Are you in business for real or just playing business when you feel like it? Our motto at MOMeo Magazine is “Success on YOUR Terms!” whether those ‘own terms’ mean building a part-time business in the limited time you have available or building a multi-million dollar enterprise from the ground up. But there is a HUGE difference between creating a lifestyle business that gives you the flexibility to set your own hours and playing business off and on when it suits you.
Why You Need to Get It Together and Get Serious
Over a decade ago when I launched my copywriting business, I started it as a dabbler. Truthfully, it was more of an idea and a wish than it was a business and it showed. I even called the few contacts that I had in the business world to let them know I had launched (the part-time business that I was doing when I wasn’t busy with my day job). They didn’t take me seriously (for obvious reasons).
The difference became apparent when I left the corporate world and pursued my business full-time. Now with lots of time on my hands, it being a brand new business and all, I even called back the tiny handful of corporate contacts to update them on my now full-time status. Their reaction stuck with me to this day, “Oh so you’re really doing it. I probably have a client that I can refer you.”
The timeline between those events wasn’t that big — probably only two weeks. What my contacts were waiting for was a signal from me that I was really doing it, that I would stick around long enough for them to risk recommending me to their valued clients. That’s exactly the message you send when you dabble, when you dream, but don’t actually follow through and do, when you flake out and flip-flop about what it is you want to be doing.
5 Signs You Don’t Take Your Business as Seriously as You Should
The Disappearing Act — Half the battle in business is simply showing up. This is where consistency really counts. Suddenly disappear from the day-to-day activities of your business with no tangible reason for doing so, like going on a scheduled holiday, sends the signal that you aren’t really all that committed.
The Flip-Flop — Besides the obvious drawbacks of constantly switching your story, continually changing what you want to do tells people you haven’t yet decided on a direction. People avoid flip-floppers because they don’t want to be on the losing side of your decision and get stuck without a resource they have come to count on.
The Flake Out — Oops just won’t cut it when it comes to hitting deadlines. Missing important deadlines, either within your company or on behalf of clients, causes people to question your commitment. Even if the excuses are legitimate enough, do it too often and the outside world starts to wonder.
The Dabble and Dream — All talk and no action! This one is for the dabblers and dreamers who haven’t quite stepped into the business game. Until you take your foot out of the other possibilities and commit to this one direction, you will be forever stuck as a dabbler and dreamer.
Stuck at Start — Similar to the Dabblers and Dreamers in the result, but not in the amount of action. Being stuck at start is another form of destructive perfectionism that has you spinning your wheels at Go, waiting until you have it “Just right” before finally launching.
Notice that the amount of time you spend in your business isn’t on the list? That’s because it doesn’t matter how much time you spend on your business, but rather how you spend it. If you spend 40 hours a week frittering away your time on ‘fake work’ projects, that is far less effective than a committed 10 hours of focused, productive time. Getting serious means doing what needs to be done to move your business forward, not play acting at what you think entrepreneurs should be doing.