Many of us start our online businesses not only because we have a passion for what we do, but because we want to live a life that we love. A life that doesn’t involve getting up and going to a job that we don’t like every day or putting all of our time and energy into reaching someone else’s goals.
Being able to leave my job in March is definitely my biggest accomplishment, and I have so much that I can share with you about that journey. For the next couple of weeks we’ll be going over things I learned that I can now share with you to help you reach your goals.
Today we’ll start with the top 4 mistakes I made when working towards leaving my job. There were definitely more mistakes than just 4, but these are the ones that made me work an extra month or two, rather than being on my own sooner.
4. Giving in to self-doubt
Regardless of whether or not you’re working towards leaving a job, self-doubt is a big challenge with running an online business. In my experience, allowing that self-double to creep in will hold you back more than anything.
Self-doubt was huge for me in every step of the process. From the day I started my business almost one year ago, to the first time I noticed that going full-time could be an option, to the day I left my job and went out on my own.
This held me back in several ways. First, it clouded my judgement. Rather than acting based on excitement, knowledge, and what I knew would work, I was occasionally acting out of fear. It made it more difficult to think clearly in everything from creating products and services to simply writing blog posts each week. And maybe most importantly, it took away from the experience. Rather than enjoying the ride and being proud of what I was accomplishing, I was constantly worried that it wouldn’t work out.
Self-doubt is a hard thing to overcome, but through building up a good support system and taking time to reflect on how far you’ve come, you can do a lot to lessen the affects.
3. Hiding my goals from my family
The next mistake I made was keeping everything hidden from my family. I had been blogging and running my business for months before I even told them I had a website. And when it came to leaving my job, my mom and husband were the only ones that knew about it before the decision was final.
It can be tough to deal with reactions of those who don’t understand or are unsupportive, I’ve definitely dealt with a lot of that myself. But keeping it from everyone ended up making it worse.
When I finally let the word out, people were surprised, scared, and confused. Since I hadn’t made them a part of the process, they thought it was something I’d randomly started up and that I was making an out-of-character quick decision without a solid plan.
Even though it’s scary, let your loved ones know what you’re up to.
2. Thinking I had to do it all alone
Related to keeping my goals a secret from my family is thinking I had to do everything alone. Not only did getting some family members on board help boost my confidence, but building up support in the online space was huge.
Before I focused on building relationships and coordinating collaborations, my audience was growing about as slow as it possibly could. 2-3 new email subscribers per day was my normal, and I knew I needed a whole lot more than that.
Making friends allowed me to build my audience through collaborations, get more referrals, and have a supportive community around me overall.
1. Failing to make a plan from the beginning
Now for the biggie. I’m generally the type to get an idea and run with it. I like to focus on one thing at a time and put all my effort into it until I’ve reached my goal.
Well that’s not how it works with something as big as building a business, there are far too many aspects to it. For example:
- Building up enough monthly income
- Creating a safety net
- Attracting extra clients and customers
- Creating regular content
- Mindset management
- Social media growth
…I could go on.
Waiting to make my plan probably set me back a month or so total. If I would have been working strategically towards my goals, I’d have made much better progress on the things that were really important.
I’d have known what to do with the money I was making. I’d have known where my time was best spent. I’d have been working on my safety net sooner. And a whole lot more.