Podcast Ep 137 | “What’s The Point?!…” – Why Focusing On The Short Term Can Kill Your Business
"What's The Point?!..." - Why Focusing On The Short Term Can Kill Your Business
This week I wanted to talk about the topic of quitting, of feeling like you're just not getting results for the effort that you're putting in and why having a short term vision and focusing in on the short term of your business is actually a surefire way to quit your momentum, quit your motivation and potentially quit and kill your business. I'm going to dive into what I mean by all of that. And this was actually a topic that I've drawn inspiration from and it was a live video that I was watching from Dana Malstaff and she was talking about this analogy when it comes to growing your business and launching a new product or a new service and the expectations that we need to have around this.
I thought it was a really great analogy. I thought I would share it here as well and just explore this topic in a little bit more detail and how you can really help yourself to focus in on the long game of your business and your more long-term sustainable success. I am someone that has always been a bit of a perfectionist. When I was growing up, I was really focused on getting really great grades. I was a really good student. I was the school captain of my high school. I really wanted to do well, and I have said this before on the podcast, but my one and true mission was to get - I guess a high enough ENTER score to be able to go to university and study psychology. That is exactly what I was able to do and that was where my focus and my passion was.
And that an issue that came with this and this level of perfectionist thinking, is that I always wanted everything to be great right out of the gate. I wanted to show up for my work or show up to anything that I was doing in my life and just automatically be great at it and automatically get results and feel accomplished and competent in whatever it was that I was trying to do. And the flip side of this meant that if there were things that I was exposed to or had an opportunity to do that I didn't feel confident or competent in and I felt like I couldn't achieve a satisfactory level of results the first time around or maybe the second time round, I was very unlikely to do it. It meant that I would often not try new things. I wouldn't put myself out there that much. I wouldn't step out of my comfort zone and put myself at the potential risk of embarrassing myself or making a mistake or just completely failing at something. This is really something that you have felt as well if you are a recovering perfectionist or maybe it's still stuck in some of that perfectionist thinking where you really just want everything to be perfect straight away. This can either mean you don't get started at all and you delay things, you procrastinate on things until you feel like you can get to a point that it's going to be perfect. Or when you do launch something or try something new and it maybe falls flat or it doesn't reach the high expectations that you have of yourself, you quickly retreat and give up and basically commit to not ever trying that thing ever again. This can actually leach into your business and you might not even be realizing it, but it's something that I've definitely had to overcome over the years of running my own businesses and is why I think it's really important to share on the podcast today and look at this in a bit more detail because I think it comes up for a lot of business owners and the way that this leaches into your business is that you're launching this new product or this new service.
It's your passion, it's something you've been thinking about and may have really been a leap of faith to go and put something like this out into the world and perhaps it hasn't quite met your expectations or perhaps you've put a lot of effort, a lot of planning, a lot of money, a lot of time into getting this business off the ground. You just feel like you're not quite seeing the results for the effort that you've put in or the money or the time that you've put in which can be really disheartening and I have definitely been there. And what this can then lead to is getting into that cycle where you feel like ‘this isn't worth it;’ ‘I'm just going to give up;’ ‘this isn't for me;’ ‘I'm not cut out for this.” Everybody else is getting results and making it look so simple.
'What is it that I'm doing wrong? And really just throwing up your hands and thinking, you know what? I'm just going to go back to my comfort zone. I'm going to go get a corporate job. I'm going to just give up on my dream here because it doesn't seem to be working out the way that I thought it would.' Now with this kind of thinking, it is something that many, many entrepreneurs and business owners go through there are ebbs and flows of business building, which if you have been running your own business, you are probably aware of. But the issue that comes in with this is if you let yourself get stuck in this cycle when perhaps things aren't going your way or you're not seeing the results that you're after, it is very short term thinking and it's looking at what's happening presently and not so much looking at what you've already achieved to date, what the potential for you to achieve in the future is.
