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Home » Random

The Art of working through the middle

You’ve decided. You’ve started. You are a business owner.

It is all very exciting at the start. You begin by reading all you can, absorbing all the tips and tricks. You take in all the information on what to do and what not to do to be successful.

You begin designing your site, designing your products and services. You get your paperwork done, your site up, your store open, you business cards printed, you work tirelessly for weeks sometimes months but finally you are there… the place just after all the startup chaos.

That’s the middle.

It’s the part that comes right after all of the excitement of starting. The part where you have unveiled your new business suit. The part where you realize that perhaps it wasn’t what you thought it would be.

The middle is the hardest part. It’s the part where you must decide that you have what it takes to be successful. It’s the part where you have to be determined to push through when your business isn’t growing like you thought it would. It’s the part where you have to keep at it even though no one is talking about you yet.

The middle is the part that separates the business successes from all the rest. Because those that stick with it, stick with the middle, will get to the tipping point. The point where growth is inevitable, where your customer base keeps growing, where the monetization you’ve been working on so hard starts to pick up steam. It’s then that you become a real business.

Getting through the middle takes a certain amount of finesse and determination.

Here are five things you can do to get through the middle:

  1. Don’t listen to the naysayers especially the one in your head. We can be our own worst enemy.
  2. Do keep working on your tasks and goals, every day, all the time. If we believe Malcolm Gladwell’s estimate of 10,000 hours to become an expert (Outliers: The Story of Success), then every minute you work now, is one minute closer to being a pro.
  3. Do recognize that the middle is the make it or break it stage for many businesses. Lots of folks give up. More than you might realize. Business is sometimes just as much a game of attrition as it is anything else. Sticking with it will reap rewards.
  4. Don’t forget the basics. It’s easy to assume that the basics don’t matter when there are so many new ideas out there vying for your attention. “Build more traffic with this plug-in”, “monetize faster with this technique”, “do a pop-up”, “don’t do a pop-up”, you just can’t win with all that noise. Stick with the basics, they work.
  5. Don’t mistake patience for stall. It might actually feel like you are standing still sometimes or even going backwards but I promise even in the slowest moments your patience will pay off. There’s no substitute for persistence and tenacity; none. It really is a survival of the fittest type of deal. Those who don’t have the patience to work the program one step at a time won’t last. Those who keep at it even in the face of seemingly unbearable slowness will not just cross the finish line, they will finish ahead.

There are no quick tricks to getting through the middle. Just like there are no quick tricks to becoming an adult when you are a teenager or an expert when you are just a beginner.

The middle is inevitable but if you work through it, you’ll be the businesses success you imagine yourself to be; that too is inevitable.

 

This is a guest post by Yolanda A. Facio of Red.Hot.Momentum. Yolanda helps small businesses find clarity and the momentum to start, grow and manage their companies. Sign up for the free Red.Hot.Motivator e-Newsletter and get Red.Hot!