On Easter Sunday, Pastor Brad Tate at 2|42 Community Church told the following story.
As a young man, he stood next to a friend, an archer, who one after another shot arrows hitting a small area around the bullseye of a target. Amazed, that experience made him a BELIEVER in his friend’s ability with NO DOUBT.
Next, the friend said, now go and stand down next to the target while I continue hitting the bullseye one arrow after another. Easy response, not ready to take that step. But what a great metaphor for the difference between belief and faith. Belief is great. We all believe in certain things. That is where we start. But then eventually we are left with the next step. Stepping into faith. Putting ourselves out there whether it is in danger or challenged by our peers. We all have the responsibility at some point to step out of our comfort zones to develop a strong faith. Faith doesn’t grow through the “easy” of life. It grows through our challenges. And it grows through our tests. We are put to the tests even as a business owner. We believe but when we get tested how do we respond?
Being successful as a solo entrepreneur in a competitive industry takes much more than the belief that you can do it.
In my career, I have talked to hundreds of people starting up a business. Everyone believes as they start out that they will succeed. And they can pull up an easy picture of what it will look like in their minds. Not many are objective. We are sure of one thing. People are going to see the value that we see in the goods and services we will provide them.
WE BELIEVE WE CAN SUCCEED
But then comes reality. As a solo entrepreneur, you are your business. There is no “organization” standing behind you. Or standing next to you with support and feedback.
When I worked coaching clients to start a business, some focused on the simple steps such as forming an LLC, buying business cards, and finding a space to lease. I would say to those people, picture all those steps were done. Now, what are you going to do?
Too often, the most important questions were not answered. We are not objective.
WE GET TESTED
What happens next? We are left with figuring things out. And that takes time. Our faith in believing we can succeed in the small business world gets tested. It puts us in uncomfortable places. We enter a world of doubt. Most of us have little support or access to people who are experts in our industries. We want to supply our products and services to everyone. We think it is wise to keep all options open.
If you are fortunate (or wise by putting money aside for the lean years) to have financial support, you have time to figure things out. If you don’t, you are likely gone within that first year. Your faith in your ability to succeed gets tested. It takes a while to rebrand yourself in other’s eyes. They learn to see you in a new role. Maybe doing something they never thought you would have the ability to do.
You start copying what you see others in your industry doing. And you lack the confidence to do things in your unique way. And that way is new to you. This early stage is a time of trial and error. Evaluating how you spend your time. Learning to trust your gut instinct. Trusting that delivering a quality product will draw business. Caring about your customers or clients will be effective. Learning to value your time through charging the right amount and not winning customers by deals.
WE FIND OUR SWEET SPOT
Through many hours of hard work, mistakes, and doubts, we find our way in the small business world. We identify where we fit amongst the competition. We are given more chances to figure things out. And we develop skills we never had that need developing to be successful.
We experience fewer emotions surrounding our business than we were when we started. We focus on clients instead of our doubts or insecurities. The big picture comes into view. Questions we ask ourselves start resulting in answers.
We can listen to others input and decide what is right and wrong for us.
WE BECOME EMPOWERED
Is it time you go from believing in your business to putting yourself way out of your comfort zone? Start to develop more faith that your business is a success. Move beyond the discouragements, mistakes, or negative feedback.
Is it time for your best website? One that focuses on your strengths. Makes you stand out from the competition. It’s a process. Like building a house. Planning your business through website development. Providing feedback on your likes and dislikes.
You’ve been tested in your small business. What have you learned that helps you to connect to your BEST customers and clients?
YOU GOT THIS!!!