In the early days of running a business, when your client and money flow is not yet consistent, you can often find it’s tempting to throw in the towel. When you pay out for a venue... and nobody turns up. When you prepare a wonderful talk or workshop... and only two people come out and benefit. When you write a brilliant blog post... and the only comment is from your mum. It can be deeply frustrating and demoralizing. It’s easy to interpret these occurrences as rejections. The mind can spin all kinds of stories: “you’re not good enough”, “you shouldn’t be doing this”, “you will never make this work”.
But when your business feels like an uphill struggle, when it seems there’s a disappointing trickle rather than a full flow, it’s time to ask yourself: “Am I in this for the long-term?”
Building a sustainable, long-term, successful business comes down to persistence. Why? Because people talk. So much of business growth comes down to word-of-mouth recommendations so just one happy client can do wonders because that person tells their friends and family, and they in turn spread the word.The email list that starts with one subscriber grows to two. Two grows to four. Four grows to eight. Eight grows to sixteen. It’s the magic of exponential growth. People start hearing your name from different directions and notice that you’re here to stay.
When someone is considering having one-to-one coaching with me, or taking part in a group business building programme, there’s one key question I ask: “What would it be like if your business never got off the ground?” The response speaks volumes. The person who says, “Well, it’d be okay, I’ve got this other job I can go back to” doesn’t have the hunger and commitment of the one who says, “I haven’t even entertained that question. I’m going to make this work.” This person has the determination and dedication to see this path through, no matter what. She won’t be deterred by an empty studio or silence on her teleclass; she knows that is part of the process and sticks with the action steps.
Brian Tracy, author of the brilliant book Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time talks about the importance of “getting in line, staying in line”. In other words, imagine that right now you’re queuing up for success. Will you keep abandoning the queue because it's not moving fast enough? Will you leave your place, check out other possibilities, and then have to start from scratch? Or will you ensure you stay consistently in the right place, moving forward, focused on your goals and end results?
By staying boldly and powerfully “in line”, you’ll then experience the wonder of momentum. It’s like cycling up a hill. It takes some effort (although it can still be enjoyable!) but once you’ve reached the peak, the downhill ride is full of ease and joy. There’s a discernible tipping point, where you get to benefit from the action you’ve invested.
So keep showing up. Keep taking one step after the other. Stay in line, and enjoy experiencing your business grow.