Today I am going to talk about loving your business. It is going to get a little woo-woo so if you are a super practical kid, move onto something else. But if you want to love your business again, maybe this will help a little.
Holy crap can I be successful! I was an profitable Realtor within two years of starting and quitting that business an eon ago. I can get clients easily and find that I am generally a six figure earner no matter what I have going.
But recently (like for the last 5 years) I have been drifting. I had some GREAT ideas and business partners, but they didn't work out. I tried some products like courses and books, and they did okay, but my heart just wasn't in it to do the work. I hired a coach that didn't help, but he couldn't. You can't coach someone who isn't sure what they want to do.
I am a hard worker and will bust my ass… doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons sometimes.
But there is a happy ending. Stick around and find out…
Your Business Love Story
So how is your business? It can't be perfect or you wouldn't be reading a post like this.
So I have just one question for you… DO YOU LOVE YOUR BUSINESS NOW?
Every entrepreneur starts out all shiney and new with their business. They are going to take on the world and get free from “the man”. They are going to be the next Facebook or Toms Shoes, they are going to help people or the world be a better place.
And they are on track. They know JUST WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Ish. I mean they have a great idea and are pretty sure they want to do it. And then they ask people around them what to do.
They maybe get a coach and start to finalize their product or service. Then they…
Settle Into Rut
You are grinding it out.
Every day sorta seems like the last day. Same stupid tasks. Same stupid work. No joy in Mudville. So you…
Drift Off Course
This is scope creep and it is a KILLER! Pretty soon you are working or selling a bunch of different things that are not actually a part of your core business.
Now not only are you unhappy, but your sorrow is scattered to different places which leads to…
Down In Pits
I talk to a lot of entrepreneurs who are down in the pits. They are not selling enough or selling too much. They are frustrated with what they are doing and can't see another light at the end of the tunnel.
They are sad and unhappy and even occasionally think about “getting a real job”.
Or they are just generally unhappy. Should they double down on what they are doing or try something new. How can they get the spark back in their business.
Back to me
As they say, thank goodness we are talking about me again! I was there. I had spent good money to find out that I did not want to do what was logical and practical.
That if I had to take that advice I would rather not be in business. That if all my days were going to look like that then I would just take my dollies and go home.
So I did SOMETHING ELSE. Sort of.
I started a little Etsy store selling forms (PaperlyPeople). Who the hell starts a form store? Well I guess I do.
The cool thing about doing that was a found a new way to sell my old stuff. I had made a HUGE Marketing Strategy Guide that is awesome, but which let me down. The people who bought it LOVED IT, but selling it made me sad. It felt like begging.
Now I am selling pieces of that idea (for more money than if they bought the whole thing all at once, but whatever).
And then I found work necklaces that I could sell to my business people and started doing that. It was the same venue (Etsy) just a different product.
My world is different now. I am excited and happy and doing things that I love. I have ideas again about how to sell (trade shows and conventions), product lines I can make and new ways to do marketing.
I feel like a cloud has been lifted and a bullseye has been drawn. Now that I found this I am not just drifting around trying to find something, I am on point and happy again.
So I want you to be happy too!
Clawing Your Way Out of The Pits
So you are in the pits. It sucks. But you don't have to stay there, you can get out.
Have A LOT of Ideas
I disagree! I think you should have ideas anytime you want. Having ideas is not bad as long as you think them out BEFORE you implement them. (check out my Wicked Good Idea post for more on this)
The thing is to work them out on paper BEFORE you implement them. If you can think through a good part of an implementation and just keep getting more excited figuring it out then you probably should try it!
Be Happy To Fail
Failing sucks. It just does. But if you are trying a lot of things, you have to be happy to fail because now you can move on to the next thing.
I see too many entrepreneurs not trying because they are scared that others will think they are flakey or stupid or not focused.
I did. I thought, how many things can I try, launch, etc. before everyone thinks I have gone off the deep end. How many “schemes” can I tell my marketing besty or my assistant before they stop believing in me. How can I tell my husband about ONE MORE great idea I had.
All The Cool Kids Fail
Now that you are all excited about failing more, let's fan those flames.
It is easy to think of the high-highs of success, but how many failures had to happen to get there.
Steve Jobs and Apple have failed at least 10 times with new products
Push On It Everyday, Momentum Rolls You Downhill
So now here comes the woo-woo part. It is amazing how much you can get done once you are rolling along and everything is firing on all cylinders. Instead of dreading that email coming in with problems, you can be excited again that people are coming to you with questions.
See how that works? When you love your business, you frame things differently in your mind. You start to be optimistic again and stop thinking that everything and everyone is out to get you!
Should You Start A New Business?
If you hate everything about what you are doing, then yes! Shut it down and go a different way. For example, I REALLY hated everything about being a Realtor except marketing, so I shut down my Realtor business and started doing Realtor Marketing years ago. Now, I didn't stick with just that, that was just the low hanging fruit that I could pick up at that time.
But this time I didn't start a new business. I have my Marketing Artfully as my core business and my new things are just products I sell. I think that is a HUGE distinction. You may not have to burn your business to the ground, maybe just a little quarter turn pivot can get you on the right track!
How Do You Find Your Passion
It was funny to listen to people when Gary Vaynerchuk launched his book, Crush It, years ago. In it he talked about doing what you love, finding your passion. And I thought, OK, I am good, I know my passion….marketing!
Wah, wah, wah. The sad fact is that while I knew my passion, I didn't know how to sell something that I liked. I am great at selling services like web design, social media posting and coaching, but how to find something that I could sell that would a “set it and forget it” eluded me… until now!
So what is your passion?
One way to figure this is out is to ask, what would you do all day, everyday if money was no object. I would write blog posts. Or books. But I would write. That means that I have a way to drive people to buy my stuff! And especially now that I have “stuff” that I like creating, the world is good.
But that is the rub. If you know you like knitting but hate marketing, how do you sell your products? What if you like doing math but hate being an accountant. What can you do?
There is no answer. No one else can tell you and you probably can't pull it out of your hat (ass). What you have to do is research what is available. Try things that seem stupid. Fail. Dust yourself off and try something else.
While I was writing this I got a conversation with a gal who is using my forms. She is happy and doing better with her organization. That makes me happy beyond words. Oh and she bought something else. Double happy.
Should You Quit Cold Turkey
It depends on your situation! I can't afford to just stop what I am doing now. My monthly clients pay the bills and I am getting ready to start doing work for them in a couple of minutes. BUT if I don't set something else up and do both, work a little harder, stay frustrated for a little longer, I won't have the income to pursue what I do want to do.
It would be great if we all had the luxury of starting from scratch with a big funding source, but most of us don't. Instead think about adding on, pivoting or just doing it on the side until you have built up a base for your new thing.
Do something different that might help!
What To Do Next
My Wicked Good Ideas kit will walk you through how to brainstorm ideas, capture them, and then work through all the parts BEFORE you start implementing them! I can tell you, having a worksheet set like this is the reason I am happy today! I scoped out other ideas that didn't make sense ON PAPER before I ever wasted my time or energy on them. And then when I did have a great idea that I thought might work, I couldn't stop writing down new ideas… and the great thing is I still have them to implement when I am ready.
Check out the Wicked Good Ideas Business Planner Kit