Take a look around. It seems as if everyone and their dog is making money online. And these people are not just making money, they go from broke to rich from what seems like one day to the next.
And who doesn’t love a Cinderella story, right?
We all do.
And if you are like me, stories such as these get you fired up intent on being the next success story. Then a couple of months pass and crickets.
No major breakthroughs.
Then you read about another person who just made her first million doing so and so. This time, instead of hope and inspiration, doubt and even jealousy take hold of you.
And you are left wondering if you are success material.
Let’s be honest, how can we not feel fearful and frustrated when we work our butt off and see no results? And how can we avoid feelings of jealousy when someone else is living their dream while we are still struggling?
Success stories, while inspirational can leave us feeling miserable and inadequate. They make us wonder if we have what it takes to succeed.
And we feel like we never will.
But let’s be real. It’s easy to feel like a total failure when we hear about other people’s successes, but the truth is, we don’t know the entire story. We don’t know the struggles they faced to get to where they are now. And we will never see the sweat and the tears that allowed them to become who they are today.
And that’s where you and I find ourselves today.
But there is one thing that we need to recognize.
Success is possible for anyone!
Yes, even you and me!
Ask any wildly successful person about their own success story and they will tell you the same thing. It takes time. It takes discipline. And it takes determination.
Whatever your situation, the first step in breaking down any barriers that are keeping you from moving forward starts with acknowledging that perhaps you haven’t been working as smart or haven’t been as committed as you could have been. Sure, you have priorities! Like getting your hair and nails done. Shopping “till you drop.” Or maybe all your money is spent paying rent, filling up your gas tank, and buying groceries. Or maybe you are stretched to the limit. But no matter your story, starting your own business requires sacrifice and commitment.
Here are three action steps you can take right away to keep your sanity and get back on track.
Invest in yourself
The most common problem I see with people starting out is an unwillingness to invest in the tools and resources they need to start and grow their business.
Yes, there are a lot of times when a free tool will do, but you are starting a business! You’ve got to take your future seriously! You’ve got to be willing to invest in the tools that are going to take you to the next level and allow you to succeed as an entrepreneur.
If you are an online service provider, a blogger, or a small business owner, here is a short list of the tools that you must have to get you started.
- MailChimp to capture your subscriber’s email addresses
- Calendly or Acuityscheduling for scheduling clients
- Wave Apps for invoicing
- Google Docs
- Canva for images.
- Trello or Asana for project management
And the good news. They are all free!
However, keep in mind that free tools always carry disadvantages. For example, when I got started I was using the free version of Calendly, and though it worked perfectly fine, it was a pain in the butt when I scheduled clients in different time zones. But when you are just starting out, it’s perfectly fine to start off with free tools. However, be ready to switching to paid software if your business calls for it or if you feel the free tools are setting you back instead of helping you grow.
Get it together!
Work with a mentor
One of the first things that any successful person will tell you is that you need to find a mentor to help you through any roadblocks that prevent you from getting ahead.
I know, I know, mentors cost money! But hear me out. Investing in a mentor to help you get unstuck or to help you with specific problems, it’s worth the investment. Think about a problem or a question you face that you haven’t been able to figure out by yourself. How much time, effort and frustration is it causing you? What haven’t you been able to accomplish because you are still stalled trying to figure out the damn problem by yourself? I thought so.
Talking to a mentor will help you stay on track.
Don’t compare yourself to others
When you compare your situation to others, you may feel like you can’t catch up to them or that you’ll never be able to achieve what they’ve achieved.
And this is unfair to you on many levels.
- First, your journey thus far, it’s different from theirs. You have unique challenges and life circumstances that put you on a different playing field. Use what you have right now and set reasonable goals for your business. For example, if you are not able to invest in expensive tools and resources. It’s Ok. Use what you have and sprint into action.
- Second, define your own goals and affirm your own values. Before moving on with your business take a very good look at your situation and be honest with yourself about what makes you happy and what kind of business you really want to go into. Forcing yourself to do something everyone else is doing it’s a poor choice, and it will most likely end up sabotaging your success.
- Third, don’t get discouraged by failures. Business Coach, Ravi Toor of Root Business Solutions warns that businesses start seeing massive results between 1 and 2 years provided that all systems are in place for growing the business.
So, don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results in the first few months.
Believe in yourself
“Believe so deeply in yourself and in your abilities that no one will ever need to fill you. Only then can you really see the magic of what you can really achieve. Practicing belief in yourself will shift your perceptions, open doors that seemed locked and clear paths that had not yet been built.” ~Ravi
And lastly, take massive action.
And if you lose motivation, Toor recommends working with a coach to keep yourself pumped and moving. “Never stay idle,” she says, “as idleness is the death of growth.”
I asked full-time Mom and productivity coach, Amy Keslinske about her own tips for getting her life and work organized.
“Time-blocking is my biggest life-saver in my business. During my work time, I block off every hour with a focus. For example, I might block off 9-10 am to work on a lead magnet. When I’ve got my time blocked, I eliminate those moments when I’m spinning my wheels deciding what to do or just wasting time doing something that makes me feel “busy.”
Rages to riches stories inspire and motivate us because we know what’s possible when we see what others have accomplished. We are told that if we follow our dreams and work hard for what we want and try, try, try, that we too can have the life we want.
Working hard and putting in the time not always leads to the results we expect but giving up is not an option. If you are determined to change your life and have your own business, you have got to stick with a plan and execute it.
Is there a problem or issue that’s preventing you from taking off as you would like to? What else would you like to read about? Let me know and I’ll get right to it.