creating your own online business from my own experience and point of view. What I share will not be the “be all end all” type of guidance. Rather, it will be a reflection of the pitfalls and triumphs I experienced through the process of selling online.
Okay…we’re going to start off with a huge lesson…definitely the BIGGEST lesson I’ve learned through the business-building process.
The very FIRST thing I would do differently if I were just starting my business today, would be to learn how to think like a successful entrepreneur as quickly as possible and at whatever cost I could afford! Here’s why: Products, strategies, even relationships are NOT what cause you to be or become successful. While these are certainly pieces of the puzzle, they alone will not make you successful. Only a success-oriented mindset and belief system will truly create the type of business success you want and deserve.
The reason mindset is so vitally important is simple…money is a representation for a value exchange, nothing more. If a product or service “costs” $5,000, the price declares that the product has value in the amount of $5,000. Whether it actually does or not is immaterial, and certainly determined by the end-user. If you do not “see” the value in your own product or service…or, more importantly, in yourself personally, neither will anyone else. One of biggest challenges early on was recognizing that I had value as a person, and that what I had to offer was valuable. It was a process and lesson that cost me a lot of time, honesty and money to learn, but was easily the most influential “strategy” that created the biggest impact on my business.
As I worked through the process of developing my “inner game” as my friend, Pat O’Bryan, refers to it, I had to be brutally honest with myself and face some tough questions, like:
- What is my purpose in life?
- Why do I feel worthless?
- What am I afraid of? Failing? Success?
- Will I look like a fool?
- Do I really have anything to offer that people would spend money for?
- Will my parents approve?
- What if I fail?
- Am I even smart enough to do this?
- What is my reason WHY for wanting my own business?
- Is it even possible for ME to earn a decent living online, much less a phenomenal one?
- Where do I begin?
- Do I deserve to be a success?
Perhaps you have thought many of these same questions! They’re energy and dream stealers and stop most people dead in their tracks. Think of them as a poison that is slowly killing your hopes and dreams. They create a self-talk that’s founded on expectations and beliefs that do not even have substance or proof. One question I asked myself regularly, at times even moment by moment, was, “What evidence do I have that proves that THIS time I will fail?” That THIS time I’ll lose everything!” The truth was (and is) that there is NEVER any evidence. Whether you allow yourself to focus on the past or worry about the future, you MUST realize that neither exists! Only NOW exists and success is simply a choice away.
Einstein said that insanity was doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. The questions (and others) above are the perpetuators of the SAME THINGS! You must choose better questions and responses! Here are some examples of the types of questions and responses I used to change my mindset and business:
How can I best serve those around me? Serving others gets our eyes off of ourselves and our circumstances.
I am grateful for _____________________ (fill in the blank) in my life. I struggled a lot with depression and realized that as I remained in a place of gratitude, I wasn’t depressed or fearful. The question I asked myself constantly was, “Why are you focused on what you DON’T have when you can give thanks for what you DO have?”
How can I offer $______ in value to my customers? When you begin to look at your business as offering value versus making money, your mindset shifts.
There is ALWAYS a way…always! This is one of my newer responses…it’s written on my marker board above my desk. I’ve found that it shifts you out of a place of fear and into hopeful anticipation for one reason…there is always a way! You may not know it yet…nevertheless…there is always a way!
In the next post, I will continue with some other transformations I’ve experienced in mindset that will certainly benefit you as well. I will also share books and resources I’ve personally found to be useful and helpful in that transformational process. Until then!
Oh and by the way, I am SO grateful to have you as a reader! Please feel free to add your thoughts and comments below.
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