Michelle is an entrepreneur and blogger that runs the personal finance and lifestyle blog, Making Sense of Cents. Since 2011, she’s been using her background in finance to write great content and grow her blog business to over $70,000 in revenue per month. Here’s her business advice for new entrepreneurs who want to start a business, become gainfully self-employed and avoid the biggest blogging mistakes out there: “The most painful mistake I see first-time (or inexperienced) entrepreneurs make is that they see others in their industry or blog niche as competition. This can significantly hold you back, as you may never learn industry secrets and tips, make genuine friends, and more.” “Instead, I think you should see others in your industry or niche as colleagues and friends. You should network with others, attend conferences, reach out to people, and more.”
Founder of GrowHack, an email subscription of 17,000 founders and practitioners focused on repeatable monthly growth. Here’s the business advice Conrad has to impart with entrepreneurs who want to start a business today: “At this point, I’ve worked closely with dozens of new technology products. Across the board, the most painful mistake I see first-time entrepreneurs make is placing too much focus on building product versus learning from users. There usually isn’t much risk in building software, but there’s a lot of risk in bringing a new product to market.” “A few ways to solve this include: constantly talking to users, building an audience while or before you build and taking time to learn how users actually behave with your product. Not easy, but if you can really understand which type of user you want to optimize toward, you’ll increase your odds of finding an initial wedge in the market.”
Ankur is the Founder and CEO at Teachable, the premier online course building platform that allows online educators to build beautiful course websites, self-host content, control the branding, student data, and pricing all from one place. Here’s his business advice for new entrepreneurs who want to start a business: “The most painful mistake I see people making repeatedly, particularly with their first project is striving for perfection over getting it done.” “Weeks turn into months, months into years. As a result, whatever they are trying to launch isn’t out there gaining traction in the marketplace because of the fear of being perfect.” “My advice is to go out and break shit. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission when you start a business. The only way your project, your business idea or whatever is in your mind is going to become better, is by having people use it in the real-world. Listen to them and iterate until you have a solid product.”
Laurence is the creator of Learn to Code With Me, where she empowers people to learn digital skills so they can get ahead in their careers and lives. Her writing has been featured on Forbes, Mashable, and more. Here’s her business advice to first-time entrepreneurs who want to start a business of their own: “The biggest mistake new entrepreneurs make is not putting themselves out there. If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you need to show others what you’re doing.” “Instead of praying an audience (or customers) will find you, get in front of people in your space. Start a blog, podcast or create video content. Take advantage of social media. Attend in-person events. One way to make “putting yourself out there” easier is by making an effort to help others. (Sounds counterintuitive, I know!) On the individual level, maybe it’s by making an introduction. For a larger audience, perhaps it’s by pursuing and executing on actionable blog post ideas. However, by being helpful you’ll make a lasting impression.”
Nathan is host of the fastest growing business podcast The Top Entrepreneurs, and CEO of Send Later, a company he recently acquired after failing to acquire Success Magazine for $5m. He founded the social giveaway SaaS startup, Heyo and is an experienced online educator at CreativeLive where he teaches Facebook Marketing for Small Business Owners. Here’s his business advice for first-time entrepreneurs who want to start a business of their own: “The most painful mistake I see first-time entrepreneurs make is that they try and invent something totally new because their ego tells them they have to.” “It’s much smarter to copy a competitor you like, then tweak one or two things that you think will put you over the top.”
Tony is the founder and CEO of Coach.me, an app that helps you put your goals into action by actively tracking your performance in diet, fitness, productivity and life. Here’s his best business advice for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business: “I’ve been trying to start companies for years and I still make this mistake. Planning too far ahead. Many new entrepreneurs are stuck on this idea of what the company could be five years from now. They’re trying to make the five year version of the company happen tomorrow.” “What they need to realize is that if you have no customers, the next milestone is one customer. A very powerful tactic to overcome this is to help young entrepreneurs focus on building on momentum. That means focusing on the next step and trusting that those first few steps will build to the speed and impact you want.”
