I found this photo and posted it online today to both my LinkedIn and Facebook accounts. I love it because it’s so tempting to give up when starting your own business. There tends to be a rush at the start. Nearly every entrepreneur I’ve worked with has that early stage where a few new clients pop up easily. I had the same thing. My very first client was the very company I’d resigned from!
You start on a roll and expect things will continue to “fall in your path” continually. Sadly, that is not typically the case. After that first rush, there is a lull. A scary lull. A lull where you ask yourself, “Will I ever find another new client?” The temptation at that point is to give up, get a ‘real job’ and not worry about it again. But those who succeed, persevere.
How you get through that lull will vary. Some will simply hustle and find the new work. Others might market wildly, drawing in new clients. In my case, I was offered the opportunity to be on contract for a short period of time. This allowed me to learn, A LOT, from experienced colleagues while I built a substantial client referral base. Once the contract was done, I was situated well for building my business. That referral base is still my main pipeline of business.
And, then there are the seasonal slow downs. I had a conversation with a colleague the other day and we were talking about how hard it is when starting out to learn that each business tends to have its high and low seasons. For me, that tends to be late summer and during the holidays. People just want to put aside their work during these periods of time. So, as you learn the seasons, you acclimate yourself accordingly. For me, late summer is the optimal time for vacation. Why try and work during the low time? Take a well needed vacation from your work. You’ll come back renewed and ready to help all those new clients that will be starting up their work again.
There are so many factors playing into the your thoughts of giving up. My best advice is to find a small network of fellow entrepreneurs to bounce ideas off of, hire a coach who’s been there and can guide you, and look at the offerings of your local SBA. Don’t go it alone, but do keep on moving. Don’t give up. The world needs special gift!