3 Common Excuses That Keep You From Growing Your Online Business

If you are struggling with growing your online business, it’s likely you’re giving one of the excuses that I hear from mama business owners all the time. Today we’re chatting about what those excuses are and what they really mean for our long-term business success.

Full disclosure: Sometimes growth doesn’t feel good. And this episode is about ready to get real. So, are you ready for a little tough love? If so, let’s get started.

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3 Common Excuses That Keep You From Growing Your Online Business

Well hey there and welcome to the Mama Business Podcast. I’m your host, Sarah Brumley, and I’m really happy you’re taking this time to hang out with me today.

Full disclosure: I’m recording this podcast the day before it goes live, which is super unusual for me. I’m a plan ahead, get it done well in advance, type of person but these past couple of weeks have made it challenge to keep up, much less stay ahead.

And it’s interesting because I sat down with my husband last night and we were talking through the ins and outs of running a business and trying to keep up with the laundry and all of the things that come with having children with special needs, and so on and I told him that I thought it was baffling that during one of the craziest seasons for our family, which this one seems like it’s been – despite all of that, my business has grown significantly. This podcast has grown exponentially and I’ve been able to meet not only my deadlines for client work, but I’ve also been successful in creating and getting ready to launch the Mama Business Blueprint. Which, by the way if you haven’t registered for, you can do so at sarahbrumley.com/blueprint.

Don’t get me wrong when I tell you all of this, okay, because, I’m not gloating. I’m not saying that I’m better than anyone else around me. What I am saying is that it is possible to have a family, to keep up with that family, with all of their needs, and still run a successful business at the same time. It’s possible. I’m proof of that.

Is it hard? You bet. But it’s possible.

The problem is that sometimes we are so attached to our excuses, that we can’t see past them to growth.

And that’s why today I want to spend some time with you, chatting about the common excuses that I hear from mama business owners all of the time. And if you are struggling to grow your business, my guess is that they might be excuses you’re giving as well. But I don’t want to just focus on those excuses. Because we need to dig a bit deeper and really get to the root of the issue. Because, the excuses we verbalize aren’t the issue. And until we actually address the root of the issue, we will never be able to grow the business of our dreams.

Sometimes growth doesn’t feel good. And this episode is about ready to get real. So, are you ready for a little tough love? Let’s jump into those excuses.

Excuse #1: I don’t have time

The first excuse I hear is, “I don’t have time”. You’ve said this before, right? I know that I have. In fact, I created an entire episode about this excuse so you can check that out – it’s episode 40.

But, trust me, mama. I’m well aware that you have a lot on your plate. A lot of things vying for your attention and your time and your energy.

The problem is that “I don’t have time” is really just another way we say “that’s not my priority”. Because, you do have time. You can get a business up and running five, ten, fifteen minutes at a time, if needed. But…where do you spend that time? Scrolling social media? Watching television? Are you just looking for ways to avoid doing what you know you should be doing?

Sure, at times you might have to barter with your spouse, a friend or someone else to watch the kids so you can get a little uninterrupted work done, but for the most part, you have time in your day to make your business dreams a reality. You do. I know it, and I’m guessing so do you.

When I first started my business, we didn’t have a separate office area for me. So, I set my computer up behind the couch and I “watched television” with my family while I worked. I created content, scheduled Pinterest pins, completed client work, and did all the things during that time frame. And I used my kids nap or quiet time do the same thing. From the outside looking in, that’s not a lot of time, right? But for me, that hour of television at night plus an hour or two of nap time during the daytime meant that I was racking up 10-15 hours per week of work time.

That’s a significant amount. In fact, as a comparison, even as my business has grown to what it is today, I still only work 15-20 hours per week.

So, “I don’t have time” is not the excuse. “It’s not a priority” is the excuse. And let’s remind ourselves of that.

And, ultimately, if growing your online business is not a priority – it won’t grow. Because anything that really matters to you, has to be a priority.

Excuse #2: I can’t afford it

That brings us to the second excuse which is “I can’t afford it”.

So, my business is primarily focused on helping business owners get their systems up and running. From website design to making sure that everything is connected properly to SEO and beyond, that’s what I do. And my 1:1 services aren’t free. They cost money and are often a bit of a sticker shock for potential clients who come to work with me.

I very frequently hear “well, I can’t afford that” or “that’s out of my price range” or whatever else it might be. And I’m all for making sure that the decisions you make within your business are financially sound. So, don’t get me wrong there, but let me tell you a little bit about what you can’t afford to miss out on. Okay?

A couple of years ago – maybe three or four, actually, I had a client that came to me looking for a website redesign. She didn’t want to invest the money to have the SEO portion of that added on, so we went ahead and just redesigned her website. Six months later, she returned because her traffic was still stagnant and she wasn’t getting the client leads that she wanted.

