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I'm Elizabeth, and simply put, I design brands and websites. I mix in marketing strategy, personality galore, and tons of fun to create custom brands, custom websites, and website templates. These designs convert lookers into buyers and take the headache out of the design process. I believe your brand should be a knockout. I'll help you create a captivating + profitable online presence! Join me, won't you?!

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of the year

14 Things That Make Growing Your Business MUCH Harder (Your New “To Quit” List)

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Whether you're in the early days and months of your business, or you've been at it a while, we all unfortunately do things that make business harder than it has to be. These are things that both new and established business owners all do, and today, we are adding them to your “To Quit” list, because they're taking up your time, energy, and ultimately making growth slower.

Today, I’m sharing 14 things as a business owner that are making your business harder that you may not even realize you're doing. The week this episode airs, I am celebrating eight years of running my business. These are some of the MANY things that I have had to consciously quit in those eight years (and some honestly that I still struggle with quitting even today!). So anyway, this is going to be a great (and FUN!) episode!


Subscribe & download the episode to your device:  Apple Podcasts  |  Spotify  |   YouTube  |  iHeartRadio

Search for episode 260!

1. Getting input from too many voices to the point where eventually you just don’t know what to do 

Listen, I’m all about learning from different people and places and in different ways. But sometimes, too many voices and inputs can be more distracting than helpful, because people have different ways of doing things (and all of those different ways can work!). So if you’re asking too many people, you’re likely hearing a whole bunch of “do it this way” from people who have seen success with their method. And it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not sure what voice to listen to. 

I’d encourage you to find a few trusted voices/people who have built businesses (and lives!) similar to what you desire and listen to them! Listening to too many people WILL slow down your growth.


2. Focusing too much on inbox zero 

Now obviously “inbox zero” on a support inbox is different, so I want to say that before I talk about this mistake. It’s normal to prioritize customers or potential customers requests and make sure they have the help they need. That inbox gets to “zero” often.

But for my personal inbox for my business, I gave up on inbox zero a long time ago. Most emails I get are not urgent or important and the ones that are, I get back to right away. That being said, there can be an obsession with getting to inbox zero, with replying ASAP to everything, and depending on your business type, this isn’t always helpful. It can actually be a distraction from the real work of your business. 

Now, I do a strategic inbox “clear out” about once a week (or even every two weeks) instead of obsessing over this. I rarely get to zero ever. In fact, the last time I did, I remember someone responded within like 5 minutes and I wasn’t at zero again!

Read More: How to Systemize Your Inbox So You Can Spend Less Time Emailing


focusing on inbox zero is one of the things that make business harder

3. Overbooking your calendar to where you have too many meetings and can’t get any work done 

This is such a PAINFUL mistake to make! I’ve made this mistake hundreds of times. I feel like at this point in my business I have a really good system going with my calendaring that helps this not happen to me very much anymore, but it can be so painful to make when it does!

But picture this… you have meeting upon meeting upon meeting to the point that you can’t actually work on stuff because you’re just in meetings all day. Maybe you then have stupid 1-hour gaps between all of them because you’re not strategically grouping them so then you just can’t get anything REAL done. Then, you look at your day, and are like, WAIT - what did I get done?! It really stinks. 

 As you grow your business, meetings are a must. Whether it’s discovery calls, client calls, podcast interviews, team meetings, etc, you likely can’t just eliminate meetings but you CAN be more (or less) strategic with how you let people get on your calendar. 


3 things that help me avoid overbooking my calendar with meetings

While meetings are inevitable, here are three things that have helped me make sure I still have time to get work done.


  1. If I’m only having one meeting that day, it’s always at the beginning of the day or the end of the day.
  2. If I’m having multiple meetings in a day, I group them to still get that free time (for example, if I have a meeting from 9 to 10 am, I will book another from 10:30 to 11:30 am, and then I’m free after).
  3. I try to make meetings shorter. I would challenge yourself to say, does the meeting need to be an hour? Could it be 45 mins? Or 30 mins? I know meetings often go long, so sometimes I will set a meeting as 45 minutes, knowing it will probably go a little bit over, but if we had said it was going to be an hour, it would end up being an hour and 15 minutes.


4. Just buying every business thing out there without any strategy. 

You know this mistake, right? Someone tells you that you need that tool or this course and that software, and you buy it ALL. Because that must be the solution, right?

Listen, I’m all about moving quickly on decisions like these versus obsessing over which CRM to go with (or which Podcast Host to use), but at the same time, you can move too fast and end up with tons of expensive subscriptions you don’t need or courses you never take or memberships you never log into. The platform/course can’t work for you unless you use it (and actually need it). 

