I run a home based business and yesterday afternoon I went up to my bedroom to put something away and discovered that I’d left my bed unmade when I’d risen at 5:30am. I reached over the mattress to pull up the covers and found myself crawling, fully clothed between the flannel sheets. I pulled my blankets up over my nose which left my eyes peaking out and my brain running at full speed.
‘How will I find the funds to send my oldest to college in September and what about the braces my youngest needs? My dad, who lives 2000 miles away has just been admitted to the hospital for unknown reasons and the distance between us has never felt more immense. The economy is taking a toll on my business and the idea of just staying under the covers seems like the only solution.’
However, as I laid there I realized that at some point I’d need to get up. The challenges I faced before I pulled up the covers would still be there crying out for attention. I needed to take action, but how? One baby step at a time.
You’ve heard the old joke: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
The same philosophy works for facing a challenge; like surviving the next 12 months. Economists theorize that Q1 09 will be tough and Q2 may be as tough but by the second half of the year we should start to see a slow movement towards improvement. Just like the extra weight we carry didn’t happen over night, neither did the economic crisis. And we can’t expect to wake up and suddenly be a size 6 without some effort.
So here’s how I see it: we just need to make it eleven more months. Are you with me? We just need to hang in there. So how are we going to do that?
Take action one baby step at a time.
- Categorize the income producing projects you have on your plate into those that are most likely to bring you steady income the quickest.
- Write down a laundry list of everything you need to do to make them happen.
- Prioritize the laundry list.
- Make a list of those people you know who might be considered centers of influence (check out Bill Cates’ definition).
- Add to your calendar a schedule of contacting those people and letting them know you are available for work.
- Contact prior customers to see if they need additional services or if they can make a recommendation.
- Review your products and services and break them down into two categories: big money makers that take a while to close and small income producers that are quicker to sell.
- Consider adopting a strategy of selling 100 services/products at a smaller dollar amount than your prior focus of selling 10 really big projects.
Now get started! Start each day:
- Review your laundry list of items that need to be done to drive traffic: do ONE thing.
- Review your list of centers of influence: call ONE person.
- Review your list of past customers for additional revenue or a referral: call ONE customer.
- Review your listing of small, quick selling products and services: call ONE person who might be interested.
If after doing those four things you still feel like you need to pull the covers over your head. . . TAKE A WALK.
Real Age has an article about crushing your chocolate cravings by taking a walk. The same thought can be applied to feeling low or stuck in a rut. Get out and breathe in the fresh air. It’s not only good for your heart, but also for your spirit.
Pulling the covers over your head may seem like a solution but it is really just a delaying tactic. We need to stand up and take action.
“Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up.” Anne Lamott
Check out Todd Carpenter’s story of using the “one bite at a time” theory for his personal success.
About the Author: Deborah Chaddock Brown opened her freelance writing business AllWrite Ink in 2004 after almost 17 years with the International retail optical corporation, Pearle Vision. Deborah’s background is in franchising, operations, marketing and communication, however, her passion is helping businesses connect with their target audience using the Internet. Deborah blogs at Websites People Read.