Are you tired of making costly mistakes in your business? Do you want to learn from the experience of successful entrepreneurs, avoiding the same pitfalls that can lead to revenue loss? In my latest episode of Shop Talk, “Learn From Me: The 5 Mistakes That Cost Me Millions in Revenue,” I open up about the mistakes I’ve made over my 10+ years in marketing and the valuable lessons I’ve learned.

As a lifelong entrepreneur, I’ve always had a knack for creativity and sales. But my constant pursuit of “the next big thing” led to a cycle of short-term success with no long-term results. Through my own mistakes, I’ve discovered the key areas I overlooked that I didn’t realize were costing me big time.

By learning from the mistakes of others, you can avoid the same challenges and revenue loss that many entrepreneurs encounter. So, join me on this journey of self-reflection and discover the insights that can help you succeed in your own business.

Snapshot of this episode:

  • 2:00 – The Roots of My Entrepreneurial Spirit
  • 6:17 – When Hustling Isn’t Enough
  • 7:27 – MISTAKE #1: The Curse of the Entrepreneur Mind
  • 11:22 – MISTAKE #2: Waiting Too Long to Hire a Team
  • 19:57 – MISTAKE #3: Waiting to Build Your Email Marketing List
  • 23:14 – MISTAKE #4: Not Prioritizing Content Creation
  • 29:23 – MISTAKE #5: Waiting to Hire a Salesperson

We all know that running a business is one of the most exciting and difficult things anyone can do. As we’re constantly trying to juggle all of the demands asked of us, we are bound to make mistakes along the way. That’s why we must learn from the experience of other entrepreneurs as we hopefully avoid the same challenges and revenue loss they encountered.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been navigating the ever-changing world of marketing for over 10 years alongside some extraordinary entrepreneurs. But as much as I’ve learned and grown during this time, I have also made major mistakes that have literally cost me millions of dollars in revenue.

Today, I’m here to open up to you and reveal the mistakes I’ve made along my journey and the mindsets that led me to make them. By sharing my experience, I hope to offer valuable insights you can apply to your own business. Learning from the mistakes of others can be a powerful tool to avoid pitfalls, get unstuck, and ultimately achieve success.

The Roots of My Entrepreneurial Spirit

The first thing you should know about me is that I’ve been an entrepreneur my entire life – literally dating all the way back to the 1st grade! At recess, when the other kids would run to the playground to play, I’d find the nearest tree to sit under so that I could draw. Then, at the next break, I would sell my drawings to the kids in class.

I started off simple – by selling my drawings. But soon, I realized that the kids would only buy one or two pictures and then stop. So I started drawing lick and stick tattoos – remember those? Or am I totally dating myself? The tattoos were great because the kids would buy those every day since they only lasted a day.

Another business venture I started in grade school was an “experience” in our backyard. Crazy, right!?! But hear me out! I have a crazy family secret that VERY FEW people know about me.

On my mom’s side of the family, she had a brother who was a “carney.” If you don’t know what a carney is, I’ll tell ya – it’s a slang word for a person who works in a traveling carnival. His job was to operate the games. 

Every year, when it came to town, my mom would take my brother and me to the carnival to see her brother. As a kid, I thought he was amazing. He had so much confidence and energy. Consistently drawing in people as they passed by. I thought it was fantastic and magical.

I loved that energy so much that I convinced my brother to help me set up our own “experience” in our backyard. We couldn’t call it a carnival because we didn’t have rides. Instead, we stole every pillow, sheet, and blanket that we could get our hands on. I’d paint signs, and we’d create different “visiting stations” around the yard. We charged admission to the kids in the neighborhood to come and experience our wonderland.

So, that’s where my entrepreneurial journey started.

Throughout my high school years and my twenties, I continued to be a serial entrepreneur:

  • I painted and sold signs and murals.
  • I made crafts, hung them at local businesses, and sold them off the walls.
  • I dragged my (now) husband to craft shows almost every weekend.
  • I hung wallpaper.
  • I even had some family friends hire me to interior design their homes.

Creativity has always been one of my entrepreneurial superpowers. If it was creative, I was involved – and hustling to sell it on the weekends.

When Hustling Isn’t Enough

I’m excited to share this part of my story with you because it has been crucial to my journey as an entrepreneur. From a very young age, I learned how to hustle and discovered my natural talent for sales. I was confident that any creative idea could be turned into a profitable venture, and I proved it time and time again.

