Today, I want to hold your hand.
Today, I want to assure you that sometimes you’re doing ALL the right things and you’ll still feel like a failure.
Today, I want to share with you that all of us sometimes feel like we have NO idea what we’re doing (actually, that’s most of the time.)
Today, I want to remind you that yes, what we do is a LOT of hard work, and when you’re tired and worried about money, that hard work won’t seem worth it.
Today, I want to tell you that there’s one piece of the puzzle you forgot.
Today, I want to talk about TIME.
It takes time for a business to grow. So you might have all the right things happening – wonderful products, word of mouth, enquiries coming in, nice customers, pricing just about right – and yet, you’re not making enough money or paying yourself anything. You’re wondering what you did wrong and how to fix it. You might be reading a bunch of business books, blogs and Facebook groups looking desperately for answers. You want – NEED – to know the one thing which will turn this all around. Or you might be spending your time beating yourself up, because surely this is YOUR fault, right? I’m here to tell you that you forgot something. You forgot that a business takes TIME to grow. There’s a common saying, “Most overnight success take, on average, ten years to build,” and that, my friend is the part that you forgot about. You were so busy focussing on the overnight part that you didn’t pay much attention to the years part.
I meet and speak to so many people whose business dreams were beautifully on track…and then it’s two years down the line and while everything is going to plan, the plans aren’t happening FAST enough for their liking. Maybe your partner is getting annoyed at the money not coming in, your children are getting annoyed at the lost weekends, and you’re starting to really wonder what the heck this is all for. You thought surely by now, after ALL this hard work, that the benefits would be rolling in. I think we all have a distorted notion of how long it takes to build a business. We underestimate the time required to do things. We saw on social media that others seems to pop up out of nowhere…but we didn’t look at the date stamp of their first post, which was actually five years ago. We saw the local cupcake store opening it’s doors…but we didn’t see the exhaustion behind the eyes of the owner, who started out baking from home four years ago. We saw that “grow your cake business in three months” class and thought, “YAY! 3 months is nothing!” but we didn’t see the work which came BEFORE the three months. We saw ourselves loving every single order we completed…but we didn’t see the orders we’d take out of desperation because we needed the money. We saw being able to afford our daughter’s dance lessons or that family vacation…but we didn’t see that we need money to START the business off and not rely on the deposits to keep it going.
Dear heart, small business success takes TIME.
You need time to hone your technical skills, time to figure out how to run things efficiently, time to learn how to be a business owner, time to make mistakes, time to work out what you do and don’t like about the product, the business, the people.
And then when you get ALL of that right, you need MORE time, to let business run it’s course, let the marketing work, and be patient as one order grows to two and two grows to three.
TIME for your business to grow, and time for YOU to grow.
Time – we don’t have enough of it, we all look for more of it, yet that which we have we don’t use well. We waste it, get annoyed by it, let it rule our days and our nights.
You can get all the business advice and skills in the world, make the most beautiful and delicious treats…and yet still not understand that what you need is simply TIME to let those things happen together. Things will take longer than you think. This does not mean you are a bad business owner, that customers only care about price, that you suck at marketing or that it’s not worth it. It just means it takes longer than you think.
Please don’t. give up. It’s not because you are not smart enough, good enough, cheap enough or popular enough. It’s just because you forgot that the truly good things in life take time to develop: wines, cheese, children, relationships…. and businesses.