6 Common Mistakes That Can Hold You Back In Business and In Life
- Written by Ashley Ann
In order to grow in business and in life, you must be self-aware of what works, and what isn’t working for you. If you want to experience growth, you will have to make some changes.
One of the worst things ever is to be stuck in the same place, with no progression. I don't like not progressing in my personal, spiritual, financial, and professional life. Even with my physical body, and all of the issues I’ve had with my spine, I still expect progression. I still expect change and some sort of growth.
Sometimes, we become complacent and content with the very things that are no longer serving us. I know some of the things I am going to share with you, will make you think, I ain't never thought about it like that. So, don’t be surprised if I step on your toes, but make you think too.
Ok, let’s jump into some of the most common mistakes you are making that are holding you back in business and in life.
No Foresight- I am down with Yolo ( You Only Live Once) that's true, I can agree with that, but I also believe, if this is the only life I have, I want it to be my best life.
I have got to have some type of plan for what I want to happen in the future. Let me say this, the tips I share with you here, use them any way you like. That could be personally or professionally, okay? These tips can be applied across the board, however it applies to you, take it in, and use them. Moving forward, I meet so many of y'all when I'm speaking to y'all who have no foresight.
I asked you, “Where do you see your business or where would you like it to be six months from now? Some of y'all look at me like deers caught in headlights. So if you can't tell me where you want something to be six months from now, I know you can't tell me where you want it to be a year from now or five years from now. I know everything is not going to go perfectly as we plan, but we have to have some type of idea of where we want to go in our life. We have to have something that we're striving for, some type of goal that we're trying to obtain. You can’t reverse engineer your goals and work backwards and have small successes, if you don't know what you're working towards.
You need a vision. You have to have some type of foresight in your life. I do believe you should have a vision for every path in your life. However, don't get a vision confused with an end all be all situation.
Think about it like a guide. In other words, if I am trying to get to the 20th floor and that's my goal, even if I only get to the 17th floor, it's still better than the first floor that I started on. So, you must have some type of foresight and have some type of plan. If you are starting a business, you should be telling yourself, my goal, in the next 90 days, is to have my landing page up and have some content on my social media page.
Or, my goal in the next 90 days is to have gotten a thousand followers,and I want to have 200 people on my email list. I want to get to the point where I'm meditating at least one time a week for seven minutes. You know what I mean? Whatever it is, we should have something. Then once you say, this is what I do, this is how I'm going to do it.
I'm going to post three times a day on my Instagram. I'm going to go live two times a week on Facebook. I'm gonna go to one networking meeting, right? You've got to have some type of vision for yourself in some type of goal. Then, you've got to put some action steps behind it.
Now, for the church people reading this, I am going to say it. Some of you are the worst offenders of this right here. You are quick to say, “ God got this” and “God is going to take care of me” now, I know this is true. However, faith without works is dead. You have to take action. But, what y'all keep forgetting is it tells you, “Faith without works is dead”.
Actions are an indication of your faith, right? For example, if I know that my company is coming to my house for dinner, I'm going to take action and make preparations for them. Right? In order for me to prepare, I may clean up my house. I may go to the grocery store. I'm going to get that food fired up. I'm going to create a beautiful table setting and y'all know I'm extra.This is because I am an event designer. I am going to lay it out. I am going to have the flowers popping, when I say everything, I mean everything will be popping.
I am going to have a good musical soundtrack going on. I'm going to prepare. I'm going to take action because I know that you're coming over for dinner. I hope this is making sense? And it's the same thing in your life. If you want someone or something to come into your life, or you want it to come to your house and visit you and bless you, you must prepare. So whatever it is that you're asking for inside of your life, I'm going to ask y'all to take some actions towards those things you’re asking God for or expecting to come to you.
Trying Be Someone Else: As a small business owner, there are certain advantages that I have over a large business. Yes, there are advantages that big businesses and huge corporations have over me, but I have the main advantage.I can speak to y'all directly. I know exactly what my audience wants. I can create whatever it is that I need to create because I'm still small enough where I can be in contact and communicate directly with my audience. There's nothing wrong with being a small potato. We all have to go through different stages of life. There's nothing wrong with being a beginner. There's nothing wrong with getting to intermediate level. There's nothing wrong with getting to an advanced level. There's nothing wrong with being an expert, right?
You have to grow, it's a cycle, and it's a journey. And wherever you are, you need to be happy and you need to be satisfied, and you need to be the best that you can be at whatever stage you are in. That's how you actually transition into the next stage. So, if you are out here trying to run your business like mine, actually, I wasn’t even running my business the way I run my business now, not 12 years ago. When I started at the age of 21 with $125 and a laptop, I did not have the resources. I did not have the knowledge, and I did not have the information or the experience that I have right now. Okay. I didn't have the space. I surely didn’t have the overhead and all of the bills I have now.
