Looking back over the past few months since I started working online from home, it has really struck me how much I have grown and changed! My view of this business has done a paradigm shift.
I am sitting here right now drinking my first cup of coffee this morning, making my plans for the day, and it just struck me like a bolt out of the sky how completely DIFFERENT those plans are from when I first started this business.
All for the better, I can assure you!
Anyway, I thought I’d share with you the mistakes I made in the beginning…(I’m not too proud to admit, I made plenty of them!) as well as mistakes that I thankfully avoided due to learning vicariously through others!
This post was inspired by Digital Geckos! By giving you this list today, I’m hoping that you can learn vicariously through me and avoid these same pitfalls!
Also, read Skills Of A Freelance Digital Marketer
Mistake #1: Thinking You are a Salesperson
You are SO not.
So many people, when they first start out working online from home, think that they have to SELL stuff.
This is very unfortunate because it is NOT true!
I had the same notion when I first started in this business and it took a little while for me to realize that I was misguided because, in the beginning, I was completely on my own without a good mentor.
I initially got interested in working from home because I wanted (no, really, NEEDED) the flexibility it offered.
However, I always thought that the only way I could make any money at this was to sell stuff. Nobody had ever taught me any different!
So, even though I really despise selling, I was between a rock and a hard place and I am also a really determined (nice way to say stubborn) person…therefore I just gritted my teeth and got started.
So….off I went, posting my ads and naively blasting out “Buy this!” “Buy that!” “Buy, Buy, Buy!” all day long! Ugh.
It was not MY job to do that, little did I know at the time.
That, my friends, is the COMPANY’S job!
It is THEIR product, and THEY are the ones who know best how to sell it!
OUR job is simply to make people aware that the company and the product even exist! THAT IS ALL.
Most people massively over-complicate this process. They try to take on the responsibility that IS NOT and SHOULD NOT be theirs….i.e. Selling.
WE ARE THE CONDUIT!
Our job is simply to channel people TO the product. They will then make up their own mind because we have respected their intelligence to be able to do that.
As long as we are representing a good company with a quality product or service, we WILL get our paycheck because the people will discover FOR THEMSELVES that they need the product WITHOUT us cramming it down their throat.
This allows us to maintain our dignity, never mind greatly simplifying our lives!
Mistake #2: Shiny Object Syndrome
This is the next biggest pitfall, in my opinion, for someone who starts out in this business without any help.
It is an easy trap to fall into for 2 reasons.
First of all, chances are, you’re already making Mistake #1 and it’s not working really well for you, is it?
So, then what?
You’re not having much if any, luck with Company A so you decide to try Company B….and since you still don’t have a good coach, Company B isn’t likely to work out any better for you so you join Company C….and on, and on.
Or….perhaps, you’ve had a little bit of success with Company A and you’ve done a bit of your own homework and discovered that many people who are successful at working online from home have multiple streams of income.
So, you’re thinking to yourself, “Man, that sounds great!
I can have money coming in from this, and this, and this!” Unfortunately, what ends up happening is that you spread yourself too thin and you can’t do a good enough job on any of those streams to make them work.
Yes, it IS true that many successful people DO have multiple streams of income…HOWEVER….they didn’t get them all up and running at the same time!
These are EXPERIENCED marketers who add things in OVERTIME and only when they have pretty much gotten their main line of business established to the point where it almost runs itself.
If you are just starting out, there are just simply not enough hours in the day to try to figure out how to make more than one thing work at a time. Trust me.
Mistake #3: Not being transparent
This is a very common and very easy mistake to make.
Let me explain why.
It is human nature to not want others to know that we are new at something and don’t really know much about it yet.
Mainly, there are 2 reasons: Fear and pride/ego.
When I first started, I was terrified that people would immediately recognize that I was a newbie and that they would not want to do business with somebody who was as wet behind the ears as I was!
It was a matter of credibility…..
I had no results to show yet and couldn’t prove to people that I knew what I was doing, so why on earth would they want to align themselves with me?
It boiled down to a self-confidence issue.
Let me tell you….NOBODY CARES. Really.
I’ll tell you what people DO care about, and what REALLY WILL HURT YOUR CREDIBILITY…and that is not being honest with people.
I see this every day when I use one of the social media strategies that I like to use to build relationships with my prospective team members.
I will go on Facebook, for example, and send private messages to people in online marketing groups to make connections and a conversation with someone will go something like this:
Me: So, how have things been going for you with this company so far? I see your posts on the such-and-such group and it looks like you’re going like gangbusters!
Them: Well, actually, it’s not going so great. I just started 2 weeks ago and haven’t made a dime yet.
Me: But you just posted 10 minutes ago saying “Learn how I made $50K last month!”…..
See what I’m saying?
This business is first and foremost about building trust and building relationships, and the quickest way to lose trust and respect is to, basically, lie.
Don’t mislead people in the misguided attempt to make yourself look like more of an expert than you are!
People will actually respect you and trust you a whole lot more if you openly admit that you are a beginner, but they can see that you clearly know where you are going with this and have a solid plan in place!
If they see that your business plan is well thought out and makes sense, they will align themselves with you! If not, oh well….their loss…and guess what, there are many more people out there and in the end, you still have your integrity!
So, the bottom line is this…
I have come a long, long way in a few short months, and this is what I have learned and put in place for myself:
I have the best mentor a person could ask for. This is critical for my sanity.
Through this mentor, I have been able to find the ONE company that is a perfect fit for me, and I am now devoting 100% of my time and energy into working with that company.
Boiling everything down to these 2 very basic things has drastically reduced my stress level, allowed me to sharpen my focus and really maximize my productivity.
I am still working a lot of hours at this point….
I don’t expect that will really change for at least a few more months yet…but at least now, my hours are not spent in a tangled, frustrating mess of not knowing why things aren’t working and what do I do next.
I have a very clear blueprint to follow now, and the future looks very bright indeed!
If you would like to be able to share my positive experience, there’s plenty of room on my wagon! Jump on!