5 Mistakes Rookies Make in Online Biz

Living the laptop lifestyle is something that appeals to a lot of us — especially millennial’s.

Troubled by the “traditional job market” (can I get an amen from my Canadian audience?), a lot of entrepreneurs have created businesses in the online world that have allowed them to secure a location-free laptop lifestyle. Everyone and their Mom wants this — we crave it — and why wouldn’t we?  

However, we are engulfed with information across multiple mediums about how to make $5k months or $10k months and $10k days or $100k minutes.

OK, I exaggerated just a bit (or did I?), but most of these blog articles will place you into a sales funnel to sell their next big marketing gimmick that is #trending in the online job market. And why wouldn’t they? Free market, baby.

But what some of these entrepreneurs, coaches, and business strategists forget to highlight is the dedicated hard work, long hours, potential health issues, financial insecurity (especially in the beginning), and sheer fear that many of us have had or continue to experience on a daily (even hourly) basis.

In the first year of my business, I would lay awake at night crippled with anxiety, hoping beyond hope that I would be able to pay my rent that was due in 3 days.

Honestly, sometimes I couldn’t.

It’s not all laying on the beach, margarita in hand, doing yoga in the middle of the day while eating organic fruit and drinking a venti chai soy latte (the most expensive Starbucks drink I know of). Sometimes, 7 days a week, it’s eating ramen noodles while binge-watching shows on your friend’s stolen Netflix. Sometimes, it’s 15-hour days writing 15 blog posts that only generate $100 in sales. ROI (Return on Investment) = not that sweet.

But, I’m not here to tell you to stop right now and go back to the 9 to 5.

I’m just saying don’t come into this world thinking that it’s going to be easy-breezy.

Don’t think that you’ll find everything at your fingertips within 30 seconds or that you’ll be rolling in money next month without hardly trying. Well, that may be the case for some of you lucky folk, but for the majority of us common folk that just ain’t reality.

I am here to share with you 5 rookie mistakes (that I made) so you can avoid a hectic and unbalanced first year of online business. It took me nearly a year and a half before I actually listened to myself.

5 Mistakes Rookies Make in Online Biz

1. Not releasing something until everything is perfect.

I’m guilty of being a perfectionist. This is my procrastination persona. Do you know how long it took me to release my website? 16 months. Bear in mind, I started my business as a tech Virtual Assistant (and still am one!). I know a fair amount of backend systems and even dabble in coding. However, I was waiting for my website to be perfect, for it to be like a web page of got-damn Amy Porterfield’s before releasing it.

This need for perfection did me a major disservice.

Not only was I losing potential clients for not being able to send them to a website, I was spending conscious and subconscious energy day-in and day-out on this project. I constantly made myself feel guilty for not working harder to complete it. Yet, I would take a break from the building process only to forget how to update settings. This left me spending an extra 2 to 3 hours re-learning how to format my blog or change specific settings in Divi Builder (a drag & drop page builder plugin for WordPress). I wasted so much time just because I needed it to be perfect.

I finally got over this by sitting back and thinking, “Dude, you have SO much you need to accomplish in the next 6 months. You CAN’T get hung up on the fact your blog landing pages have 15px margins instead of 10px. Who cares if you only have 6 blog posts? You can add them later. JUST GET IT DONE!

And you know what? Once I finally released my website, I got 2 clients that week and had 2 former ones reach out to work with me again. Aw yeah.

2.  Having Shiny Object Syndrome or FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Oh baby, oh baby. This is something not only I have been at fault for, but also one of the major afflictions my clients less acquainted with the online business world greatly suffer from.

We live in a bumpin’ tech age, folks. We’ve got Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and, heck, we even have VR (Virtual Reality) porn. Everything is emerging and evolving (with the exception of www.AOL.com). Scheduling apps are being released every week, email marketing providers are popping up overnight, and productivity-enhancing tools come out every 60 seconds. And we want ALL of it. We want everything to be easy and automated, and if it could be free then that’s icing on the cake.

But we still have issues with commitment, through and through. I have one client that has switched from MailChimp to ConvertKit to Ontraport JUST THIS MONTH. Seriously, calm down on that train.

My suggestion is to do your research, spend an hour (or more or less if your little heart desires) on it, commit to a program, then move on. Doing your due diligence and research on the wants and needs essential to your business is fine, just don’t forget to choose and progress FORWARD. The reality is that the time spent too long in this stage is a form of procrastination since you’re waiting for everything to be perfect before starting. Everything is temporary so don’t sweat the small stuff. Seriously.

3.  Not being consistent and committed.

Oh boy, do I EVER have trouble with this. Believe me when I say it took me a long, long, LONG time to start to become truly consistent with my activities.

