Aug 27, 2019
Success Comes from Persistence

Success Comes from Persistence

In business, persistence is crucial for success; both in the start-up phase and for maintenance. Persistence is also critical for achieving personal goals as well. If you've ever seen a weight loss success story, you can bet your ass that persistence played a big part. 

The rewards of persistence are far more than just achieving success. Take a look at some of the other benefits below. 

Personal Growth

You are going to put yourself through trials and tribulations when you set your mind to achieving success. With persistence in the driver's seat your confidence will improve, self-worth and self-esteem get a boost, and your sense of purpose will rise to the top. 

Greater Likelihood of Success

Obviously, not every goal is going to be successful. Sometimes business ventures just don't pan out for one reason or another. Life has a way of interfering with our dreams. 

That's just the way it goes. But when persistence is in play, the likelihood of succeeding is much greater. You can't be a quitter and meet the finish line. 

Increased Problem-Solving Ability

You are going to meet adversity, probably head-on without a handshake, and probably more than once. Being persistent helps you build creative thinking skills and problem-solving techniques. If success is the goal, you might be forced to think outside the box and discover different ways of getting things done. 

Basically, it's like taking a different route home from work until you find the best one. Maybe you're looking for the fastest or maybe you like to avoid freeways and toll roads. Whatever the case, brainstorming is going to be like second nature by the time you've reached the top.

Discover Valuable Resources

The persistent one uses their social circle and networking skills to reach out to others. Research never really ends when you are on a mission. Along the way, you are bound to make connections with people who are going to be valuable resources for your continued success. I know I have. 

You might just run across a person with the exact skill set you need to employ, and bonus, this person is willing to work for pennies. This is great because as a start-up, you usually don't exactly have a ton of revenue to spend on paying wages. 

Attract Successful People

Happy people like to be around other happy people. The same is true for successful people. They surround themselves with people who have the capability of nurturing their persistence rather than depleting it with negativity. 

You are likely to build an entirely new social circle promoting your venture and helping you succeed. Remember, they too were once in your shoes and know the struggles are definitely real. 

This makes them more eager to help out when they can; be it an open ear or an investor, they will be there when you fall flat on your face because they know you are going to get right back up and persevere. 

Build a Stronger Work Ethic

Particularly in the business world, if you have set a goal and are on a mission to achieve it, your work ethics are going to soar like never before. It's likely you will often think about new strategies and adjustments in your plan that could expedite your success. 

As an added bonus, it's easy to feel proud of yourself for performing with integrity and grace during circumstances when you could have taken a less ethical road. 

It should come as no surprise how many business ventures fall short and personal goals get overshadowed by excuses. It's extremely difficult having the guts and drive to continue down a road that sometimes feels like the end will never justify the means. 

It's a long ride on an emotional rollercoaster, and not for the faint of heart. The one with persistence though knows the fate of their goal is basically in their own hands. No one else has control and no one else is responsible for their happiness.  

Author: Jenn Alex Brockman
Laughing Flamingo Books

Jul 30, 2019
How Do You Develop Persistence?

How Do You Develop Persistence?

How many unfinished projects are you sitting on right now? We often get distracted and have to put a project to the side in order to handle more pressing issues. 

But at one point or another, we need to reevaluate and get back on track. We need to rediscover the burning desire we once had for these idle projects. Otherwise, it just sits there, incomplete, and we have failed. We can't be successful without the persistence to finish what we started. 

When you want to accomplish something you are unfamiliar with, what do you do? 

Method 1: Wing it. This is probably how lucky people live. If you aren't one of the lucky ones, skip to method 2. 

Method 2: Research and application. 

Example: Let's say you want to go fishing. Well, if you've never been fishing before and you want to actually catch something, you will need supplies; fishing rod and reel, bait, lures, etc. 

In order to know which styles of all the supplies, you could look on the internet, talk to people who actually do fish, or even talk to the salespeople at your local sporting goods store. Then you apply what you've learned. 

Developing Persistence

Success doesn't come cheap. It takes patience, endurance, confidence, planning, strategizing andů you guessed it, persistence. The following list describes the foundation for developing and maintaining persistence so you can accomplish virtually anything. 

Super-size Your Why

Know your reason for wanting success. You have to have a why, and it better be big, especially if your desire is complex. Remind yourself often why you started along this path. 

