I think many of you are the same way and like me, think that earning a little extra $ on the side isn't such a bad thing. However, many times we become disillusioned about our business and wonder why we don't make a lot of money - or we think that the big success is only for others. I have some thoughts on this and just feel like sharing...
This past year I took a different tack with my business from the years before and in so doing have learned a few things:
- You must treat your business like a business not a hobby. Hobby effort = hobby pay. To develop an actual business, you must be focused and intentional about it. You (I) need to go out and find customers, provide good customer service, have product at the ready and make phone calls. That's how businesses run and home businesses are no different.
- You have to prepare yourself to hear the no's. No's pave the way to yeses! Everyone will not want what you have but that's not personal. Just know this. Business is mathematical and a certain amount of no's have to happen before the payoff of a yes comes your way.
- You have to brush up on your skills. Be knowledgeable about your product. You need to stay informed by reading company and team emails and publications. Stay sharp!
- You have to be willing to be inconvenienced. I find that many of us just want what comes easy. That's fine, but you have to know you will have the type of results that come from little effort. To advance and grow, you have to put yourself out, rearrange some things, be flexible. You know the saying "If you keep doing what you're doing, you're gonna get what you've got." Sometimes you'll miss a dinner at home. You might have to give up some entertainment or down time. To change things, you have to CHANGE THINGS.
- Ask God to bless your work, not your laziness or inactivity. Too often we say "I'm just going to trust God with this" when what we mean is "I'm not going to try. If something falls in my lap I'll do it." People with this mentality often will not even let others know they run a business. What restaurant or shop would keep their doors locked, with no sign and then say "It must not be God's will" when they don't have sales? That's not trusting God, that's refusing to work. I believe we must put in the effort and trust God with the results.
- Operate out of integrity always. Plain and simple. Be honest and trustworthy. A shortcut now might help you in the immediate time frame, but will do more harm down the road.
One year ago, I was convinced to begin treating my "business" like an actual business. At first, I just began dedicating a portion of each week to work my business. Because I only worked a few hours in retail at the time, I committed 15 hours a week for phone calls, office work and parties. I had no great goals, but just started with the basics. I could have begun with 3 -5 hours a week, but had the time to work a part-time job, so I allotted part-time hours. As the year has progressed, I've learned more and more ways to be intentional about my work. Six months after changing my approach, I was able to walk away from my retail job and gain more free time in my life. I've discovered that I love finding new customers and doing parties with them. I love the flexibility my home based business affords me and the way it's growing me as a business woman. One year later, I'm a stronger leader, have advanced to the top 4% of consultants and am narrowing in on being in the top 2%. Why? Because I began working my business the way it's intended to be done.
What IF you made the phone calls? What IF you recruited? What IF you were intentional? What IF you stocked your shelves? What IF you read the company info? What IF you attended meetings? What IF you reached for more?
I truly believe home-based businesses offer us opportunities to earn extra money and even advance ourselves while still allowing us to be flexible and fully active in our family's lives. In one selling appointment, I usually bring in what I made in a week at my p.t. retail job. If you are a business owner, I encourage you to give it a try the way it's recommended. Be focused and intentional - not all day every day, but rather by setting some work hours each week and deliberately working. Then close the office door and go back to your regular life. I think you'll see a payoff!!