You didn’t start your business to be a failure. That would  be a silly reason to start a business, but at least it would be easy to achieve. No, you started your business for some great reason — like freedom. Maybe you told yourself you wanted more money but what you really wanted was the freedom that more money brought.

But you’re not there yet, are you? You’re still trying to find enough clients or trying to get your team to work well together. You’ve got one road block after another coming up and most of them stem from the same problem.

Do the work

When I first read Book Yourself Solid I got a bit of benefit out of it, but not much. I didn’t get much out of it the next three times I read it either. It was only on the fourth read that I really started to see why the book was recommended so often.

The thing I did the fourth time around was, I actually did the work recommended in the book. I stopped being lazy and I started filling out the answers to the questions in the book.

This is the same problem almost all business owners have. They want some awesome business just like they read about, but they don’t actually want to do the work to get there.

[Tweet “Do you want your business to succeed badly enough to do the work?”]

They hear a colleague talk about getting so many referrals that they can’t handle everything, or even a fraction of everything. Clearly that’s something you want, but do you want to build out a great email list to follow up with prospects?

Do you want to send prospects a personal email every quarter (on top of at least monthly emails to the list of prospects) to see how things are going?

Do you want to publish some great e-books or other resources for prospects to have for free to get them on your email list?

No, most of you don’t want to do that, or at least you think about it and wish you could just get back to writing code or moving pixels around in Photoshop or taking pictures with your camera.

But all that follow-up is what it takes to get referrals coming in constantly and yes, it took a bunch of work to get it set up. It took me a few weeks at least for each e-book I set up as giveaways.

Revisit your goals

When it comes to goals the picture doesn’t get much better. Most people set a goal at the beginning of the year and then never revisit it again. They don’t even look at it at the end of the year to see if they hit it. They just start a new set of goals for the next year.

I’m flabbergasted by people who think you can set ‘goals’ and then never put any plan in motion to accomplish them, and that the goals will magically get ‘accomplished’. If this is you, it’s sad that you keep repeating this from year to year and lament that working for yourself is way harder than you thought. It’s not surprising at all that you never get out to run your own business if this is how you set and ‘accomplish’ your goals.

The thing you need to do

Here is the only thing you need to do: Do the damn work. When you read a book to learn to run your business better, answer the questions that it asks you. Even better, write a short review of it so you can tease out three big takeaways.

When you set your goals for the year, break them down by quarters. Once you’ve done that, break them down by weeks and then each week have a list of what you need to do so that you can accomplish your goals for the year.

I’d love to hear in the comments what your goals for the year are and how you’re going to make sure you accomplish them.

If you’re having trouble breaking those goals down and staying on track, I’d love to help you.

photo credit: clearpathchiropractic cc