Getting Started Takes Time
by Wendy Priesnitz

Q: I have been operating a home-based business a little over a year. Things are going pretty well, but I am frustrated and, if the truth be told, a little depressed. I'd expected to be a lot further along (ie. making more money!) by now. I didn't realize it would take so long to develop my market. Is this normal, or should I be thinking of packing it in?

A: Sounds to me like you're a pretty normal entrepreneur! Many small businesses develop more slowly than their owners' overly optimistic business plans promised.

Now would be a good time to revisit your plan. Examine your original projections and see where your projections fell short. Perhaps they were just plain unrealistic. Or maybe its time to adjust your target market, or spice up your marketing plan based on a years worth of experience with that market.

If your cash flow is unhealthy and revenue is a lot below where it should be, get some professional help fast in order to get your business on track. If your business plan is basically sound, you probably just need an attitude adjustment. If, like many entrepreneurs, patience is not one of your virtues, now is a good time to cultivate it.

Running a business is a journey rather than a destination. So learn to enjoy the trip! Savor the small successes, even though you're not yet as successful as you'd like to be. Celebrate each time you sign on a new client. Or take a few minutes to congratulate yourself each time a customer thanks you for exceptional service.

The small setbacks are more difficult to enjoy than the successes. But nobody said running your own business would be easy. So try to think of the problems as challenges or better yet, as opportunities. Appreciate the chance to learn something from your mistakes. Use the inevitable slow times to rest, rejuvenate and learn about your business.

And keep in mind the old adage that its your choice as to whether you perceive your glass to be half empty or half full.


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