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Don't Suffer In Silence

(c) 2002 by Cheryl Williams Levey,

We all know that starting a business can be hard. With traditional businesses, most people are at least somewhat prepared emotionally for slow starts and putting in some time before showing a profit. However, starting an online business can be particularly tough. If you've spent any time online looking for the right business for you, you have undoubtedly encountered all kinds of websites and ads telling you that making millions in your first month is possible. There are so many get-rich-quick schemes and scams...and some of them cut uncomfortably close to the emotions that drive people to start their own businesses in the first place: Stay at home with your kids, fire your boss, lose the commute, have freedom...all ya gotta do to make lots of money is sign up and get the free company replicated website.

None of us really believe this, do we?

What we begin to believe, though, is that it's not as hard as building a traditional business, and won't take quite as much time to show a profit, even if the profit is small at first. And because the required investment isn't even close to that required for a traditional business, we convince ourselves that giving it a try is worth it. And in the back of our minds, perhaps we think it's not a "real" business anyway because it didn't take much investment to start.

So we (hopefully) do our research and find the right business for us, and set ourselves up. We work really hard and do our best to promote and market our new business. We get a little interest, but start to realize that building our business is a little harder and takes a little longer than all the ads proclaim.

Even if we know we are on the right track, we find that our business building is moving at the pace of, well, a turtle. In the meantime, everyone else seems to be hopping like rabbits. (Because we haven't stopped getting all those "quick money no effort I'm already rich" emails.)

And we sit alone at our computers wondering what is wrong with us that we are the only ones in the universe who just don't seem to "get it."

See what I mean about starting an online business being particularly tough? We are generally isolated while being inundated with all of these proclamations of huge success. And our own "failure" is only known to ourselves.

So what do we do? Sadly, a whole lot of us throw in the towel and give up. We feel stupid for spending the money and time we already have.

But before you decide to give up, I have some advice for you, and I'm qualified to give it because I was once there myself.

I chose to suffer in silence for a while. First, I ignored the feelings of self-doubt and discouragement, but they crept in and gave me no choice but to confront them. I don't like admitting defeat. I don't like feeling stupid or like I've gotten in too deep or made a mistake. For me, it was quite painful to admit that maybe I needed a little help, or even just a little hand-holding. Or even a change in how I was doing things. But I finally swallowed my pride and got the help I needed. And I'll do it again if I need to!

The advice I got was to list the pros and cons and to consider that maybe fear was a factor as well. So, I thought about that for a while, wrote down some stuff, and tried to clarify exactly why I started my online business in the first place, what I wanted from it and where I wanted it, and myself, to go. I wrote down a few ways to make changes in how I did some things and how I was marketing.

I put those changes into action. And, needless to say, I stuck it out.

Do you know what happened? Suddenly, within days of my deciding to keep working at it, the interest in my business started to boom! It was incredible, as though my decision to be strong and keep going for the gold emanated from my home office out into cyberspace, attracting people to my business. Of course I will continue make changes as the industry changes, because after all, the business is fluid and there are times when changes need to occur, but I'm sure not quitting now!

So, if you're sitting at your computer right now wondering why your business isn't doing well, don't make my mistake and suffer in silence. Don't get to the point of quitting. First, understand that you are most definitely not alone. Get some inspiration by reading other success stories, real ones, and focus on the idea that if they can do it, so can you! Find forums or message boards to participate in to find out how other people cope with slow growth and how they are building. And by all means, confide in someone, someone who will objectively counsel you (not someone who will try to convince you to stay or go for their own reasons) to think about WHY you started your business in the first place and whether giving up the dream is worth it.


Cheryl Williams Levey owns, a site
dedicated to showing you how to save time and money
while growing your home business. Do you have what
it takes to build a home business?
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