Hustling was a thrilling ride, pushing me to think outside the box and turn something into nothing. It was fun – until it wasn’t. Once the adrenaline rush of a new idea wore off, I was on to the next one. The constant pursuit of the next big thing meant I never stuck with one idea long enough to see substantial results.

I’m sharing this because I know many entrepreneurs struggle with the same challenge. The temptation to chase new and exciting ideas can be irresistible, but it often comes at the cost of long-term success. It was a mistake that I see many entrepreneurs make, and one that can cost you dearly in the long run.

That’s why learning from the mistakes of others is so important. Through my experiences, I’ve learned the importance of perseverance and sticking with an idea long enough to see it through to its full potential. So, let’s dive in and discover the other lessons I’ve learned along the way.

MISTAKE #1: The Curse of the Entrepreneur Mind

Creativity, innovation, and opportunity are all a must for any business to be successful. But if they run amok, they can actually work against you.

I expanded my offers too quickly because I have (what I call) “The Curse Of The Entrepreneur Mind.” What is this curse? I’ve found that many entrepreneurs are like me. They are creative and see opportunity everywhere. 

When the world sees problems, we see opportunities. The challenge with this is that we want to chase every opportunity, thinking this is the next “big thing.” Can you relate?

Here’s what I know. Chasing opportunities and expanding your offers too quickly will cost you dearly. This is because most entrepreneurs have limited time, money, and resources when they start their business. If you expand your offers too quickly, you will spread yourself too thin, making it more difficult to:

  • Design and develop really valuable programs, products, and services.
  • Invest in advertising, marketing, and sales like you should.
  • Deliver the programs, products, and services efficiently and effectively.
  • Hire people to help.

And the list goes on and on.

I recommend you find the one thing you can do well and build that business to grow consistently through the systems and processes you’ve developed. Then, if it makes sense and you have the desire, chase the next creative project.

This leads me to…

MISTAKE #2: Waiting Too Long to Hire a Team

I waited too long to invest in hiring a team. It wasn’t that I didn’t want help – I absolutely did! The truth is, I didn’t hire people to help me because I kept telling myself that I couldn’t afford it.

Here’s what I’ve learned. There are things in your business that only you can do, and those should be your responsibility. Everything else should be passed on to someone else. There are two things to consider here.

Is this something you need to be doing?

Spending time on things you are not naturally good at sucks you dry of your creative genius. I’m sure you’ve experienced this before. Here are a few signs you are doing things you probably should be doing:

  • When you start working on a task/project, you become overwhelmed easily.
  • You get frustrated.
  • You are drained of all your energy.
  • You find it difficult to finish the task/project because you procrastinate and become easily distracted.

What is the cost of doing it yourself? 

Even though you are good at something doesn’t mean you should be doing it. In my opinion, there are 4 priorities in your business until you are making $5 million or more. They are:

  1. Program/Product Development
  2. Marketing
  3. Sales
  4. Delighting and Wow’ing your customer through the delivery of your programs/products/services

You don’t have to be the person to take on all these responsibilities, but assuming you are the person who wears all these “hats,” let’s do a quick exercise:

Let’s say you want to earn $250,000 this year. 

Divide $250k by 2,000 hours (that’s the hours you would work if you worked 50 weeks out of a year at 40 hours a week).

That means your time is worth $125 an hour.

Everything you do in your business (or personal life) that’s taking you away from those key responsibilities is costing you dearly. And I’ll bet you can hire someone to help you for less than $125 an hour to do it for you!

EXAMPLE

Let’s say you like to design your social media graphics for your business. On average, you spend 6 hours a month designing in Canva. But what if you hired a part-time graphic designer for $25 an hour? The investment in the designer would be $150 for 6 hours.

You’d then have 6 hours to create 4 – 6 videos for your marketing and sales that your designer could use to create more meaningful social posts that could potentially generate more revenue. Let’s say the revenue you could generate is $750 (6 hours x $125 an hour that you’re worth.)

Then take the $750 that you could have earned minus the $150 investment in your designer means that you LOST $600 in revenue potential.

Here’s my recommendation…

Focus on chasing dollars, not saving pennies.

MISTAKE #3: Waiting to Build Your Email Marketing List

I’m just going to say it: you can’t have a business without sales, and you can’t get sales without leads. So, prioritize building your email marketing list TODAY! Without leads, your business will not survive.

The challenge I always had was that I was able to make good money in the early years without an extensive list. I know that might sound weird, but hear me out…

When I first started, I grew my marketing list to roughly 650 people in the first few months. I turned that list into $250k in revenue in my first 12 months. I’ve always been able to make good money with a small list, so I didn’t prioritize my list building. And even when I started prioritizing my list building, I wasn’t consistent in nurturing that list every week.

