Something will turn up

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The business week blog has some good advice on how to face fear when you’re an entrepreneur.  Running a small business can be really stressful, lonely and filled with obstacles.  I particularly like item 2:

2. Turn to someone you trust who is conservative and practical. Get their perspective—their reality check—and consider talking through your numbers or your books with them. There is no sense in letting fear run you around in circles or in getting depressed because you don’t know what to do. Sometimes a fresh take from a pragmatic ally can send you in a better direction.

What a great idea.  Often entrepreneurs are so busy being positive that they fall into the trap of believing that this is the only way to be.  Talking to my friends who also run small businesses sometimes makes me feel worried.  Everyone seems to have a Marvellous Time With Lots Of Clients.  However, when I talk to them in more detail, they often ‘embroider’ the truth a little so that others won’t notice that there are quiet times in every business.  So here’s a few of the things I do when I’m ‘between jobs’ (as they say in the movies)

  1. Don’t worry that the invoice you’ve just submitted will be your last one. 
  2. Continue to network.  Connections made now, could bear fruit in several months time
  3. Don’t network just with the aim of finding new business.  Often great connections refer you onwards
  4. If the customer doesn’t have the budget for your proposal, He often doesn’t have the budget.  Ask the appropriate questions up front to save your feeling that you’re being rejected.
  5. Call a friend.  Often they can talk you through the difficult patches and soothe your anxiety
  6. Use the quiet time in your calendar to do some admin, learning, research or networking.  Don’t dwell on the quiet times
  7. Work on your online presence.  Update LinkedIn, Facebook and your blog
  8. Extend your circle of events.  Go to a new networking event – one you’re not familiar with.  Your next client could be there
  9. Update your business plan.  Go on, be honest.  This should be a living document!
  10. Shut down the PC at a reasonable hour. Don’t burn out.  Enjoy the downtime for a while and use the free time to do some thinking and planning

 

A little lull in business allows you to regroup and plan your strategy.  It’s not the end of the world.  Something will turn up from the most unexpected place.  Stop worrying about it…

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4 thoughts on “Something will turn up

  1. karenq

    Hi Eileen
    Great article. I know that you were specifically referring to when you’re in between jobs, but i read once (in something like Zest I think) that the best time to do your CV is when you’re happy in a role – it’s actually quite fun then, unlike when you’re relying on it and aren’t feeling on top form. Hopefully that would take some pressure off of the ‘in between’ time too…
    have a great weekend
    Karen

    1. eileenb Post author

      Karen,
      You are so right. Get your LinkedIn profile updated ‘before’ you need it, maintain the connections before you need them. How often have you had a call from someone who you havent’ heard from for ages, who wants to sound you out about a job or opportunity. Keeping the contacts alive will bear much more fruit than trying to reinvigorate long dead connections!
      Thanks for the commnent – and have a great weekend too🙂

  2. James O'Neill

    For years I’ve said to people going into business, get a good accountant who acts as a small business advisor. The reason is they are – as your quote puts it – someone you can trust who is conservative and practical and you can talk your numbers through with them. The quote (and your follow up) are all good advice. If you think “I don’t have such an ally” think about your accountant

    1. eileenb Post author

      James,
      Wise words as always. It’s always better to let an external dispasionate person view things from their point of view. So often we get so involved emotionally its hard to take a step back. Hopefully this advice works for folks in the workplace – as well as for entrepeneurs.
      Thanks for the comment🙂

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