Because your girl makes it rain faithfully every month on time. Initially, I didn't have all that. I didn't have all thatI responsibility. So, at that time I could pick up five or six clients a year and say, Ooh, I made an extra $10,000 this year. Right? I thought that was good. As I learned from that, I said, “Okay, well, let me get from six to 12, Right? Let me get from 12 to 20. Then I stopped trying to get the clients. And I said, I am working myself to death. When I looked at the money, it's not really good money, it showed me that I have to work smarter and not harder. Then I said, “Let me figure out how I can have less clients and make the same amount of money?.” Now, let me figure out how I can have less clients and make more money?”
Then, I realized that I had outgrown this office building. This was the very first brick and mortar building I had. I outgrew the space. I really wanted to stay. I had put so much work and time in it, I had a severe emotional attachment. Because that was one of the first major accomplishments that other people could see. People could drive by and see my store. People could walk in and come shop with me. It was one of them. I was on the news and we did all kinds of tours and we were on art walks all this kind of stuff. I had put my heart and everything I had into it. I literally emptied out my savings to get that building up and running. I blew out the space in the back and took it once we got bigger, then I took one of the spaces on the side and eventually the entire area, and I didn't have any more space. It was time for me to go, and it was time for me to expand.
You have to be the best that you can be, where you are right now. You have to use the tools you have at your disposal. All of us have an advantage, All of us do.
It's your perception and how you use what you got. Some of y'all, outside of your business life, but in your personal life, you keep comparing yourself to other people. You cannot do that. Listen, comparison will steal your joy, comparison will steal your confidence. Comparison will mess up your mind. Comparison will have you depressed. Comparison will make you feel so worthless and insignificant. It makes you feel like you're not doing enough. We all have different paths. You can't compare your life to mine.
Don't compare yourself to other people. Because at the end of the day, we don't really know what is going on in the background. We don't really know what people had to do to get to where they are. And honestly, some of us couldn't even endure whatever it was, but be happy with where you are and try to make the best of it. That's how you're going to transition into the next level.
If you say, I am a good steward with what I have and I'm going to work on me, and I am going to work on my business, I'm gonna work on my health, I'm gonna work on my children and I'm gonna work on my relationships and I'm going to have the most, I'm going to be the most amazing friend. I'm going to be the most amazing wife. I'm going to be the most amazing single person. I'm going to be the most amazing husband. I'm going to be more consistent with my walks and my eating. Whatever it is.
You should be comparing your life in the form of progress. Right? Say to yourself, look how far I've come and look at where I was. I may not be completely transformed, but I'm definitely improved.That's what you compare. Be the best version of yourself. We cannot be out here in these streets, looking at everybody else because that will stop your progress and you will be miserable.
Not Asking For The Right Things: I think all of us are guilty of this. I try my best to ask for the right things. But sometimes I think I still ask for the wrong things.
I do believe that there is life and death is in the power of your tongue. I do believe we have the ability to speak things into existence and draw things to ourselves. I absolutely positively believe it. And I think sometimes we ask for the wrong things. There are so many people that say, “Oh, I need to make some more money.” Half of you don't need to make any more money. You need to pray for what to do with the money that you have right now. You need to ask to be wise with your money and with your financial situations. You need to ask for amazing customer service. You need to ask for clarity, and you need to ask for the ability to be able to recognize people who you can serve and they can serve you, right? That's how you grow.
It's not money. Look at all the people that win the lottery and are broke within two years. It's crazy that somebody can give you $40 million and you are broke in two years. You know why? Because at that point, It's not a problem with your money. You have a knowledge problem and you did not go out and seek wise counsel.
It is the same thing, when it comes to our businesses. Some of us are out here saying, “Oh, I need to make more revenue. I need to get more clients”. No, you don't. You are sitting on a million dollars, and you don't even know how to use what you got. Some of us have people who will work with us, who were partnered with us, who we can grow and build things with.
We sit here, not even speaking to each other, not trying to reach out to someone that can help. To be honest, the biggest thing I see whenever I start consulting with small business owners and startups, is that we are not using the available resources that are at our disposal. And this goes beyond money. Even with your relationships, you’re saying, “ Oh, I want this and I want that. And he needs to do this and she needs to do that. But you don't ever look at yourself and see what you need to do?
