Nothing beats being an entrepreneur! Fueled with enthusiasm and amazing ideas for your new business, those first weeks and months when you decide to go for it are like a honeymoon in a luxury resort. Every day is a new treasure of exploration, and the mundane world seems very far away. We all start out with some dream of an overnight success story, because our products and services are completely awesome!
Until the overwhelm sets in.
In our rush to get our business launched we spent hours late into the night setting up the framework, domain names, web sites, and producing products for prospective clients. We are launching a new business with a single mindedness that makes it practically noble to ignore housework, yardwork, shopping, laundry, and a slew of other daily life-tasks.
Look At This Mess!!
Just as in a new relationship, reality eventually hits us hard – probably sooner for solopreneurs still working a full-time day job.
You can ignore the stats after you first go “live” convinced the public just needs to find you before your offering will be on fire! Then after Tweeting your heart out, adding more blog posts, or whatever you do for marketing ……. crickets.
It is awful to discover that you really did build a better mousetrap, but the world has not beaten a path to your door… or your website! Worse, you lift your red-rimmed eyes from the cruel statistical reports and look around your home at all the chores that have piled up in the meantime.
A Shakespearian Moment
You are discouraged and disillusioned, with a hefty dose of overwhelm thrown in. I know, I have been there (and go back to visit that place occasionally.)
“To be or not to be, that is the question”. Or, “What would Shrek and Fiona do?” if your frame of reference is a little more contemporary. It is a dramatic time of reckoning… with yourself.
Your first inclination may be to chuck the whole entrepreneur thing. It would be easier to hide in your swamp or tower and obsess about everything that went wrong.
Don’t give up. You are the star of this show! Your business success, like “true love”, is closer than you think. Just like any hero, you have to go through a few adventures before you can learn what your true love actually looks like.
And like any hero, you will need to make some sacrifices.
What about your dreams, your vision of your new business? Your dream are great, that’s what got you started as an entrepreneur. But to keep going, you have to let go of a static image of your successful business. Be prepared to refine and re-define what success looks like to you.
This does not mean flying by the seat of your pants without a business plan that includes measurable goals, and a written calendar of progressive steps to get you there. It means giving up the notion that anyone is really an overnight success.
Make your business goals reasonable and your steps manageable. Track your progress, and celebrate the positive trends. Do you have fifty new followers? Is that twice what you had last month? You want a daydream? There’s one for you! If you double your stats each month, where will you be in a year?
What are you learning as you go? You may find that your first business vision was too small! Plan big for the future but keep your present planning steps small enough to be executed well.
Gathering the Clan
Every hero has helpers along the way and every hero stops along the way to lend a helping hand. By the climax of the story, everyone has played a part in the hero’s big success.
You will need to sacrifice the idea that you can do this all alone.
Joining a community of like-minded people will give you tools, tips, and encouragement. You will have a place to bounce ideas, get feedback and learn how others have dealt with problems you are having.
Tip: Identify your weaknesses and find experts in those areas for coaching.
Did your first launch flop? Do you need help with launching, branding, marketing or video production? There are established experts that offer free webinars, cheat sheets and paid courses in these and other key areas critical to online entrepreneurs. The added bonus is that the best experts have community forums that you can join!
Be the Boss of Your New Business!
Back to the annoying reality that there are only so many hours in a day, we are still faced with cooking, cleaning, laundry and other domestic details. Remember that sleep and exercise can be skimped on for only so long before your overall performance suffers.
You must allow adequate time for sleep and exercise. I have calendared an audible alert on my phone to remind me to Go To Bed!! My husband even recognizes the sound now, and it marks a shift in our evening activities. I start to get sleepy when I hear it. Pavlovian, but it works.
The more negotiable tasks can be delegated or skipped all together. You are the boss, so you get to decide: delegate or don’t do it!
You can hire a maid service to clean every other week. You can hire a teenager to mow the lawn and pull weeds. Do you really need to cover your house and yard with holiday decorations this year? Can you skip making 47 dozen cookies for the exchange?
Alternately, you may find it helpful to hire a Virtual Assistant to help with some business related tasks to free you up for content creation and personal care.
The bottom line is, every hero gets smacked down at least once before they triumph. They keep going, build community and adjust their strategy until finally, they find what they were looking for. Success!!
You are the hero of your business story! Has your vision changed? Are you building community? How’s that delegating thing going for you? Please share in the comments below!