This year one of my resolutions was to focus on profit, and so far it's already paying off big time! It's taken lots work, focus, and change, but there's more money in the bank account and I am constantly inspired to go further and work harder. Everyone makes mistakes with their businesses starting out, no matter how much you research or work on your business plan. I continue to make and learn from them. This year I reflected on my 5 biggest business mistakes to improve my profit and productivity. Here they are for you in case you're making the same ones- or to help you avoid them!
1. I posted too many blog posts.
Posting on my blog 5 days a week was something I stubbornly adhered to once I got into the swing of it. Even when I was on vacation, I would take hours out of it to post blog posts. Friends, family members, & acquaintances were shocked by the dedication- especially to something that wasn't a direct money-maker. More than one business professional or friend told me I needed to post less because there was too much on my plate but I ignored until I crashed and was forced to re-evaluate priorities.
I'm slowly organizing my archive of over 2,000 posts and there are a lot of rushed, repeated posts I'm not proud of because I imposed that every-weekday post rule. I like to feel out and plan my content and have each post be a stand-alone piece I can be proud of. Now if I don't have something I'm proud of the day I'm supposed to post, I won't. I'm less stressed, more productive, and prouder of my blog this way.
2. I was too egalitarian.
I've let myself be taken advantage of before because I was trying to be nice to all sides in business collaborations. Know where to draw the line. Be fair, be nice, but don't let people get work from you for free. I draw lines in the sand and make sure I get paid. When you're a freelancer, so many people ask for off-the-clock work or work before you get any form of payment.
3. I procrastinated.
I can stay in development hell FOREVER. There are some things business wise I've made strict rules about to keep myself in line. When I was a reseller, I cleaned, photographed and listed my finds THE DAY I bought them home. Schedules, timers, and maybe working with a partner somehow to keep yourself accountable are a procrastinator's life-saver. Set deadlines you can't break, like in my case, in-person client work and teaching gigs. The ambient music in the background I've talked about before is a huge help too.
4. I tried to do ALL THE THINGS.
I used to have a huge list of things to accomplish every year and I'd crash and burn each time. Turns out, running a blog, a few other businesses for others (right now I'm helping get up two soap-related businesses, a cheese business, and then next a make-up business) and then working on my new one is ENOUGH work. It's cut out for me. I stopped dreaming of turning everything into a business as a scanner-type is want to do. I can draw, make jewelry, etc as...HOBBIES. Wow, who'd have thought of that? Oh, only everyone who was giving me advice. Speaking of which...
5. I ignored well-meaning advice.
A lot of us can take advice as insults. If the advice really stings, take a closet look, because that may be a sign that it's true. I ignored advice about my blog, I ignored advice about having too many money-makers on my plate to be successful. Now I'm taking all advice and remembering it comes from a place of love and honesty and considering everything.
I hope sharing these five business mistakes helps you if you're making them- or prevents you from doing the same with future business projects. Nothing's more rewarding that your hard work paying off, don't let little mistakes get in the way of that!