Working with newer online entrepreneurs, marketers, and authors is a source of great joy for me. If not for the people who helped me get my business off the ground in 2006, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be where I am today. While this business is not rocket science, there are many moving pieces and steps that take time setting in place. Here, I’ll share my thoughts on entrepreneurship from an expert perspective.
I had been a teacher for twenty years, yet my life was one filled with lack, regret, and disappointment. After years of living this mediocre lifestyle, I thought I had to succumb to a life that was ineluctable. Or was it? Would it be possible for me to escape after all?
Two of the twenty years I worked as a classroom teacher were spent in Kindergarten. I learned so much from this experience that I continue to benefit from and share. Young children must have a strict schedule, the discipline to work on and achieve the tasks in front of them, and balance their time with work, play, rest, and socialization… just like grownups!
As adults, we often pride ourselves with being able to pick and choose what we will do in our free time; as entrepreneurs, we often rebel against keeping a strict schedule that requires discipline in order for us to stay on track with a routine that seldom changes. I know that was my experience during my first few months working from my home office to get my new online business off the ground and up and running profitably.
The truth is that having a routine each day and adhering to a simple schedule make it almost child’s play to achieve the levels of health, wealth, and prosperity most people only dream of! I’ve become an expert in these areas, and words like “discipline” and “schedule” no longer turn me off.
Focus is Important, No Matter What Goals You Wish to Achieve As an Entrepreneur
Each year I work with a group of up to 20 newer entrepreneurs and online marketers. Each person becomes an extended family member to me, and my goal is to help them increase their visibility, credibility, and profitability during our time together… and beyond. But many times it doesn’t happen because they become distracted and lose their focus for a variety of reasons.
My goal then is to pull them back into the mindset that made them want to have a lucrative online business in the first place. If this occurs, they are wildly successful and many of the people I recommend to you regularly fall into this category. If not, they fade away into oblivion and are not heard from again in the world of online entrepreneurship.
Or, worse yet in my opinion, they linger on Facebook, sharing photos of nature and liking everyone else’s posts and updates. They seem to be living vicariously through others, instead of building their own business and achieving the goals and dreams they had originally set for themselves before they lost their focus and drive to succeed.
What causes this level of distraction in our lives? There are several reasons we lose focus on the goals and dreams we have for our life. In my experience, the primary one is fear. Stan Beecham author of Elite Minds: How Winners Think Differently to Create a Competitive Edge and Maximize Success, says this…
“Fear is your real opponent. If you kill fear, you win. When fear dies, you begin to live. Fear is keeping you from reaching your potential. Conquering fear must be your primary goal in life” ~ Stan Beecham
On Saturday, I started my day with a meditation on the “Balance” app, went on a walk in the foothills where I could see the ocean, and then had a call with one of the people I mentor. She is about to break out in a great way and it’s exciting to be a part of her journey. This particular mentee also became a Rotarian at my urging and invited me to be a guest speaker at her local Rotary Club this past November.
Many of the people I mentor become Rotarians (it’s an international service organization whose primary projects include eradicating polio from the planet and bringing clean drinking water to underdeveloped countries) and when they do I make them a Paul Harris Fellow. This means I donate a thousand dollars in their name that goes towards local and international projects they resonate with and there is a ceremony where they are awarded a pin and a certificate.
Rotary is just one of the service organizations that allow me to make a difference in other people’s lives. Also, my people who embrace volunteering and serving others tend to be the ones who have the most success as entrepreneurs.
As I gazed upon the full moon from my balcony this morning, I thought about the people all over the world who are seeing that same moon. This makes me feel closer to people in distant locations. Our world is much smaller these days, thanks to the ease of travel and the internet.
Are you networking globally as you grow your business? I like to send cards to people, and the joy of picking out the cards, handwriting a short message, addressing the envelope, and dropping it in the mailbox makes me feel closer to people all over the world.
My goal and intention is to become a trusted advisor and resource to you as you navigate the waters of online entrepreneurship, marketing, authorship, and more. An online business has been my hedge against inflation and recession, a way to enjoy the time flexibility and financial freedom that comes from working for yourself, and the chance to create a body of work and an oeuvre as a legacy for those I love.
The Laptop Lifestyle Works… If You Do the Work to Get Everything Moving!
Another issue I’ve been working on with the people I serve, is that of them wanting to live a “laptop lifestyle” before they have earned it.
They begin cutting corners, creating and publishing less content, not creating new products and courses regularly, and basically phoning it in instead of serving in the way I model and recommend.
They wouldn’t be able to do this at a job, but in your own business no one is checking up on you to see what you have accomplished each day. Your spouse and/or other adult family members have no idea what you’re working on, and are hesitant to question your actions.
The truth is that we earn the right and privilege of working just a few hours each day and taking time off. When I started online, I had been used to working 60 to 70 hours each week at my teaching job and also in real estate; I knew I needed to give myself a year to build and grow my new business to the point where I would have more free time and the money to do the things I had dreamed of doing with family and friends.
I was honest with those around me and explained my situation. Sure enough… before the end of my first year I was able to join them for all kinds of events and celebrations, and my income was increasing from my online efforts as well. It was all worth it, and over time the business has continued to grow exponentially and I am able to travel the world and engage in activities I had never imagined existed.
The 80/20 Rule and Principles and Doing the Real Work
Today I’m thinking about why some people seem to glide through life and achieve their goals easily, while others struggle and always feel like they are behind and have to play catch up.
This morning I was once again reading from The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Success by Achieving More with Less by Richard Koch. The 6-page “Philosopher’s Note” on this book is also helpful. If you haven’t already, sign up to get all of these through my link.
A direct quote from this book is so important… “80/20 thinking requires, and with practice enables, us to spot the few really important things that are happening and ignore the mass of unimportant things. It teaches us to see the wood for the trees.”
Thought leader and marketer extraordinaire Seth Godin compares the unimportant things that take our time as the “chores” and says… “While chores might be essential, they may not be important. At least, not important enough for us to spend a lot of focus on.
Chores are repeatable, proven, low risk, and fairly impersonal. The bills have to get paid. But they might not have to be paid by you. Entrepreneurs, artists and freelancers often spend a lot of time on chores. We justify this because outsourcing chores to others costs money, and in this moment, money is tight.
But that’s not the real story. The truth is that if we stop doing chores, we have to do real work instead. The things that aren’t repeatable or proven. The things that are emotionally difficult, creatively challenging or simply requiring exploration and guts to pursue. If we succeed at this work, there will be plenty of money to pay to get the chores done.
Doing chores cheerfully and with skill is a fine hobby. But it might not be what you need to do right now.”
This leads me to accountability. I no longer pair up my mentees with an accountability partner. Why? It doesn’t work. This tends to become time spent in complaining, enabling, and justifying why you aren’t doing the work instead of using that time to actually DO the work. Some things to think about here.
I’m Connie Ragen Green – bestselling USA Today and Wall Street Journal author, online entrepreneur, and marketing strategist – working closely with newer entrepreneurs, marketers, and authors to help them achieve their goals and dreams in record time. Let’s connect and see where we can go, shall we?