My Business Failed… A Confession

When I started out 17 years ago as an entrepreneur, it definitely was a bit of a bumpy ride.

Having come off, the heals of corporate America, there seemed to be so much to do to get my business off the ground. And back then, we had the internet. Yet, we certainly didn’t have all the tech – apps we have today.

A quick refresher — Facebook and Twitter were in their infancy (Both were open to the public in 2006 – the year I started my business.) and definitely not the behemoth they are today. Instagram was just a flicker in someone’s mind, and the tech for Tik Tok and Pinterest probably wasn’t even invented yet. (Yes, I actually do feel my age now. 😉

As an entrepreneur, being overwhelmed was a daily occurrence – where do I even begin to start? Register my business? Get business cards? How do I even put up a website? Create an email list.

The tools back then were primitive at best compared to what’s out there today. So how did I create a successful and sustainable business for all these years? What was my magic formula? (cuz, who doesn’t believe in magic, right?!)

Before I tell you that, I need to come clean. I’m going to reveal something that I’ve not shared with anyone publicly because I was totally embarrassed.

When I was laid off for the first time from corporate America (2004), I tried to start my own business and went at it for nine stressful months on my own and failed miserably.

So I returned to corporate America, and that gig lasted almost two years.

After I got laid off again in 2006, a “magical” thing happened…. My mentor from corporate America, who left years earlier and became a successful executive coach, called me out of the blue. He had heard through mutual friends that I had been laid off again.

On that call, he implored me not to go back to corporate and work with him to help create success in his business and promised he would help me create and build mine. And that’s exactly what he did, and we did it together.

Fast forward three years later (2008), when I sat on stage being interviewed by Dan Kennedy (Author, Strategic Advisor, Consultant, and Business Coach). He wanted to know the answer to this question (The one I mentioned earlier in this email before I digressed.) How did I create a successful and sustainable business? What was my magic formula?

Here’s what I shared with Dan and the audience of entrepreneurs…

My Core Strategies For Building A Sustainable: (Note – These will still work today.)

  1. Working with an experienced coach/mentor.
  2. Snail mailed a free one-page printed monthly newsletter.
  3. Attend core industry events consistently.
  4. Leverage relationships – join groups and communities – paid and free of like-minded people and where your dream clients may hang out.
  5. Be bold and ask for the work – And give plenty of value first.
  6. A.B.L. – Always Be Learning and building your core skills. (Having a beginners mind is a must.)

If you want some guidance to grow a more sustainable business faster, the best thing you can do is hire and work with a like-minded experienced coach, mentor, or marketing strategist as I did.

They will know all the potholes and dangers to be avoided when ramping up your business. It’s better to work with an expert who knows many ways to help you build your business. Don’t just focus on one way, like creating a membership or doing a launch, without figuring out all the core pieces first.

Such as, what are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to marketing promotion?

Who are your dream clients and what keeps them awake at night?

Do you like recording videos? Audios? Writing? That’s REALLY important.

When you’re drawn to a specific way of sharing and connecting to your dream clients and actually like it, you will excel.

Join groups or events where you can learn more about marketing your business, defining who your dream clients are, and when it comes to getting new clients, build and leverage your relationships.

It’s best to have a more holistic approach to marketing and work with someone who will help you figure out the best tactics to use to grow your business based on your strengths, weaknesses, likes, and dislikes.

One of the hallmarks of being an entrepreneur is how we tend to overcomplicate things. When you work with a coach, or mentor, they’ve been there and done that. AND they won’t let that happen.

Plus, it’s also about letting go of whatever you create being perfect. Mark Twain said it best – “Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection.”

Above all, always be focused on creating tremendous value and authentic connections with your dream clients.

Then and only then, be bold and give them the offer to work with you or invest in your course, product, service, or book.

Being an entrepreneur can definitely be a lonely road. As my executive coach always said, “Isolation is a dream killer.”

You don’t have to do this alone. There are plenty of groups and programs out there.

If you want to be around like-minded people, focusing on making a difference and impacting lives first, then making money then….

I’d love you to consider joining the beta group I’m creating. If you want to know how to market your business your way, using your innate talents, and gifts, with authenticity, and aligned with your mission and values, I’d love to connect with you and share more.

Hit reply and let me know you’re interested, and we can start from there.

No pressure, no questionnaires to fill out, or calendar invites to create.

For now, just let me know if you’re interested.

I’m so looking forward to connecting with you!

Quote I’m Pondering:

“To the world, you may be one person; but to one person, you may be the world.”

~Dr. Seuss (Thanks, Debbie Phillips, for sharing this in your Spark Newsletter.)

Two Powerful Mantras to Inspire:

“I am uniquely gifted and talented”

“My life is filled with magic and miracles.”

What I’m Reading:

On Good Authority: 7 Steps to Prepare, Promote and Profit From a How-To Book That Makes You The Go-To Expert by Anna David

Latest Book Review:

Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Weekly Photos:

Now that it’s spring and almost shorts weather, we had a little adventure. Just about 20 minutes from where we live, we can get to Shasta Lake. There’s a really nice trail – Bailey Cove that Alice had taken me on years ago when we met, and we decided it was time to go back.

And wow, the water was just gorgeous blue. Reminded me of Lake Tahoe. With all the water we’ve had, the lake is pretty much filled up, and plenty of boats abound.

Of course, the hike wouldn’t be the same without Emma pulling us along and going for a pretty cold swim. What I love about this trail is that it hugs the lake. So it’s cooler, and you can get this amazing view for walking about three miles.

The last picture is the “angry clouds” we’ve had this week with rain off and on. Shasta Bally’s snow is melting, and those dark clouds make for an interesting dramatic effect.

Did you know the internet had its 30th birthday on April 30. That was the day in 1993 when the World Wide Web was introduced to the public. It was created in 1989 by researcher Tim Berners-Lee. It was his brainchild. He was a researcher at a physics lab in Switzerland called CERN. In his words of why he created it – “The whole point was breaking apart silos.” – Tim Berners-Lee. His vision was for it to be free, open, and creative. He convinced CERN to release it into the public domain with no fees or patents.

My favorite answer of his was when he was asked why he never cashed in on his creation. He eloquently said – “The question, when it’s posed like that, it implies that you really only measure people’s value by their net worth. People are what they’ve done, what they say, what they stand for, rather than what they happen to have in the bank.” Yes, yes and yes – what he said!

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