Building your business is exciting, but we’ve all heard the statistics: after 10 years, only 33% of small businesses survive.
How can you focus on building your small empire? With any successful business, most experts refer to the honeymoon stage. This is the blissful time period when you feel like the sky is your limit.
Once that stage is over, just like with many relationships, you find yourself facing some hard truths. In fact, you may be feeling quite disillusioned. Where’s that revenue and dreamy work-whenever-you-like schedule that you were promised?
This is when it’s most important to stay focused.
Why Are You Building Your Business?
The answer to this question might seem readily apparent at first. After all, you want to be your own boss. You want to make more money.
Or, you might want to spend more time with your kids, build a family legacy, or share your idea with the world. However, when the proverbial rubber hits the road, these ideas won’t help you keep your focus.
You need an intense why, one that will keep you committed. After all, if you want more money, you might as well take up a 9-5 gig. This will probably pay off faster in the short term!
Maybe you think your idea will revolutionize body image ‘ideals’ for women everywhere. Or, you want to spread accessible therapy to everyone who needs it.
Your why doesn’t have to change the world, but it does have to be impactful.
Start Eating Frogs
Have you ever heard of this tip for focus and productivity? Say you’ve mapped out your to-do list for the week. You wake up in the morning and get started on the day, but there’s a task on your list that you really don’t want to tackle.
Maybe it’s time-consuming, or difficult, or you aren’t quite sure where to start. Human nature might dictate that you tackle everything else before you touch that one task.
But if you’re dreading it, the day might magically fill up. You’ll run out of time and won’t get it done.
With the ‘eat that frog’ technique, you’ll do the worst task at the beginning of your day and get it over with. This can do wonders for your business focus!
Avoid Zero Days
If you’re building your business on top of raising children and holding down a 9-5 job, it can be challenging! And if you’re trying to stay on top of your health, it can be impossible to maintain the 3-hour sleep schedule that many startup entrepreneurs seem to glamorize.
If that’s your situation, don’t stress over it. Remember the old proverb: Rome wasn’t built in a day. The same is true for your business!
Instead, don’t go to bed at night without doing one thing for your business. It can be small, like buying your domain name or setting up your help inbox for customers to contact you.
Eventually, one spoonful at a time, you’ll be able to bail yourself out and start making real progress.
Avoid Shiny Things
We’ve all heard about or witnessed a person with the attention span of a squirrel. They see something shiny, and off they go into the wilderness.
This mindset is particularly tempting as a business owner. Every entrepreneur on social media seems to be incredibly busy. It can carry an implied question: if you aren’t rushing around like your hair is on fire, are you even really hustling?
Don’t chase projects or action items just because you ‘need to stay busy’. Also, avoid making everything a five-alarm fire. This will only drain you if everything is escalated to emergency status.
Pick an action item and make steady progress on it, till it’s complete. This will help you find out more about focusing, and advance your business farther than half-completed action items laying around.
Who Are You Networking With?
If you listen to popular advice on professional networking sites like LinkedIn, you’ll quickly see that networking is the holy grail.
Make connections, grab a coffee, take on mentorship, reach out to others—networking with others can start to sound like a side business all by itself.
Of course, it’s true that sometimes it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. Sometimes, knowing the right person can open doors that completely revolutionize your business.
But if all your time is sucked up with networking, you won’t have a business to promote.
Make sure that you prioritize your own goals when it comes to building your business. Sharing the wealth and giving someone else a leg up is a great thing to do! But it shouldn’t come at the expense of your own professional success.
You probably started your business because of your passion. But when you’re building it, consider how those passion projects are actually contributing to your bottom line.
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Are you doing a project because it’s fun? It’s great to have that as part of your work-life. But if you’re only doing something for the fun factor, or because you feel like you ‘should’, that’s a fast way to drain yourself.
It’s often drilled into young business owners that they shouldn’t expect profits right away. In fact, this is emphasized so much that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
If you’re trying to build your business, focus on projects that are going to grow your revenue streams. When you start getting results, it becomes addicting to focus on your business.
Building Your Business
One of the best ways to build your business is to set short- and long-term goals. By writing them out in the SMART format, you’ll be able to gauge your own progress and see how you’re tracking toward completion.
If you want to find out more about building your business, there are lots of resources available. From filing taxes to shipping internationally, to better digital marketing practices for your products, you can get your questions answered by checking out more articles on our site today!