I was talking to a business partner recently about some adjustments that we're planning on making to some of our projects, and it got me thinking about a related topic that I think is so important.
One of the hardest things for an entrepreneur to do is to not react when trouble comes. I'm not talking about responding to problems, but about the knee-jerk reactions that we have when the going gets tough. Making major reactive course corrections even when doom seems inevitable can spell disaster for a business of any size!
If I get frustrated or burnt out with my current course of action, the last thing that I need to do is make a major change! That's why having a strategy is so important! Having real plans, not just big dreams, in place serve to keep us on course when we inevitably get depressed with the results, until we reach the goals that we saw so clearly when we started!
Then, if they stayed the course, success came!"Click to Tweet
Emotion's and excitement come and go on a whim, that's why you need a strategy in place if you want any chance of succeeding. I once heard that every successful goal must "die" before it succeeds. Ask anyone who's succeeded in life and they will tell you that right before they succeeded, things looked like they were going to completely fall apart. Then, if they stayed the course, success came!
Establishing plans and goals when our energy levels are high is great! Our creativity is at it's peak, and we bring a positive outlook to our plans. This is absolutely essential to anyone with a dream of being more than average. It's the times when we are in the trenches that we need that plan to keep us on track, putting one foot in front of the other, until we begin seeing results.
I've had plenty of things that I've started and not stayed the course on. I've also had a few things that I have believed in enough to persist through. It took years to get to the point where I felt remotely competent as a web developer. It took over 2 years to release the TitaniumSites service, and there were many sticking points along the way. I even decided at one point to scrap all the work up to that point and start over to be able to offer more to my future customers. But through it all I believed in it enough to keep working evenings and weekends on it until it was ready.
Who was I kidding?"
There were so many times that I would see another website service out there that was cheaper, or offered a service that I didn't, and for a few minutes I'd wonder if it was worth it. Was there really any chance that a lone developer in the backwoods of TN could offer a service that was unique and filled needs the big players in the market couldn't? Who was I kidding?
As it turns out, I could(more about that in another article)! More importantly, so can you! Your product/service/project can fill a need that no one else can for one simple reason, your approach to the problem is different than anyone else's. For at least a niche market, your unique perspective is all that's needed to make your product more useful than any other on the market.
When your life goes through it's low points, stay the course. Save the big course changes for the days when the sun shines a little brighter, and your creativity is ready to tackle the task at hand.
I think this article is as much for me as for you. I'll be back reading this in the future I'm sure, to remind myself of the things I forget so easily.
P.S. To my future self, don't be such an idiot. (That's always safe advice for the future ;)