As we are living in an age of instant gratification, one of the biggest challenges new entrepreneurs face is planning for the long haul. Most new business owners (especially the case in online business) struggle to keep their motivation when they don’t start to see instant results from their actions.
I can personally say that I fell victim to this within two whole weeks of starting my business and there are days where it’s hard to put in the focus needed just to keep it going. I started my business in such a way that it’s intent is to stretch out into multiple platforms, and that has caused my focus to be spread very thin over several avenues. Simultaneously, I started this blog, a YouTube channel, became an affiliate marketer, and I’m sourcing my first product to sell on amazon through their FBA (fulfillment by amazon). In doing so to try and promote all of it, I started a Facebook group, twitter, and instagram and I’m dabbling in social media marketing. Trying to juggle all of those while also working my full-time job makes it a struggle to do any of them effectively. And so, I’m going to lay out my 5 tips that I think helps you to focus on the long-term game plan to keep your motivation and to continue to grow your online business.
1.) Set a realistic timeline from the get go. You simply won’t find success overnight, and everything you do isn’t going to produce an instant result. Instead, understand that every blog post, video, tweet or Facebook post might reach only a small handful of people right now, and that isn’t going to pay the bills. But as you continue to improve your content and your skills, you should start to see a more consistent following of your works. This is important as you’ll need that group in the future for product launches or the ability to increase your CTR( click-through rate) when you add any affiliate links.
2.) Use a calendar to plan out an entire month. I personally feel as though this is crucial to success long-term. If you’re simply just logging on to you computer each night with no real direction, then you’ll make no real progress. When you take the time to carve out time for social media marketing, getting that next post out, editing time for your video etc… then you give yourself the opportunity to stay on track. You’ll notice in time from promoting your content that you’ll gain a follower here, a subscriber there, and slowly over time, those minutes you spent on each block of time will all mean something. And time is your most precious asset, don’t waste it.
3.) Sit down and set your GOALS. Being in a leadership role most of my life, it always surprised me how often I would find that most people don’t set goals for themselves. Like, at all. Without a set of goals, you can’t really measure your success. As you sit down to write out your goals you need to make sure that hit 3 timeline categories. Short term, mid range and long-term goals. Long term goals such as buying a new house, earning enough to buy a Ferrari and moving to a private island are great, however it just isn’t going to happen in your first year. Instead, build up some short-term goals to attain that week. Maybe it’s to gain your first 20 organic twitter followers, maybe it’s to publish 4 new posts in two weeks. When you set those attainable goals, you get to feel the sense of accomplishment when you hit them. Your short term goals should also have a lasting impact that allows you to hit the mid-term and long term goals as well. Use them as the steps to achieving more in your business.
4.) Put some skin in the game. A lot of those out there looking to start an online business typically start by asking the question “how much do I need to put in to start?” or “can I start my new business with $0.00?” Well the answer is yes you can, and you don’t need much. However, when you don’t invest any money, you typically don’t invest as much emotionally. If you’re truly going to find success in this field, you need to put some skin in the game. Invest in your business in both time and money and you’ll start to feel that the commitment continues to grow in a way that you don’t want to quit.
5.) Surround yourself with self-created structure. When you work your standard job, you really don’t have to hold yourself accountable. If you don’t show up to work on time, they’ll most likely simply fire you or you just won’t get paid. However, there is no immediate consequence when you don’t show up to type that post or record the video because there isn’t a “boss” there to hold you accountable. Instead, you have to develop a strong sense of self accountability. The only one that is going to keep you going is yourself. Even those around you won’t at first see what you’re doing as a real business, and they won’t believe you when you say you can’t do something because you’re “working”. Brush it off knowing that those immediate sacrifices will pay dividends in the end.