Far too often we convince ourselves along the way that it's not that important and we don't have to reach our goals simply because quitting now means no failure later. 

Quitting is sometimes worse than failing. Not always. You can get back up from failure and try again, but if you quit, that's the end. Make sure your why is important enough to keep you from quitting. 

"If you can't fly, then run. If you can't run, then walk. If you can't walk, then crawl. But whatever you do you have to keep moving forward."
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Learn from the Successful Ones

No matter the goal, business or personal, look to the people who have done it before you. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Do a little research and check out their strategies which led them down the road to success. 

Block Out All Negativity

Sometimes our friends and family are the most discouraging bunch. There will always be a million reasons why something won't work; be the reason it will. Avoid those with a negative view of your goals. 

Expect a Challenge

Don't go into this half-cocked thinking it's going to be a breeze. You are probably going to struggle. You are probably even going to make more mistakes than you can count on both hands. If you have the mindset that you are ready for a challenge, it makes the bumps less tragic. What's more, you are less likely to throw in the towel when you are prepared for a battle. 

Build a Network

Networking with others in the same field, people with like minds will help keep your confidence up. You'll likely learn a great deal from them and you can share your wisdom with them as well. A strong network is an invaluable resource for achieving great success. 

Create Habits, Not Excuses

This is going to take some work, no doubt about it. Persistence is the direct result of habit. Avoid making excuses why you aren't able to work toward your goals. There will always be distractions. Work on achieving your goals routinely. Creating this habit will train the brain to stay focused.

Want to learn to how to knit? Be persistent.

Want to start a new business and quit the 9-to-5 gig? Be persistent.

The timeframe will obviously vary, but if your why is BIG, you hone-in on being persistent; you can do it!

Jul 23, 2019
Do Finances Paralyze You In Your Business?

Do Finances Paralyze You In Your Business?

Many of us have money hang-ups in both our personal life and our business life. Do you? Did you when you started? One of the biggest reasons people talk themselves out of being an entrepreneur is money or lack thereof.  

There are a few kinds of people who consider going into business as an entrepreneur. 

Those who know how to manage the money or have the money to spend for a start-up. 

And, then, there are those who go all in but with limited resources.  They immediately feel the pressures to succeed, and succeed fast, because time and money are in short supply.  

Money is often a constant concern, but in the beginning, it can be a dark stormy cloud over your head. 

  • Is there enough? 
  • Where is it needed the most? 
  • Did you spend it wisely? 
  • Are you running low on money?
  • When will your business make money?  
  • Will people even want your service or product enough to pay for it? 
  • Was this all just a giant money pit of an idea?

If you do your research first, you'll save yourself from lots of financial headaches. Many new entrepreneurs will dive right in and simply hope for the best. If a lack of money is their main driving force, then their desired result can fail or do poorly. 

There are many financial issues that commonly occur in the entrepreneurial world.  Let's look at a few of the monetary problems that might be coming your way, and how to get through them without being paralyzed by fear in your business.

Is Your Bank Account Pressuring You to Play It Safe?

In business, we have to make all sorts of decisions, and some of them very quickly.  What's more, we have to always be aware of the overall financial picture so we can make sound decisions.  

Growth is expensive in many cases. For example, you may find your time slipping away and become desperate to have extra hands to help you. This means you'll have to pay for that extra hired help.

Fear of failure is the driving force behind many of the decisions we make.  First of all, you really need to let go of the fear of failure. Fears hold you back.  If you are playing it safe simply because you don't want to fail, you aren't making your decisions based on success.  And honestly, failure isn't the end of the world.

Are You Charging Too Little for Your Service or Product?

Oftentimes when we first start out in business, we haven't done enough market research to find out what to charge others for our products or service.  We want to be fair and reasonable. We want customer retention. We want them to spread the word to their friends and family and let the whole world buy from our business.  

Therefore, we typically end up charging too little for our products or services thinking we will get lots of customers to get us started and we can always raise our prices later.  

Here are a few things to consider before you get started that might keep your finances from ruling your pricing and bank account. 

  • Do the research and find out what others are charging, but more importantly what others are paying for the same thing you are offering in your business.  
  • What is your time worth? 
  • How much time do you spend filling an order or creating a product?
  • Don't be afraid to ask for what you are worth.

