Starting, maintaining and thriving in online business requires time, effort and the right attitude. Business failure is all too common since there are often many hurdles to overcome along the way. It’s important to stay motivated and aware of the habits that are impeding your success. Only then can you overcome your limitations and truly find success on the web.
There are many habits that contribute to business failure online, but these seem to outline the top 5:
1. Fear of Failure
Failure is an inevitable fact of life. The unfortunate thing is that people often associate failure with a blow to their own identity.
No person starts a business and says, “I can’t wait to fail”. Failure never feels good, but if you spend your time and resources trying to avoid it, you will also avoid finding success.
You have to take a few chances to get what you want in life and the same goes for your business. By taking more chances, you will have more opportunities to make mistakes, but you will also have more opportunities to succeed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. Michael Jordan
The only time you will ever truly fail is if you don’t take a chance and try.
2. Paralysis of Analysis
Paralysis of analysis is when you spend so much time analyzing and planning a decision that you never take action.
The ability to plan is a fantastic trait. I struggled with planning years ago and started to pay more attention to the details as a result. My life got a whole lot easier. The problem, though, is that we can get stuck in the planning stage and over think everything.
There comes a time when you must shut your brain off and get moving. I believe that the fear of failure is the driving force behind getting stuck in “paralysis by analysis”. We all want things to run smoothly and be perfect, but if we continue to analyze, we will never make decisions. Without forward progress, goals remain unfulfilled.
If you wait for a perfect plan, you will be waiting forever. Take the gun and pull the trigger…what’s the worst that could happen? You will make a mistake and you will learn the right way to do it the second time.
3. Jack of All Trades, Master of None
In online business, “Jack of all Trades, Master of None” refers to the act of spreading your energy in so many different directions that nothing actually gets accomplished.
Consider this common scenario: You start a website and you are ready to market it online. You start doing some search engine optimization. With SEO you are concentrating on linking with article marketing, videos and press releases. Into your inbox you see a new SEO strategy and the headline catches your eye “Top Google Rankings in 48 Hours or Less”. How can you pass this up? The more the merrier, right?
You buy the product and get moving. You realize that it takes more work than you expected and you start and finish half way…back to the drawing board. This continues over and over until you have 20 half-finished new strategies in addition to your original strategies which aren’t producing results because you are too busy getting distracted.
You don’t need to master EVERY marketing strategy to get results online; you just need to follow through with what you have.
Even if a strategy fails, it’s important that you followed through with it so you learned what works and what doesn’t. It may sound easy, but this issue is one of the main reasons people fail to produce an income online.
Focus your efforts on a few marketing strategies at a time. If you want to do more, consider hiring an assistant. Try not to be distracted by the next new thing unless you have the resources to take it on.
Tip: I often get distracted by my email inbox and all of the new strategies and products. A good tip is to unsubscribe from most of the marketers except for the few you feel are worthy of attention. This way you will not be as tempted to open emails.
4. Unique, not Copycat
With billions of websites and businesses online competing for attention, it’s important to remember to be unique to separate yourself from the pack.
I guarantee if you take a look at most of the websites in your industry, you will find mediocre brands without clear messaging or a unique selling point.
It’s easy to follow the businesses that are making all the money in your industry, but if you copy what they are doing, you will never stand out. It’s wise to research your competitors and listen to what the “gurus” say, but it’s not wise to follow without defining yourself as a brand.
Many success stories evolved from people who went against the grain and did something they felt in their gut. Their ideas were unique but they succeeded even if it did not line up with the industry standards.
This may sound cliché, but we are all different and we have a unique selling point. This especially applies to those who are branding themselves.
Ask yourself these questions:
1.What makes you unique?
2.What are your strong qualities?
3.What are your hobbies?
4.What do your friends and family say is your greatest personality trait?
I often revert to Mari Smith as a prime example of a unique brand. Mari is an expert in her field and though she offers information that other experts offer, she injects her own unique personality into it and this is evident in her website, social media profiles and everything else she offers. She is fun and energetic, and people value what she says because she is comfortable enough to share the essence of who she is with her audience.
There will never be another Mari Smith. And there will never be another you.
Find out what makes you great and capitalize on it.
5. Right Brain vs. Left Brain – Losing Balance
Right-brained activity includes the side of your mental processing that is creative, flexible and takes risks. Your left brain is associated with stable actions, organized and logical thoughts. One isn’t better than the other but the right balance of the two is very important.
Right-brained activities are beneficial regardless of your type of online business. Creativity is more than painting and sculpting. It refers to a way of viewing the world and a specific type of thought process.
Creativity in business means generating fresh ideas, looking to the future with hope and visualizing your goals. Left-brained business activities involve evaluating the ideas, organizing thoughts to determine what works and logically making sense out of them.
Many businesses start the creation process (right-brained) and end it abruptly because they do not see the value from a dollar standpoint. The left brain kicks in and says, “Let’s get going so we don’t waste time when we could be making more profit”. Yet, this creation process is paramount because in it, you will create ground-breaking ideas that could skyrocket your profits.
Spend a little more time creating new ideas and allow the process to complete. Then apply the right logic to make a decision over what the next step should be.
One Step at a Time
No person has mastered all of this information. We all deal with a form of these habits at one time or another. I work on them daily and as I write I am inspired to take my own advice. If you can manage to take a look at your business and be honest about your progress and where you can adjust…as long as you are moving forward, you are on the right track.