I hate to tell you how I am scared most of the time.
We, small-business owners, create “stuff” from nothing in the hope of solving a problem. Then we must find enough people to buy it.
That “stuff” might be a new solution. Or it might be a new method or business to sell the solution.
We do this without any guarantee it will work. That’s scary.
That’s why most of us shy away from it. It’s the most demanding work I’ve ever done. I bet you feel the same way. It always feels like too much effort, without enough guarantee.
We want to make sales. But we can’t throw our hearts at the process. Because we have no guaranteed strategy to get to that income.
My life changed this past year. That demanded I change almost everything, without any guarantee I would get it right.
The woman of my dreams is no longer my wife. It hurt as much as you can imagine. It’s the reason I have struggled to write for most of this year.
The most logical thing to do was to go back to the gym. If I want to find another partner, I need to look like the kind of person she might want to date. That meant reshaping my body.
(Finding another partner is a little bit like finding a client. Reshaping my body is as scary as creating a new business solution.)
I hadn’t been inside a gym for almost two decades.
All the beautiful bouncing bodies in every gym I’ve ever entered overwhelm me. But a new gym opened up and they needed clients and their market is “seniors” – anybody over 30.
So, at 63, I headed back to the treadmill.
That was two months ago. Since then, I’ve lost 5 kg. A few months ago I ran out of breath walking 300 m to the local shopping centre. I’m now covering 4 km at 7 km an hour without too much difficulty. A half marathon is in my future.
Why am I telling you this?
I am not frightened anymore to do the work I should do. I know one critical thing will happen if I do nothing. I am guaranteeing I will get zero results. No matter what else I do, no matter how minor, the results cannot be worse.
Getting on the treadmill ached. I started slow. I cranked it up a tiny bit each day. As the pain eased, I added a few more exercises to my routine. Yesterday somebody even noticed I have a bicep.
Forty minutes on a treadmill is a lot tougher than anything I do in my office. I am not scared anymore.
Every book I read about getting stuff done talks about “execution”. That’s doing those things you must do before you see results.
So I am back. I am sorry I went walkabout.
Expect an email each week about small business challenges:
- selling more,
- surviving closure,
- direct email marketing,
- using technology,
- finding the best books on getting ahead
- and the answers to any questions you ask me.
If I can ask you one question? What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing right now?
Reply to this email, and I will fit it into the schedule.
Peter D Carruthers
Serving Entrepreneurs since 1995