Recently I had the opportunity to be a guest on the podcast of Dave Goodwin of Growinge – The Growing Entrepreneur. His podcast is new to the scene so if you haven’t heard of it, please check it out and bookmark it. There’s no doubt he’ll do amazing things in his endeavor for the entrepreneur world. I got the opportunity to talk about my experience as a recession entrepreneur, the struggles I faced in my endeavor, and how I finally not only got it right but also found my purpose.
I would love it if you would give it a listen:
I’ve always had a different mindset than most people when it comes to being an entrepreneur. I believe that you don’t have to actually own a business to be one. The reason I know this is because I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life, however I’ve only owned a business for 5 years.
To me being an entrepreneur is the acceptance of great responsibility. The willingness to do whatever it takes. Having the ability to really put yourself out there and giving something everything you have. You could actually do this working for someone else.
However, here’s the obstacle, you have to work under leadership that’s comfortable with allowing other people to be free thinkers. This isn’t always easy to find because most leaders are threatened by that mindset and finds those people hard to manage. There seems to be more leadership that prefers the regime of control versus inspiration. This is what pushes people like me out of the cube to start our own thing.
Home-Based Business Means Goodbye Cubicle Hello Couch
Many people are interested in starting a home-based business; in fact it’s Googled millions of times each month. Most of the time the root motivation is they’re merely unhappy in their current situation. Recently I came upon an interesting stream in Quora called Why Do So Many People Hate Their Jobs? The overall answers seemed to be that they dislike their boss, the lack of passion, and the overall feeling of working too much for too small of a reward.
The Grass is Greener?
Many people want what I have. However, when they find out the dedication and extreme hard work it takes to have a good level of success working for themselves they dart back for the cubicle. It doesn’t have to be as hard as they make it – the problem is they’re looking for the easy solution or the quick way to success, there isn’t one.
When I left corporate America, I thought that being smart and successful gave me a sure-in. Boy was I wrong. I thought that because I had a great idea that the rest would fall into place.
First mistake – I didn’t properly gage my target market for product interest.
It’s important that you know I wasn’t working for shopping money so failure wasn’t in my list of options. I was the primary income earner in my household.
Home-Based Business Failure One
My first business endeavor failed.
It failed despite the fact that -
- I was extremely dedicated and worked 7 days a week, sometimes 14 to 16 hours a day – no exaggeration.
- I was a successful and smart businesswoman.
It failed because –
- I didn’t properly gage my market.
- I didn’t understand marketing – more specifically Internet marketing.
- I couldn’t reach enough people as a result I couldn’t make enough money to sustain my business.
Home-Based Business Failure Two
Due to the fact that failure wasn’t an option for me I took about 5 minutes to lick my wounds. Then I dove in and learned the errors of my ways.
Step 1. Learn about marketing – how can I reach enough customers?
Step 2. How can I leverage my current skillset for a specific, in-demand niche?
Step 3. Execute – ASAP. (The bills don’t stop coming.)
Due to carefully diagnosing my reasons for failure and the ability to find a way to leverage my skillset in a need-driven market, business two was successful very quickly. I was making some great contacts and I was finally able to work at home for myself and actually pay the bills.
Houston We Have a Problem
Okay, so I was finally making money! Problem – I’m miserable.
Second mistake – I thought that making money was enough and would make me happy.
Often, from a distance I’ll observe certain Facebook groups and conversations about home-based business opportunities. Everyone seems to have the great opportunity everyone else is looking for. Here’s the problem with that – chasing the dollar and the easy answer isn’t going to work. If you’re just looking for a quick escape from a situation you’re miserable in or a quick buck – you’re always going to struggle as an entrepreneur.
Finally, Home-Based Business Success
My second endeavor involved creating tangible things such as websites and branding tools for entrepreneurs. It was during this time that I learned that many of the entrepreneurs I was working for wanted to create compelling brands for themselves but something was missing. They didn’t have answers to some very fundamental questions in their businesses. Some of the same questions I couldn’t answer in my first endeavor. This puzzled me and also got me thinking…
The Perfect Marketing Equation is Born
I’m a very analytical person. When I’m faced with a problem or obstacle often I will get out a piece of paper, write down the problem, write down a few solutions and choose one. Here’s the other thing about me, my finger is always on the trigger. I don’t stew about things much. When I make a decision I act immediately. This occasionally gets me burned but for the most part – it has always turned out to my benefit. I’m a firm believer in ACTION.
When I went into business two I had put together a marketing equation that was a combination of research and everything I figured out I was missing. I would use this map as paint by numbers approach. It worked beautifully and took me to financial success within months.
I would talk about this process to my clients, they were intrigued and wanted to find their Perfect Marketing Equation. This was when it hit me, I will teach entrepreneurs how to come up with a marketing plan in their businesses. I’ll be the one that decides what pieces make sense for them, and then we’ll put them together for the perfect combination. The custom-built equation would be the combination of marketing tactics that would take them to a higher profitability in their business.
I would pull them off the hamster wheel – they would finally have purpose in their business. I had finally found it, this process was my purpose.
If you want to read more about my journey, check out my book Yanking Bootstraps – Bootstrap Your Business to Success.