Failure To Launch - The One Word That Can Make A Difference
In the home based business model, it’s almost rampant to see people say that they tried, but that it’s just not for them. Or they couldn’t make it work so it must be a scam. Or any number of other reasons why they couldn’t make it work. The fact of the matter, is that we all have the same opportunities and it’s what you do with those opportunities that takes you from point A to point B. In business, as with anything else in life, try isn’t an option, you either do or you don’t.
No one ever won a race without taking action and no one ever won a race by quitting in the middle of it. So where are you in this equation? Are you still sitting in the starting blocks waiting for the starting gun to fire to get you going? Are you in the middle of working a business and wonder if you can keep it going? Orison Swett Marden said once that,
“the first part of success is get-to-itiveness and the second part is stick-to-itiveness. Every business beginning requires an act of faith and courage, a bold leap into the unknown.”
Look, you are so unique! No one has ever had, nor will they ever have the same fingerprints that you do. No one has ever had, nor will the ever have the same DNA as you do. If that doesn’t make you feel special enough check out this fun fact. Mel Robbins, who is a very funny self-help author and life coach with a syndicated radio show, mentioned in a TEDx San Francisco event that scientists actually did a calculation to try and figure out the probability of your existance as you, today, and came up with a figure of about one in 400 trillion! If you google the improbability of you being born you’ll find an article by Ali Binazir, a Harvard professor, who wrote a blog that attests to that very thing and more.
I don’t want to digress here. The fact of the matter is that no matter who you are you have something important to offer. The important question is whether you have the get-to-itiveness and the stick-to-itiveness to actually do something about the dreams that you have.
So what holds you back?
A glimpse into fear and the human experience
Napoleon Hill, in his landmark book, Think and Grow Rich, states that there are 6 innate human fears that we all possess. He identifies them as:
- The fear of poverty
- The fear of criticism
- The fear of ill-health
- The fear of loss of love
- The fear of old age
- The fear of death
What I’ve found in business is that these basic fears can either propel you or they can stifle you. What’s even more astonishing is the ways in which fear shows up in people. Probably one of the most common ways that I’ve seen fear reveal itself in business is the presence of busy work. This is true in employees and business owners alike.
In all my endeavors I try to make sure that when people are doing something it actually makes sense and isn’t just busy work. Jobs, whether it’s the owner or the employee need to be routinely evaluated to determine if the job can be done more efficiently and still end up with the same result. Admittedly, sometimes it can and sometimes it’s better to leave it alone. I’ll warn you though that these evaluations are better left to the person that’s doing the job and rarely to someone outside of the organization or even within the organization.
Honestly, I could probably spend at least an article or two talking about just this topic, but let’s move on. So how do we move past the busy work and actually find out what’s holding you back? A good place to start is identifying what things that you do that actually make money and what things don’t.
If you walk into a retail store you expect to see merchandise on the shelf and if it’s not there then you’re probably going to leave. So in a retail situation, you can see that even though stocking the shelves isn’t where the money is made, it most definitely is an income producing activity.
If you’re working online you have to identify those things that make you money. For instance, if you’re driving traffic through social media, then writing a post would be an income producing activity. Additionally though, if you’ve got a following with nothing on the shelves then you’re not doing what you need to do to produce anything so you need to stock the shelves.
"Granted we all need training and we all need development, but when someone spends all of their time in training and development and ultimately forgets to actually do anything with what they’ve learned, then there’s a problem."
So once we sit down and identify those things that actually make us money, what then? How about mapping out how you’re actually spending your time. I’ve seen people over my entire career do something that I could never really figure out. I’m talking about the professional student. I saw them when I was in college and I’ve seen them especially in the home based business atmosphere.
Granted we all need training and we all need development, but when someone spends all of their time in training and development and ultimately forgets to actually do anything with what they’ve learned then there’s a problem.
Sometimes people just get caught up in it because they’ve been told over and over that there’s something more to learn. All of that’s true, but you have to have a plan to move past the training and into the actual practice of what you’ve learned. Other times, I’ve seen people trying to put all the pieces of the puzzle together before they actually do anything. Honestly, no one has all the pieces to any puzzle. The ones who keep finding pieces to the puzzle will ultimately realize that the puzzle just keeps growing. That’s how it’s supposed to work. If, on the other hand, they think that they have all the pieces, it’s probably a business that’s not going to last too long.
Take the record industry for example. Those companies that were actually printing on vinyl records had it made for decades, but eventually technology took the industry beyond vinyl. There were a few of those record companies that adopted and moved into tape and then to CD’s. For the other ones though, they died because they didn’t see the additional pieces to the puzzle.
Where This All Leads
How to move past a failure to launch
So what do we do about all of this? How do we try to make a concerted effort to keep our head above water and not get stuck? First and foremost, have a plan. I have my own equation for a good plan and I’m sure that you can find many more on the internet. For me though, I try to keep things simple and concise and then expand from there, (the small puzzle). For me, I use a 6 step plan that hasn’t failed me yet.
1. Have a clear vision – Even the Bible says, “Without a vision, the people falter”. What great advice! Develop a clear vision of what you want and where you want to go. In business, personal development, everything. Look, you don’t go to the store without a vision of what you’re going to do. In the same way you need to have a clear vision of what your business is going to do and then be able to convey that vision to other people.
2. Be dedicated – Come hell or high water, you’ve got to be more dedicated then your most dedicated employee, even if you have no employees. Rome wasn’t built in a day and it certainly wasn’t built without someone having a vision first and the dedication to get the job moving.
3. Have a business plan with a single goal in mind – I’m not talking about one of those business plans that the small business administration wants to see for every small business out there. What I’m talking about is an actual written goal and a plan to achieve that goal. Something happens when you write it down on paper that actually makes it real so sit down and take the time to write down your goal and plan to get there.
4. Take massive action – Now that you have the plan… Do it! Take the time and materials and whatever else you need to do to get something done. It doesn’t have to be a lot, but you need to be making strides toward it every single day.
5. Analyze your plan and results and modify – None of us are perfect and believe me I’ve changed every plan I’ve ever made because of the obstacles and road blocks that got in my way. Sometimes it actually works the other way and I’ve been able to modify to get quicker results. The point is that you have to look at what’s working and make adjustments all the time.
6. Scale your business when it’s right – If you’ve done proper analysis and made the right modifications then you should be expanding the puzzle. Don’t be afraid of it. Look at where you started and keep your vision in sight. Honestly, if you’ve arrived at your destination then your dream was way too small.
You're probably going to be surprised to hear me say this, but do these 6 steps and I won’t guarantee your results. I won't guarantee them because I don’t know you. Hell, I don’t even guarantee my own results unless I do nothing at all. When that happens, I know there’s only one thing that can happen…. Nothing.
So what is that one word that can be the difference in getting your business out of the starting blocks? If you haven’t guessed by now, it’s “action”. Taking massive action in productive ways will always do more for you than anything else that I can think of and now you know how.