Seven Costly Mistakes People Make While Operating a Home Based Business

My Story (The Short Version)

My name is Ray Matthews, I am married and I have 6 children and 4 grandchildren and I love the life I have chosen of being a work at home dad. I have been able to be with my wife and children and do the important stuff that life is made of. Sure I’ve had ups and downs, successes and failures, but longevity in a home business is a process that you learn as you go. I want to give you some secrets that I have learned over the years that will apply to any home business. Here are some mistakes that will cause certain failure in a home business. Don’t just read this article, absorb it, consume the information here and increase you chances of success astronomically!

Costly Mistake # 1 – You’re in The Wrong Business

When considering a home business you should consider your strengths and weaknesses. I am convinced that a great percentage of the home businesses that fail in the first five years are a direct result of bad choices when selecting what kind of business to start. I have personally been involved in successful and unsuccessful ventures. I have found that when I have failed in one that it was due to a bad choice I made. Let me explain what I mean:

Your business should match your experience, expertise, and passion. Just because some opportunity looks good and there are others that are making a fortune at it, doesn’t necessarily mean that you will be successful. For example, if you are not an outgoing person and you choose a business that requires lots of personal contact for sales or maybe recruiting, you may not do well in that business.

Before selecting a home business to start, take some time and evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Take a long hard look at yourself, what you have experience in, what you are an expert at (or at least above average), and what you are very passionate about. If you are selecting a business that fit all three, your chances of success just went through the roof.

Costly Mistake # 2 – You Don’t Know What You Are Doing

Most people fall in love with the idea of owning a business and working from home but they never take into consideration the learning curve involved. Whether it’s an internet business or a repair shop in your garage, there is a learning curve that can destroy your chances of survival long term. You may think that you know your trade well, you may very well be an expert at what you do and you may have great passion for your chosen career, but if you have never depended on it for an income outside your company experience, you may be in for a rude awakening when you attempt to make a living at it.

I am not trying to be negative here, what I want to do is give you the information you need to become successful. So before taking the plunge and risking your future on what you may think is a no brainer business, factor in some time for training and the possibility of repeated failures before you finally find your groove. Set aside some time each day to get some training!

Costly Mistake # 3 – You Have a Great Product or Service, But Poor Marketing

One of the areas every business owner needs help with is marketing their product or service. You may have a breakthrough product  that everyone needs and probably would end up owning, but if it’s not marketed correctly, no one will buy! Marketing is not 10% of your success, it’s not even 50% of your success, it’s 80%. In other words, you can have a great business plan, a revolutionary product, incredible passion, and a great work ethic, but if the marketing is not there and not good, chances are you will be forced to close shop.

The answer to great marketing is two to three hours a day (to start with) learning how to present your business or your brand to the right people in the right fashion in order to create sales. Buy some books on marketing, search the internet for marketing training and learn to present yourself to the world in a way that will bring customers to your web site or place of business.

Costly Mistake # 4 – You’re Overworking

Yes, you heard me right, overworking can cause your business to fail. When I first started in business in 1986, my idea of making it in a home business was working every waking hour. I though if I just outworked the competition, I would become more successful. I don’t want you to misunderstand me here, any successful venture requires hard work and long hours but where we sometimes fail is overworking without clear goals and proper planning.

You can spend 90% of your time doing things that don’t make any difference at all in your success. A mindset of just hard work without proper focus can lead to stress and failure in a home business.Take the time each day to evaluate your activities of the day before and continually refocus your efforts on the things that really matter. Keep a planner and record your daily activities then look back each month and identify what is working and what is not working and begin to trim away the activities that do not produce results. You will be surprised at how much time you spend doing things that are not productive and occasionally counter productive (those activities that actually cause you to lose money).

Costly Mistake # 5 – You’re Stressing Over Small Stuff

Over the past twenty-two years I have stayed awake many nights stressing over things that I had no control over and in the long haul never had an impact on my successes. Stress and worry steals your focus! The things that seem to be overwhelming (mainly financial difficulties) can be overcome by keeping your mind on the outcome and not your current circumstances. Things will only get better if you maintain your composure and keep pressing forward. Stress, fear, and worry will keep you from getting the answer you need, when you need it to take your next step. You will find yourself thinking more about the obstacles you are facing than the strategy you need to overcome those obstacles.

Here is the answer to your stress dilemma; Become convinced that there is an answer to your problem. Search for the answer instead of worrying about the problem. If you trust, the answer will come!

Costly Mistake # 6 – You’re Allowing the Dream Killers to Get You Of Track

When I started my first home business in 1986, there were people around me that doubted my ability to run a successful home business. If I had listened to those voices, I would have never stepped out and I would most likely still be working for a company, competing with the younger talent fresh out of college, or I may have had to take a cut in pay or even change careers and accepted a lower standard of living.

Nobody knows you like you do! Sometimes the voice of the naysayer may even be someone close to you. If you have a desire and passion to make it in your own business, you sometimes have to tune out the world around you and move forward with confidence no matter what others may think or say about you.

Costly Mistake # 7 – You’re Getting Out Too Soon

I am convinced that there are a very high percentage of new home business owners who jump ship just before their breakthrough. Things always seem to get hard just before you breakthrough and become successful. I’m sure that you have heard the old saying “It’s always darkest just before dawn.” This is true in business. You may have done the necessary work to reach the point of success but you don’t quite have the vision to see past the current circumstances. What a tragedy it would be to reach a point where your financial success was just around the corner and then to quit thinking that your never going to make it.

The key here is clear vision. Before you throw in the towel take the time to assess where you are and where you may be in a month or two months. Be clear in your decision to either hang in there or become a failure statistic. Consider the possibility of what real success could do for you and your family and weigh that against what it could cost you to stay in and see your business through. I think you will see that the benefits far outweigh the costs if you have a passion, product, and correct marketing plan.


I hope this article has been informative and will help you become one of the top 5% that stay in business after five years and prosper.

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