In one of the final sections of my Publishize book, I list my 10 Keys to Success. Because I only briefly touch on them in the book, I'm expanding on them here. Here's number 10 in the list: don't give up.
Contrary to what some people may say, being in business for yourself isn't always "sunshine and roses." Many Internet marketers are guilty of perpetrating a myth that when you own an online business, money just magically flows in without any effort. It's not true. Nothing happens without effort. Business --even an online business-- requires work. You will have bad days. In fact, you may experience times when you wonder if it's all really worth it.
When you reach that point, remember that you started your business for a reason. I know for myself that I am completely and totally unsuited to be a corporate drone ever again. In fact, over the years James and I have periodically embarked on a pity party about something that didn't work out the way we'd hoped. When that happens, I'll point out, "Okay, what would we do instead? Do you really want to get a j-o-b?"
Frankly, once you've had the freedom to make your own decisions and be the master of your own destiny, it's hard to look at a pathetic little cubicle the same way again. Owning a publishing company or any other business can be extremely challenging. You need to accept that reality and move forward.
When it comes to business, a big part of not giving up means following your own path. Every day, many of us are bombarded with opportunities and choices. Should you try a new marketing tactic? Should you increase your prices? Should you outsource? What should you do first? Plus, many of us are overrun with messages about all the things we "should" be doing to get more clients, earn more money, and reach some mystical elusive state of "success."
The latest trend among online gurus is to tell you essentially that if you aren't "manifesting your desires" correctly or you don't have the right "attitude," your misguided thinking is going to doom you to a miserable life of struggle and desperation. I think they've got a whole lot of nerve.
Yes, what you think about has a big impact on how you live your life and whether you enjoy it. If you think you're miserable, you certainly will be. However, you need to define success on your own terms. People who tell you that you can't run a business unless you do it a specific "way" are wrong. As a business owner, I encourage you to run your business your way. If you hate social networking and think Twitter is terminally stupid, don't use it. Don't be swayed by every new marketing scheme out there. Listen to your instincts and follow your own path. You don't need to go to another $10,000 event if you can't afford it. (And if you can't afford it, don't beat yourself up about it either!)
No matter what your market, businesses that last treat their customers and partners well. Instead of blaming yourself for having the "wrong mindset" according to someone else's criteria, consider being kinder to yourself. It's easier to keep moving forward if you give yourself a break.
In business, you will fail repeatedly. You will launch services that no one likes and products no one wants. You may need to ditch or fold projects. Some clients will dislike your work. It's all okay. Stop and look around. Ask yourself, is this what I want? Is it better than a cubicle? For me the answer is yes. If your answer is no, maybe you really are better off with a job. That's okay too. The key is to do what's right for you.
As a business owner, problems and failures are all par for the course. It's not just you. We all go through it. So accept the fact that running your business will be work, and don't give up if it's what you really want!
Join Us and 14 Other Publishing Experts at SPOC
James and I will be speaking at the Self-Publishers Online Conference (aka SPOC) on May 13, along with 14 other publishing experts. At SPOC, you'll learn how you can use a book to establish your expertise, build credibility, generate leads, and create information products that can skyrocket your business. These days, with fewer people being able to attend live publishing conferences (and some conferences even being cancelled or curtailed), SPOC is a a great low-cost opportunity for "book people" to connect and learn more about the business of publishing. You can register for FREE (or opt for paid options as well that offer more benefits and goodies).