So, she told me that she wanted to go ahead and pursue the SEO package. And I’ve talked about SEO before – that’s essentially making your site super attractive for Google so that you can attract your ideal clients through search. Okay?

But anyways, we completed the SEO project for her. She invested – at that time, I believe it was a $600 package – so she invested that money into SEO, and within 60 days she had three new clients from Google to the tune of $18,000. For anyone who’s not great at math, that’s a $17,400 profit.

And that was the beginning for her.

So, yes, while the money to get your systems or your strategy or whatever it is related to your business might seem like a lot at the time, remember what the return on that investment could be.

And remember, the longer you wait to invest, the longer you wait to see that return. And the snowball effect of your efforts.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are times when there just aren’t additional financial resources to go around. And…if that’s the case, then you may have to bootstrap it for awhile. You may have to invest more time instead. But I do know that for most of us, there’s normally a way to make it happen.

When I launched my first website, we didn’t have much extra in our budget. I told my husband that I wanted to be able to invest the money for the domain and hosting package, as well as one course that I knew would help me get it all up off the ground. And you know what, we had to make sacrifices. I spent a month going through all of our belongings and deciding what might fetch a small or even slightly larger amount if I sold it. And, five, ten dollars at a time, I slowly was able to put together the amount I needed to invest.

And you know what…it was the best decision I could have made. Plus, we didn’t miss any of the things I let go of. And I’ve seen a huge return on that investment. So that’s something.

So, if you find yourself making the excuse of “I can’t afford it”, I want you to think about the following:

  • What are you paying for right now that you could put on hold for a short time period? Maybe it’s a subscription, or a daily coffee run, or…something else that’s not necessary.
  • What assets do you have that you could sell to bring in a little cash?
  • How quickly can you bring in a new client or stream of revenue so that you have money at your disposal?
  • What sacrifices could you make for this time frame so that you can see those big results monetarily going forward? Maybe everyone is willing to eat at home for the month and save that eating out cost. Or, maybe your family is okay with oatmeal for breakfast instead of the expensive boxed cereal.

So, once again, just like “I don’t have time” is not the excuse, “I can’t afford it” is also not the excuse. “It’s not a priority” is the excuse. And let’s remind ourselves of that.

And, ultimately, if growing your online business is not a priority – it won’t grow. Because anything that really matters to you, has to be a priority.

Excuse #3: I don’t know where to start

The final excuse I commonly hear from business owners is “I don’t know where to start”. And unlike those first two “non-excuses” I think this one comes with a little validity. Because, when you are just starting out in business, there are things you don’t know and it can feel a little overwhelming. When this becomes an issue, though, is when you don’t move past it. When you sit here and allow that “not knowing” to keep you from doing anything.

Here’s the truth. You do know what to do next. You know you need to have systems in place. You know you need to have a marketing strategy that works for you. You know you need to sign clients and make money. You know those things.

And you do have resources at your disposal. You have this podcast and you are listening to it. You have the opportunity to jump into a course that walks you through all of the steps for your business systems and strategy. You have people around you that are willing to join in community and help you remain accountable to yourself and your dreams.

So, take action. Do the things you know you need to do, even if it’s just small steps in the right direction.

And stop allowing this to be an excuse.

Because once again, just “I don’t have time” and “I can’t afford it” are not the excuses, neither is “I don’t know where to start”. If this is your priority. If you want to grow this business, achieve this dream, you’ll take the next step. You’ll figure out where to start and you’ll do so.

Because if it really matters to you – you’ll do anything to make it happen.

Take Action: Prioritize Growing Your Online Business

And that brings us to the action part of this episode. And we all know that action is where the dreams turn into the reality. And today’s action step is this:

ACTION: I want you to take some time today to really think about the priority you place on growing your online business.

You started your business because you had a dream of success. You know it has the potential to become something amazing. But the real reason you aren’t growing that business isn’t because you don’t have the time or the money or the know how – it’s that you aren’t actually committed to making it happen. You aren’t prioritizing it. Today’s the day to change that. It’s time to get serious.

These excuses that I brought up today play no actual role in the success of your business. Because you can build a business five minutes at a time. You can bootstrap it – with little to no financial resources at your disposal, and you can figure out how to make it all work, even if that means you embrace training or services of those that have gone before you.

So, take some time today to think about how you will make the growth of your business a priority as you move forward.

And, if you know that the next step for your business is to get your marketing strategy and systems up and running – then, the Mama Business Blueprint is for you. I’ll be walking you through each step of the process so that there’s no guesswork or overwhelm or wondering what to do next. And, I’ve made it super affordable for you to get started, so head over to sarahbrumley.com/blueprint to register today.

Mama, I know this was a lot of tough love, but I know you have this in you and I am cheering you on every single step of the way. Have an amazing day and I’ll chat with you again next time.

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