Amanda here. Albert Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.”
He was right, but it doesn’t have to be your experience. You can leverage knowledge from other people’s lessons. You can stand on the shoulders of giants. And luckily for you, this ebook is a ladder to get you to those shoulders.
To kick things off, we’re going to talk about the absolute most important thing that you have control over in this whole dropshipping process: your mindset.
Let’s look at some important things to understand about finding success with dropshipping – including some of the toughest challenges – and how to align your mindset so that you’re ready for the adventure.
Overnight Success Is a Myth
You see it everywhere: The rags-to-riches story of a guru who swears they found success overnight. Sometimes, they’re trying to sell you “one simple trick” – the trick that made them millions.
It’s so important to understand that this just isn’t real.
But the hard part is that we live in a world that loves the thought of instant success. We love it because it skips the hard part: the work.
It doesn’t help when we’re constantly being bombarded with images and stories of people who shot up to fame and fortune in a day. No one writes about the slow and sometimes painful grind most entrepreneurs have to push through every day.
There’s no miracle shake that can actually cut inches off your waist. There’s no sleep rhythm that will add hours to your day. And there’s no “hack” that will flood your store with orders and turn you into a millionaire while you sleep.
|🏆 From the Pros
Harry Coleman kept building his business to become an incredible multi-million-dollar empire. He advises new dropshippers to be patient, and not to let all the flashy talk make you feel like you’re not doing good enough right now.
“When people are posting screenshots of them making $10,000 a day when you’re only making $100 it’s very easy to beat yourself up and think, ‘Why are they having the success and I’m not?’
But it will come. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. You will get there, but it’s just a case of persevering through. Be inspired by those and not be taken aback by it, and it will come.”
There is no shortcut. Success must be earned.
The keys to success are hard work and learning. Once you’ve got all the right tools in your kit and combine them with a dedicated work ethic, success becomes inevitable.
So ask yourself:
- Do I have the determination to continue working on my site and brand long before making a single sale?
- Can I find the courage to send emails to a small list, or make content for a Facebook page only friends have (reluctantly) liked?
- Will I wake up an hour earlier or give up my lunch to work on building my dream?
- Can I push through when I’m frustrated or feeling beat down?
- Do I have faith in my process, my tools, and myself?
If you answered yes to these questions, you can learn how to be successful.
But remember: it won’t happen overnight.
Face your venture with courage, humility, and patience. As long as you push your business, you’ll continue to fail, because failure is a part of growth.
But over time, you’ll finally find yourself seeking failure for the learning opportunity that follows it.
That’s the key to success.
5 Traits of a Growth Mindset
Sure, we all have our bad days. It’s totally fine if you find yourself needing to let out a good cry. I know I’ve been there… more than once. 😂
But one of the biggest differences between overall success and failure is how you look at the bigger picture. Are you stuck in a negative mindset day after day? Do small challenges feel like huge barriers? Are you only looking at your failures instead of celebrating your victories?
Here are five traits of people who have a growth mindset. Try to work toward these each day, and you’ll be surprised how it affects your new business – and even things like your mental health and relationships.
Successful entrepreneurs with a positive mindset have an overall optimistic attitude.
Pessimism and negative thoughts will always happen, but these entrepreneurs are careful not to fall prey to them. This goes for negativity from their own brains as well as from others.
Entrepreneurs with growth mindsets know that even if they don’t have the skills necessary to run a dropshipping business right now, they’re smart enough (and willing) to learn.
Most importantly, positive thinkers know the difference between an obstacle and a dead end. Yes, Facebook targeting is tough to understand – at first. And yup, customer complaints can wear you down. But these are just obstacles to overcome, not world-ending events that will always lead to failure.
Successful ecommerce entrepreneurs think about growth and progress every day. They don’t get weighed down by unnecessary details or unimportant problems. They understand the importance of weighing opportunity costs.
Successful entrepreneurs with a positive mindset prioritize the options that lead to actual growth, and they delegate or get rid of the rest.
Every day they ask themselves, “How does this serve my goals?”
