Top 10 Mistakes in Starting an Online Business (FS080)

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Episode 80: Top 10 Mistakes in Starting an Online Business (FS080)

We’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs over the past 3 years and in this episode we showcase the top 10 mistakes we see self employed people make.

This episode corresponds with a brand new guide we made on the subject.

It’s free, it’s got tons of great quotes and images and some next steps to take for each of these mistakes.

Get the 10 mistakes guide and follow along through this conversation as we add more stories and commentary to each of these mistakes. Enjoy!

Download the Updated Guide:[br/]Top 10 Mistakes In Online Business

Download the Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business Guide »
a few pages from Fizzle's Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business Guide

  All 10 mistakes explained
  Resources and links to address each mistake
  Some of our favorite quotes from amazing entrepreneurs
  Over 35 page full color guide
  Free to download

Conversation Notes

  • Terrible airplane couple practices.
  • “There’s a lot of luck that plays into how successful your thing is—you can’t just will something to be successful. But, I don’t want to get into this mindset: ‘well, there’s nothing we can do. Either it’s going to be a hit or it isn’t.’” ~ Corbett
  • According to the Enneagram, your strengths can also be your places of greatest unhealthiness. Your strength could be being enthusiastic and dynamic and creative, but that strength needs to be tempered and balanced or you’ll go too far into your strengths, becoming manic, unable to be present, always looking over the shoulder of who you’re with to see if there’s a better experience you’re missing out on.
  • 11 min: The beginning of the great “stream” metaphor.
  • 13: Email us at and let us know if you have any ideas for segments for the show.
  • 15: Get the 10 mistakes guide we talk about in this episode. It’s free. We’ve got a few other guides as well.

1. Waiting too long to launch a product or service. (20m)

  • The solution is to get something out sooner
  • Samuel Hulick’s story of getting the first launch jitters and mistakes out of the way.

2. Solving an unimportant problem. (26m)

3. Not really listening to customers. (32m)

  • “In my first big startup attempt, we operated for 3 years (millions of users) and I never had a user interview. It’s easy to say ‘oh yea, I listen to my customers’ just because you read an email or something. We had this vision of who our customer was, and I looked at analytics like a moth#%*$%er, but we were just eating our own dog food.” ~ Corbett
  • “Customer Development” is the fancy word for this stuff. Here’s a little primer on customer development.
  • Be careful who you listen to.

4. Not being different. (36)

  • Competition can be a good thing. Proves the market exists. But you’ve got to differentiate—have a unique point of difference between you and every other option out there.
  • This video on how to rip off a Saddleback Leather bag is a great example.
  • Corbett has a great course on Differentiation inside Fizzle.

5. Choosing a topic you don’t care about. (41)

  • “If you don’t care enough about the people your business is for, you’ll find it hard to stick around through all the tough stuff that comes with every business.” ~ Josh Shipp in this podcast.
  • Empathy for your audience, walking a mile in their shoes, etc., is a superpower in business. The audience guide can help with this.
  • The dream here is to make something that YOU want to make and THEY want to buy. is a great example of this.

6. Starting with vastly wrong expectations. (46m)

  • The biggest consequence of these mistakes we’re listing off is you giving up on being an entrepreneur. This business can fail, this idea can fizzle out, but to give up on yourself completely? That’s the real consequence.
  • Typically you don’t know about the expectations you have until you get disappointed.
  • Defining your expectations, getting clear about your vision for success, what you’re aiming at, will help you pull those expectations OUTSIDE yourself so you can separate yourself from your hope and disappointment.
  • “The biggest expectation mistake I’ve seen made is thinking that this one business idea makes or breaks your ability to be an entrepreneur.” ~ Corbett
  • “Don’t define yourself as the experiment. Define yourself as the scientist.” ~ Corbett
  • Some talk about bum-bums.
  • A lot of people don’t expect the emotions involved with being an entrepreneur. And another big issue is mistaken beliefs about how much time it will take.

7. Spending too much time thinking and not enough time doing. (52)

  • You know who you are.

8. Going it alone. (56)

  • “The only reason i’m still an entrepreneur is because people talked me out of quitting.” ~ Corbett
  • Barrett’s how to do a mastermind group article is a great place to start.

9. Confusing a blog with a business. (60)

  • Giving a way free content is just a way to interact with and grow an audience so that you can understand their problems and build a product or service for them. Yes, some people
  • “Monazite the audience, not the content.” ~ Fred Wilson
  • If your goal is to build a business, realizing this distinction and planning ahead will save you a bunch of heartache.
  • Corbett has some great insights about this and how to choose a topic that actually CAN be a business in his Choosing a Topic course in Fizzle.

10. Not starting at all. (65)

  • We all have that friend who’s talked and talked about doing something… but who never has done it.
  • Any of you who have started a thing, who have even thought of starting a thing… you’re brave. Keep putting one foot in front of another.

Show Notes

Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business Guide — Fizzle “Avoid the most common pitfalls on the road to building something great. Enter your email and we’ll send it to you immediately.”

The Tim Ferriss Show — A few great episodes are the one with Dan Carlin of Hardcore History and Kevin Kelly. (I just added the Kevin Kelly to my list of things to listen to yearly.)

EP70: Samuel Hulick talks about building Useronboard “Samuel has become the internet’s authority on user onboarding.”

Solopreneur Project Management Skills (FS078) “When you’re working on a big project by yourself, you’ve got to have a system to keep your sanity.”

How to Knock Off a Saddleback Leather Bag:

Romance & Revenue: Big Relationship Tips for Entrepreneurs (FS055) “You’re not building your business to end up alone and regretful, like some Scrooge in a silent house somewhere.”

Ideas are just a multiplier of execution | Derek Sivers “To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.”

Build and Sustain a Mastermind Group to Help You Reach Your Business Goals “A mastermind group is a collection of 4-8 creative individuals (we’re all creative) who meet on a regular basis to help one another reach their fullest potential.”

Download the Updated Guide:[br/]Top 10 Mistakes In Online Business

Download the Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business Guide
a few pages from Fizzle's Top 10 Mistakes in Online Business Guide

  All 10 mistakes explained
  Resources and links to address each mistake
  Some of our favorite quotes from amazing entrepreneurs
  Over 35 page full color guide
  Free to download

Earn a living doing something you love.

Grow an audience and get paid for your work as an independent creator. Fizzle is where creators come to learn, share and make progress toward their online dreams.

I’ve taken a lot of courses and been involved in several paid communities since I started my business, but I’ve never ever felt like anyone CARED as much about seeing my reach my goals as the Fizzle Team. They show up for me as much as I show up for myself. Thank you SO much, you guys!

Claire Pelletreau

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