How To Improve YOU In Order to Grow Online

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This article is part of a 2-part series on the 3 ingredients to succeeding in eCommerce.


If you’re anything like most of the retailers we talk to, you’re probably wanting to grow online sales but trying to do all the things can feel like running on a hamster wheel. It’s exhausting to constantly feel like you’re going 100 miles per hour but not gaining any traction in your business. The key to growing your online sales is to focus on creating a system that works for you and your business, but this can be a daunting task to do when you’re not exactly sure where to start. 

Most people will immediately jump into looking at their traffic, conversion, or retention and while those are all good things, it’s not where you need to start. In order to reach online success, you need to begin even deeper than that. 

We found that there are three key ingredients that need to be mastered in order to see growth in your business. The first area is you as an entrepreneur, the second is your customers, and the third is your brand. In this blog post, we will dive into the first ingredient you need to develop in order to build a successful retail business: you.

You As An Entrepreneur

The first ingredient is you as an entrepreneur. Here we will dive into what it takes to become an entrepreneur capable of reaching your goals. This starts with thinking about success in your business because in order for your business to succeed, YOU have to first decide what success looks like for YOU. 

Success always will have two sides. The first side is the most obvious and that’s the financial side. But the other side that needs to be included in success is the fulfillment side. Financial success without fulfillment is never going to be enough. We have to start to define what is a fulfilling life, and then we can reverse engineer everything else around that. Once we understand this, we can ask ourselves the following questions:

  • What do I want my business to feel like?
  • Where do I want my business to be?
  • What revenue number do I want my business to have achieved?
  • What do I want my role in my business to be? 
  • What does my team look like?
  • How am I gaining new customers in my business?
  • What weakness in my current business does my business three years from now not have?

After you answer these questions it’s time to come back and think of yourself as the entrepreneur in your business. Is the person you are today, capable of running your business that you want to have in the future? 

It may be a hard question to think about, so an easier way to go about answering this question is to think of your business today and the version of yourself from three years ago. Once you have that envisioned in your mind, ask yourself, is the person I was three years ago capable of running the business I have today? Most likely, the answer would be no.

You’ve gained so much insight and knowledge from growing your business that if the you from three years ago came in and tried to take over, your business could struggle or fail to grow. Luckily, the you from today doesn’t have to run your business of three years from now. But, if you could elevate yourself and become better, you could probably shortcut a lot of the things that you’re looking for. If you can adapt the mindset that’s needed to achieve your future goals, how much faster could you reach those goals?

What Do You Give Control To?

When thinking about your current goals it’s a great idea to take a step back and think, what has stopped me from reaching my goals? Are there any specific reasons why it hasn’t happened? When thinking through this, there tends to be two sides we can take.

We can put the blame on things we can’t control such as blaming the economy, blaming the hiring market, etc. for our lack of success, or we can choose to look at the things that are in our control.

Over the years we’ve learned that the pieces we give blame to, are the things that we give control. So when we blame something for our problems that are outside our control, it means our business will never be able to grow until the situation that we can’t control goes away. It’s important to remember that when we give blame, we also give control which means the path to growth is for us to change. 

Pathway To Personal Development

Once you know that it’s you who needs to change in order to change your business it’s time to create a pathway for personal development. What does this look like? 

The first is changing how you think. This is absolutely something that is easier said than done, but we know how we think can change how we feel which can change how we act. So if you know that how you think can change how you act, you can now become more aware of what you are internally saying to yourself and shift your mindset to control your actions and your feelings. 

With this mindset shift, you can start to reverse engineer where you’re wanting to go and you can start to apply principles to everything that you’re doing instead of jumping from tactic to tactic.

Essential Beliefs To Adopt

As we continue to look for ways to elevate ourselves there are some beliefs that we need to adopt to help continue our growth.

  1. The first belief is: We can acquire a new skill at any time.

Sometimes the skill that is needed is something we are purely capable of pursuing and acquiring. We can find ourselves getting on things we don’t know how to do but if we can just remind ourselves that we are capable of learning a new skill at any time it can help keep us from getting stuck. Now the challenge can come when we haven’t matured enough to know what skill we truly need. Many times business owners will get stuck thinking they need to learn Facebook Ads when really they need to learn leadership and delegation.

When we hear business owners are struggling with their team we tend to ask them what leadership books, podcasts, or blogs they have read because if they are not investing in these skills they won’t be able to grow in them. What is helpful to do is ask yourself, what skills do I lack and where do I turn to learn them?

  1. The second belief is: Money flows easily and naturally to me.

This might seem a bit out there but stay with us. This belief gets into abundance versus scarcity. When you go into something not scared but instead with an abundance mindset you can get so much more out of the course, class, agency, etc. than if you go into it with a scarcity mindset. Your mindset tends to be mirrored in what you do. So if you go into a project with a scarcity mindset and you’re afraid you won’t make any money, chances are, you won’t do as well as you could do if you go in with the mindset that money flows easily and naturally to me. 

Going back to the first belief, if we can focus on what we can control and completely ignore what we can’t control, this frees up emotional and mental energy to focus on what moves the needle forward. 

  1. The third belief is: Both failure and success are temporary.

Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” This is important to realize because when you’re succeeding it can be easy to think you don’t need to show up anymore. However, knowing that success is temporary and can be taken away means we have to keep showing each and every day and build our next success.

If we’re failing, which is going to happen, what’s awesome to remember is that failure is not permanent. Failure is also a temporary thing and is something we can grow out of, which is such an incredible thing to remember. 

What Next?

Remember that the first ingredient of growing a successful retail business is first looking at how to elevate yourself as an entrepreneur. You have to become the person capable of running the business you want to have in the future before you do anything else. The next ingredient is going to dive into your customer. To read the second ingredient of a successful retail business click here. 

If you want more helpful tips be sure to subscribe to our founder and CEO, Josh Orr’s podcast, Retail Initiative. This is a podcast for independent retailers looking to gain insight and tactical advice on how to grow their business online. You can find it on Apple Podcasts or Spotify

Free resources to jumpstart your eCommerce success

eBook: The Ultimate Retailer’s Guide to SEO

DIY Canva Templates: Professional Homepage Graphics in 5 Minutes

Email Templates: Essential Emails That Sell on Autopilot

Guidebook: Powerhouse Tools and Apps for Shopify Retailers

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