Now more than ever it is easier to start your own business – especially in the online space. And while that means more and more people are becoming entrepreneurs, it also means that they’re facing challenges that they otherwise wouldn’t in their 9-5s.
There are 6 things EVERY online business owner needs to know – no matter where they are in their business building journey.
1. Relationships matter.
I’m going to repeat that – relationships matter!
In the online space a lot of business owners choose to focus on what’s in it for them. (Trust me, I’ve experienced it first-hand and there is a reason the online space gets such a bad rap. And why I’m on a mission to do business differently!)
That attitude won’t get you far. Of course, we’re all in business to make money. BUT by failing to focus on the connections and relationships you can foster, you’re failing to be a true business owner. Period.
Referrals are the name of the game whether your business is brick and mortar or online. And where do referrals come from? When you’re just starting out, friends and family. And as your business grows, from satisfied clients and customers. Your business’s success hinges on relationships.
And I actually believe that relationships are even MORE important in the online space because of all the noise (and the bad rap). When people you’ve formed relationships with vouch for you and your services or products, you’ve got a huge advantage. Of course, you have to make sure you deliver an amazing experience to start to grow a raving fan base, but you’ve already improved your “know” factor simply by being referred. “Like” and “trust” are entirely up to you.
2. Done is better than perfect every time.
It is really easy to give excuses – and we use perfection as an excuse all too frequently. We want everything to be “just so” before we launch our website, or release our course, or speak at an event . . .
And that goal to seek perfection causes paralysis – we get stuck. We stop making progress.
When we use perfect as the guidepost, we’re actually hindering our growth. Because we don’t learn from perfect. We learn from messy action.
Seriously, think of the last time you learned something – chances are it was because you didn’t do something perfectly. And I can guarantee you learned something that will ensure you do better next time.
Building a successful business is all about making mistakes, dusting yourself off, and trying again. You’re going to hear “no.” You’ll probably have a launch flop. You may have a client ask for a refund. Don’t let that stop you from fine-tuning your services or products. Keep going.
3. Appreciate the journey.
When you focus on the goal too hard, and ignore all the hard work you’re putting in to get there, that goal won’t feel as amazing as you expected it to when you finally achieve it. Instead, you’ll set an even bigger, better goal and turn your attentions without even blinking.
I know it sounds cliché, but celebrate your small wins. No matter how small. And acknowledge the lessons you learn along the way. Appreciate your journey.
4. Own your unique voice – no one else has it.
It is SO easy in the online space to be stuck in a place of consumption – you’re reading all the books, listening to all the podcasts, attending all the events, following all the gurus on social media (and probably your “competition”).
You start to mirror their voices and mannerisms without even meaning to.
You don’t want to put yourself in a position of looking like a copycat. And, more importantly, you don’t want to sacrifice your unique voice. Trust me, you have one.
We all approach business with our personal life experiences – and the best thing is that they’re all different. That means that NOBODY is going to run your business like you. What a unique gift! Don’t squander it by trying to be like someone else.
My journey in building my law firm, struggling with postpartum anxiety and becoming a Beachbody coach, moving away from the MLM space to build an online business around the DMs that were filling my Instagram inbox? That’s MY story. When I accepted that and began to share my story with my legal knowledge, my business took off. Because I DON’T sound like the other attorneys in the online space.
Own your uniqueness and people will resonate with that.
5. Imposter Syndrome is a real thing – and everyone experiences it at one time or another.
Imposter syndrome is doubting your own abilities and fearing you’ll be exposed as a fraud. Even when you have amazing credentials, experiences, and qualifications.
EVERYONE experiences it at some point in their business building journey. We think: “Who am I to do this?” Or question whether we’re ready for that next big leap. It’s normal!!!!
The key is to not let those thoughts stop you. Acknowledge them. Know that WE ALL make mistakes. And YOU played a huge role in your success. If you need a reminder, visit your Smile File (wherever you keep your emails and notes from satisfied clients and customers) – or start one.
6. You should prioritize legal protections in your business from day one.
Look, I get it. Legal is not the sexy side of being a business owner. And most people don’t want to deal with it until an issue arises. But by then it’s too late. Sure, getting legal protections for issues going forward is a really smart move BUT it won’t help you get out of the hot water you’re currently in.
Don’t wait to make sure you’re protecting yourself and your business. It’s one of the first steps you should take. And it’s actually something you have to continually gauge as a business owner. Because entrepreneurs are surrounded by the law on a daily basis – contract laws, privacy laws, employment laws, tax laws, it really is never ending.
If you have no idea where to start with legal, snag An Online Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Business for free. It will walk you through the high-level legal concepts you should be considering for your online business.
And if you don’t want to hire an attorney for custom contracts and policies, you can snag an easy to use attorney-drafted template in my Legal Shop.
I’d love to hear – is there something else you think every business owner needs to know?!