5 common entrepreneur mistakes made when starting an online business (and how to overcome them)

If someone tells you that starting an online business is incredibly easy, they more than likely have not done it themselves OR they started their endeavors at the exact right time using their existing connections and network.

There might be exceptions, but for the most part, we can pour the cement.

5 common entrepreneur mistakes
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Retargeting marketing is highly effective but can also cause passiveness.

What do I mean by passiveness?

Say I watch one of Tai Lopez’s videos on YouTube because I like his content. I am from thereon followed by him over Facebook, YouTube and pretty much everywhere on the internet.

Retargeting marketing.

But, also, I am shown similar content on YouTube to this. People who have escaped their 9-5 jobs and are now living out of their laptops permanently in the Philippines, Thailand, Bali, etc.

Their business models revolve around showing you, also, how you too can live this laptop lifestyle.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it is definitely possible. But it is incredibly hard work.

I know, because I’m in the process of working towards it myself.

Starting an online business is more than just creating a product, getting a domain name, making a pretty logo and waiting for sales to come.

If that’s your current viewpoint, you’re not to be blamed.

It’s what we as online content consumers are consciously fed through advertising and the possibility of living the dream while following our passion.

RELATED POST: 10 ways you can turn your passion into a profitable online business 

Every successful online business today has its own story to tell, and you’ll find most of the stories involve A LOT of bad decisions that have forced them backward at some point. For every company and entrepreneur who’s started an online business that seems to be printing them effortless money, there are scores of entrepreneur mistakes that they’ve had to overcome.

As an online entrepreneur (whether you’re an amateur or not), recognizing the fact that you need to know how to deal with failure is one of the most character building things you can do. This is important, as you’re the glue to your online endeavor and by positively building yourself you’re also directly influencing your business.

Now, your journey to your entrepreneurial success will require more than just the skills to produce your products or services that you’ll be offering online.

Starting an online business will take from you a great amount of energy and determination.

I’ll go so far as to say that more than once it will drain you.

Buy hey, when time comes, and you’re thinking of all the reasons to give up, you just have to remember that people have been in your shoes and come out the other end. that you will dare to give up, just remember why you get started. (

Stay focused, don’t give up, and always remember why you started.

Remember your passion and think of the alternative (that’s how I always motivate myself).

5 common entrepreneur mistakes (and how to deal with them)

Here are 5 common mistakes online entrepreneur make.

These are based on my personal experience as well as listening to the stories of others and how they came to be. Podcasts, blog posts, books – the lot.

TIP! If you haven’t already, I suggest you check out the Podcast called Self Made Man by Mike Dillard. He interviews people who have successfully started businesses and mastered their life in one way or many.

There’s a lot more reasons people fail, for sure, but these are the ones I personally feel I want to express.

As you are reading each, really try and wrap each idea around your own self and your personal position.

1 – Expecting success to come quickly

Waiting for immediate success is one of the most common mistakes an online entrepreneur can make, but I will agree that it’s difficult not to expect things to happen fast.

As people working in the online space, we’re accustomed to seeing numbers go up.

You write a post and the views go up.

You share that post on social media and the likes, shares, comments – overall engagement numbers increase.

Yet, you don’t earn revenue and you soon hit a plateau in your numbers.

You find your posts only ever get 200 views and only a couple of shares.

You feel stagnant.

I’ve been there and am currently. I’m producing lots of content and getting engagement, but I haven’t had any out-of-this-world viral numbers.

And there are lots of people around me in the same field that are getting these large numbers that I’m chasing.

Now, more than likely, you’ve started (or want to start) your online business based on one of your passions; based on something you love doing or like to be immersed within. That’s what I’ve done here with this BeyondBeaver.com blog. I love sharing knowledge about working in the online space.

It would be easy for me to compare myself to others, give up based on my plateaus, and go back to doing work I have lost passion for, or I can keep going.

To keep going, I remind myself of those days where I have had some little wins and how they were unexpected, put my head down and keep on going.

I regularly review my numbers in my spreadsheets, keep learning and moving forward.

I remind myself that others have succeeded at what I’m doing, that I’m passionate about it and that others did not get there overnight.

Another example of this is my premium Beaver Builder Landing Page Templates. Over months of hard work and planning, I designed 8 Landing Page Templates. Yet, when these Landing Page Templates were released, I saw very few sales. I kept designing them, though, because I knew they were valuable because they saved people time, and eventually have ended up with over 15 of these premium templates. Over time, the sales have increased and now they are very popular. But, if I had stopped designing them when I had received no sales at the start, I don’t think I would have got the sales I’ve got to date today.

How to solve it: Don’t chase money instead of your passion. Do not expect results right away. The right time will come when all that you have invested – time, effort, money- will pay off. Success is made sweetest when you’ve tasted all the hardships and then overcome them all. You’ll often hear that “The journey is the destination” and I’m finding out that’s definitely true.

I read this book below and found it very useful. When starting your business, you’ll be doing a lot of things unrewarded that don’t make sense. For me, it might be guest posting which means spending hours writing content for someone elses website, and also helping people use Beaver Builder for free. But it all comes back. The power of giving is real in my eyes.


2 – Networking the wrong way

Although it’s advisable to widen your network and reach a larger market, you need to be cautious too.

Networking takes effort and time. You cannot get time back and effort goes quickly.

Now, I’m in no way saying that you should not make time for people who will not directly return something of benefit to you.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Always have time for people.” quote=”Always have time for anyone.”]

