Want a single guide that lays out the step-by-step of an entrepreneur’s journey? This is it.
Because after trying and failing and trying and failing, I know it’s so much easier to have a guide than it is to make things up, or try 10 things before you find the one that works.
This is why I wrote and published my first book, The Fire Path: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Your Online Business: because I’ve failed at entrepreneurship before, and I have a lot of lessons learned that I know can help others on their own journey.
I promise I didn’t plan this… but how cool is it that Kate’s Take hits 100 episodes at the same time that EntrepreneurOnFire hits 1,000 episodes?!
John has clearly been doing the whole podcasting thing a bit longer than me, but I’m so excited to celebrate this milestone with you and to share the step-by-step of an entrepreneur’s journey, which is essentially a roundup of some of the biggest lessons learned (and shared) here on Kate’s Take.
Let’s start at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey…
You’ve just decided that entrepreneurship is definitely for you.
Whether you’re diving in head first and becoming a full time entrepreneur, or you’re doing a little sidepreneur hustle, you’re likely looking to others in your industry or niche who have already paved the way so you can learn what the very first steps on your journey should be.
But before you do anything else, it’s incredibly helpful to understand how you can leverage the experiences and skills you already have in your entrepreneurial venture (I talk about this topic in an interview I did with Jill & Josh Stanton of ScrewTheNineToFive).
The Foundation: Creating your business
Once you’ve identified the experiences and skills you already have, and how you might leverage those in your entrepreneurial venture, it’s time to focus on mindset and the most important thing you should know when you’re first starting out on your entrepreneurial journey: what’s at stake for you.
Fear and the imposter syndrome WILL try to hold you back and bring you down.
You will question whether or not this is the “right thing” to do; whether anyone will care what you have to say; and even question what makes YOU qualified to start a business.
Don’t let fear hold you back. I can promise you what’s at stake is much bigger than any fear you’ll come up against.
Steps for creating a strong foundation for your business
- How do you come up with a viable business idea?
- What about finding your perfect customer, or your avatar? and
- How on earth are you supposed to niche down even further than you already have?
Ramit Sethi shares 30 Proven Business Ideas here if you’re having a really hard time coming up with anything. Challenge yourself to really look for that overlap between the things you love doing (are passionate about) and the things you already have experience doing.
Another big part of your journey, especially when you’re first starting out, is knowing you’re not alone. This requires taking purposeful action to surround ourselves with like-minded people who you can support, and who in turn can help support you on your journey, too.
It’s also important to understand how integral building relationships and networking will be throughout your entire journey. Without strong relationships, you’re going to have a very difficult time growing your business.
If it were easy, everyone would do it
That’s the truth!
Creating and growing a business takes time, and anyone who tells you that “overnight success” is attainable is lying to you.
Every day of your life has given you unique experiences that, when identified, embraced and leveraged, make up a part of your journey.
The pivots you’ve chosen have brought you to where you are right now, and it’s through enjoying every step of the way you will find fulfillment (at least this has been my experience).
Success is not attained when a goal is achieved – it’s alive in every step that got you there.
If you want to hear more on the topic of success, I talk a good deal about how my definition of success has changed over the past several years in an interview I did with Jen and Danielle over at She Percolates.
But back to the whole “overnight” thing: Yes, our growth here at EntrepreneurOnFire has happened quite quickly; but while the EOFire Journey isn’t that old, the experiences and knowledge that John and I bring to the table (along with a little luck here and there) is what has made it possible – and that’s nearly 66 years of combined life experience.
Because without every day before today, we wouldn’t be where we are now.
EntrepreneurOnFire didn’t “make it” overnight; we were in the red for nearly one year when we first launched our business, and it took a whole lot of making sacrifices, hard work, dedication and FOCUS to get ourselves into the green.
Growing your audience (and business): What it really takes
Once you’ve laid a strong foundation for your business – you’ve embraced the mindset of an entrepreneur, and you’ve built relationships and you’ve met your avatar – it’s time to start creating the content and value that will actually help you grow your audience (and your business).
Where do you start with building a solid platform?…
We put together a pretty epic post on how to set up your blog in minutes that will have you off to races in no time!