Steve is a serial entrepreneur and currently co-owner of BuzzSumo and Anders Pink. From his experience starting and growing four different businesses over the years, here’s Steve’s business advice for new entrepreneurs who want to start a business without falling flat: “Avoid being a single founder.” “Creating a company is hard work, most startups fail. The one characteristic you need above all others is resilience. You need to be relentless and work harder than the competition, and even then you will have tough times. It is for this reason I have always started companies with more than one founder. It means there is someone to share the load, to reflect and to support each other.” “It’s not impossible to be a single founder but in my experience it is easier to be resilient and successful as a team.” You can read more from Steve about how BuzzSumo achieved $2.5 million in revenue during their first year right here. I’d also recommend reading my post about starting a business with a friend, in case you’re considering going that route.
Founder of Millo.co, the premier destination for expert advice from the world’s top freelancers & founders looking to score great work from home jobs. Here’s Preston’s biggest piece of business advice for new entrepreneurs, those looking to learn how to make money blogging and for more, listen to his episode on my podcast about how to get blog sponsorships: “First-time entrepreneurs almost always focus too much on non-differentiating work. Work that doesn’t make a difference in their business. Work that definitely doesn’t increase revenue.” “A few simple examples: Redesigning your logo or website a dozen times in hopes of finding that perfect blog layout, setting up every social media account possible, trying to stay on top of said social media. And the list goes on. Instead, focus on revenue. Do the tasks that will increase revenue and reduce costs. Without a focus on that, your business is just a hobby.” To add to what Preston had to say, I’d double down and emphasize that in order to even consider doing work that makes a difference, you need to building and leveraging your entrepreneurial strength every day.
Also known as Logo Geek, Ian designs logos and brand identities for startups and SMEs. He also has over 80,000 Twitter followers and runs a popular social media group where he creates valuable resources for designers. Here’s his best business advice specifically for freelancers, and for more check out his episode on my podcast about how to become a freelance designer: “As a designer, I frequently hear horror stories from new freelancers who’ve had a client that vanishes without making a single payment. Designers who have worked for hours, sometimes weeks, yet received nothing in return. It’s upsetting for them, painful to watch, but easily avoidable.” “To prevent disasters like this, I recommend taking a 50% upfront payment before you even start, then taking the final 50% before any final files are provided. Any client not willing to work this way is unlikely to ever pay and should be avoided. I also strongly advise freelancers to have a written freelance contract, signed by the client, detailing what’s been agreed upon and what will happen in various different circumstances. This will give you ammo should your client be unreasonable, and will also add a level of professionalism and credibility to your service.”
Navid is the world’s leading expert on producing profitable virtual summits. His media coverage includes Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Huffington Post, Business Insider and much more. His mission is to show entrepreneurs what’s really working to build a profitable online business. Find out more about his courses, summits, and expertise on his website. For now, here’s his business advice for first-time entrepreneurs who want to start a business: “There’s one incredibly painful mistake that I see new entrepreneurs make. It’s painful because it keeps them from success. They feel like they’re working hard, but not making any progress. The mistake? Trying to do too many things at once.” “Focus, by definition, means narrowing your field of vision and attention. It means choosing which opportunities, projects, and even customers you’re NOT going to pursue. And it’s really, really hard. When I first started online, I was trying to do it all: podcasting, writing epic guides, blogging and I wasn’t doing any of it well. I realized that each time I jumped from idea to idea, I was diluting my efforts.” It wasn’t until I decided to focus in on just ONE strategy, creating an incredibly high-value virtual summit, that I started to make serious progress in my business. After several months of super-hard concentrated effort, I launched the Branding Summit at the end of 2014, one of the largest virtual gatherings of experts on personal branding anywhere. I grew my email list by almost 3,000 highly engaged subscribers in a few weeks, and generated $20,000 in profit — much more than I’d earned up to that point!” “Choose the one thing that will move the needle for you and your business. When you try to be the best podcaster, blogger, author, business coach and event producer all at the same time, you end up being mediocre at all of them. Pick one (like learning how to master the art and science of cold emailing). Focus. And work it, hard. One piece of bonus advice: As a newer business owner, one of the biggest ROI’s you’ll get is from investing in growing your email list. Whether you plan on offering a mastermind, writing books or producing online summits, you’ll need a powerful, engaged email list. Make that a focus from day one. If you want to hear the best advice that over 60 online experts and world-class business owners have on list building, check out the online event of the year, List Building School. It’s free, and it’s epic. Ryan here is one of our amazing speakers too!”