Survival

Last Update: July 27, 2021

I was looking at my stats today and a few thoughts occurred to me that I wish to share.

I don't want this to be discouraging, but on the contrary, to be an encouragement and a bit of a push.

Years ago I started a 'run from my home' service business. I started with literally nothing in the bank. NOTHING, ZIP, EMPTY. I had just lost my job and my wife asked, "why don't we start our own?" Well, the long story is too long for here, but the most important thing of the long version is that my wife would not take 'no' for an answer. Neither from me nor from the bank! She basically hammered away at that poor loans' manager until he gave in and set us up with a $5,000 line of credit (in 1977 dollars).

During the discussion, one of the loans' officer's arguments was that 20% of start-up businesses failed in the 1st year, and 50% inside of 5 years. Later I was encouraged by business owners I met who assured me that if I survived the 1st year I had a very good chance of surviving the rest. And if I made it to the 5th year, I was as much as guaranteed to stay.

What has that got to do with all of us here?

This. I looked at my stats, as mentioned, and saw the number of words I have written since starting and more noticeable was that I had written, to date this month, more than 96% of all WA members. This at first gave me that old, swollen head feeling, but after that left I began to think that there must certainly be something wrong with that figure. After all, I think I have only written 5,000 or 6,000 words this month as I have been busy at home.

However, if the figure is accurate, it tells me something about the rest...the 95% out there.

What are the rest of WA members doing with there time?

Okay. I suppose that may be harsh, but the reality is that if I am doing not enough, there are many who are not even trying. By trying, I mean, applying the time. Doing the research. Focusing on lessons etc.

And I wonder what some of the reasons are. I am certain there may be some who joined thinking this is some kind of automated system. And maybe there were some who joined who knew there would be work, but maybe didn't realize how much.

Yes there is work. But think about the failure rate mentioned above. Do we want to be in that 20% who fail in the 1st year? Of course not.

What to do.

So after answering the question of do I want to be in the 20% group or not, we need to ask if we are willing to put in the time and effort. We all have heard the saying 'nothing in life is free' right? And we probably believe too. Good.

So we need to look at where we are right now and see if we have results and if we need to change what we are doing.

And by results, I mean anything, no matter how small. Those little tiny changes or events in this path are indicators to us. We don't have to make giant changes, especially at the beginning. We are all, or most of us, learning as we go. And we need to take our steps with a certain sense of positivity.

I give you an example from my own, before making any suggestions.

I began about the end of May, this year, 2021. I had thought that it would not be a quick thing, but I did estimate that I should be making a sale by the end of 3 months in. I expected that I would be making some steady income, albeit small, by the end of the year.

But those expectations are not immediately forthcoming. However, I have made some inroads and learned a lot. I learn a little more each day I think. But there are signs. Indicators.

One such is my Google Analytics and Adsense and Search Console experience. I have a long way to go in understanding how to make the most of them, but I have learned some stuff and it is becoming clearer each time.

Another indicator is income. I have had none to speak of. I set up Adsense, and put it on autopilot. I hated it and shut it off. Later I saw that I had earned 18 cents ($0.18) over three weeks. I still need to learn how to control the placement of the ads, but I activated the auto ad feature again and pretty soon, I saw another penny. Yesterday I saw a 3 cent increase.

Now I could become very discouraged by that.

But you know what? All the previous earnings were 1 cent at a time. Then in a 24-hour period a 3 cent jump. Not much.

BUT IT IS AN INDICATOR !!!

Something happened. A change. And that is what I mean by looking for all those positive changes, no matter how small they are. They are there.

Use those changes to boost your spirits.

And so I come back to the start and the 1st year fail/success issue.

There are a number of great financial web pages that include solid, age-old, PROVEN strategies for newcomers like ourselves. I will put them at the end, if they don't get blocked.

In case they do, I will make a few comments about those strategies.

1) Number one, and always has been, a business plan. A written one. There is something that takes place in the brain when you write it down. It sticks better.

And that plan includes a financial plan. Don't just think it in your head. When you write it down, things will come that you forgot.

2) Fix your credit. Easier said than done. But it can be done. I know !! My credit was in the toilet when I started that service business. That involves a lot of basic research and patience.

3) Keep your costs low. That is not so hard. Look for all the freebies you can that may help. And if something looks really good but expensive, put it on the back burner. Concentrate on this first year.

3) build out your network. That is something you should be learning and practicing right here. The lessons repeatedly bring up that topic. And don't forget the networks of things other than people, like services and products that may suit your brand. ( and don't let the use of the word brand make you nervous, think about it, but focus on that 1st year)

There are other areas, like employees, but most of us are a long way from hiring anybody other than family...for free. lol

I am going to name only two web pages that are indicative of what is available to us on the net. But there are 1,000s out there. Hey. There may even be some good ones in our WA family, made by people who are perhaps experienced to the max in business, but just learning web building like us. (if you are one of them, point us to you in the comments please)

The Lending Tree at https://www.lendingtree.com/business/commercial-mortgage/

And Entrepreneur at https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/361350

Summary

I will end this monologue by reminding you that this first year, though tough, is doable.

Whenever you begin to think that you just want to let it all go, just remind yourself that it gets easier after the 1st year. I assure you, it does. Whether this or a physical business, we all have to fight for that first year.

And that means...get on that keyboard and produce. You will improve !!

And don't let the mistakes get you down either. If you do not repeat a mistake, it is no longer that, it is a LESSON!

I have made lots of mistakes. I didn't set up my page correctly and didn't set up my Google tools correctly and wasn't even being found by Google for a couple weeks. Now, I have all my pages indexed. YOU CAN TOO. Watch those reports and graphs. They may be going up ever so slowly here in the beginning....but they are going up !!

Do not give up!

Take a lesson from the wife I told you about at the start of this blog. She would not take no from anybody or anything. Neither should you. Not even from yourself. (We can be our own worst enemies)

Did I give up in that service business? Here is how it went.

In the 1st year, I worked 7 days a week. I used an old truck I bought at an auction. I spent all day going to the jobs and performing the duties. At night, I came home and serviced that vehicle and my equipment for 2 or 3 hours. That was followed by about an hour of paperwork in the basement office with my wife.

In our first 18 months, we had a gross income of $155,000 (1978 dollars)

In our 2nd year, I managed to secure a mortgage. I still worked from 7 AM until 10 PM, but I now worked 6 days a week. I hired a helper for the truck and a couple of part times office workers to make sales.

I thought I would fall over dead some days.

But, I SURVIVED THAT 1ST YEAR

And year 2, 3, and 4 only got better. Year 4 I had 4 full time employees, not counting myself or wife. I had 3 vehicles and a handful of part-time workers. My loans' were paid off and all was well.

Get through this first year. Look for those signs of change; those indicators. LOOK HARD!!

Don't give up. Just don't.

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helenwentri2 Premium
Awesome, thank you for sharing this post, it is very encouraging.
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IsabeloJ3 Premium
Thank you Tired Cobra for your a novel like story of your online business it was so encouraging to everybody.
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TiredCobra Premium
You are very welcome.
We all need to be 'cup half full' types for this. ;)
R.
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IsabeloJ3 Premium
Yes your absolutely right.
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forechc Premium
Excellent Article TriedCobra, It is very important for anyone wanting success online or in business in general! You must never give up. It truly takes patience, effort and regularity to be successful. And remember that success for one person is different than success for another.

Affiliatly yours,
Clarence
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