This is a question I heard whispered in my mind while meditating on the direction of my business. I have been plagued with non-stop changes in my various businesses over the years. With my current one, it was as if my business went through a metamorphosis every few months. Some of it is natural growth, but other parts of it are, in reality, groping for a way to grasp where I belong.
Finally, I had to ask myself a couple of questions:
- What do I want to do?
- Why do I want to do it?
- Am I committed to a vision?
Admittedly, sometimes we start in business and we don’t know what we want to do. We try out one thing, decide what we do or don’t like about it, make a few adjustments, then a few more, until eventually, we start getting into a groove and discovering who we are as a person and how that translates into the identity of a business.
For me, when I started my business almost 3 years ago, I didn’t know what exactly I was going to do. Beginning as a blogger for a real estate agent, it started to grow and morph into various things. I discovered a lot about myself through trial and error.
I don’t recommend building a business that way – through trial and error – and having no idea what direction you’re going to go in.
Either way, that’s where I was. But when you build on trial and error, though you gain clarity of purpose, it takes longer to gain traction and visibility. Why?
Because we’re not occupying a space. In other words, we’re not committed to a vision.
This year I understood that my trial runs were over. Time to stop playing games and wondering if I should try making more changes or pursuing other trails.
It was time to put a stake in the ground, shed off aspects of my business that didn’t fly with the overall vision, and unpack (so to speak) in a specific neighborhood/industry.
In a way, I started waving my hands, speaking up and saying, “You-hoo! I’m here. This is my industry. I’m bringing my voice into this space. This is where I’m moving in!”
When I put that stake in the ground emotionally and professionally, I instantly started to sense my business was beginning to gel and take form. Opportunities opened up to me in the direction I wanted to pursue.
I found my voice and I’m growing my following in my “neighborhood”. But I’ve also had to actively guard against wanting to hang out in old spaces or consider new ones.
KEEPING ONE FOOT OUT THE DOOR
As part of the discovery process, I have kept one foot out the door, keeping my options open. I know I’m not the only one like that. I’ve talked to many microentrepreneurs who do the same thing.
But at some point, we have to fully commit ourselves to a vision.
For a while, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep offering small business services, such as blogging, email marketing, social media management, etc., or to push forward into mentoring and creating content. I waffled back and forth and brought my business to a screeching halt at one point because I got stuck in the middle.
How about you? Are you stuck in between various business directions?
I’m not necessarily talking about different types of businesses, rather, the direction of one particular business. Many entrepreneurs have multiple businesses. (I happen to have another business that I do with my husband and a small business services company in addition to Microbusiness Mentor.)
Finally, I decided it was time to commit. I had plenty of time to wade around in a couple of different avenues but it was time to move into a particular space.
STOPPING THE WAFFLING
I started as a one-stop-shop for business services that ran the gamut of bookkeeping to email marketing, blogging, social media management, plus writing online courses. Then I tried live and online courses and then thought about going whole-hog into social media management, specifically Facebook. Then I waffled back to email marketing. But ultimately, I had to ask myself WHAT I really wanted to do (long, long-term) and Why.
I decided that I had a passion for two things: writing and breathing life into the hidden dreams in others.
So how was that going to look in my business?
For me, I decided to narrow it down to copywriting gigs, website building, writing e-books, and then offering free and pay-what-you-can training to other microbusiness owners looking for a hand.
TO COMMIT, YOU HAVE TO LET GO
The hardest part of committing to a specific direction is letting other opportunities slide by. Since I made my commitment, I’ve had to say no to opportunities that I honestly could have used at the time. But each time I said no, I felt a release and deeper connection with a bigger vision.
I was finally bringing in my foot and closing the door to other options. I had to stop thinking about getting a regular FT job or starting something new.
Changing directions is like digging up a seed we planted. Every time we dig it up, we stop the growth process and eventually kill it.
DO YOU NEED TO CLOSE THE DOOR TO OTHER OPTIONS?
It’s time to stop living out of the trunk of a car with our businesses, move those boxes in, unpack, and let the neighborhood you’ve chosen know you’re here to stay!
QUICK TIPS TO HELP YOU COMMIT TO YOUR VISION:
- Find out where your ideal client hangs out (social media platform, networking, social gatherings)
- Establish a presence where they are at.
- Be consistent. Choose your SM platform and post there regularly: same # of posts, same time slots.
- Engage with others in your industry.
- Make sure the majority of your tasks during the day support your WHAT (ie Vision)
- Stop giving yourself options to do something else. Be ALL IN, Stay in the game. Let the seeds you’ve planted grow!
- Invest in regular ongoing education in your area of expertise. Resist the temptation to invest your time into those courses, books, seminars that are not directly in alignment with your WHAT. (for now)
- OCCUPY your specific place. (be committed to BE in that place. Every day. Even when tempted to wander somewhere else.)
I offer training for solopreneurs, microentrepreneurs, or those wanting to take the dive into entrepreneurship. Subscribe to my YouTube Channel for free content and sign up for my Sunday email (below) for more free content and to stay in-the-know on upcoming Business Labs.