Lesson 8 - Stop Waiting and Take Action

I had the idea of putting on an event in the back of my mind for a while, but I was afraid to take action.  Plus, as much as I have worked with other businesses and built my own, I still had myself convinced this wasn't capable of taking on.

I saw the need for an event like this.  As much as I wanted something like this to happen, I was secretly sitting back waiting for someone else to do it.  I just didn't consider myself someone special enough to put this all together.

What made me finally do it?

Well, I started talking to enough people about why I wanted to do it, and why I was considering it, that I finally decided I needed to stop doing and start taking action.  I put it out there to enough people, and I didn't want to seem like everyone who else who talks a big game but never does anything about it.

Maybe there was a little bit that I was scared of people's perception of me, but I guess if that means making something big happen, then I'm okay with that.

...

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Lesson 6 - Your Content and Social Media Isn't Just For Fun

There are two important lessons I want to get across here.

  1. Just because you can put out content, doesn't mean you should.
  2. Just because you have the ability to be on social media that doesn't mean you should.


I know this goes against what everyone tells you in that you should jump on all social media channels and try to be all things everywhere.  And Content is King, right?  We hear that over and over again.

Content shouldn't be created just for the sake of creating content.  When you're building a business, you're getting pulled in a ton of directions.  And yes, content is crucial.  It's a great way not only to get your business found, but for people to get to know you better.  However, strategy is everything for connecting with the right clients and for keeping your sanity.

It's tempting, between blog posts, videos, and podcasting, you could create content until you're blue in the face.  However, it's crucial you figure out your point of...

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Lesson 5 - Know Your Strengths, But Stop Labeling Yourself

I have lived most of my life telling myself that I'm not great at sales.  My first real 'sales' job was at The Buckle, the clothes store that worked strictly off commission.  I had my moments of greatness, but I wasn't a sales person who was on 100% of the time like my manager always seemed to be.

However, when I use something that I love or believe in, I have no problem selling that to anyone who comes across my path.   So the question really does become am I sales person or not?

I've been able to sell.  I've had to be able to sell.  Without being able to sell I would have never built my businesses.  However, I would say following up and cold calling are two very weak qualities for me.

As a business owner, I believe it's crucial that you know what you're great at and do more of that.  If you're in the position where you can hire what you're bad at, do that.  However, sometimes we may not have that luxury.  I did have someone join me on a...

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Lesson 3 - Stand Firm on Integrity, Beliefs, and Your Value

If there's anything that has made me the proudest of putting this event together, it's this lesson right here.

Starting a business is hard, and getting customers to pay for your service or product can be a huge challenge.  There always seems to be, what I like to call a deal with the devil, around every corner.  Those are the people who see the value in the product, but they have no desire to pay what you're asking.  They want a discount of some sort.

And I've learned this too many times to falter from it.

They will always be your biggest pain in the ass clients, period.

I learned this lesson the hard way in my first business.  When people wanted something just one-off of what I offered, I would make the exception.  However, even though they were supposed to be less work, they always ended up being more.

I had a huge realization that I have lived by since then.  It's disrespectful to those who are valuing what you offer.  So who are you...

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Lesson 2 - People Are Watching...

For some reason the Rockwell song from the 80's is blasting through my head as I write this.  'I always feel like, somebody's watching me, and I have no privacy.'

This isn't my first time at the entrepreneur rodeo.  In fact, I've been here many times.  I'm also not one of those perpetual starters who never finishes.  I have sold several of the companies I have started.  However, each start comes with another challenge of having to prove I am fully capable of being in that ring.

Life is about evolving, and you should be doing the same in business (just like I talked about yesterday).  So if you started the same business over and over again, it just wouldn't be interesting.

And even when you think you have proven yourself enough, you discover more people who don't know who the hell you are, let alone your product and service, and they're not going to buy in immediately.

It's frustrating because you know (and I knew) you may have the best of whatever...

