Oh heyyy there, boss! You’re probably reading this because you read that headline and thought, Heck yes! I want to avoid all these online business mistakes. Either that or, let’s see what this dummy did…haha! Just kidding. I know you’re nice….

I’m not sure how, but you stumbled into this online business world, and if you’re anything like I was when I first started, all you see is a pure golden opportunity. It can’t be that hard, right? (Yeah right!). And if you’re like me, you’re soooooo ready and eager to get this business going, establish yourself as an authority, and start making money on repeat to build the freedom-filled life you’re certain online business can give you.

All of us want this of course … But as much as you want it, there’s always a lingering fear that it might not work out. That’s exactly how I felt. I was excited, nervous, eager, and overwhelmed at the same time. But still, I jumped right in. And like anyone who has no idea what she’s doing, I made a ton. of. mistakes. And in many ways set my business up for that failure that I feared.

Luckily I noticed I was heading in the wrong direction before I veered way too far off course. So today, I’m sharing the biggest mistakes I made when I first started along with what I would do differently if I were starting today. And I’m sharing this in the hope that you can learn from my mistakes and start with a better advantage. Ya ready?

5 Mistakes You're Making As A New Business Owner | Violeta Potter | Conversion Strategist & Copywriter

MISTAKE #1: NOT HAVING A CLEAR VISION OF THE LIFESTYLE YOU WANT AND WHAT YOUR BUSINESS SHOULD LOOK LIKE TO SUPPORT IT

I know how it goes. You have big dreams and big aspirations. More than anything you want FREEDOM. Freedom to work on what you want. Freedom to spend time with your loved ones. Freedom to be financially stable and debt free. So when you get an inkling of an idea, you figure you’ll get started and figure it out later.

At least, that’s what I did.

I started grinding and grinding until I looked around and realized I had built a business that was headed in the opposite direction of what I wanted. I took all those big dreams and aspirations and turned them into goals.

But those aren’t goals; they’re just nebulous ideas. There’s nothing concrete about them. How will you even know if you’ve gotten them? What is the specific measure of success? What does achieving them even look like?

See, having the freedom to be financially stable and debt free EASILY becomes “make a bunch of money.” So, of course, I ended up working too much while my baby grew up in the other room (with my sister watching him, of course), doing work that I hated, and working with clients I should have avoided. Trust me, there’s nothing free about that.

That’s why you have to have a clear vision of what you want. Because without it, you’ll have to idea where you’re going or what you need to do to get there. When you don't have a clear vision of what you want, you have no clear direction for what to do to get there. Click To Tweet

It’s like trying to build IKEA furniture without a picture of what it’s supposed to look like and without instructions. Ya’mean? (aka. ya know what I mean?)

How to avoid this:

Figure out what you REALLY want and WHY you want it. What does it look like? What will it help you get? What will it mean for you to get there? Get a clear vision of what life you want then backward plan what needs to happen in your business to help you make that vision a reality. Make your vision so clear you can see it in your head.


grab your FREE Vision Plan & Action Guide!
Finally Get a clear vision ofwhat you’re working toward

Clear Vision...Clear Boss

      • Get clear on what to work on NOW
      • Get your business on the right track
    • Maximize all your efforts
    • Find the right moves for YOUR business
    • Work ONLY on what will build your vision


MISTAKE #2: DOING TOO MUCH RESEARCH, ON TOO MANY TOPICS, WITHOUT A PLAN

It’s sooooo easy to fall into the research trap, especially when you don’t have a clear vision. Naturally, it seems like research can give you the answers you’re looking for.

But in online business, there are a million and one things to do and a million and one ways to do it. And EVERY expert will tell you their way is the BEST way.

It goes something like this: Watch THIS webinar. Get this freebie. Read this eBook. Try THIS secret. Learn how to blog. Learn how to get leads from social media. Learn how to use Facebook Ads. Learn how to set up your funnel. Make money with webinars. Ughhhh….the list goes on forever! But you’ll never get started if you try to learn it all from the get go.

