Many home-based business owners go into business with the dream of creating more financial and personal freedom for themselves.
Usually, quite the opposite result is produced.
When running your own business, you often work harder and for longer hours than you would for an employer.
Your perception of being a business owner and the reality of it are miles apart. This is why so many entrepreneurs end up feeling out of balance and out of control.
If you are experiencing these same feelings, you are not alone, especially if you are in the early years of building your business.
A gap exists between your original expectations and the reality of running a home-based business.
It is important to acknowledge your false perceptions and recognize the reality of being your own boss.
It is also important to understand that running your own business is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, and as long as you are aware of the realities and remain committed to create the success you seek, you will make it happen.
In order to create breakthroughs for yourself and your business, you need to understand and embrace 8 powerful strategies.
1. Determine Your Values
This cannot be stressed enough. The success of your business will directly relate to honoring your core values.
A great tool to determine your values can be found at www.wheretheheartis-lifecoaching.com/valuesgame.htm
2. Create A Vision
What is it you want to achieve in the next six months to a year? Where do you want to be in 5-10 years in your business and personal life?
Write down the vision you have for your company and your personal life (5-10 items each). With this done you will be able to set realistic goals and focus your efforts where they are needed.
Beside each item listed, write down what realizing this vision will feel and look like. Every successful entrepreneur will tell you she wrote down her vision and how this practice has contributed to her success.
3. Set Goals
Take a few hours this week to identify and write down three or four key goals necessary to move your business forward.
Include personal goals as well! (These include relationship, physical, emotional, spiritual, family, nutritional, etc.)
Picture yourself at the end of this year. It's New Year's Eve and you are looking back on your achievements.
What would you like to have accomplished by then? How will you feel looking back at your amazing accomplishments?
4. Maintain Quality of Life
This is critical to the success of your business. If you are burned out, stressed, exhausted, unhappy and imbalanced, your business will suffer.
Play your favorite sport every week, get out with friends, play with your children, attend school functions and dinner engagements, get adequate sleep, eat healthy meals and take your partner on a date.
If your work and personal life are not in balance, you will do yourself, your family, and your business a great disservice.
When you are in balance, you have more energy, you can think more clearly and you can maintain a sharper focus.
When you function in a balanced state, you can accomplish more quality work in 3 hours than you can in 12 hours in an imbalanced state. You will make better decisions and fewer mistakes.
Take mini-vacations. Every time you do, you will come back fresher, sharper and capable of creating amazing breakthroughs in your business.
The little things that set you off before will go unnoticed when you're refreshed.
If you lack a particular skill, have someone else take on the task for you. You don't have to be and do everything.
Some skills are essential in running a successful business. Others can be outsourced.
The greatest entrepreneurs of our time know where they are weak and use other people's strengths and abilities to create desired outcomes.
By leveraging your time, you can free yourself up to focus on what you do best.
I considered learning how to create and manage my own web site then realized my time could be better spent focusing on my overall vision and mission.
I could have spent days learning a software program and designing a site, but that would have taken me miles away from my vision.
I would have been working in my business and not on my business.
Keep this in mind for yourself. You are the visionary of your business. You need to remain focused on the big picture. If you have time consuming tasks that can be better handled by others, hand over the reigns.
Know that you are rewarded for the results you create, not for how many hours you had to sweat and toil to create them.
6. Mastermind Groups and Support Systems
You cannot do it alone and you do not know it all.
Growth and prosperity are accelerated when you have a strong support system in place.
By having a mastermind group and support system in place, you will have a continual source of information, a direct link to hundreds of resources, encouragement, and a means of accountability.
These partners will help you remain focused and on track with your business while being good to yourself.
7. Maintain Strong Client Relationships
It requires 16 times more effort to acquire a new client than it does to keep an existing one.
Treat your clients like gold. Nurture your relationships with them and go the extra mile to make them feel valued and appreciated. Imagine every client as a million dollar client and treat him as such.
If you had a million dollars in your hand, you wouldn't throw it away would you? You would protect it and treat it with care.
If your client feels valued and appreciated, he will go out of his way to share his gratitude with others.
Strong relationships will grow your business. People will seek you out. Focus on the relationships you build and the profits will follow.
8. Never Stop Learning
If you decide one day that you have achieved absolute wisdom and there is no more room for improvement, your business will start to wither.
Human beings evolve. Entrepreneurs evolve. There is no absolute perfection. Make continuing education mandatory.
Fill yourself with information about selling, marketing, your industry, your competition, your client demographics and psychographics, copywriting, economic trends, new product development, etc.
By using these strategies you will create breakthroughs for yourself and your business.
Take some time in the next couple of days to find a quiet place for yourself to sit and write down your vision and goals.
Put these strategies into place.
Revisit your notes every week and see how you are doing. What results have you experienced so far? Where do you need to make adjustments? Have you implemented all of the strategies?
Some home-based business owners are so excited about the possibilities that lie ahead they jump right in to building a business without creating any structure or implementing any strategies.
Many small and home-based business owners fail due to inconsistency, lack of focus, poor structure, ineffective strategies, and eventual burnout.
Invest the time and energy necessary to ensure your success.
Discipline yourself, create structure, implement the above strategies, and you will be amazed by the results you create.
Laurie Hayes is a Life Strategy/Small Business Coach and founder of Where the Heart Is Life Coaching.
Laurie works with home-based business owners who face the distinct challenges presented when working from home. She is the author of numerous articles and a bi-weekly newsletter, "The Heart of Living."
To subscribe to her free newsletter and learn more about coaching, visit http://www.wheretheheartis-lifecoaching.com