Do You Actually Have A Business?

The other night I was having dinner with my friend James Schramko who runs the SuperFastBusiness community and he talked to me about some of the things he’s learned from opening up private, closed individual coaching threads for his members.

The first thing he found was how eager people were to engage in those threads and how open people have been.  I think the eagerness is pretty obvious because many of the people in the community join to gain some kind of access to James.  The openness makes some sense too because if they want help they need to share what’s actually going on.

The thing that struck me as most interesting was the number of people who were just struggling to even get started.  They were overwhelmed or just plain confused.

And these people, rather than just doing something to get moving end up doing nothing because they are afraid to make a wrong decision.

You’ll note that I said this was interesting rather than surprising.  Over the last nine months of doing Casual Marketer, I’ve come across this kind of thing a fair bit of time.  People buy an Express Coaching session with me and during the first five minutes of the call, I usually ask them to tell me a bit about their business.  It normally doesn’t take much longer than five minutes to work out if the person actually has a specific set of issues or if they actually have no idea how to start.

Now, let’s not jump to conclusions here.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing.  In the online world there are tons of people who mock people in this situation, but for me, I quite enjoy working with people like this.  When people acknowledge their situation, are willing to take advice and want to move forward then it’s fun to go on that journey with them while trying to impart some advice along the way.

The first thing I tell people is pretty straightforward, time is always moving forward.  If you’re afraid of doing something that’s going to set you back and “waste” time then I’ve got some bad news for you, your indecision is the single largest waste of time you’re facing.  While you do nothing worrying about imaginary problems it isn’t like time freezes to wait for you to figure it all out.

The next biggest things that I find people get hung up on is marketing technology and their “funnel” design.

I like technology.  I enjoy tinkering and trying to figure out how to do neat things with software and systems.  But seriously though, if you’re not technical and you don’t really have a business that’s generating income, then you need to stop worrying about this kind of thing.  The best solution for people just starting out is the simplest one.

Speaking of keeping it simple, let’s talk funnels.  When you are just starting your business online, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you probably won’t have much traffic.  Having a complicated funnel and all of these intricate motions moving your leads all over the place with upsells and downsells, ascension models and continuity programs are a colossal waste of time.

You don’t need any of this when you’re just starting.  There’s a good chance you’re still working on refining your offer, your traffic will be anaemic and you won’t know what the market is telling you yet.  Why complicate everything with massive amounts of marketing technology and complicated funnels?  It just slows your progress.

I think the biggest thing though for people who are struggling to get going is really a mindset issue – they are afraid to fail.  It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t know enough or that you really need to get your marketing automation situation in order so that your funnel just hums.  Those things distract you from putting your offer out there, pushing some traffic out there and seeing what happens.

The best advice anyone can give you if you’re struggling to get going with your business is to just stop telling yourself why you can’t start and just get on and do it.

Leave a Comment