If you’ve been around a while now, you know online marketing has changed. Consumers have changed. And the results you get from your marketing list have changed.

The reality is it’s critically important to start building your marketing list as soon as possible because there’s more competition in the marketplace. It takes time to earn your communities trust, so they are willing to invest in your programs, products, and services. The sooner you start building your list, the healthier your business will be and the more money you will make.

If you haven’t figured out how to consistently add new subscribers to your list every single day, that should be your focus until you have found a way to make it happen.

This leads me to my next mistake…

MISTAKE #4: Not Prioritizing Content Creation

If you want to nurture your leads, you need to give them something to connect to. This is why I’m constantly emphasizing content. In my early days as an entrepreneur, I didn’t consistently prioritize my content creation.

For the first two and a half years in my business, I hosted a live weekly call sharing a popular topic on marketing. I had a list of roughly 650 – 800 people that I would invite to my live webinar each week. I averaged 50 – 100 attendees for each webinar. Even though I had great results, there were a few key mistakes I made:

  1. I didn’t do a good job making offers because I couldn’t grow as a maxed-out solopreneur with no help.
  2. I would wait for people to come to me and tell me what they wanted. Then I would create custom solutions (which is not a great way to simplify and scale what you offer).
  3. Because I was constantly creating custom solutions for people, it was difficult to even think about hiring someone to help me with implementation.
  4. And (this one is my main point), I looked at the content I was creating on the webinar as a project in its own silo without realizing that it could be repurposed to help me with my marketing and sales. Through repurposing, I could consistently show up and grow through other marketing efforts.

What I should have done is what we do today and teach to our clients, which is:

  • Host a weekly live call.
  • Take the video you record, edit it, and post it to youtube. YouTube is the #2 search engine today. By posting to YouTube, you are creating content that Google can serve to its users. Which, of course, gives you more exposure.
  • Next, extract the transcript from the video to create an SEO blog to bring more visitors to your website.
  • Then pull out the valuable snippets within the video to create social media posts that provide value and connect with your audience.

This is one of the most effective and efficient ways to create content consistently. Because I looked at my content in silos as individual projects, I was trying to create my weekly webinar, write a blog, and create individual social media posts every week. 

I don’t have to tell you, that’s a huge undertaking. So between selling and delivering my services, I was unable to keep up with my blogging and my social media. The only thing I was consistent with was my weekly webinar.

Had I looked at it the way I do today, I would have had consistent nurturing content through my webinar, a weekly blog that would have brought more visitors to our website, and social content which would have helped me grow my social following – all from one video that I recorded from my webinar each week.

My recommendation to you is to host a weekly live call to nurture your community. It could be a live call you host on your favorite social platform or in a private group, or on a webinar. Then, repurpose that video into multiple pieces of content you can leverage in your marketing to help grow your business.

Don’t think of the content you create each week as individual projects. Create your content with intention. Then use it to:

  • Nurture your community
  • Help you gain brand awareness 
  • Grow your social following
  • Build a relationship and trust, and authority with your email subscribers
  • Deliver additional content and value to delight and wow your customers
  • And grow your email marketing list

And that leads me to the final mistake I made.

MISTAKE #5: Waiting to Hire a Salesperson

You may have a fantastic email marketing list. Your social media campaign may be out of this world. But you need sales to survive and thrive. I love sales, but even I realized I should have hired a salesperson sooner.

I’ve been in sales my entire life. In my previous career, I trained over 1,800 salespeople in 8 years. But I slowed down the growth of my business because I was trying to wear too many “hats,” and it literally cost me millions of dollars in revenue.

So, here’s my final recommendation. If you’re good at sales and want that as your position in your business, that’s fine – make sure sales are a priority. Perform in the position you’ve given yourself at the same level you would expect of an employee at your company. Sales can’t be the last thing on your to-do list; it should be the first.

If you don’t like sales, hire someone to do your sales – today! Every day you don’t have someone selling in your business is costing you.

And I get it – sales can be nerve-wracking. I’m often asked, “Misty, what if they don’t buy?” To that question, the answer is simple: You ask someone else. Sales isn’t about convincing everyone to buy. It’s about showing up, having the conversation, and presenting the offer. To have a successful sales experience, make sure you have a sales process in place with scripts you can follow. Then, just see what results you get. 

Just remember, clients are looking for simple. So do your best to keep your offers and sales pitches as streamlined as possible to create a positive sales experience.


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