I knew I had to start in a place I often avoided because my mind wandered other places 24/7. It was a place I knew was essential to my success forward but wasn’t seemingly centralized around my business — my exercise routine.

That being said, I’m still one of those rebels that can’t schedule and follow everything all the time. But being consistent and committed is when I say I’m going to attend 3 weight lifting classes, 2 yoga classes (1 yin and 1 yang), and go on 3 dog walks per week. And, well, I DO commit to that.

But I have burnt out not once but twice since I’ve started my business 2 short years ago.

Yeah, not the smartest cookie right here, you could say, but I’m learning! The first time I didn’t realize what was happening. I just thought I was tired because I was working all the time and partying when I wasn’t (since I was killing it, or so I thought, and deserved to enjoy myself). Oh, what a year age 25 was!

In theory, you’d think since I chose something outside of my business to be consistent with that it would be easier, but it really wasn’t. I am just a classic “lazy pants.” I love doing yoga, going on bike rides, and walking around outside, but my mind is a MASTER debater. She tells me I don’t have to do certain things because I didn’t sleep or eat well and allowed me to reward myself when I did eat really (or sorta) healthy. ANY excuse could be crafted to get me out of working out for the day.

What I did was work at turning that self-saboteur off and started implementing Mel Robbins’ 5-second rule (check it out right meow and click here!). Then, wabam — I’m stronger and more athletic than I have been in a long time. The positivity and sense of accomplishment from those results have filtered into other aspects of my life (e.g. my business).

4.  Not having boundaries.

Oh, what a juicy topic this is. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries — what a funny concept. If you’re anything like me, you probably either thought or currently think these are great to have but not necessary in the online world. YEAH RIGHT! Boundaries are everything. If you’re not into “woohoo” shit like I used to not be (I’m now an everyday user of oil of oregano, for example), you probably don’t realize boundaries mean, more or less, how you allow yourself to be treated.

In the online world, we are always connected (and it’s awesome). We get that little spike of [insert correct hormone name] that makes you happy when you get that new text message, when you complete a small task for your favorite client, and when you helped a sister out at 8 p.m. on a Saturday night. But guess what? That little superficial gratification you receive isn’t really helping you. Sure, you may feel like a great person, but you are slowly and surely showing your clients what boundaries they can experience with you.

Let me give you an example. A year ago I came out with my business hours to my clients but told them I can be available outside these hours. That way, I 1) wouldn’t scare them away, 2) could allow them to think they can trust and rely on me, and 3) could show them how committed to getting paid by them … I mean, developing their business … I was.

Fast forward 3 months, I found myself in multiple heated conversations with my clients because they called me at 7 p.m. on a Friday night (when I already had a long week) asking me to get something done for them by 8 a.m. the following day. In another scenario, I’d be given content that had a deadline of 5 days ago and was expected to somehow still uphold that deadline — ALL BECAUSE I HAD DONE SO BEFORE.

Not only does this suck some serious fucking energy from your soul, you start to hate yourself, your clients, and your work. I’ve thought about quitting my business so many times because of situations like this. Then, I had the biggest realization that I just kept blaming my clients. It was, in reality, my fault because I allowed this behavior in the past. It made them think it was normal for me to extend my hours of operation for their needs.

So, I’ve put up some boundaries and, by damn, they are fucking exhilarating.

Please note this struggle never goes away (unless you’re the most badass babe ever known). Boundaries are like routines, and routines need work

5.  Not investing in their business where they should.

The last mistakes rookies make. Now, I’m not telling you to run out and find a business coach for $7k a month or to invest in all the courses you can find (as mentioned in the 2nd mistake — FOMO).

What I’m saying is you need to invest to an extent, whether that be your time, your money, or your relationships. If what you want is to be a location-free entrepreneur in today’s age, you need to invest to get there. It’s very rare, albeit not unheard of, to thrive in this online biz world without advancing your knowledge on things like mindset and systems (or without help, for that matter).

In the past 2 months, I’ve invested $6.5k and over 200 hours on my business (this is in addition to what I do for my clients). I am talking about propelling myself, Amy Demone, forward in her online business. This number is quite high and includes a business trip across the continent for $5k — and it was the scariest investment I’ve ever made. I don’t make $100k a year. I make a pretty commendable salary for someone in her 2nd year of business, but $5k for a 5-day course is a lot of money to me.

But I did it and can say, without an ounce of dishonesty, it was the best decision I ever made. I learned so many small, unknown facts about email marketing and created a pretty amazing lead magnet with this information. I became extra motivated to work on my business, and I am now certified in a system that is evolving and that I can recommend to my clients. It’s a win-win situation. Oh, AND it’s tax-deductible so win, again. 🙂

I hope this article 5 Mistakes Rookies Make in Online Biz has helped you!