Today, I want to talk about something that every new business owner will encounter at some point, if not numerous times, in the act of building a business. It’s something that can be depressing, frustrating, and can just make you want to give up. But it’s a universal experience. I guarantee you that everyone from the newest entrepreneur to the most successful CEO will encounter it at some point.
Today, we’re going to talk about failure.
Do you ever feel like you’re just spinning your wheels and not making any progress?
Maybe you started your business full of enthusiasm, certain you had a bottomless well of potential customers or business partners. Perhaps in the first few months or years, you had great momentum, adding to your paycheck each month, building a real community of partners and customers.
But now, despite your persistence, you’re finding that you’re stalled. You’re not making any new connections, or people just don’t seem to be interested in anything beyond an initial chat. You’re thinking maybe you should just give up.
Believe me, I’ve been there too
When I was building my own business, I once had a slump of about 8 months without any new customers or partners. 8 months! That’s a long time. That’s almost as long as it takes to grow a child or to complete a year of education. I bet you could build a house in 8 months. And I felt it - each and every day, I heard my inner critic reminding me of how long it had been since I’d had a positive result.
I felt like a failure. I was working on my business every single day, thinking about how much I was pouring into it, but nothing was happening. I just wasn’t connecting. Eventually, I reached out to my mentor for help.
One of the best things about growing a social commerce business is that you’re never in it alone. While your success is still driven by your efforts and your own hard work, you’re also surrounded and supported by a team of like-minded, motivated people. Your team is filled with leaders and business owners who have done the hard work themselves, who have seen the struggles you’re experiencing, and who can help you come out the other side.
And that’s just what my mentor did for me. When I called her in despair over my failure, certain I would never be successful, she encouraged me, helped me reframe my business, reconnect with my goals, and decide on a new plan to shake things up and move forward.
For me, this looked like responding with a massive action. My business needed a shock.
Instead of reaching out to a few potential partners each day, doing the same thing I had done and following the habits that had carried me to that point, I did something different. I invited over 200 people to a major event and promised to buy them each a glass of wine if they attended.
There was no way I had the money to pay for 200 glasses of wine! Of course, only a percentage of my invited guests came, so I didn’t end up depleting my entire bank account. But the mere act of thinking so big and taking such a major action dragged me back out of my stagnant period. I had my most successful month ever in terms of building new relationships and partnerships.
And I learned that sometimes if you’re stuck, you need to do something big to break through the barriers.
I’ll leave you with an inspiring quote from a poet I enjoy, Beau Taplin. Because you, too, can be unstoppable. So let this be your encouragement today. Pick yourself up and get going, because I know you can do it.
“She was unstoppable. Not because she did not have failures or doubts, but because she continued on despite them.”