What does it take to succeed, and how do you silence that quit voice?
When you start a business there is a lot to learn and at various times you may feel uncomfortable, challenged, frustrated and scared.
And let me tell you this – if you feel all of those things, it means that you’re doing it right.
Welcome to the world of being an entrepreneur.
The thing is that along the way, you are probably going to hear an inner voice – that quit voice – the voice that tells you terrible things, like:
There are 100 other versions of these statements but these are some common ones.
If you’ve ever heard these voices in your head – this podcast is for you.
You’ve probably heard the statistics that 95% of businesses fail in the first year of operation.
But have you ever wondered what that actually means – that 95% of businesses fail?
Sure, there can be mismanagement, lack of research into the demand for your service, poor marketing, or over capitalising.
But I think what it means is that people have given up.
It means that they lack grit and persistence – because all these so-called reasons for failure are lessons, and things that can be overcome.
And I want to tell you that success may not come in your first year or even your first two years. But if you believe in what you’re doing and you know that it’s valuable and you persist then your chance of success increases.
So rather than call these business failure statistics, I want to call them quit statistics.
As described in Angela Duckworth’s book Grit, there is a theory that it will take you 10,000 hours over 10 years to reach the expert level of proficiency in anything you want to do.
Think about what that means in the context of giving up or quitting in your business in that first year, two years or five years?
The thing it takes to succeed is persistence.
Persistence means that you are resisting the novelty and freshness of shiny objects.
You are committed to finishing what you start.
Persistence is doing things now that will set you up for success later – there’s no quick fix.
You’re working with the distant future in mind.
You are focused on a clear and definite goal.
You have the determination to stick to a course once you’ve committed to the goal.
You don’t abandon tasks in the face of obstacles.
And most importantly, you have a big vision of what you want to achieve that you just won’t let go of.
Right now I want to ask you to check in with yourself. How many of these traits do you have?
Persistence is doing things now that will set you up for success later.
Which of these might you need to sharpen up?
Most people don’t have all of these traits, but when you are truly passionate about something and feel you have a big purpose, it makes persistence as I’ve just described it, a whole lot easier.
If you knew that you could succeed if you persisted long enough in your business, what would happen to your quit voice?
How would it affect your investment and commitment to your business?
Right about now you might be thinking to yourself…
…“Yes but I need to earn an income! What if I”m flogging a dead horse?”
This is a valid question and it’s one you need to answer because it will give you the confidence to commit to your idea and then persist for long enough to achieve your goal.
First let’s consider the reality – accept you will experience failure along the way. You will learn lessons about what to do differently and you will need to adapt your approach or method.
Secondly, you really need to research and test the market to know that there is both a need AND a demand for your services before you start.
Thirdly, you must be good at what you do, and that takes time and ongoing personal and professional development.
If you do those things and make good connections as you build your business, you will likely succeed if you persist long enough.
Aside from that, you need to find ways to make money to support you while your business is growing AND at some point you need to earn income in your business.
How long does it take to succeed?
Maybe the next question you’re asking is how long does it take to succeed in a coaching business or other service based business?
Let’s make it easy and assume that success means making a profit consistently for a period of time.
And let’s assume that you’re not mucking around, playing small, trying to do it all yourself, staying stuck in fear. Let’s assume you’re doing NONE of those things, and you’re proactively seeking good quality advice and support to help you develop a business in a viable niche.
With those things in place, the time it takes to succeed depends on your grit and persistence.
Yes, it comes down to you.
Going back a way, it took Thomas Edison almost three years to test around 3,000 designs for light bulbs and then, after getting a patent, he spent a year testing 6000 plants to get the filament right.
That’s an example of someone with a physical product who is testing and refining his invention to get it right.
It took life coach Marie Forleo many years to build her business and 2.5 years of daily online content and presence to build her brand online.
It took me, the lowly Melanie J White, about 6 months to develop and deliver a pilot program, and about one year until I was earning a full time income from the full version of that program. That success continued for the next two years until I stopped running that program and pivoted in my business.
In a tangible sense of income and clients, that’s what’s possible.
According to author Angela Duckwork in her book Grit, is roughly 10,000 hours and 10 years of commitment to a craft before you are at expert level in your craft.
You can definitely develop a successful business before then but having a high level of skill is ultimately the true measure of success beyond anything else – because it is ultimately what attracts people to your business.
The message is this – if you follow a road map and give something a red hot go, and stick with it, you will become good at it, and you will succeed.
Passion. Courage. Focus. Resilience.
Hopefully this has given you some perspective on what’s possible if you put in the time, energy and effort – and most importantly, commitment to persist.
Maybe you’re feeling pumped up at the thought of succeeding.
That means you have the first two magic ingredients of success – persistence and grit.
But beyond this, how do you silence the quit voice that can get in the way of persistence?
You need four other things – passion, courage, focus and resilience.
Passion, courage, focus and resilience are the things that help you to persist when your computer shows the blue screen of death, or you are overly emotional after a lack of sleep, or your marketing campaign gets crickets.
With passion, courage, focus and resilience, you will be agile and objective enough to stand back, learn the lesson, change track and move on.
To build these skills, you need to practice self compassion and develop a growth mindset.
That means being kind to yourself, being mindful, reframing your failures as lessons, and embracing the discomfort of the unknown as an opportunity to gain new skills and insights.
In other words, if you want to silence the quit voice, you need to coach yourself.
This means focusing on your big why, managing your emotions and reframing failures. When you do this, you will be able to make rational decisions and act in a logical, calm and objective way, no matter what.
You will overcome procrastination, overwhelm and fear.
Just stick with it.
I want to refer you to some previous podcast episodes here that will help you get there:
Mental discomfort is part of being a business owner.
We all have an inner voice that can turn the tiniest problem into a catastrophe, or to revel in the slightest hint of self doubt.
Then you start to telling yourself reasons why you should give up on your business.
That’s your quit voice talking.
It’s what causes so many business owners to give up on their business or their big goal or dream.
But the fact is, you can do some important groundwork FIRST to make sure your business idea is viable.
If you follow a road map and give something a red hot go, and stick with it, you will become good at it, and you will succeed.
Then, if you persist with your idea long enough, keep troubleshooting along the way, getting the right support and improving your skills, you will eventually succeed.
Your quit voice might pop up along the way, and to get rid of it or at least manage it, you can practice self-compassion and work on developing a growth mindset.
If you would like some help to get started on persistence, you may like to join the my monthly Habitology membership for personal and professional growth. In April 2020 we are focusing on stretch goals – so it’s the perfect time to commit to yourself.
Visit https://www.melaniejwhite.com/habitology for more information.
With passion, courage, focus and resilience you will be successful. If you’re truly ready to break old habits and get out of the rut I encourage you to check out the Habitology membership.
Learn more here: