Absurd Advice Entrepreneurs Receive (And What You Should Do Instead)

Taking advice from the myriad of online experts on how to build a business can be helpful until you start to get into the weeds of generating revenue.

Then the advice gets really unreliable.

Learning how an entrepreneur hit 7-figures in business is not helpful if you’re still operating under 6.

Taking notes on Seth Godin’s marketing gems only gets you so far when there aren’t execution steps to pair with it.

Startup intel can become a bust once you hit a certain threshold.

You can’t take the same cocktail that a VC-backed startup founder took and expect it to give your business the buzz it needs. Here are three commonly shared tips that don’t work for most homegrown startups, and what works instead.

Ads

Ads can be a source of constant leads and rapid growth if you can hire an ad manager, inject north of a grand into your ad spend on a monthly basis, and have the online ecosystem to properly funnel leads to conversion.

If you don’t have this foundation, you usually don’t hit a stride to see meaningful results and end up with a lot of drop offs.

Do This Instead: If you’re looking for a meaningful way to supercharge your business’ exposure by putting some dollars behind it, create a list of newsletters that have 1,000+ active readers that are composed of your target audience and advertise there. This offers a better bang for your buck and offers more transparency on who you’re advertising to.

Find Investors

The dark side of finding investors that not enough founders talk about is that it’s not a one-and-done deal.

When you become an investment-backed business, you quickly find yourself constantly fundraising. It becomes a second job to actually running the business.

The reason for this is that one-time investments don’t do you much good — recurring investments do. If you’re looking to make a one-time purchase or investment to change the trajectory of your business, kiss that thought goodbye.

Do This Instead: The most meaningful investment is one that allows you to continuously invest money into your business on a recurring basis.

If you don’t foresee yourself repeatedly raising rounds of investment for your business, prioritize building out a recurring revenue stream and make that your main focus. Grow that offering of the business until it gives you financial breathing room to invest in more.

Automate Everything

The passive income set-it-and-forget-it method is flaunted by a lot of 7-figure business owners, but it’s not totally realistic for smaller businesses.

You can only automate something that’s working — and when your business is a profitable 7-figure business, you can pay people to make that happen.

If you haven’t figured that out yet and don’t have money to throw at the problem, the journey of making your business “work” is going to take longer.

Automating what’s not working will burn your money, not help you grow it.

Do This Instead: When your business isn’t quite at the automation stage yet, hit the pavement and sell your butt off.

Go sell your product or service to wholesalers and strategic partners, sell at markets on the weekends, do all the non-WFH things all of us business owners had to do before social e-commerce became a thing and get some sales under your belt the old school way.

Once you do enough of this, you’ll start seeing a path out to graduate to that automated, set-it-and-forget-it life.

For more wisdom that turns your startup chase into a victory lap, get my Friday emails, (lovingly called The Crux) in your inbox.

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I create moneymaking brands with womxn entrepreneurs who refuse to settle for mediocre. www.ascent-strategy.com

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Sophia Sunwoo

I create moneymaking brands with womxn entrepreneurs who refuse to settle for mediocre. www.ascent-strategy.com