The title of this article might be a little confusing, so please allow me to explain. When people come to us asking how to create a successful ecommerce store, what they really want to know is what are the steps. For example, they want to know how to choose a niche, how to source products, how to build a website etc. When we first wrote Retail Rebellion, this is also what we focused on giving people. Give them what they want right? The problem with this is that it feeds the school/uni/career (SUC) mentality that we all tend to bring when we first start out in business.
A SUC mentality is where you are fed everything. You might think that you did the research, that you came up with the creative, that you implemented that new system at your workplace, but in reality, it was all part of a system that told you what to go and do, and you went and did it. The great challenge of entrepreneurship is when you wake up, sit down in front of a computer screen, and have no idea what you should be doing next. That is typically when somebody might give us a call and want to meet for a coffee. The problem we’ve found is that although we are often happy to do this, and you may find it helpful for whatever your next step might be, you have to understand that at some point, you won’t be able to do this anymore. The reasons might be that we are no longer about to help for personal reasons, or simply that your specific niche starts to require ideas, thoughts and actions that ours don’t. Every product niche is different, and often serves different customers, who see value in a different way, or come into contact with your business in a different way. Some niches are Instagram plays for example, while others aren’t.
A mentor or a coach can help you speed up your journey for sure, but ultimately every one who wants to be a successful entrepreneur needs to be able to sit down in front of a computer, with no external input, and come up with new ideas and new experiments for their own business. If you are unable to ever progress to this level, you will eventually fail – guaranteed. Tess and I got into the mentoring/coaching game because we wanted to be to others what we could never find for ourselves – someone who has “been there done that”. We do realise now though, that we had the bonus of having to figure everything out for ourselves, and that has given us the benefit of self-reliance.
For many people, the idea of having to solve everything by yourself without a guide might be daunting (even after ten years it still is to us), but picture the bright side. If you can cross over to being a bonafide entrepreneur, then you will become someone who can always solve problems in the marketplace without being fed by anyone else. Jobs come and jobs go, money comes and money goes, businesses come and businesses go, but the confidence and ability to solve problems and provide value to the marketplace can never be taken from you, so long as you commit to taking responsibility for your own learning, experimenting and problem solving. So instead of watching another video or reading another article on whether or not Facebook Ads will work for your niche, go and launch a few ads and start testing for yourself, or hire someone to do it for you (with a pre-determined idea of what the tests will be and what outcomes will result in a pass/fail). Either way, get experimenting and learn for yourself what works and what doesn’t. This is the ultimate financial independence.