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LeelaCosgrove
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Hey Tina,

It’s brave of you to put yourself out there and ask for help … to wear your worries on your sleeve … truth is, business is often an up and down ride like this, even once you’ve got your product ready and you’ve proven it’s a success.

One day you’ll be dancing around your lounge room praising yourself for your own cleverness – the next, you’ll be stuck in bed, unable to understand how it could have all gone so wrong!

I guess the #1 thing you need when running a business is a high tolerance for risk (#2 would be some form of ulcer medication!).

Your exit plan should be part of your business planning process. Decide at what point the risk is no longer acceptable.

When I first started out, for me, it was – if I ever need to borrow to keep the business afloat, if the business ever does not support itself – I’m out. As my business has matured, that’s changed – I know my cashflow now and growth necessitates some borrowing and paying back. However, I still know my numbers and still have cut off rates.

You’re spot on about the selling thing … the best recommendation I can give is to go and get a commission only sales job for a few months. This is the cheapest and most effective form of sales training I’ve ever come across. Sales is very much a learn-by-doing art – it’s good to know the theory, but until you put it into practice it’s just that.

However, the #1 thing you need when selling is the same thing you need when running a business …

Faith.

If you’re creating something you believe in, you just have to work your butt off and trust it’s going to work out.

Sometimes you’ll doubt – your human, you can’t get around that. The best thing to do on those days is to cut yourself some slack, take some time off, go for a walk, spend time with people you love – do something that reminds you that life is bigger than just the business.

But generally, you just have to believe and keep going.

You know the difference between being successful and failing?

It’s simply giving up.

If you keep going at some point, you’ll succeed …

okay – you’ve got to be smart about this, of course … when I say keep going you don’t keep going if the product doesn’t work … if it flops big time, you take the lessons you’ve learned and apply them to the next thing … and the next thing … and the next thing … you realign until it all falls into place.

And it WILL all fall into place …

It’s just that you’ll fall to pieces several times on your way there.

But that’s okay – you pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back on the horse – because that’s what entrepreneurs do.

You also want to find a new group of entrepreneurial friends, whether that’s online, via networking or even paying to join a program or mastermind group. Your current friends are great for being your friends – but it’s invaluable to have a second set of ‘business’ friends who understand what you’re going through.

Your normal friends (and family) love you and don’t want to see you hurt, so often, they’ll suggest you give up right when it’s most important that you don’t. They’re not doing it to hurt you – they just hate to see you in pain and don’t realise that you’re going through necessary growing pains.

Your business friends (especially those who have been in business a bit longer than you) will smile, pat you on the back and tell you to suck it up and keep working. That this is normal and there’ll be heaps more of it. They help by tweeting your events and sending emails to their databases to try and help you out … :)

We’ve all been where you are now Tina. There’s no secret to gaining confidence … it’s exactly what that old saying says “Heroes are just cowards who did it even though they were scared”. Everyone feels the fear – everyone freaks out sometimes … you just gotta push on through it …