And you can make decisions essentially off this feeling and this present moment of failed expectations of difficult and challenging emotions of maybe having those perfectionistic traits triggered in you and you can throw your hands up and essentially walk away from your business and kill the whole opportunity. What we want to look at doing is really shifting into that long term vision and the long game of business. Now, as I was studying my first skincare business, I came up against this feeling a lot in the early days. Like I said, I was battling this feeling of if I can't do it right the first time, I'm not even going to bother any little mistake that I made in our business. Anything that maybe didn't go the way that I thought it was going to or little challenges or speed bumps or things that just felt really hard and outside of my comfort zone were really pushing against me and triggering me to want to just walk away and go back to a corporate job.
I felt like I didn't have what it takes. I felt completely in the deep end. I felt imposter syndrome and that the success that we were getting and the results that we were getting weren't, I guess I wasn't maybe worthy of them. I didn't know what I was doing and it was a steep learning curve and I am just so glad that I have a partner, who is my life partner and my business partner, who is literally made of steel and has the mindset of an absolute superstar and was always able to talk me through these moments because I feel like if it was just my business back in those early days, I might have walked away and I might have let my mindset and that really short term thinking get to me to the point of quitting and letting all of my hard work go.
I'm so glad that I had that support and I was able to slowly build my resilience muscle. When it came to business, I was able to challenge my perfectionist thinking and know that I'd never run a business before. I didn't know what to expect. I didn't know what was coming our way each and every day and that it was a wave and a journey that I had to navigate and learn as I go. And over time I got better and better and better where the problems or the challenges that were tripping me up in those early years were just a tiny blip on the radar two or three years down the track. It wasn't even an issue because over time I had learned and evolved and I had upleveled my skills and my mindset and at that point I was obviously focusing on new challenges, but my overall mindset now has been to always continue pushing forward.
The mantra I've talked about on this podcast and I have in my life and my business is, you never know what tomorrow will bring. I had so many times where I felt like walking away I just felt like I didn't have what it takes or it was too much for me or it was too hard or too scary. It was just all a little bit too much. And if I had have let that stop me, I wouldn't be where I am today. And I had so many times where I'd feel like that and then three days later or a week later, the most amazing opportunities would drop into our email or the most amazing things that we would've never expected happened for us. And if I'd have let that short term vision and that short term difficult sense of emotions get to me that I walk away and I quit, then we would've never been able to fulfill on those opportunities. And I would have never even known that they were coming our way or that they were possible for us. And so the same is true for you. You just never know what's around the corner that you never know what tomorrow is going to bring for you and your business. And there if you let this short term thinking this I guess cycle of failure and perfectionism take control to the point where you give up on your dream then it's such a shame. It is such a shame because you probably have something so amazing to offer the world and they're not going to have the opportunity to experience that. This is why I'm diving into this today and I want to just give you a little bit of a mindset shift in how you think about your business, how you relate to what's happening on a day to day basis and how you can really shift into that long-term vision that this is a lifestyle, this is a business that you want to sustain and manage over time I would imagine. And there it doesn't all happen overnight. It doesn't happen overnight for anybody and there is work that needs to go into it. There is prep work, there is a lot of behind the scenes setting up and getting things happening and then it's just a matter of continuing along and getting better and better and tweaking things as you go until you're able to get those results that you want. And then you look at getting the next level of results and eventually you're looking back on yourself three, four years in the future. And what you've achieved just completely exceeds your expectations because you've kept on your path, you've kept out long game insight and you've kept on the momentum and the consistency and your brand and your business has built over time. The analogy that Dana used that I really loved, and I think it's really helpful as a way of looking at this, is relating your business the same way that you would a child. When you have a child, you have obviously a baby to begin with and they don't know much. They are learning as they go. They are discovering new skills and learning new things each and every day. You never really know what to expect. There's new things that they can just amaze you with. And then there's the days that are really, really tough and you look at yourself and you wonder, what have I got myself into here? This is just outside my comfort zone. It's really testing me and I don't know if I have what it takes kind of thinking and the mom guilt and the dad guilt and that kind of thing can come
