Growing Your Business Is A Bit Like Parenting

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Today was another day marked by lengthy conversation and self-recrimination. The business meeting/ prayer session was more prayer than business and more "What ifs" than "Guess whats." Things moved more quickly when we started to think like a parent.

When you are promoting a business, website, and a book you must learn to expect lengthy delays, tons of indecision, and a marked lack of success by most people's standards.

The tiny successes seem monumental and the "well it's better than nothing" statement uttered frequently begins to ring true.

When the hits on the site rise slightly, we start to think, "success is relative." This is a concept we teach to parents. Why shouldn't it be used in business as well? Our job is to help parents celebrate and appreciate those tiny steps and minute achievements. It is a big step toward successful parenting. During training we tell parents to be thankful for those small successes because they offer hope. When we manage to keep a teen off drugs for one day we are joyful. Having a child finally hang up his jacket after daily reminders and no follow through on his part is reason for hope. I believe the same must hold true for business progress. We remind ourselves of this important attitude.

Something outstanding happens that moves you closer to your goal, not the big something, but an event that is worthy of notice. It restores your confidence that yes you are in the right track. When that favorable response or mild praise becomes a mantra to keep us going, we know that it is just a matter of time.

If hard work were all it took to be rich and famous, many would reach their goal. Unfortunately it seems to be a combination of stamina, fearless ingenuity, resourcefulness and a determination I call stick-to-it-ive-ness along with hard work.

We preach the need for consistency if parents wish to raise kids that become functional adults. The same is true of your infant business. You must 'parent' it using a strategy of love, discipline and consistency. If you don't really like what you do, and have a passion for it, failure will result. You need discipline to run a business on a daily basis and sacrifice a lot of life to move it from embryo to toddler. But most of all you need consistency. If a newsletter is to arrive weekly, you better produce it. A daily feature must be done every single day, not just the days you feel like it.

When a parent is new, he must develop the trait of patience. This one is tough folks since we live in a way-too-immediately- gratifying world. We want it and we want it now. But, business doesn't work that way. It takes a long time to become 'an overnight success.' Expecting immediate success on the Internet is silly when you stop to think about how many companies are competing for a person' s attention and his money. We need patience.

A good parent requires respect; a great parent earns it. Just having a great product or service doesn't immediately spell fame and fortune. You need the respect of your customer. When a customer recognizes the fact that you are going to be there time after time and you are not a 'fly by night' company he views you with respect. Your integrity is obvious in how you do business. He feels confident in your company.

Fame and fortune may be just around the corner or possibly a year away. It will only be yours after persistence pays off. We won't win our share of the American dram without hard work, but we also need patience. Earn your customer's respect by giving good service and doing the little extras that set you apart from you competition. Give them convenience in ordering and a guarantee. Bring back the customer is always right concept ad you will earn respect. Reliability is an important trait when parenting and it is one way to assure you get your piece of the pie. Hoe big piece depends on consistency and the ability to look at each success as important even though this isn't the 'big one.'

I'm not telling you I made $100,000 last year because I didn't. I won't say that if you follow my advice you will never need to work again. I'm only saying that success does still come to those who try and work hard and possess that rare ability to never give up. You need to be hopeful and believe in yourself. If you can't do that, you have already failed.

Credits: Jo Ann Wentzel

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