When we’re creating our own business or making the decision to become self employed, we no doubt have visions of success, recognition and reward. The hard realities of getting started, however, bring many moments of doubt and tumbleweeds. At times it may feel that simply no one is paying attention.
This can be awfully tricky as you need to interpret these moments in the most rational of ways, but also have the right mindset to not become defeated.
For example, a lack of attention might be an early warning sign that you are on the wrong course. It could mean that you have made wrong decisions or you are simply investing into something that does not meet the needs of your target audience.
On the other hand, it could also mean that its just not time yet. In the current climate of high levels of distraction, increased resources at our fingertips (literally), it might simply mean that the spotlight hasn’t found you and that your time will come through consistency, quality, and longevity.
I won’t lie, working out what these moments mean can be extremely difficult and often soul destroying (especially if you discover that what you are doing is simply not good enough), but in an early stage of a concept or business I personally believe that time is on most people’s sides and a focus on building rather than advertising/publicising is best.
So what are some ideas on how to have the right mindset and stay focused?
1. Celebrate the Small Wins – It might be one customer, one comment, a smile, a sale, an interaction on social media. Whatever it might be, you need to celebrate it with yourself and those around you. It might feel silly at the time but these small moments add up. They give you resilience to keep your head down and soldier on.
2. Create Evergreen Content – Longevity is key and if you focus on building resources and content that is evergreen (ie: is not dated information and is always relevant no matter whether you read it now or in years to come), you will build your investment. It only takes the right place/moment to have your hard work in the spotlight and you instantly have mountains of relevant and useful content for the world to see and use. Examples of evergreen content can be found in various places online and range from blogs and vlogs to podcasts. Build, build and build!
3. Consistency is Key – Think about every time you turn on your phone, your TV, or the car stereo. There is always someone out there who is trying to get your attention. It’s nothing new, however in recent years it has certainly amplified. While the brightest and loudest might be first to win the masses over, its usually those who are in it for the long haul and work consistency that end up finding success. Consistency provides confidence for the audience. Be consistent, make promises you can keep and people will warm to you. It takes time, but it will pay off.
4. Build your Tribe – Only have a handful of people who seem to care about what you do? Don’t fret. Bring those people into your inner circle and make them feel like they are on a journey with you. Create your tribe. Support this inner circle, acknowledge them, reward them and share important information. It’s an organic approach which has the possibility of spreading like wildfire. Creating a tribe can be become a magnet for those sitting on the outside and are looking for a community/group/clique to be a part of.
Remember episode 7 with Livewire Studios in Ulladulla? With no local media support, owner K-m took an organic/grass roots focus with word of mouth and local community interaction to build attention and business. Many people might not pay attention initially, but over time that may very well change.
These are just a few thoughts to take on board when you are going through one of the many mental hurdles in self employment. It’s a tough road at times, however the rewards are significant both personally and professionally if you can decide whether to pivot, continue with your head down or get creative. There’s always a way and having the right mindset is key.
Have you had a moment where you’ve felt like no one is paying attention? How did you get through it? Did you actually get through it? Let me know if the comments!