The Internet has brought many great things that help us business owners, but it’s also brought on a desire for instant gratification and recognition. We can post status updates on social media that show the world all the cool things that are happening in our lives and businesses.
With this access has come a false sense of what makes an entrepreneur successful. Today, with entrepreneurs sharing different wins in their business, we associate success with status and numbers. We look at an entrepreneur’s social media following, website traffic, and the material possessions they have. It has brought a wave of entrepreneurs who rent exotic cars and take photo shoots on beaches to prove how successful they are.
Sadly, the marketing and hype persuade people to do business with these “house of cards” businesses. More times than not, the information purchased is designed for one thing: to get you to buy another product or service at a higher price. You get put in a funnel that will continually try to take your money. You're promised even bigger opportunities and results if you buy the "elite" level program.
Numbers are often inflated.
There are podcasters who get millions of downloads of their episode each month. There are authors who are “#1 Amazon bestseller’s.” There are bloggers who get millions of website visitors. These numbers sound impressive but aren’t real. This exaggeration extends beyond the world of the Internet and social media. You probably have had telemarketers or a salesperson call you and try to convince you what they're selling will lead to a better life.
Podcasters can use a strategy called ‘Twitter Bombing” where they put a direct download link into tweets with high visibility hash tags. When someone clicks on the link, it counts as a “listen.” These podcasters have thousands to hundred's of thousands of "downloads" a month but get ZERO engagement and no business. They then sell their "services" to newbie podcasters using these vanity-driven numbers.
To become a #1 Amazon best-selling author, you just have to sell the most books in a category within an hour. There are low competition categories on Amazon where you can sell five books within an hour and become a #1 Amazon best-selling author. Bloggers can pay for website traffic or get a “hit” on a website like Reddit. The numbers and status looks impressive, but they aren’t real.
Impressive numbers don’t always translate into income and that’s one main component in a successful business. Big numbers and bragging about your status means nothing if you have no engagement. If there isn’t a conversation or an active community around your business, all you’ll have is bragging rights on social media.
Focus on what matters.
This desire to have status has made many entrepreneurs forget why they started a business. Entrepreneurship is about creating a business that supports a life you wake up every day and love living. Entrepreneurship is about creating an impact in people’s lives while you enjoy freedom in yours.
The funny thing is with so many entrepreneurs chasing status; it doesn’t take much to stand out today. Little gestures such as personally responding to emails, and answering questions on your website, are met with amazement. Most of the time, these tasks are farmed out or automated, so you stand out when you add that personal touch.
Never loose sight of why you became an entrepreneur. It probably was not to beat your chest. Resist the temptation to compare your business to someone else’s because that leads you to do things you normally wouldn’t think about doing.
When you compare what you’re doing to another entrepreneur, you’re taking the focus off of your journey, and each of our journeys are unique. You’ll get off track and it will hurt your bottom line. Focus on real results and income instead of chasing status and a false sense of success.
Successful entrepreneurs have a plan, and they stick to that plan as they take action. They don’t give into information overload. They learn only what will help their next steps. They don’t measure their success by society’s standards. They focus on making an impact and creating freedom.
The next time you see a misleading Facebook ad or someone bragging about their numbers, just smile to yourself. Realize that your journey is unique and you’re too strong to get thrown off track. You have goals and dreams. Make them a reality by not chasing numbers or status.