A better solution is being strategic with what you buy, and be willing to spend, but on the right things. 

Read More: Celebrating my Business Anniversary: The Biggest Lessons & Highlights from My 7 Years in Business

5. Being unwilling to spend some money to make some money

 This one is similar to the point above, but let me explain. I both hate and love the phrase “You have to spend money to make money”. I hate it because people overuse this concept and talk about how much THEY SPEND on their growth in order to sell you stuff. 

But, I also love the statement because it is somewhat true. It’s a mistake to be too frugal in your business. Whether that’s not being willing to pay a team member that could help you, not being able to buy the software that will make your customer experience better and save you hours a week, or refusing to buy the course that you believe will help you finally launch the thing, because you're scared to make the investment is a mistake. Just make sure that you are investing smart. 



6. Not asking people where they found you so you can use that data to do more of what’s working 

By this I mean, ask customers and clients, “Where did you find me?” or “Where did you first hear about [business name]? 

When you feel stressed and overwhelmed in your business, especially with marketing, knowing the answer to this question can save you loads of stress because you can stop doing the things that aren’t driving your sales. 

Now with that being said, you have to give things time. Don’t start a podcast and then deem it not good if no sales come from it in month one. Give things time. But when you consistently ask this question, it can help you evaluate what’s helping people find you and what isn’t. 

Read More: 7 Ways To Use Your Money To Get More Time Back In Your Life (Trading Your MONEY For Your TIME!)

7. Trying to do everything and do it all alone. 

This goes back to one of the first things to not do, but having too many voices can lead you to do too many things. And then worse, deciding that YOU have to be the one that does it all. Without help!

I’m a big fan of first eliminating what doesn’t matter to your business so you can do less. But second, I would encourage you to look at hiring contractors in your business to help you be in your “queen bee” or zone of genius role. 

Read More: 3 Subtle Shifts That Make a BIG Difference When Growing Your Team

8. Scrolling on social and calling it work 

So as business owners, I would say we have a tough with social media time wasting because an hour spent on Instagram could be an hour of wasted time or it could be an hour of growing our businesses. It's really hard to tell. You look the same. You're just on your phone and it's like, Is it helpful? Is it not? You don't always know. 

That being said, getting really conscious about how you're using social media is huge, especially when you're calling it work. What you do at the end of the day to wind down is different if that involves scrolling on social media but if you're spending hours a day on Instagram, TikTok, or Facebook, and you're clocking that as work, you're not actually working, and that's a huge miss and a time suck that is not going to help you grow your business. 

I would challenge you when it's during what you're deeming your work time to not be scrolling on social media, but instead to be showing up as a content creator, not a consumer.

9. Not having a website 

Something that makes growing your business harder is not having a website or an online presence beyond things like your social media account. Maybe right now you're selling on Etsy or Creative Market or something like that, and you don't have an actual website that's just for your business.

If you didn't know I'm a website designer, I create and sell Showit website templates. So it goes without saying that I’m very pro websites. I actually don't think that you have to have a website from day one of your business (I know a lot of people will tell you that). I think in a lot of ways if you're in the early days of your business, it can be smarter to start the business and focus on getting clients before you have your site live. With that in mind, it should be a business goal for you to get a website up sooner than later

We live in a time right now where I feel like everything is just social media, and I just want to say: your website still matters. I have two recent stats for you that are from just last year that I want to share. 

First,  business owners who use their website to connect with customers see an average of 15 to 50% growth in revenue. Second, 84% of consumers believe a business's website is more credible than the business's social media page. 

Additionally, when we talk about not having a website, a website is what people go to when they are making buying decisions. So someone who is going to do the purchasing and looking at your packages is doing so from a website, not from your TikTok or Instagram account.

Read more: How to Customize Your Showit Website Template Really Fast


Elizabeth McCravy shares how she is growing her website traffic this year


10. Thinking of your business goals only as the BIG picture instead of breaking them down into quarterly goals 

As business owners, we set goals in January or maybe at the beginning of a quarter and are often just hoping to accomplish those goals by December of that year. But then when you don't break it down, it's really hard to get any of it done. Especially if you have six or more business goals that are BIG projects. They all just live on a list together of things you're “supposed to do” in your business, but you're not going to get them done. 

Instead, you want to break it down. For example, let’s say you're wanting to create your first course and that's a goal for the year, but that's a Q3 goal. Or, maybe you want to start running Facebook ads and that should be a Q1 goal. Maybe starting a podcast is also a Q1 goal. What you want to do is map it out and assign all the goals to quarters and then go deeper. 

