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Have you ever felt like the picture below?

I understand what you're feeling. I've been there. Starting is hard for some of us. There's so much you have to learn. There are so many systems that you have to put together to make work for you. And there are so many people doing what you want, but making all the money because they're just better. And there's --


Sorry about that, but I had to stop you from singing that same old song. Trust me, I've sung it plenty. I know the tune and the words with my eyes closed. If I could make an EP out of that song and put it up on Spotify...

And I wouldn't make any money because the song is very tired.

Yeah, it's a challenge. There are a lot of things you have to learn, especially if you are new to this. Look, I'm not here to belittle your problems. Yes, you do have problems just like everyone else. And yes your problems are a big deal for you to deal with, I bet. I know mine are. But despite the problems we have, we still have a life we have to live.  Sometimes we have to go through challenges in life. And sometimes we have to take a few losses when we face those challenges.

And as a writer who wants to make money, you may have taken a big L. I know I have and more than likely will continue to take a few L's here and there.

You think you need a little more information, right? You've been looking at how-to videos and reading blogs for years. Do you need to make other people money without taking action and building your dreams? That's what you'll be doing if you continue to mindlessly watch them and never take action. Not saying that's your specific issue. But I am saying that I know I got caught up in watching a lot of self-help and how-to videos. They made me feel like I was doing something. However, I wasn't. In 2021-2023, I began doing stuff.

That's when I started taking action. And has my life changed? Not drastically, but I am making small steps in the right direction. I'm improving here and there as a writer and as a business owner. Though I haven't come too far when you look at where I could be, I've come farther than I expected. Yep, that's right. I never thought I could make it to stand at the starting point of this marathon called building my business as an author. Yet I got there. And once I got there, I began taking some steps forward, putting more distance between me and the starting line.

To take a step forward is to go in a direction very uncomfortable and unfamiliar to you. And it's scary because what you don't know has a chance of being dangerous. If you don't understand a certain thing, it can leave you in ruins. And a business can very much do that if you're not careful. If you throw money mindlessly at ad campaigns that don't work or needlessly spam people on social media, self-promoting your work and offering no value to others, chances are you will do yourself and your business more harm than good.

Just like the big red letters in the picture above reads, you will face risk with anything you do. Starting a business isn't an exception. But there are ways to plan around risks. We can lower the chances of risks leaving us in worse positions than we are currently in by planning and preparing for them. Risk mitigation is the steps one takes to make sure potential threats and downsides of business have less of a chance to cause significant harm to one's self and those they do business with. That's my official definition - and fact-check me to make sure I'm at least on the right track with my definitions.

With that said, the idea of risk mitigation isn't to make sure you eliminate all risks. The idea is to make sure you can handle the risks - or make the more unbearable ones more tolerable for you to handle. It would be foolish to be so risk-averse that you never take a chance on anything. You don't know everything, and that's fine. That's why we can learn new things. So if you can protect yourself enough from potential adverse outcomes, and learn and adapt using the information you have gathered while building your business, then you'll more than likely be fine - assuming you manage your finances correctly. Of course, I put financial management under the umbrella of risk mitigation.

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While I did mention you should manage your risks, you should also take the data you receive and test what works with your audience. Why can't you just watch a formulaic video or listen to people talk about what works and what doesn't and call it a day? Well, those videos may provide you with some helpful information. I'll admit that. But to find what you need to make your business connect with others, you'll need to create a minimum viable product to test with your potential audience. If they give positive feedback to you, then use that to create a product your audience is willing to buy.

I can promise you that you won't find what sells for you from a formulaic video or a top tips and tricks blog post. You may find something helpful from those videos and blogs. However, you won't find what you need to find to find the success you want until you get answers directly from your intended audience. The best way to do that is to experiment.

It may not be best for me, as someone who wants to write a blog and sell stuff online, to tell you to spend less time online reading and buying courses. But you're not worried about what's best for me. Besides, I'm fine regardless of who consumes my content, buys my stuff and who doesn't. I don't create or sell people stuff to take care of my needs. I do it to bring others a solution to their problems. But anyway, I would encourage you to take some low-risk chances to find out what works best for you. However, I'm going to tell the truth whether it hurts me or not. The truth is watching or reading my stuff won't build your business. You know that. Watching listening or reading anyone's stuff won't build your business. You know the person who will, so I probably shouldn't bother saying anything. So let me point it out instead.

I mean, I hate pointing fingers, so I got someone else to do it. But yeah, it's you. You're the only one who can make that vision you have in your heart and mind come true. So you have to do something.

But you know that. That's why you're consuming so much content. That's why you're implementing some things here and there.

Instead, you end up doing is either quitting because things got tough and you don't know how to get through it or you consume the content and just don't do anything at all. Or you waste time trying to make something work that's not going to work. I've done all three so I'm not judging you. 

But I am calling it out. If you want to be successful in your business, then you have to call yourself out when you're just making excuses not to do something. You have to make yourself decide that either you're going to do the thing you say you want to do or you're not going to do it. And you have to accept whatever choice you make so you won't drive yourself crazy.

Look, it's best to find out something isn't for you before you're involved in it too deeply. So if you feel like something's off about starting a business for you, take some time to explore those feelings. Why are your instincts telling you to stop? What are your fears? How do you manage them? Or should you listen to them? Those are hard decisions you'll have to make. And there's nothing wrong with whatever choice you make - so long as it is well thought out.

Building a business isn't for everyone. It may have just been a sexy dream for you. Hey, we all love to dream. But our dreams don't necessarily fit into reality sometimes. The reality is, it's tough building a business. And there are no magic tactics out there that can help you.

But wait! There is something that can help!

What? That guy in the picture? No, he won't help you I don't believe. I mean, maybe he will if you know him. Anyway, forget the guy! He's having an aha moment just like you're about to have. You don't need tactics, especially at the beginning stages of your journey to be in business. You need to understand the simple fundamentals.

Have you ever heard of SMART goals? Sure, that's an acronym. However, the system is pretty smart. You see, SMART goals give you something tangible and manageable to build off of. That's why it's so heavily talked about. You're specific when setting your goal so you know what you're going after and what results you want to achieve. You have something measurable so you can know when you've reached your goal and what you need to do to adjust if you're off track. It has to be achievable, of course. Why go after something you actually can't ever achieve? It has to be relevant or realistic because if it's not important to you and if it's something that can't be done in reality, then you're just wasting your time. And it has to be time-bound so you'll act with some urgency to get it done.

Just like SMART goals are used to break down something complicated into something simpler, you have to do the same with what you learn about building a business. Building a business is scary because you think you don't know where to start. Well, if you don't know, let me tell you. If you want a business, then you want to make money. To make money, you have to build an audience!

Yeah, you're going to need those people. And when you find your people, you have to make them want to applaud for the value you give them as well. So, the first thing you should do is do your research. What kind of audience do you want to sell to? What products, services, or content do they need? In the case of an author, what types of stories does your audience like to read? What's missing from their favorite genre of book?

It doesn't matter what industry you go in. You have to be a problem solver if you're going to be in business. If you're an author looking to sell books to an audience, then you have to solve your audience's problem to make a profit. So, you begin doing your research and documenting what problems your audience has so you can come up with some solutions.

You start with your audience's problem. Then you bring them so much value that they repeatedly return to you. It's not rocket science. It's running a business. Business is all about resolving other people's problems in some way with your content, products, or services.

I aim to help you solve your problem by giving you the mental tools you need to break down complicated issues into their simple, foundational form. And as time goes on, I'll get a lot better at doing that. So stop in and find something helpful for you. Just click the little button below to read some insightful articles about writing!