I’ve been catching up with a number of awesome women in the last week or two – many of whom are incredibly successful in their chosen careers. Doctors, project managers, marketers, teachers.

They’ve all tried to start up a business on more than one occasion – and either failed, or been successful and then stopped.

I wanted to know why.

So I asked them.

What’s The Single Biggest Mistake You’ve Made In Business Start Up?

Their answer…

Choosing The Wrong Business

You can see how easy this is to do.

When it comes to making money, there are a bazillion different ways to do it…

Share market, property, network marketing, multi-level marketing, ebay, blogging, online marketing, consulting, bricks-and-mortar business, work-from-home, franchises, and the list goes on.

Within each of these models there are a bazillion more different ways to do it.

How many times have we heard of Network or Multi-Level-Marketing models? Starting with Avon and Amway.

And now franchises are a huge way of jumping on the bandwagon and making a money from the latest fad – you could invest in your very own Boost Juice or Fitness First gym.

You could do an 8 week course and start your own personal fitness business. Do a 3 day course and become a “life coach” where you can change the people’s lives, no matter how messed up your own is.

A little cynical? Perhaps ye. But only because I’ve given most of the business models I’ve mentioned a go my self…except the personal training. And the franchises.

The point being, there are a huge amount of business models and options to choose from. Huge.

And many of them promising big, fast returns, if you just to the work.

There’s Just One Problem With All Your Business Choices

Out of all these things to choose from, many women, and y men for that matte, get it wrong.

Why?

Because you you choose your business model based on money and promises and potential returns.

You choose your new business based on being a way to get out of where you are – your job, your debt, your overwork.

Instead of choosing something you are passionate about and are going to love.

Many, many times, women make the mistake of chasing the money first.

Chasing the money won’t work.

It’s Not The Business, It’s You

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying all these business models are going to fail. Quite the opposite.

If they’ve worked for one person, they work. Yes?

You’re going to be able to get many of these to work for you.

I ran a successful online ebay business for over a year until I got real with my self and faced the fact that I was not at all passionate about selling women’s clothes or spending most evenings packing and posting.

This business model worked, totally. I followed all the rules and I got it to work. But it severely lacked a lot of things that aligned with me and my values:

  • I’m not a hugely materialistic person and so selling any kind of material product was never going to get me excited.
  • The process was repetitive – buy, list, sell, post – and so lacked the variety I so crave on a daily basis; and
  • My 2 bedroom city apartment was not big enough to store any thing and renting storage was going to take me too far away from the “online, location-free” business I realised I actually wanted. I may as well have had a shop.

The business model might work, the question is, will it work for YOU?

Chasing The Money Wont Money Work

Choosing a business for the financial returns and the profit just won’t work.

Not for women. May be for the short term. Not for the long term.

Why?

Because if you’re looking to leave your job and do your own thing, it’s for a number of reasons:

  • You’re dissatisfied with the work you’re doing and want something fulfilling;
  • You’re overworked and underpaid; and
  • You want control over your life.

If you choose your business for the money, pretty soon you’ll find it’s no different from the job you’re working now.

You’ll be doing it just for the money.

Let me give you another example.

I decided to buy a share marketing training education program, which promised thousands of dollars a day return, with the click of a few buttons and a couple of hours work. It was a definite “click-of-a-button-get-rich-quick” promise. Here’s why this did not work for me:

  • The two hours trading were the open of the US share market, which occurred between 11 or 12pm and 1 or 2am Monday to Friday in Australia. After working all day in my “job” I’d come home, sleep and then wake up to trade the market till the middle of the night. Even if I did not work a job, this was not how
  • Watching graphs go up and down on a screen for hours on end bored me shitless, even though I could understand it quite easily.
  • Trading the share market adds ZERO value to me, other people and the planet. I was so not interested in a career that added no value.
  • Gambling with money in an environment that is 100% out of your control was incredibly stressful for my personality.

The Problem With “Pre-Packaged” Business

The problem with these “pre-packaged” businesses is that they include a strategy that has been created and developed by someone else.

It’s a strategy that has worked for someone else based on their personality, strengths, skills, abilities, talents, interests and values.

If it works, then sure, it works.

But, if your personality, strengths, skills, abilities, talents, interests and values are completely different, then there’s no way that this business model is going to work for you.

It might for the short terms, but long term, it’s going to be push and force and struggle and hard work and burnout.

And just no fun.

The Solution: Find the Right Strategy For You

How?

  • Know your self – Understand who you are first and what makes you tick. What are you great at, what do you love and what would you love to do every day.
  • Focus on your passion and purpose – choosing something you are going to love for the long haul, that is going to grow with you for the next 10, 20, 30 years.
  • Add value – Discover where you add value in the world and how can help people , and do more of that.

As always, I’d love to know your thoughts.

Have I got it all wrong?

Have you gone down the wrong path and chosen the wrong business? What happened?

Or, did you get it right first go, or fifth go? And How did you figure out the right business for you?

Let me know in the comments below.

XXX

Liz Watt

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