The biggest trap in starting online businesses


So many new entrepreneurs (and even seasoned ones) get trapped in this pit. I see it all the time. It's all over facebook, instagram, and the graveyard of startups that didn't make it.

Ideally, you were methodical about how you approached your business.

You had an idea for your business.

You did some discovery work to figure out what that idea is.

You have a plan of what you're going to sell. Because you're not a dummy, you know selling to everyone is a problem and you've chosen a niche/specialty to focus on.

You've looked at your messaging, the transformation your product promises, research, planning, Maybe you even know what your sales process is going to look like.

And then it's time to take massive, decisive, aggressive action.

This is the critical moment- the shift from ideation to execution. And there's a massive trap waiting for you.

Pay attention because you definitely want to be aware of this. You'll be able to guard your focus and attention when it tempts you.

The critical mistake most people make when it comes to marketing, attracting leads, and trying to make sales,

Is disappearing into a black hole of obsessing over technology.

Should I use facebook ads or youtube?

Do I build out a fancy website?

Do you use this magic copy on the sales page or that funnel? What about chatbots?

Adwords or instagram?

What should your logo or branding look like? Which email software is better?

Do I need Sumo/thrive leads/ hello bar/ heatmaps?

What's the best strategy to manage my twitter/ instagram/ facebook/ snapchat?

I hear this kind of garbage thinking all the time, mostly from marketers who sell this stuff.

"Funnels make you successful"

"Facebook ads make you successful"

"Fancy websites, designs, and blogs make you successful"

"Social media presence and followers make you successful"

"Technology and software make you successful"

No. Absolutely not.

It's all shiny, distracting, shit. None of it is important at this stage.

Because for where your business is at right now, your mission is simple.

Go out there and interact with the world and get your first customer.

Let me say that a little bit louder.

Go out there and interact with the world and get your first customer.

And do it in the simplest way possible- reaching out to people over the phone, in person, or sending their business a letter, or a direct email.

People invent all kinds of shit to avoid the important, critical work. You know it's important because these are also the tasks that are the furthest outside of your comfort zone.

And if that's the case, you've let your character flaws translate into massive financial liabilities. Strongly consider fixing your character first before launching your business.

One of my clients was a Wallstreet journal best-selling author with massive social media followings. He lived paycheck to paycheck.

Another one barely made $10k/month despite his huge social media accounts.

My best client has just over 1000 youtube subscribers. He has 200 people on his mailing list, and is on track to break his first $50k month on a consulting business he started 7 months ago.

When I started working with him, his website was a simple 2 page site. He was already making $15k/mo at the time.

I don't know about you, but I choose rich and anonymous over (internet)famous and poor every single time.

This is the important, critical work. It's scary and it's uncomfortable. You run the risk of rejection and criticism and people hanging up on you or telling you your idea sucks.

And that's why it's easier to obsess on your logo and your business cards. You think you need mugs with your logos and all this other stupid shit.

That's your fear talking. You don't need any of that crap.

Do NOT touch technology until you've established a proof of concept. Your business idea is a hypothesis and you need to test it against reality to see whether there's any merit to the idea.

And you do that by talking to people and figuring out how you can serve them better, making sales, and getting paid. Get 10 clients this way before ever thinking about scaling with technology.

No customers? Start over. New hypothesis.

Do not touch technology until you know you have people willing to pay you for your services and promised transformation.

Avoiding Tactical Hell

I've taken to calling this paralysis by tech "Tactical Hell."

Each new piece of technology has a learning curve. It costs to learn and to do well, and if you're running paid ads, it's even more expense.

So when it's time to choose technology....start with as few tools as possible and master them.

Like Bruce Lee said: "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."

Specialize. You can quickly (a month or two) become deadly in a marketing tactic, whether SEO or Facebook ads.

Some people love the Facebook ads/webinar/funnel stack.

Others love the YouTube/Calendly consultation/sell on the phone stack.

Some love the Instagram Live seminar+ funnel stack.

There are a million ways to promote your work.

Each one of those stacks is made up of individual skills. And you need those skills if you want to be profitable. Or you need to be able to afford the folks who do know how.

And you really don't need that headache right now. Do the real hard work.

Before you promote anything, make sure your work works.

Because without it, you'll spend a lot of time and money putting up a new site and getting business cards and learning facebook ads and funnels.

But you won't what really matters in a business—getting paid well to do great work for customers who actually benefit from what you do for them.

My consulting business helps solve this exact problem. If you'd like to talk, schedule a free call with me here.

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