I see it everyday, and I’m sure you do too. People struggling so hard to make a business work. Would-be business owners trying to fit all the pieces together and not quite getting there.
On one hand, it’s heartbreaking. Watching people, particularly women, going for “it” but yet, they’re failing. They just can’t make it work and that makes me, even with my hardcore, truth telling ways, kinda sad.
But it’s only kinda sad. Because on the other hand, this makes me all kinds of pissed off. (I’m not really sure how many kinds of pissed off there are, but I think a lot, right?)
A couple of weeks ago when I was having one of those moments and was feeling particularly worked up about it, I thought through all the reasons it was triggering me so much. Why was it making me irritated? I mean, it’s not my business, why should I care?
But I do. I actually give a crap because amid all the fluffed up audacious promises of 6-figure success, so few people are speaking the truth. Because it’s so much easier to gloss over all the parts of business that aren’t Instagram friendly and perpetuate this ongoing myth of shiny, happy, successful small businesses.
So, you want to have a super successful small business? Read this and get down and dirty with these truths:
1. Master Your Thing
This may make me super unpopular, but at this point, I don’t even care anymore. The idea of 10,000 hours to master your craft is still valid.
Just because you’re doing it online doesn’t give you a superpower of being able to skim over the important bits and becoming a master at your craft.
No matter what the big name experts would like to convince you. No matter how many times people say they’ll teach you the system they use and you can then teach it too.
Let’s not even talk about the “coach” that I found who’s conferring Masters and PhDs. Gotta say my friends who earned Dr. in front of their names aren’t so jazzed about that one, and for the record, that’s actually illegal.
All of it makes a mockery of people doing the work. Of people who are quietly doing their thing and being completely magnificent at it. Or of the real, true experts who have seeing all the variations, mutations and where things can go bad.
Because, where’s your self-proclaimed expert going to be when shit goes wrong? Or when the thing they’re teaching doesn’t deliver as promised?
They’re going to shift it around to be your fault. They’re not going to own it, because they’re still students of their craft and aren’t going to have a clue on how to turn it around or work with you on it.
Can you still be learning and teach? Sure, but don’t oversell it. Don’t overpromise. And sure as shit don’t call yourself an expert in any way, shape or form. (Or give yourself a fake PhD. Not cool.)
2. Stop Bitching, Start Working
Tough love moment coming right up. I’m a huge fan of getting support where you need it and seeking outside counsel. But there’s always going to be a time where you need to actually work.
So the hours you spend kvetching on Facebook about ALL the things going wrong or how the world is unfair is time wasted. Valuable time that you’ve spent bitching when you could have been working.
Maybe it’s not bitching you’re doing but crowdsourcing opinions from people who don’t actually know anything about you or your business. Or posting madly in groups in an effort to get someone, anyone to notice you. Stop it.
Close the Facebook down and get to work. Instead of relying on random people for input and interaction, build a close circle of people who know you, your business and that you can trust implicitly. Having a group of go-to smart ladies on your side will keep you focused. Best of all, they’ll tell you when you’re just bitching and need to cut it out.
3. Get a Grip on Reality
Running a small business – online, offline or somewhere in between – is hard. It’s literally going to be one of the hardest things you ever do. Because while you’re running your business and making decisions like a boss, you’re going to learn a lot about yourself.
Frankly, a lot of that stuff is super uncomfortable. I mean, who wants to break down in tears at your in-person mastermind because you’ve got personal issues that are triggered like crazy by doing 5 year planning? Yeah, not me. But it happened. As a small business boss, the personal and professional end up all in one trippy bundle.
Which is why we all love a good overnight success story. It’s completely irresistible. Because wouldn’t it be SO much easier to just be the overnight success story than to actually have to deal with all of these things?
Totally. But for every meteoric rise, there’s the other 99.99999999999% of us working hard and doing it the old fashioned way. Slow, steady and sustainable.
The sooner you realize that, the easier this entire thing gets. Getting a grip on your “normal” makes planning your path to success way less stressful as you’re not killing yourself trying to be the anomaly.
4. Fame is Besides the Point
When it comes to fame – especially on the internet – there’s three camps I encounter.
Camp #1 are the fame seekers. You know the kind. Typically driven by ego and a need to be seen, they go after it shamelessly. It’s more than wanting to be good at what they do, it’s about being capital F famous and known in a big way.
Camp #2 are the avoiders. They hate the limelight and don’t want to be seen. This often holds their business back as they sabotage themselves and prevent anyone from knowing about them.
The problem with both of these camps is that they’re missing the point. None of this has to do with fame. If you’re seeking it, or avoiding it, you’re hurting your business.
Which is why you need to find the middle ground. (And if you’re a fame seeker, you may want to throat punch me in a moment. But I’m pretty sure fame seekers wouldn’t read this far.) Strive to be in camp #3.
Camp #3 is not driven by a mega ego, narcissism or fear of being seen, but rather understanding that you’re really good at what you do. For the right people to find you and for you to be of the greatest service with your gifts, you need to be seen as a master of your craft.
Fame isn’t the point. Being known is a by-product of doing what you do really well and being recognized for it by the right people.
There you have it. 4 truths on the road to a super successful small business. Which one is your favorite or the one you need to work on? Comment below!
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