I read an article recently where the author observed that most people don’t really want to know what it takes to be successful:
“Most people want to hear platitudes about success. You have to work your ass off to create a successful business. But when you start talking about the work required, their eyes glaze over. They don’t want to hear the truth about what it takes to be successful.”
The difference, the author notes, is that winners DO want the truth (not platitudes) about what it really takes to get a business off the ground — the good, the bad and the ugly.
As a business trainer and industry mentor for the past 13 years (in business for 20+), I have to say, I tend to agree.
It’s what separates the ones who are going to succeed and those who are likely to close up shop within a few short years.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with being positive and optimistic.
You’re going to need it to keep believing in yourself, persevere during the difficult start-up times in business, and endure the naysayers in your life who want you to “go get a real job.”
The problem occurs when people become addicted to woo-woo and magical thinking and seeking out platitudes is all they focus on. (This is exactly how they get sucked into the web of lies and illusion from internet marketers.)
You have to strike a balance between encouragement and optimism and getting honest, pragmatic business learning and advice and taking action (doing the work).
Because believe it or not, all those platitudes and “inspiration” can turn your brain to mush, no matter how “uplifting” they are, if that’s all your diet consists of.
If inspiration is the thing you’re seeking, let me tell ya, there’s nothing more inspiring that deciding on a target market, doing the work to get to know them (e.g., asking them questions, getting involved in their professional communities, researching their industry), learning what their common needs, goals and challenges are, and developing your administrative solutions and marketing message around those things.
That’s the kind of direction and focus that makes the kind of headway that gets your motor running and fuels excitement (and more action) in your emerging business!
I see so many people in our industry who spend more time trying to network with their colleagues than ever they do with their target market. And then they wonder and get depressed about why they aren’t getting clients and moving forward in their business.
The other pitfall is they get involved in “networking” groups where a) their target market isn’t to be found, and b) is just a room of other people trying to get clients.
You aren’t going to find clients in those places. Decide on a target market and go where THOSE people are and learn them. THAT’S where/how you’re going to get clients.
(For those who are new, a target market is simply an industry/field/profession that you cater your administrative support to. If you need help deciding on your target market, download our free guide How to Choose Your Target Market.)
What are your thoughts?
- If you examine your own actions, are you chasing after feel-good platitudes and otherwise focusing on what you want to hear instead of honest business advice and what you need to know? How do you discern the difference?
- How prepared are you to put in the time and do the actual work required?
- How much time are you wasting dinking around with colleagues, signing up to each other’s social media accounts (I call this “playing business”) compared to actual work learning how to be better at business, involving yourself in your target market’s communities and getting clients?