The 5 Mistakes Standing Between You and Your First Million Few entrepreneurs build million dollar businesses but many more would if they shifted how they do business.
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Creating a seven-figure business online was improbable 10 or even just five years ago, but as technology improves globally, there are more seven-figure earners than ever before. The total number of millionaire households reached 9.6 million in 2013, but has topped 10.2 million already in 2015. With the technology, resources, mentorship, research, and information available it's becoming easier than it has in the past. Sadly, most still won't reach the seven figure annual mark.
Why? Learning is not the problem for most people, and lack of information surely isn't the problem, as there is more than ever before. It's the lack of real awareness and consistent study of the right information, mixed with inconsistent execution and implementation, that holds back most back. You don't just listen to something then remember it. You must put those ideas and strategies into consistent practice and repeat those actions until they are habitual and automatic. You must summarize the key ideas, sharpen your perspective, then take more intelligent action. There are a lot of reasons why most won't reach seven figures, but here are the top five.
1. Most focus on perfection, not experiments.
Seeking perfection has lost me more than $100,000 the last couple years. By the time a millionaire has tried and tested eight different experiments without focusing on perfection, most people haven't even gone to market yet. Maybe only two of their experiments worked and were deemed profitable. The point is they weren't paralyzed by perfection, but were driven by testing.
Test all your crazy ideas. No matter how crazy they sound, try them out. Find out which ones work, then optimize how effective they are. Test all variations of that idea. Find out which variation works best. Ideas are nothing until executed and proven.
2. Few thoroughly think things through.
"The more you sweat in peace the less you bleed in war"
One of the biggest missed opportunities for entrepreneurs is not preparing for, or pre-determining what, they want. Truly productive people know the result they are after and maintain acute clarity on it. Armed with this awareness, they reverse engineer this big goal into a series of small and actionable steps that they then put into a one or two page plan of execution. Strategically thinking through your future will prevent mistakes, while increasing your ability to predict. When you're intentional in all you do, you mitigate against risk and can make more educated decisions.
Plan your long-term strategies before you plan your tactics. Strategy shows where you plan on going, who you want to be and what types of clients you want to attract. Tactics show how to get all of your strategy accomplished. You don't have a real strategy if it doesn't pass these two tests: that what you're planning to do really matters to your existing and potential customers; and second, it differentiates you from your competition.
3. Most never learn intelligent delegation.
Getting others to do something as well or better than yourself is one of the hardest aspects of leadership, but necessary if you're going to grow the business past the six-figure mark. Before you strategically delegate and build a team you must understand who you are, and what's most important to you. Once you determine your most important values, put them into writing and operationalize them into company standards. Consistently systemize and internalize those values.
Your team must be value based. If somebody can do something 80 percent as well as you, they should be doing it. When you delegate a task, make sure the person you've hired has clear and defined roles. Most entrepreneurs hire very fast, but fire very slow. It should be the opposite. Hire slow, fire fast.
4. Most are making the wrong trades.
Millionaires realize they will never become wealthy trading time for money. It's OK for awhile when you start, but at some point you have to focus on scaling and leverage. You're fighting an uphill battle if you're trying to make seven figures trading time for money. You won't get to seven figures only doing more of made you six figures.
Focus on the power of leverage and how to create consistent income without trading time for money. There are many possibilities -- investment properties, membership sites, angel investing, building an online empire, partnerships, affiliate marketing, different types of programs, etc. Take some time to really analyze if you're maximizing your time. If you are trading time for money, make 100 percent sure it's an intelligent trade. If you want to make more money, become more valuable. It's as simple as that. Entrepreneurs who understand the power of leveraging and scaling their businesses become millionaires by bringing more value to the marketplace than their competitors.
5. Most are ego focused instead of customer centric.
"How do we decide what's really important to work on? I like to call it the "toothbrush test': do our customers use it as often as you use your toothbrush? I guess that's twice a day. We use Gmail and YouTube much more than twice a day. Those things are amazing."
— Larry Page, CEO Google
People care about what your business can do for them. Most entrepreneurs try to sell their experience and expertise. They believe that people want to pay them for what they know, but people don't. They want to buy a solution or outcome to their problems and desires. They want results. They want to solve their problem and reduce whatever suffering they are going through. They don't care about you.
Do you really understand at a deep level what your customers want? Those at the seven-figure mark have a monomaniacal focus on this. You must realize that the likelihood of the marketplace responding because you want something is non-existant. It's about them, not you. Your customers are marketing geniuses, so make sure you do your due diligence. Find ways to survey them, or talk to them about their needs, wants, desires, passions, concerns etc. Customers want a fun and personal journey through all points of engagement. Do you deliever?
I've had several opportunities to get inside the minds of the richest people on the planet. There are timeless lessons we can learn from. A simple statement, quote or perspective shift can change the game for you. Become aware of what's holding you back from elevating your business to the next level. Adjust your thinking, actions and strategy in accordance to your new vision.
Lastly, execute flawlessly on tactics above and make sure you're in it for the long haul. I'm confident that by doing these things you'll soon see your prospects for a seven-figure business become clearer than they ever have.