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Today I want to talk to not just bloggers but any woman who is running her own business. In my own personal journey and talking with other business owners we have and still experience these things that can destroy your business.
Two years ago I was a Journalism graduate doing a couple articles for some local newspapers and submitting articles to companies online. I applied to over 20 places and got interviews for them all. Some made offers and some didn’t. It was an emotional rollercoaster.
I couldn’t stay freelance writing. The schedule was unpredictable, the pay was pitiful but the hope of catching my big break as a reporter rang strong.
Then fast forward a year later I gave birth to two girls in two years. My career goal swung so far up to the treetop I had no idea if it was going to ever come back down.
Until I started my own business.
While I was on my search of staying home with our first child- contemplating what to do with my life- struggling to leave my first born without having any family around to help take care of her, terrified of a daycare, I felt lost.
The book The Me I Want to Be, by John Ortberg- helped me so much in my struggle of feeling like I graduated with this degree and all I was doing with it was changing diapers, letting a precious little one suck me dry of all my energy and trying to figure out this different change in my relationship with my husband.
If you are a parent- you know. The first one is traumatizing especially when you are young and not sure what you are supposed to do with your life.
Control. It’s hard to let control go- I had to. Through the first four years of staying home after graduating from college and having two babies we did something pretty spectacular.
We paid off our debt– except for our mortgage. Student Loans, car loans, credit cards.
Couponing become a way of life for me and I started to feel purpose.
I started this little ol blog – Batavia’s Best Bargains.
It opened the door. For real opportunities.
I started to take what I was learning and decided to share it with others. The intent was to make just a tiny little bit of cash. It took me months before I even got $20.
It took my two years before I started making $100 a month.
It took God breaking me a bit more- it took learning and losing.
Two and a half years later I’m running two blogs. One I started two years ago and this one. I work part-time on these blogs for the most part and make a decent part-time income.
Like any business owner, you put more hours in you make more money- so you hope.
For a career and success, I NEVER pictured what was already planned. Because I believe that I was created- I believe God already knew my deepest desires and they are always better than anything I envisioned myself.
Blogging is hard work. Much like motherhood. It’s always changing. There is always something to learn. I don’t think you will ever have it figured out perfectly and it can take days, weeks, even years before you see any reward.
Now you can replace the word blogging with any type of business you are running yourself.
When you are a mother and you are running your own business it’s hard work. You have to want to give your all and expect nothing in return.
But wait? Isn’t that why I started my own business you may be saying? To get a profit.
As a woman who has a crazy amount of drive and determination I keep seeing in my own business walk, and many of my other friends four things that if we fall into the trap- our businesses will fail.
Notice I said our businesses. Not us. Not You.
See our business can be taken all away if we let it. If you are following your calling, a path you know you are supposed to be on, stick with it. Someone greater is behind you ready to guide you along.
Here are the 4 Things That Will Destroy Your Business- If You Let It
Comparison is such a sneaky snake word isn’t? I start to just tense up and get my game face on when I hear it. First things first. If you are running your own business you CAN NOT COMPARE. It’s pretty amazing that we live in a world where we can make money off blogs when you think about. And some are making insane amounts like $100,000 a MONTH. (before taxes remember). We have so many options for direct home sales approach as well. With so many options there is so much comparision.
This will destroy your business.
Here’s my personal testimony with this.
I started my little coupon blog with wanting to share my awesome deals because I couldn’t beleive I was getting stuff this cheap but I also wanted to write. Writing is what I truly love. It is my passion. I had no blogging background and I looked to other local bloggers. I started to try to do what they were doing.
It wasn’t working.
The thing is each and everyone of us has something in common but that thing we have in common looks different on each person. Their readers were not the same as mine. I also was watching blogs that didn’t have large followings. Blogs that the growth was stagnant. That wasn’t my goal. My goal was to grow and grow and grow.
By me watching these blogs that didn’t have the same goal as me- I got completely distracted. It put me right where the enemy wanted me. His strategy is to attack against our confidence. Looking to someone else and doing what they do and not getting the results I want- lowers your confidence.
That blog I was looking to- they didn’t want to grow. They didn’t want to try to reach more people. Everything they were doing was good for them.
It’s one thing to admire and strive to be as successful as someone else. But be sure when you are picking that business owner to follow a similar path you are picking one that lines up with your same goals and intentions.
