If you’re like most small business owners, your business journey will resemble a roller coaster ride long before it looks like a leisurely Sunday drive (in fact, it may never look like that at all!).
But if you’re thinking about giving it all up because you still haven’t reached your goal after months (years!) of sweat, tears and a sore behind, think of Winston Churchill’s words:
“Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never–in nothing, great or small, large or petty–never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
If you feel like giving up, don’t! Here is the funny thing about life: A year will pass regardless of what you do today to build your business. But the things you do today to build your business will keep paying off over and over in a year’s time. If you don’t believe me, then just keep reading.
Since I started working from home, I’ve changed directions completely a couple of times, undergone major life changes, even felt the rug come out from under my feet a time or two (divorce papers and raising four kids on your own will do that!).
But, I keep plugging along.
My business has taught me some important things about life in general. Here are a couple of things I’ve learned.
1) They Keep Moving The Cheese
Have you read Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life?
Highly recommended reading for anyone in business. It’s a slim little volume that you can devour at bedtime.
Things are going to constantly change: your life, the nature of business. What worked last year isn’t going to cut it this year. You have to keep changing if you want to survive and thrive in the online business arena.
Do your best to try out new technologies and see if they will improve your bottom line. Ask others who are doing it for help. Remember that just 5 years ago, nobody was blogging? Now if you don’t have a blog, you’re likely to lose visitors.
Lots of folks are stepping into audio, video and podcasting. These technologies don’t have to be a stumbling block. You can always hire or joint venture with someone who can do the techie stuff and just create your message.
Your family life is dynamic also and just when you think you’ve gotten into a comfortable routine, bam! A separation, a miscarriage, a new baby, somebody retires or gets laid off, etc. Life happens.
Anticipate that the cheese will be moving. Constantly monitor the state of your old cheese. If it’s dwindling or getting smelly, watch out!
2) Don’t Put All Your Marketing Eggs Into One Basket
While it’s good to learn one marketing method well before starting to do another, but just don’t focus on one thing entirely to the exclusion of others. For instance, search engine optimization might be your “thing”, which is great, but make sure you’re also writing articles and press releases too.
3) Lesson 3: Give It Time
It’s so hard to be patient, isn’t it? If you find yourself wondering when you will ever meet your goal, there are a couple of things that might make the wait easier while you keep plugging away at your business.
a) Celebrate small successes
Sometimes we get so caught up in humongous goals and forget to celebrate the little achievements. That first small affiliate check, that first autodraft customer, 5 new pages added to a web site, an unsolicited, glowing testimonial about your product, etc.
Keep a log of all the little successes that happen in your business and review them when you need to get motivated again. Keep a “done” list next to your “to do” list.
b) Start a Feel Good Folder
Start a little word document on your desktop. Anytime someone says something nice about you on a message forum, anytime you get a subscriber thanking you for your newsletter, copy and paste that into a text document. Review it when you’re feeling down and impatient.
Another thing that helps is to hang out with other successful women in business, not just wannabes. I’m not knocking the wannabe, because we all started there! But spend some time each week talking to people who are where you want to be. Seeing them share success stories, seeing their triumphs and growth makes it clear that you WILL get there. It’s them today, but it will be you tomorrow.
For a few years now I’ve been a member at Mom Masterminds, an online networking and business resource center for serious work at home mom professionals. I wouldn’t do without it!
Just don’t give up ladies. Remember Winston Churchill.
Carrie Lauth is a work at home Mom of 4 who keeps on truckin’, and wants to encourage you to do the same. Sign up for her free marketing tips at her blog.