How to Succeed in your Own Business
Be Prepared to Fail
It is very unlikely that you will succeed without failing first. Some of you will probably not like how this post started but maybe they'll agree with me after all (eventually lol) ...
Making mistakes when building your own business is, I guess human nature and part of the "deal". You want success? Financial freedom? Fun at work? Less stress? Well, you are going to have to "suffer" a bit =). Otherwise where's the fun in it?
Nothing comes easy but almost anything that costs efforts, time and sweat will be rewarded. Even when you think you're wasting your time and nothing is going your way, I know that all your small actions and efforts are adding up somewhere in the cosmos (you know, that place where everybody's karma is having fun until they decide to get back to us!)
I haven't been doing affiliate marketing for ages (about a year and a half) but I did start being my own boss back in 2009. I just couldn't hold down a job lol. I was a devoted employee but I would feel trapped and get bored quickly. I wanted to be more creative, I needed to feel really useful... to have fun, to be myself. You probably know the feeling.=D
Ever since I joined WA my business (and to some extant, life) has changed and I'm happy to say that it has changed for the better. It wasn't always easy though lol... there were days when I just wanted to throw my computer out the window, watch it crash with a nervous smile and get back to a regular job. I would wonder "WHEN is it going to happen for me?" (I mean success).
I think I have made my share of mistakes on my journey and I wanted to share them with you. =) Maybe you'll smile at them, as you will remember making them too... Maybe you'll keep them somewhere in the back of your head and manage to avoid them...
The inevitable Mistakes I Have made
- I lost sight of my customers... well yeah, what else can I say? lol. Sometimes you are so over-committed (to yourself) that you forget you are actually writing stuff that real people are reading lol.
- Sometimes I was a bit hasty, I overlooked stuff... I am guilty of wanting things quickly lol. Shame! Shame ! (GOT fans will smile at this).
- I would rush off in many directions
- I would work so much that I would burn out... I would not take breaks because I wanted to succeed so bad
- I guess I have sometimes been blind to flaws and have lacked objectivity. Taking a step back feels really good every once in a while =)
- Although I can say that I am a very organized person (I keep a diary, use to-do lists, set goals every day, can focus and don't get distracted easily) ... I sometimes had difficulty with time management, focusing on ONE THING (see "rushing off in many directions lol)
- At the beginning I didn't trust myself. I guess it doesn't really count as a mistake because I did my best lol... but I would be scared to be myself and I thought unless I did what successful people did I wouldn't achieve success. It took me a while to accept that I could take their advice and follow their steps but that it was ok (even recommended lol) to be myself !
Things That Helped
Fortunately, we learn from our mistakes (most of the time lol). I noticed that there are some mistakes that need to be repeated for you to finally decide that it was a bad move after all ... Don't despair! Even the nastiest mistakes can be defeated...
Here are a few things that I decided to implement and that definitely made a difference!
- Using timelines : if you want to know where you're going at all times, you really want to take small steps and use short/medium/long term timelines. Seeing the big picture is necessary but you need to also look at each pixel =)
- Getting feedback : it's too easy to be so immersed in what you're doing that you don't see our mistakes. Feedback will keep you on track, it will help you get better at what you do
- Using multiple media : if you're like me you don't like Facebook and most social media (except for Pinterest, which I love lol) ... but if you don't take advantage of everything you can, your competitors will. Just sayin'
- Surrounding yourself with positive people : think positive and positive things will happen to you. Don't stick with people who see everything black when you just need to see everything pink lol. Building a business is hard enough as it is, you don't need people who will drag you down.
- Diversifying and renewing networks reciprocity
- Being selective : you want a good business? give your customers/readers quality products/reviews/training/advice/support etc. Be your best, ask for the best, learn from the best.
- Taking gradual risks : this isn't a suicide mission =)
- Avoiding the speed trap : I know it sounds obvious but there's no such thing as earning money quickly and easily. Don't skip steps, take your time and it'll be all right.
- Balancing present and future : Tomorrow is important because that's where you want to go. But now is too important to be too focused on tomorrow lol... You want to act now so that your tomorrow is better. Focus on the finish line but enjoy the run =)
- Prioritizing : hmmmmm when you can prioritize you will be much more efficient. There are things that can wait and others that are crucial
- Using simple structure : why make things more complicated? Simple things usually work very well =)
- Learning from failures : failure is success' best friend you know? they've known each other forever
- Sharing your optimism : you made a sale? celebrate! you have more traffic? celebrate! you created your first newsletter? celebrate! you are on the 1st page of google? celebrate ! you figured out a way around a wordpress issue? celebrate! you write faster now and can create more posts each day? celebrate! Just be careful not to become an alcoholic because you are going to celebrate a lot!
- Communicating clearly : what do you want? what are you trying to do? what are your goals exactly ? If you are clear you'll get clear answers
- Focusing on human element : getting search engines to love you is important but we're working to help people
- Reading a lot : educating yourself will definitely help you grow and get better at what you do. It'll give you more perspective, help you fix mistakes...
- Partnering with creative types : like I said you don't want to be friends with too many negative people lol... and you definitely could do with creative folks! it's refreshing and inspiring
- Focusing on the big picture : your dream will give you wings. Look at it, practice , grow bigger and one day you will fly
- Forming alliances : you can't do this alone. Rely on your friends. On your family. On WA members =). Anybody. Alliances will help you "win the war".
- Delegating : oh I hate delegating... who am I to give you this piece of advice ? lol. But yeah delegating is proof that you can trust others and that you can accept you can NOT do everything yourself. Some people will be better than you and it's ok.
- Not letting love for your product blind you : just because you love something doesn’t mean it’s the best. Being unbiased is important
- Rehearsing your story : think, move, act like you've already achieved success.
To Succeed or Not to Succeed?
So are you ready to spot your mistakes, accept them and fix them? Are there things you believe you could do better from now on?
On the other hand, are there things that you are really proud of? Are you willing to celebrate on the small things?
“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, Jedi Master