2018 is staring you in the face, if not here already. I don't do the new year, new resolution thing because my anxiety-riddled self doesn't need the pressure of not hitting my self-imposed goals. And I can bet as we speed toward the new year, super-successful small business owners are not focusing on resolutions but something else entirely.
It’s not experience.
It’s not extraordinary skills.
It’s not even a powerful drive.
Although all of these things can definitely help your business grow, you don't need it for success. After all, no one is born with experience or skills, and plenty of successful people lack drive. With all of the courses out there, anyone can learn anything they want to learn.
Business owners are focusing more on their "why."
Why did you decide to become an online business owner?
Why do you spend too many hours in front of your computer every week?
Why do you stay up too late and get up too early, just so you can work on growing your business?
The “why” is what ultimately drives us to success, but here’s the thing: it’s different for everyone. Your why is not my why, and my why is not your why. It’s a deeply personal choice that can have great meaning…or not.
My why is my family, especially my three boys. As a single mom, I run my business not only for the income but for the work ethic I am showing my boys. My hours are precious and I want to have a way to earn an extra income and spend time with them. I want them to see a woman who owns her own business and enjoys what she does.
I went through a rough patch this summer. After ten years of providing virtual services to online entrepreneurs, I just wasn't feeling it anymore. I was spending my weekends and late nights working my business, doing client work. The further I got away from my why, the more my business suffered.
One weekend, I turned off my computer. I turned off my phone. I had to find my quiet place without any distraction. I felt so unbalanced. It was time to tip the scales so they were even again.
When I emerged from that alone time, I knew what needed to be done and I did it. I stopped taking on client work and focused solely on teaching and writing. By doing that, I got my time back. And my boys appreciated it.
So what’s your big “why”? It might be the freedom to travel, the option to spend time with your family, the ability to take weeks off at a time to care for a sick family member, or even to earn enough money to support a charity that’s close to your heart.
Whatever it is, your “why” is the driving force behind every action you take. When you’re deciding whether or not to take on a new client, ask yourself if it’s aligned with your “why.” When you’re setting goals for the year, ask yourself if those goals are moving you closer or further from your big why.
Here's to a successful new year. And feel free to share your why - I'd love to hear it!