Successful store owners don’t sit around waiting for the “perfect opportunity.”
You can spend some time thinking about the perfect domain name, but don’t sweat the small stuff too much if it doesn’t come to you easily. Even when it comes to something important like a marketing plan, it doesn’t have to be 100 percent filled out for you to get started.
The best store owners know their store and process will never be completely perfect, but they don’t let this stop them. Instead, they get creative with what they have. The important thing is to get going and keep your momentum. You can always improve it later.
|🏆 From the Pros
Jordan Bourque learned this the hard way, before his outdoor hobby store raked in 10,000 orders and $100,000 in revenue. At first, he was obsessed with learning as much as possible, without focusing on getting started and improving as he went.
“I would over-consume content and learn strategies from a bunch of different so-called gurus, but just be overwhelmed with the material. I would forget to implement it into my business.
When realistically what you should be doing is learning a little bit and implementing it, learning a little bit and implementing it… Don’t expect to know everything, because the fact of the matter is that you never will.”
Keep in mind, mindsets aren’t delusions. They aren’t tools to trick yourself into believing lies. In other words, the most important mindset you’ll find in successful ecommerce entrepreneurs is realism.
Ecommerce isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s definitely profitable, but as I mentioned before, it’s not an overnight path to wealth and fame.
But building your website and loading it with products is the easy part. Marketing your store, building your brand, and serving your customers require attention, dedication, and hard work.
Many entrepreneurs dive into dropshipping with the “if you build it, they will come” mentality. Those people often end up pretty disappointed.
Entrepreneurs with a positive mindset prioritize their store above all other projects. They aren’t distracted by new projects or the next internet gimmick opportunity of the week. They aim their sights on that single goal, and invest all of their efforts into achieving it.
Most importantly, successful store owners finish what they start. They aren’t satisfied with an incomplete job. They know if they don’t follow through and meet their goal, then they’ve wasted a lot of time and energy.
Resourcefulness Is More Important than Resources
According to Gallup, 84 percent of potential entrepreneurs never start a business because they like the security of a steady income. And 68 percent say they don’t have enough personal savings to start.
How many business ideas or opportunities have you passed over because you didn’t have the money to get started? How many have you abandoned because they would’ve required you to take on piles of debt or wait years to make a profit?
Money is definitely a legitimate concern, but it’s just a resource – not a dead end.
At the end of the day, you have to make your own resources. That’s called resourcefulness, and it’s the single most important skill you can have as a new dropshipper. 💯
Let’s talk about some of the ways you can become a more resourceful ecommerce entrepreneur.
Accept That You Don’t Know Everything
If you find something confusing or difficult, it’s just because you haven’t learned it yet. Before you can find the solution to a problem, you first have to realize the gaps in your knowledge and abilities.
If you’re anything like me, this can be really tough. But once you accept that there’s room to grow, the doors open for you to become stronger, faster, and smarter (instead of just frustrated and exhausted).
Lean on Other People
Find solutions to problems any way you can, even if it means consulting others. This is especially important if you hire an assistant or a freelancer. If you’re paying them, you may as well use them as much as possible.
Don’t be afraid to speak up when you have a problem. Tell everyone you meet, even if you don’t think they could help.
Let them know you’re struggling with something and you’d like their input. You never know where a good idea can come from and where they might lead you.
Join Communities of Other Store Owners
Many new dropshippers deal with the same problems you’re facing. Solving a problem is often as simple as reaching out to someone who’s been there before.
Join a few or all of the communities listed here. Engage with other dropshippers regularly (before you ask for help) to build a rapport.
- Ecommerce Fuel Forum
- The Shopify Ecommerce University Forum
- Digital Point Ecommerce Forum
- Shopify Entrepreneurs
- The Reddit Ecommerce Section
Optimize What You Have
In the 80s, an American TV show called MacGyver showed an amazingly resourceful secret agent who could make bombs and other devices out of common household items like string, duct tape, and a tile cleaner.
He got out of sticky situations and saved the day using only the stuff at his disposal and his own resourcefulness.
