Sunday, February 15, 2009

Small Business Marketing Insight Tip #6 - The reason you're here and what keeps you going

(photo credit: piccadillywilson)
What passion or purpose drives you to succeed in your small business?

Whatever keeps you up at night, what you think about every spare moment, what makes you smile at odd hours - this is the "burning desire" (as Napoleon Hill put it) that actually makes your success. Ignoring, combating, or resisting this line of thought actually causes the stress in your life, affects your health, makes your life miserable.

No, it's not your spouse, your in-laws, your current boss, or the government tax bureau that is causing you all the anxiety and lack of sleep.

You just need to get on with what you should have been doing all the time.

And you know what this is. No "down deep" about it. It's what's been nagging you in both good times and bad. Think about it even slightly - and you'll see that there is something you'd really like to be doing.

A cousin of mine once said to me, "If you didn't have to do anything at all for anybody, what would you do for a living?"

Oddly, I wound up doing just that - some 30 years later. But I quit listening to the "now I'm supposed to's" coming from everyone and their brother/sister/uncle/aunt. I started just doing what I wanted to do. It meant quitting my job, relocating half-way across the country, taking up a new life in my home town and a series of entry-level jobs, getting several degrees (at least until I found out it wouldn't get my anything but stuck in another rut-job) - until I finally got the freelance job of my dream, which I'm doing right now. Plenty of time to figure out and implement a plan to make the fortune I've always wanted and deserved - but never took the necessary steps to achieve.

You can, too.

No, you don't have to be as drastic as I was. I tell people to keep their day jobs now. Just figure out where you want to really be and start taking all that extra time you currently spend watching TV - and start your own business, the one you've really wanted. You might even be doing it as a hobby right now.

  1. Whatever it is, work out a simple plan to really operate it as a business.
  2. Draw up a schedule you can stick to - those are your business hours, even if it's only at night or only on the weekend, or a mix of both.
  3. Set up an area which is only used for that business. Basement, garage, den - whatever. Don't do anything else except business there. Don't allow anyone to use it for anything else.
  4. Work up metrics you can keep that will track your progress toward your goal. Just like you have to do at your day job - or if you're retired, like you used to have to keep. These you'll keep for yourself - they'll mean a whole lot more, too.
  5. That means you are going to have to set some annual and quarterly goals for yourself. The metrics will show you if you are getting close to that dream of yours.
  6. Now, get that product you can make or create or sell for someone else - and get busy getting your production created and sold. Even if on eBay. Get some income coming in.
  7. Then work up what you have to do in order to keep this going and expand it so you can actually make a living at it. Be realistic. You'll have to decide what to give up temporarily or altogether in order to create the success you've always wanted.
  8. But ensure you save time out of that schedule for yourself and your family. This isn't another drudgery. It's a new life. So keep your new life livable.
  9. And keep these plans to yourself - unless your spouse is going to help you in the business and you both share the same dream together. Ignore the catcalls at work. Just go on with that great, calm, cheerful expectancy that everything is working out just as it should. (Like the old phrase, "Smile, it makes them wonder what you've been up to.")

OK?

Great. See you at the top...

PS. And if you are already working at that dream job, or have your own business and are a going success - Fantastic. Now, how about helping someone else kick over their traces and start living their own dream?
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