At the end of April 2023, I started Project 129, the goal was to make to $300,000 in about 4 months. I failed. I made it about 1.5% of the way towards that goal and at the last stretch I found my business being upside down instead of right side up. But how? What happened? And what’s my plan to recovering my business? In this blog post I will cover all of those things. Today is September 1, and I feel inspired and energized and ready to move forward, but first: self-reflection.
My 10 Steps to Recovering My Business
- Step One: self-reflection
- Step Two: acceptance
- Step Three: setting a new goal
- Step Four: create a new plan
- Step Five: positive self-talk
- Step Six: lean on support system
- Step Seven: mindfulness and stress reduction
- Step Eight: celebrate every win
- Step Nine: seek professional help locally
- Step Ten: stay focused and grateful
Self-Reflection for Answers
I have asked one too many people for their suggestions/advice on my plight. Not many of them resonated with me. If anything it felt like adding one more thing to my already full plate. So then what? Well, I took notes of the additional things that were suggested and small voice said, “Market. Market the hell out of your business. Don’t add nothing. Market your business.” And that’s the answer for me.
It’s so funny because I knew this all along, but I didn’t like the answer. Strange huh? It’s strange because it was so simple. Which, as a recovering overthinker, you’d think something so simple as market your business would be a relief. But I was looking for something more challenging. I like a challenge. Nope. I wasn’t going to find that, not this time. The truth is I failed to reach my goal because I had over complicated my marketing strategy. I had weighed myself down with learning and consuming other people’s content about marketing and how to make videos that I did hardly anything. Emphasis on hardly anything because even the small things that I did were pretty great.
Looking at my metrics, I saw growth. I saw my website here at MissWinn.com reach 5K in impressions, which was a goal of mine that I reached through posting on Pinterest. I grew my TikTok to over 1,000 followers which was a goal of mine at the beginning of the year. My personal Facebook is now in professional mode, by accident, but is now a goal to keep soaring with that. I mean, I saw increase everywhere but my bank account. And it was THAT fact that really stomped on my self-esteem.
Acceptance is Hard But Necessary for Recovering
Accepting that I was seeing growth everywhere except my bank account had me in a chokehold cause what the heck am I doing? I was doing what is apart of marketing and that’s called: building awareness. And when you are building awareness the dollars might not come right away, but you’re gaining an audience. I know that now, but 2 months ago, it couldn’t see that. I was stressed out. I own a book publishing company and am responsible for helping authors see their dreams come to fruition and beyond. So not only did I feel this disappointment when my bank account was in the negative, but so did my authors and their audiences. Now here, accepting that what I was doing was building an audience, I can create a new goal and move forward.
Setting a New Goal Quietly
Moving forward, I am staying in my lane. No new social media challenges but a goal that I keeping to myself until it is met. There is a lot of unnecessary pressure that comes with announcing a goal. For some it might work out as accountability, but for others like me, who are still working through anxiety issues, it was counterproductive. My mind became weighed down from this perceived pressure from others. When in reality no one was really saying anything. There was no pressure except for the pressure I was putting on myself. Haha! My goodness, hindsight is always 20/20. But I know what I need this time. I need to keep quiet and work. Work on my marketing and putting myself and my business and my authors out there. We deserve it.
My New Marketing Plan for Recovering
In April my marketing plan had offers that got derailed and delayed. I was marketing my book formatting service that I did on Fiverr and my Fiverr page got deactivated, weeks after starting the challenge, causing my income to plummet. And because I made that mean something about my abilities, recovering was difficult. Looking back, had I had a mindset of “I’m still got this” or “I can create a new account,” maybe things would have been different. But I was so hard on myself. Which I will talk about next, but I was being ridiculous with my self-talk.
It also took me a while to figure out how I wanted to sell digital products. Digital products were apart of my previous marketing strategy but it took me a while to create it, then once it was created I didn’t talk about it much. I, like so many of us, created something, put so much work into it and then didn’t talk about it everyday. And THAT is the new marketing plan: talk about my offers daily while also providing value to grow my audience.
