Have you ever looked at another eCommerce business owner and thought, “Wow! They’ve really got it all together” or “If I can just get to this next revenue level all will be right in my business.”
I hear business owners say things like this all the time… but after working with so many successful entrepreneurs I know not everything is as it seems. Today we’re running through 9 lessons learned from the students of the eCommerce Badassery Megamind.
Earlier in 2021, I kicked off the eCommerce Badassery Megamind, which is a blend of a group program and mastermind. It’s been a whirlwind of 6 months and I can’t believe that the first round is already coming to an end!
The program consisted of bi-monthly deep training on topics like Google Analytics, launch strategy for new products, and Q4 strategy. We also had an ads expert help strategize and troubleshoot Facebook ads and a guest expert who popped in to teach PR for product-based businesses.
During the mastermind sessions, we had rotating hot seats where each member shared a struggle they were having in their business and the group got to weigh in to support them.
Throughout our time together there were some major themes that kept popping up and I wanted to share those with you today to let you know that you are NOT alone and every eCommerce business owner, even those who are already making 6- and 7-figures in their business are struggling with the same things.
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Lesson #1: You can have a successful business without Google Analytics
Most small business owners are not comfortable with Google Analytics. You hear me talk all the time about how powerful it is and how much more data you can get from it—and that is still true. But after working with so many high-level entrepreneurs and seeing how overwhelmed they get at the idea of learning how to use the platform I just wanted to remind you that if that’s you, and you haven’t been able to wrap your head around the tool and you never look at it, that’s OKAY! You CAN have a successful business without it.
Lesson #2: We are all just figuring this out as we go
Yep, even when it seems like we have all of our shit together on the outside, a peek behind the scenes will show you we’re all struggling in one area or another. This is precisely the reason I always encourage you to keep your eyes on your own paper, because you just don’t know what is really happening in someone’s business.
Lesson #3: Every new level in business comes with a new set of struggles
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, and sometimes no matter how many times we hear something we can’t really understand it until it happens to us. How many times have you said to yourself, “Oh if I just made this much more money,” or “If I could just do X… everything would be okay”? We’ve all done it and I’m here to say, once you hit that next income goal, be prepared for the new struggles and uncertainty that comes with it.
Lesson #4: Sometimes you have to pivot the focus in business based on your ultimate goals
This is a REALLY important one so make sure you absorb it. Let’s pretend you have multiple revenue streams in your business—brick and mortar, wholesale, DTC eCommerce, and custom. Let’s also say you have a wide product assortment with two main categories of products. And as a business owner, you realize that some of those revenue streams and products are really time consuming and you want to pivot away from those and lean into the others… and you do.
But then you realize that growing that portion of the business you want to grow is harder than you thought and it’s not quite going at the speed you want, while the parts that you let go of were more established and working well, even though it took more time, energy and effort.
So what do you do?
Do you re-engage with those parts of your business that you were trying to let go of, or do you continue to forge forward with the new path even if it takes longer and your revenue takes a hit?
The truth is, there’s no RIGHT answer… only the right answer for you. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself what is most important to you right now. When I’m giving feedback to a client or thinking through a strategy that makes sense for them, I’m always going to start with their goal for their business and their priority right now.
In the scenario, I just gave you, if the priority is having a profitable business my recommendation is going to be re-engage those parts of the business that already make money and are profitable, even if it’s not 100% where you want to end up. This allows you to take away some of the stress and overwhelm while you’re trying to build up the other portion of your business. Sometimes we just have to take the path of least resistance in your business.
That’s not to say we don’t also have to step out of our comfort zone to get to our ultimate destination, but it’s okay to slow down and step back once in a while so you can propel forward later.
On the flip side of that, if letting go of those portions of the business were more important than generating revenue right now, I would give a different recommendation. Instead, I would say to first finalize the retirement of those products, whatever that means… running a sale to clear out your inventory, removing them from your website, letting your wholesale partners know, etc. That way you don’t have that baggage while you’re trying to ramp up this new version of your business.
Lesson #5: Being a leader is hard and sometimes you have to make hard decisions about your team
After being a leader in so many businesses over the last 20+ years, I can tell you PEOPLE are the hardest part of any business.
