With the ease of selling over the Internet and the abundance of direct marketing companies available to choose from, it seems like everyone is wanting to be a business owner (or self-employed) nowadays. The problem is that not everyone will do well at it. In fact, 80% of businesses fail in the first 5 years. Over the next 5 years, 80% of the remaining businesses will fail. So here are two questions every business owner must answer.
So what is 20% doing differently?
1. Where is their business going?
2. Why do they want to get there?
To be perfectly honest, the “what” or “how” are irrelevant if those primary questions are not addressed. What I mean is that you can have the perfect product or service but, if you don’t know where you’re going with it, or even why you want to get there in the first place, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Let’s address question number 1. Where are you going?
Is your goal for being in business to become an international corporation that will make you a multi-millionaire or is the purpose to earn a couple hundred dollars a month for bills or “fun money”? Either goal is a worthy accomplishment, once reached, but you’ll never get there if you don’t write it down. Grab a piece of paper (or open up a word document) and write it down.
I want to earn $X per month in X amount of years. Set a 1 year goal, a 5 year goal, and a 10 year goal.
Get specific: I want to sell this many items, recruit this many people, have this many clients, reach this many blog followers, this many Facebook fans, Twitter followers…. I think you get the idea. Put in as many details as you can. Make a poster, hang it some place prominent, and read it out loud twice a day.
What is your Why?
The second question is really the key. Figuring out your “why” is a little more complicated than figuring out your “where.” Many studies have shown that money earned is not the primary key to job satisfaction. It can be a great kick start to get you going but it won’t keep you motivated over the long term. So now you need to figure out what will keep you motivated when things get tough.
If the main purpose for you to run a business is to put food on the table for your family, then put a photo of your smiling children on your “where” poster. When you read those goals in the morning tell yourself that you will work hard today because you love your children and they deserve to see you succeed. That is pretty good motivation when business gets tough. But it still only partially answers the question.
Why did you choose that particular business?
Do you believe in the product or service you are trying to sell? If not, you probably won’t be in that business for very long. Again, be specific. Put your heart into it. This may take some time to figure out and it’s alright if your “why” changes over time. Just make sure that your “why” reaches to your heart.
My Personal Objectives
Here is an example: I’m passionate about mothering. More specifically, I’m passionate about natural mothering and making it mainstream. I want to be able to give moms the opportunity to begin their mothering journey through babywearing. When I get an order and I don’t feel like sewing, I can remember my “why.” I just need to think about the closeness it is going to bring to the mom and baby and I smile. When I get tired and unmotivated, I remember my reason for starting in the first place.
- Write down your destination.
- Write down why you want to get there.
- Put it some place prominent and read it, out loud, twice a day.