It’s not easy to start a new business from the ground up but if you are passionate about it, it’s definitely possible. There are a lot of struggles, and you will make some mistakes along the way. I did. But there is one mistake you should avoid at all cost. The biggest mistake I made as a small business owner.
When people decide to open an online shop such as Etsy sellers, to become full-time bloggers, to start their own private practice, or any type of small business really, they want to do what they are passionate about, what they care about. They have an entrepreneurial mind and they are looking to do what they love for a living.
Mistakes are bound to happen. But millions of entrepreneurs have made mistakes you can learn from.
One of the main one, for instance, is not viewing your endeavor as a true business journey. If you are trying to turn your passion into a money-making entity, you have to view it as a business and not just as something you enjoy doing. In other words, stop viewing it as a passion. It doesn’t mean that you can’t love what you are doing, it means that you have to become an entrepreneur and learn all aspects of it, whether you like it or not. To make a small business work, treat it as is, put the work in, and you will succeed.
You will need to surmount a lot of obstacles on your entrepreneurial journey. However, the one biggest mistake I ever made as a small business owner is this:
Thinking I wasn’t good enough.
It holds you back
Why would people buy my art, I’m not that good?
I’ve had that thought before. There are so many talented artists out there, how could I ever compete? Maybe you make jewelry on Etsy. Jewelry is an over-saturated market on that website for handmade goods. But how do you think the top-sellers made it? They worked hard, they kept trying, they put themselves out there. And they succeeded. Thinking you are not good enough is the biggest mistake to avoid.
How will you know until you tried? If it doesn’t work the first time, try again harder, get better at what you do, push the boundaries further. Don’t compare yourself to others. You should see the first paintings I ever made, oh my god they were terrible!
When I started, I barely had anyone interested in my art. But you know what? I kept trying, I got better and I found my style. I still have a long long way to go but hey, the journey is what it’s all about right? The biggest mistake I made as a small business owner is the one thing that really held me back in the beginning.
You loose focus
You will start juggling with tasks, changing your mind, and losing your confidence. Running a small business is tough and focus is important. You have to take care of the task at hand and work your way through the maze one step at a time. Concentrate on what you want to accomplish and don’t worry about the rest. If you don’t believe you can make it then you never will.
You end up underpricing
As a small business owner whose brand new to the game, it’s too easy to underprice your products, especially if you don’t think you’re good enough. Don’t overcharged either of course, but you have to ask for a price that reflects the quality of what you do. Make your product as perfect as possible, and charge accordingly. It’s always good to check out the competition but don’t measure yourself to them. If they do something better than you, then find a way to do it differently so you have an edge.
Take my custom pet portraits. Do you know how many incredibly talented pet portraits artists there are out there? I could never compete if I imitated them! My angle? A colorful, abstract, fun style. I don’t try to be too realistic. I try to infuse the pet’s personality in the painting through color splashes. I love working with colors and I believe this is what I am good at, so I chose to concentrate on that.
Get a custom pet portrait of your fur baby in my Etsy shop!
Find your angle.
Know your value.
I could have started my art business years earlier if I hadn’t made the mistake of thinking I couldn’t make it as an independent creative entrepreneur. That’s really the biggest mistake I ever made as a small business owner.
Now, I sell artworks on a regular basis in my online shops and I have a partnership with iCanvas, who works with artists on publishing their art prints on their website and other major retailers, and hopefully that’s only the beginning!
I made a lot of mistakes down the line and I know I will make some more, nobody is perfect, and mistakes are how you learn and improve. But you should avoid that one at all cost. It’s the one thing to fend off if you want to make it as an artist, or as an entrepreneur.
The biggest mistake I made as a small business owner was to think I wasn’t good enough.
Never think you are not good enough.