When you have a goal in mind, it’s the staying motivated on the outcome that’s key, isn’t it? Because I’m a business owner, I constantly have to keep inspiring myself to meet the challenges I face everyday. Some years ago when I first started my at-home business, I lost two major, long-term contracts due to my clients’ financial cutbacks. I remember how much that hurt me and my business, but I had get over it… and fast.
To stay motivated, in spite of that turn of events, I kept telling myself everyday that I was doing the right things to run a successful business and that I could replace that missing income. Eventually, I did, but not without my faith in God. It took more than just the positive talk! And, along with the victories, there has been other trials since then too.
So, how do I pick myself up after a let-down?
Well, a few things actually:
- Stay calm. I didn’t always follow this advice. In fact, I have freaked out, gotten angry and hurt and almost quit the business! I’m just being real! My business means so much to me and I work hard at it everyday. The last thing I need or want is to lose a client especially a residual income client. But, I came to realize that in doing business with others, this can happen and when it does, the first thing is to do is not to panic. I can’t control these types of situations and getting angry just wastes my time and energy. So, instead I remind myself that: (a) I have a good brand/product; (b) their decision wasn’t personal against me; (c) my skills and qualifications weren’t what lost me the contract; and (d) they’re not the only customers out there.
- Reward myself. Sounds weird huh? But not really. I find that if my mindset is positive, I can not only overcome the disappointment, but I can put together a new goal that will help me move on and not be afraid of the unknown. It’s easy to let fear creep in when you know it’s up to you to earn the living. That, alone I think is a big reason that some people don’t go into business for themselves. But if you never take a risk, you’ll never get the rewards. So to boost my mood, I might buy my favorite dessert or take an afternoon off and go for a walk. Doing something that makes me happy keeps my spirits high and oftentimes releases my creativity and allows me think more clearly. And ultimately having a clear head will help me avoid making a bad or quick decision that I would regret later.
- Set a new goal. This is the time that I come up with a new aggressive plan. I’m a big believer in when one door closes, another one opens. So my plan would be to do some prep work like: updating my resume/media kit, going over my business plan on paper, cleaning up some files on the hard drive to make room for new projects. I also take time to do some online training to sharpen my skills. I might also go through some of my software programs to learn features that I’ve never used before. Achieving new goals helps me focus on the road ahead and not the one behind.
- Keep the Faith. I can’t go without saying that my faith in God is what makes it possible for me to do anything. And, I know it is the Lord who strengthens me everyday to work. My business actually came about as a miracle more than 16 years ago. The department I worked in for a local company was eliminated. I was interviewing for other jobs when one of my closest friends, and co-worker, asked me about freelancing full-time. I always dreamed of a home-based business but I knew how much work it would take and I was plan scared to do it! Would I be able to earn a decent living? Can I pay my bills consistently month after month? How do I file taxes? Do I need a lawyer? How do I market myself? Can I really do this? But after a lot of prayer and watching a bunch of doors open for me, it seemed it was to be my destiny. At that time, friends donated to me office furniture, software, fax/copy machine, and I was even able to acquire two computers – a Mac and a PC. My friend who called me went to work for another company that was just getting started in the U.S., and they did not any admin support. Suddenly, I had tons of clients overnight and I was kept busy! I moved from my tiny, little one-bedroom apartment into one with a bedroom and den which became my new office. I struck out on my own believing the Lord would provide, still nervous, and He did provide. I’ve really never looked back. It’s leaves me amazed at God that somehow after all the years, I’ve was able to ride the ship and soar with the eagles.
- Spend time talking with my hubby and friends. When I first started out, I was a widow so it was more scary, but after I married Ken, it isn’t as hard. He’s in it with me and he understands what I go through because he shares the business and its responsibilities. I think it is very important to have a circle of friends and family around me to boost my morale especially after bad news. I have a small few friends that I call my “extended family”. They believe in me and support what we’re doing. That’s so good! They’ve prayed with and for us and encouraged me when I’ve needed it.
In life, and business, we face trials and it’s how we react to them that makes the difference. I think the best revenge is when I fall down, get back up! It doesn’t matter if I fall down again, get back up and keep getting back up. I remember trying to learn to ride a bike, I can’t count how many times I fell off that thing without the training wheels before I could steady myself. But I didn’t quit and I learned to ride.
And one last thing I did when I lost that income was reading and reciting Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
And, by the way I only have one client in addition to my craft business and it’s just enough for me.