I am coming to the end of my first year of trading as a sole trader. As mentioned in previous posts, it’s been a year of ups and downs. I would say currently client project work is at a bit of a low ebb andI am worried about achieving my business goals for 2013. However I am determined to stay focussed and succeed, but when the market is low, and you are trying to build your reputation outside of your old corporate identity it is somewhat had to pick yourself up, and see that there may be an opportunity staring back at you.
My strategy for beating this low is remembering just how good the feeling of a new client project is, and working hard to then find these clients and their elusive projects. I’ve had to push my well polished procrastination techniques out the window and instead dust off the assertive side to my personality which I found lurking at the back of a cupboard. Clients won’t come to you. They need to know about you and what you can do for them. Therefore it’s it’s about being hard on yourself, using your contacts to make other contacts, and getting the word out there through your network about your product and services to your chosen industry. There is only you in this company remember.
However my other tip for beating the low ebb is that I’d also recommend asking for a helping hand. Mine has come in the form of asking for help from a mentor and training coach to help me get through this stage of my business development. I’ve found my mentor in Michael Heath (@1mheath). Michael has started to give me the direction that normally would have come from inside a corporate organisation from managers, colleagues and training courses. When you work on your own, you miss that link and don’t realise the support that these groups bring. Michael has started to help me look at my personality, challenge my assumptions about myself and also work with me to look at my business strategies and is gently taking me down a more positive path of having to do it on my own.
I am recently found this quote, but it sums up my new working life:
Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail Ralph Waldo Emerson