Success Just Takes A Little TIME…

I have a friend whose youngest son just graduated from Massage Therapy School, and he, like so many who complete a training program of any kind, expected to walk out of graduation and in to a full schedule, and the money that comes with it.  Same goes with many who start a business, any business, they wonder why, once they get their spiffy new business cards back from the printer, they aren’t quite rolling in the dreamt about six figure income. I mean, the office is set up, the business cards are back from the printer, the website is done and the phone isn’t ringing! What!!!!

Now first of all, let me say that I do not think that a full schedule or strong business can’t come quickly, because it can, I’ve seen it happen. The thing is, that usually it doesn’t just happen, quickly or not so quickly, there’s a LOT of time and energy that goes into it.

According to Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles, behind every great achievement is a story of education, training, practice, discipline, and sacrifice. You have to be willing to pay the price. While many things are typically required to reach a successful outcome, the willingness to do what’s required is what will set you, and your business endeavor, apart.

Part of that willingness is putting in the time. You truly do get out what you put in and especially in the beginning, one thing you do have is time. It’s important that you USE that time to network, build your platform, your presence in the community, collaborate with others and so on. You can’t expect the business to build itself; you have to get your name out there and be willing to put in the time.

People ask me how I stay so busy working for myself, why I book up weeks and sometimes even months in advance. How did that happen? What’s the secret?

Simple. It was time. I have YEARS of time invested in this venture.  I have networked my name from one end of this region to another. I spent time building this business while punching a clock, filling my nights and weekends. I have collaborated with others. I have kept my relationships strong. I send out Christmas cards every year. I make follow up phone calls. I, well, I can’t give you a secret, all I can say is that I have put a lot of TIME in on this.

And that’s what any successful business requires. Time.

And the time required doesn’t stop once the business is up and running. If that business is your livelihood, as mine is, it still requires your time. Networking doesn’t stop because your hours are booked. Speaking engagements don’t lose their importance if your calendar is filled through the first quarter of 2012. And, thank you notes and follow-ups don’t lose their charm. Bottom line, self-employment is time consuming, but if you are willing to put in the time, you can reap the rewards AND the freedom self-employment brings.

Remember, a full schedule or strong business will come, it just takes a little time!

When Was The Last Time You Had A Day Off?

Chances are if you are reading this, you are a small business owner or soloprenuer. Welcome! Small business ownership provides you with a stability and potential that in my opinion has long been lost in the corporate jungle. After all, small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms; employ just over half of all private sector employees; pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll; and have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.

But what isn’t defined in your role as a small business owner is something that you probably enjoyed on the corporate front…a set schedule. You remember the days, 8-5, Monday-Friday, where anything outside of that was probably well compensated and hopefully kind of out of the ordinary? Those days are over. As a small business owner you have to remember to sleep. And weekends? Ha! Finishing your day by 5 or 6 without a stack of papers to read or a laptop nearby is probably a memory as well.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. The fear/panic/worry that another client will never call, or another contract will never be signed can be fleeting IF you remember to make room in your life, well, for a life. It’s important to actually slow down and remember who you are building this business for, whether that’s you, your family, or even your employees, and taking some time to spend time with them. Trust me, it doesn’t clutter your calendar, it clears your mind.

Taking just one day a week, or heck, even a couple of evenings, and focusing on what’s truly important can do more to help raise your productivity than anything else you can do.

As Jack Canfield writes in The Success Principles, that the most successful people he knows maintain a balance among work, family, and recreation in their lives. “The value of regular free days is that you come back to your work refreshed and ready to tackle it with renewed vigor, enthusiasm, and creativity. To become truly successful, you need these breaks to allow yourself some distance from your normal day-to-day life – so you can become more creative in generating breakthrough ideas and solving problems.”

And by free, he means FREE. Not taking a report to read to a ball game, or going to the coffee shop to catch up on your email backlog. No laptops, no emails, no documents, and no contact with your work. Free. Go to the park. Take your kids to the zoo. Go swimming. Catch a ball game. Free. I dare you.

Give it a shot, I promise you, it works. And let me know how it benefits you work AND your life!

Here’s to self-employment!