Certified life coach Vasavi Kumar shares her top 3 business mistakes and also her advice on how to avoid them.
Vasavi Kumar describes herself as “your kick-in-the-pants guide en route to your desired destination.” A certified life coach, Vasavi (SAY VAH-sahvee) holds dual master’s degrees in social work and special education.
She is the co-author of the bestselling book Succeeding in Spite of Everything, and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, is a guest contributor at TheDailyLove.com and appears on TV as the “Keepin’ It Real Guru” on Kansas City Live.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting out with your business and if you could start over what would you do differently?
1 -Not being selective about who I wanted to serve.
When I first started my business I wanted to help everyone and anyone. While that may seem like a very noble concept, I ended up working with people who weren’t truly committed to transforming their life and taking the necessary actions to create long lasting change.This left me burnt out, resentful, and hating my “job.” It was only after I got crystal clear about who my ideal client was, that I was able to be more strategic and targeted with who I was marketing to. Do I still want to help everyone? Of course I do. But, now that I’m more targeted I can drill deep and wide into my market and help support my ideal client in designing their life and business. This is how I see it, the more I can impact my target market AND have fun in the process, the more space and freedom I have to create programs for other markets.
My advice: It’s ok to niche yourself, drill deep and wide, become successful in that market, and then branch out into serving other markets.
2 – Focusing on money first, value second.
I would be lying if I didn’t share this. When I first started my business, I had it all backwards. I focused on how much I could get, rather than what can I give. I was desperate to make ends meet, was coming from a place of scarcity and lack, and thus, was not giving as much value as I could. This wasn’t intentional, or because I am a bad person, it was simply because my mindset was rooted in scarcity. The shift was easy to make. My father, an Indian immigrant gave me great advice that made a long lasting impact on how I now run my business. He said to me, “ Focus on giving as much value as you can, and the money will chase you.” And just like that, I made it a point to work on my relationship to money, detach myself from the end result, and stay focused on what I could give. And, the question that I ask myself to check myself is, “ Am I withholding?” It’s a powerful question to ask when you find yourself resisting your natural inclination to give.
My advice: Ultimately, we are the happiest when we help another human being, and we help without attachment. That is the greatest gift you can give yourself and another human being.
3 – Having bright, shiny, object syndrome.
I’m a creative idea junkie. I love creating ideas, programs, courses, retreats, anything that will be the solution to someone’s problem. And while that characteristic has been beneficial in my ability to create content rich, valuable programs for people at affordable prices- in the beginning, I was constantly looking at what everyone else was doing and thinking to myself, “Oh! I should do that” or “What I’m doing isn’t good enough, I need to do THAT.” I’m all about being inspired and creating new things, but when I first started my business I had NO strategy or clear vision because I was constantly jumping to the next big thing. Granted, it came from a place of wanting to be the best and put out great content and programs for people, but ultimately what happened was that I ended spending way more money than I needed to because there was no strategy- just straight up execution of tasks that were not actually leading to an end goal. Now, everything that I do has an meaningful intention and a clear strategy.
My advice: Trust yourself, and know that where ever you are right now in your business is part of the journey.