- Jen Glantz is an entrepreneur and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire.
- She sat down with a success coach to identify the mistakes she’s making as a small business owner.
- Mistakes include saying yes to everything and not having a clearly defined business strategy.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for the last seven years. There are a lot of perks that come from running your own business and working by yourself: You not only get to make your own schedule and follow your own productivity hacks, but you also get to be the brains behind scaling your operations.
For a while, I enjoyed sitting alone and brainstorming ways to grow my business. But in the past two years, I’ve felt stuck and exhausted due to the stress of the pandemic and new habits I’ve formed, which include working longer hours than usual and feeling pressured to say yes to every client or opportunity, as a way to make up for income lost during the pandemic.
In an effort to get back on track for the second half of 2022, I sat down with Amie Devero, a leadership, performance, and executive coach. She identified three key mistakes I’m making every single day as an entrepreneur, and what I can do to fix them.
Don’t let your email and phone run your day
When I explained how often I check my email and how I have my phone by my side all day long, Devero said that’s the first big mistake I’m making as an entrepreneur.
Devero recommends only checking messages at fixed times. To get stricter about this, I implemented pre-scheduled email and phone checks into my calendar and turned off my email and text alerts during the day.
The same applies to social media distractions. I struggle with constantly checking my latest notifications, so I’ve started using a browser that temporarily disables access to those websites.
Solidify a business strategy
As my business has expanded, I’ve found myself pulled in a lot of different directions. This left me feeling stuck and not knowing how to scale and grow in 2022. Devero said my mistake is not having a solid business strategy.
“Small business people tend to only work on tactics,” Devero told me. “They never sit down and take the time to craft a visionary goal and then consider the variety of possible ways they could achieve it.”
To do this, Devero suggests I take a step back and spend time determining the goals I want to work toward in 2022. To figure out a strategy to reach these goals, I need to gather information on my competition, pinpoint what my challenges and assets are, and define what my passion is as an entrepreneur and what makes my offerings distinct.
I carved out three days in June to create a strategy before Q3, and it helped so much.
You don’t have to say yes to everything
One of my biggest flaws as an entrepreneur is saying yes to everything, from speaking engagements to mentoring sessions. This eats up my focus and time.
“There are things that you believe are critically important to growing your business, and then there are things that are not,” Devero said.
Opportunities are everywhere, but Devero reminded me that I only have so much time. That’s why it’s critical to know what to focus on.
To figure out my priorities, Devero recommends looking back at my current strategy and seeing what’s in line with my goals right now. If it doesn’t fit my present focus, she said I should say no to it and perhaps revisit it later on.
Since I have a history of saying yes to too many things, I now know to run every opportunity that comes my way through a review process where I can determine whether it pulls me away from my strategy or fits right in.
Consulting with a business coach was not only a great way to get clarity on the deep-rooted daily mistakes I was making, but also to find actionable solutions. If you don’t want to work with a business coach but you still want to figure out what work habits or business goals you can improve on, take inventory of how you spend your time each week and review what worked and what didn’t during the first half of the year.
That way, you can get started making changes for the future.