Guest post by Laura Hurubaru
Entrepreneurship is NOT for the faint of heart. Even women who have fearlessly climbed the corporate ladder hesitate when it comes to striking out on their own. I know this for a fact because those women are my clients! My job is to help strong, successful women unlock their natural talents and create profitable online businesses from scratch. And many of those strong, successful women have genius ideas and tons of marketable skills … but no idea how to apply those things outside of a corporation.
So when I first start working with them, I lay down the basics. I walk them through these 5 crucial steps to designing a sustainable, successful, soul-driven business.
Step 1: Look within for answers
Don’t waste any more time looking “out there” for your calling … the answer is right there, in the blueprint of your identity! A successful business shouldn’t just be a cold, impersonal machine that makes money off your skills, it should be an expression of who you are. A passion project that makes you feel good about the difference you’re making in the world, and in people’s lives. And to build that business, you need to understand yourself so you can leverage talents you may have overlooked or ignored.
Start with you. You are the backbone of your business. Get clarity around what you could offer to clients using the skills, talents, and passions you already have.
Step 2: Overhaul your money mindset
The number one factor holding women back from launching and making money in their business is fear of money. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say, “hangups about money” since plenty of my clients aren’t actually afraid to earn, they just don’t quite know how to think, feel, and talk about it with confidence. So I teach them that financial empowerment starts with understanding that money doesn’t control you– you control it. It’s an exchange of energy, flowing to and from you. To keep that energy flowing in the right direction, you must set an intention that you’re the boss of your money.
The first step? Change your view. Instead of saying, “I can’t afford that business coach” or “That marketing masterclass is just too expensive,” ask yourself how much money you have available, and how much you can allocate to your business goals. This simple shift can have a truly profound impact. You’ll stop feeling out of control and start feeling empowered.
Then remember that the money you charge for your services doesn’t just make your own life better–it enables you to reach more people and serve them more fully. It gives you the means to upgrade parts of your business that aren’t your genius, market your services, and become a more powerful force in your niche. Again, money is energy. And we ALL need energy to thrive.
Step 3: Find a business mentor
Far too many women equate entrepreneurship with “going it alone.” There’s nothing wrong with getting help, especially at the start! Which is why I strongly recommend finding someone who has done what you intend to do, and enlisting them as a mentor. And no, this isn’t shameless self-promotion: I can help you build the infrastructure of your business, but you’ll need an established subject-matter expert to guide you through the everyday practices. If you want to be a social media strategist, track down someone who’s been wildly successful at running campaigns. If you want to become a travel writer, connect with contributors to Fodor’s and Wanderlust. You can make connections through LinkedIN, ask for introductions from your own friends and colleagues, or even cold-call by doing a little Internet stalking.
You may need to pay your business mentor to make it worth their while, but that will be money well-spent. Offer to compensate them for their time and expertise, and you’ll be investing in your own future success.
Step 4: Get your message into the world …through ONE platform
Most of us already know that connecting with potential clients on social media is a must … but the way new entrepreneurs should approach it is a bit counter-intuitive. I tell all of my clients the same thing: focus your efforts on just one platform. Yes, just one.
By focusing your efforts in one area, you’ll be able to create momentum. You’ll begin to master the ins and outs of that platform. Confining yourself to one platform will also mean less work around content – posting to multiple platforms means reconfiguring content to best fit each one, a time-consuming process in and of itself.
Which is best? Do your homework and research your ideal clients so you know where they tend to congregate. Alternatively, you can choose the platform you’re most comfortable with as a first outing. Choose carefully, but don’t overthink it! This platform doesn’t have to be your home forever. After a few months, consider switching things up—especially if you have new insights into your ideal client’s preferred platform—and repeat the process on the new platform.
When in doubt, my opinion is that Facebook is a good default. It has a huge and diverse user base and the popularity of Groups and livestreams offer plenty of opportunities to engage with your audience.
Step 5: Don’t get lost in the details
Many businesses fail because the people who launch them don’t see results fast enough; they get disappointed, convince themselves it was never going to work anyway, and just give up. (Which is why I focus on speed with my clients.) But plenty of other businesses fail because the people who launch them get bogged down by details. They worry too much about website font choices and perfect taglines, and never get their endeavors off the ground!
There’s a time and a place for details, but conception and launch is NOT it. When you’re envisioning your unique niche and daydreaming about your wildly profitable online business, focus on the big ideas. Think about your mission, your ideal clients, the big problems you’re uniquely positioned to solve. Create a strategy and plan to start promoting and selling your services before you give your logo a single moment’s thought.
And, above all, don’t lose sight of what makes you “you” as you plan your business. Everyone has one super-rare talent they can give to the world, and YOURS is what will transform you into an entrepreneurial success. Unlock it, unleash it, and never let anyone dull your shine!
Laura Hurubaru is the founder of the From Scratch to Cash FAST 1×1 Coaching and Mentoring Program, a unique system that helps women who’ve found success in the corporate world launch outrageously profitable online businesses. Click here to schedule a free strategy call with Laura, and start down the path toward enlightened entrepreneurship! laurahurubaru.com