Imagine you are hearing this article as a question and answer session...Just listen in:
Q: My current company is my original brand. I have invested a lot of time/money/energy promoting this brand and it is doing fairly well. It is 100% of my income and I am spending around 75% of my time supporting and maintaining it (that is a 12-16 hour day/6-7 days a week). And the income is not enough to support this business and my personal expenses 100%. That is why I am still trying to build this business.
A: I can imagine this...Hours wise, I'm right there with you, too. Running your own small business is WAY more than a full-time job, at least frm my experience. Also, you have invested a great deal in your brand and what you offer. Recognizing that right now, this is where your income is coming from is important, as is knowing that you have to have to generate more income in order to live (and eventually not work this many hours because you're hiring others to help you).
Q: Because of people like you who have been successful taking their businesses on-line through teleseminars/webinars, mentoring groups, ebooks, etc. I am on this fast track of repurposing my knowledge. I designed a new business venture that requires a lot of my attention and time. It does not earn any money but sucks money daily. I want to develop this new business which will generate income and my plan is for this entity to become the 75% and the other (my current business) 25%.
A: This new venture is something you have been working on for the least few months. It sounds like you are really ramping up to get this in front of many folks - and to generate significant income for yourself. Having the goal in mind is the first step, and next is strategizing ways to get it there....
Q: I am torn between paying the bills, getting new customers, keeping my existing customers happy and devoting my time to this new venture. I am torn between the multiple personalities and their needs. How can I make this transition without jeopardizing my current business? How can I keep everyone happy (personalities and customers) without killing myself?
A: If only I had simple answers...which I don't, but I'll try to give you some thoughts on this.
- Start to allocate your day to the different parts of your business. Set a timer and when 4 hours is up (or whatever time you've determined) then stop working on that part of the business and switch to the other.
- Figure out what parts you can delegate out to others. It's amazing how inexpensively you can get someone to help you. Make a list of every single thing (personal and professional) that you need to accomplish. Then begin to think realistically if you are the ONLY person who can do that thing. If not, start to consider the alternatives.
- Realize that you will never keep everyone happy. If you can let that go, it helps. The main person you need to keep happy is yourself. If you are unhappy, stressed out of your head, and you've made yourself sick by working and worrying too much, then no one is helped or happy about that. Can you make yourself a priority?
- Figure out which of your customers are profitable and which ones aren't. There are some low-level customers that you may need to let go/refer out/etc. You only have so much time and some of your clients are carrying their weight as far as paying you for your expertise and experience. Have you run an assessment to see who is 'worth it' as far as your time goes and who isn't?
The most important thing I want to reiterate is to make yourself the priority and then line up the others after that. Remember, you have an enormous service to offer people and you will attract those who belong to you with your energy and positive sense of yourself and your business.
This exchange came through a Life of E's blog posting - and feel free to access it another other ideas for moving your small business forward: http://www.meggin.com/lifeofes/wordpress/.
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(c) 2009 by Meggin McIntosh, Ph.D., "The Ph.D. of Productivity"(tm)