Wait a second… what about making money when I’m first starting out?! I’ve got bills to pay!
Oh – sorry about that… Here are a few tips for monetizing while you’re building your platform :)
Now like I was saying… once you’ve started building your platform, a key ingredient for gaining the traction and momentum that will help you grow your audience is consistency.
I’ve also found several other tactics and strategies along the way that – when implemented correctly – WILL help you grow your audience.
Back to your actual content: In order to determine what type of content you’ll create, and whether or not your audience will actually find it to be valuable, you have to just start.
This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon
Just start putting something out there, and then listen. You have to DO THE WORK in order to see results.
…And always practice patience along the way. This is not a sprint, it’s a marathon.
Something that helped me when I was first starting to discover what type of content resonated with my readers, and how I could most effectively deliver that content on a consistent basis, was using a content calendar.
I also realized the power of repurposing content, which has helped me reach more people on more platforms than would have ever been possible otherwise.
I also leveraged my skills as a project planner – and as someone who is very adamant about productivity and efficiency – to create several systems and processes to help our team stay organized AND to prevent me from becoming completely overwhelmed with everything I wanted to accomplish.
Building your team and monetizing your business
Now that you’ve started building your platform and you have a consistent content schedule so you can create valuable content to grow your audience, you might be thinking about hiring a team.
Without a team to help support your business, you’re going to have a very hard time growing it, and so it’s important to find ways to take yourself out of your business so you can work ON it instead of IN it.
Because once you build a team to help support the day to day, you can start focusing on what products and services to create for your audience in order to start monetizing.
Quick note here: by far – the most effective way we’ve found to monetize in our business – is through creating online courses. If you’re interested in starting your own online course, but just aren’t sure where to start, check out this free cheat sheet: 7 Proven steps to creating, promoting & profiting from online courses.
Our biggest lesson learned when it comes to monetizing and scaling your business? Geeezzz… a single lesson is a lot of pressure – so I’m going to share two:
But what about…?!
I know! I’m totally feeling like I’ve left a few things out, too… That’s why I put together a few other resources below that I know can help you on your entrepreneurial journey.
Creating habits as an entrepreneur has been such a game changer for me, which is why I made it a point to gather the Top 7 habits that I believe contribute to most entrepreneurs success.
I didn’t make this stuff up – this post is a roundup of what we’ve heard from over 500 entrepreneurs on the EntrepreneurOnFire podcast.
In this post I outline 7 steps you can take today in order to become a better leader.
Leadership is so important in today’s online space. With so much content and so many experts to choose from, being a great leader is one thing that will set you apart from all the noise.
Building (and maintaining) a strong email list
List building is incredibly important to your success as an online business owner because it’s one of the very few direct connections you have to your audience that you own.
Building an email list is not an option – it’s required if you want to create a successful online business – which is exactly why I wrote a series of posts on the topic of building your list, maintaining your list and engaging your list.
My top recommendation for an email provider? Well, if you’re just getting started out and looking to bootstrap it, MailChimp and AWeber are both great. If you’re ready to scale and build a marketing machine, then it’s Infusionsoft all the way :)
We will all find ourselves in The Dip: that space where you wonder if continuing to dig is worth it.
Should you just drop the project (or the entire business) and move on, or is it time to make a pivot so you can correct course and reach your goal?
In this post I give you an example of how I approached a major project in our business, what I did to pivot, and eventually, how I decided it was time to move on.
I love to read, but there are some many incredible business books out there that it’s tough to know where to even start.
You don’t have to take it from me: take it from over 500 of today’s top entrepreneurs: this list of the Top 15 Business Books came straight from the many inspiring and successful entrepreneurs we’ve had on the EntrepreneurOnFire podcast.
Thank you Kate’s Take Listeners!
I can’t thank you enough for your incredible support. Kate’s Take would not exist without you, and making it to 100 episodes is a HUGE milestone!
I hope the step-by-step of an entrepreneur’s journey provided you with a single guide you can reference any time you’re looking for solid direction.
And don’t forget!
Connect with Kate, Content Creator at EntrepreneurOnFire: