written by Racheal Cook MBA
There’s a big reason why so many women entrepreneurs are finding themselves stuck in their business.
Despite all of the courses, all of the late nights, all of the Googling for answers, they find themselves unable to get past their current level of success…
… and they’re not exactly sure what it is that’s going to help them break through to that elusive Next Level where they have more revenue coming in the doors, more time back in their schedule, and the ‘dream life and business’ they have been promised.
Let’s start by looking at what I have observed with women entrepreneurs who are feeling stuck in their business.
The statistics show that it’s not uncommon to get stuck at a certain level of success.
» 75% of women entrepreneurs are generating less than $50,000 a year in gross revenue.
» The majority of them are generating less than $30,000 a year in gross revenue.
» Only 12% are breaking that elusive Six-Figure mark where they’re making $100,000 or more in their business (less than 3% break 7 figures).
When women entrepreneurs are generating $50K or less in revenue, they honestly don’t have enough revenue coming into their business to create the business and the life that they are truly dreaming of.
(Especially when you remember that $50K revenue ≠ $50K owners pay! That revenue must cover the cost of operating expenses, fees, taxes… all before paying the business owner!)
They don’t have the revenue that would allow them to hire some support so they’re not working 24/7, hustling for each and every client.
They don’t have the resources to help them consistently show up and market their business.
When they’re not making enough revenue, they are stretched way too thin!
But when they finally break through to that ‘Next Level’, amazing things start to happen.
» They’re able to get some support behind the scenes to run the day to day (administrative, operations, or customer service tasks) of their business.
» They’re able to get some support at home so they aren’t shutting down the computer after an 8 hour day just to work what feels like a second job at home.
» They’re able to afford the right software and technology to run their business more efficiently.
» They’re able to buy back their time and stay focused on the things they truly love to do instead of having to wear all of their hats in the business and life.
In the decade working with women entrepreneurs, I have seen that there’s two types of entrepreneurs who stay stuck in this zone::
The first are true beginners who are just getting started. They need some business training as they work through the startup stage of business growth and put the foundations in place.
At this point, they should already have the experience and expertise to offer clients.
So if they’re coming in as a nutritionist, they should actually have the correct training and/or certifications to begin to offer that service to the public.
* And if they don’t have the relevant experience, they should go get that experience ASAP. *
But what they’re often missing in this startup mode is the greater business foundations for sustainable growth::
» Clear + Compelling Offers. The right product, program, or service at the right price point that solves the right problem for the right people.
» Marketing System. A real plan to get the word out about their business and draw potential clients in.
» Sales System. An essential for understanding how to take those potential clients from ‘window shoppers’ to happily paying clients.
There’s a lot that they have to figure out in that startup stage!
And because there’s so much to figure out, it’s can be a little bit overwhelming, right?
These business beginners get stuck because they need INFORMATION.
They need the training to understand how a business works, and what they need to do in order to get those business foundations in place (I’d recommend starting with this post on how to start your business).
But what is the second group of entrepreneurs?
This next group of entrepreneurs is stuck – not because they’re still in the startup stage – but because they are unsure of what they need to do next and need a clear strategy.
They get stuck thinking they need to learn more tips, tricks, and tactics.
They get stuck thinking they need to keep testing and tweaking and changing things in their business.
They get stuck doing #ALLTHETHINGS they think they need to do FIRST (new website, grow social media following, etc) before they put their offer in front of more potential clients.
They are trapped in the TOP SECRET ENTREPRENEUR LAB.
The top secret entrepreneur lab is where we all go when we’re trying to create something new.
But it’s not public, right? It’s top secret.
The problem is business doesn’t work like that.
Business requires things to be out in the public to actually validate that it’s going to work.
People who get stuck in this top secret entrepreneur lab aren’t putting their work out into the public to validate that people actually WANT and WILL PAY FOR their offers.
And then they get stuck with information and ideas… but not IMPLEMENTING a strategy that will get those ideas out into the world.
So these struggling, stressed out solopreneurs get stuck because they aren’t in IMPLEMENTATION MODE, they are in INFORMATION OVERLOAD.
And they truly feel like they have really good reasons why…
For some entrepreneurs, they get stuck in information mode wayyy too long because they feel like they just aren’t ready yet!
They feel like they aren’t qualified enough. Or don’t have enough experience. Or don’t have enough certifications.
I see this so often with women entrepreneurs who don’t feel confident in owning their area of expertise – and this feeling turns into women who pursue certification after certification, training after training, course after course.
Feeling not ready or not expert enough can turn into a great procrastination tactic… but there’s a line where we need to get the real hands-on experience working with real clients AND START GETTING PAID!
Many women entrepreneurs may find themselves stuck in the top secret entrepreneur lab because they feel like everything needs to be PERFECT before they can share it with the public (I see you enneagram type 1s!)
I especially see this with women entrepreneurs who want to have the perfect photos, the perfect branding, the perfect website – they feel like they need to invest time, energy, and money into these things before they can go out there and start working with paying clients.
Now, there IS a time and a place for investing into branding and photography and all the pretty things.
But there are also MANY women entrepreneurs who have broken through this excuse and started getting clients without a website, without professional photos, and even without a big following on social media or email list!
They didn’t let those things become barriers to going out there and getting clients. They took action!
There are also many people stuck in the top secret entrepreneur lab who are simply terrified of failure, so they continue to invest into courses and coaches in an attempt to avoid failure at all costs.
I can tell people are stuck with this excuse because they might try a tactic once, but when it doesn’t get the amazing results they see someone else getting with the same tactic, they immediately throw up their hands to say ‘well that didn’t work – let me try to find another tactic’.
For example, one of my clients felt like she was a failure in launching her online program because she didn’t get the numbers of clients signing up for it as another entrepreneur in her niche.
Her instinct was to burn it all down and start over again!
She felt like it was a sign she should create a new offer or try a new launch strategy – and she was ready to go buy yet ANOTHER course because she was hoping that would be the magic formula that actually grows her business dramatically.
But when we paused and analyzed what was REALLY going on, we realized that in fact her conversion rate was incredible at over 10%!
» The problem wasn’t the offer.
» The problem wasn’t the audience.
» The problem wasn’t the way she launched.
The problem was just MATH!
Because she didn’t understand the math behind the strategy, she assumed her launch was a failure because she didn’t have the number of clients sign up that she had hoped for.
On closer look – she just needed to get her offer in front of MORE potential clients. The math would work in her favor!
Her launch wasn’t a failure at all!
But understanding the numbers behind it gave her important data that could help her grow her business and make more strategic decisions.
If any of these challenges are resonating with you, then the Unsexy Secrets to Sustainable Success series is here to get you unstuck!
And if you haven’t checked out The Business Growth Checklist, I would highly recommend grabbing that right now.
In the next part of The Unsexy Secrets to Sustainable Success, we’re going to talk about how we can shift out out of the “But I’m Not Ready Yet/It’s Not Perfect Yet/Not Sure What Next Step to Take” spinning in circles information overload and getting into IMPLEMENTATION MODE towards the next stage of business growth.
1:: Despite women starting businesses at faster rates than ever before – the money is not matching up as women owned businesses generate less than $30K – $50K annual business revenue.
2:: Why are the numbers so low? It’s all about getting stuck in information overload instead of implementation mode.
3:: A huge part of entrepreneurial success is about getting understanding when the excuses are keeping us stuck in the Top Secret Entrepreneur Lab and how we can take action steps towards the predictably profitable business we really want.