Success Is A Journey
After almost 7 years of being a business owner, I can honestly say that success is a journey with celebrations along the way. Those celebrations are important, because otherwise I would question whether my success was real or a dream.
It's all well and good to have clearly defined goals – and I recommend that every business owner have them! For me, though, it's important that those goals be short term.
The goals I have are stepping stones to the vision I have for myself and my business. And I need a way to recognize the accomplishment of a goal, the moment when I've stepped from one stone to the next.
What The Celebrations Look Like
This is my first, real celebration as a business owner:
It was a sunny, summer day in July. I had just started my business, officially, and was now ready to serve clients around the United States. For about 8 months I had been working with a few local clients, providing market and business research, but wasn't ready to go national until I had stable, high speed internet access at my home office.
Now I had it. Now I was ready. And the telephone rang.
To this point, the projects I had been involved with served to bolster my confidence in my skills and ability to work with a business as an independent consultant. But I admit to being very nervous during that telephone conversation.
This was a big project. This company came to be through a referral from a local client I had been working with. The conversation went well, I created and sent a proposal that was accepted and I landed a very nice project. It was worth quite a bit of money and promised to be a solid stepping stone into the financial industry for future clients.
It was time to celebrate!
Celebrate the landing of a new project.
Celebrate the victory of my being able to overcome anxiety.
Just how did we celebrate? Well, my husband decided that a nice dinner out at our favorite steak house would be perfect. And, it was.
We hadn't been out in quite a while. Starting a new business, even with money in the bank for operating costs and living expenses, meant that we were very cautious about where we were spending our money.
Going to Pat's Steak House was, and is, a treat. It's crowded, loud, and is an old house that had been converted into a restaurant. When we went it was cash only, with a an ATM conveniently located in the entry way. And trust me, the steaks are incredible. It was the perfect place to celebrate the win of a new project.
A few months later the financial crisis hit the world.
Celebrating During Hard Times
Since the recession began, I've had many small, and large, victories. I kept going with the business, now an internet marketing agency, because I still had the vision from January, 2007.
My vision for the business and my life:
To be able to work anywhere with an internet connection, providing training and business research to clients around the world. Then, because of client needs and requests, I added the internet marketing services to the vision.
While working we will travel around the United States; meeting new people, listening to their stories; sharing our stories; and offering help to people in crisis…whether it's a need for a week's worth of groceries or a month's rent/mortgage; training people to use the internet for their own dreams, freedom and independence.
Victories along the way that were celebrated include:
- helping a manufacturer decide to proceed with a new product because they had evidence that the market was ready for it
- helping a sales team of insurance agents understand the value of social media for building relationships that would turn into sales
- helping a business coach with marketing efforts that added new clients
- creating a marketing website for a manufacturer that resulted in new business
- training professionals on how to do internet marketing…from creating a blog to outlining a content strategy, from how to create and manage online advertising to how to create a successful landing page.
- writing ebooks, some sold through Kindle and others as pdf, that sell and are still selling
I could list more, but for now I think you get the idea.
The ways we celebrated include:
Going on a steamboat cruise after finishing a market research project:
Going to see Jekyll & Hyde, the musical:
Going to a stock car race, in this case NASCAR:
Filling the freezer of a halfway house for women, so they could have beef and venison through the winter instead of just bologna:
Helping to set up a vegetable and herb garden at the halfway house so the women can have access to fresh vegetables:
Paying the rent for a month for a family in crisis – they just needed a bit of help while trying to cope with an illness:
But, I want you to understand that it's not the WAY we celebrate the victories – it's the fact that we actually CELEBRATE in some way that makes the difference.
It's because of these celebrations that I'm still in business today. And I have a good marriage with a man I'll be celebrating 25 years with this year.
I want each person who owns a business, or is just beginning to take the steps toward owning a business, to learn how to celebrate the small wins. When you're able to do that, you're able to experience true success as a business owner.
Does your vision match mine?
Do you want to be independent, able to support yourself and your family without the restrictions of the corporate world?
Ready to learn how to celebrate those small wins that lead to bigger wins?
If so, check out the business I'm in and join me. I'm available to help you reach your vision by sharing my own experiences with you along the way to reaching yours.
Or, if you want to start out small and dip your toe into the water with a blog that is set up to help you make money, click on the link below.