After running three home based businesses, one of the most important lessons I have learned is that you must have some level of positive self esteem in order to succeed. Without it, we run the risk of self-sabotage, which kills any business. It is particularly destructive for home based businesses, simply because if we are sabotaging our only employee, how will the show go on?!
Then again, it also extremely important to know how you define success. If success is simply grocery money and a lot of time with your kids, or if you are building the next fortune 500 empire, you need to have benchmarks in place in order to know if you are on the right track. Otherwise, you may continue to work every day, never feeling like you are getting anywhere, because you don’t have any references in place for what success is.
No matter what your business goals are, here are the top ten key success ingredients for home based businesses, or any small business, for that matter!
1. Focus on What you Want, not What you Don’t Want.
The first and most important rule of all. You will always, always get what you focus on. You don’t want a failing business, a lack of customers, or an unsatisfying work at home career. So don’t dwell on it. This can be especially challenging if your business is not where you want it to be. If that is the case, work on asking yourself better questions. For example, instead of saying, “Why is my revenue down?” ask yourself “Why am I so grateful to have this opportunity to pursue my dreams, and what resources do I have now that could lead to future growth?”
2. Master Frustration.
This is the one that brings a groan out of most people—and the most un-sexy and un-fun item on the list. Yet it is one of the most crucial to your success. Many small business entrepreneurs start their own company with the hope that it will alleviate some pain in their lives. It will, but it will also create new sources of pain. The key is to take every problem and think of it instead as a ‘challenge’, or as ‘an invitation to grow’.
3. Master Boredom.
Let’s face it. A high percentage of entrepreneurs are what could be considered add. The reasons for this are plentiful - individuals with add are visionaries, ones who are constantly coming up with new and brilliant ideas, and people with a tremendous ability to think creatively. They are also people who hate boredom. We will always do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. And if entrepreneurs avoid critical tasks simply because they are boring, they leave themselves open to self-sabotage and will leave many projects incomplete.
4. Search your soul to find a business that you will be passionate about.
There are many resources out there to help you to identify “what you want to be when you grow up”. The reason this is so important is that running your own business will be boring and downright frustrating at times. In order to push yourself through these challenges, having a higher purpose to your work will be the biggest motivator to get past the bad times. Here are some of my favorite resources for identifying and pursuing your dreams:
Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type by Paul D. Tieger
Totally Fulfilled: More Money, More Freedom, More Smiles, Less Stress by Dean Graziosi
What to Do with The Rest of Your Life: America’s Top Career Coach Shows You How to Find or Create the Job You’ll LOVE by Robin Ryan
The Attractor Factor: 5 Easy Steps for Creating Wealth (or Anything Else) from the Inside Out by Joe Vitale
I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It by Barbara Sher
5. Make every business decision with the following question in mind “How will this add value to my customers’ business or life?”
I don’t know how much explanation this one requires. We can’t expect something for nothing. What goes around, comes around. We are put on this planet for a higher purpose and in the end, to help our fellow human-kind. Not only is this an ingredient that will assure financial success, it will also assure that your business will offer you something that every person craves: fulfillment. By making contribution a guiding value of your business, you will be rewarded financially, emotionally AND spiritually.
6. Create a business identity based on your ultimate outcome, rather than identifying yourself and your business by where you are today.
Sometimes we create lofty goals for ourselves, yet find it difficult to understand how the heck we could get there from here. Usually, people will adjust their goals to something more reachable - which is sometimes the most appropriate action to take if your goal is very far from where you are today. At the same time, it is important to keep your dreams big. It will enable you to stretch farther than you otherwise would have done.
It’s important to take some time to truly identify what your ultimate outcome is. If your business was everything you wanted, what would it be like, specifically? Write it down! The reason this is a critical step is because once you have your ultimate outcome defined, it will be much easier for you to identify with yourself and your business as a success.
By doing this, you can then work backwards to determine the steps you need to take to get from here to there:
- What are the values I have to hold in order to get to my ultimate outcome?
- What are the beliefs I have had to adopt along the way to get me there?
- What do I have to let go of in order to succeed?
- What are my daily musts? Must-nots?
- What are the milestones I must meet to break down my work into manageable chunks?
7. Be vigilant about removing limiting beliefs from your mind.
Limiting beliefs can bring your business to the ground - trust me on this, it has happened to me. If you have a fear of rejection, or low self esteem, or a lack of focus, these traits will be magnified when you work for yourself and there is no boss to hold you accountable. If you are afraid to ask for a fair rate for your work, guess what? Your clients will pick up on that and very likely either under-pay you, or find someone who believes in the value of their work. An investment in programs to empower you and contribute to your personal growth are the best investment you can make in your business if you find limiting patterns and beliefs getting in the way of your success.
8. Be vigilant about establishing empowering beliefs in your mind.
The second part of the previous ingredient :: you can work extensively to rid yourself of old patterns and limiting beliefs, but if you don’t replace them with new, empowering patterns and beliefs, you will eventually go back to old ways. Old ways of thinking can feel like a soft blanket of comfort sometimes, even when they aren’t serving your highest good. And new empowering beliefs can feel really strange and uncomfortable as well - but it’s worth it to practice. A lot.
9. Create a variety of income sources.
No business or person should keep all their eggs in one basket. This is the same for any home based business. If you are a coach, consider creating some workbooks or products around your area of expertise. If you sell clothing for children, create a newsletter for your customers and introduce them to other products that would be of interest to them, ones which will pay you a commission for the referral. If you are a Mary Kay consultant, you could also create an image consulting business, helping women to pull together a new look after a midlife crisis or perhaps after losing a large amount of weight.
10. Ask for help and for advice from mentors and coaches.
Every industry has its own specific ingredients for success. Success is like a recipe. If you think like a success, act like a success, and believe you are successful, you can only become what you are focusing on and believe. In order to become successful in your chosen field, it is important to study the people who are already successful, especially if you don’t have a lot of personal references as to what that would be like. The more you understand what it takes to be successful from the people that are already successful, the more you will be able to do the right things to succeed on your own.