If you run your side business long enough, you’ll quickly learn that sidepreneurship is a roller coaster ride. You’ll have moments where you’re riding high like a King or Queen and then moments where things feel like they are falling apart or coming to an end.
Google’s Constant Updates
Being my side business is search engine optimization, I’ve had to endure 3-4 years of regular updates by Google…many that were very large like Panda and Penguin. I remember when Penguin was about to come out for the first time, I had thoughts like “well, it was fun while it lasted, but I guess this is the end”. I thought I was doing things right for clients up to that point, and things were going well, but I had no idea what was going to happen…and for me, uncertainty and the unknown is very scary. I want stability…I want to feel comfortable…but as a sidepreneur, I know I can’t have those things. And I’m OK with that.
I’m even going through an obstacle right now.
I have a strategic partner I’ve been working with for many years. He’s also a good friend. Over the years, we’ve referred a lot of business back and forth…and this last year, it was really starting to build up. And then he started throwing curve balls at me…I don’t want to go into detail on this blog…but the bottom line is it was very clear to me that our flourishing partnership was going to start fading away. It’s been bothering me lately and it drove me to write this post.
The truth is, the only constant is change.
When you go into running your own business, whether it be full-time or a side business, you have to know this and accept it. When you’re a 9 to 5 employee, you’re more or less shielded from these changes…of course this isn’t always the case in terms of lay offs and the restructuring that large corporations do. But, for the most part, there are many changes, dips and obstacles that a 9 to 5 employee might not be aware of. These things are handled behind closed doors. When you’re running your own business, and you’re the one in charge, it’s up to you to push forward and find the solution.
Action is the answer!
What works for me is taking action with the tenacity of a lion. If I’m going through a dip or an obstacle, I just take action against what I think will be the worse case scenario. A side benefit of taking action is it distracts you from the fear you might be feeling.
1. In the case of the Google updates, I quickly started evaluating my service and looking for ways to improve it. Through my constant digging, I formulated a plan that would make my link building stronger…and this is also around the time that I started to create a blogging strategy for my clients. So I ended up surviving Google’s updates and enhanced my service at the same time.
2. In the case of the strategic partnership issue, I’m going through that right now as I type this. My biggest fear is that what was a nice stream of new clients will go dry…so I’m currently taking action by scaling up my marketing efforts:
- More content marketing
- More search engine optimization
- More new business outreach
- Finding new strategic partners
- Even Facebook advertising
The best advice I can give you…
Dips and obstacles are going to happen. Just keep pushing forward. If you give into the fear, you’ll end up doing nothing and this is a sure fire way to get nothing. Think to yourself “what is the worst that can happen?”. Chances are, the worst is not all that bad. The worst case for most any situation is jail or death…I have to assume that the issues you will face will not end up in either. So just realize your worst case and then take action against it.
The distraction will relieve your fear and stress…and the action will push you towards results. Once you start seeing results, you’ll be able to watch your obstacle disappear in your rear view mirror.
Case in point
As a result of my strategic partnership issue, I’ve been taking action on finding an additional partner. One where I can provide value to their clients, and they get a new hands-off revenue stream. It’s taken a lot of effort, but I’m happy to say I’ve struck up a connection with someone awesome and it’s resulted in my biggest client ever.