Before starting a super successful VA biz that morphed into a super successful OBM biz that then morphed into the super successful coaching biz I have now, I started 3 businesses (that all failed massively).
I was a yoga teacher 🧘
I joined a MLM for a hot minute 🙋♀️
I was a health coach too 🍎
… And all three crashed and burned for the exact. same. reasons. #pleaselearnfromme
What I realized when I reflected on these three businesses is that the same reasons I crashed and burned are the same reasons SO many women start VA, OBM and SMM businesses and never get them truly off the ground.
So, that’s what we’re talking about. The 4 reasons I failed in business (and what to do to create success instead).
4 reasons my businesses failed (& how to be successful in YOUR biz)
1. I was always engineering smallness.
I was consistently afraid to take up space or take a stand for anything. I was afraid to talk about the biz, afraid to sell and, essentially, afraid to do anything that required me to truly show up and take a risk.
My three businesses made little to no money because I was too afraid to be anything but small. You see, you HAVE to take up space to succeed. You cannot engineer smallness and expect big results. Businesses don’t grow in safe containers, which means it’s time to take the real action that will move you forward and let go the safe, small action that tricks us into thinking we’re moving when we’re not.
2. I focused 0% on sales and lead generation.
(Because that shit is scary if you don’t know how to do it well and from a place of integrity, am I right?!)
From my 3 business failures, I learned that focusing on safe action (like blog posts and newsletters and updated website copy) will NOT move the needle forward in your biz if they’re not also coupled with a serious sales strategy.
(Pssssst. Those “safe” things aren’t even necessary. The ONLY necessary thing is sales!)
The bottom line is this. If you want more clients in your biz, then you need to go and get them. And if you’re unwilling to go and get clients (and you just want them to fall out of the sky), then you’re wasting your time. (You gotta know I say this with a whole bunch of grace and compassion – remember I made this mistake in THREE businesses!)
The reason so many business owners avoid the sales is because we tend to think the only way to do sales is the way we’ve been sold to. We think the only way to make money online is to force people to pull out their credit card on a discovery call or guilt them into saying yes or to pitch 29757 times over.
So, sister, let me clear the air. This ain’t true. My six figure business exists without ANY of this grossness because sales work (really, really well) when you build a relationship first and truly care about getting someone a result (and not just care about getting their money).
If you want a successful biz, spend the time to figure out how to do sales and lead gen in a way that feels good and in integrity for you. It’s possible AND it will make all the difference!
3. I took safe action instead of forward action.
If you want to be successful in your VA, OBM or SMM biz, then stop taking safe action and start taking risky (and slightly uncomfortable) action.
Here’s what I mean by that.
Way too often, I see women start a done-for-you biz (though this is true for ALL business ventures!) and they’ll trick themselves into believing they’re taking the action they need to take to grow their biz. But really, they’re taking the safe action that looks a heck of a lot like busy action (that doesn’t actually get us anywhere).
They’ll get an LLC, have a logo created, get a website designed, write a blog post… but they won’t spend any time selling and focusing on lead generation.
The problem is… If you’re not actually doing any outreach on social… If you’re not getting into the habit of selling consistently and making sales… then you’re doing the safe shit that’s easy and you’re avoiding the hard shit that makes you uncomfortable (but also makes you MONEY).
When I booked out my roster as a VA, I had no professionally designed logo, no website and no LLC. I booked out my roster by selling, showing up on social media and making connections and building relationships even when it felt scary.
There isn’t a business that can function without those activities. Sales don’t have to feel icky but they DO have to happen. Want more results, clients and income? Focus on sales and stop taking the BS safe action. (I say this with all the love as I screwed this up three times over!)
4. I didn’t believe in my ability to create success.
In ALL three businesses — as a yoga teacher, MLM member and health coach — I didn’t TRULY believe in my ability to create success.
I took on each of these businesses with a “wait and see” mentality. I uttered the words “I’ll try” instead of declaring the words “I do” or “I will”. I focused on what I didn’t have or couldn’t make happen instead of focusing on what I did and would. I always relied on my fall back plan and acted like it was Plan A (although I told myself it was Plan B – anyone feel me on this?).
I learned that if you want to be successful in a business, you have to believe so deeply in your ability to make it successful and to show up in THAT energy every single day.
Because if you don’t believe in your success, no one else will.
Here are some of the best ways to get yourself into belief from a mindset standpoint:
1️⃣ Repeat affirmations to yourself in the mirror.
2️⃣ Journal around why you’re going to be successful.
3️⃣ Practice visualization exercises around what it’s going to feel like when you create that big 5k month or five figure month.
All in all, it doesn’t matter WHAT you do, it matters that you do something that helps you believe. Because when you believe in yourself and your ability to create success, you show up with that energy in your content, on sales calls and through follow up emails. And your energy is EVERYTHING.