Are You Making These 2 Massive Mistakes in Your Business?

Frustrated businesswoman crying Are you building a business that just doesn’t feel like it’s growing fast enough?  You’re working really hard but not making the money you want to make?

I want to introduce you today to one of my friends, mastermind partners, and super smart guy – Tony Tiefenbach.  Together with James Roche, he helps entrepreneurs design service-based businesses from $250,000 to $2 million working only 20 hours a week with one part-time assistant.  Don’t click away if that sounds unrealistic!  It’s totally possible for you with the right service and a solid plan.  Keep reading and find out the two biggest mistakes that are preventing you from creating the income you want.

Are You Making These 2 Massive Mistakes That
Prevent You From Bursting Past $20,000 – $100,000?


Article by Tony Tiefenbach & James Roche

After talking with hundreds of service-based entrepreneurs we’ve seen the two biggest mistakes holding people back from earning an extra $3,000 to $60,000 a month. The solutions to these common mistakes are simple and will burst you past the $20,000 to $100,000 a year income ceiling. And without the strategies I’m about to reveal to you, it’s very difficult to experience a true freedom based lifestyle from your business.

Massive Mistake #1: Majoring in the Means

Since working with thousands of entrepreneurs around the world I hear it all the time: “I need a list!”, “I need to get into social media”, “I need a brand!”, “I need to re-do my website”, “I need to get into video!”, and on and on.

It’s a trap.

Everyday you see those emails in your inbox saying, “Do this ONE thing and you’ll get rich.” This single tactic, this one single big tip is all you need to be successful. Or you go to an event and see the guru on stage say “I made $1 million dollars in 7 months and so can you!”

It’s a trap.

Maybe you’ve already done “x” number of programs and masterminds that promised abundance once you _______ (fill in the blank: build your list, do Facebook ads, create an info product, launch an info product, etc.)

It’s a trap.

Don’t get me wrong… all these tactics are good. But they are massive distractions, too. They trap good people who want to make a difference in the world and do well financially in what we call “majoring in the means.”

The term “means to an end” refers to any action carried out for the sole purpose of achieving something else. The problem arises when you get sucked into doing mostly means activities in your business… without knowing EXACTLY how it is affecting your bottom line.

It’s as if you want to become a better cook so you go out and buy all those fancy, shinny appliances. You spend tens of thousands of dollars on that chrome plated food processor, that knife that cuts garlic in that special way, that mega-powerful blender, and all the best ingredients you can get your hands on. There you stand in the middle of your kitchen surrounded with all these incredible tools and food when suddenly it dawns on you, “I have no recipe!”

No recipe means you have nothing to link all the great ingredients and appliances together. You didn’t spend all that money to have a bunch of fancy tools. You bought them so you can experience an amazing meal with family and friends.

But this is what a lot of entrepreneurs get trapped into doing… they focus all their efforts on tactic after tactic (means) with no real strategy behind how those tactics should be combined to lead to what we all really want from our businesses…

…Which is money, freedom, and the ability to make a huge impact on the world  (ends).

Focus on Profits

We’ve never met an expert who didn’t every tool and ingredient they need to burst past their income ceiling. And it’s probably all sitting right in front of you already, too. You don’t need another info product telling you any “secrets”. Chances are you’re focusing on things in your business right now that you know deep down you don’t need to be doing. What’s the fluff in your business? What activities can you eliminate?

Here’s how to decide what needs to be eliminated…

Take out a sheet of paper and write down everything you did hour by hour for the last 3 days in your business, and ask yourself:

“How did each of these activities specifically move me towards more profits in my business today, next week, and next month?”

If you answered “I don’t know” to any or all of your activities, chances are that thing you where/are doing is a massive distraction and will keep you searching for money in your business “when I get _____ done.” (Fill in the blank: my website, my list, my videos, my product, my ezine, my branding, etc.)

The Answer

Really think about this, “What is the easiest thing you can do now to make money THIS WEEK?”

Stop focusing on the means (tactics) and start focusing on the ends (profits).

Massive Mistake #2: Ignoring the Numbers

The two most important numbers in business are income and expenses. Here’s a super simple way to maximize both…

Important Number #1: Income

Do this easy exercise. Come up with a baseline number you need right now to live comfortably every month. This means all bills are met, all the basics of living are met, and you can rest at night. What’s your baseline number?

This is the minimum you need to make every month.

But baseline is boring!

We want to experience life to the fullest – no restrictions. So come up with another number… your Lifestyle Number.

What do you need to make to fully enjoy your life? This means buying those nice things, spending quality time with family and friends in cool locations, sending your kids to private school, etc. Come up with a second number that represents what you would REALLY like to make every month… and add 20% as a cushion.

Every month, all your marketing and sales efforts need to strive for your Lifestyle Number. No questions. No excuses.

Important Number #2: Expenses

We see a lot of entrepreneurs throw money at a problem or a product hoping more money will bounce back. It’s time to think like a CEO of your business. The real question you need to ask yourself when preparing in any addition to your business or any program is:

“What kind of return on investment (ROI) can I expect from this?”

How much money are you currently spending a month on XYZ? Do you know for a fact that you are getting a return on that investment? Or is it money you are spending every month with no idea of whether it is furthering your profits or not?