Comparison kills your time. When you are spending your precious time thinking about so and so and how they are having this success and you are not- you are wasting the call to your own personal business.
Success is going to look different for everyone. You may need to take a minute to sit back and reflect right now and answer” What does success look like to me?”
Maybe you had that vision blurred because you let this other business owner’s success blur your goals.
If you are a mother and wife, then your time is limited. Your time is precious. We have to make the best use of our time and being envious of others is a complete waste of time and a total business killer.
A very disguised trap is Facebook. Many bloggers I know starting out have their main source of traffic from Facebook. So if that is how you are getting your readers/customers you need to be active on it.
But let’s be real- how hard is it to NOT stroll through your Facebook Feed. One post leaves to a comment to read another comment to this comment and before you know it you spent an hour of your time on Facebook.
Facebook can also enhance the comparison ache. Everyone wants to share the good in their life on Facebook and that’s great.
But we don’t all have good every minute of the day. Don’t let this easy trap destroy your business.
I decided to not friend anyone who likes my blog anymore. At first, I thought I would keep these “friends” on my personal page because I could boost my traffic.
Then I got disgusted with this strange facebook friends thing. When someone requests to be my friend and then we see one another out in the store and it’s awkward and no conversation is made I don’t care for it.
I don’t care for the over sharing of everything and the strange satisfaction that comes from a little click called a “like”.
So I deleted everyone that wasn’t family or someone I talk to IN PERSON. I unfollowed from that list many people for the pure sake of distraction.
My time is precious and when I’m on Facebook for my blogs I can not afford my business to be destroyed. I can set aside a separate time to stroll and connect with my friends on facebook not when I’m working.
NOT SERVING YOUR CUSTOMERS/READERS
This is a hard one. Especially harder I think when you are a coupon/deal blogger. Notice you don’t see any coupon and deal bloggers sharing their income reports. It’s a blogging niche that’s all in it’s own. It’s also very competitive. So if you want to start a blog– skip the coupon/deal one :).
I read at least one new article a day that relates to my business. I will never stop learning. The common theme that many of us leave out- is serving our customers.
We all started the business with the intent of a target audience I am sure. Or we started our businesses with an idea of our audience with more focus on how to make money from them.
Every time I have just thought about the money- it has backfired. When I start to see what my readers like and don’t like is when things took a turn for the best. It’s hard as a blogger especially in the deal world because you can get affiliate money for many of the products you share- but do your readers really care about it?
It’s a constant challenge.
You have to ask yourself how you can help your readers/customers? Sometimes I think as new business owners we get so caught up in growing that we forget to lay low and serve the current customers/readers we have. If we can give the ones who we already have what they want- then the rest will come naturally.
So remember if you are not thinking about what your reader or customer wants you are killing your business.
I just recently did a survey to my readers and it was tremendously helpful. I don’t want to waste my time sharing deals or posts that my readers have no interest in. It’s not helpful for either of us.
It’s a strange thing when you start your own business because you may have this ideal audience you would like to have and it turns out the opposite. As much as you may like this product or something it may just be those who are supporting you do not like it no matter what.
You also have to try new things to figure out what your audience/customers like and that in iteslf can be exhausting but once you do so worth it.
Think about your customers/audience all the time.
So as much as you do not want to be comparing yourself to the extent of someone else that you want to copy everything they do- you need to connect with others. Building a business, a brand is hard work and having the support of others who can relate to what you are going through is amazing.
If you are a blogger a truly encouraging supporting group that helped me so much is the Christian Women Bloggers Network. There are a bunch of groups on Facebook, but also check your local churches, libraries and such. We are designed to want human connection and when we isolate ourselves it allows another door of the enemy to kill your business.
We all want to see those we care about succeed. The more you connect with others and get a better idea of what they are going through and what they hope to be your envy slips away. And that helpful side of you becomes present.
If you are in a support group and you are finding that is a source of envy for you- I encourage you to pray for the direction God is leading you. My door closed on my first blog but it has brought about better opportunities.
The best thing you can do is wrap your business up in prayer.
If comparison is something that you are struggling with ask others to pray for you. Ask God to help you.
You were designed to do something great. You have the vision. You are doing the work. You will be rewarded. I can’t say how, when, or where, but I can say confidently that we serve a God who never fails. A God who knows our deepest desires and wants us to experience those.
What tips do you have for current women business owners when it comes to struggling with comparison?