So in real life, I do think it is a farcity for us to just always ask other people to change or continue to ask for the wrong things, I don;t think that is right. I'm not saying that you have to let people disrespect you. I'm not saying that at all. There are some people's behaviors that are deplorable. There are some people's behavior, because of the way that they've acted, they should not be allowed in your life.
But my thing is, I don't ask people to change. If that is what you want to do. If that is who you are, I don't have to pick up what you are putting down. Therefore, I have the option to remove myself from a situation. I'm not going to sit here for years and years hoping, praying or trying to manipulate somebody or show someone or teach a grownup a lesson. That's not my calling in life. Now that may be some of y'all's callings, but that's not my calling. And I know that if I don't like the way you treat me, I'm out. This applies to personal and professional relationships.
I don't try to change other people.
Being Stubborn About Your Methods:
It's okay to be stubborn about your goals and your results, but we gotta be flexible about our methods. Y'all evolution is a real thing. I'm not talking about the evolution of human beings, like moving from a monkey to a human. I'm not talking about that. I just mean that life changes. We know that technology changes. Sometimes the things that we learned in the past are obsolete. Sometimes the things that we think we know, don't apply to certain situations.
You have to be open as to how your come up is going to come to you. For example, When I started live streaming, a few years ago. I had no idea that it was going to take off the way that it did. I have all these goals I wanted to accomplish. I wanted to double my sales when it came to my digital products. That would be one of my first goals. I was like, it's only one of me. I can only consult so much. I'm not going to be able to sustain the rate that I'm working. I also said, I want to have a life and I want to have a husband. I'm going to have kids, but I'm not going to be able to do that if I work every waking hour, right?
I had no balance in life. So I was like, I got to figure out how I can still create the same amount of income, if not more income, and do what I love. But, you know, I had to figure that out. That's an interesting dance. All of us come to that at some point in our life. And when I started live streaming, I absolutely positively did not start live streaming with saying, Oh, this is how I'm going to be able to increase my brand awareness and pick up more clientele. That was not the thought in my brain at all. But I was open, and I think sometimes we can think in our mind that our success or that our come up is going to come in a certain box, that's a certain color, a specific size that has a specific time and a date and a map and a stamp on it. It doesn't always work like that. So I would encourage you to be open to learning new things, and be open to experiencing new things. And as you learn and experience those new things, you can find different ways to apply them to your life.
So number four is being flexible about the methods. Now you are stubborn about those results that you're trying to achieve, but the method is open. Another reason you should be flexible with your methods, sometimes everything that we think we already know becomes outdated, or the information is not useful for that particular situation.
I meet a lot of people and they go,I wouldn't talk this way, or nobody ever showed me this. I understand no one ever showed you this. No one showed it to you because 10 years ago, it wasn't there to show.10 years ago, when social media really just took off. Y'all remember everybody thought Facebook was a fad. Do y'all remember that? When Facebook first popped on the scene? I think I was like a freshman in college.
Everybody thought it was a fad. They all thought it was going to go away. They had no idea how major it was. So there's not a lot of teaching. There's not a lot of instruction on how to navigate on it, Instagram, Snapchat and all these other social media platforms. People thought social media was a fad back then, and now they're learning it's not a fad. It's going to stay, is going to continue to evolve, and this is how we communicate with people and social media. If we could keep it funky, social media has changed the game. Even the way we watch TV, Hulu and Netflix, the way we listen to music with Pandora and Spotify and Tidal.. And now YouTube Red is in the game. It has changed the game, and it has hurt the advertising world. Because now a small business owner can have a $200 budget and run ads on YouTube and people will see them, right?
You can have a $200 budget and target your specific audience based on the music they like to listen to and what state they're driving to. So you can listen to them on Pandora and Spotify. You don't have to sign up for a $5,000 contract to advertise with your local radio station anymore. You don't have to sign up for a $10,000 contract to advertise on AT&T or Comcast. You don’t have to do that any more. But when I first started business, that was what you had to do, right? So you have to learn to evolve and be open to different methods. And I've been able to use totally different strategies. Now I've been able to create more brand awareness books, more clients, consistently book a ton of customers on a regular basis, and literally been able to quadruple my revenue in some parts of my business. It's insane!
5. Selling To Everyone: Y'all know how I feel about this. One of the biggest mistakes you will ever make in your life is trying to sell yourself to everyone. I used to suffer from this in the past. I don’t have this problem anymore, but I wanted to be accepted or liked by particular groups of people. Whenever you do that, whether you want to admit it or not, you're trying to sell. Why rock with, who wants to rock with you?
