5 Mistakes to Avoid in Business and Personal Branding

5 Mistakes to Avoid in Business and Personal Branding

I started my first business about 8 years ago and it was hands down the best decision I could’ve ever made at that time. However, that doesn’t mean it was easy, and it certainly wasn’t glamorous. I struggled a lot my first few years at it. There were times I didn’t have money for bills, rent or gas for my car, but I believed in what I was doing, and that kept pushing me forward.

No matter if you’ve been in business for 10 years or 10 days, you will encounter some challenges that will make you second guess yourself. Believe me, I’ve been through. The key is to learn from those challenges and allow them to make you better. Today I want to share with you some of the mistakes I made starting out in hopes that you will avoid these pitfalls.

 

1. Don’t live in a shell

When I first got started in business, I stayed locked away in my home office for 12 hours a day doing my work. On one hand it was good that I was actually grinding getting work done, but on the other hand it created far worse effects of loneliness and shyness. It wasn’t until I started getting out, networking and building my personal brand (in person) that I experienced true success. You can’t stay to yourself. You must share your message to the world through video, social media and networking.

 

2. Don’t forget about the business side

This is where I believe most personal brands and businesses fail the most. Personal branding isn’t all about being in front of a camera, having nice photos, have a 10,000 IG followers and and being on stage. There is a business side to branding that most people neglect to address. If you are to succeed with your brand, there are business processes and systems you must have in place in order for the branding machine to work and actually make money. Things like lead captures, sales cycles, financial reporting and business operations. The rookie mistake is to ignore all the boring business-related stuff and go for the low-hanging fruit. Invest in your company, not just your persona.

 

3. Don’t focus all your attention on the outside

What I mean by that is: there’s more to being a brand that what is SEEN. Don’t be the 19 year old life coach. Don’t be the person who has NO EXPERIENCE in the very thing they call themselves an expert in. The harsh reality is not everyone should be a public figure. If you’re recently getting started in your field, don’t try to brand yourself. [ctt title=”Spend 3-5 years hustling, grinding, learning and gaining real life and business experience. ” tweet=”Spend 3-5 years hustling, grinding, learning and gaining real life and business experience. @cortneyssargent” coverup=”mf1Tn”]

That’s going DEEP. If a tree didn’t have roots several feet into the soil, it doesn’t matter how beautiful the branches are, it will soon fall to the ground and die. Don’t focus all your attention on the glamorous life of a public figure/personal brand. Go deep and BECOME the expert you say you are. If you already have the experience, great- keep honing your craft and becoming better.

 

4. Don’t be afraid of the small team

No matter how large a company may be today, it had a small start. No matter how big of a celebrity someone is, there was a time when they were considered a “nobody”. Your biggest mistake as an emerging entrepreneur and business professional is despising the days of small beginnings. If you have a team of 3, embrace it. Don’t feel the need to inflate things and make yourself or your business seem bigger or more than what it is. From my experience, the “little guys” come out on top more than you may expect. [ctt title=”It’s not about how big your team is, it’s about how well you can execute the mission. Quality over quantity.” tweet=”It’s not about how big your team is, it’s about how well you can execute the mission. Quality over quantity.” coverup=”dZG19″]

 

5. Don’t think you can do it all yourself

There was a time when I thought I didn’t need anyone’s help because I was superman, when in reality I was only Clark Kent, the nerdy guy with glasses. And, it was my downfall. I had a hard time relying on people until I got tired of hitting that brick wall. I started delegating and investing. It’s important to invest in your business because when you do, you’re investing in yourself. It takes time, money, people and sacrifices to become an well-established brand. Don’t sell yourself short by not investing.


Leave a comment and let me know which of these stood out to you and which of these do you need to work on?

75 Secrets to Business Startup

Don’t let your startup dreams die because you’re overwhelmed or unsure of what’s really involved in getting started. Entrepreneur.com has simplified things for you by going straight to the experts to find out their top 75 tips for startup success, so you can master the process step by step.

#1 – 5: Writing Your Business Plan
A solid plan can help you start off strong and stay that way.

#6 – 10: Finding Your Target Audience
Choose your target customer, then take aim in the right direction.

#11 – 15: Choosing a Name
Here’s how to choose your handle with care.

#16 – 19: Should You Incorporate?
Select the right legal structure for your company’s operations.

#20 – 24: Finding Advisors
Tea up with advisors who are willing and able to help.

#25 – 30: Searching for Funding
Don’t let lack of funding put the brakes on your startup.

#31 – 35: Finding a Location
The right location increases your odds of winning the business game.

#36 – 43: Equipping Your Business
Set up your startup with the right tech tools.

#44 – 49: Protecting Your New Business
Minimize your risk with business insurance.

#50 – 54: Hiring Smart
Invest in your business’s future by hiring well.

#55 – 59: Getting the Word Out
How you spread the word is as important as the word itself.

#60 – 65: Selling Like a Pro
Get out there and show ’em what you’ve got–literally.

#66 – 70: Managing Your Business Finances
Money is the lifeblood of your business, so keep close tabs on it.

#72 – 75: Smart Tax Tips
Doing taxes right can save you money in the long run.

Start a Business With No Money

Anyone can start almost any business with no money. All you need is the right idea, a few basic principles to follow and a dead-on focus that leads to success. In this business development guide, we’re going to give you some tips, advice and some guidelines that will help you start the business you’ve always wanted to or just make some extra money from your favorite hobby.

1. Identify your passion or idea. All of us have passions and ideas. We were all given some sort of gift, talent, skill or idea. Believe it or not, but that thing can actually make you money, and possibly rich. So, what is that thing you’re passionate about? The thing people always ask you to do. The thing that when you do it, it makes you feel the happiest. The thing that you will do for free? Whatever your answer is, that is the thing that can take you to your wealthy place.

2. Eliminate expenses. Now that you’ve figured out what your passion/idea is, the next step is to figure out what the expenses are and find ways to eliminate them. With any business launch or operation, there will be expenses; that’s inevitable. If you can not eliminate the expenses, then you can not start a business with no money. However, there is an alternative, which is investors. If someone invests in your business, you won’t have to pay for anything yourself. So, to a certain extent this method is still considered starting a business with no money. (it’s just not your money)

3. Make the business pay for itself. The number one key to truly starting a business with no money is figuring out ways to make the business pay for itself. If you can figure that out, then you won’t have to pay for anything out of your pocket, or anyone else’s (including loans). Nine times out of ten there is at least one way that any business can pay for itself.

4. Write the vision and make it plain. It is extremely vital that you create a business plan. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate plan that has yearly financial projections and investment proposals. It just needs to be something where you can see where you want your business to go. Holding something in your mind and writing it down is two different things and yields two different results. Writing allows creative ideas to flow. When you write down your thoughts, they become more clear and you’re able to see the end in the beginning. This also allows for better planning. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

5. Re-evaluate and invest. After the business has started making money, take a step back and re-evaluate it. Is it going where you wanted it to go? Are your time investments equalling the return of business that you’re receiving? If so, continue to more forward and invest money back into the business. At this point you may want to form your business as a company. In that case, you will need to register with your city and/or state to get a business license and get an Employee ID number and/or Sales Tax number. In setting up a company, there can be a lot of “red tape”, so make sure that you cross all of your “t’s” and dot all of your “i’s”.