This is a question I heard whispered in my mind while meditating on the direction of my business a few years ago. At that time, I was plagued with non-stop changes in my various businesses year after year. With one in particular, it was as if my business went through a metamorphosis every few months. Some of it was natural growth, but most of the changes were, in reality, me groping for a way to grasp where I belong.
Finally, I had to ask myself a couple of questions:
- What do I want to do?
- Why do I want to do it?
- Am I committed to a vision?
Admittedly, sometimes we start in business and we don’t know what we want to do. We try out one thing, decide what we do or don’t like about it, make a few adjustments, then a few more, until eventually, we start getting into a groove and discovering who we are as a person and how that translates into the identity of a business.
For me, when I started one of my businesses (over 6 years ago), I didn’t know exactly what I was going to do. Beginning as a blogger for a real estate agent, it started to grow and morphed into various things from consulting to writing SEO copy to building websites to social media management. I discovered a lot about myself through trial and error.
I don’t recommend building a business that way – through trial and error – and having no idea what direction you’re going to go in.
Either way, that’s where I was. But when you build on trial and error, though you gain clarity of purpose, it takes longer to gain traction and visibility. Why?
Because we’re not occupying a space. In other words, we’re not committed to a vision.
After a few years of this identity crisis, I understood that my trial runs were over. Time to stop playing games and wondering if I should try making more changes or pursue other trails. It was time to put a stake in the ground, shed off aspects of my business that didn’t fly with the overall vision (actually, I needed better vision!) of where I wanted to plant myself and unpack (so to speak) in a specific neighborhood/industry.
In a way, I started waving my hands, speaking up and saying, “You-hoo! I’m here. This is my industry. I’m bringing my voice into this space. This is where I’m moving in!”
When I put that stake in the ground emotionally and professionally, I instantly started to sense my business was beginning to gel and take form. Opportunities opened up to me in the specific direction I wanted to pursue.
I found my voice and started to make a space in my “neighborhood”. But I also had to actively guard against wanting to hang out in old spaces or consider new ones.
KEEPING ONE FOOT OUT THE DOOR
As part of the discovery process, truth be told, I kept one foot out the door – keeping my options open. I know I’m not the only one like that. I’ve talked to many microentrepreneurs who do the same thing.
But at some point, we have to fully commit ourselves to a vision.
For a while, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to keep offering small business services, such as blogging, email marketing, social media management, etc., or to push forward into mentoring and creating content. I waffled back and forth and brought my business to a screeching halt because I got stuck in the middle.
How about you? Are you stuck in between various business directions?
I’m not necessarily talking about different types of businesses, rather, the direction of one particular business. Many entrepreneurs have multiple businesses. (I happen to have multiple businesses)
STOPPING THE WAFFLING
I started as a one-stop-shop for business services that ran the gamut of bookkeeping to email marketing, blogging, social media management, plus writing online courses. Then I tried live and online courses and then thought about going whole-hog into social media management, specifically Facebook. Then I waffled back to email marketing. But ultimately, I had to ask myself WHAT I really wanted to do (long, long-term) and Why.
I decided that I had a passion for two things: writing and breathing life into the hidden dreams in others.
So how was that going to look in my business?
For me, I decided to narrow it down to copywriting gigs and consulting/mentoring other microbusiness owners and organizations.
TO COMMIT, YOU HAVE TO LET GO
The hardest part of committing to a specific direction is letting other opportunities slide by. When I made my commitment to go in a certain direction, I had to say no to opportunities that I honestly could have used at the time. But each time I said no, I felt a release and deeper connection with a greater vision.
I was finally bringing in my foot and closing the door to other options, which gave what was left the extra energy and attention it needed to thrive. Changing directions is like digging up the seed we’ve planted. Every time we dig it up, we stop the growth process and eventually kill it.
Do you need to close the door to other options?
Perhaps it’s time to stop living out of the trunk of a car with our businesses because we don’t know where to park ourselves, move those boxes in, unpack, and let the neighborhood we’ve chosen know we’re here to stay!
9 WAYS TO COMMIT TO YOUR VISION:
- Find out where your ideal client hangs out (social media platform, networking, social gatherings)
- Establish a presence where they are at.
- Be consistent. Choose your SM platform and post there regularly.
- Engage with others in your industry.
- Make sure the majority of your tasks during the day support your WHAT (ie Vision)
- Stop giving yourself options to do something else.
- Be ALL IN, Stay in the game. Let the seeds you’ve planted grow!
- Invest in regular ongoing education in your area of expertise. Resist the temptation to invest your time into those courses, books, seminars that are not directly in alignment with your WHAT. (for now)
- OCCUPY your specific place. (be committed to BE in that place. Every day. Even when tempted to wander somewhere else.)