Planning for success is the first step to take once you decide to start your own home business. It is important to have the right frame of reference. Do not ask yourself the wrong questions or set up false expectations.
Wrong questions tend to shift the focus of responsibility away from the person who is asking. A typical example would be,
“When is this going to work?”
If you ask your coach or mentor that question, what answer do you expect? The most honest answer is one that you may not want to hear:
“When is this going to work?”
“When you do.”
The best business plan only “works” when you do. How well it “works” will depend on how much and how well you work.
Keep in mind that when I use the word “work” it has two meanings in this context: (1) to be engaged in physical or mental activity to achieve a result. (2) have the desired result.
Having false expectations is a success killer. For a business to work (have the desired result), the work you put in must be persistent and effective. The learning curve may be steep depending on your background, education and experience. All new home business owners can expect that results may not be good. Consider it as still learning the ropes. “Work” should include learning new subjects and skills. It includes being proactive, testing and trying different approaches, and not giving up when your efforts fail.
Another false expectation is created when asking or thinking, “How much time do I need to spend on this?”
The problem with this question is that it refers to time alone, which is not a sufficient basis for an answer. No coach or mentor can guarantee that if you spend X amount of time on your business you will succeed. There is no frame of reference defining what “success” means to you.
Even if you qualify your question by asking, “How much time do I need to spend on my business to make $400 a month?” your coach or mentor still will not know how effectively you will spend your time. Any answer would be hedged with conditions.
Questions such as, “When is this going to work?” and “How much time do I need to spend on this?” convey is a lack of engagement, or commitment, or self confidence on the part of the questioner.
Consider the old cliche that states there is no such thing as a stupid question except for the one not asked.
If you do not understand an answer, ask your coach or mentor to clarify the answer. The best way to do that is to ask how the answer relates to your expectations or business goals. The better questions to ask are the ones that are quantifiable or about what your coach mentor has experienced or seen. For example, for someone in the direct marketing business, a valid question would be “What kind of response rate would you expect if I mailed 5,000 sales postcards for XYZ product/service?” (This senario assumes there is a Direct Marketing Association connection access to direct marketing data or some other marketing agency.)
In summary, I found that starting a home business is both rewarding and challenging. It takes having the right mental attitude, willingness to learn new things and creating realistic goals and expectations. And keep the lines of communication open with your coach or mentor. To read more about creating realistic goals, please read my article, Setting Goals for Your Home Business.
Please fill in the form below if you have any questions or comments. I would love to help.