in on some of those days. But then you look at them, they smile at you and it all feels worth it again. We know the ebbs and flows of being a parent. We know that it's a process. We know that our baby is going to be learning over time, that we don't expect our baby or our toddler to be doing calculus, maths at three years old. We know that there's a long game involved with being a parent and we know that there's a long game with our child learning, growing and developing over time and we succumb to that. We allow that process to happen naturally and we don't give up. We commit to being a parent. We commit to having this baby and this child that is going to be with us and we commit to moving through the difficult days and the fantastic days and we don't throw our hands up in the air. We can't necessarily quit on being a parent and you can look at your business in the same way, treating your business like another baby.I always said my business is a lack of my babies because it does take so much energy and passion and commitment even on the days where you're not seeing the results because you know that the next day could be completely different and completely fulfilling all of the expectations that you've had in starting a business much like starting a family. I thought this was a really great way to look at it because it is one of those things that comes in our lives that we don't really have options to just walk away and we can relate that to how business as well. Yes, we can walk away from our business. But if you can treat your business in the same way that you would treat a child, it brings this new wave of kindness and compassion and patience to your business that maybe you haven't had up until now. And that maybe you've been really focused on the results and the money and the client numbers and the followers. But trading it like a child and allowing yourself to say this longterm thing that is evolving in front of your eyes just really allows you to detach that little bit from all of the results and the expectations and allow things to flow in their divine timing. You can allow your business to grow and evolve in its own timing that there is a timeline to growing a business and that you showing up consistently and nurturing it and being there and loving it and putting in what you can to the business is going to grow it and nourish it and it will then eventually flourish. Hopefully you can see that analogy for yourself and maybe have a little bit of a mindset shift when it comes to how you relate to your business. And maybe you can see it as your only child now, or maybe it's like an additional child if you do already have children yourself.
I wanted to cover some of the thoughts that I've had around really supporting yourself to focus in on the long game of business and not letting it be this hugely emotional roller coaster for you, where you get really attached to the day to day results that are happening and that you're making these results mean something about you personally. Because often, most of the time it's more about your business and your systems and what you're focusing your attention on rather than anything to do with you do. You can have the most amazing product or service that has the potential to make you six figures, seven figures if you're able to set it up in the right way and commit to it long term. But if you're letting the less than ideal results in the beginning of your business journey means something about you or mean that you don't have what it takes to the point of quitting, then you're never going to be able to realize the potential of your product or your service. And you're obviously never going to be able to get to those six figures or seven figures if you give up. And that is definitely my experience. If I had have let my mindset take over and let me quit, I would never got to six figures. I would have never got to multiple six figures and I would've never got to seven figures in our business. And I never would've got to the point where I'm now able to start supporting others to do the same within Wellbeing Weekly. Imagine where I would have been if I had let those short term views and those difficult challenging day to day emotions stop me in my tracks and mean something about myself. I would have never ever been able to step into the potential that I've now stepped into as a business owner and the results and the amazing experiences that I've been able to achieve as a result of continuing on my path and committing to consistency and committing to showing up every day and I wouldn't be able to be on this podcast talking to you about how you can do it as well.Just something to think about and here are some of the things that I think can help you just to connect into that long game of business and really remember these things on those days that are difficult because they're going to come for everybody. There's going to be times where you don't get the results that you were expecting. And let me just tell you that this is the case for even the most successful business owners and entrepreneurs. You can listen to podcasts of seven figure business owners who have had launches that have completely flopped. They have completely missed the mark on their messaging. You can listen to their first launches and their first new products or new services and the day started off where you are exactly right now. They didn't start off getting six and seven figure launches. Everyone has to start from the beginning and you need to allow your business to grow in that divine timing and nurture it like you would a child and allow it to grow and nourish along the timeline.
