It is difficult to keep going when you’re not seeing the results that you desire, whether that is in business, marriage, or in anything at all.
In case you didn’t know, business can be hard.
It can be super frustrating, especially when you have put everything you have into it and you’re not even getting a quarter back.
Many business owners experience slow periods in their businesses but you wouldn’t believe because of the fact that they choose not to show it.
Open up your Instagram and you’d never see one person sharing the tough life they experience. Instead, what you’ll see is their glitz and glam lifestyle, their perfectly curated feed, and their soft baby girl/baby boy life.
Don’t be fooled by all of that. Even the best business gurus face slow periods.
We often very quickly forget that nothing good comes easy. We start a business today and we want to start travelling the world the next month.
I blame Instagram for this erroneous expectation.
Once we have a shiny new business idea, we start to have big expectations and we become positive it’s going to turn out well. That is good.
We then create timelines for when it will blow up and we really look forward to it. But when it doesn’t happen the way we have imagined, we start to feel demotivated.
This may cause some people to get burned out and quit altogether.
But instead of doing that, here’s how to keep going when you’re not seeing the results you desire.
Before we go into that, you can watch the video on YouTube.
1. Think About Why You Started
You started this business for a reason, you had a big vision behind it.
You were burning with that idea and that fire was what drove you to start.
Now, the business is not going the way you had calculated it, you’re no longer feeling it and now you want to close it down.
What then happens to that fire that drove you to start?
Say you are very good at creating websites that help business owners get found by their target market, and you are badass at writing web copies that will get their clients to click the buy button.
So you started a business offering web development services, but now, your timeline has elapsed and you’ve not done one million naira in sales in 6 months, now you’re beginning to rethink your decision.
Remember, there are many business owners out there that your service will transform their businesses, if you stop offering it, they may fail.
Maybe you decided to go into business because you wanted the freedom that comes with working at your own time and pace, shutting it down will mean you have to go back to the corporate world–bye bye to freedom.
I started my business because I was tired of the hustle and bustle of the corporate world. I am a creative and I can’t create in survival mode–that’s what the corporate world is like–you either work your head out to survive another day in your job or you get fired.
So I left to focus on creating, at my own time and pace. I don’t regret that decision at all.
In business, we all experience slow seasons.
So whenever you feel like quitting, connect back to your WHY.
2. Lower Your Expectations
So I have to say this, right? You need to lower your expectations.
I mentioned earlier that we set timelines for when we want to start seeing results in our business.
This is what causes us to have huge expectations about the business.
The truth is that creating a profitable business is a gradual process. On average, a business will take 2-3 years before it becomes profitable and there are many factors that determine profitability.
If your business breaks even the first year or is profitable the first year, that’s a good thing. There must be something you’re doing right.
And if it doesn’t, give it time. Although you would need to do your financials, to see if you are making profit at all or if it’s just straight up losses.
And when it’s more losses than profit, then you can either pivot or shut it down completely. But all I’m saying is to give it time and don’t be ridiculous about timelines.
I came across a post on Instagram where a lady shared that she started a business selling journals. And after just 3 months, the business has become profitable and she has been able to travel to many countries.
II checked the comments and I saw how people easily fall for fads and lies on the internet.
I’ve not sold journals before but I know that except you are getting funding from a very rich source, you cannot be profitable enough to travel the world in just 3 months of starting the business.
That’s why I said earlier that you shouldn’t fall for the glitz and glam on social media. You don’t know who is telling the truth and who isn’t.
3. Find a Community
Running a business can be incredibly lonely if you don’t have anyone else doing it with you.
One of the best ways to get out of this loneliness is to make friends with other business owners.
You get to figure things out with them, share your pains and struggles, and form little mastermind groups.
Business owners face real life issues all the time and you won’t know if you are not part of their community.
A colleague once shared with me that she was struggling with getting followers or her clients’ social media pages. She said she thought she wasn’t good at her job until she started hearing people in her community complain about the same thing.
She was so relieved and now, they have started creating plans to help each other businesses grow.
That’s what being part of a community will do for you. they’ll make you realize that you’re not the only one.
There was this community I used to belong to. It was a community for authors, writers, and aspiring writers.
They had a blog and social media pages where they constantly shared tips and really helpful information on writing.
With the help of the community, I was able to start my very first blog. The community also built confidence in me to start my online business.
At some point, I became a contributing writer on their platform and my work was being shared to more than 500 readers. It was amazing.
Although the community is no more, the owner discontinued it for reasons I don’t know, I will never forget the help I received from being part of them.
So whether it’s a hub with people in similar niches, a Facebook group, a group coaching program, or whatever it is, join them and let their framework keep you going.
4. Take an Upgrade Class
Your business can never grow more than your level of knowledge of the offerings itself.
People who are killing it in business, who have something really valuable to share cannot offer it for free or for cheap. It comes with a price.
You can only grow a business so far with free or cheap information. When you invest in premium courses, you will be able to scale your business to a level that you cannot get to with free information.
Look, I know that when you’re just starting out, it may be difficult to pay for courses, and that’s fine.
I remember that I couldn’t even afford a 10,000 naira (11 dollars) course on social media management and I would read blog posts online and books I could find my hands on.
Now, I love to take paid courses because I know that I can learn a ton of new information that will help me grow my online business.
Taking paid courses, either online or offline is just like having somebody tell you “Hey, do it this way, go this way, take this step” helping you figure things out.
Taking paid courses can help to point our the blind spots in what you’re doing so that you can get better results.
5. Build Internally
Another way to keep going when you’re not seeing the results you desire is to use that time to build your internal structures.
This slow season is a good time to look into your business nd build your internal structures.
Some of the things that I recommend that you work on are:
a) Your Branding
Review your brand elements. Modify your logo (only if you need to), review your brand colours, rewrite your web copies and update old blog posts. Also, do a target audience audit to see if their needs have not changed.
Usually, when you just start a business, you may be really generic about who you are serving, but as time goes on, you’ll begin to see a pattern in the kind of people that come your way.
So take a look at your message again and see if it’s still relevant to your target audience. Then finally, recreate your other marketing collaterals.
b) Your Workspace
Whether you work from home or you have a space outside of your home, you can use the free time on your hands to do a lot of reshuffling and rearrangements of your space.
Give your workspace a facelift, change your furniture, get new equipment for your work. But don’t go down the rabbit hole of buying things you don’t need with money you don’t have.
There’s need for moderation in everything. There’s something about new things, they can inspire new ideas within you.
c) Your Structure
You can also use the time to set up systems and structures in the business. It could be hiring people to expand your team, booking more clients, working with new tools, and so on.
Do a system and structure audit and look for what you need to expand on or stop working on.