Growing a Small Business: The Art of Perseverance
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, and in it she mentions the above quote by Einstein. It’s now my favorite quote. To me it sums up perfectly one of the greatest small business skills that those seeking to master their craft need to have: perseverance. What is perseverance? It’s the stick-to-it-iveness that some people have. Some people are born to burn hot and fast, jumping from one thing to the next when things start to weigh them down. Others, like Einstein, stay and importantly thrive when the going gets tough. That’s perseverance. And if you can find it in yourself, growing a small business will be, perhaps not an easier journey, but definitely a rewarding one.
There are Forces Always Working Against YouIn what aspect of life are there not? There are so many exterior “out of your control” factors at play when it comes to growing a small business that it can sometimes feel impossible.
- Google releases a new algorithm which lowers your website rankings and your sales.
- Your most profitable sales channel falls out of favor with your target audience.
- A website that once drove a lot of traffic has closed its doors.
But Waiting it Out is Not EnoughMany people wait things out to see what’s on the other side, but that’s not persevering. That’s not sticking with a problem. Perseverance has a layer of activeness to it. It’s not a passive thing that happens to you; instead, you persevere. It’s an active word that is all about doing. Einstein didn’t wait for the problems to solve themselves. He dogmatically attacked those problems until they released their secrets to him. You have yo do the same thing when approaching small business. This is an investment of time and a strategy challenge as much as anything else. If one tactic is currently not working, you turn to another. If there’s a barrier keeping you from the revenue you want, you need to doggedly research how to overcome it. It won’t happen from waiting alone.
I’m in the Empire BusinessI’m a big Breaking Bad fan (I know I am not alone), and the character Walter White gave us a line in season five that’s a perfect lesson for entrepreneurs. He announces that he’s not in the meth business; he’s in the empire business. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwIyClDuBgo That’s a lesson in perseverance if I ever saw one. Think big. Dream big. Do big. You’re not simply the product or service you sell; you’re the sum of all of your activity. You’re building an empire when you make the commitment to growing a small business. Every day you should be thinking about how you can do one of two things:
- Grow your empire even bigger, or…
- Shore up areas of your empire where efficiency and effectiveness are lacking