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Common (and avoidable) Mistakes In Your Early-Stage Business

March 18, 20236 min read

“Don't fool yourself. Most miseries are just a long tail of misguided priorities ” - Brendan Burchard

Hi, hey, what's new, how ya doin'?

unearth advertising agency - image of kelly kalmerton and linda nikolaus, partners

We're Linda and Kelly, the marketing pros and advertising experts behind Unearth Advertising Agency. We've built a successful business helping early-stage entrepreneurs, online coaches and other small businesses effectively market themselves following our proven, holistic and outside-of-the-box approach.

What's cool? We work with established businesses who are looking to scale, but we've also got a full client roster of early-stage entrepreneurs who are ready to grow...and do so in the right way. A way that sets them up for success. A way that helps them avoid the costly (avoidable) WTF marketing mistakes. A way that allows them to automate and streamline so they can ultimately increase their sales.

new unearth blog post - pitfalls to avoid in your new or early-stage business

Alright, enough with the super-long-just-get-the-recipe-already type of intro. Let's get you the stuff you came here for: the common, but avoidable mistakes and pitfalls early-stage businesses and coaches make...and what to do instead👇

The key points boil down to this...

1. Not knowing what activities are going to have the most positive impact on your bottom line.

As a new business, coach or consultant, chances are there's a pretttttyyy big degree of DIY that you're tackling in the interest of saving money. Which means there's a ton on your to-do list - much that may not need to be - and little insight into the tasks and projects that actually matter.

  • So, instead of: blindly working off your to-do list from hell, just to check things off

  • Do this: audit your activities and directly relate them back to your bottom line. Then, prioritize them in terms of "must-do's" and "can wait's"

2. Assign a priority to each and every task while you're in "build mode"

is what you're working on helping your bottom line? graphic by unearth

Build mode = no clients yet, or inconsistency in new business.

Believe it or not, you don't need to accomplish everything on your to-do list, because chances are, updating that logo, or spending time making your Insta grid gorgeous are NOT going to pay the bills within your business. Here are the recommendations we work with our early-stage coaching clients on within our 90-day accelerator, The Tangibles™

  • So, instead of: focusing too much on things that you "want to do"

  • Do this: structure your day around these revenue generating activities that can help you move the needle as you look to sign more new clients, or close more business.

3. Recognize the "time-sucks" that can (and should) wait

Gut-check how you're spending time each day in your business today, against these sometimes-fun tasks that are actually just not as crucial as they make themselves out to be!!

  • Agonizing over your logo (who cares how pretty it is, if no one sees it?)

  • Overhauling your website (and we'll cover this in later posts, but your website actually may not matter at all)

  • Being in content development or creation overdrive (another new lead magnet, course or webinar?...how do you know what you currently have isn't working?!)

  • Wasting time THINKING ABOUT taking action ("What should I start with?" • "I want to do it right, so I better make another list." • "Sheesh, is that the dog barking? He's def gotta eat ASAFP. Again." • "Well, before I do ____, I HAVE to update _____.")

  • Second guessing yourself (how much time is being wasted letting your imposter syndrome kick in?)

  • ...and about a million other seemingly-must-do tasks that are just the opposite!

4. Be realistic about the cost of not prioritizing appropriately, and the risk to your business (recognize the signs)

Did you know that upwards of 80% of coaching businesses fail within the first two years (according to The Coaching Revolution) "WTF!!!? Why!?" you might be saying. Well, it's kind of one of the whole points of this post: mistakes that are common, crushing and largely unnecessary.

So, be mindful of these indicators that you may be falling victim to these pitfalls early-on!!

  • There's a lack of focus, energy and vision about who you are and what you do...this can cause procrastination

  • Things feel "too big" or too complex. And complexity is the enemy of execution. Remember, K-I-S-S: keep it simple, sweetie.

  • Fear of the unknown causing a lack of confidence, and increased imposter syndrome-y feelings

  • You may have no systems in place (these are required!!)...or even worse, the wrong systems in place

  • Feelings of overwhelm because you don't know HOW to do something...so you decide to NOT take action (perfectionism, anyone?!)

  • A willingness (consciously or subconsciously) being willing to negotiate with your goals.

That last one simply cannot happen. You can be flexible with your methods, but bending on the goal is a surefire to not achieve it. 😩

5. Stop waiting for things to "be perfect" to start - consider this your sign to G-O!

5 steps to taking action - unearth

Nearly every person, at some point or another feel uncomfortable with things pulling them outside of their comfort zone. Things that are new to them, that cause them to feel pressure to "get it right."

Here's the thing though, if your plan is to build (and sustain) a successful coaching business (or any biz), you need to get over that real, REAL quick. Entrepreneurs embrace the idea of what we call "imperfect action." The messy, positive, sometimes-scary step forward.

Because in our opinion, done is better than perfect in so many scenarios. Here's a quick 5-step process to help you get to work!

Cold hard truth? We live in an attention economy....where we place our attention and time will determine our results. And just like money, time is an investment. How are you spending yours?

6. Build a plan, and hold yourself super accountable to it

raining money
  • To be successful you have to know where you've been and where you are today

  • Start by tracking your current time identify your highest ROI activities and prioritize these immediately

  • Oftentimes the highest ROI things are the "hardest" - do them anyways. Where can you "cut the fat?" when it comes to your daily routine

  • Remember where you want to go, and chase it relentlessly

  • Plan for distractions, but CUT THE NOISE

  • Ditch the shiny object syndrome and realize that it's only contributing to your overwhelm, marketing whiplash and putting your strategy at higher risk of failing

  • Remember...the grass is greenest where you water it.

  • Do the damn thing, already!

  • Planning is nice and all but it's going to get you from here --> there...the only thing that'll do that is YOU MOVING. YOU TAKING ACTION.

  • Chunk out your day according to your best productivity schedule

  • Use calendar blocking to help

  • If you feel like you've got "everything to do"....break each down individually into micro-tasks

Finally, here are some targeted "immediate-just-do-it's" to help you take the theory, into practice within your business.

  • Reflect and journal on who "future" you is going to be

  • ...Then, set yourself a realistic monthly goal break it down into weekly must-dos chunk out your days to create a routine for success overachieve

  • Track your actions every 30 minutes for 7 days...where can you make improvements?

Now what?!

unearth advertising agency logo

We covered a lot. I get it. 🌱 If you liked it, show us some love. Share it, comment, save it.

And, if you want more - we've got your back there, too! Kelly and I cover this at a deeper level, and a whole ton else in the Marketing Growth Sprint™ - the affordable, actionable accelerator for time-and-money strapped early-stage coaches who want to hack their business growth, presence and messaging online. 👉

Comment GROWTH and we'll send you the need-to-know details so you can see if it's right for you!!

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Unearth Advertising Agency

We're no B.S. digital marketing experts, who help small business-owners, coaches and consultants just like you accelerate their business growth through comprehensive, outside-of-the-box strategy, and seamless marketing automations.

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"When working with professionals like Linda and Kelly, I quickly learned what a rare and extraordinary talent they are. Regardless of the challenges we threw at them, they never wavered and consistently dug in with a relentless determination, accompanied by a pragmatic and gifted problem-solving aptitude. They always conduct themselves as committed, consummate professionals and never disappoint. I would recommend Unearth without hesitation."

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