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The business mistakes and lessons I have learnt so you don’t have to!

In today’s episode of the podcast I talk about the things I did in my business that failed! Often we don’t like to admit failures or talk about them, but it’s important to look back on these failures so we can take lessons from them. I tell you some of the failures I have experienced in my business and what I learnt from them.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST

 

  • When you don’t know who your perfect customer is or what you offer you will end up saying yes to things or working with people who are not a good fit for you.
  • You have to get clear – this is who I work with, this is what I do and this is what I’m really good at.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no if something doesn’t align with you.
  • Don’t let your mindset and the fear of failing stop you from starting or launching something – just go for it!
  • Don’t just build your email list and then not email them.
  • When it comes to launching – look at what happened last time and what went well and review/duplicate it.
  • Focus on your mindset and work on it.

 

THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE…

 

You don’t need to re-invent the wheel every single time.

 

HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN’T MISS

 

  • The things that failed in my business and what I learnt from them

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED

 

Build My List Course

Dream Business Club

Free download – Mindset hacks for small business owners

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How are things? So today for me is podcast batching day. I am now getting super organized again. Oh, it feels so good, so, so good to get ahead and batch. My earnest light problem is I've been doing a detox as I record today.

And it's affected my voice because I don't know about you. I know someone else's like this whenever I do anything, or if I ever get ill, always go straight to my voice. And I think it's because I use it so much, uh, much to my husband's dismay probably, but it always goes to my voice. So I'm a little bit croaky, but I'm way better than I was.

For these next couple of episodes. If you hear me a bit croaky, this might be why. So today we have a solo episode and I've decided that today I'm going to talk about the things that I did in my business that failed. Because I think lots of us don't like to talk about failing. We don't like the idea of failing.

We don't want to fail. It doesn't feel nice. It's a bit embarrassing, to be honest, when you fail or I find it a bit embarrassing. But it is so part of our business journey, it's unbelievable. I don't know a single business owner that hasn't failed at something. And there are a million amazing quotes out there that talk about the fact of, you know, if you're not failing, you're not trying, you know, that failing's better than doing nothing, you know?

I can literally like give you a million if I tried. So I want to talk about some of the places I failed, but the most important bit about this episode and generally about failing is the fact of what you learned from it or what came from it. So there's always that thing of, you know, you didn't fail, you just learned, you know, you either win or you learn and that's it.

And I think it doesn't always feel that good. It doesn't always think, you know, I don't always fail and go, “Woo, brilliant. Look what I learned.” Like, I don't always feel like that. However, I think they're not wrong. I think, you know, the fact is you do learn when you fail and failing means that you've at least done something.

So you've at least got a conversation you can have about it. So that's what we're going to talk about today. We're going to look at the places that I felt that I failed in my business and what I learned and what sort of came from that failure. So let's go right back to the beginning of starting my business. So I think, I mean, there's loads of things I did wrong when I started, but I wouldn't necessarily call them failures.

I think one of the biggest failures I had when I had the agency, which wasn't like a one thing, and then I went, “Oh, I failed.” It was like an over a period of time thing. I didn't get clear on A who I wanted to work with B what I was good at and C what I wanted to actually do. And I think that was the big problem for my business in the first kind of year or two was, well not maybe the first year was that I was so concerned with the money side of it, that, and, and good reason I was a single parent and I had a mortgage to pay, child to feed and a car to run.

So it wasn't like I'm saying, you know, I shouldn't have concentrated on the money. I absolutely needed to. But the problem was, I wasn't clear on who I wanted to work, then what I want to do and what I was good at, which meant I took anything and everything. It meant that someone would come to me and go, “Do you know, Google ad words?” And I'll go, “Yep.”

Like I think I can learn it. And I did, and I hated it. But. There were many different things that I probably signed up to. There were things that I priced myself wrong because I wasn't giving myself the confidence of going, this is what I'm brilliant at. So I think for me, the very first failure in my business was that it wasn't getting clear on who I liked to work with, what I do and what I like to do.

So I spent many a day learning things wasting way too much time learning things and trying to spread my knowledge even wider than it was. I spent many a day working with people that I didn't like, or that they didn't fit with me or their expectations were not the same expectations as mine. And I spent far too many days not enjoying and liking what I did.

So that one, the thing I kind of learned from that was that you've got to get really clear and there is a real strength in going “This is who I worked with. This is what I like to do. And this is what I'm really flipping good at.” Like, those for me are such strong things to go into business with. And I think in the early days I didn't have the confidence and I think lots of people don't have the confidence to do that because they don't want to niche down, they don't want to like minimize their market.

