As someone who is growing their own brand, I’m constantly learning, growing, making mistakes, failing, and all the while trying to figure it out. I did NOT go to school for online media. I didn’t study advertising or e-commerce. I went to a progressive college that allows you to design your own major around the classes you wanted to take. I graduated certified in Elementary Education and then taught in the public school system for 3 years. My formal education in anything relating to what I now do is zero.
But, part of what I love about this blog and Caffeinate and Conquer is that it gives me a place to constantly learn. I think when someone stops learning, they stop living. After college we all need to find something we enjoy doing that we can pursue with the goal of succeeding — but, if not, at least with the purpose to learn. The past 3-1/2 years since I hit my first publish button on my old Blogspot blog has been one of extreme growth. I’ve learned about an entirely new industry and learned about myself.
But I’ve also failed. I’ve failed a lot. Every success is usually paired with a handful of failures. But just as you can’t just “measure” success you can’t just “measure” failures. What does it really mean to fail? Do you really ever fail if you get up again and keep trying?What does it really mean to fail? Do you really ever fail if you get up again and keep trying? Click To Tweet
Today I’m going to share with you not the mistakes I USED TO make, but the mistakes I still make as a blogger and entrepreneur. I think it’s important to know where we struggle and what places we need to grow. By calling myself out on these mistakes I can hopefully learn from them and work to improve. I hope you’ll share some of your mistakes with me in the comments.
Mistakes I am Making as an Entrepreneur
Spreading Myself Too Thin
Probably a mistake many hustlers struggle with since we tend to have an “I can do it all” attitude. I spread myself too thin and I know it. I know that if I didn’t try to do it all I could do better at the things I focus on and yet I still haven’t fully learned the lesson. I have a full-time job, run But First, Coffee along with the BFC channel on YouTube. I try to keep up with social media for BFC as well. Then add on Caffeinate and Conquer‘s blog and e-courses along with the social media around that. Oh, and I try to have a real life too as I’m a wife, proud dog mom to two fur babes and attempt to sleep somewhere in there.
Nothing is more evident of being spread too thinly as just recently when Michael and I moved and my YouTube and Caffeinate and Conquer had to pretty much grind to a halt because I just couldn’t keep all the balls in the air while also dealing with the real life time suck that is moving houses.
I’ve networked a little but it’s something I desperately need to improve on. And so, networking is a goal for me in 2017 because I majorly suck at it. It’s something I know I’m garbage at, too. But, I also know the importance of networking. Networking not only builds relationships but it also opens doors. I understand the importance of having a network of other people who do what I do…but I’ve just lacked the ability to grow that network.Networking not only builds relationships but it also opens doors. Click To Tweet
I cringe at the idea of small talk for whatever reason and we all know small talk is the first step to networking. In 2017 I want to attend more industry-related conferences and meetings and continue to grow a network of like-minded people. I’ve started doing this but need to continue to push myself to learn how to network properly so that it’s something I love to do.
On top of that sometimes networking requires being a nuisance which is just about my least favorite thing to be. I have a strong desire to make sure everyone to comfortable at all times. But, I know sometimes effective networking is getting your foot in the door which requires politely persisting (I got that term from my girl Erica and her course Boss Pitch – check it out). I’m getting better at not feeling bad bothering people because it’s a necessary means of networking.
Lacking Consistent Marketing Efforts
It literally kills me that sometimes I post a blog post and forget to properly share it. Like, what’s the point of taking all the time in the world to write a great post if I’m not going to take the time to make sure people see it and read it?
My lack of marketing is two-fold. Part of it I can blame on time. Why aren’t there more hours in the day?! But the second part is I hate marketing. Ok, hate is a strong word. I don’t hate marketing! It’s more that I don’t understand marketing enough and so I constantly feel like I have NO idea what I’m doing.
But the second part is I hate marketing. Ok, hate is a strong word. I don’t hate marketing! It’s more that I don’t understand marketing enough and so I constantly feel like I have NO idea what I’m doing.
I think about how complex learning education was. All the facets of understanding how our brains develop and work and retain information. Learning all the different ways people learn and understand. Then, add in the layers of teaching philosophy, developing lessons plans, backward design, content standards. You NEED to go to school for at least 4 years to get the hang of it. Marketing is like that to me. I feel like I’m out to sea without proper guidance. Learning more about marketing is something I need to invest time into in 2017-2018…either that or figure out how to outsource that shiz-nat.
Oh lord, I just said shiz-nat. I’m sorry…but not really.
Trying to Micromanage
Not that I’m at any place to hire someone to work for me at this time, but I wouldn’t even know where to start. I’m a control freak with my brand. I don’t know how I could give up control of any aspect of what I do to someone else. This is a major hurdle I’ll have to overcome because at some point because I just won’t be able to do it all myself. I need to learn how to let others do things and be OK with it not being done just how I would do it.
There you have it, some the biggest mistakes I am making RIGHT NOW in my brand. I think so often we blog about what we’re good at. We share tips and tricks and “how-I-did-it.” It feels a little refreshing to telling you things I struggle with.
I’d love to know what things you’re struggling with in your brand, job, business, blog, or life.