The Untold (But Needed) Story of How to Succeed as an Entrepreneur
Yesterday over tea at The Drake I was asked, “What do you think about the posts on Instagram that say ‘I quit my job and now make X-dollars on Instagram and you can too’?”
My reply: It’s mostly BS.
That’s not to say that you cannot monetize your Instagram or any other social media platform. You absolutely can!
But those statements are only part of the story, used to draw people in without the hard truth of entrepreneurship as a digital creator or other small business owner: it’s going to take work.
What It REALLY Takes to Build a Business
What I call BS on is those who say how “easy” it is. Y’all, this is not easy. A hobby can be easy. But if you’re running a business, then it will not be easy. It is work. It can be fun work, but still work nonetheless.
Success, however you want to define that for you, is not a “Do this and you’ll be turning away clients” kind of thing. It is this statement from Mark Cuban 👇🏻
Success as a small business owner is 100% about being curious enough to learn what you don’t know and quite simply:
Doing. The. Work.
But, there is no substitute for actually doing the work. This is not a “Well, this is just Channing’s opinion” statement either. It’s a fact.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics research, 45% of businesses fail within the first five years, 65% within the first 10 years and only 25% of small businesses make it to the 15+ year mark.
If you want to succeed in entrepreneurship and have longevity with your business, then you must do the work. Automations can help make it so you don’t have to replicate the same work over and over, but getting those automations set up does take work.
A Few Key Reminders about Social Media
The next time you see one of those posts about “How fast I grew my Instagram” or “How much money I made this week” on social media, remember a few things:
1. Images can be doctored and the “stats” they are showing could be edited.
Case and point: I saw a Reel that said “This one thing got me 6M views on a reel.” I decided to fact check that and look at the views on EVERY reel they made on that account. Guess what?
Not a single one had 6 Million views, which means:
A. They got 6M on another account and just left that detail out (i.e. honestly not transparency #marketing)
B. They made it up to grab attention!
2. Unless they are showing you their bank account, you have no idea if they are actually making money.
And I I don’t know about you, but I have bills to pay and a lifestyle to fund, so making money is DEFINITELY a priority. After all, if your “business” isn’t making money, it’s not a business (yet). It is a hobby.
3. Followers do NOT equal profit.
They can lead to profit, but it’s not a direct correlation. It’s vanity metric of potential.
4. You have no idea what outside resources are at play.
→ Do they have a video editor helping them?
→ Do they come up with the idea and someone else does the creation, posting & engagement?
→ Do they have a nanny to take care of the little ones so they can focus on the ‘Gram?
→ Do they have a trust fund or a partner making loads of cash so they can (literally) afford to not make money for a while as they build an audience?
These are all very real possibilities and are 9 times out of 10 NOT shared along with the “I did it and you can too!” statements.
Comparison is 100% the thief of joy and we ALL fall prey to it at one time or another. (I have let my joy be stolen more times than I care to admit.)
But you CAN do this entrepreneurship thing. Just focus on what you CAN control:
Your work ethic and your continuing education.
And if/when you need help, I’ve got you, friend. We can do this together.