Change Catalyst with Shanna Mann: Strategy & Support for Sane Self-Employment

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How to Avoid Building a Business You Hate

I’ve been in the whole ‘build a business’ racket for most of my life at this point. It’s not hard to build a business. The real trick is to build a business that doesn’t make you want to step in front of a bus, doesn’t make you feel bored out of your mind at the same time as you’re screaming frustration, and ideally, maybe makes you feel like you get more out of the business than you put in. The ‘money for services rendered’ thing? That’s the easy part.

To avoid building a business you hate, you’ve got to be strategic.

How to Avoid Building a Business You Hate

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Love What You Do

It’s no surprise to anyone at this point that the foundation of a business that you love is loving what you do. And loving who you serve. And getting paid decently for it. We’ll take that part as read, since there are millions of books and blog posts that all say exactly this.

Learn To Identify Permanent and Temporary Trade-offs

The most important thing when you’re growing your business is to be able to tell the difference between the things you need to do in the short-term “in order to” vs. the things that are baked into the business model.

It’s one thing to hand-sell and ludicrously over-deliver to your first 20 clients. But if you can’t get to the point where you’re dialing that back and doing less hand-holding, well, you’d better be getting $20k per client or so, because otherwise you’re going to spend far more time walking people up to the deal than you are to actually serving them, which is no recipe for repeat customers.

Be Honest About What You Will and Won’t Do

Hey, if you’re not going to travel for business, that probably means that you’re not going to be a professional speaker. So don’t try to be.

Be honest about what you can’t bring yourself to do. If that dooms the business, so be it. Find another one. Plenty of fish in the sea. But, with that being said…

Find The Options for What’s Not Optional

If you hate social media (as I do, and as all right-thinking people do) then figure out another way to market. Yes, it will feel weird. Yes, people will tell you you’re wrong. Yeah, you’ll have to bear the weight of the decision to turn your back on what EVERYONE is telling you you have to do to build your business, and if you don’t you’re doomed to be a big, fat, failure. C’est la vie. At least you won’t wind up hating every second you spend clicking through Pinterest.

Don’t Set Any Of This In Stone

Check in with yourself on a regular basis. We all change, and the business landscape changes faster than that. Could be that the stuff you thought you hated is tolerable after all. Or that the benefits outweigh the irritations. You might also find that the stuff you used to like is now grating and it’s time to find another challenge. You, after all, are reading this post because you saw a link on social media, proving that I found a way to overcome my own prejudices in the matter.

None of this is a guarantee that you won’t want to burn down your business in a fit of pique. But it should help your chances, because what’s the point of winning a game where you don’t like the prizes?

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