Let’s talk about what it takes to run a successful business.  The biggest mistake I see people make is that they let fear get in the way of their vision or their execution, or both. The second biggest mistake is that they spend time on the wrong things.

First, let’s talk about the fear factor, specifically about the fear of not being perfect. When you’re starting out you’re not going to be perfect – you’re going to be a beginner. Don’t be afraid of this. People spend so much time researching and trying to get more educated. The reality is, you have the ability within you right now to be a beginner at something new in your business.

When I started doing Facebook Lives a couple years ago, I was a beginner. I would get super nervous and would plan out exactly what I was going to say. Now, I don’t have that fear anymore and I can hop on a Facebook Live and talk to my audience normally.  Overcoming the fear was about practicing Facebook Lives over and over again and then shifting into the mindset that “I’m going to do it even if I’m bad at it. I’m going to do it even when it’s hard.”

Another big mistake I often see is that people are focused on the wrong things — things like having a shiny pretty website and pretty freebies. When people come into this space, they believe they need all the things. They think they need to be an expert at social media; they need to be an expert at marketing; they need to be an expert at all of it. But I’m here to tell you that what you actually need is the ability to connect with people. It’s as simple as that.

The first step in authentic connection is to stop looking at what everyone else is doing. When we first start out, there’s a period of time we go through where we research what everyone else is doing. To a certain point this is beneficial because it gives us a really inside look into what people’s business, and it gives us some ideas for our own.

But this approach becomes a problem when you start comparing yourself to others. No matter how good your mindset is, you will be like, “Oh crap, I’m not doing that,” or, “oh no, she’s doing it like this. I need to do that.” The reality is your business needs to be just you. You and your innovative ideas. You using your intuition. The reality is your business is about you. The key to making a difference online is to focus on being you and doing it your way, instead of trying to do what everyone else is doing or studying what everyone else is doing.

To connect with people, you have to make time for it, and time blocking is the key to successful time management. If you’re not doing it, print out a calendar and start doing it today. If you’re intimidated, don’t worry, we’ll take it step by step. Put your core value items on your calendar first. Then, everything else gets scheduled around those core values. Finally, leave white space in between activities so that you don’t feel like you’re always behind.

If you feel like time is running you, you’re doing things wrong. Many times, entrepreneurs resist time blocking because they don’t like structure. They value their freedom. But if you don’t control your time, and you aren’t your most productive self, and you let time control you, you’re going to feel really bad about it and you’re not going to experience freedom.

Next, make sure part of your core values are money producing activities. I challenge you to look at your calendar and ask, “Am I busy or am I productive? Am I spending the right amount of time on the right things?” You have to make sure that you’re actually producing income with the things that you are doing. If you spend 80% of your time on income producing activities, then your business will grow. Think about that. Ask yourself, “Okay, so how much time am I actually putting into this? And is it a money producing activity?”

To recap, don’t be afraid to be a beginner and make sure you’re focusing on the right things. Shift your focus away from everyone else and what they are doing. Instead, choose to be you and spread your message your way. Finally, carefully and thoughtfully structure your time around your core values and don’t forget to make one of those values making money. You can’t do all the things, right? But you can do these few things really well. Be consistent and your business will flourish.