3 Things I Wish I Had Done Differently When I Started My Business

Have you ever looked back at the journey your business has taken and wished you knew in the beginning the stuff you know now? Or maybe you’re just getting started as an entrepreneur and are looking to make the fewest mistakes possible?

 

For most of my adult life I have been an entrepreneur at heart.  Back in University I started and ran a very small printing company from my boyfriends basement. I had bought a little stamping machine and would stamp out concert tickets and business cards for various events and businesses. I called it University Printers. It basically funded our party budget and was my first introduction to entrepreneurship and sales. I later went on to create a very successful career employed by various companies, climbing the corporate ladder. It came to a crashing halt right when I had almost reached the top as the President and COO of a high tech company, reporting to the CEO.

I worked for a year with no pay after the market crash, trying to salvage what was left of the devastated high tech market and finally had to give in and shut the company down. It was hard seeing so many people lose their jobs and investors lose money.  I had to get back to work, taking a job as the VP of Tax ( I’m a CPA) thinking that would be a pretty stable way to work out the rest of my career. Simultaneously, I opened a gym with my then partner and an online fitness equipment ecommerce store.  This was right around the time that I joined the Network Marketing Industry. Looking back now on my 10 year stint in the industry there are a few things that I would have done very differently when I started my Network Marketing business:

I remember when my upline at the time approached me about Network Marketing.  I really didn’t know too much about the industry and as she explained the concept of growing a team and passive income, just by having people share some product, I thought the concept was brilliant. I mean how hard can it be to share with a few people I knew and naturally they would do the same, right?

The same day that my upline approached me I said yes.  It was a no brainer. I started sharing the products with the people in my circle.  Family, friends, gym members.  I sold alot of product, mostly because I had a good source of leads….the people walking through my gym doors.  But when It came down to other people “sharing”  I was really getting nowhere.  My friends and family were not interested at all and my gym members, though my intentions to help them were great, were really in my gym only to get fit, not to do a business.  Some of the members started to criticize me and because of the risk I faced of damaging the gym membership, I pulled back from promoting my opportunity.

Pulling back meant I had no leads, fewer people to talk to. I was stuck in my business and wondered, what the heck. I had built successful businesses before, why couldn’t I do this.

Well looking back now, 10 years later it’s apparent.  I had no skill.  I didn’t know how to build a team, recruit or sell a vision. I also didn’t know how to find the right people to talk to and that meant as people were, over time, cancelling their autoship like they do, my income kept going down and my Network Marketing business was drying up. If I had to start over I would have done a little more research. Talked to other successful Network Marketers. Educated myself about the industry and then did an inventory of my own skills to see what I needed to learn and focus on.

 

 

My upline told me to go out and talk to everyone I knew about my opportunity and in so doing I would create my team and my empire. I believed her. I believed the seven figure earners I saw on stage.  Go tell 2 people and they will tell two people. It was easy to understand. I think thats why they teach it like that. It looks so easy but but’s deceptive. Not one single person on my friends list wanted to build. Not one. And once I had talked to them all I didn’t know what else to do.

I hired a mentor because I thought that my problem was in my head. My mindset. That must be it! I paid this guy a fortune to tell me that I was getting in my own way and had to let go of some crap from my past.  Ok I thought….maybe it was me. But really? I am smart, driven, have created successful businesses before. Why not now?

I decided I needed more people to talk to. That was it! They kept telling me talk to more people, talk to more people.  So me being me decided I was going to talk to more people…..way more people.

I started three meetups in the city. I was meeting about 200 new people a month. I would collect their business cards, call them up, prospect them, if it sounded like they had even the remotest interest in what I was doing I would have coffee with them. Sad part was it was a ton of effort and expense to do this. I was rarely home and worst of all I only recruited one person from the whole process who ended up doing nothing.

I held home parties by inviting all my neighbours over. Again, not much luck there. A few product users but that’s about it.

I bought leads, posted on craigslist, left flyers in bathroom stalls, left interest cards in motivation books at Chapters and Barnes and Noble, left sticky notes at the gas pump for income from home opportunities, ran google ads to my products for which my company threatened to shut me down for. Oh there is more but I won’t bore you.

I did it all.

It didn’t work.

I’m tenacious. I had to find a way.  I hired another mentor. This was a marketing guy who said this to me:

You are talking to the wrong people.

I was discouraged. I did everything I was told to do and more. I went over and above what my upline and anyone in my company told me to do and I was still getting nowhere.  So I asked where do I find the right people?

And very simply he answered…well you have to figure out where they are and then target them with some content that will help them solve a problem.  Thats the starting point of creating a relationship with the right people.

And in that moment I thought….Holy Crap! All these years I have just been literally spraying my opportunity everywhere and no one was saying yes because they just weren’t interested. They weren’t entrepreneurial. They weren’t like me. I had wasted so much freakin’ time on all the wrong people.

