This is something which we don’t do enough of – setting our expectations at the beginning and reviewing progress against them. I am sure this is why many people quit work at home or home based businesses.
The problem is that we see all the hype about what you can do with a home based business. Maybe we see or know a person who has been very successful with this type of busin ess and quite naturally we jump to the conclusion that it must be possible and easy for us to do the same.
If I could say one word it would be don’t!
I think it is fair to say that all of us do – I did when I first started Hudson Rickman. I had:
- A great plan for the next six months and then 12 months
- Set milestones and they looked easy to achieve.
- Set my expectations accordingly and they were aggressive.
After three months nothing was happening
After six months of some work nothing was happening.
A Review was needed.
Then I did sit down and review where I was and the following realisation set in.
- I wasn’t working anywhere near as much as I had set out to.
- I was learning much more than doing
- My plans were about 9 months out (!)
I came to the conclusions that my expectations were off the scale completely.
So why did this happen?
I think this happened for a number of reasons – very understandable and I think most of us fall into these traps.
- We have no real point of reference to help us. It’s no good thinking we are as good as the successful lady next door because we don’t know anything so why would we be?
- We do have to learn before we can walk – look at most successful people and there is a massive learning curve and isn’t this what we did when we first started work anyway? Why would it be any different now with a totally new venture?
- We always err on the side of optimism. In a sense this is no bad thing because we need to be optimistic but in reality we set expectations far to optimistically, by a long way.
- We mainly see the money rewards without seeing the work required.
- Most of the successful people do not mention the amount of work, tears, trials etc that they went through – why should they.
So what does this mean we should never expect anything? No but we need to learn how to set our expectations in a better way.
Some tips if I may.
- Allow time for learning I am still learning after 15 months in the Hudson Rickman venture. I was able to produce something worthwhile about 5 months ago so in reality I was learning for 10 months – wow!
- Make allowances for a shorter working day. Most of us at home based businesses do not start by working a 8 or 12 hour day. We ease into it. This means that whatever we are doing will take longer – and the first thing we do is learn – get the idea now?
- Set much smaller expectations instead of making money. We know that’s the aim but a lot has to be done before this can happen. So look at getting your niche identified as a first step, set a while to do this – a month – it actually took me three weeks to settle this with myself.
- Set a plan for each month. Break it down into little chunks and then into days work. Go for it. Then at the end of each week see how far you got. Revise your plan – it will usually extend a bit. Keep doing this and you will begin to learn what your true rate of your progress really is. The you can re-plan with some accuracy. This will then lead to realistic expectations based on some data – you!
Finally realise before you even start that this home based venture will take time no doubt. Also don’t give up. There are many times when I could have but I realised I was my own worst enemy and changing me and my attitude and resetting my expectations solved the issue for me.
Hope this helps,
Yours in business
Please feel free to share this article.