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You are always just one decision away from correcting any mistake you might make.

Mistakes are not the big problem. Not doing anything about them is what does you and your business great harm. Let’s look at some of the most common ones and the categories they fall into to see what might need to be corrected. (I find it tremendously interesting to see 90% of the mistakes listed have to do with our thinking!)

Lack of clarity

MISTAKE #1: Not being clear about who you really are and why starting your own business is the right choice for you at this time in your life.

Everyone’s life has a purpose. Are you clear on yours?

Starting your own business may have been your dream for a long time or it may be something you’ve just been thrown into due to changing life circumstances. Regardless of how you got here, congratulations on deciding to follow a new and exciting path!

Being a business owner can be a very rewarding experience, if you know who you are, what your strengths are, and why you went into business for yourself. To experience these rewards, you need a specific, detailed plan for making your dreams a reality.

The first critical step is to understand success is not something you achieve; it’s something you are… every day, regardless of your life circumstances.

MISTAKE #2: Not being clear about what success looks like. What do you want and need to receive in exchange for the effort required to create and build your own business?

Building a business takes time and effort.

What success looks like is different for every person who starts a business. For some it is staying small and having more control and freedom, for others it is building a large business that employs many people and can possibly be run by others. For many it is all about building a business, large or small, that can be sold for profit down the road.

Define what you need to take away, when all is said and done, to be fairly compensated for the time, effort and expense you’ll have put into your business. Only then will you be ready to put together a strategic plan for getting where you want to go.

Lack of strategy

MISTAKE #3: Starting a business without having a strategy for building it over time so you are rewarded for your effort in a way that is deeply meaningful to you.

Every successful business needs a plan; not everyone knows how to go about putting such a plan together.

Your business plan supports your long-term goals so think about this aspect next. You may have many great ideas for products and services to offer through your business. But just bringing your ideas to life is not nearly enough.

Build it and they will come is a myth born in Hollywood; your business exists in the real world. There are many ways to enter a market and position a business for growth and each has unique requirements and challenges. What doesn’t work is creating a product or service and expecting it to take on a life of its own.

Also, if you went into business because you wanted more freedom and then the business ends up owning you, it won’t have served your higher purpose or better good well at all. Ultimately, you’ll be left feeling unfulfilled in a way no amount of money can ever make up for.

Having a solid business strategy can keep you from ending up on an unproductive, painful path with a bitter outcome and more debt than you ever thought possible.

Erroneous beliefs

MISTAKE #4: Believing that building a strong brand is something only a big business needs to do.

The smaller your business, the more important a strong brand is to you. And, the stronger your brand, the more powerful and valuable your business is, regardless of size.

Most people think a brand is your look, logo or tagline. SMARTSTART members know the difference.

MISTAKE #5: Believing that the key to online business success is nothing more than mastering the marketing.

A real business requires much more than great marketing. If you don’t have all the other critical components working equally well, prepare yourself now because your business is doomed to failure and will be very short lived.

Despite what you may have seen and heard there’s a lot more to it than customers, conversion and content.

MISTAKE #6: Believing that a single product, formula, or system is the direct path to million dollar results.

Distraction is the number one enemy of success! You’re bombarded daily by messages pushing this, that and the other thing as your life’s golden ticket. Don’t be fooled.

Excellence is the direct path to million dollar results. Everything else is secondary. And excellence, like success, is something you are, not something you buy.

MISTAKE #7: Believing that luck is the difference between an entrepreneur who is successful and one who isn’t.

There is no such thing as luck. There is only preparation meeting opportunity. Preparation requires discipline; opportunity requires observation and persistence. (Sometimes timing also plays a role.)

MISTAKE #8: Believing that an online business requires little effort, skill, specialized knowledge, or time to achieve million dollar results.

If this were really true, there wouldn’t be a market for coaching of any kind in the online marketing world. And everyone would experience massive success instantly. That’s just not the way it works (despite what you’ve read)!

Everything you could possibly need or want to know about running a successful online business is available for free from the internet. But most people prefer (and benefit from) having someone show them the way.

What we do at SMARTSTART is tell you the truth about what it takes to build a solid business. Then we show you how to apply it, practically, to your competitive advantage. If you are serious about your business, we’re serious about helping you create something you’ll be proud to own that serves you well.

MISTAKE #9: Believing that an online business requires little more than outsourcing the work to cheap overseas labour to achieve million dollar results.

You can hire people to do the work for you and you can outsource many things; that part is true. But when you do, you must know how to properly set up and run projects and manage remote teams. You also need to know how to hire, evaluate and motivate team members. Time is money so efficiency and productivity are critical to making a profit.

Even if you decide to have a business where you do everything yourself, and especially if you have others working with or for you, you need to manage work, processes and systems effectively. These are learned skills not inherited ones. And certainly, if you can’t manage your own productivity and effectiveness really well, it isn’t likely you’ll be able to manage others.

At SMARTSTART you’ll learn the best methods, resources, management techniques, and timesavers. You’ll find out what you’ll need, when and how to get involved with others and how to tell if you’re getting your money’s worth.

Nobody likes to waste money on work that has to be done over before it can be used because, if released as is, will harm your professional or brand credibility and damage your business’s reputation. And nobody wants to pay for services that don’t add any value to your bottom line!

MISTAKE #10: Believing that hard work hard is the key to success.

Only 3% of people working hard experience success! And there are a lot of people working hard in that other 97% too.

More important than working hard is working productively and effectively. Doing the right things, at the right time, in the right way. For SMARTSTART members, right way means with less effort, at less cost. Do less; achieve more. That’s our philosophy. And that’s the key to experiencing less stress and more success.