We’ve all heard the definition of insanity: To continue doing the same thing and expect different results.
Yet I see home-based business owners stay in struggle far too long because they keep doing the same things to market and grow their business, even when those things are not working. Instead of releasing what is not working and seeking out the information, knowledge and expertise they need to do things differently, and then taking NEW action.
I also have seen a misalignment of expected results and what it actually takes to create those results.
It seems many home-based business owners have the belief they can make thousands of dollars per month with very little investment of time and energy. Sorry to burst your bubble if you are one of these people, but in 99.9% of all cases, that simply is not going to happen. To get an Internet-based or service business up and running to the point where it is generating consistent cash-flow takes an investment of time, energy and yes, money.
Yes, my very first Internet-based business (10stepmarketing) that I launched back in 2005 made money in its first official month in business, BUT I was willing to do whatever it took to create that success, including investing in my own learning and growth for the 12 months prior to that launch (because I had never run an Internet-based business before), and a four-month investment of time and energy to get that business ready to launch, consistent networking offline and online to make the connections I needed to get up and running quickly, along with a total willingness to step through fear and overcome obstacles many, many times along the way.
In fact, over the past 6 years in my business, there is literally nothing I have not been willing to do to create success.
The alternatives would have been to continue running my local consulting business (which I was not enjoying any longer) or to go back out and get a job (which would not have allowed me to be home with my children). Both were unacceptable alternatives to me.
Without a doubt, the rewards (financial and emotional) I have reaped have absolutely been relative to the time, money and energy invested and the fear and obstacles I have stepped through. Compared to the stagnant business I ran for 6+ years prior that didn’t grow because I chose the safe, do-it-all-on-my-own route.
I am currently reading Wayne Dyer’s latest book, Excuses Begone! and one of the questions he suggests we ask ourselves is: Am I Willing to Shed All Unwillingness? Here’s a short excerpt from the book that I think is a great way to gauge your own commitment to what you say you want. (By the way, my mentor Lisa Sasevich shared a quote with me that she got from Landmark Education, that I think is spot on as well: “If you want to see what you’re committed to, look and see what you have.” And here’s a clue: if you don’t currently have it, the reality is it’s time to reflect on your level of commitment.)
Here’s the excerpt from Excuses Begone!:
“So what are you reluctant to do in order to make your dreams become your reality? Are you unwilling to change locations and move to another city? To leave your parents or your grown children in order to start a life that you’ve dreamed about? To quit your current job because of all the benefits you’d lose? To end a long-term relationship that you know is wrong for you because of the discomfort it would cause to others? To spend the money that you’ve saved for emergencies to invest in a dream of your own today? To overcome your fear of beginning a new exercise regime that you know would benefit you? To enroll in a college course because you feel that you’re too old to learn something new? To get the help you need to overcome an addiction that continues to wreak havoc in your life? To stand up to family members or co-workers who continue to treat you unfairly? As you can see, this list of examples could go on forever.”
He goes on to suggest that you develop a list of the things you’re unwilling to do in order to create the life you really want. Then add this header to the page: All The Things I’m Unwilling To Do In Order To Live The Life That I Intend To Live. Then find a big eraser and rub out all of those excuses on the page (because that is what they are – excuses), and keep this piece of paper in a prominent place and use it as a reminder to erase the concept of unwillingness from your consciousness.
Dyer then shares how back in 1975 when he’d just written his first book for public consumption, how his agent asked him if there was anything he was unwilling to do in order to create the kind of excitement necessary to make the book a big success. And his answer was no, and in fact he was willing to do anything including travel the entire country; pay his own travel expenses; stay up all night, night after night talking on call-in radio shows; do 12 to 14 interviews a day; buy up the first two printings of his book to distribute himself … all of which HE DID!
Now, you may not be willing to do that to get your business up and running.
However, the next time you are feeling down because your business isn’t taking off, and wishing you could have the kind of big success people you are looking up to have, ask yourself if you are willing to do whatever it takes to create that success. Because odds are, those you are looking up to, have pulled out all the stops just like Wayne Dyer did. And the more successful they are, the more they’ve probably been willing to do.
I’m not saying you have to be willing to do everything Wayne Dyer was willing to do. It’s clearly a very personal choice. But what I am saying is just make sure your expectations match your effort. And if not, maybe it’s time to make some adjustments to one or the other.