The question you need to ask yourself is, “Where do I need to invest my money so I get a clear ROI?” That determines where and how you spend money to grow your business. Simple!

How to Avoid These Massive Mistakes Forever

Most people have sluggish incomes because of confusion and feeling overwhelmed. There is a clear path customized to fit your unique situation and business. The challenge comes in trying to figure that out on your own. It’s like trying to tickle yourself! Not possible.

That’s why the most successful people have business mentors, not just coaches. A coach is great to give you encouragement and feedback, but a true mentor has traveled the path before you and knows EXACTLY where you need to step next for maximum results.

The top 3 qualities of a great mentor are:

  1. They’ve done it
  2. They’ve already helped others do it successfully
  3. They can help you do it

If you’re ready to break past the $20,000 to $100,000 ceiling in your business, come check out a special online event we’re having that will give you some excellent business models to lever your income even further with less time and stress:

Your Turn!  Do you see yourself in these mistakes?  Have you tracked your time to see if it’s really being spent productively?  What are your best tips for staying focused on your goals and on the activities that will get you there?

P.S.  Don’t forget to get signed up for the free online event!

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  1. Michelle, many of the things you’ve mentioned remind me of concepts in the book “The 4-Hour Work Week.” I read it last month.

    We’ve have so many ideas to help us get to where we want to be (for me it’s a certain family lifestyle), but creating the strategic blueprint is where the real results happen. Working on this myself right now Thanks!
    Elana Winfrey recently posted… Dear Employer, Do You Have A Social Media Policy? You Must!My Profile

    1. Yes, great book! Very lifestyle business focused as well. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Things You MUST Stop Doing (Seriously!)My Profile

  2. Excellent!! I haven’t figured all this out yet, but I will work on it today!! Thanks Michelle!

  3. I’m embarrassed to say that I DO see myself in this and I thought I was doing great, but I’m not where I want to be. Thanks for a couple of great exercises that I can try for myself to see what’s holding me back/taking up my time.
    Kimberly, The Fur Mom recently posted… 10 Tips for Saving Money for Dog Owners Without Sacrificing QualityMy Profile

    1. It’s all a process. I like to look at it like, I’m doing great right now but I can do even better! ;)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Easy Ways to Find Your Next 10 Fabulous Blog Post IdeasMy Profile

  4. As you say Michelle we get bombarded with all the ‘bright and shiny’ must do’s and sometimes it is hard to say ‘no’. Often, as you say the answers are right there in front of you and it is a matter of organizing them and yourself to make that extra income.
    Kaye Dennan recently posted… Goal Setting Really Does Get ResultsMy Profile

    1. Yep, all about self-discipline to focus on the right things – but starts with awareness.
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Things You MUST Stop Doing (Seriously!)My Profile

  5. Hi Michelle,
    Awesome post and I’ve signed up for the webinar to reinforce the message. I’m VERY regularly guilty of the first massive mistake and I’m focused on reducing it’s frequency and impact.
    Caylie Price, Better Business Better Life recently posted… How To Forget The B-Word And SucceedMy Profile

    1. Great goal, Caylie. And enjoy the webinar!
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Are You Making These 2 Massive Mistakes in Your Business?My Profile

  6. Nice post. You have figured out great things. We should not do these mistakes. I’ll try to avoid these mistakes. Your post helps a lot in making business successful.
    I appreciate your post!

    1. Thanks for commenting, Preet. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… 5 Easy Ways to Find Your Next 10 Fabulous Blog Post IdeasMy Profile

  7. Tough to admit publicly that I’m sometimes guilty of both of those mistakes (especially in the past) … so much easier to acknowledge that it’s been a major problem with every client I’ve ever coached.

    Thanks for the reminder of traps we fall into. Even though I know better. So, as a treat, I registered myself for the webinar. :)
    Kathy Henderson-Sturtz recently posted… Overwhelmed? Add this to your To-Do listMy Profile

  8. I still get stuck on the means some days and not the profits. I continually work towards it and have a plan that I am working. But, these are great reminders. I need to get better at tracking my time. I do so online using Rescue Time but I have not always tracked my offline time.

  9. Important questions …

    I learned valuable lessons after losing my business in 2001. I decided to take a detour from entrepreneurship, to of all places, a CPA firm. I was guided there for life lessons. Six months later, I was managing the firm, even though I wasn’t a bookkeeper. I learned – and now teach my clients and anyone who will listen – that too many entrepreneurs, small/medium sized business owners, have jobs that are disguised as businesses. There’s no structure or plan. Accounting is not prioritized. Personal and business finances are not separated, and they’re clueless as to what their profit margins are. I just described how I ran my business before it imploded.

    I ran my business as if I was making $30,000 per year even thought it was 5 times that and some. Businesses that fail to plan plan to fail – cliché’ but it’s true. I could hide behind the fact I was a single divorced mom totally responsible for 4 children but that would be an excuse … excuses be gone!!! I learned and grew.

    Over the years, I’ve mastered dealing with stress, but I need to figure out how to achieve my results in less time.

    I look forward to learning more!

    Thanks for sharing this information.
    Adalia John recently posted… How to Rest Your MindMy Profile

  10. This is one of the best post I’ve received. You truly hit it where everyone else are mistaken that is why success is so far to achieve.
    Connor Harley recently posted… 10 Unique Wedding Ideas on a BudgetMy Profile

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