Running this blog and my business, I meet so many women who are would-be entrepreneurs. But many of those women, immediately after telling me their business idea, share a reason (sometimes more than one reason!) why they can't go for it. My guest author today is Dr. Gabrielle Pelicci, a former fashion model turned professor and career coach for women in wellness. She's sharing and debunking four of the most popular myths about starting and building a business. Whether you're just starting out or have been a solopreneur for years, her post has some great insight and inspiration for you!
I want to debunk four common myths about building a holistic business.
I’m constantly speaking to women who are brilliant at understanding holistic concepts like the mind-body connection, but clueless about the mind-set you need to build a valuable thriving business.
Myth 1: Build It and They Will Come
When I first started out as a massage therapist back in 2001, I didn’t know the first thing about getting new clients or building a business. When my massage instructor insisted that I had to do 100 massages if I wanted to graduate, I was in a panic. I thought: Where am I going to find 100 people who want massages?!?! I was living in a high-rise building at the time, so I decided to go door to door, like a Girl Scout selling cookies, and ask people if they wanted a massage. I got about 100 no’s and 1 yes – an elderly woman who lived in a dusty one-bedroom apartment. She was my very first client.
Fast-forward a few years and my massage practice was so full that I had to turn people away. The more I put myself out there and promoted myself, the more my practice grew. If you think that you can just set up a website or roll out a yoga mat and clients will manifest out of thin air, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s going to take a lot more work than that! You CAN build a thriving prosperous business, but you will have to roll up your sleeves and make the magic happen yourself.
Myth 2: I Can't Eat an Elephant
Some people read my bio – which says all kinds of fancy things about me like I am a Ph.D. Professor, an “expert blogger,” featured in national media, traveled to 40 countries and so on – and they think: How the $#@% am I going to do all that?! I used to think the same thing when I would read the bios of my professors or others that I admired. It seemed like they had accomplished so much and I was SO far away from my goals.
Things take time, people! You don’t eat an elephant all at once – you eat it one bite at a time. My Ph.D. took 10 years of college and grad school to accomplish. My media appearances span another decade of teaching, writing and presenting. You will not manifest that national media appearance during the first week of your business, but you can definitely get there after a few years of building your personal brand (and pestering the right producers and editors).
Myth 3: Self-Employed Equals DIY
As a solopreneur, there are so many things that we have to juggle on our own – clients, bookings, classes, marketing, networking – it can seem totally overwhelming and draining. After years of doing everything on my own, I was going crazy. But no matter how much busier I got, I never felt like I was doing enough or earning enough to justify hiring help. I thought: Help is for rich people and I’m not rich (yet).
This past year was the first time that I said: #@%! It. I need help. I hired a web designer, a social media marketer, and a book editor. Wow! What a difference a team makes! Just because I am self-employed does NOT mean that I have to do everything myself. I need support. I need people to do the things that I don’t know how to do or don’t like to do so that I can focus on the things I love – like writing this blog post for you!
Myth 4: I Must Be Perfect
This is one that has been surfacing a lot lately in my conversations and interactions. If you’ve ever cried about getting a B+ or winning second place in a contest, there’s a good chance you’re a perfectionist. I’ve procrastinated on all kinds of things because I was afraid that they wouldn’t be good enough – I couldn’t possibly write a book if it wasn’t going to be a NY Times Bestseller. HA! That’s so ridiculous.
I guarantee that the first time you try something, you’re not going to be good at it! Who cares!? You’re driven by passion, a mission to serve, a deep longing to help others. Get out there and be your imperfectly perfect self. When I created Women In Wellness Career Training to help women overcome perfectionism and other challenges, I was blown away by the strength and courage of the amazing community – and that’s more important to me than the NY Times Bestseller list.