I set a 15-minute timer.  I had to use this productivity hack because I’m not excited to write this blog post.  I’m too wrapped up in my fear of failure to write. 

If you decide to bail out now – I get it.  I’m not exactly selling this.

I’m not good at marketing myself (see evidence above).  I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my first few years of entrepreneurship.  And I’m not alone. 

Sure we talk about fail fast, but I think most business owners live with a slow, unexpected type of failure.  Perhaps everything blurs after awhile.  But I can say that you fail more than you succeed.

I want to do my part to change this. 

It’s crucial for you to know what you’re getting yourself into if you’re going to start a business.  You should know there’s nothing more important than failing.  If you can learn to fail better than your competition, that’s how you become a success.

So to be successful, I need to build a new growth strategy based on the things I’m going to continue to fail at, only better.

My entrepreneurship sins include but not limited to:

  1. Not marketing
  2. Selling to the wrong customer
  3. Not loving what I did

Marketing is Talking About Yourself

Selling is talking about yourself. I’m an introvert.  I’d rather sit in a dark cave doing work in perfect silence than talk.  But introverts can be great leaders.

We’re bombarded with people talking at us to sell us something every day.

But you can’t just talk; you have to have something to say worth hearing.

Selling To The Wrong Customer Will Increase Your Fear

Not everyone is your customer.  But there is that special business someone known as your ideal customer

The problem is you don’t know who your ideal customer is when you’re first starting.  Which means you try every one. And that means you need to do a great job at tracking whom you’re testing.  I did an OK job.

I’d review every sales pitch, but get stuck on whether the root cause was my process or the customer persona.  It took me a long time to get to the data point I needed, which was hearing, “we don’t have that problem.” 

This was how I knew I was selling to the wrong person. 

If someone doesn’t have the problem, there’s no way in hell they’re shelling out money to fix it.  It sounds simple but listening isn’t an easy skill.  Especially when you’re wrapped with being afraid of making a mistake.

Don’t Fear Discovering Your Entreprenuerial Passion

What’s more important – finding your passion or building a scalable, profitable business?  I found out prioritizing my complex business plan was wrong.

I think I found comfort in planning.  As if, the more I planned the better chance I wouldn’t make a mistake.

When my first business made money, I was ecstatic. I thought I’d figured it out.  But even when my profit margin and team size grew exponentially, my happiness did not. 

It turns out you need passion more than cash.  Cash can come and go, but passion transforms your fear of failure into hope that good days are always around the corner.

How I’m Going To Turn Struggles Into Business Strategy

I wish I knew how to explain the emotions I feel by starting again.  It’s part hopelessness and part hope. 

  • I’m tired when I remember how exhausting it can all get. 
  • I feel hopelessness that I may not figure it out this time. 

But at the same time, I’m hopeful

We get in our own way.  We’re so deep in our problems we can’t see the solution right in front of us.  So this plan is built out of the hope that I can get out of my way to:

  1. Establish micro habits – habits too small to fail
  2. Time study – learn how much time I have in the day)
  3. Create a new marketing plan and sales strategy
  4. Say fuck it – just a little

What’s Next For Us

This post was a real downer!  But that’s part of the entrepreneurship story.  You learn to curb the ups and downs to live in the middle. By doing this, you can survive long enough to thrive.

You learn to be agile because nothing ever works out.  You learn to follow your heart because you get a taste of living with a purpose and following your passion.

You learn how to make yourself uncomfortable but not unhappy.

Even though I’m worried this isn’t interesting or professional enough, I’m going to post it because I’m tired of being afraid.  I’m ready to say fuck it.

Ashley Asue Guerrilla Analytics Private Equity Consultants
At 26, she was asked to create a new department to grow their Fortune 300 company using Lean Six Sigma continuous improvement.
While working with consultants and experts, she saw a common thread among their challenges and failures.
With this insight, she created a custom process to create a high-performance company.
As the only CPA and business architect in the US, she helps others use creativity instead of cash to efficiently build their businesses.