They want to do everything for everyone who'll pay them. But actually it was one of the worst things I could have done. So if you're sat there at the moment and you feel this is you and your sat nodding, I feel for you, first off, cause that sucks and it sucked for me and it didn't feel great, but the good thing is, and the positive thing is that you are doing things and now, you know what you don't like. You know, sort of people you don't like to work with and you know, the sort of stuff that you aren't great at doing.

So now is the chance to either start to change and tweak a little bit in terms of what you offer. To start say no to people when they ask you, “Can you do Google ad words?” If you don't do Google ad words and various different things. So that's, you're learning, you're learning is when you do that thing, when you go into that part of your business and you realize you hate it, then you're learning.

You know, if you didn't have any clients, then you wouldn't know, would you. Well done, pat yourself on the back for getting the clients. That's awesome. Now you can start to tweak and start to understand who you want to work with, what you like to do and what you are brilliant at. Okay. So the second place I thought I failed in my business and I've talked about this before, but it's a big failure is the fact of creating something for online and sitting on it for like a year.

That was like now I look back and think I'd have just gone back and slap myself in the face and gone, “Just get on with it. Don't be ridiculous.” And I think there are, there are lots of times I wish I could have done that, but actually again, when I think about the learnings, there are lots to take from it. So. I would say that this, this period in my business is probably one of the biggest learning points. Because I got everything I needed to launch.

And this was the point where I learned about mindset, where I learned about personal development, where I learned about the power of having your mind in the right place. So up until then, I'd done a little bit of kind of the, you know, the mindset stuff. And I dabbled the had, had a coach, but I don't think I had quite realized or put two and two together, but how much the business and me go together, which I know sounds ridiculous, but I really didn't.

So I obviously put together this course, it was a course on How to create content for social media. And I've told this story many times, if you're new to it, then great. If you're not, I'm sorry, you can hear it again. But I had signed up to do a mastermind over in Irvine with James Wedmore and I went over there and I was at an event and he asked me.

I didn't want to answer any questions cause it didn't want to be called out in front of everybody because I was in a room full of what I felt were really, you know, amazing business owners. They were American and they were really confident. And I was like, yeah, I want him to know who I am, but I also don't want to actually have him ask me a question.

So there was a part of the second day that said, you know, what was your key takeaway from the day before? And there's only about 80 of us in the room. And people were saying, this is my key takeaway and he was going great. Thanks. And then he'd move on. So I thought opera, brilliant. This is my opportunity. So he throws me the mic.

They have these like big sponge cube, mic things. And he's like, what would you take away? And I said that “I'm not showing up as the CEO that my business needs me to be.” And he's like, “Why?” And I was thinking, no, no, that wasn't the deal. I was just going to say that you were going to go, okay, great. Next person.

And he didn't and basically he went into a whole hot seat that I was not expecting and the very long and short of it was that he found out that I'd got a course. I said, I hadn't launched it. He said, why hadn't I launched it? And I was like, I'm not sure. And he worked out that I was scared. And when he said, what you scared of?

And I said, well, I guess failing, you know, I teach this stuff. I have clients who do this stuff. I meant to know this stuff. And by this point, I think I'd got the podcast on the go. Yeah, definitely got the podcast on the go, you know, and I was getting well known and I was so scared of failing. I would put it out there or no one would want it or I'd put it out there and someone would want it and then they'd go, it's rubbish that I just didn't put it out there.

And he said, so you're, you're scared if you put it out there you'll fail. And, and you know, well, what would failure look like? I was like, well, no one would buy it. And he said, well, how many people have bought it so far? And I'm thinking, well, no one I've just told you I haven't launched it. And he's like, yeah, You failed already then haven't you.

And honestly it, and even thinking about it now, like, it still feels like a punch in the stomach. Because it was, it was huge. It was a massive failure that I did that. I did all this stuff and then I just sat on it and sat on it and sat on it and sat on it and just thought, oh, I can't do it because of this.

And I can't do this because of this. But the failure wasn't necessarily like a business lesson. It was a lesson for me to learn about myself, a lesson to recognize when I was standing in my own way. A lessons to recognize when I was scared of doing something because of the outcome. And for me, that was a massive lesson I learned that day.

And I kind of not ever since then, but certainly that was kind of the starting point where I developed more into the personal development. I developed more into the mindset. I bought more of the mindset into the stuff that I do for me and my members, but also that it kind of, you know, made me think, well, what's the worst that can happen.

And I joke that, you know, I could, I die? No, I'm not going to die from putting your course out, am, I. It can't be that bad. Like, so what I put it out and no one buys, so what? I put it out when someone buys and they don't like it. So what? I put it out and just 10 people buy it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter.

