By Holly Reisem Hanna
Are you one of those people who secretly envies other individual's accomplishments and successes? Do you often wonder why certain people seem to be able to achieve so much, while you can barely keep your head above water?
You’re not alone.
All entrepreneurs have feelings of doubt and insecurity. I know, because I’ve been there myself.
Last year I entered StartUpNation’s Home-Based 100 Competition. I had won the previous year, and this time around my votes were much higher than the previous year, so I thought I was a shoe-in for sure. But much to my dismay, I didn’t win. I felt defeated, like I was losing momentum instead of gaining. It was when this happened that I decided to reevaluate my goals and really figure out where I wanted to take my business and how to get there.
It is when I sat down and reevaluated my goals and my plans that I found major holes it in; from lack of inspiration and planning to not being clear as to why I was doing certain things.
Here is what I learned along the way and how you can take your business to the next level.
The reason I didn’t achieve any of my goals last year, is because I lacked any real focus. This lead me down a path of trying a little of this, and a little of that, but overall nothing received my full attention. To be successful you need to focus on one thing at a time. All too often entrepreneurs have so many ideas, but they don’t have any idea on which project they should start on first and why an individual project should get priority over another. Be clear on why you’re taking action (more money, more free time, new passion) and then focus on that project until it’s complete.
Determining your value based on other people’s accomplishments and successes is unrealistic and a detriment to your own self worth. We are each unique individuals that bring our own talents, specialties and passions to the table. Stop comparing yourself to others and compare yourself only to yourself. This is the only way to get a realistic measure on how you’re performing.
All entrepreneurs make mistakes, its part of the learning curve. The key is you need to be adaptive and learn from your mistakes. I’ve worked on numerous projects that I thought were going to be huge successes, yet they didn’t pan out like I thought. The road success is paved with many pitfalls, know when it is time to move on and then keep forging ahead.
Goal setting, blocking out distractions and scheduling can help with motivation, but the real key is having passion for what you’re doing. Last year I had decided that I was going to write an e-book on social networking for mompreneurs. I wrote a couple of pages, but it never got any further than that. The problem was that there was no focus or passion behind the project. I was doing it solely because it’s what I thought I should be doing. Build a business that excites you this will ensure your longevity as an entrepreneur.
You wouldn’t go on a road trip without a map, so why would you go into business without a plan? Without a road map to achieve your goals, your plan will be flimsy and it will be impossible to get there. Set yourself up for success by taking the time to create a plan. It doesn’t have to be a formal document, just a basic guide so you know why you’re doing each task, how you’re going to get there and by when. And remember it is totally fine if you need to modify and adapt along the way.
I don’t know why this is such a hard thing to do, but you need to be brutally honest with yourself. If something doesn’t feel right, listen and take note. Often we can save ourselves a lot of time, money and heartache if we would just stop and listen to our bodies. Listen and know when it is time to move on, as they say, “when one door closes, another one opens”.
No matter how big or how small, you need to reward and celebrate your successes along the way. This could mean treating yourself to a manicure and pedicure, or taking the afternoon off. Using this approach gives you time to relish in your successes and recharges for you tasks ahead.
What techniques have worked for you? How have you been able to take your business to the next level?
For more resources on taking your business to the next level, check out: The One Hour Plan For Growth: How a Single Sheet of Paper Can Take Your Business to the Next Level.