Building a business is a lot like the old Kevin Costner movie Field of Dreams. Kevin’s character is a struggling farmer who had a vision. He couldn’t explain it and at first he doubted it himself but it kept coming back to him. He had images so strong that baseball legends were literally walking out of his cornfield. He took out part of his cornfield to build a baseball field for them! Everyone thought he’d lost his mind and no matter what he couldn’t get them to see what he saw. He didn’t give up though and in the end everyone was there finally witnessing what Kevin’s character had told them all along.
Never was this movie scenario more true than when you tell everyone you know that you are starting a new business. There seems to be two main schools of thought that happen at this point. The first being everyone thinks you’re crazy until you make it big and then they want to know how you did it. They will all want to “help” at that point too. Until then though help and support are virtually non-existent especially in the beginning. People are too busy telling you it won’t work and shaking their heads in disbelief about what you are doing. The second possibility is everyone thinks you’re crazy and if you fail they will say told you so. They will let you cry a little over it and then expect you to go back to normal where you put that foolishness aside. Some may even tell you they hope you learned your lesson and don’t do that again. Either way though no one is seeing what you see as possible. They can’t hear anyone whispering “build it and they will come.” As a result, the support to start, build and grow a dream out of a cornfield or piece of paper is damn near impossible to get buy-in for from others.
When I started Dragonspit Apothecary I received a lot of looks as if people were worried about me and thinking my mind was going. When sales are down or flat I try really hard not to think they were right. The odds of a small business making it are stacked against success regardless of type of business it is or what the opportunity and possibility could be. Most of those odds are exactly the result of what I describe above with people not believing it’s possible and hearing the opportunity. Not only does that work against you in building a business but it also plays it’s own set of games in your head and spirit along the way. Even in the movie, Kevin’s character wife even started to doubt him at some point which made him start to think he might very well be going crazy after all.
Even those with the truest grit and determination will fight against the constant waves of frustration for trying to overcome these obstacles. The field of dreams for your own business success will be one of the hardest endeavors you will ever take on. Millions of people try it every year. Millions will wake up one day like I did and say this is it I’m going for it. They may even go on and say this time will be different. Yet all of us believe we’re going to beat the odds. Sadly, most won’t though and they will have that second group of people telling them told you so and guiding them back to the “real world.”
Along that same line, I believe there are more books written for the entrepreneur than any other business related topic. Tons of advice, words of wisdom and lessons learned for what and how you can beat the odds. Most of it is a waste of money in my opinion. While you should always be learning, evolving and trying new things in your business most of the books I’ve seen that are intended to help you simply send your money to an author who isn’t doing any better than you. They may be slightly ahead but that’s not where you’re going to beat the odds for your small business. The biggest problem with the books are that there is truly is not a one size fits most approach to being successful. Read the books but be sure to apply it to what is right for you and your business and dream. I have come to believe firmly you have to listen to yourself more than anyone and build your own ball field. If you do it any other way you are building someone else’s dream with their instruction manual.
When I started the Dragonspit blog over 2 years ago as a channel in my business for providing education and support as well as marketing, I was told over and over again blogging was dead. The trend was YouTube and podcasting. No one reads. I went forward with it anyway. It made sense for my business and I was good at writing. It was a service and resource I could give a lot of people to help them live naturally and make choices right for them. I enjoy writing in fact and have always believed if you read something you have more ways to make it meaningful to you. That was important in my business as I know that what works for me and my family may not work for you or it needs to be modified to fit your needs.
Today, my blog is read by thousands and growing every month! While I have enhanced it to include some v-logging and may one day add a podcast it is still at it’s core written words. It is delivered to email boxes every day and visitors come to my website and click links from social media to read it. I’m actually starting to work on a book from it all too! I did what was right for me. I used what I knew how to do and let the naysayers shake their heads. My blog was like the cornfield where I built and continue to enhance a ball field and used my vision of what was possible at the forefront through it all. What I hear today from others in my industry is there is no other resource on this subject that exists like my blog, how did I do it?
The biggest and best advice there is in this world is to be true to what you know deep inside you. The closer you stay to that then eventually the rest does fall in place and become possible. The naysayers will always be there and it will be hard at the start. You will worry what they will say and you will doubt, criticize and beat yourself up about things all the time but return to that voice inside you. It’s bigger than why and it’s more powerful than how. Just like the Field of Dreams movie, that character didn’t know how he was going to do it but each day he tried something else to figure it out. He didn’t give up listening to what he knew was right and tuning out those naysayers around him. He kept his dream alive even at times by a slim margin but he didn’t give up.
Each year millions of people will sign up to start a direct sales business. These business in the bag opportunities are sold as the way to your dreams. Get rich, live the life you want and be your own boss. As a result of so few actually making it to that level most people have become jaded in what they think about this type of business. The truth is it is possible when you apply what is right for you in building that dream. When you find the one that is right for you and it speaks to your heart in what can be achieved, it is definitely possible. It may not be you end up at a top rank or have millions of dollars in sales but it could be something else entirely that starts with that product based business in a bag. It starts with a dream that’s aligned with your heart, soul and mind. It begins with you not listening to the naysayers or letting a flat month in sales derail what you are ultimately going after. It’s building your ball club and field a little at a time each day.
So today my friend I encourage you to let your visions become a reality. No matter how crazy or how little anyone else believes it possible. You take that first step and the step after that and keep going until you have a ball field of your own.
To help you start I invite you to see if starting your own small business is right for you. My New Leader Assessment is a free tool to help you identify what is possible and where it may take you realistically and practically without the hype and things that make it anything but your dream. You can take the assessment here: https://forms.gle/rm5XpgnxBYU5bjnEA