If you're trying to get better in your life. If you're trying to transition to another level, if you try to stay the same and where you like, if you try to get to other things, I promise you.If you actually make the effort, you're going to find some people who want to rock with you. You work with who wants to work with you. Everyone is not your client. Everyone is not your friend. Everyone is not your family. Everyone is not your colleague. Everyone ain't meant to be in your network. Everyone is not going to like you. It is what it is.
You are the only person who can be you and you will, you will find that you're much happier and you will succeed. You will accelerate at a much quicker rate, if you rock with who wants to rock with you. On the business side, y'all know, I get mad when you try to sell to everybody.
Y’all like to say, everybody is my customer, and everybody could use my products and services, the devil is a liar. Everyone is not your customer,at least not at one time. There are different segments inside of our niches, in different segments inside of the populations who need our products and services. Let’s use “Fitness Trainers” for the sake of this example. They always say, I can train everybody. You technically can train everyone, but you will pick up a lot more clients if you focus on a specific niche.
Here are a few examples that will work for fitness trainers:
* I train women who just gave birth.
* If you are a postpartum trainer, I train people who need to lose 50 pounds or more.
* I train people who want endurance , because they want to run.
* I train people who don’t want to lose any weight, but they want to tone up.
You cannot sell to everyone. Everyone is not your client. Even though I have a multitude of products and services, I do them in rotation. And depending on who I'm speaking to, or depending on what problem I'm trying to solve for people, that's the different product or that's the different service I'm going to offer. People will know you're talking to them specifically. So number five, the big mistake you're making is trying to sell to everyone, and it is not going to work.
Listen, you are enough. And if you work and you put forth the effort, you are going to make your way to people who want to hear what you're talking about, who cares about what you're talking about. If you believe that you are enough, you're going to attract other people who think you're enough. And they're going to like your sense of humor. They're going to like your perspective. They may challenge you in some ways, but y'all are going to be able to build a beautiful life and beautiful relationships with one another. Don't stay where you're not wanted. You're doing yourself a disservice. You're wasting your time. You're wasting your energy, your creativity, your resources, and your joy.
6. Not Tracking Your Data: So in business, a big mistake that I see small business owners making is not tracking their data.
* You don't know what your growth is?
* You don't know what your cost per follower is?
* You don't know if your ads are actually working for you?
* You don't know if you're actually profitable or not?
I meet a lot of y'all who are paying to be in business. I paid to be in business for two and a half years running a business. And honestly, when I looked at it, I was paying to be in business. I was working for free.
So you have to be able to look at your data on a consistent basis. And you have to be able to understand your data and what the metrics are telling you, because that's how you're going to grow. That's how you're going to become profitable. That's how you're going to know if you're hemorrhaging cash. That's when you're going to know if a certain segment is underperforming, maybe a product line or group is underperforming and it needs to be scrapped. Maybe your salespeople are doing what they need to be doing.
Your data is important. It's going to tell you if your ads are working and it's going to tell you if your list is building fast enough.It's going to tell you projections realistically, how many more sales you can make. Your data gives you a lot of information. So not only do a lot of us, not track data with our business and understand or try to get to an understanding of what it means. We fail to track our data in our personal lives.
Let’s talk about tracking data in our personal lives.You don't learn from your mistakes. In other words, you keep doing the same thing again and again. You keep falling in the same situations.
So you got all this data sitting back here because you've been through this about five different times in your life at this point. You've been through it five different times at five different stages. But every time it comes, you keep failing because you refuse to look at your data. You refuse to look at the commonalities. Every time it comes, you refuse to look at the warning signs and say what changed in my life? What things changed immediately around me that I could see or hear or smell or a feeling that I had in the pit of my stomach.
Every time this gets ready to happen, you don't want to look at your data, you don't want to analyze the data and you don't want to figure out what you were supposed to learn from it. You don't want to look at what your part was in it so that you can not repeat the same mistakes.
Sometimes it takes someone sitting us down, and showing us what we can’t see for ourselves. This is what my parents did to me.I have very honest parents.. They sat me down and showed me what other people see in me. I get it now. We all need someone that is going to see us, and be willing to tell us the truth. On the other hand, when you do something really great, you must analyze that data as well. These are the things you do 10x’s over. Keeping track of your data works for both sides. It’s important to know what works and what doesn’t work.
Okay, there you have it. We discussed, “6 Common Mistakes That Can Hold You Back In Business and In Life” The bottom line is that, once we discover those things that may be holding us back, we can fix them. It;s never too late to figure out what works.
If you like this information, come check us out over in the Kingdom at www.AshleyAnnSpeaks.com or text “Kommas” at 501-285-8966