In working with teachers along all points of the entrepreneurial journey, and through the Side Hustle Teachers Facebook group, there are some mistakes that come up over and over. Today we’re going to dig into them and what you should do instead. Stick around.
When you’re starting something new, mistakes are inevitable. But some mistakes are avoidable, if you’re prepared for them.
Today I’m going to share 5 of the mistakes I see most often with clients and members of the Side Hustle Teachers community (and may or may not have made myself when starting out), and how to avoid them.
Choosing a business based on what your friend sells
People will post in the SHT group that a friend of theirs has had good luck with XYZ business, and they’re thinking of doing the same thing. This happens most often, but not exclusively, with Direct Sales companies partly because they actively recruit people, trot out successful sellers, and promise quick returns.
While it’s great that you’ve been inspired by another edupreneur, it’s important to think about your business as yours, and consider what you want to do. What do you like to do? What are you great at? What do you want your life to look like?
So before you jump into a business because someone else is having success with it, remember that you’re more likely to have success with something you’re passionate about.
Wait too long to get started
On the flip side of jumping in too quickly because you’re excited by someone else’s success is another mistake; not getting started because you’re waiting for… something.
Whether you’re waiting for the perfect time, or the perfect hustle, people often delay starting a business because they feel it’s not just right.
The truth is, there’s no such thing as a perfect side hustle (as we talked about in episode 25), there’s just the next right step. There is no such thing as the perfect time to start a side hustle – just like there’s never a perfect time to have a kid, start a new diet, or try a new hair style.
Stop overthinking and start doing! Remember that clarity comes from action, not thinking.
Taking on too much, too fast
If you’ve ever gone on a highly restrictive diet, like the kind where you can only eat meat and beans, you know it doesn’t last because it’s impossible to maintain. The minute someone waves an apple or a piece of bread at you, you crumble.
The same is true of starting and growing a business. If you try to do everything, be all the places, run all the social media, and put out new content all the time, you’re going to burn out.
All businesses, but especially side hustlers, and especially side hustlin’ teachers, need to focus on the activities that are going to make you money and get you known for what you want to be known for.
Try to do everything ourselves
There is a lot of learning to be done when building a business. Things we’ve never had to think about as teachers are part and parcel for entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean that we have to be experts in everything, or that we have to do everything ourselves.
When your time is precious, you have to use it to do things that are within your skill set and helping you move towards your goals. So, if you’re not a tech savvy person, you have to question whether spending time and energy on building a website is worth it. OR would that time be better spent working on your marketing and with clients, while someone else builds your website.
And hiring someone doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. You can find folks who are new to their craft working for less, or even barter your services in exchange for theirs.
Quitting too soon
Regardless of what internet marketers trumpet in their Facebook ads, building a business takes time. It’s a long-term proposition. No one goes out and starts raking in thousands of dollars a month right off the bat. But too many quit before they make any money, thinking they’ve done something wrong.
Before I monetized my first business, my blog, I worked to establish it for 6 months. Then, when I put AdSense ads on it, I made $2.11 the first month.
But do you know why that $2.11 made me so happy? Because it proved I had something that could make money. Was I going to hand in my resignation the following Monday? No, but it was proof that I had something.
When you’re starting and growing a business, remember that it’s going to take time. Like a lesson plan, you’re going to tweak it and change it, and rearrange it many times before you hit the sweet spot. (Come on, think of a lesson you wrote in your first year vs what you plan now – no contest!)
Give yourself time to learn what you’re doing, figure out what works and what doesn’t, and tweak your business until you find your edupreneur sweet spot.