1. Cash Reserves - One thing that I do think is helpful when it comes to starting a brand new business, launching a new service or a new product is having cash reserves. And this might be in the form of continuing your full time job or part time job. Maybe you have already been working in your business for a little while and you're looking at a new revenue stream, but you still are holding onto some of that client or customer work that you've been doing up until now. Or perhaps you have some other way of bringing in additional income to support you. Or you might also have savings or an element of cashflow that is supporting your business goals and dreams. It is important to feel like you have a sense of stability in being able to pursue your business because the more financial pressure that you place on yourself, the more you get stuck in that day to day thinking. Because you're constantly thinking about the client numbers, the finances that you didn't hit your numbers, that you didn't make a sale today. And it really impacts your ability to detach from the outcomes, which can sometimes get you feeling like you're in this cycle of desperation. And that can sometimes ooze out into your content. It can ooze out into your interactions with potential clients, and sometimes they can really sense that that's the position that you're in and that you're really eager, let's say to make a sale or to sign up a new client and it can actually end up repelling people rather than attracting them. We want to be able to feel like we come from this place of not needing the sale, that if you made no sales today or this week, that that's okay. And that you're able to continue on because it allows this element of detaching.You might know that if you think about someone at school and everybody liked them and everyone was attracted to them because they just didn't care and they didn't need a boyfriend or girlfriend and they were just so confident in themselves as they were and that just attracted people versus maybe the person that was always trying to get a boyfriend or girlfriend was maybe a bit sleazy and was kind of giving off those vibes of desperation and that just repelled people. You can think about it in the same way here. And that's why I always recommend having some form of financial stability behind you so that you feel like you've got the space to test and to tweak things and not feel like you need to, you know, be a millionaire straight out of the gate. And this just gives you an element of detaching and being able to see that more long-term vision because you know that you're not as focused in on every little detail and every little sale.
2. Working on your mindset - And I feel like this issue really is a mindset issue. Even though it directly relates to business results. It's allowing your mind to basically take over and make the decision to leave and give up on your business rather than being able to push through and be more resilient and problem solve whatever's happening for you and continue on your path. So it's really important to be noticing when you're getting into this space and maybe allowing yourself to dwell in this space a little longer than usual, uh, to the point where it starts, you know, coming into your limiting beliefs. It starts really making you question whether you want to continue on in your business or whether you'd be better off just giving up. What I would recommend in these times is really having some key strategies for moving out of these difficult thoughts and these difficult emotions. I covered one of my methods that I cover in my group program called the mood method. I did a podcast episode on this recently so you can go back and look, but it gives you four simple steps to being able to process difficult emotions. And then to be able to move out of them. I also cover my mindset funnel as well in an earlier episode in the podcast series where you're able to switch out of limiting beliefs and challenging negative thoughts and switch these for more positive empowering thoughts, which are then going to trickle down and give you positive outcomes as well. You can go back and listen to those, but I really encourage you to be just building your awareness about when you're getting into these cycles or these phases and how you can support yourself to move out of them and bring your focus back to the long game. Maybe it's some journaling, maybe it's chatting with a supportive friend, maybe it's building out your business network and support or getting support from a coach who can help you to pull yourself out when you're getting stuck in these cycles.
3. Really appreciating the ups and downs of business building and entrepreneurship - It is difficult in the sense that it's uncertain and we're never really sure what's going to happen. We can try and create consistency within our businesses through systems and supports. But there's an element of uncertainty and the unknown that comes with building your own business. And you can never feel quite as stable as you would go into work and getting a regular paycheck had a corporate job. But in taking the leap into building your own business, there needs to be an acceptance that this is what life is going to be like.It is just one of the things you need to learn to accept. And it can take time, especially if all you've ever done is worked in corporate. And this was, you know, something I really needed to work on. I would have these moments where I just felt completely unstable. I felt like I didn't know what was coming out way in one or one month and I would get really uncomfortable with that and I needed to learn to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. And this really is an entrepreneurial skill and an entrepreneurial quality that you need to build and enhance for yourself because it's just the reality. And if you're not able to sit with the unknown or the uncertainty or feeling uncomfortable, then business building and entrepreneurship might not be the best track for you because it's just one of the realities that you have to become accustomed to and appreciate that there'll be days that really, really suck and there'll be days that are just the most amazing and you'll just be on cloud nine. Allowing for that, expecting it and you know, knowing that that's the path is going to help you to move through those down days and know that there's always going to be better days that are coming.
