Do You Have the Support You Need to Build Your Business?

I remember when I first decided I wanted to build a business online.  I signed up for every free webinar under the sun and would even implement the one or 2 nuggets that I had gotten from the speaker on the webinar…for a couple of weeks.  When I didn’t see any real results I would be on to the next webinar and repeat the process.  Needless to say this was not really a business strategy. 

Next, I decided to take things up a notch and I started signing up for all these great programs that were being pitched on the webinars.  Typically they were the standard 4-10 module course for somewhere between $497 – $1997 and I would basically do the same thing as before.  Most of these programs had limited support, maybe a Facebook group and some sort of large group call with hundreds of people on it.  I learned some great stuff but really there were no support structures in place to hold me accountable and help me to follow through.

Since I am a bit on the ADD end of the spectrum, I would jump in headfirst and implement like crazy, for a little while.  But then you know the story.  The results didn’t come as quick as the guru had promised and I was off to the next program that promised “Just do THIS and you’ll have a thriving business.” 

Now don’t get me wrong, I learned a TON of amazing stuff, and even had some minor successes along the way, but what I didn’t have was a plan or any accountability.  I was also under the mistaken impression that this whole entrepreneurial journey was going to be a straight line, however slow, where all I needed to do was keep growing and I would become successful.  What I have come to learn is that success is not a straight line.  There are plenty of ups, downs, and sideways.  Sometimes these can knock us out of the game before we even get started.

I love the following image from growmap.

This is based on what Seth Godin coined as “The Dip”.  Lots of people start out the entrepreneurial journey with a fair amount of optimism and hopefully even some success.  This does not typically grow in a straight line however, and the vast majority of people that quit or constantly change direction and do new things in their business usually do it in “the dip”, which is really the worst place to stop.

the dip

This tends to lead people into either pessimism about whether they should even try or what I like to call “Bright Shiny Object” syndrome.  During the first part of the above graph, no matter what new thing you try, you always hope this is going to be the thing that finally works for you.  You get excited, start to implement the tip (usually completely on your own) and then you hit “The Dip”.  This is where almost everyone quits, but in reality, this is where the real work begins.

This is where it is critical to have some support structure in place for your business.  During the dip is where we self-sabotage ourselves and let our mindset take us out of the game before it really starts.  This is when we we start searching for the next bright shiny object.  This is also where many large information based training programs fail us.  Most of these programs will work for some people no matter how weak the support, and the same is true on the other end of the spectrum.  Some people won’t succeed no matter how good the support (typically due to some major mindset issues).  The vast majority of people in the middle could be successful given the proper supports.

In a recent webinar I was on with Danny Iny from Mirasee, he spoke extensively about this and why the traditional model of “info product” type courses are becoming less valuable over time.

success curve

Danny proposes that the future of online courses are more in the education based model, where there are proper support structures in place to help the vast majority of participants succeed.  This is bad news for “info marketers” that want to just throw some videos online and rake in the money, but it is good news for anyone that wants to actually help their students and clients succeed.

So what does this have to do with building YOUR business?  Simple, without a proper support structure, everything you do in business will be much more difficult.  When you are first starting out this can be a challenge since hiring a 1:1 business coach can be a very expensive endeavor.  It can also be very worth it, but I know for me at the beginning of my journey, I could not justify this expense. 

Starting out, this can just be a small group of your peers that have decided to work together to figure some things out and more importantly, hold each other accountable to their goals and dreams.  I know for me, every winter around this time, I would sink into a major funk and get stuck there for weeks, sometimes months on end.  While I sometimes still struggle at this time of year, I have put in some extra support structures to make sure I don’t stay there.  I make sure to exercise and meditate on a daily basis.  I have a business accountability partner that I check in with on a regular basis and I meet at least weekly with a small group of peers so I don’t feel like I’m “on my own”.

To me, this is one of the biggest traps of trying to build your own business.  It’s easy to get caught up in going to endless webinars and free trainings, perpetually scrolling through Facebook and comparing yourself to other “successful” coaches and searching for that next bright shiny object.  Some people even would say that they are spending this time “building their business,” although I would question that.  This isn’t to say that we don’t all need to do some of this sort of thing, especially when we are very early in the stages of building our business, just that we should fool ourselves into thinking that spending a week reading Facebook posts and attending free webinars is going to miraculously fill our calendar with clients.  For that, we need a marketing plan, and then we need to execute the plan, with some support in place to keep us on track.

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