I started my side business in 2020 and grew the business to $500,000 in revenue. This success was due to four counterculture ideas about money goals every aspiring entrepreneur should consider over traditional advice.
Keeping steady movement is more important than motivation
This is evident from a survey of 600 entrepreneurs by Kajabi, 84% said they experience impostor syndrome. I’ve seen many side hustlers in my financial education classes who avoid selling because of these feelings, which can be especially harmful if they create anxiety when selling new products or services, and prevent them from getting feedback to repeat more quickly.
Face your fears by developing positive habits that will keep you moving forward, even if it’s little by little. As an entrepreneur, you need to embrace discomfort and face your fears by cultivating habits in whatever business you do. Some examples of habits I’ve created over the years are:
- Posting to social media every weekday, even with content I knew wasn’t great;
- Reach ten prospects a day, even if you know they will reject you;
- Planning a personal and a business budget every month, even if I didn’t make a lot of money; And
- Applying for a speaking engagement every quarter where it seems unattainable to even land.
The main takeaway is to cut through fear, not just by listening to more podcasts and getting more advice, but taking action before you feel motivated, just in case that motivation never comes.
Limit your availability to attract more customers
A counterintuitive approach to scaling faster is to be less available to customers, more unavailable. I’ve learned firsthand that limiting one’s availability dispels the myth that being constantly available leads to success. Instead, you can set clear boundaries between personal and professional commitments and allocate specific times to focus on work and personal life.
By limiting your availability, you can create a sense of exclusivity and value for your time. Using my own schedule as an example, I aim to work only Tuesdays and Thursdays as full days, along with Wednesday mornings. This deliberate restriction sends a message to clients and potential clients that my time is valuable and in high demand.
The lesson here is that setting boundaries can actually attract more clients and create a better work-life balance. It’s not about being available 24/7, it’s about being available when it really matters. Prioritizing personal time and limiting availability allows you to focus on what really drives your success.
Own your income and stop giving discounts no one asked for
You don’t need a business plan to start a business, but you do need real, paying customers who don’t just buy from you as a friend or relative.
Another philosophy I had to adopt as an entrepreneur is the importance of being in control of your income. I challenge the idea that uncertain revenue streams hinder budgeting efforts. From my own experience working for multiple companies, I realized that the only time I received a steady paycheck from a woman of color was when I became CEO of my own company.
If you are starting a new business, stop offering unnecessary discounts and undervaluing your work from the start. You are allowed to prioritize your financial well-being and charge based on the value of the results you produce.
The key is to break free from the mindset that discounts are necessary to attract customers. Instead, focus on providing value and delivering exceptional results that justify your rates.
Make a verb worth
Finally, I encourage you to change your mindset from just working to the concept of “appreciating.” You recognize the importance of identifying what is worth doing yourself versus seeking expertise when needed.
Instead of trying to do everything yourself, new entrepreneurs should consider paying for services from experts who can deliver superior results to work smarter, not harder. For example, I outsourced the following things early in my company, even though I was able to do them alone:
- Build a website;
- accounting and tax returns;
- Applying for trademarks and copyrights to protect my intellectual property;
- Landing press on national television; And
- Producing my podcast
Working would have been like learning all these crucial skills on my own. But by embracing the Worthing concept, you value your own time and skills and increase sales by focusing on what you do best. This includes asking for a fair fee, setting appropriate rates, and being confident in the value you bring to the table. Putting value into your vocabulary as a verb instead of a noun is a powerful mindset shift that leads to financial growth and success.