4. Investing in the right supports and systems to get your business running like a well oiled machine - Many people just start businesses. They have no strategy, they have no plan, they have no intention, they're just throwing up content on the internet, doing social media poets, hoping people are going to buy from them but have absolutely no pathway or strategy to actually create sales. This is a big part of what I cover within my group coaching because it's something that so many people leave out, but it's really creating that customer journey that is seamless, that is exactly what your client or your customer are looking for support with and it essentially builds your connection and likelihood of getting a sale or getting a new client on board and without this you're really just throwing spaghetti at the wall and that's when you're going to have inconsistent results and you're going to start questioning yourself because you're not going to be getting the results or the outcomes for the effort that you're putting in. When you can actually get a system that is proven and repeatable and scalable, you can actually start creating more consistent results in your business because you can base it off the numbers and you can basically tweak where it's not working and enhance where it is working and get that sense of a well oiled machine that has more consistent long-term results for you and really helps you to step back from those day to day and focus in on the long game.
5. Knowing the right numbers to be focusing on - Many people get stuck looking at vanity metrics, which are things like how many followers you have on social media or maybe how many likes you got on a photo where these things don't necessarily equate to sales or new clients or new customers. You really want to be looking at numbers that show where things are going well and that are actually going to lead to you making an income. These might be things like conversion percentages on your website. It might be how many calls you're booking with potential clients and the conversion of having a call to having a client work with you. These are actually what are going to give you an indication of where things are working rather than just how many followers you have or how many likes you have on a photo. That's just something to consider as well. Just focusing off the vanity metrics and focusing in more on the numbers that are actually showing you where things are working.
6. Having realistic expectations - I touched on this a little bit earlier, but there are many, many successful entrepreneurs out in the world that all had to start from somewhere. They all started with zero audience and zero skills and zero clients and have had to basically start from scratch, learn as they go and get better and better and better over time. So they weren't expecting six figure launches or making $10,000 a week on their product straight out of the gate. This is something that they've had to evolve over time and get better and better at. So it's not fair for you to compare yourself to these people or anyone that you're seeing on social media who might be making you know, consistently high monthly revenues or is seeming to do extremely well in whatever business that they're running because you're just on different paths and you just don't know what they've got going in the background. You don't know if it's their third or fourth business. You just don't know the full picture. So it's not fair to compare yourself to them and it's not fair to put yourself at that same standard when you're just getting started. You really need to have realistic expectations and be kind and compassionate for yourself. Again, if you bring this back to that analogy of the child, it's not having expectations of when they're going to start crawling or when they're going to start walking or when they're going to start speaking and knowing exactly what word they're going to say for the very first time. We just allow it to happen. We have a bit of a ballpark of what things are going to look like and when they're going to happen, but we don't, you know, put so much emphasis on it that we are completely shattered if it doesn't happen one specific way and the same needs to be true for the results in your business.You need to allow yourself the chance to put something out there to take messy action. And maybe it's not perfect and maybe it doesn't get great results to begin with, but that is all valuable information that helps you to learn, to pivot, to measure things and then to try again. If you never put anything out there in the first place, you're never going to know what works and what doesn't work to be able to get better and better and better over time. It's a constant process of putting things out, reviewing it, measuring it, pivoting, and then trying again. You've just got to try, try again and you will get better. You will learn what's working and what's not working and you'll be able to tweak it and improve it. And the final thing that I wanted to say, which is really more of just a motivation or comment or an inspiration boost for this whole topic, is that if you quit, there is 100% chance that you will not reach your goals. It's just something to think about. You know when you have those days or you're thinking of throwing your hands up in the air and walking away feeling like you're just not cut out for it, then there's a hundred percent chance that you're never going to achieve the goals and the expectations and the results that you've had for yourself if you stick with it.
If you keep learning, if you allow yourself some compassion throughout this journey and to push through those difficult days knowing that there's always something around the corner for you, then there is 100% chance that you can achieve those outcomes and results and expectations. Just wanting to leave you with that one because I think that's an important way to sign off on this whole topic and really encourage you to keep pushing forward with your goals. Keep pushing through those difficult days and reminding yourself that you just never know what tomorrow might bring.