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  • Discouragement

    Most new businesses fail before they had a chance to succeed ,mostly through unreasonable expectations of instant success. In these days of instant gratification, it almost seems that if something takes longer than a week or less to occur, its a failure, forget it, give up....Establishing a business takes time..time to develop a customer base, time to gain recognition, time to establish your reputation...none of these occur in a short period of time. Sometimes it seems that money is the only reason to be doing something..and if the dollars dont flow in in the thousands the impulse is to quit. Remember that the successful businesses took a long time to grow up to where they are and it is accomplished by never loosing your vision and love of what you are doing...customers sense when someone is only interested in their wallets and will avoid doing business with those types. Folks who project an honest love of their vocation and a respect for their clients will succeed...but not over night. The right mental attitude is every bit as importiant as the technical skills...there's a story floating around that goes something like this:
    One day the Devil decided he needed to clean out Hell, so he had a garage sale. On one table was an old, worn, well used tool with a fantastically high price on it. A fellow asked old Scratch "..why the high price?" The Devil laughed, picked the tool up and said.." Why, my good Man, this is my most valuable tool. With it I have stopped more good from occuring, caused more grief, hurt more people and destroyed more hopes than with any thing else I have here..it's called " Discouragement and self depreciation"..".....I think you get the point. I know another story too about two Cowboys and a Dancehall, but it aint fit for mixed company....Tom

  • #2
    Good point and one I like to hear as my few customers trickle in one at a time keeping me barely able to pay the overhead. I guess breaking even isn't so bad but it's hard to wait sometimes. But you give me encouragement. Love that devil story too. Feel free to PM me the 2 cowboys one.
    DJ

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    • #3
      Thanks for the reminder Tom. To follow on to what you've said, I think it's important to be really clear about your vision. A vague idea to start with is fine, but to really make it happen, I think it really pays to take time to clarify what your vision is so that you can work toward it. At least, that's what I'm finding right now. I certainly don't profess to having a clear vision right now, but I have a LOT of ideas. Luckily, I have a friend who is "coaching" me through the steps of a business plan and while it is taking longer than I ever thought it would, it is definitely helping me to focus my energy on what I really want - and what is really important. The most important thing for me right now is having someone to bounce ideas off of - and having someone to "report" my progress to. That really keeps me on track. And of course, having a sister who is my "biggest fan" and is really encouraging me to move forward even when I think I can't do something is the most important of all. It's hard to get discouraged when you've got a fan-club like my sister.

      AND - don't forget this wonderful RetouchPRO site if you're feeling discouraged! I still remember when I first joined and posted something that indicated I was a little discouraged - and someone sent me a private message to give me encouragement not to give up. And I see how we publicly give people encouragement as well! We often can be our own worst critics, so I think it's important to ask for feedback from others (in a supportive environment of course!) to keep from beating ourselves up.

      My $.02.
      Jeanie

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      • #4
        There are some good thoughts coming out of this thread. Tom said "customers sense when someone is only interested in their wallets and will avoid doing business with those types". It's funny he said that because yesterday, my wife and I were looking at garden fountains at a local gardening supply center. We knew what ballpark figures were for what we were looking for. We spend money each year on gardening supplies and plants. When I saw the fountains at this particular place, I knew they were about three times what we could expect to pay at other places for basically the same items. I told her that when I saw something like that, I'm not likiely to buy *anything* from a place like that. About an hour later, we bought a fountain at another place for the price we expected to pay. So they not only lost a sale on the fountain, but on a lot of other things as well. Jeanie, you're right -- encouragement from others is priceless! I think it's also important to keep in mind that a business plan is not something that must have every goal met at a certain time. When things don't work out as planned, it's time to re-think and re-write that portion of the plan. It's been suggested before that one should ease into the business, and not expect miracles right off the bat. I also think that taking on more than you can reasonably handle can quickly lead to discouragement and burnout .

        Ed

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        • #5
          I think it's also important to keep in mind that a business plan is not something that must have every goal met at a certain time. When things don't work out as planned, it's time to re-think and re-write that portion of the plan.

