We all have those moments … those times when everything feels right in the world and we are certain that we know which path to follow. I’ve found these moments of clarity come to me most when I’m working on building businesses. You think, you brainstorm, you make lists, you research, you think some more and then all of a sudden it’s like the heavens open up and you realize this is the right business idea, this is the right logo, this is the right name. This is it!!! And you are so excited. You are so full of enthusiasm. You just know that this is the answer to all of the worlds problems.
You are going to start this business with this name, this logo and this color scheme and every starving child in the world will be fed (okay, perhaps that’s an exaggeration), but you really think this is IT! This is the business above all businesses, the ONE that is going to allow our grandchildren’s grandchildren to bath in money. You have so much passion. You feel it all over. You think about the business non-stop. You are ready, you’re unstoppable, you are full of passion and off to the races.
The first month goes really well, you don’t get any clients, but that’s the way startups go, right? Businesses take a while to get established. You know this and you’re fine with the idea of no clients. You’ll get your first customer any day, you can just feel it. Six months in, you’re getting your footing. People are talking about you, a bit, you think, perhaps someone in the recess of the internet.
You’ve gotten a couple of clients and you’re feeling like this is still just the beginning. Then you round the year one point, your financial projections were a little off, but it’s still a great business idea. It’s still worth investing in. You push through the next year and you finally hit the year two mark. People are buying your products, just not as many as you’d like them to buy.
And that spark, that spring in your step is gone.
What were you ever thinking? Why did you think that you could make this business really succeed? Why did you think people would actually buy from you? What made you think that this was the path to success? Where is your passion?
The answer is your passion is gone.
Passion is the stuff that businesses are built from. Its that fire that keeps you up all night working and the fuel that allows you to promote your new product to everyone you meet. Passion is the one ingredient that gets you through the hard times. Starting a business isn’t an easy task. There’s a lot of hard work that goes into forming an organization that provides great value and also makes money.
There’s a point that most business owners reach where their passion is running low and so are the funds in their bank account. This is the time when the rubber meets the road. Its the time that all business owners ask themselves hard questions.
- Is this the right business for me?
- Am I doing all I should do to make this a success?
Most people stop when they are 20% away from the finish line. You work, you dream, you work some more and you try your best and still it’s a struggle. What most people forget is how far they’ve come.
We live in a quaint beach cottage, which is just a nice way of saying that we live in a very small house near the beach. When we purchased this “fixer-upper” is was the cheapest house in the city. There was a reason it was the cheapest house. It had holes in the walls, boards on the windows, barely working electrical, a dirt pit in the backyard and a kitchen with three different styles of cabinets and three different levels of countertops all in a row. It needed a bit of tender loving care. We’ve lived in this quaint beach cottage for 10 years now and it’s still an old house. It still has issues (seems like most weeks). We still have a long to do list of projects we’d like to complete and that is the list that I focus on, much to my husbands dismay.
I don’t focus on the new lovely living room with the ocean view, the new cabinets and granite countertops. I don’t focus on the beautifully landscaped backyard or the windows that open and close. I don’t remember the brand new garage door that we put in last year, or the sprinkler system that automatically waters the front yard. I focus on the driveway that needs to be paved, the carpeting that I’d like replaced with hardwood and the wall heater I’d like to rip out. I don’t think about how far we’ve come and how truly beautiful our home really is. I’m too focused on what’s missing because my passion is gone. I don’t want to live in this little house anymore, I’m ready for to move up a level.
It’s the same for many business owners. You are so focused on your lack of success that you aren’t able to see the success that you’ve enjoyed.
When you’ve lost the passion for building a business you need to go back to basics.
Do you have a product or service that someone wants to buy and how are you telling them about that product or service?
If you don’t have a product that people want to buy, you need to re-examine your strategy. If you’ve been in business for 2 years and the fish aren’t biting, chances are, they aren’t going too. However, if you have gotten traction, but it’s just not at the speed you’d like, think about upping your focus on sales and marketing. No one wants to work for free! If you aren’t getting paid what you know you’re worth you need to change that ASAP. You deserve to make the money that you know you have the capability of making, you simply must focus your energy on sales. Too often that is way low on the priority list because truthfully most people hate sales! If you want to be in business you have to be in the sales business. Your business has to make money or your passion will leave and you won’t be helping yourself, or anyone else.
If you’ve been struggling to get your business off the ground, look at your focus. Are your energies really directed toward getting the money in the door and into your bank account? To often we put a lot of time and energy into the product, the look, the brand and then we forget how important it is to tell people about what we’ve created or we think that the product is so good it will sell itself. I’m sorry to say it will not.
You have to ask for the money! Ask people to buy your product and you’ll be shocked by how many people do. When money comes, passion is reignited. Passion will take you to the starting line and it will carry you through 80% of the race, but in most cases you need to refuel and focus on income production.
You’ve given so much and worked so hard. Don’t give up when you are so close to success. Stay the course and get outside support. Join a mastermind group or hire a personal coach to lead you to success. You can reach profitability with your passion intact. Think of how far you’ve come, all you’ve done and all the success there is just waiting around the corner!