Generally for women it can either be a time of despair at the aging process, or for most of the women I know, a time to celebrate coming into one's self, knowing and being happy with who you are, and taking on a new chapter in your career and personal life.
I found myself in a predicament a few months back as I was planning my birthday festivities.
I was enjoying one of the most rewarding years of my career and planning to expand in a new territory of services. I was feeling whole in every aspect of my personal life and enjoying a schedule that balanced my family's needs and my aspiring goals.
And then it happened...
I found out I was pregnant. Pregnant for my 6th child at 40! Can you say TIRED? I had finished having children 6 years ago and was relishing my second year of school day hours solely devoted to growing my business. Not only that, my husband and I had decided that the market was right to put our house on the market and finally build on our dream plot of land. Morning sickness, house showings, blueprints, moving into a much smaller temporary rental and added hours of extra school drop off/pick up ensued. I found my entrepreneurial energy draining.
I could have panicked, had I not learned a very valuable lesson in my early days of start-up. Back then I was balancing 4 toddlers/babies, 2 with special needs, and an urgency to create income for their uncertain futures. And that lesson is one step and one day at a time. It is what I call "little by little". It may sound cliche, but sometimes you have to make a plan as to how you are going to carry it out for it to really manifest.
What is it that is overwhelming you? Do you have extenuating circumstances in your personal life or unexpected set backs in your business? Does this have to mean you abandon your goals because they are now impossible?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Before IT happened, were my goals a reasonable path for building my business?
- If time were not an issue, would I still be able to achieve my goals given the resources I still have?
- Is my great idea, still a great idea even though IT happened?
If your answer is yes to these questions, read on...
Little by Little
It comes down to mathematics really. Your goal for your business may now take a longer time to achieve, but if you break it down into denominators for each day you will have a plan to make it happen.
Example 1: Let's say you need to launch a new service or product, and you know that you need to grow your contact list to reach a particular demographic about it. First, choose the best platform for reaching that audience, let's say it is LinkedIn. Now, every day, just make 3 connections on LinkedIn with your target market. (If you need help developing a strategy for LinkedIn email me for my Top Secret method of making meaningful business connections with people you don't know) In 4 weeks you will have made close to 84 connections, give or take for those who ignore you, but perhaps even more given how social media site connecting snowballs.
Example 2: Maybe your idea hasn't materialized yet. Allow yourself 30 to 60 minutes a day to research implementation. The rest of the day is devoted to working the business you already have and taking care of your new responsibilities/extenuating circumstance. When you have exhausted research and are ready to start implementation, do just one thing day, or take one day a week to do one thing if they are significant tasks, that will get you closer to launching.
Make Contingency Plans
When your startup stands on uncertain ground, but you are still committed to making it work, exercise the skill of filling in the blanks of this sentence:
If _________________ happens, I could do this __________________ or I could do this _________________.
Anticipating different scenarios and knowing what step to take next without displaying shell shock will allow you to still appear to be in control to your current clientele however small it may be.
Always keep in mind, on average, businesses make more money from repeat sales than new sales. Maybe another "little by little" could be how can you make slight improvements to the experience of your current client base, they may be just the people to buy into or cheerlead your next level of business.
by Rebecca LeClaire - Website Design Company Consultant and Startup, Online Business, SEO & Marketing Consultant