Because if it's truly something the public needs or uses, they will pay for it.  

Author: Jenn Alex Brockman

Jul 16, 2019
Is Life Getting In The Way Of Running Your Business?

Is Life Getting In The Way Of Running Your Business?

Life happens, right?  I can't predict the ups and downs in life any more than I can predict how successful I'll be, but I do know what my life is like currently. As an entrepreneur, it's all too easy to set my work aside to deal with personal issues. I am the boss, after all. I'm in charge, but if I allow life to dictate how I run my business, then I'll be doomed. I know this from experience! 

Is Your Business Model Appropriate for Your Life?

A few years ago I jumped on the direct sales bandwagon of having a home-based clothing boutique. Sure, I did it because it was something to do with my daughter and I didn't actually have to invite folks into my home - I could sell online. But, it was still not the right model for me. 

It was financially draining and physically demanding to pack and ship and unpack and price and then be on live streams to sell. Not to mention taking photos of the clothing. 

When I realized that I didn't love the business model, I switched to something that I do love and it fits in my crazy life too. 

The best defense is a good offense.  

Make sure your plans for entrepreneurial life will match up with your current lifestyle.  For me, I have to account for the fact that history proves I'm sick. A Lot. It also shows me that my child will randomly need extra support because of her autism and type 2 diabetes. Then, there's my aging mother who can't walk much anymore. 

Now, my business model allows me to duck and swerve as needed. If I need to rest one day, or take extra supplies to my kiddo's school, it's generally not a big deal. I have few deadlines that can't be moved.  

Running a business takes some practice. 

I quit beating myself up over not feeling well and not doing enough. I work when I feel well enough if that's at midnight or 7am.  Since I don't have to make sure an order goes to the post office in time for delivery, I'm not so stressed out. 

Respect Your Business

If you want others to respect your working hours, you have to do the same.  Set clear boundaries with yourself and your loved ones. Make sure everyone, including yourself, are clear on when it's appropriate to interrupt you and when things can wait.  

Think about it.  If you were on the 9-to-5 job and your child called from school with a headache, you'd likely tell them to stick it out and wait until you get home.  Now, just because you're the boss, doesn't mean you need to drop everything and run to the rescue. Sure, you can if that's what you want to do, however, you are setting a precedent.  Make sure you respect your business enough to make it a success, and the first step is to run it like an actual business.

You Aren't Responsible for Everyone and Everything

Life is going to seem like it's hurling torpedoes at you left and right, especially when you're trying to run a business.  You are desperately trying to focus on your business, but life and the people in it, are playing on your emotions and laying the guilt on pretty thick.  Don't fall for that trap!

You aren't responsible to fix everything for everyone all the time!  You aren't at their beck and call, and if you give them an inch, life will take a mile.  If you're in the position to work from anywhere, kudos to you. Some entrepreneurs don't have that luxury and need to run a store or reach out to sales leads, etc.  

Even if you have to limp your way through some situations, keep pushing forward.  Train the people in your life to be resourceful and offer solutions rather than problems that only you can remedy.  With a little creative thinking and supportive family and friends, this too shall pass.

Don't Make a Mountain Out of a Molehill

All too often, running a business feels a lot like you are running yourself into the ground.  You spend countless hours building up your business. When you are done with your work for the day, you just don't have the brain power left to deal with much of anything.  You've put in so much time and effort, when something small happens we turn it into an enormous travesty. Be rational. Don't jump to conclusions. Try to see things from all vantage points.  

Most importantly, decide what you can learn from the hiccup.  If you turn it into a lesson, the next time something similar happens you will be ready for it.

Building a business takes a lot of discipline and resiliency.  You've got to bounce back, and quickly, if you want to be successful.  Being a business owner is going to test you like you've never been tested before, but the rewards are phenomenal and well worth the struggles.  Life isn't going to stop just because your focus has shifted. In fact, it will probably feel like issues are coming at warp speed and they seem to be multiplying faster than you can combat them.

Take one step at a time, one issue at a time and one day at a time, and don't forget to take care of you before overwhelm takes over.  Building your business should be fun and exciting. When you are faced with the bumps in the road, go back to your happy place and remember why you started your business in the first place.