I’m not new to the world of hustling. Or to the world of business.
After being one of the youngest women MBA graduates in my business school to being thrown into the craziest zig-zag career path that led me to scale two multi-million dollar startups, I know what it feels like to be jumping into one thing after another.
In the last three years, I’ve been in creator mode (whether I knew it or not).
First with my website that I started when I moved abroad, and now to my third website that you’re on.
In this time, I have had to make a lot of mindset shifts to actively push myself from creation mode to entrepreneurship mode.
It’s hard to point a finger at exactly when this happened, but I’m so glad I did make the shift.
And yes, you can work, think and act with a business mindset even if you are making zero income from your creative side hustle.
Now, that I’m a full-time entrepreneur, I’m a lot more conscious of the way I look at my business, the information I consume and the action I take.
I look closer at the mistakes I made in my initial years that either kept me stuck or simply delayed my progress.
Even though I was familiar with the world of business, my knowledge and expertise were largely relevant to offline businesses.
I knew how to run sales for a large MNC or lead a team for a tech startup, but I didn’t necessarily know what it was like to run an online business. In fact, I would argue, I knew nothing at all.
I knew nothing about running a business where you can’t just call up a client and arrange for a lunch meeting. One where there is no large corporation or VC backing up your claims or providing you with the much-needed authority.
One where you have to figure out everything on your own because there is no large team to help you get your sh** together.
So everything I’ve learned so far has been from scratch. And heck, I’ve even had to unlearn a lot of stuff that I was taught in my white-collar past life.
In this post, I want to share the 3 business mindset shifts that I believe are necessary to shift from creator to entrepreneur.
#1 Get crystal clear on your goals.
The number of times I hear people saying they want to do A, B, C, D & E, I roll my eyes each time.
The thing is as we all have limited time.
And if you set out to do everything at the same time, you’ll either burn out and give up or do a half-ass job at everything and give up.
Either way, the outcome that we absolutely don’t want to happen, will happen.
You will give up.
This is why creating crystal clear goals on where you are, where you want to be, and what are the top 2-3 things you can do in the next 90/180/365 days to make that happen, is SO CRITICAL.
The other thing you need to keep in mind is when you pick a niche. We live in an era, where yes, you can be whoever you want to be, but you have to make sure that aligns with your business goals.
So if your goal is to build a fitness brand, then you NEED to position yourself online as a fitness expert.
There are people who’ve managed to cross over, but at the very beginning, sticking to one niche and making it grow like wildfire is the best way to move forward.
I started in lifestyle, moved to travel and now teach marketing. But every niche led to another, every past experience led to the next. That’s how it goes with building an online business.
Master one niche and one message, before you, hop on to the next new shiny thing.
#2 Commit to showing up.
I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you this.
The reason why my first blog failed was that I was just doing that for fun and always thought of it as a “creative outlet”. I wrote whenever I felt like. I treated it like a personal journal and had zero strategies in place. In that sense, this wasn’t much different from my private journals in high-school. (oops)
But you see at this point, I wasn’t making a single penny. If anything, I was bleeding money each month, with no idea what the potential of this activity could be.
And had I continued on the same path, I wouldn’t be running my own online business today. I would just be funding an expensive hobby.
So if you are serious about making a business out of your online expertise or platform, whether you are a blogger, a podcaster, a Youtuber or any other type of digital creator, the absolute thing you need to do is to commit to showing up.
How often you show up and which channel you show up on is up to you.
You can pick a schedule and a time that fits you, but there is no way to build a loyal audience, if you show up, “whenever you feel like.”
Ah, ah. BIG FAT NO.
You can pick the format that suits you best. I love writing, so I stuck to it. But of late, I’m also venturing into video because I enjoy the creative side of it. You might like to speak and record podcasts.
Whatever way you want to show up for your audience, commit time and energy into it.
Because let’s face it, no one ever grew by showing up once in a blue moon.
#3 Invest in learning new skills.
It’s funny that we invest hundreds of thousands of dollars, in traditional education, only for it to make us hate our 9-5 jobs and search for meaning instead. #millennials
YET, when it comes to investing in chasing our dreams, especially in fields that are new, unconventional and creative, we HESITATE.
Why is it that you are willing to pay through your nose and go into debt to build another person’s dreams but not yours?
This single mindset shift took me from -$500 in my first year and half of blogging to $10000+ in the first year of my second blog.
And what was the biggest contributor to my success? Investment in tools, resources, people and courses that would help me get to the next level.
Each time I spent $1, I made $100 back. Not only in real money value, but also in the crap ton of time and frustration I saved.
Because the truth of the matter is.
You don’t know what you don’t know.
And if you think you know everything, that’s exactly why you are getting nowhere in life. #somebodyhadtotellyou
And you can spend all day on Google trying to find out what you don’t know, but the chances of you getting the exact information you need at the exact time are pretty low.
Especially since not everyone has been in your shoes. Not everyone has done what you want to do. Not everyone has the lifestyle that you want to achieve.
So change your mindset from “I will only invest in traditional degrees” to “I will invest in whatever helps me uplevel my skills.”
Clarity, consistent commitment and learning is KEY to making all the difference when it comes to switching from a creator to a business mindset.
Lastly, keep in mind that you won’t make it overnight. There will be times that you will fail, you will launch to crickets and you will hate the days when you’re staying in on weekends to create content.
But that’s just the cost of building your dream. The cost of creating a life where you have total freedom, control and impact. It is not for everyone. But if this is the life you want, then you gotta work for it. 😉
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