If I had to do it all over again, I would have showed my friends and family what I had…once. Just to see if they had any need, interest, or want for my product or extra income. After that I would have left them alone and gone on to attract targeted leads. The right kind of people. So I only spoke to people who were truly interested in either my product or opportunity and I no longer wasted my time. In short I would have learned real marketing.

Long story short, after learning real marketing I retired myself from the traditional workforce.

Before I really learned how to attract the right kind of people to me through marketing, the company I was with at the time was starting to teach some social media stuff. once again I was totally naive.  They taught us to go onto social media, it was Facebook at the the time, and post some things based on their posting schedule. A certain number of times a week we would do a product post, then a post about joining our team to make extra income, and smattered in there were some lifestyle posts.

I thought…..brilliant! This is marketing. I can do this.

So off I went painstakingly creating what I thought were the best looking posts around. I also used some of the posts that the company had given us.  Free shipping, free enrolment, make extra income, lose 10 pounds.  WOW I was gonna hit it big now and I wouldn’t have to run around literally to meet people.

Wrong Again.

I must admit I had a handful of people ask me about losing weight but that was not going to build my empire.

I soon came to realize that the people on my friends list on social media are also UNTARGETED. They are really just some miscellaneous people that I’ve known over the years and some I didn’t know who had sent me friend requests. I had no idea whether they had any need, interest, or desire for what I was selling or joining my team. Just like my meetup strategy, there were no qualified people so I was not getting results.

Soon after this realization I had to give myself a shake. Seriously. How do real businesses get people to buy?  How do companies, deliver ads in front of me with offers that I am interested in.  It was right around the time I was looking to book a trip. I had been online looking for some flights and the next day, wow, everywhere I looked on the internet were seat sales for the exact place I wanted to go to.  This was NOT fluke. I DECIDED I needed to learn how to do that.

I decided to learn how to target entrepreneurs with content, with offers, so that they would reach out to me and ask if they could join my team.  This concept I later learned is called Attraction Marketing and it is precisely what allowed me to go from struggle to running my business full time from home. I have left corporate forever!

I could write forever on the various strategies I use to attract great people to me who want to join my business, but here is one I think you might enjoy.

Forget About Your Facebook Profile For A Minute, and Think BUSINESS PAGE.

Facebook has a really cool tool and it’s the one place I leverage every single day. It’s my Facebook business page.  Now remember I said that your friends list on facebook is pretty much useless for business because it’s untargeted?  Well a Business Page, when done right, can be highly targeted.  Let’s say that you want to attract other entrepreneurs to you so that they join your team. Entrepreneurs are the right kind of people to join because they actually want to be in business, they are open to opportunity and many of them are currently looking to join one,

Well there is a really cool way to ask other entrepreneurs to LIKE your business page and it’s automated. It’s called a LIKES campaign. Essentially what happens is a posted gets delivered in front of targeted people, in this example entrepreneurs, asking them to like your page with the promise that they will receive something when they do. It could be valuable business tips, inspiration on how to grow a business etc.  The entrepreneurs then “like” your page.  Now through a strategy of re-targeting, every week we post tips, offers, inspiration just in front of the people who like your page…the targeted entrepreneurs who have already put up their hand to see your content by ” liking” your page.  This whole process can be automated so that you don’t have to do a ton of work. ( For those of you who know me I am ALL about automation). Now when you think about what’s happening when you do this,  The targeted people who LIKE your page are seeing your stuff over and over again. They are seeing your posts, your offers, they come to recognize you and that constant presence is what builds trust.  And guess what, when people see you often enough, they buy.

This can all happen on autoplilot using a business page strategy similar to this.

This is one small but powerful strategy that real marketers use to recruit people into their teams and sell products.  It works because the people you are delivering content to are targeted. They are the right kind of people because they are interested in having a home based business.

You end up not wasting time talking to the wrong people and recruiting way more great people who actually stick around on your team because they asked to be there in the first place!

Now if you want to learn more about attraction marketing you can grab the very same ebook I read when I started. It  outlines the whole thing for you. I will warn you, it will cost you $27.00 but I guarantee it will be the best $27.oo you have ever spent. You can grab it HERE

I want to close with one bonus tip.

 

When I started my network marketing business I didn’t really realize how big a business it could be. Yes I did see the top earners but though I worked hard for some reason for many years I didn’t work smart.  I wanted to earn a six figure income from my home based business.  That would have made me happy because it would replace my corporate income and I could be home.  If I projected that income over the time left in my career, I was looking at a $2million plus business.  ( $100K X 20 more years of work).  Looking back now was investing in my education worth a $2 million+ plus business? Absolutely!  My only regret is that for years I didn’t make smart decisions. I just followed my upline and failed like everyone else that was failing.  It wasn’t until I put real value in my business and upleveled my skills that it all came together.

 

Till next week!

Ruth xo

PS are you part of my free marketing community on Facebook? You can grab my free tips and marketing support inside the group here

 

 

 

 

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