This is the final chapter of my Why My First Attempt at Business Failed series.
You can ready my earlier posts here.
Lack of Direction
Writing for Free
After looking back on my experience, I can honestly say the one thing that sabotaged my first attempt as business, more than anything else was self-doubt.
When it all came down to it, as much as I thought I wasn’t – in the end I was crippled by self-doubt.
Self-doubt can affect every aspect of our lives whether it’s working for ourselves, working for someone else, relationships, our finances, our families and everything in between.
Self-doubt can cripple your life if you allow it to.
Unfortunately I let it cripple my solo business.
My biggest problem was that I didn’t have enough faith in my work.
Doubting my ability affected the number of pitches I sent off, the amount of marketing I did to promote my writing services and the fact that I was terrified to release my own product. It affected how I undervalued my work and often gave it away for free.
Self-doubt leads to another disabling state.
When you run a solo business – you are it. You do everything, at least in the beginning unless you can hire contractors right from the start.
For someone who had been an employee for nearly 30 years, suddenly being the one making all the decisions and steering the ship can be daunting, despite the fact that you moved mountains to make the opportunity happen in the first place!
The amount of work and the type of work you have to do working for yourself can be overwhelming. Some days you have so much on your plate, you honestly don’t know where to start. When overwhelm strikes we often work on low value tasks or sometimes do nothing at all.
This is where having a clear direction comes in. A clear vision and knowing exactly what you should be working on is essential.
Secretly I was plagued with fears of what if it’s not good enough? What if I suck? What if no one buys my product?
At my Blogcademy course in New York, I asked my three amazing mentors how to get over the fear of launching a product.
Amazingly enough the fabulous Kat from Rock N Roll Bride advised that she felt physically sick before every lauch. Like she was ready to vomit sick.
Turns out I am not alone with my fear but here’s the difference between the ones that fail and the ones that become successful.
The successful people launch the product, despite their fear and self-doubt.
They launch no matter how scared or sick they feel. If it doesn’t sell, they learn from their mistakes and get cracking straight away to make their next product and launch more successful.
The truth of the matter is my first product may suck! My first product may not sell but that is okay. Disappointing yes but still okay.
I know that is hard to accept because everyone wants to kick a goal the first time but think about how many successful people got rejected or ‘failed’ the first time around. I’m sure you wouldn’t have to look very hard to find a famous author whose first book wasn’t very good.
I know plenty of succesful bloggers who have launched products that have failed miserably.
Here’s a secret – they don’t dwell on failure. They keep moving. They keep experimenting. They keep launching and working until they get a hit and then the run with that.
They often don’t talk about there failures until they have a roaring success on their hands. It’s then that they share their stories of failure and struggle.
They highlight the good and downplay the bad.
If you work for yourself or you are planning on working for yourself in the future, I hope sharing my mistakes helps you not make the same ones (or at least helps you be aware of them upfront so you can deal with them along the way).
I hope you can learn from my experience and get your work out into the world.
You may have noticed the subtle but purposeful wording of this series. Why my first attempt at business failed? First is the key word there. I’m not done yet folks!
I’m regrouping, learning and figuring out what comes next.
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