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Lesson 1 - Determine the Level You Want to Be and Become It

he Entrepreneur Summit was created because I was getting sick of waiting for someone to create the type of event that I wanted to attend.    I love Dallas but found many of the events featured the same speakers.  I wanted different, and I wanted to connect the start-up and small business communities.

I had two choices when I created this business.

  1. I could play it safe and put little money on the line and do what everyone else was doing.
  2. I could put the money down for an event that I wanted (while still being conservative, mind you), but create the event that I saw was needed.
    I met with hotels and started setting a budget and was shocked at how quickly things added up.  As I made a list of potential speakers, I thought why not go for the mac daddy of Dallas Entrepreneurs with Mark Cuban.  I reached out to his agent and learned his fee is $150,000.

I had to take it down a notch, but things were still adding up quickly.

When it was all said and done, my...

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Lessons Learned From Building a Business In 3 Months - Intro

I have to apologize for pretty much disappearing over the last three months.  In a few other posts I talked about grabbing onto the things that terrify you and trying something new.  To knock out one my biggest fears in 2016, I decided to take on an event.  Of course in Erin fashion, I couldn't take on a standard event.  I had to go big.  Originally, the idea was to have it be an extension of The Starters Club, but as I worked through the target market, I realized I had to make this its own company.

What I thought would be a great side project, turned into becoming a beast of a business.  I want to get real with you for just a minute because as I lay out all the great things that have happened after the event, I want you to realize that there were days when it felt like extreme hell getting there.  I cried.  I cried a lot.  I literally sent emails about a month before the event to friends half-joking, asking if I could quit.

'Why', you...

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Starting a Business? Three Places to Simplify Your Business

It's great to think grand.  After all, as Donald Trump once said: As long as you are going to be thinking anyway, think big.  (This by no means is linked to my political affiliation.)

However, when starting a business, although it's great to think big, and big is needed for long-term goals, starting out simple will get you where you need to go, faster.

There are many moving parts in a business, and even with the best research and mentor in the world, there will be parts you didn't even know were there until you need to deal with them.  The further you stretch yourself, and the more you're trying to juggle, the harder it is going to be for you to gain momentum.  Here are three different perspectives of your business where simplicity is going to be the best decision you can make.

1. Your product or service.  I speak from experience on this one as I tried to get really extravagant with my product offerings.  If someone said they needed it, I...

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When The Going Gets Tough

This one is a bit heavy on my heart today because as I prepare my taxes for 2015, I have a giant write-off from a company I invested in several years back.  Long story short, I should have known better.  However, I made a pretty big rookie investor mistake.

I invested in a product versus a person.

That may not make a whole lot of sense.  After all, it's the product that will be purchased, and it's the product that the whole company is based around.  But what I learned was that even with the greatest of products, if a person behind the scenes isn't willing to work, your product is worthless.

I saw the signs, but I chose to turn the other cheek.  I thought the product would rise above the mess, but it never did.  Now I will never see that money, or the promised return.  I just owe a little less on my taxes.

A similar topic was brought up this morning at a networking event.

How do you get people to buy into your product or service when you're just...

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Why Not?

While at an event last night this simple, yet life changing question was brought up.

A woman who now has a very high position at a Fortune 100 company was asked one of her tips for making hard decisions and pushing herself.  Her answer was simple, whenever she gets to a pretty difficult decision, she asks herself:

Why Not?

It's so simple, yet so profound because it's the opposite of what I see most people doing.  We usually talk ourselves out of it, thinking we're not good enough or not qualified enough.  We run all the bad things that could possibly happen through our head.  We could look foolish. We could lose money.  We might leave that great job and then may not get a chance to ever go back to it.

But what would happen that if every time you really wanted to take on something you switched the self-talk from thinking of all that could go wrong, to just saying why not?

Could you fail?  Absolutely, in fact, there's a good chance you might.

But...

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