There are two magic numbers most entrepreneurs are almost always working toward in their first years: $100K and $1 million. Though profit of any amount could be considered a success, these standout figures are a status symbol of sorts that declare “I’m here and I’m not going anywhere.” Of course, tactical steps are required to reach six-figures, but your mindset is just as important. In fact, Julie Solomon would argue it’s the very foundation of your hustle. If you want to know how to make your first $100K, know this—it’s the hardest money you’ll make because “it’s typically the first identity change you make where you’re going from working for someone else to being a solopreneur or entrepreneur.”
Not only do you have to hustle like no one’s business; you also have to make sure your thought life is aligned with your day-to-day schedule. This is where most mental work has to be done.
During BlogHer Biz, the business coach and The Influencer Podcast host instructed attendees to start by asking themselves two questions: where am I in terms of growth and what do I need in order to grow? While it would be easy to start a laundry list of tactical tasks that are undoubtedly important, Solomon said every entrepreneur needs “deep purpose” first. In simpler terms, why are you doing what you do? More importantly, is it a purpose that’s strong enough to keep you from quitting when the going gets tough?
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“People think their purpose has to be for other people but it just has to be compelling enough for you. You have to want it bad enough. It doesn’t matter what you learn or what you invest in. It doesn’t matter how many conferences you show up to. None of that matters if your purpose isn’t rooted within you…because if it’s not, it’s going to be so easy to quit,” she said. “It doesn’t matter that your Instagram followers aren’t growing or that you can’t decide on what subject line to use or whatever silly stuff most people focus on so they don’t have to do the hard work. None of that compares to or is as important as a reason to quit.”
You have to have something huge to lose. What are you going to lose if you don’t reach your goals today? If the answer doesn’t feel substantial, create one that is.
After you’ve identified and committed your purpose, Solomon shared three things every entrepreneur needs to double their revenue and inch closer to their first six-figures—an offer, prospects, and sales. Your offer is what you’re putting out into the world, whether it’s a product, system, service, etc. Prospects are the potential customers or people you’re going to sell your offer to. And do I really need to explain sales? Zero in on these three factors and constantly revisit your purpose to ensure that all of them are anchored by it. “In order to grow, all you have to do is increase these three things,” added Solomon.
It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to avoid working on at least one of these things, prospects being the most common. The reality is you’ll have prospects who become customers and some who don’t. Instead of facing the no’s, some entrepreneurs will avoid them altogether. This is a rookie mistake because it leads to fewer prospects and this trickle-down effect ultimately creates fewer sales.
“You’re going to have a lot of people say no to you,” said Solomon. “You have to get really good at hearing no and not be afraid of it. A lot of times, my students want to focus on marketing but they haven’t even offered anything to anyone yet. What is there to market? You have nothing. You don’t know who you’re marketing to.”
Instead, make the offer first and be open to positive and negative feedback. Eventually, yes will outweigh no, sales will start trickling in and all you need to do from there is scale your success. Additionally, Solomon said not to completely write-off the people who say no to your offer. “Start learning from your non-buyers. The no’s will move you forward.”
But remember, solidifying your core purpose is what will propel you forward and inspire you to push through those growing pains. Before you know it, your first $1 million won’t be far off. “This is where the shift happens from hustle to strategy,” said Solomon. “You cannot hustle your way to $1 million. You need a business model that is repeatable and scalable without you working 24 hours.”
If you’re an entrepreneur currently making less than $100K per year, join Julie Solomon’s Shine Waitlist for a chance to be part of her one-year accelerator program where you’ll learn even more about how to increase revenue, truly create influence, and more.
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