I've been working my business full-time for almost four years. Despite my hard work, my business very nearly failed.
I made a lot of mistakes that lead to this. I want to share those with you, so that you can learn from what I did – and have better success than my business has had.
Wait Too Long to Make the Leap
I was in a very comfortable, stable, and BORING day job. I had dead-ended in my career years before I finally had the courage to leave.
68% of employees in corporate jobs are disengaged. I was one of those folks. I had my business as a side-hustle, and it provided additional income. But I waited three years before I took my business full time!
Honestly, I let fear and security win the day – until I was truly desperate and HAD to leave. And unfortunately, that led to my second mistake.
Leave Your Job Without Savings
So, while I was comfortable, I wasn't building my income. I let myself get lazy – even though I had a business on the side. It was very difficult to prospect at night when all I wanted to was veg.
Plus, at the same time I was running my side-hustle, I was dating and eventually marrying my husband. That took a lot of energy, and I was more interested in spending time with him than in building my uncertain business.
As a result, when I finally reached my absolute limit and finally gave my two-week notice, I didn't have a cushion saved up. I had a retirement account – and I used it entirely the first year of my business.
Fall For All the Marketing
I'll tell you the honest truth. It's really hard to resist the temptation to spend like crazy when you have your own business.
I had excellent credit. (HAD.) As a result, I was approved for a strong credit limit on my business credit card. And I took full advantage!
A lot of this had to do with the fact that I fell for a LOT of marketing messages. You know all the folks that say, "I built my business 1000% in one month using these five strategies?"
If I had realized that MUCH earlier, that alone could have helped my business stay a lot more healthy.
Here's the dirty truth – they grew their business 1000% by preying on the uncertainty of beginning business owners like you. They'll give you some generic strategies in their course – assuming you even finish it. But your results will not be theirs, because you're not following the REAL business model.
I also liked the feeling of traveling to business conferences. And those conference hotels are NOT cheap. I whipped out the credit card, oblivious. Oh – and business conferences are one more giant sales pitch. Don't fall for it.
Finding Your Footing
I made all of these mistakes, and my business is still alive. It's very rough and my family is in a deep hole. At this point I only qualify for the types of credit cards Bonsai Finance recommends for folks with bad credit. But I'm still kicking!
A lot of what I did to right the ship was to get back to my core service – freelance writing – and stop chasing every other "success story" out there. I started ignoring the marketing messages. I stopped believing the "I can show you a way to easy money," lies.
If you've found yourself struggling in your business, you may be making these mistakes. Hopefully this article has given you some clarity so you can see the way out!