Personally, I do a week-by-week of things I need to do to get there. So if it's a big project, especially something like a course, I'm not just saying “I have to make a course this year”. I'm saying, okay, this is the date I'm going to start working on it and during this week I need to have module one done, etc. Doing this in your project manager can be a really great way to stay organized, but basically, all you need to do is find some way to take the goals from “big picture wishes” to actual tactical to-do list items to really make the goals work for you and see results in your business.

11. Deciding you have to have everything completely figured out before you take action on anything 

This is a mistake I see so many business owners make, especially in the early days. And it can be easy to fall into this pattern of where you feel like you have to have all your ducks in a row. 

For example, “I have to have my website live, my social media live, everything filed with the government, etc. before I try to get a client”. That's one example of what this looks like. And really, it's a mistake. It's procrastination disguised as perfectionism. 

As a business owner, I mean one thing I've learned in eight years of business over and over again, is how important it is to move fast. I think Mark Zuckerberg is the one that said this, but “move fast and break things”. Moving fast is important and it's okay if things don't work out perfectly.

12. Surrounding yourself with people who don’t get what you do and think you should give up. 

Sometimes this is unavoidable, which makes me sad! Maybe you have an unsupportive spouse, or parents, asking you to go back to your 9 to 5. Or maybe you have friends who are judging you for starting a “little business”.

There will always be some people who don’t get it, who don’t believe in you, and judge you. That’s life. But your core people whom you’re talking to about your ideas and what you’re working on should be people who are all in with you. 

One of my favorite Sara Blakely quotes is this, "I made a conscious decision not to tell anyone in my life [about Spanx]. Now I tell people--don't tell anyone your idea until you have invested enough of yourself in it that you are not going to turn back. When a person has an idea at that conception moment, it is the most vulnerable--one negative comment could knock you off course."

13. Working all the time in every spare moment 

I know some seasons call for more hustle and are busy, and I’m not going to say “Don’t go all in on a project that makes life feel a little crazier”! I was just in course creation mode for Podcast Success Blueprint and was working more than usual for that reason, but you don’t want it to be forever. You want to make sure that during these short seasons, and that you’re not neglecting your mental health, physical health, faith, or relationships. 

If you live like this all the time, you’ll ultimately lose productivity and probably lose the freedom that was the reason you started in the first place. Too many people start businesses and then become just slaves to their business, and they're not enjoying their life. They might as well just be working a nine-to-five because they would probably have more free time back.

So ask, is that deadline the deadline it has to be? Do I need to work on this tonight or would it be better if I chilled out and enjoyed the FREEDOM my business gives me instead? 


Elizabeth McCravy works with family and gets to know her team


14. Focus tons of energy on getting unfollowed and looking at who unsubscribes to your email list.

So I want to be clear, I'm not saying don't pay attention ever to getting unfollowed and don't pay attention at all to unsubscribes. So for example, if you send an email out and you get tons of unsubscribes, much higher than normal, that should be something you check out. Or maybe you do a reel and all of a sudden you have a huge follower drop. I'm not saying to ignore those things, but if every time you send an email, you're immediately looking at who unsubscribed and you're feeling hurt by it, you’re wasting your time. 

Your Business “To Quit” List

There are so many things we do unintentionally or intentionally (but with good intentions) that are making growing our businesses harder, right? So looking at the list below, think about what you would like to QUIT next!

  1. Getting input from too many voices 
  2. Focusing too much on inbox zero
  3. Overbooking your calendar 
  4. Buying everything there is out there without a strategy
  5. Being unwilling to spend money to make some money
  6. Not asking customers where they found you 
  7. Trying to do everything and doing it all alone
  8. Scrolling social media during work hours and calling at work
  9. Not having a website
  10. Having big-picture business goals without breaking them down
  11. Deciding you have to have everything completely figured out before you take action
  12. Surrounding yourself with people who don't get what you do and think you should give up
  13. Working all the time in every spare moment
  14. Focusing too much energy on your unfollows and unsubscribes

I hope some of those will be encouraging to you as ways to take action, and things to stop doing. These are all things that I've learned over eight years in business (as I celebrate my eight-year business anniversary this week)! Thank you for reading until the end!

Links Mentioned:

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March 26, 2024

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listen to the podcast!

I'm Elizabeth, and simply put, I design brands and websites. I mix in marketing strategy, personality galore, and tons of fun to create custom brands, custom websites, and website templates. These designs convert lookers into buyers and take the headache out of the design process. I believe your brand should be a knockout. I'll help you create a captivating + profitable online presence! Join me, won't you?!

Hey there!
of the year


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