3 Tips to Grow Your Internet Business from an Inc. 5000 CEO

You don’t become a $10 million/year internet business overnight.
Unless you play big and fail fast!  You become one by making big choices consistently.

Recently, Inc. 5000 asked me to share my story. As one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S. in 2019, they want to know what I’m doing that’s working.  I shared it with them, and I want to share it with you too.

So here’s my advice, from one growing business owner to another.

1. Stop protecting yourself and start failing.

If you want to be an entrepreneur who succeeds, you have to stop protecting yourself.

Entrepreneurs that “make it” aren’t protecting themselves.

  • They’re pushing themselves out of their comfort zone.
  • They’re making a mental commitment to move forward.
  • They’re choosing to embrace mistakes and learn from them.

When you stop protecting yourself, I can’t promise you won’t experience hard times. In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that you will.  But . . . while mistakes may be difficult as you go through them, you’re never going to regret them. 

Because with each failure, you’re creating something that proves to yourself who you are.  

  • You’re someone who never gives up.
  • You’re someone who takes risks and figures out how to make it all work.
  • You’re someone who belongs on the Inc. 5000 list. 🙂

And if you’re not holding back on the small decisions you’re trying to control, you’re going to find more and bigger opportunities coming into your space.

Stop looking to protect yourself from the pain of making a mistake, and embrace the failures, the lessons, and the pride that comes with taking action—even when it’s scary. @ShandaSumpterClick To Tweet

It was hard for me to figure out how to fail big at the beginning of this year. It’s much easier to maintain where you’re at than to push forward into new territory. But that’s why I made the conscious effort to make big decisions this year—and to have big failures. I was so determined to take big action and embrace my mistakes that I made it my goal to hit 19 failures this year.

And guess what happened? By the time I hit seven, I had doubled HeartCore’s revenue. It’s because I was making bigger decisions. I was taking bigger risks.  My failures were bigger, but as you can see . . . so was my growth.

2. Strengthen your thinking patterns.

Once you start failing, you have a choice to make. How will I use this?

Most people experience failure and think, “Well, this is it. I guess I’m just not cut out for it.” They see a failure or mistake or hardship as something that happens to them.

Here’s what I think:

  • If you think it happens to you, you’re robbing yourself of the power to grow from it.
  • If you think it happens for you, you can use it to propel you forward.

Will you let this failure strengthen your thinking or destroy you?

When I was buying real estate and the market imploded, I couldn’t short sale my homes. The banks weren’t taking short sales, and I had to leave with seven years of bad credit and three homes I couldn’t sell.

But I’m so thankful for that experience; I now see it as a blessing. It taught me how to cash flow, and if I hadn’t gone through that failure . . . and if I hadn’t strengthened my thinking pattern . . .  I wouldn’t be able to teach cash flow to entrepreneurs.

If I had been protecting myself, then I wouldn’t have taken a risk—bought three properties—and failed hard. And if I had failed hard but hadn’t strengthened my mindset, then I wouldn’t have the faith and resolve I’ve needed to get me to where I am today.

And I love where I am today—an expert in the cash flow field, teaching it to thousands and literally changing the lives of so many entrepreneurs and their clients.

But none of that would have happened if I hadn’t been okay with failing. Because I took a risk and lost my ass at it . . . I had to figure out how to get on top again. I had to figure out how to reconcile my life through that devastation.

Not figuring it out was just not an option because that’s how I approached all my decisions. I was able to get back on top—and now, better than ever.

And it all happened because I was determined to strengthen my thinking pattern. You have to start building a stronger thinking pattern. Everything is happening for you, and you have the power to do great things with your failures.

3. You can’t expect to succeed if you’re looking at what’s behind you.

My nickname growing up was “stupid.”  Watch a video I just released on this topic  “If you’ve ever been called stupid“.

And for a long time, I believed that lie—that I was stupid.  Until one day . . . I realized it didn’t do any good to believe that story anymore.

There were plenty of people succeeding who had been called that—and much worse. So why was I letting something from my past dictate what I believed about who I was today?

I’ve seen people do that with themselves, with their marriages, and with their businesses. They take something that’s happened in the past and hang on to it like their life depends on it.

But the truth is . . .  A full life depends on YOU letting go of what’s behind you.

  • Letting go of those mean things someone said to you.
  • Letting go of the time your spouse snapped at you when he was tired.
  • Letting go of the failure you had in your business.

They don’t have to mean anything about you.  They can be stepping-stones—ways to learn and grow and move forward.  But you’re the only one who can let go of those stories and start building new ones.

P.S. I hope my answer to the Inc. 5000 survey was a blessing to you! If you could take a moment and leave a comment below, please let me know what point stood out to you!

Hi! I’m Shanda Sumpter, owner of HeartCore Business, investor to entrepreneurs on The Pitch, and named as one of Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies in 2017, 2018, and 2019. I’ve helped business owners all over the nation grow and scale their businesses while enjoying their lives more. I believe in giving generously and being honest—all in the name of leaving a legacy.

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