Today was one of those days that started off with me thinking about how my business was doing and if I should carry on or maybe look for a full time job that pays a regular income without the worry of if there is enough work.
The morning consisted of replaying every recent job I’ve done with a few ‘contemplating my navel’ moments. There was the job where I fitted the bathroom, the next was a new kitchen, a few small electrical jobs, the late payments, the cash flow issues and on it went. Morning turn to afternoon and I got to the point where enough was enough and it was time to pull my head out of a place it should not have been.
And then came the inventible inner monologue and the conversation with myself…..
“Why are you feeling like this, you know it wasn’t going to be easy, otherwise everyone would be doing it”
“Shut up, you’re not helping !”
“Why are you kicking yourself, you didn’t do anything wrong”
“Shut up, you’re really not helping !”
“It wasn’t you that didn’t pay for the work that was done was it ?”
“Really not helping”
“You did everything you should have, by the book didn’t you”
“Of course I did, wait, shut up !”
“You can’t help it that your customers are being difficult can you”
“I wish I could, I know that I wouldn’t have taken on the work if I knew it was going to be like this”
“so why did you take on the work”
“Because we need it, the diary was nearly empty”
“was it worth it then”
“oh yeah of course it was, I really need all this stress and lack of sleep right now”
“Then don’t take the work that looks like it’ll cause problems”
“Easier said than done !”
And that’s when the light bulb moment happened. When I first started out I had a business plan, I had rules that I was going to follow and I had decided what jobs I was going to do and what jobs I wasn’t, and somewhere down the road I had drifted away from this plan and had done exactly what I said I wouldn’t do ….Damn you inner voice !!
Being in business for yourself is hard, really hard, if your doing everything yourself, but what a lot of people who start out don’t realise is how the work always goes from ‘famine to feast’. New starters are always optimistic and so they should be, but they also need to be realistic about how well the business will do in the first years, how building a business name takes so much time and has to be nurtured every single day and how to survive the hard times.
So here I am, late at night rebooting myself and my business. My marketing needs to be a lot more clearer, my focus needs to be a light more direct, a few new fresh idea’s about how to reach out and contact people and the most important lesson of all - I need to start to say no to the jobs that look at first glance like they are going to be problematic in one way or another just because there’s very few bookings in the dairy.