How to really create success as an entrepreneur
According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs fail in the first 18 months of business.
It's a statistic that makes me so sad. The truth is that I almost became one of the 80%. It wasn't so long ago that I was ready to turn my back on my business, but instead I made the decision to try doing things differently and now, thankfully, here I am as a full-time coach and entrepreneur.
After transforming my own business and coaching countless women to do the same, I have come to realise that in order to be 'successful' there are 3 key areas you must develop. Today, I want to share those areas with you.
You should know that I’m not going to give you the latest sales funnel or cookie cutter formula for you to attempt to replicate in your own business. In all honesty I'm a little tired of reading post after post of the same 'advice' on how to reach 6 figures overnight.
What I am going to do, is present what I believe to be the 3 key components you need in order to be a successful entrepreneur (based on my experience of 7+ years improving the business performance of several leading international brands, starting 2 successful businesses and coaching my clients to create and grow impactful and profitable businesses of their own).
Mindset + Aligned Strategy + Inspired Action
Before I dive into each of these areas, it’s important to note that all 3 must be developed and maintained. Focusing on just one or two areas may yield some short-term results but if you want to create a sustainable business (and you do), you need to work on all three.
90% of what it takes to be successful as an entrepreneur is mindset. You can take all the right actions but if you haven’t developed the right mindset your growth and success will be limited.
Think of it like building a house with your mindset being the foundations. If you don’t have solid foundations (i.e. mindset), the rest of the structure will eventually collapse, no matter how much you try to prop it up.
Your consciousness is a powerful tool. If you don’t believe you can have the thing you desire, you are limiting the likelihood of having it, despite all the things you are doing to try and achieve your goals.
Let me give you an example. My first venture into self-employment and entrepreneurship was when I quit my 9-5 job to start my own design business. After a slightly shaky start, I began to find clients. I had no problem in putting myself out there because I knew I could share examples of my designs and they would speak for themselves.
When I changed direction and started my coaching practice, it was an entirely different experience. I didn’t have something tangible I could hide behind, I had to prove my worth as a coach on a daily basis. And I struggled. I got caught up in what all the other coaches (there are many!) were doing and I worried that I wasn’t as good/qualified/worthy. I struggled to charge my worth and soon found myself with no clients and no income.
The problem was that my mindset was not aligned with my vision. I was choosing to let fear and self-doubt lead the way.
You've heard it before but it's worth repeating - If you don’t believe in what you are here to do, no one else will either.
Working on your mindset to develop a positive sense of self-worth and belief in your ability to create your vision is essential.
2. Aligned Strategy
The keyword here is aligned. I am tired of seeing so many women struggle in their businesses because they are not developing and implementing strategy that is aligned with who they are and what their vision is.
It is the very reason I started the wrong business (my design agency) and why for the first 14 months of my coaching business, I didn’t have a single paying client. In fact it could be argued I didn't have a business, I had a hobby. So many of us fail to tune into what our individual purpose is and instead find ourselves trying to model what we see others having success doing.
It’s a problem that is exasperated by the online business world. Everywhere you turn you find programs, courses and coaching packages promising that you if just implement their formula, you will achieve success.
Personally, I’ve invested thousands of pounds in such programs and each one has led to the same result… overwhelm and frustration. Sure, I had some temporary success - a client here or there, but I was never able to create consistent income or impact by trying to emulate what others were doing.
18 months ago, I was desperate. I had a handful of clients but it wasn’t consistent. I was constantly wondering where the next client would come from, and I was throwing all sorts of strategies around hoping something would stick. It didn’t. I was jumping from one thing to another, confusing my audience and myself in the process.
I couldn’t understand why other coaches seemed to be achieving success whilst I was left feeling like a failure, scared and broke. Maybe I didn’t have what it takes after all? I was at breaking point and seriously considering if it wouldn’t just be easier to go and get the 9-5 job again.
And then everything shifted for me. I was so tired of reading the same content over and over again in Facebook groups that I promptly quit social media for a month. In the space I created for myself I was finally able to gain the clarity I so desperately needed. That’s when it hit me…
I am the conscious creator of my own life. No-one could do this for me, I had to do it for myself and well, my current approach clearly wasn’t working so why not try something different?
I spent the next month forgetting everything I had been told I ‘should' do and instead I focused on 4 things…
- Understanding what I am here to do and why
- Understanding who I am here to serve
- Understanding what my vision for my ideal life is
- Deciding how best I could provide value to those I am here to serve
As soon as I began to get aligned in this way, everything shifted. I was able to confidently communicate what I’m about and as a result I started attracting new women to work with, with ease.
This is what I now know to be true: You can be doing all the work and taking all the action but if it’s not aligned to who you are and what you are here to do, it won’t work.
Set aside some time to dig out your journal and explore the 4 bullet points above. Check see if the business you are trying to create is fully aligned with your vision for your ideal life
3. Inspired Action
The third part of the equation is inspired action. Whilst it is important to have the right mindset and develop a strategy aligned to who you are, it must be followed up with action.
There are two important points to make here:
1. The action must support the aligned strategy you have created
Look closely at what you are spending your day working on. Is it supporting your aligned strategy? If your goal is to grow your email list, do you really want to be spending hours creating pretty flatlays on Instagram?
Likewise, if you are looking to sign up 3 new clients this month, is now really the best time to start re-designing your website (I am so guilty of these things!). It’s important to be consciously creating your vision through action that is inspired and aligned.
2. Action must be consistent.
If you are looking to enrol 3 new clients, you can’t just send out a single email and hope for the best. You need to take consistent action in your business to achieve your goals. How can you add more value? What message or story does your audience need to hear from you? How can you show up fully in your business every single day?
Choose 1 goal to focus on in your business and make it specific (e.g. To grow your email list to 1000 in June).
List 3 actions you can do consistently for the next 14 days to work towards your goal
In summary, if you are committed to mastering your mindset, getting aligned and taking inspired action you will see real and sustainable growth in your business. When you focus on how you can serve, and act from that space, you become aligned with those who need you the most.
If you only take one thing from this post, let it be this:
You are the conscious creator of your own life. You've got this.