We live in an impatient world where if something takes longer than we think it should, we immediately start wondering what is wrong. “What the heck is going on in the kitchen – I ordered my food ten minutes ago!” “Why the heck haven’t they started boarding my flight?” If you are a solopreneur, the impatience often seeps over to your business, and you start wondering why your sales aren’t growing as fast or as big as you expect them to.
We compare our business against others and the perceived success others seem to be having. This causes us to become even more impatient for our turn at success. Now, step back and notice I used the term “perceived success” because often we are comparing our business to someone else who appears successful on the surface. Working with companies on their sales, I can guarantee you that the grass isn’t always greener. But comparing yourself to others is a futile waste of your time and energy.
Instead of comparing your business to others, you should be comparing your current results against your past results. The work you do today often doesn’t immediately pay dividends, but, instead, lays the foundation for future success. Let me give you a recent example of a client I just had. Last year she committed to inviting five people within her target audience to connect on LinkedIn. In February she was complaining that she had only gained 35 people to her LinkedIn network, and she was disappointed. I asked her to point out to me when the last month was that she had ever gotten 35 new connections on LinkedIn. She admitted that she couldn’t remember getting that many previously, but again defaulted to comparing her progress to a competitor that had twice as many connections as she did. So, to her, the progress was a failure. One of the things I had her do was write down every day how many invitations she sent out on LinkedIn, how many invitations were accepted, how many people inquired about her business, how many initial meetings she got and how many invitations to connect did others send her. Early in the year, she didn’t get a lot of inquiries or meetings, but as time went on, she started to get maybe one or two a month and then one or two a week. Gradually realizing that her work is what drove her results, she started to get energized about her progress, which organically translated to increased Linkedin activity. Her network grew both by the five daily invitations she was sending out and also by others noticing her activity and inviting her to connect. We just finished our last coaching session of the year, and she provided me with her results. The previous year she hadn’t generated any projects from LinkedIn, and this year she generated in excess of $30K in projects. When I asked her what she learned, she gave me the following five things that I wanted to share:
- Stop comparing your business to other people’s perceived success
- Daily consistent activity is the key to success
- Record and measure your activity
- Celebrate the progress
- Challenge yourself to be better
The great thing about having your own business is that you can run it any way you want to. You are the boss and you should be pursuing your own ideas and visions of success – not someone else’s.
What goals are you going to set for yourself this year?