The truth is that you don’t NEED most of those things to start.

By researching more than you need to you’re wasting valuable time. You could be spending your time doing something that matters more and will make a bigger impact. (See #3.) It’s easy to tell yourself that you just want to know what’s out there or that you wanna get a good feel for what you’ll need to do.

That’s how I rationalized doing so much “research”. #RealTalk: I was just procrastinating. Being out of the research phase meant that I actually had to get started doing things. Which was far too scary. Being done with research meant that I had to actually put myself out there.

And the more I read, the more paralyzed I got. Because with every new thing I learned, I found another way I could fail. Doe you feel this way too?

How to avoid this:

First, do #1, make sure you have a clear vision. Then, find strategies that will help you build a business that aligns with your vision. But more importantly, look for the bare minimum of what you need to start, then research ONLY that. Then research the next thing when it’s time to.

MISTAKE #3: FOCUSING TOO MUCH ON BUILDING A BUSINESS THAT LOOKS GOOD FROM THE OUTSIDE

I know, I know. You wanna look like a legit business, so you want the whole package.

I wanted that too. So I tried to do it all. The social media presence, the beautiful website, the beautiful photos, the gorgeous branding and graphics, the webinars, the blog, a million services, and some products to sell.

ALL. OF. IT.

And man it sucked! I spread myself toooo thin, and I didn’t do anything at 100%.

I was working so hard on building something no one was waiting for and looking forward to. See, when you focus on the facade, it’s like you’re building a city with no one to live in it. And what’s the point of that?!

The worst part is that when you build it all first, you’ll become desperate for people to work with you or buy what you’re selling. Because if they don’t, you’ll feel like you did all that work for nothing. That’s how I felt, at least.

I wanted some payoff for all the work I had done and time I had given up. So deep down, I got a little desperate. And desperation reeks. Everyone can sense it, and it ends up repelling the people you want to work with or buy from you. ESPECIALLY when they don’t know you already. Gross!

How to avoid this:

Focus on growing your network, building relationships, getting to know your audience, and validating your idea. Let’s get real: the internet is a huge, huge place and there are a bajillion people trying to do the same thing you are. So you need to find a spot with awesome neighbors so that when you’re settled in and ready, you can develop something people are already excited to see. How to do it the right way:

  1. Grow a network & build relationships. That means finding colleagues and building relationships with people who will be excited to see what you’re doing once you’re ready. Find people who are just barely ahead of you and help them spread their message. Reach out to them and seek to be of service. That way when it’s your turn, you’ll have a group of people who will support you and do the same. Plus working online can be really lonely, having a network of people who know what you’re going through can save your sanity when it gets tough.
  2. Get to know your audience. Start talking to your ideal market and future customers. Find out about them and their lives. Get to know what they need and want. Give them advice for free and be generously of service. They’ll remember you down the road and will be excited to see what you create. And if you really give, they could become your first warm leads and bring you more leads.
  3. Validate your idea and services. By talking to your audience, you’ll learn exactly what they need, how they need it and find out things you hadn’t thought about. You’ll be able to create an offering that’s better thought out, and that you KNOW people are looking for.

Mistake #4: Implementing random ideas without a concrete strategy.

There are so many possible ways to run an online business. There are a million and one things you could possibly focus on. And the success stories and case studies you read make each strategy really compelling and tempting to try all of them. It’s easy to try strategies things that don’t work together and only create more work than you already have to do.

As solopreneurs we have a limited amount of time, not to mention energy, to devote to our business. So you have to work smarter not harder. And by piecing random ideas together, you’re limiting your success while wasting valuable time, resources, and energy. But I know it’s so much easier to jump into action than to sit down and create a strategic plan.

I was like that too. I had an empire to build, you know? I’m ready to get this going, like yesterday! Who has time for a plan?! Laaaame!

