Written by Christine Cibula M.S. ~ Transformational Business Coach & Mentor
What does it take to become a successful entrepreneur? Turns out it takes a lot more than most people imagine when they open their doors to start conducting business.
The BIGGEST challenge is becoming comfortable with stepping out of your comfort zone into the abyss of the unknown in full faith that the path will reveal itself.
In most traditional business positions, your strengths and weaknesses are compensated by your position. For example, if you are great with generating content (i.e., information products) and teaching people (i.e., training), you can get a job in training and development. You don't HAVE to be proficient at marketing online and offline or closing the sale in order to be successful.
Entrepreneurs soon learn they need to master several skills, many of which take them WAY out of their comfort zone. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart. Much like highly skilled athletes who train extensively in multiple areas to fine tune their skills until they have the winner's edge, entrepreneurs go hard until they win the race.
Today's Tweetable: Entrepreneurs go hard until they win the race. ~ Christine Cibula
Find me @ChristineCibula #Just Ask CC
Yes, there is a school of hard knocks full of business lessons that must be learned and mastered along the path to success. As an entrepreneur myself, I've identified the top 10 hurdles that ALL successful entrepreneurs must overcome to experience successful entrepreneurship.
1. Discovering and fine-tuning your message to market match so that you can build your clientele and sustain your business. Your message needs to match YOU, your offerings, your services, and your clientele. If there is a glitch anywhere in this area, it is exceptionally difficult. When remedied, clients and opportunities flow!
2. Determining your highest return on investment (i.e., money making or time generating) activities in your business and doing more of those activities in your business. This goes right along with consistently dropping your lowest return on investment (i.e., money or time wasting activities).
3. Becoming comfortable converting one-on-one sales in person. Many of us were never sales people before we got into our business. It is important to get out there, network, meet people, socialize, and share your knowledge to improve your potential client's life. Confidence in sales is absolutely necessary, but the beauty is that you don't have to be a hard seller to close a sale. While you're networking, simply make a point to share your business opportunity clearly as it applies to help improve your prospect's life.
4. Creating a solid online presence and fine-tuning online sales conversions to generate passive revenue online. This involves capturing leads, communicating with great content, leading them into your products and services, and then fine-tuning the process until it works like a well-oiled machine. Consistency outweighs perfection in this arena.
5. Implementing and following systems so your business runs on automatic. This is ESSENTIAL. As entrepreneurs we quickly learn there is only ONE of us. Even with a virtual team, we are our business. If you do everything you do each time it comes up, your economics are tied to two things: your presence in the business and how fast you can implement. A great example is that I was evacuated during the San Diego 2007 Firestorm. During that time not only did I make sales, but I also knew that my orders were being fulfilled. Systems work!
6. Charging what you are worth and get it. This involves taking a deep breath and doubling your rates with your clients. It then involves taking another deep breath and tripling them. There are some things to figure out like how full is your current practice and when do you double or triple your rates, but when you package products and services appropriately, there is tremendous relief. It also takes the mindset of knowing that you deserve the rates you charge and most often it is a huge area for entrepreneurs to step out of their comfort zone.
7. Learning the art of delegation and releasing control. Taking that first step toward a virtual team is a huge struggle for new entrepreneurs when money is tight but you need to free up your time to do what you are best at doing. If you accept now that you can't do it all alone while becoming a millionaire let alone a multimillionaire, your life will be a whole lot easier because you will start building a team for delegation. My suggestion is to try it for 30 days and if it doesn't work, you can go back to your old ways. I don't know anyone who has.
8. Using performance metrics to objectively analyze your business successes and challenges that need to be overcome. Admitting to yourself that what you're doing right now isn't working so that you can open yourself to find a path that will work is probably one of the most difficult areas for entrepreneurs. The question goes something like, "Is it me? Is it the business itself? Where exactly are things going wrong?" If you implement solid performance metrics you will see exactly where the problem lies and then you can make the necessary adjustments.
9. Generating a substantial back-end to your business through information products and methods of leveraging your income. For many, the completion of the first information product (i.e., creation, edits, formatting, graphics, order fulfillment, sales page, thank you page and customer follow-up) is a huge hurdle to overcome. A lot goes into taking a dream from initial idea or concept to completion. There are a lot of techniques (i.e., legitimate shortcuts) you can take to getting out your first information product that make it much more manageable.
10. Marketing yourself and learning the art of shameless self-promotion. This goes hand in hand with feeling worthy to step into your greatness personally, professionally and financially. The methods available to you offline and online are many, and sometimes even sending that first ezine or direct mail campaign can be quite a hurdle to overcome. Fortunately, practice makes perfect.
The good news is that with perseverance and support, you can do all of the above. Coaching is one method to overcome self-imposed hurdles faster and a good coach can really help to catapult your success, especially with a foundation in the above steps. Plus, when you feel vulnerable in your business, it really helps to have someone who believes in you a little more than you believe in yourself at that moment and helps you stretch out of your comfort zone into the new and improved you that you are becoming.
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