So for me, that was one of the problem, my biggest failings, cause I could have started my online business and even way ahead of where I am. And actually when I think back to. Like some of the other things I did. Oh, in fact, yeah. That's the next one I need to tell you about. Um, but yeah, you know, it means that my business could have been in a different place right now, but I'm not annoyed about it that little bit frustrated.

However, I'm just sort of like, well, if I hadn't have done that, I wouldn't have learned it. And actually I probably wouldn't be where I am now. So the next one that has a massive failure and I literally, it wasn't even written down. I literally just thought about it. Um, was I set up a lead magnet. My very first lead magnet, I paid a lot of money to go over to Minneapolis and I did a, a weekend course, a full days, and then a three-day conference.

It was a full on week in Minneapolis. All about lead magnets, basically and email lists and managing your list and emailing people and copywriting and landing pages and all this good stuff. And I did all this and I came back and I created a lead magnet. And the very first lead magnet I ever created was aimed at social media managers because I was a social media manager.

And. And I was, I was a good social media manager. We had a good agency by this point. Uh, we had got some good clients. We were earning good money. And I knew that a couple of processes that we used in the business would really help other social media managers. So I put together this amazing lead magnet I'd specifically like aimed at social media managers.

Um, I am slightly kicking myself at this one. And I put this lead magnet out there. And within two weeks I got 800 people on my email list. 800, like I have never been able to replicate that in that speed. Now it did put a bit of money behind on, on Facebook. And back in the days, it probably would have converted better than it does now, but still it was only like 40 or 50 pounds.

We're not talking like 500 quid. I got 800 people on my email list. I'd got like a captive audience and I did nothing with them. Like if you're not silent and trying to kick me listening to this. Oh, my word. What a fool, what a fool. And I don't know why I didn't do anything with it. I'm trying to think, like, what was the reason why did I think there was an element of disbelief?

I think the other thing was that been so much focus on building the list, getting the lead magnet out there, doing all of that, but actually I didn't think about what I was going to do afterwards. And that was probably a mistake. That was probably something that I did wrong. Now, one thing I want to say is this isn't necessarily don't build a list until you've got something to sell them.

That's not the case at all, but I didn't even email them. So I didn't even keep them warm. I didn't even get to know them further. I didn't do anything with them. I literally just built a list, put them in my email system and went “That's cool.” Like literally that was it. So I, and one thing that I guess I've learned from it that I, I teach constantly and is a big part of my course build my list.

So I have build my list course where you can basically go on and learn to do the process that I spent a very long time. And about $2,000 doing. But basically the whole process start to finish. What's a lead magnet. Why you need one, what you should pick as a lead magnet, how you create the lead magnet, what you include in it, what emails do you put?

How'd you create the landing page? It includes actually creating the landing page on MailerLite active campaign or Kajabi. And then the key thing is in this course, the last section of the course is now email them. Now, what do you do now? How do you. You know, convert them. If you have certain to convert them to.

And I talk about this in the course, I talk about the onboarding emails. When do you introduce a sale? If you've got a sale. If you haven't got a sale, what do you introduce? So I think for me, that was a really hard lesson I had to learn. And it's a bit annoying because many years later, I coached some people who target social media managers only, and they have an over successful membership, which I helped them launch.

And it's really frustrating because I just think, oh boy, if I'd carried on down that route and I still have a large social media manager audience, and I love having them in there because that was my business. And I've taken my business from a one person to an agency from an agency to online. So no matter where they are in their business or what their goals are, especially if you're listening to this and you're a social media manager or a freelance social media person or marketing, does them, whatever your goals are that you're trying to get to, there's a fair chance. I've had some experience in it.

So, so I really love that I still have them in my audience and I love that I can help them because I've been that space, but it's just frustrating. The, I felt this amazing list and I did nothing with it. Huge failure. Okay. The next thing that was a failure, but not so not so big, but I think it's worth talking about is I have done numerous different ways to launch. I have launched numerous different ways. I have tried many different things and I think one of the failures I've had with launching when I've not had a successful launch.

And you have to remember that someone's successful launch and someone else's non-successful launch are not the same thing. So Amy's idea of Amy Porterfield's idea of a terrible launch. Or my idea of, of living unbelievable launch, because she's at a completely different level to me, whereas someone who's a year in their idea of a launch might be amazing that I might think, oh yeah, that wasn't great for me.

So it purely depends on where you are in your business in terms of what you deem as a success or not as a success, but I have to say every time I've had something about launching and I have, it's not gone the way I wanted and I saw it as a failure.

I've always been able to learn from it. I've always been able to go, “Okay. Tweak that. Change that.” I think probably wanted still my, my things now is I've not been, I think I'm not going to call it a failure, but I think a problem that lots of us have in our business is that we feel like we have to reinvent the wheel every time.

