I wrote this article back in 2008 for our local newspaper The Bulletin. I like to read it when I need a reality check or a kick in the pants. I'd like to share it with you.
All small business owners experience failure at one point or another. These reasons for failure are in no particular order and I am going to ask that you take a look at each one and really ask yourself if any applies to you. Not just ask the question but decide what you are going to do about it to create success for yourself, your business, or your business idea:
1. Not believing in your own ability to succeed
If you struggle to believe that you can be successful, that, to me, is the greatest failure point of all. When you do not believe in yourself, your abilities, your human potential, you tend to sabotage your own success.
You remain stuck in self-limiting beliefs. When you think about becoming hugely successful, are you shrouded in doubt or positive expectation? What will you do this week to move in the direction of positive expectation? There is no shortage of books, audio, etc for embarking on a transformation in your mindset and beliefs regarding the limitless success you can most definitely have.
2. Allowing fear to stop you
Small business owners all experience fear at some level. The hugely successful entrepreneurs are the ones who feel the fear and do it anyway. Whatever that “it” is. Think about the acronym F.E.A.R. False Experiences Appearing Real. Often what goes on in our mind is FAR greater than reality. What fear is stopping you? What will you do this week to move past it?
3. Allowing failure to stop you
If you are living and breathing, failure is inevitable. Some small business owners live their lives avoiding failure, while others allow failure to become a teacher and instructor. Which category are you in? The learners of failure rise up with greater strength and knowledge for the next challenge or opportunity ahead.
You can shift your thoughts from the failure itself and instead focus on what you can learn from the failure and how you can put that learning to good use going forward. Where is your focus when failure happens — on the failure or on the learning? What will you choose to focus on next time failure hits?
4. Going it alone
This is huge. With regard to the business that you are in or the one that you hope to start, who are your mentors and like-minded people you can gather with weekly or monthly. I’d highly recommend that you begin to meet regularly with like-minded people. Find groups that can hold you accountable and groups that become a source of ideas for your business as well.
Our Inner Circle groups and coaching programs were created with that need in mind. If you cannot join ours, find something in your community. I belong to two different groups of entrepreneurs that I meet with regularly and I attribute a great deal of my success to that kind of interaction and involvement. Do not ever go into business alone. Figure out what groups or associations you will join and get into conversation with successful people on a regular basis.
5. Not investing in your learning and growth
I never stop learning. I am usually reading 2-3 books at a time and I continue my education by taking classes. You don’t need to do exactly what I’m doing. However, my question for you is “What are you pouring into your mind weekly regarding your business or business idea?” If your business is to succeed, you must have a source of continued learning regarding business success.
There is no shortage of material in that category. Start feeding your mind with a steady diet of what it takes to be successful. Go to the bookstore or the library and get what you need. Never stop learning. To stop learning is to stop growing. I’ve never met a successful entrepreneur who wasn’t constantly investing in their own growth and learning.
6. Talk vs Action
This is one criteria for remarkable success that I cannot stress enough. I meet so many people who receive countless opportunities and ideas to create success in their businesses. And they choose do nothing. It’s a choice. And it’s often a choice because of #1 above. When opportunity crosses my desk, I jump on it. It may fail, but that doesn’t matter, at least I tried. I took action.
People tell me all the time they wish they could own a business. Telling ME isn't going to make it happen. When I started my first business I did not have two pennies to rub together. I went to 16 banks for a loan before the 17 bank said yes. They saw something in me that the other's did not. I believed in myself.
Massive action is a success ingredient that I picked up from hugely successful entrepreneurs. (I'm a shaker and a mover.) They don’t sit around analyzing for very long. They are always in action—daily, weekly, monthly. What business ideas have you acted upon in the last week? Set a goal for yourself to move your business forward by specific daily or weekly actions that will do precisely that for you—move you forward. And that movement forward will spurn you into even more action and therefore more success.
I have two very successful brick and mortar businesses that I apply this information to it everyday. My jewelry business makes me feel like a failure. Here's why: I still think of it as a hobby so I don't apply these business practices and TIME. I struggle between my professional life and my beading life everyday. Maybe one has got to go.
Owner of Jewelry by Jeannie
Below are links to Jeannie's website and blog:
Also, we have some photos of some of Jeannie's jewelry designs to share.
After you look at them I am sure you will agree that she does not need to leave her jewelry business, she is a very creative, and talented Artisan/Jewelry Designer, and a Polymer Clay Artist . She has had her work appear in several magazines, she is constantly entering contests with gorgeous designs and if you like her polymer clay beads, or the paper beads - check out her website for some great discounts! I believe she is extremely talented and I am hoping she gets some great remarks and "comments" from those of you who read her article.
One of Jeannie's designs, using "paper beads" (which she makes and sells
on her site) that are eco friendly. I love these beads!
Here is one of Jeannie's designs with the focal bead being one of her
polymer clay designs. She not only works with normal
beads and metal, and makes "paper beads",
but she is a Polymer Clay Artist .
OK - so here are some examples of her polymer clay bead designs!
Wow! This lady does not know how talented she is?? Better read her
article again! I vote for her to continue to CREATE!
Here is another polymer clay design
including the "leather textured" bracelet..
Very creative "Lonely Hearts" made with polymer clay!
And we will end her article with a wonderful pair of earrings,
with Vintaj brass butterflies,
Which she has named "Summer Wings."
Thank you, Jeannie!
Your article has given me a real kick in the pants!
I think we all need a reality check
once in a while.
Please leave comments for Jeannie's article and let us know how it has impacted you!