What I’m more so saying is that you need to consider you. You only have so much time in a day, and effort and time are directly related. The more you work, the more your energy diminishes. Your goals either move closer or further away based on how you’ve spent your time and effort.

To be successful you need to invest your time and effort wisely.

Think about customers – a business turns over profit when they have customers who are relevant to their products and services.

Networking is the same.

Networking with people who are relevant to your products and services is core to your business.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Your network is your net worth.” quote=”Your network is your net worth.”]

From what I’ve experienced, networking with like-minded people keeps you going. They’re people you can bounce ideas off, people who can share your content and get you the traffic you need to keep your drive to success alive.

How to solve this: Give extra effort to finding the right people, the right audience and the right strategy for your business. Don’t just rely on word of mouth; have a strategic plan on how you can reach your audience the right way for the right results by networking with the right people.

3 – Hiring the wrong people

“The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.” – Steve Jobs

You can only do so many things at once yourself. You can push yourself that little bit further, but eventually, you’ll get overworked or overwhelmed (whichever comes first).

Hire someone before this happens, and hire for the right jobs. Don’t just hire anybody – screen them, interview them and ensure they understand your vision.

I choose InMotion Hosting (who I recommend for web hosting) because their support staff know what they’re doing. If they didn’t hire the right people for support, I would have left them and they wouldn’t have a customer. Having the right staff is incredibly important!

How to solve this: Different online businesses can have different types of tasks. You can consider outsourcing, too. For me, hiring from Upwork.com has offered me the best candidates to employ and their system for payment and billing works well.

For my online business, I have found that I need to first understand the task at hand before I hire someone. This is for two reasons:

  1. I know if the hired person does it well or just hacks it together to save time (something that is always at the back of the mind of someone hiring for online work).
  2. I can explain step-by-step how it should be done. I’ve found jobs that are a bit open ended in their requirements go pear shaped.

The first point probably makes sense so I won’t delve into it, but the second point I want to quickly touch on based on my experiences.

I hire mainly for repetitive tasks, and only for tasks which will be done repeatedly.

You have to also remember that when you hire, there will be the time spent explaining the requirements, how you want it done, communicating between time zones and discussing pay. It all adds up and sometimes it is better to just do it yourself. But if the job is going to be repeatedly done (i.e. setting up a facebook ad, setting up a WordPress install), then the time spent teaching initially will be a lot less over time than the time saved by them doing each and every time you need it done.

Lastly, consider not only the costs, but most importantly, their skills, professionalism, and competency.

NOTE: I will be writing a separate post on outsourcing so please subscribe to the mailing list if you’d like to receive this.

4 – Poor communication

Poor communication is like a silent plague ruining your business. What will be your clients and customers’ impression about you if there’s no clear and reliable communication between you and them? Online reputation counts; that’s why we have star-ratings on websites AND why it’s the first thing I apply to any filters when I am filtering results in directories etc.

[clickToTweet tweet=”One thing to avoid in business is putting your product first and people at last.” quote=”One thing to avoid in business is putting your product first and people at last.”]

How to solve it: Choose an effective communication medium that can connect you to your audience effortlessly. It should be simple for you but even simpler for your customers. For me, Social Media, email, and the Live Chat on my website (powered by Tidio Chat currently) are what my readers interact with the most.

Listen to social media as well. Social Media is a powerful tool when used for checking the pulse of your customers (yes, your customers are breathing humans. Don’t forget this while sitting behind your computer).

Also, get them on your Mailing List, inside your Facebook Group – whatever you’re using, it doesn’t matter. Then, create funnels that keep them engaged with your business so they’re reminded that you’re not left in the dark.

Automate, automate, automate.

It’ll keep your customers happy and save your ass.

5 – Focusing on money, forgetting the passion

Money can be a great motivator. Seeing paychecks and generating income will boost your self-esteem. But hey, you can be also blinded by that. If you solely focus on money and forget your passion, your goal of developing a fulfilling business that you’re passionate about WILL NOT be achievable.

How to solve this: Remember that money alone can bring you many great things, but even the rich get depressed.

Constantly (and consistently) take a minute out of your day to really consider why you started this pursuit of a successful business. Consciously remind yourself that you’re passionate about what you’re working towards.

When you always remind yourself that you love what you do, you become inspired and thus motivated to pursue what you have started.

There is often a lot of time between starting a business and reaping the rewards, and sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back and remind yourself why you’re doing it all again.


Mistakes are a part of life and your business is no exception. Instead of viewing mistakes as things that can ruin everything, see them as a stepping stone to moving closer to your goal. Hey, if something doesn’t work, at least you can say to yourself “I won’t do that again”. Compound that out and soon you’ll know so much more from all the wrong decisions you’ve made and the things that failed.

Stay focused. Make mistakes.

Find new ways to do things, persevere through the mistakes and failures, and I’m sure one day you’ll be sipping on that pina colada, in Thailand, saying to yourself “that was all worth it”.

Hey! I'm Grant Ambrose,

My WordPress website generates millions of dollars in sales each year and I put together this website to help you do the same

I believe that a lot of the time, we aren't doing things that will help our business NOT because we don't know how to do it, but rather we don't even know it is possible. My website aims to change this. My website is here to help show YOU what is possible - what YOU could set up in your business with WordPress to increase sales, automate tasks and (ultimately) turn your ideas into working WordPress solutions.

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