When you’re small and just have one or two people helping you out, it can seem easy, but as you grow and your business changes so many things can go off the rails in terms of your team.
Sometimes it’s because you have the wrong butts in the wrong seats, sometimes your business grows and the people in your leadership positions don’t grow with you, or sometimes people just aren’t cut out for or interested in the direction that your business is growing in.
And maybe you hired for a position you thought you needed and then you realize it’s not actually helping as much as you thought it would and you actually need a different position.
Whatever it is, you need to reassess your team on the regular and make adjustments when things aren’t quite right.
Lesson #6: Hire & invest before you can “afford” it
Sure, maybe you have to take a bit of a hit at first, but when you outsource things you don’t need to do or hire someone to take things off your plate, it frees you up to focus on actually growing the business which in all likelihood means you’ll be able to get the business to the point where you can “afford” it… and then some.
Afraid to give up control? Ask yourself WHY? Dig deep. Do you REALLY need to be the one doing that? Can you outsource it for just a season so you can focus on the growth you need right now and then take it back over or adjust it later?
I did that with my podcast in the beginning. I could barely afford the editors I was using, but I really needed the hands-on support they were providing. Once I got the hang of things, I could adjust and lower my expenses. And because I knew more about what I was actually looking for, I could get more help at a lower price.
Lesson #7: It’s your business and you get to run it YOUR way
The online space is a noisy fucking place. It’s very easy for us to see what someone else is doing, what someone is recommending and feeling like we have to do that too. Shit, that might even happen to you when you’re listening to this podcast.
Ultimately, there are a lot of different ways to be successful in business. There are a lot of different definitions of success. And the benefit to being your own boss is you get to make all the decisions!
Don’t want to do email marketing? Don’t. I mean… I obviously recommend that you do, and truly believe that if you don’t you are actually missing out on revenue, but you CAN decide not to.
Don’t want to re-open your brick and mortar? Don’t. Don’t want to keep doing wholesale? Don’t. You are in the driver’s seat.
Lesson #8: You can do hard things!
So many of you started on the eCommerce journey without much experience in product or retail. But look at how fucking far you’ve come!
You’re a total kick-ass eCommerce CEO and you continue to level up and grow not only your business but yourself as a business leader.
Every once in a while we come up against something that feels so hard, or we suddenly feel like we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing. The imposter syndrome creeps in and for some, it’s a driving force to figure shit out and for others, it’s crippling and keeps us afraid to do the things.
But you CAN do the things. Sometimes we just need someone to remind us of that. Someone to clear the cobwebs for us and remind us that even if it doesn’t work out exactly the way we thought, it’s still a learning experience, and it’s okay to take baby steps. If that’s you right now, consider this your reminder 🙂
Lesson #9: We can’t do this alone… and the most successful people never do
That’s why the MegaMind and the general Mastermind principle is SO powerful. If you’re not already familiar, the Mastermind is a concept made famous and defined by Napoleon Hill, though it existed before that. He defines the Mastermind as consisting of two or more people who work in perfect harmony for the attainment of a definite purpose.
Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt—do those names sound familiar? They were all in a Mastermind.
Have you ever heard the quotes: “If you’re the smartest person you’re in the wrong room” or “You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”?
I attribute most of my success in eCommerce Badassery to the people who I have surrounded myself with. My business would not be where it is today if I didn’t learn from those who went before, from those who we’re building business like the one I want to build.
Even you, listening to this podcast to learn new things about running your business is another example of how none of us do this alone. And I just want to take a moment to congratulate you on investing your time to listen to this podcast. You’re a badass and I’m so proud of everyone I see who is committed to building their business, being a better leader and learning new things!
Are you ready to step
into your badassery?
What would it mean for your business if you had a group of like-minded eCommerce entrepreneurs there to give you direct feedback and support around your struggles based on the specific goals of your business?
What would it mean for your business that instead of just listening to my podcast each week you got a chance to chat with me about your business face to virtual face? What if you had an ads expert in your back pocket to help you strategize your ads, troubleshoot your performance and help you figure out your best next steps?
You can have all that and more in the eCommerce Badassery MegaMind which is enrolling right now. You’ll get access to the training I mentioned earlier, along with marketing and strategy support and of course the Mastermind hot seats. Click here to learn more and apply.