There are two kinds of people when they move: the organized ones and the… not so organized. I have been both, and recently as we moved into our new farmhouse I realized that the process of moving is a lot like running a thriving business.
One of the things that separates the business owners who last, and the ones who fizzle out, is the ability to diversify and roll with the punches that com from dealing with people, and constantly evolving technology.
1. Never depend on one source of income solely.
I love affiliate marketing, it’s a lot of what I teach here at Organize Your Biz. One of the things I was guilty of was finding one program I loved and sticking with them for a long time. I liked the program – they were easy to share from, they were easy to teach other people how to use, and I liked them a lot!
One of the dangers of having one source of income is that if that one thing disappears, your income is gone. If you have an account get shutdown, or if they change their terms of service so you can’t promote them, then you need to change everything about your business, overnight sometimes! Trust me on this one, I’ve seen this happen to students and it’s painful to watch them learn this lesson when they don’t diversify and then their income slumps because of one program’s changes.
Always diversify, even if it’s working!
One of the things I’ve seen is that as business owners, we get into the comfortable and we don’t sit down and regularly rethink our strategy. We like it easy, and it makes sense, because our biology actually tells us that we’re supposed to stick with what we know works, and what’s going to give us “certain” results.
Our brains are wired to survive on a primal level, which means three things: meeting our basic needs, making connections that will enable us to survive better, and conserving calories. This is good, because it means our bodies are working to help us survive! But in terms of our business survival, it means that our brains want us to keep things easy, and not waste calories to reevaluate what’s already working.
Every so often, you need to shake it up and try something new, otherwise you’ll stagnate and you’ll miss out on a lot of growth opportunity, and by not diversifying you’ll be leaving your business vulnerable, as I talked about above. I actually have a
2. Don’t see closed doors as failures – but opportunities
I had an affiliate who promoted for me once who pinned all of her hopes and dreams on making big money during a launch. When it didn’t work, it sent her to what we call “the crazy place” in our house. She felt like her business was a failure. She doubted whether she’d ever make it big, and she felt like a total loser. In her mind, instead of being an opportunity to learn and improve, she took it and made it a statement about her potential as a business owner!
Now, I totally understand that everyone has things that send them to the crazy place. One of those things for me is when people tell me what I can, or can’t, do. That shit makes me bonkers. Want to make my blood pressure rise? Tell me I can’t do something, or that I have to do it. Honestly, it makes my temper rise thinking about it.
As a business owner, if you let things that don’t work out send you to the crazy place, you’ll beat yourself up to the point of being unable to continue. I know, because I’ve done it. Failure isn’t a bad thing. Failure is an opportunity to learn how to do something better, or how to not do something.
There’s the famous quote by Thomas Edison fits this really well. He said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” If I lined up all my business failures, big and small, I would bet there would be far more than 10,000 of them. But I’ll tell you a secret: when I let my failures be a quick lesson (even if they were very painful!) I recovered much faster than the times where I threw in the towel and quit as a result, or when I wallowed in self-pity mode for weeks or months afterwards, whining and moaning about how hard it is to be an entrepreneur.
One time I had an ebook launch I was sure was going to change or lives. I poured myself into this book for months and worked my ass off to make it an amazing product, and I didn’t even make $20 during the launch. And no, there was no happy ending to that story – the product was a total dud. But I learned so much from it. Ironically, I could probably write a book on all the things I did wrong trying to launch that product! It was one of the most emotionally painful “failures” my business has ever had, but it was also one of the biggest learning opportunities!
You can’t be a rockstar all the time – no one can be! One of the things I learned as I did things like embracing my monthly hormone, mood and energy cycles to help me run my business, and going from being a chronic procrastinator and planner to a project finisher, I learned that the best thing I can do for my business is to understand that I can embrace the times of the month when I’m feeling super creative, and use them to create systems I get months of benefits from.
It doesn’t matter what life stage you’re in, no one can work all the time. I had a friend who was a fellow lady entrepreneur who joked about being a workaholic. She had no boundaries with clients and was literally always available. She would insist that was working fine for her until her marriage fell apart and her chronic health issues kept her from working for several months in a row and her business fell apart.
She’d never stopped to automate, which was (ironically) something she did for her clients on a regular basis. It really hurt her, and I can’t tell you how much she hadn’t blown off our talks about how worried I was for her…not because I know better, but because I’ve learned that lesson! Without automation, there’s no way I could have scaled into the 6-figures and sustained it through depression, a pregnancy, and homeschooling two kids at home. Don’t be the person who doesn’t automate and regrets it later! You don’t have to automate everything right now, just start with one thing and build up from there.
My favorite tools I use to automate, and they’re a great place to start for beginners, are:
- Meet Edgar for social media (you can see how I use Edgar to schedule a year’s worth of social media posts here)
- Convertkit for email automation – this is the tool I used to completely automate my income so I can take time off whenever I want to without any stress. It’s ah-mazing.
Today, I want to challenge you: share one failure or setback you’ve had, and use it to make your business better. Share what you’re going to do below. I’ll start right here and now.
My most recent setback has been that our new house doesn’t have super-fast internet, which I am used to having for running my business. I knew this may be an issue, but instead of creating a plan for it, I let the fear of restructuring my regular business routine stall me completely.
My previous routine was comfortable, and was working well, and I was hesitant to let it go – even knowing it wouldn’t work here with slower internet speeds! So, this week I’m going to sit down and determine all the things I can do offline to continue to make OYB an amazing resource for people!