And when I look at some of the things that have been really successful, we haven't reinvented the wheel, we've just tweaked and done it better. And I think. When it comes to launching, I think that's probably the failure I had where I thought, well, we've done that once. We probably can't do it again. And therefore, you know, do something different and then it doesn't get the same results.

Or the other failure I've had when it comes to launch is I've done a launch and I've done a similar launch again, but I've not built my list in between. Or I've not put enough time and effort into getting a new audience. And that's a failure too, on my part because it's like, you know, you know, these people, you know, you know, they know you, yes, they might want to join and they didn't join last time or they might want to get involved and they didn't get involved last time.

But really in order to ensure them growing and getting those numbers, I need to make sure my list is growing and make sure that my audience is growing. So, so that's another one. I guess the final one, cause I didn't want this to be too long. You know, I like to keep these episodes fairly short and succinct is all around the mindset and the personal development that every time I've felt like something has failed, it might look very practical.

But in essence, it's often come down to my mindset. It's often comes down to not believing I could do it or being scared to put myself out there or. You know, not thinking ahead enough or not thinking people will want something else from me. So for me, All of this comes back to that mindset. It comes back to and like I said that biggest failure that I felt that I had, which was sitting on that course, that was a hundred percent mindset, literally a hundred percent mindset.

I had everything in place and it was. I was too scared. So for me, mindset is huge and that is why for me, it's so important to bring it into my world and to bring it into my members world. So there's a couple of things that actually I'm doing, which I'm really excited about. I have just signed up and I've already started actually to do a diploma in coaching.

I do not necessarily class myself as a coach, and I'm not sure I want to class myself as a coach. However, a lot of what I do can overt while the blur, the lines get a bit blurred. And I actually think there's a lot of experts out there where the lines are blurred. Um, I think it's dangerous. I think for me, the reason I wanted to get a qualification is the fact of, I know it's being blurred and therefore I want to make sure that I'm doing the right thing.

And that's, I know I have the knowledge of how to manage that situation. Whereas I think sometimes people coach other people and they're shaming, or they're not coaching, they're telling them what to do, but at the same time, They're not building any mindset skills for them, so that person thinks they can't do it unless they come back.

And that person tells them what to do. So for me, it's about a bit of a balance it's about of kind of understanding that coaching side, the mindset side of the personal development side. And obviously I have a lot of experience because I've been through it myself and I've been on the receiving end of it. But now I want to kind of build out for me.

So it's not super, super important for me. And that's the next part of my journey in terms of getting that qualification, which is going to take about a year. I think now not quite a year, I'll be done towards the end of this year, which is, which is cool. And it's taken a lot of work and a lot of time, but it's going to be totally worth it.

And it's going to be so good for my members. I'm really excited for them to be able to have that element of coaching when they don't have a coach. As you know, I have a coach and, and, you know, I've paid a lot of money for coaches and, you know, if you have a good one, sometimes they're not as affordable as we would like.

So I'm really, really glad that I very affordable cost that my members get an element of that, which is great. But like I said, I think. One, whether you've deemed something as a failure or not that's mindset. Two often, it comes down to mindset. So the other thing I wanted to mention while talking about all this is that I do have a free download.

You may already have it, but do go and check it out again, which is, this is something I did after being in business a while, which is mindset hacks for small business owners. And if you go to www.teresaheathwareing/mindset, jeez got it eventually, then you'll be able to grab that download it.

It talks to you about things like how I journaled some of the prompts, how I meditate, what books I recommend, what podcasts I listened to and all that sort of good stuff. Because honestly, I think any time or money you spend in developing your personal, your own personal developmental mindset is worth every single penny.

So it would be very remiss of me not to mention what we do in the club around mindset. So everybody in the club at every level. So this includes the level that's $19. And quite honestly, the mindset calls are probably worth more than that are just on their own. So every level of the club gets access to the mindset calls.

So every single month we do a session and we do it on zoom. So you get to be in a zoom room with me and we get to go through an exercise about mindset. Now I've done so many different ones. We've done them on the wheel of life. We've done them on values. We've done them on mindset and mindset. What are it about and we've done them on imposter syndrome.

We've done lots of different ones already, and we have lots of other good ones coming. And when you join, you get access to all the replays that you can go back and go through all of the different mindset exercises. But like I said, it's super important and it's something that is available to every level of the club.

So do go and check out The Club at teresaheatwareing.com/theclub. Okay. I will leave this week. I've got a great episode next week. It's an interview and we are talking all about imposter syndrome actually, which is cool. And then I've got a really cool kind of solo episode the week after, which is a bit of a surprise. So I'll tell you about that next week. Until then have a wonderful week.