          Yes, absolutely! The business plan shouldn't be something that you do before you start the business and then put on a shelf and never look at again. It is definitely a living document and, I think, can be a tool to help you structure what you need to do to reach your goals - as well as a mirror to help you see how far you've come.

          Jeanie

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          • #6
            I'm battling the discouragement deamon at the moment. I've had the busines set up for about 18 months now and while I've had a quite a few jobs I'm no where near being able to make a living out of my business. I still have faith that it is going to succeed but I have a husband who is very unsupportive. He keeps telling me to give it up because it's not making enough money in his view. But I'm a little more optamistic and determined that that and I plan to stick with it for as long as I have faith that I can do it. The strange thing about it it that my customers are great they apreciate what I do and a lot of them are repeat customers. I draw my strength from them but the one person who should be my strenght doesn't believe in my vision.

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            • #7
              Sanda, I'm sorry to not respond right away - I've been completely re-arranging my office. (I have NO idea why I thought this would only take a couple of days!) Anyway, to respond to your situation...

              I have a husband who is very unsupportive.

              I'm in a similar situation, though I wouldn't characterize my husband as unsupportive - he just says, "All I ask is that you break even." Not exactly supportive - but not really unsupportive either. (A little context here is probably needed: I had built up a fairly good massage practice in 1998 and then left the country to teach English in Viet Nam for six months. Killed the practice and I had no desire to start all over again when I got back, so I spent the next three years as a full-time volunteer. Hence - if I break even at this point, we'll actually be ahead. )

              As far as beating back the discouragement demon, do you have anyone else (besides your clients) who is enthusiastic about your work? It could be a relative or a friend (or one/some of us here at RetouchPRO) - but I think it would really help if you can find someone who you can bounce ideas off of, talk to when you're feeling discouraged or just give you the support that you're not getting from your husband. While I agree that it seems like your life-partner "should" be your support, in reality, it doesn't always work that way. So if you think that he's not likely to change his tune, then look somewhere else for a support system.

              If you don't have a friend or relative who's close enough to know what you're doing - and if posting your "deepest fears" at RetouchPRO seems too public - then maybe there could be a "RetouchPRO Buddy System" where those of us who would like/need support and encouragement can "pair off" and start an e-mail exchange. I haven't really thought about how this would work, but I know that having my sister to call when I'm being really critical of myself (which happens more often than I'd like to admit) always helps to keep me taking the next step.

              And as one of my other friends keeps telling me - just take "baby steps". Don't look at the big picture too often or you'll be overwhelmed. Just keep taking the next step and eventually you'll have reached your goal and be ready to set a new one.

              Good luck! And if you ever need an "ear" - feel free to e-mail me.

              Jeanie

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              • #8
                I also wanted to reply to Sandra, but didn't really know what to say. Jeanie, on the other hand, said it as well as it could probably be said. It's a tough situation when you are trying to do something that means a lot to you, and you can't get the support from the ones that mean the most.

                Ed

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                • #9
                  Sorry didn't mean to depress anyone, I probably shouldn't have said anything.I really feel he's threatened by the computer and the friends I have on line as he doesn't know or want to know how to use a computer. I can handle his negativity after all I have been for over 20 years now. My friends are very supportive and give my ego a boost when ever they see something I've done, although most of them have no idea how I did it. So don't worry about me I'm strong and I'll survive. I'm too stubborn to give up just yet.

                  Sandra

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                  • #10
                    I agree with your post Mr. George. I'm going to send it to those Corp. types that only want ("thinking of numbers")the money flowing in(greed). Reminds me of that old 60's series "The Prisoner". Where he says " I am not a number........I am a man"

                    Sad, but that's where it's at. While it's not bad to make money(that's what we need to live).

                    It's just when it comes to.........."Well ! I need to get that swimming pool for the back yard to the girlfriend as well as my wife".
                    So let's start pushing the stuff out the door. What ! The "prints are looking a little magenta, you say.....no problem ! Let's hope their wearing sunglasses when they view em'. No! No! Their not magenta looking.....That's what you cal.........Special Effects !

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                    • #11
                      I know another story too about two Cowboys and a Dancehall>


                      Let's hear it!

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                      • #12
                        Good to hear that Sandra. You go girl!
                        Jeanie

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