As an ecommerce store owner, you have to be your own MacGyver. When there’s a challenge in front of you, ask yourself, “What tools do I already have that I can use to solve my problem?”
Solve Today’s Problem, Not Tomorrow’s
Solve the problem in front of you instead of worrying about the state of your business down the road. You’ll find your problems are smaller than they seem when you trim them down to the essential few.
Don’t build solutions for a million-dollar business. You’re not there yet. And you won’t be there for a while.
Instead, focus on building solutions that solve the problems you’re already dealing with. For example, you don’t need a top-of-the-line email marketing tool today because you hope to have 100K subscribers tomorrow. That’s expensive and complex.
For now, run with some free tools to get your system running right away. You can worry about your 100K subscribers when you have them.
Take Care of Yourself
You’ll also need to make sure that you’re taking time off to care for yourself.
That’s because you’ll probably find yourself awake at 3 a.m. writing product descriptions or frantically fixing a PayPal issue. This is especially true if you’re starting a store as a side job to your regular 9-to-5.
To make sure you don’t burn out and totally crash, try to set some time every day for self-care. Here are some tips for doing that.
Try to Get Enough Sleep
You might be tempted to power through the night to get more work done, but the quality of that work will be questionable. Sleep deprivation robs you of your creativity and ability to make good decisions. This means you’re likely to produce low-quality work you’ll end up redoing anyway.
It would be ideal to get seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep every day. I know, this is a lot easier said than done. While this just isn’t always possible, keep it on your mind so that you can squeeze it in whenever you have the opportunity.
Don’t Forget To Reward Yourself
It seems counterintuitive to reward yourself before you build a business. Isn’t the reward supposed to be a healthy ecommerce store that makes loads of cash?
Still, we need to celebrate our smallest victories, even if we do it alone. You don’t have to take crazy trips, but give yourself a pat on the back every time you achieve a milestone (a minor goal that contributes to your main goal). Get yourself a delicious treat, watch a movie, or crack open a beer – whatever makes you feel good.
And don’t fall into the trap of working through every weekend and holiday.
Sure, those feel like “extra hours” when you can get ahead. But if you don’t stop and celebrate anything, your life will become one long work day. Spoiler alert: eventually, it’ll drive you nuts.
|🏆 From the Pros
Remember Jordan Bourque? Celebrating his victories was one of the biggest lessons he learned about entrepreneurship.
“What I learned about entrepreneurship is that it can become a constant uphill climb of always seeking more and never being fulfilled with where you’re at.
It’s a scary thing when you think about it: you’re never being fulfilled, so you have to put on the breaks and look back and see what you’ve already accomplished. That’s what I’m doing now.”
Interact with People in Real Life
Loneliness can creep up on you, even if you’re someone who doesn’t mind being alone. Long stretches of time without human contact can make you feel anxious and depressed. Over time, loneliness can manifest as physical health problems like heart disease and cancer.
If you work a full-time job during the day, you might have enough human interactions to keep you sane. But if all your work takes place online, put yourself in situations where you’ll meet other people.
You could take your laptop to a coworking space or coffee shop, or consider joining entrepreneur meetups.
Don’t Saddle Yourself with Debt
It’s guaranteed you’re going to spend some money growing your business. The best part of the dropshipping model is that you don’t need a ton of cash to get started, but there will be expenses: Tools, software, ads, and so on.
Debt doesn’t just slow your growth. Like loneliness, it can cause stress and multiple physical health problems.
But be careful not to sink too much money into your business until you take some out, especially if you need that money to live. As a rule, don’t spend what you can’t afford to lose.
Create a Positive Workspace
Dark, tight, and unappealing spaces can be hard on your mental health. You don’t need a big, swanky office with pricey furniture and a view of the ocean, but it’s helpful to work in a space you enjoy being in.
Small improvements like a plant, an extra lamp, or a family photo can help make work relaxing and enjoyable.
👉 Now, you have the low-down on how to keep your head on straight. Next up: let’s get to the good stuff. First step to starting your store is to choose your niche.