UPDATED! … Ever Feel Like Giving Up in Your Business?
If you’ve been trying to grow your business alone, discouragement can easily knock you off your feet and make you question whether you should be giving up on your business — wondering whether achieving your dream is even possible.
If you’re feeling this fear in your business you are not alone. I have felt your pain and so have thousands of other now successful entrepreneurs.
The good news is you are taking a step in the right direction just by reading this blog and seeking answers.
Here are 5 tips that will help you get up when you feel like giving up. Implement these tips to help you get your “A-game” on.
1. Expect to struggle with challenges.
Challenges are a part of life … and it’s also a part of growing your business.
A wise person taught me a long time ago, “a person’s reaction is based on their expectation.”
Being exposed to so many “overnight” success stories on social media it is no wonder how any normal person might feel like a ‘failure’ if you are going through a rough time in your business.
Well, I rarely find those sound bytes on social media revealing the failures and hard times they had to overcome in order to get to the success they are today.
If you’ve been an email subscriber of mine, you probably already know about some of the high points in my background like, hitting my first Million Dollar milestone … doubling my business 11 times over my 26 year entrepreneur career … starting, turn-keying and selling 3 businesses, etc.
But, you may not know about some of the low points and struggles I went through along the way, when I was …
- Disheartened at the realization I could have made more money flipping burgers than what I netted in Q1 my first year of business back in 1992 … (I felt so inadequate!) 😭
- Rejected being turned down for my first round of funding for my 2nd business … (blow to my ego!) 😓
- Struggling to make payroll some months … (sweating bullets!) 😨
- Dumbfounded at the damage it cost me from not firing a key employee when I should have – to the tune of quarter of a million dollars (Ouch!) 😖
- Overwhelmed having to find 20 new hires to replace 20 under performing sales people … (Ugh! Felt like I got the ‘Go back to Start’ card in Monopoly) 😞
- Blindsided being sued for pregnancy discrimination by a new employee 😱 — (Wow! never imagined that could happen to me as a working mother of 3 children myself)
- Ok, I could go on and on … but I hope you get the point …
The point is … life is not easy, right?
When you expect growing a business to be easy, then challenges will take you by surprise. Don’t let obstacles knock the wind out of you and make you dwell on negative thinking.
As Vince Lombardi famously said, “it’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.”
I’ve learned, though it’s so much faster and easier to get up from setbacks when you have other people to help you. That’s why it’s important to …
2. Connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.
It’s pretty hard to encourage yourself when you’re in the midst of massive anxiety and frustration.
First, you’ve got to make a decision to get out of solitary confinement and not operate your business like an island.
Don’t try to climb out of your discouragement alone.
- Find a mastermind group or an advisory group where you get together regularly with like minded entrepreneurs to work ON your business.
- Join a local networking group where you can build relationships with other business owners and entrepreneurs.
- Reach out to a colleague and ask them to be your accountability partner. (Just don’t choose someone who is in the same place of contemplating giving up in their business right now).
3. Reconnect to your “WHY”.
I find that people think most about quitting and giving up when their business is not making enough money (you need to attract more clients) or the business just isn’t fun anymore (you need to develop high performing people you like being around).
A business won’t survive long if you’re just in it for the money. Yes, it must make money in order to thrive as a business, but there has to be a much greater meaning that drives you in your business.
The problem is pursuing money is not a meaningful purpose. We all need to make a living, but I believe God created each of us on purpose and for a greater purpose.
What was the difference you set out to make in people’s lives through your business?
It doesn’t matter how unglamorous you might think your profession is. Even a house painting business can make a powerful impact when it’s run as a purpose driven business.
When business is slow it’s easy to sink into self pity and start to question whether it’s time to throw in the towel. Instead, shift your focus off yourself and onto others.
Reconnect with your purpose and focus on the impact you want to make through your business.
4. Find an experienced guide.
Discouragement can feel as insurmountable as climbing Mount Everest when you’re not supported by an experienced guide. Let me give you a visual:
That’s me struggling to scale this rock. But, I would not have even gotten that far up if I didn’t have my brother belaying me from the ground.
Having him belay me protected me from getting hurt when I did fall. And, he knew how to belay me so I didn’t fall very far.
He also took me on walls he has scaled before. So, he could guide me on what steps I should take that was within my physical reach.
He didn’t guide me in the same sequence he gave my son, who could take a different path getting to the top since he is 5 inches taller than me and has far greater upper body strength than I do.
If I were free climbing I would certainly give up after my first fall. But, I would never attempt to go free climbing by myself. I know my threshold for pain and at my age, I would not risk breaking any bones.
It’s the same in your business. You can’t afford making costly mistakes. Hiring an experienced guide is worth every penny!
5. Evaluate your equipment.
When rock climbing you have to have the proper equipment to have a successful climb. The wrong shoes will make every step hiking up the mountain slippery and dangerous. A clothing line rope does not qualify as proper equipment. You may be able to hang clothes with it, but you wouldn’t depend on a clothing line rope to hold you from falling off a cliff.
If business is slow, you want to evaluate what equipment are you using in your marketing toolbox.
Don’t overlook the importance of having the right marketing tools. You can watch your sales climb much faster if you use the right tool for the right job.
These are some of the critical tech tools every business should be equipped with.
- effective lead generation magnet(s)
- a lead capture landing page
- a lead generation website
- email marketing/autoresponder tool
- traffic generation tools like social media
BONUS TIP #1. Shift your focus from seeing “problems” to seeing “opportunities”
If you keep focusing on your problem that your business is not making enough money right now, all you get is worry, anxiety and ulcers. The most effective way I know how to shift from focusing on the problem into seeing opportunities is by measuring your marketing metrics.
This is one of the most overlooked steps. But, measuring your marketing is like getting an instant X-ray of what is causing the problem.
Let me know if you want me to cover this topic in more detail in future blog posts, (just tell me in the comment box below) but let’s take one specific marketing tactic like your website. The numbers will tell you what opportunities to focus on.
# of new visits to your site = 1,000
# of subscribers = 5
# bounce rate = 90%
# average time spent on site = 4 seconds
average # of pages spent on site = 7
Can you see what opportunities the business with this above example should focus on?
If this is an area you are screaming for more help interpreting in your business right now you can sign up for a complimentary marketing assessment here.
BONUS TIP #2. Don’t worry about the storm. Worry about having a good anchor.
Falling sales numbers might be the storm in your business. Having a good anchor will keep you from worrying about it. When I am rock climbing I don’t worry about falling because I know I am anchored to my belayer who also happens to be my older brother.
Not only is he my safety net; he’s also my guide coaching me through what my next steps should be. Because my nose is so close to the rock, it can be hard to see what step I should take next.
My belayer can see the bigger picture from where he is standing. Plus, he’s climbed the rock before, so he knows first hand the pitfalls and the easiest path to reach the top.
Who is belaying you in your business? Who is your safety net? Who is guiding your next steps when your nose is too close to see those opportunities?
Question: What do you do when you feel like giving up? Share your tips and questions below.
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