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  • Writer's pictureLauren Leopold

7 mistakes to avoid if you want to start your business in 2023

Are you struggling to get that side business going, even though you feel like you've been talking about it for donks? Do you have an idea of WHAT you want to achieve this year but no real plan of HOW to make it happen?

Having helped over 40 women start and grow side hustles, I can categorically tell you that it's not because you're lazy or not cut out to run a business.

It's more likely because you're making 1 or more of the 7 most common mistakes I see women make when they're trying to start a business:

1. You're focusing on what you don't want

Successful people think about what they want - and how to get it - pretty much all of the time. Unsuccessful people on the other hand, think and talk about what they don't want. They bang on about their problems and worries, who’s to blame for their situation and come up with all the excuses under the sun for why they’re not happy.

But successful people keep their thoughts and conversations positive and focused on what they DO want.

I know this, because I used to think about how much I didn't want to be in my job for YEARS. But my biggest Aha moment was just how much I’d created the situation I found myself in. How I’d been trapped in a mess of my own excuses and victim mindset and couldn’t get free.

I resolved then and there to work on my negative mindset and start setting goals. Just 18 months later, I’d transformed myself from stressed 9-5er who’d just been signed off work to excited and confident 5-figure business owner.

2. You're not setting goals.

Love 'em or loathe 'em, goals are absolutely crucial in all areas of life, but particularly if you're looking to work for yourself and quit corporate life. They're how I went from signed off work with stress and anxiety to qualifying as a coach in just 8 months.

And they're the secret behind the success of badass female business owners like my client Athina, who says:

‘When I first started coaching with Lauren, I remember saying I wanted someone helping me 3 days a week, having warehouse storage for clients, as well as office space. All of these at the time, were a huge financial commitment and although I knew they were vital in helping grow my business, Topology Interiors, they all felt out of reach. But by working through them with Lauren, writing them down and giving them a time-frame, it really spurred me into to making them happen because I knew they were going to be good for my business - even though I was always a bit scared of committing to them mainly because of the financially investment & fear of failure. Having achieved them all now, I look back on them and think ‘Wow I’ve come a long way. In fact, they’re just the norm now.’

3. You're setting goals, but you've got too many

Did you know a staggering 92% of people don't achieve their goals? I was absolutely gobsmacked when I read this because there are some really simple ways to make sure you hit them. And whilst it might feel great to start the New Year enthusiastically setting all the goals under the sun, you'll have more success if you get laser focused on the 1 or 2 that will have the most impact. The key is prioritisation.

4. You’re not being specific enough

A key component to achieving your goals is to get super specific with what you want and when. For example, saying ‘I want to start a business’ is nowhere near as motivational as 'I'm going to start my business in April'.

5. You’re writing them wrong

Once you've set your goal, writing it down will increase your chances of success by 42%. And whilst its great to say that you'll have achieved it BY a certain date, an even better mind trick is to write it like you’ve ALREADY achieved it. So instead of ‘By May I want to have 2 paying clients’, say ‘It’s May and I HAVE 2 paying clients'. Can you feel the difference?

And you can go one step further than writing them down. Create a Vision Board or some other visual cue to remind you of your goal every day. When I was studying for my coaching qualification, I created a fake certificate (left) and hung it on my wall, to motivate me every day until the real thing (right) was in my hands. It actually motivated me so much that I qualified a month earlier than planned!

6. They're too big (or too small)

If your goal's too lofty, you'll likely get overwhelmed and give up. So you need to make it the right combo of challenging and realistic.

Also, break them down. For example if your goal was ‘It's April 2023 and I've set up my business’, you could break that down into smaller micro goals, like:

  • ‘It’s January and I've nailed my niche.'

  • Then 'It's February and I've decided on my pricing and offer’

  • Then ‘It's March and I’ve got 2 practice clients’

  • Then ‘It’s April and I’ve set up my website’.

On the other hand, when goals aren't challenging enough, your brain knows they’re too easy and you lose motivation. So you need to beef them up just enough so that you’re at least a 7 out of 10 challenged by them. You need to feel that little bum quiver!

7. You’re not clear on your ‘why’

If you haven’t got a really motivational reason WHY you want the goal, you won't achieve it. Simple as. So ask yourself, WHY do I want this thing? What will it give me? Then ask again ‘What will THAT give me’? And keep going until you’ve got your really impactful reason, like ‘I want to set up my own business because it will give me the freedom, passion and fulfillment that I'm craving'.

So hopefully that's given you the kick up the bum you need to start taking action on your side hustle. And the next time you feel like giving up on it, please don't! Come back to your why, get specific, get focused and make sure they're just the right amount of challenging and realistic.

Just keep going lady - you've fucking got this.

And if you want help getting your shit together so you can start that business faster and with the added bonus of not having to be all over social media, then my 121 coaching is for you.

If you're ready to finally start building that side hustle and find the freedom and flexibility you're dreaming of, then let's talk.

Meet Lauren

Business Coach and Side Hustle Queen

Hi, I'm Lauren. I burnt out from the corporate world, hit rock bottom and used the experience to create my dream life. I now help passionate and ambitious women start and grow businesses. I'm living proof that you can - and deserve to - have it all.

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