During the Diamond Mastermind in Jamaica I sat down on the beach with Diamond members Filipe Goncalves and Ken Cannon, business partners who live in Portugal and the United States, respectively. Filipe and Ken wanted to know:
“What is the number one mistake that new entrepreneurs make when starting a business?”
I love this question because it gives me a chance to talk about something I see almost every new business owner doing wrong. The answer is inaction.
Productivity Versus Busywork
The biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make is to confuse movement for action. There’s a big difference between productive work and what I call “busywork.” I see too many people wasting their time on the latter. With a lot of consultants, busywork equates to a never-ending cycle of training.
If this sounds like you, you need to reconsider how to manage your time because you’re mistaking being busy for being productive. Watching more training doesn’t move your business forward.
A study conducted by the University of California, Irvine revealed that employees actually feel happiest while engaged in busywork, or what the researchers refer to as “rote work.”
The leader of the study, Dr. Gloria Mark, explains:
“With rote work, you get a feeling of accomplishment, but you haven’t exerted a lot of mental activity. It gives you a feeling of fulfilment, but there’s not frustration or stress.”
That discovery makes sense to me, because time and time again I see new consultants getting stuck in training mode—that’s when they watch educational video after video without actually putting any of that knowledge into practice. Why? It’s easy to sit back and be educated, while it’s much more stressful to take your business and your future into your own hands with productive actions.
You Won’t Make Money until You Start Selling
Some entrepreneurs seem almost scared to start their businesses, as if the fear of failure has trapped them in their desk chairs and forced them to buy more and more educational products instead of setting up a website or putting together an email list.
It’s so much more valuable to take action, even when you make mistakes! Those mistakes teach how to fine tune your business and make it a success. I know this from my own experience.
When I started in the internet marketing industry, my main problem was getting traffic. I was having no luck, but some other affiliates were placing ads with Google and actually bringing in sales. So, I started placing ads. And I started making a lot of mistakes.
Eventually I went and bought Google AdWords for Dummies, and though the huge amount of information seemed overwhelming at first, I broke it down into small pieces and made it work. I committed myself to reading one or two pages at a time, and then immediately implementing what I had just read into my own ads. In time, my ads improved, and I didn’t waste a minute of my time.
I’ve seen people that are brand new to this industry go out and make a lot of money simply because they are action-oriented. If you want to be successful, that’s exactly what you need to do, too.
Do Something Productive Every Day
When I talk about productive activities, I’m talking about tasks you complete that can directly make you money. Things like creating capture pages, sending sales emails, and posting ads.
Don’t just sit there learning; take the time to use that knowledge to start your business. Figure out how to brand yourself, how to reach your niche market, and then get it done. You won’t start making money until you do!