Somebody recently asked me: what are three mistakes I made with my business that I would tell new business owners to avoid? I didn’t even actively think about it because the three jumped at me so quickly.
Now, I didn’t just make them all at the very beginning. Nope! I continued to make some of these mistakes over and over. So much so that I can look back now and see them clearly as the learning experiences they were – and I can pass them on!
So, what are the three things? Well, we are up to #2 in a 3-blog series (be sure to go back and read Mistake #1 if you missed it! Especially if you are new to entrepreneurship out of corporate):
Mistake #2: Falling for the Shiniest Thing in the Room
Okay, confession time. Picture this: I eagerly went out and splurged on the most complex Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system out there—Salesforce, baby! Can you guess how many leads I had at that point? A grand total of 20. Yep, you heard it right, 20! Talk about overkill! 🤣 All I really needed was a simple Excel sheet to keep track of who I had to call next. Lesson learned, right? This one I call the “Buying an elephant to kill an ant.”
The Bust of Impulse Buying
But my shopping spree didn’t stop there. I fell for the marketing traps left and right. I wasted hard-earned cash—somewhere between $40,000 to $50,000—on unnecessary tech gadgets and training programs that did diddly-squat for my business. And the best part? I did all this in my first year when I wasn’t even making money yet. Talk about a financial facepalm.
The Golden Lesson of Relationships
Here’s the most foundational principle of business that I wish someone had whispered in my ear: Build relationships, my friend!
Yes, relationships are the secret sauce.
Let me break it down for you: when you get to know people and trust them, magic happens. You hire the right services, find the perfect employees, attract valuable clients, and discover training that truly serves its purpose. And in ways that you’d never, ever plan or expect. No more throwing money at the wall and hoping something sticks!
Networking (Used to Hate that Word) and Group Power
So, how do you build these relationships? It’s simple, really. Don’t just be a lone wolf; connect with fellow entrepreneurs, get involved in groups that share similar interests, and ask questions that matter. Tap into the collective wisdom of your trusted communities. In short: Make Friends.
Need a copywriter? Ask, “Hey, has anybody looked for a copywriter? What should I look for? Do you know any rockstar copywriters?” You’ll be surprised by the wealth of recommendations you’ll receive.
Know a bookkeeper? Ask, “Hey, does anyone need a rockstar bookkeeper? I can tell you what to ask when you’re hiring one, and by the way, I know one who is blowing away client expectations.” You’ll be surprised at how many folks just don’t ask and will raise their hand for something like this.
Here’s that golden rule, my friends: Don’t just blindly accept every offer that pops up on your Facebook feed or falls into your inbox. Trust me, I’ve been there, done that, and ended up with an empty wallet, and some healthy debt. Instead, take a page from my book and save yourself from a five-year learning curve. Don’t buy any service, training, or tech unless you have personal recommendations from trusted individuals, or you know them yourself. It’s all about building relationships and making informed choices.
CONCLUSION: Mistake #2 taught me the importance of avoiding impulsive purchases and embracing the power of relationships. Say goodbye to wasted dollars and hello to informed decisions that propel your business forward.