I’ve floundered a lot in my business, and each new step forward comes with some growing pains. That said, there are a few things that I’ve learned always lead to success. Let’s travel back in time a few years… It’s 2008. Fringe is IN in a big, unfortunate way, Britney Spears is falling apart, and I’m sharing a studio apartment with three dudes. And because there was no pink anywhere, weheartbeauty.com was born. At the time, I was just trying to find an outlet for my obsession with all things pink and pretty and was not really sure how to start an online business. Heck, I didn’t even know I was starting one! Little did I know, I was taking the first steps towards launching my first successful business.
Over the past ten years, I built up my weheartbeauty brand and launched a custom printable line. Jumping off of my success with WHB, I started weheartbranding to help entrepreneurs maximize their own success. Small Business Besties is the third business I’ve launched, and these days when I look back at the young woman who started a beauty blog I’m honestly amazed to see how much has changed, and how much hasn’t.
Not sure how to start an online business? I wasn’t either. But looking back, there are a few key things you need in order to get started in your new venture.
Build a Success Mentality
Want to know what the #1 killer of new small businesses is? Fear of failure.
So many of us are so scared about trying and failing that we refuse to try at all, preferring to let our dreams stay nice, safe and unreachable in our minds. We tell ourselves that we can’t do that yet, but maybe when the baby is older, maybe when the weather gets better, maybe when…
What about now?
I challenge you to take out a sheet of paper and write down ten positive affirmations about yourself and your business. Start with “I have everything I need to start my successful business right now.”
As an entrepreneur, you need to be your own number one fan. You need to believe in your business, and in yourself. If you don’t, nobody else can.
Find a Killer Idea
Okay, so you now know how awesome you are. Time to find an idea that’s as incredible as you. Chances are, you’ve already got something pretty cool in the works.
To flesh out my ideas, I brainstorm using journaling exercises and free-writing sessions. I seek out my competition and ideal audience online and keep careful notes about what my potential clients need. I run my ideas past my husband and close friends for some gentle feedback, and when I get stuck I reach out to my business mentors for a little extra help.
That brings me to my final point…
A Support Network
No woman is an island. No matter how amazing you are, you can’t do it all alone. If your business is going to succeed, you need support from friends, family and fellow entrepreneurs.
My husband is an incredible source of support. He’s the first person I go to with new ideas, the shoulder I cry on when things get tough and the parent that handles bathtime and bedtime while I wrap up my projects for the day.
I’m blessed with some amazing friends, some of whom are entrepreneurs themselves. Each of them has their own unique perspective to offer, and they’re full of encouragement and helpful advice.
I’m also a huge fan of having peers in the online space. It’s about community, not about competition. Having friends who are in the same stage of business as you is a great way to share ideas, and even frustrations about things. If you’re looking for an amazing group of business owners to connect with, definitely join our exclusive facebook group. It’s a group with much valuable insight while still being a small, tight-knit community!
Having friends and family who will champion you and your success is invaluable. But the most important thing you’ll find in a support network? Mentors. People who have done what you want to do and people who are leaders in the industry you’re trying to be in.
I’ve fostered close relationships with business mentors who are currently achieving the dreams I want to accomplish. These expert entrepreneurs are able to help point me in the right direction and provide invaluable insight on how I can improve my business. Finding a mentor and nuturing that relationship is the most imperaive step in making sure you are on the right track to getting your online business started.
No matter where you are in your business, you can foster a success mindset, refine your amazing idea and reach out to your network for support. I guarantee that if you do, you’ll discover that your goals aren’t quite as far away as you thought.