Success Is A Moving Target
I wish I could tell you that my road to success was straight and clear and short.
But, hey, if wishes were horses we'd all have ride.
So, instead, I'll tell you the truth.
When I started my business, I had a clear vision of what success looked like. And the plan I laid out to attain that success seemed simple. This is what it looked like:
First Year – by June 2009
Revenue Goal: $50,000
Total Number of Clients: 10
Total Number of Projects: 24 or 2/month
Marketing: Paid advertising, social media selling, blogging, in person business networking events, activity on industry forums, speaking to business groups
Personal: be able to work whenever and where ever I wanted to as long as I had an internet connection.
Looks pretty good. Even today it appears to be doable, straight forward and achievable.
Between June and September of 2008, 75% of my clients were in the financial sector.
September of 2008 my telephone stopped ringing. My emails were returned because their email was shut down. My comments and chat on social media went unanswered.
By October of 2008, activity on industry forums changed from sharing business problems to “I just got laid off and am looking for work”.
The other 25% of my clients were tightening their budgets and wallets, hoping to ride out the financial crisis, thinking it will be over in months.
Where Do I Aim For Success Now?
The moving target syndrome forced me to rethink my plan, my activities, my client base and my vision of Success.
If I wanted to continue to be a business owner, I needed to change personally and professionally because the business environment had changed.
So I took a step back and punted.
Short term goals became the priority and they included: meet two people per day either in person or online. Ask questions about their needs and be helpful when possible.
From this I was able to see that I needed to change the focus of my business:
- People looking for work were looking for training on internet marketing.
- They also were ready to work in other states and countries, but needed to have online reputation and presence that was attractive to companies.
- Those businesses wanting to survive the recession were needing websites, search marketing programs and internal training of staff.
- Businesses and professionals were looking for someone to help them connect with each other.
I changed, personally and professionally, to accommodate the needs of my new client base.
And it's working.
Success For Me
I've learned that I cannot control the economy, the minds of my clients and team members, the internet, and other people. What I can control is myself…my reactions, my behavior, my vision.
My primary vision for myself and my business is to be location independent while providing the best service possible to my client, the best leadership possible to my team members, and the best training on internet marketing to my students.
And I'm doing it! Have been since 2008.
Yes, I have targets I want to hit. Financially, professionally, personally. And I know that because of those things I cannot control those targets will continue to move…but, they won't go away. I just need to adjust my sights along the way.
I'd love to hear your version of trying to hit a moving target. Feel free to share in the comments below.