Five Ways To Get Your Business Moving - November 17, 2017

I started a new journey in my life a year ago. Well, I didn't consider it a journey at the time, but looking back, I definitely went on a ride of ups and downs with plenty of hairpin curves along the way. It was a weight loss and fitness journey—one that I'm still on, but now I can look back and smile at what I've accomplished so far.

Along this crazy ride, I learned a thing or two that any business owner can apply too. Strap on your seatbelts because in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, I'll share these practical, obvious, common sense secrets to success that are sometimes harder to achieve than you'd expect.

1. Just show up. I know what you're thinking. "Really Cassandra, that's just so obvious. You can't be successful just by showing up." Well, I'm here to tell you that you certainly aren't going to reach your business goals if you don't show up.

I've seen this in my fitness journey as well. I have a buddy who was going to join me on my weight loss quest. This friend showed up a bit at first, but soon the excuses started. He was traveling for work or couldn't make our class due to doctors' appointments. The excuses continued, and well, you get the picture. Yet he would complain that the exercise class wasn't doing him any good. Of course, it's not if you don't show up!

The same goes for your business. You can't just act like you have a business. You have to show up. Get engaged. Be energized. Take on the responsibilities of a leader. Immerse yourself into your business, your employees and your goals.

2. Give 100 percent. I can't tell you how many times people have asked me, "So what's your secret?" Well, I have to tell you the truth. There is not quick fix or magic pill. The secret is that it simply takes hard work. You have to set goals. You need to create a game plan for reaching those goals. And you have to work hard at it. Reaching your business goals isn't easy. At times it's going to feel very uncomfortable. There will be times when you don't feel the progress, or you might even feel like you're taking a step or two backward. But through it all, you have to be disciplined. You have to work as hard as you can. You have to give 100 percent of yourself to your goals and your business.

3. Stay positive. As you might have experienced, losing weight can be frustrating, just as growing a business can be frustrating. You might lose three pounds, then gain them back, plus one. You might have three successful meetings with a potential client, then lose the business to a competitor. Or, you might plateau, staying at the same weight or same number of accounts for a long period of time with no sign of change.

The key throughout these ups and downs is to stay positive and reflect on what you have learned, what you can improve on and what you should do differently. If you get frustrated and negative, you will deflate your momentum and the momentum of those around you. Live by the adage of "fake it til you make it" and continue to move forward. Eventually, one day, the moment will come when you reach your goal.

4. When in a slump, don't get frustrated, just do something different to shake things up. Trust me, slumps are no fun. I was once in a slump where I didn't lose a single pound for two months, even though I was doing the same fitness routine. This can happen in business as well. You might be getting the initial meetings, but you just can't seem to sign the business.
We all know that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So, when you're in a slump, shake things up. Look around you. Assess the situation. Talk to others. What can you do differently? What course of action can you change?

When I hit a weight loss slump, I decided to take a different class—a harder class that I had been intimidated to try. Guess what? The new movements and more challenging exercises got the dial moving again, and I moved out of my slump and further along to my weight loss goal.

The same goes for business. If it the business isn't continuing to progress or if sales stagnate, do something different. Try a new sales methodology. Create a different incentive plan for your sales team. Focus on training. Target a different market segment. Whatever it is, shake things up. You won't get any action or traction without creating an emotional need to make a change.

5. Always set new goals along the way. Most important, you need to not only set goals, but make your goals adjustable along the way. Start by finding that one thing that personally motivates you. For my weight loss goal, I bought a dress that I wanted to be able to wear in the future. Hanging in my closet, it reminded me of my goal, and I could try it on to feel my progress.

Maybe your business goal is to grow enough to move into that cool, downtown office space. Perhaps it's to reach a certain amount of revenue so that you can invest a percentage into employee stock programs. Whatever your goal, know that it's ok to adjust this along the way. Just make sure you continue to strive for goals, and of course, reward yourself and others as you reach your milestones.

What happens when I reach my weight loss goal? Is that the end of my journey? Of course not. It's the start of a new journey, whether it's strength training, running a 10K or trying a new hobby altogether.

It's the same with business is the same. There are always new goals to achieve and journeys along the way. No matter your goal, remember the path isn't easy. It takes hard work. It takes setting goals. And it takes looking forward, not looking back. What you discover in the end is what your peers and colleagues will call "success."

Source: Cassandra Johnson is a tech-savvy marketing communications consultant and freelance writer. She reports on the latest trends in the promotional products industry, public relations, direct marketing, e-marketing and more. She supports clients in a variety of industries, including promotional products, hospitality, financial services and technology.

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