- Melissa Houston is an entrepreneur and business financial coach.
- During the pandemic, Houston says she’s found seven different things to do that have helped her stay motivated to grow her career.
- Reach out to clients to let them know you’re thinking of them, connect with someone you admire and ask for their mentorship, and use any setbacks as lessons for where your business needs improvement.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
I know the past few months have been tough for many entrepreneurs. Revenue targets are falling short, and you might be second-guessing the value you’re bringing to the table. These are normal feelings that many of us entrepreneurs have right now.
I love to see results. I’m a numbers person by nature, but I don’t just stop there. I also see value in intangible ways, and I’ve put together a list of valuable tips to share with you to increase your motivation during this time.
1. Show up for the people who are showing up for you.
Not everyone will show up to hear your message in a visible way, and sometimes you may feel you’re speaking to crickets. But that isn’t so.
I can’t tell you how many times, in the past few months, I have heard from clients saying how much they appreciate the free content I’ve been putting out there, and it shocks me, because I had no idea anyone was listening. These are your people, and they are listening, and you need to show up for them. They are there for you now, and maybe they are not paying clients yet, but they hold so much value other than dollar signs. They are the fans who will talk about you and share your content, and you have no idea how far that can reach.
When we reach our new normal, they will be there for you too. Reach out and talk to them. Build relationships.
2. Remember that “no” means “not right now.”
There is no such thing as a permanent no. Just because you’ve submitted an idea, a sales pitch or requested a meeting, a “no” can have so many different reasons behind it, and it’s likely not personal.
It is human nature to recoil and withdraw when we hear “no” because it is associated with rejection. But “no” can have so many varying reasons. It could mean “that’s not quite what we’re looking for,” “it’s bad timing,” “I have too many personal objections to deal with before I commit” and the list goes on.
I have learned in these short months that “no” means reposition. I believe that I have a lot to offer the world, and I’m going to continue to offer it. In every “no,” there is simply a lesson in repositioning your offer.
3. Be positive.
Positivity attracts opportunities, and negativity repels. I used to be somewhat of a negative person, but I always justified it by saying I was a “realist.” Not so. I was just negative.
But on my journey of late, I have been so lucky to have come back to me by getting in touch with the real me, and that me is a very positive person who sees the positive life lessons in what most people would view as truly crappy situations. We can only control our reactions to life events and people, and by choosing to respond with positivity and looking for an opportunity in the situation, I feel so much happier.
4. Seek a mentor.
Through my insatiable appetite for learning and personal growth, wanting to absorb any lesson I could find, I found a mentor that I could relate to. She has reached the level I want to reach. I look to her for guidance and learning, and value the lessons she has taught me. She is value-based and truly cares about the clients she serves, and got to where she is by staying true to her values. I truly admire her for that and strive to build my business based on my similar values.
5. Constantly look for ways to improve.
None of us were not born experts — we build on our knowledge through experience and mistakes. In fact, the best lessons are often in error. So, don’t be afraid to try new things. Whether it be in your processes or procedures, your knowledge and skills, sales pitch, or whatever you choose, there is always a way to improve upon an offer, skill, personal growth, or anything. What worked in one situation may not work now. Be flexible and resilient, and move with the times.
6. Do not compare yourself to others.
I’ll confess, I found myself comparing my business to someone else’s in a group I’m partaking in. I was drawn into their words of “this pandemic is the best thing that’s ever happened to my business.” I’ve heard that several times.
“It will happen when it’s supposed to happen and all I can do is my best.” That’s my mantra. And it’s true, because there is no business out there exactly the same as mine, so to compare is pointless. All I can do is stay in my lane, stay focused and show up consistently.
7. Most importantly, do not quit.
Remember, some of the most successful businesses were born from a recession. You are offering value in your own unique way, and the world needs that. The worse thing you can do is quit. Believe in yourself and your offer. You’ve got this!
The bottom line is, there are many things out of our control right now, but what is within our control is how we react to current market conditions. Take this time we have now to nurture the clients you have, to create new relationships, and to better yourselves and your systems. The rest will follow.