A guest post by Michelle Mahoney, Your Kick-Ass Business Coach
“Dream big and create your vision board for success.”
“Find your Big Why.”
These are some of the things we are told when we start a business. If we dream big enough, visualize our success hard enough, and say our affirmations, surely we will be running 6-figure empires before the year is out. Right?
As you may have noticed, this isn’t the case. In fact, looking at your Big Dreams all the time can actually start to hold you back.
I’ll say it again: if you focus on your Big Dreams all the time, it can actually make you feel stuck, frustrated, and ready to quit.
Let me tell you how I almost let my Big Dreams make me give up on my goals:
When I first started my business 7 years ago, I knew that getting in front of people would be a great way to grow my business. So I started looking for events, fairs, and conferences where I thought my clients would be hanging out.
I found four fabulous events all over the United States. I could easily see myself speaking in front of hundreds in my workshop, having people lined up at my booth waiting to speak with me, and later speaking on a stage in front of thousands.
Then I started looking at the costs of attending the event. Over $500 for a booth. If I wanted to speak, it was another $250. If I wanted anything more than a small table and one chair, $100.
Then I added the cost of flying to the event, transportation (there was no shuttle available), renting a hotel, eating out every day, and on and on. At this point I was looking at 4 figures to attend one event. When I added up the costs of attending all four events I wanted to go to, I was looking at thousands and thousands of dollars!
I looked at my husband and said, “Honey – I can’t afford to be in business!”
Luckily, my husband is a wise man, and he just laughed. He pointed out that I didn’t have to go to ALL of the events, and that there were plenty of local events. He then helped me find one in my own backyard.
Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t Dream Big. Dreaming big is what will carry you through many of the obstacles and challenges you will face as an entrepreneur.
What I am saying is that you can’t jump from where you are now directly to the land of your Big Dreams. You need to take small steps, build on your successes, and create a path from point A to point B not point A to point Z.
Even Wayne Dyer started out by giving presentations in his living room.
That doesn’t mean it has to take a lot of time, but it does have to make sense for you and your business. In fact, I’ve seen many women go from making nothing to 6 figures in 4 to 8 months! Don’t worry – you will be able to take some big leaps along your path.
How can you start taking small steps today that will lead to your Big Dreams?
- Start where you are. Find local events, conferences, and groups to attend. Network in your area, and you will be amazed at all of the opportunities right in your own back yard!This can include on-line events and groups. You are already attending places where your clients hang out, so start asking around, mention your business, and watch the opportunities (and clients) appear.
- Use Google keywords or Google Alerts to search for events. You can set a keyword search for things like networking event [your city] or speaking events [your state]. I set mine to send me one email a day so my inbox doesn’t get flooded.
- Network with your colleagues. Stop thinking of your peers as competition and get to know them. Learn to help one another out so that everyone wins, and many doors will open for you. Ask others about events and opportunities.I went to an event last year that I invested over $1,000 to attend, and it was a total bust. It was advertised as the largest event of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. If I had asked around, I would have found out that attendance and participation had been dwindling for several years, and that it wasn’t worth the investment. Lesson learned.
You can always choose an event or two that is further away and invest with mentors at higher levels. Put a budget on these items and revisit it every 3 months based on your new earnings. Make sure your budget will stretch you so that you are always growing, but don’t lose your mortgage. If you are ready to leap into a $20,000 program, then you better make sure you are ready to do the work so that you can make that return on investment!
What do you think? Can you Dream Big and Start Small? Laying the right foundation for your business and taking the right steps will lead to success beyond what you can even imagine right now.
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