Overnight success? Hardly!

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But I am booked up through June 2019!

All consultations for June have been booked and I even have a new client scheduled to start in July!!!

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How did this happen? Am I an overnight success...HARDLY….grit, determination, motivation and the support of my amazing network- YOU!

It’s not easy starting a business and yes I have wanted to quit, a few times.

They say the first 5 years will make you or break you. I am heading into year 5 and I am finally seeing the bigger picture; creating a sustainable and scalable business.

When I started my business in 2014, my direction was all over the place. I hadn't found my niche, because I was still finding my feet in “owning a business”. There was so much to learn. I hadn’t taken a class on how to be an entrepreneur and truth be told I NEVER wanted to be one!

I became one out of necessity. You see my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimers and as the disease progressed it became clear to me that I couldn't work a traditional 9-5 to job, because I wanted to be there to take care of her and be her advocate. So I quit my DREAM job in La Jolla California where I had a big office, view of the ocean, lunch on site, great colleagues and several perks; (like swimming in a pool at lunch or going for a run). I walked away from it all to care for my mom.

I went broke, I struggled and I don’t regret it at all. I had 2 wonderful years with my mom, spending time with her, being her advocate and voice (she stopped talking about 9 months before she passed).

So when I see posts that paint a picture of making 6 figures in 6 months, I laugh. That isn’t the typical journey for an entrepreneur. There is no magic formula that translates to instant success.

Some people do achieve success earlier than 5 years, others take longer. Just remember, this is your journey- not everyone else's.

I’ve learned a lot along the way. I’ve made a ton of mistakes and I learn from each of them. I’ve felt like quitting and I felt on top of the world- all in the same week!

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Do I have all the answers figured out? NO, and I don't think I ever will, because the industry I am in is always changing, which means I am always learning and growing and I like that! But I did learn a few things in my first 5 years.

Here are 5 things you shouldn’t do when starting a business.

  1. Don’t buy every program you see advertised; online courses, apps, programs, etc. I made this mistake (okay I might still buy a lot of apps/programs. I might have an addiction to them- you can check out my toolkit here)

  2. Don’t over-network: I thought I had to go to every networking event to get my name out. What I did learn is to figure out quickly which events were a good match. Also, don’t be afraid to stop going to one that was a good fit when you started your business, but no longer serves you because you have outgrown them. It happens. Move on. Quit wasting your time.

  3. Don’t hire the first coach that you have seen on a stage, True story, I hired the first coach I saw speak. My advice, talk to 3 coaches. Interview them, ask if you can speak to clients or past clients. Do your research. Don’t get caught up in the fluff!

  4. Research your company name. Don’t get stuck with a name you can’t copyright or grow with. You might not be thinking that you need to protect your company name, but let me tell you from personal experience you do, (that’s a longer story to tell later)!

  5. Don’t quit your day job, unless you have a stack of cash in the bank. Seriously, it takes money to start a business, and time.Time to figure it all out. I would advise anyone to start your side hustle while working. Figure out your revenue streams, test them and tweak them. While I was making money, I wasn't making enough to replace my decent salary with benefits, retirement and other perks.

I would love to hear what your advice is to those who are starting a business or have only been in business a few years.

What mistake(s) can you share to help others navigate this path of Entrepreneurship?

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Mary Fain Brandt

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