Death to Self-Pity and Birth to Self-Compassion
I’ve said this before, but I will say it again and again. I am the kind of person who will get an idea to do something and then find the reason/purpose for it later. For example, since April, and maybe even earlier than that, I have been writing and recording guided meditations and affirmations for myself. I’ve been using my struggles and coming up with “opposites” to help me feel better. I know the power of self-talk, but my dominant voice wasn’t kind to myself. Thoughts like “You’re a single mom and solopreneur, you can’t do it,” or “You don’t have the abilities to do that,” would come to mind. All while I was seemingly creating systems for myself to break out of that and recover. Now with a better understanding, I know how important it is to have self-compassion. Now I tell myself things like:
- We all get down sometimes.
- Businesses find themselves upside in some seasons.
- Struggling is apart of the human experience.
- Struggling in a way that affects more than you/one person is also apart of the human experience.
And while it doesn’t necessarily make me feel good. It makes me feel better than the negative self-talk. Now, moving forward with recovering, I have a collection of positive self-talk scripts that I plan listen to and utilized to further help with recovering my business. I even got the idea to turn them into an audiobook for you, if you’re interested.
My Support System Came Through
While I was getting chewed out by myself, I had friends that checked in with me to encourage me. Over the years I had been the one to encourage others, and so it was nice to be on the receiving end. And I know that’s what I need. I need others who could pour into me while I pour into others. My cup was on empty for a long time and only when an encouraging friend or stranger even, would pop up in my DMS, or text, or comment, did it start to fill up. It was only then that I realized what was going on.
You see, negative self- talk is draining. It’s like poking holes in a styrofoam cup that you are also trying to drink out of, it doesn’t work after a while. Moving forward with recovering, I am more aware of my negative self-talk and can switch it to a positive, AND I am leaning on my support system. Not asking for advice, but asking for encouragement. I needed encouragement, not one more thing to do.
Mindfulness & Meditation to Reduce Stress
Mindfulness in the sense of not judging but observing. Not absorbing but observing. As in, when my chest feels heavy because I am doing something different, to recognize that this could be happening because of internal resistance. My brain and body are aware that I am actively trying to change something. I need to change in order to recover. But this change, for me, sounds off sensations in my body. And it’s up to me to determine what those sensations mean. A lot of times it means to take a few deep breaths. To affirm myself, to do a quick mediation, and then move forward. At least that is the plan I have for working through stress. To recognize it, to accept it, then to breathe through it and let it go.
Celebrating Every Win
While I didn’t “win” the Project 129 Challenge, a lot of cool things came out of it. I did create digital products, I created a membership program, I created a literary magazine, I decided who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do and to have, and I saw growth in other areas. I learned a crap ton and moving forward I feel well equipped and ready to succeed.
Go here to find my digital products.
Go here to learn about my magazine.
My Local Business Coach
You know, one way to not get scammed out of your money when looking for business coach is to find a free local business coach. Business coaches can charge thousands of dollars, as they have the right to, but those kind of coaches weren’t aligned with what I was able to do. So I found a local organization that provides free business coaching to women in business. And it’s only been a couple of months since I started working with my coach and I feel empowered. Even though they are waiting on me to finish my homework, it feels good to know that someone is looking out for MY best interest. That someone out there, who knows what they are doing, is leading me and pouring into while I do the same for others. It feels good. It makes me feel like I can turn my business around.
Staying Focused and Grateful
As of right now I will not be adding one more thing/service/offer to my plate. Not until I meet my new financial goal. I will focus on marketing my business in this season. Which the plan is to talk about my offers everyday, while providing value to my audience. I have a clear schedule set before me, and I know how to deal with obstacles that may come my way. I am grateful for the last 129 days. I think these next few months, from now until the end of the year, will be some of the most rewarding. Let’s see what happens.