The 4 Most Common Mistakes Solo-Entrepreneurs Make
by Marnie Pehrson
The following is an excerpt from an interview with Terri Zwierzynski of Solo-E.com conducted for the CreateAWOW Podcast.
You may listen to the interview here: MP3 File
Marnie Pehrson: So what are some mistakes you've made as a solo-entrepreneur -- or did you ever make any mistakes in your business?
Terri Zwierzynski: I continue to make mistakes daily. It's actually part of my philosophy that if you're not making mistakes you are not moving fast enough. If you try to be perfect with what you're doing, so that you don't make mistakes, you're going to fiddle around forever. And believe me, I've made that mistake too. In fact, that's one of the ones that topped my list -- perfectionism.
Mistake 1: Insisting Upon Complete Perfection
Terri Zwierzynski: I always want to put something out there that is professional that makes me look like I know what I'm doing and that everyone will get value from. Sometimes I tweak it a little too long. Then, nothing really bad happens. But I look at that and say, "I could have done this a couple weeks or months ago." Spending too much time perfecting things instead of just getting it out there is one of the mistakes I continue to make.
Mistake 2: Not Delegating
Terri Zwierzynski: Not delegating soon enough is another one. When we started Solo-E I had a business partner. We operated for a whole year and didn't hire anybody. Finally, about a year after we started, we hired three virtual assistants. It was like this giant weight had been lifted from my shoulders. Because there was all of this detail oriented work that I can do -- but I really don't like to do. I really don't like repetitive stuff.
Marnie Pehrson: Yeah, you and me both.
Terri Zwierzynski: We found virtual assistants who were creative and who liked doing the repetitive stuff or enjoyed putting the newsletter together for us every two weeks. That has worked very well. I wish we had put the money out and hired them a little sooner. I think we could have grown the company faster if we had gotten started a little sooner.
Mistake 3: Putting Too Much Stock in Other People's Advice
Another mistake I have made is listening too much to other people's advice and not trusting my own wisdom enough -- not trusting my instincts, my intuition. I tend to be one of those people who look at all of these business owners out there and think, "Wow, they really know what they're doing." And so when they give me a piece of advice I run with it, thinking, "This is really good, I ought to do this."
I have found numerous times that maybe that piece of advice worked for them, or maybe that was just an idea they were throwing out. But it didn't work for me. Or they were trying to give consulting advice that just wasn't appropriate. I think the biggest thing was it wasn't aligned with who I was and what I wanted to be doing.
At one point somebody convinced me that I needed to go out and buy a digital voice recorder and a connector so I could put it on the phone, so that I could record meetings and eventually teleclasses. It cost me about $150. Well, we stopped doing meetings on the phone. We do everything virtually, via email now. And, I don't do teleclasses. This person had me all wrapped up in "You needed a recorder." That thing sat and collected dust for three years until I started using it for recording some of my music. Sometimes just going off blindly on someone else's advice isn't the thing to do. You've really got to look at that advice and think, "Does that make sense for me?" Maybe sit back with a piece of advice and see how it feels before you do it, instead of running off and doing it.
Mistake 4: Not Showing Your Personality in Your Business
The last one for me is that I don't show enough of my personality in my business. Part of that is fear. I'm afraid people won't like my personality - Part of it is just not knowing how to do that. That's where experts in visible and branding arenas can really help people.
As a solo business owner particularly, you are your business. When people come to buy something from your business they are buying a piece of you, and that's because they like what you have to say. They like the way you say it. They like how you do business. There's just something about you that they like. If you don't show those characteristics to people and don't put yourself out there, such as saying, "Hey, this is the kind of person I am," or "Hey, I'm a little quirky this way," then people won't know you. They can't make that connection. If you can get someone to help you with branding, really getting your personality and who you are out there, it will help immensely. Not doing that was definitely a mistake I made. I highly advise other people to do it.
To listen to more segments of this interview and interviews with other experts, go to the CreateAWOW Podcast.
Marnie Pehrson, a mother of 6, has been highlighting truth and talent for 15 years. Whether it's writing a novel that spotlights individuals who've made a difference in the world or helping a talented entrepreneur create a platform for his life's work, Marnie underscores truth and talent in innovative and compelling ways. She is the creator of www.IdeaMarketers.com and helps experts promote their products and services online. For more information on her various projects and books, visit http://www.pwgroup.com.
Marnie Pehrson may be contacted at http://www.MarniePehrson.com or firstname.lastname@example.org