To my fellow authorpreneurs, I don’t know about you but for the first three quarters of my life I always knew there was an entrepreneurial spirit inside of me but I didn’t know how to channel it in a way that produced results.
Moreover, I didn’t know how to visualize a desired end result and therefore didn’t know how to create goals and action steps to help me get there. What good is a car if you have no idea where you’re going or how to drive?
For years I would make short lived attempts at creating an income stream. Service companies, drop shipping, selling information (before that actually became realistic and before I had any information to offer), you name it, I tried it.
The obstacle I consistently could not overcome, however, was when I built up a business and nothing would happened. I had the service or product but no customers.
Immediately in my mind I would cope by saying “I’m just not cut out to have my own business, some people are and some people aren’t and I’m not one of them.”
Think about what I’m saying for a minute.
I would start a business, then tear myself apart because I didn’t have any customers.
Now we can head in two different directions from this point. We can talk about how all I needed to do was learn about marketing and lead generation or we can talk about where my brain went when I encountered less than ideal results.
I’m going to focus on the mental side of things because I think there is a greater lesson to be learned taking this route (not that there isn’t in the previous).
Let’s review the sequence of events.
1. I thought of a business idea.
2. I created a business accordingly.
3. I mentally abused myself upon “failure”
4. I quit that business until my entrepreneurial spirit forced me to try again.
But why? Steps one and two are actually pretty cool and something to be proud of. Why did I quit so soon?
After reflection and thought I came up with the fact that I made it personal. I immediately associated the failure with my being. The reality is I just needed to learn a little bit more and/or try a couple of things out.
What finally helped me get through this was taking an “experimental approach”.
I started to view everything I did as an experiment that was completely external from me.
I’d start a business, assess the results, then determine whether or not I liked the results (notice that I’m not making it about me).
If I didn’t like the results I’d identify what I didn’t like about them. When I started my Amazon business, I started selling units like crazy only to learn that my marketing costs were eating all of my profits. I didn’t penalize myself. I simply calculated the profit I would like to make based on the sales volume I had seen, then set a marketing budget accordingly.
The results, my profit margin widened and my sales decreased to a depressingly low amount.
No big deal. I’ll just have to try another experiment in the form of a question.
What if I increase my unit price by $2.00 and increase my marketing budget accordingly. All of a sudden I started to see a slight volume increase while my margins remained consistent.
This is progress.
From this example and many more I learned that small, thoughtful tweaks and adjustments followed by assessing the results eliminated my mental agony.
I began viewing everything as an experiment.
If I didn’t like the results, I would tweak the actions and review.
To this day this is my mentality with everything, business related or not.
In my previous article I spoke about auditing my writing process. When I start to produce less than ideal results, I take an audit of my process. I do the same with daily routines that I’ve implemented and everything else.
Moral of the story:
Stop punishing yourself when you don’t succeed in the way you had hoped. Instead start creating with an experimental perspective knowing that you have your hypothesis but you could be wrong.
Accordingly, you can adjust.