How to avoid this:

First, have a clear vision of the life you want and the business that supports it. Then only work on the few things that will help you build your vision. Make sure that whatever you choose to work on maximizes your time and effort. Figure out ways to make the most out of every action and activity that you spend time on. Think about how you can reduce and reuse everything you do. And try to find ways to make things work together and lead into each other, so that some of the work you do for one thing can work for the next.


grab your FREE Vision Plan & Action Guide!
Finally Get a clear vision ofwhat you’re working toward

Clear Vision...Clear Boss

      • Get clear on what to work on NOW
      • Get your business on the right track
    • Maximize all your efforts
    • Find the right moves for YOUR business
    • Work ONLY on what will build your vision


MISTAKE #5: TRYING TO SELL TOO EARLY

It’s so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to make money fast. I get it you’re doing this to make money, and in some cases, you’re doing this because you need money.

That’s exactly how I felt at first. I felt like I needed to make money not only to rationalize the time I was spending working but to rationalize the time I was spending away from my baby. I was eager to make money pronto.

I hadn’t realized that business is about the long game…about the slow strategy to win maximum results. And a big part of that long game is building trust with your audience and future clients & customers. Because trust is crucial to making sales.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t buy from people or websites I don’t trust, no matter how good what they’re selling sounds.

To build trust, you need to establish a connection. Which means that they have to know you. And if you’ve been busy working on your business preparing things to sell before building relationships and making connections, your would-be buyers DON’T know you. So those precious sales will be few and far between.

What to do instead:

Focus on establishing a relationship, creating a connection, and building trust. One of the best ways to do that is by giving loads of value for free. I know that for me doing this is easier said than done. Not because I don’t like giving value to my audience, but because creating content can take a while. But once I got a clearer vision and knew what I was working toward it became easier. It’s super important to me to connect with my audience, so I found various ways to do that.

  1. I created a video training series that I got transcribed to turn into blog posts, then repurposed quotes and chunks of content to use on social media.
  2. The other thing I did was offer a free 15-minute session in exchange for answering survey questions. But here’s the biggie: this was a live call. It was amazing!
  3. I emailed them regularly to give them tips, shared my journey, and told them what I’m working on.

Of course, these are just examples of what I did, and there are many other ways you could connect with your audience. Whatever you do, make your goal to get to know them, and to build a connection with them BEFORE selling something. Making that my focus has made me MUCH more clear on what my audience needs from me and led me to create a few offerings that I know they want and need. And now that I’ve spent time relating instead of selling, I feel more secure selling knowing that I’ve already given so much more of myself for free. Think of it this way: your audience is who will carry you to success so take the time to build the relationship to show them that you really care about them and are there to serve them. Show them that you’re more than just another business who’s after their money. You’ll stand out by doing so. And remember, it’s the little things that make a difference, like always answering their questions and emails, responding to comments, opening up, getting personal, and speaking to them directly. Do all the things you wished the people you followed did for you. I’m certain it will revolutionize your business as it did for mine.


grab your FREE Vision Plan & Action Guide!
Finally Get a clear vision ofwhat you’re working toward

Clear Vision...Clear Boss

      • Get clear on what to work on NOW
      • Get your business on the right track
    • Maximize all your efforts
    • Find the right moves for YOUR business
    • Work ONLY on what will build your vision


Well, there you have it, boss! All my failures in a little list….haha! I hope you find value in everything I shared and that it leads you to make more profitable decisions. I want to be clear, however, that I don’t regret these failures at all. It’s easy to sit and wish that you had done things differently, but the best part of the business is the journey. So long as you’re open and you approach it with reflection and spirit of learning, you’ll go far. Just make sure you’re watchful so that you never veer too far off course. And whatever you do, don’t beat yourself up when you make a mistake. Always treat yourself with as much compassion as you would a dear friend. XO, Violeta ***What mistakes have you made that you’ve learned from? Have you made any of these? Did you have a different response to them? I’d love to hear it! Share in the comments…

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