Being an online business owner has its highs and its lows, and it is likely going to take some mental fortitude to stick with it for the long haul.
Don't get me wrong. It's great working for yourself! You determine your pay, your hours, your work location, the types of projects you take on, etc.
That being said, there are going to be days when you'd rather throw your business at the wall and go apply to work at a Dairy Queen instead. Not speaking from experience or anything 🙃
So what can we do? Here are four strategies to keep momentum in your business, especially when things feel hard:
1) Evaluate your vision for what you want in life and WHY, and then, create an action plan around that.
Make sure that you look at this in the long term. Ask yourself what you want your life to look like in 10 years (not what you THINK it should look like) and WHO you want to be. Set bold (but realistic) goals for yourself around that vision. Based on that, work backwards to figure out what your routine should look like if you are to achieve those goals and that vision.
If you know WHO you want to be and WHERE you want to go, the HOW is actually really simple! ⤵️
You want to write a book. ➡️
What does an aspiring author do? ➡️
They determine their book topic and its subtopics. They create an outline. They write for 20-30 minutes a day. They write up a book proposal. They pitch it to as many agents as possible. ➡️
Now you have the blueprint! ➡️
Begin consistently working to make progress on those specific things. ➡️
Fast forward a year or two and you’re a published author!
It really is as simple as choosing WHO you want to be and reverse engineering what it looks like to be that person 🤯
Knowing WHO you want to be and WHERE you want to go will help you know WHAT to do 😍
When you are working backwards to create your plan, make sure you are setting yourself up for the most success by making your routine doable. When you are able to consistently accomplish the task you set for yourself, this builds confidence in yourself.
For example, if your routine is sending an email to your list once a week, this is simple enough that you can confidently accomplish the task every week versus a routine that has 15 steps included, which is much more challenging to complete consistently.
2) Pursue your growth just as hard, if not harder, than your goals.
Think of a laser focused on a balloon: The concentrated energy in one spot over time is going to cause the balloon to pop. Now think of a flashlight on the same balloon: It is not as intense, and it is way more dispersed. Point a flashlight at a balloon, and it does nothing.
So what is the difference? Both are doing work and expending energy, but one is so focused, the balloon actually pops. Think of your personal development like this! When you are focused on becoming the best person you can be, you become that laser on the balloon. You’ll get where you’re going much quicker this way than if you are a flashlight dispersing your energy everywhere.
3) Anticipate resistance without falling into self sabotage.
Throughout your entrepreneurial journey, your brain is going to have a lot of thoughts (no matter what stage of the game you’re in!). Your brain is going to try to tell you it's too hard, you don't know enough, someone else is doing it better, etc. These are thoughts, not facts.
Anticipate that your brain is going to resist you moving forward in any capacity simply because it wants to keep you safe and comfortable (but growth doesn't come from comfort zones!).
In his book, The Psychology of Winning, Dr. Denis Waitley offers this story about adversity:
Earl Nightingale once took a trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and noticed how the coral on the inside of reef, where the sea was most calm, looked pale and lifeless, while the coral on the outside of the reef, where the waves were most powerful, looked beautiful, bright, and vibrant with color.
When Nightingale asked his guide why this was the case, the guide said, “The coral on the lagoon-side dies rapidly with no challenge for growth and survival… while the coral facing the surge and power of the open sea, thrives and multiplies because it is challenged and tested every day. And so it is with every living organism on earth.” 🤯🤯🤯
There you have it.
Know that you will experience challenges, setbacks, and even failures. This doesn't mean anything has gone wrong. It means you are growing!
Trust that the work you put in today matters, and every action you take is affecting your future results. Whether it takes one year or ten, the fruit of your labor will show itself. Welcome the struggle, stay consistent, and trust the process.
When you finally achieve the end goal, it is going to feel so much sweeter because you fought through the hard days, weeks, months to get there. Keep going. Your success is closer than you think.
4) Take messy action.
Taking messy action and being willing to fail often will get you where you’re trying to go much quicker than if you take no action at all.
Keep in mind that we aren’t always "harvesting." The harvest is a reward that comes later as a result of the seeds you are planting now, but that harvest will never come if you don't plant anything!
Keep testing things out, keep failing, and keep pivoting until you find your secret sauce.
If you are intentional about where you’re trying to go and how you're going to get there, if you create an action plan, if you anticipate resistance, and if you take consistent, messy action, your success is inevitable!
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