Attention Self-Employed and Small Business Owners:
It just feels natural at the beginning of each year to reevaluate where you are in your life and in your business, especially since as a small business owner, the two are inseparable. If you feel like you’re not yet living up to your potential and you’re ready to end the struggling or frustration, then it’s time to step up to your dreams and commit to a small business strategy that works.
Doing a regular check in to see where you are and where you wish you were is a reality check which can really motivate you to change. Do you believe you deserve to have a great income, a wonderfully successful business and the lifestyle that is meaningful to you? If so, consider following these seven steps.
1) Be deeply honest with yourself
It’s human nature to avoid looking at those parts of ourselves that are blocking us or holding us back. Maybe it’s a lack of confidence; maybe its money fears or maybe it’s hard to really believe you could take your small business to 6 or even 7 figures. Perhaps you feel that your family, commitments or health are holding you back. Or it could be that you have the drive and motivation but you just need the right knowledge or mentor to help you bust through to the next level. It’s time to be honest and write down why you are stuck and what you know needs to be done to move forward.
2) Trust your intuition
If you sit quietly with yourself your own inner knowledge or intuition will give you the information you need to make key decisions. Sometimes fear can stop us from following our intuition but that will often just put a roadblock in your way. It took a lot of hard work for me to become tuned to my intuition and I don’t always succeed. But when I do I’m often amazed at the ideas that appear and the paths that open for me.
If you know you need help, but are afraid to spend the money to get it, for example, what does that tell you about your belief in your ability to succeed? If your gut feeling is that you need to take your business in a new direction, but you hesitate because you fear the work involved, what wonderful possibilities are you walking away from? Ask yourself which decision is the right one, then sit quietly and listen for the answer. Pay attention when you feel that spark of excitement about an idea. Pay attention.
3) Get outside your comfort zone
Nothing really changes unless you get outside your comfort zone. That means taking action even if you’re afraid. It means making a daily effort to change habits and ways of thinking that aren’t working. It means taking risks to grow your business. That may mean calling a prospect, asking for help, creating a new product, investing in your business.
4) Have a no excuses policy
It’s easy to make excuses as to why you’re not accomplishing what you want. We’ve all done it. I discovered that when I decided to have a no excuses policy for myself and my clients, amazing things began to happen. I’ve heard people make all kinds of excuses for why weeks pass by without making any real progress. Many times you’re spending too much time on non-priority activities or are in reaction mode, rather than doing those things that may be scary but which will move you forward. We all have other pulls on our time and attention like our life partner or spouse, our kids, our health, of major life changes like moving, divorce or chronic illness. But the loved ones in your life need to make space for you to have time devoted entirely to your business and it’s up to you to insist on it. No excuses. When a life change disrupts your work flow, take some extra time if you need it, that’s why we are entrepreneurs.
5) Use procrastination or “stuckness” as an inner signal that something needs to be examined or changed
One of the biggest roadblocks people face when they become self employed is procrastination. It often comes from confusion as to which direction to take or overwhelm as to what to do first. Or it can also come from fear that you really can’t make it on your own. When you are stuck its time to see what has got you standing still, face it and make a vow to change it. Listen to me—you deserve to be successful and more importantly, people need your unique talent and skill so who are you to hold back? The world needs you!
6) Face your fears
Remember the acronym for fear-False Evidence Appearing Real? I feel scared on a regular basis. If I didn’t it would mean that I’m not challenging myself. It may also mean I’m needlessly worrying about something that I can’t control or which I’ve conjured up in my mind but it may never happen. The biggest wall between you and your dreams is fear. Think of it as a block of ice and chip some of it away every day. Quiet reflection and meditation are what help me face my fears. Find some practice that reconnects you with your spirit and inner power so you get recharged with the courage you need. This practice of renewal is just as important as any fancy marketing you could do in helping you to succeed.
7) Think Big
Are you really clear on how you can create a solid 6-figure income? Do you truly believe it’s possible? Or do you go after any small sale that comes your way? Getting outside your comfort zone (see #3) means thinking bigger than you ever have before. This is why I work with mentors who are where I want to be and I suggest you do the same. Or get into a mastermind group with people who are where you’d like to be. Surround yourself with people who routinely achieve their dreams and who will encourage you to do the same.© Copyright 2010 Janis Pettit