1. THE FAST START – These are the instant successes, the modern-day fairy tales come true: The secretary who made more money from her own clerical service within the first two months than she’d been making on her job. But bear in mind that you don’t need instant success to succeed. Most successfully self-employed entrepreneurs do not have a fast start. And fast starts can pose a unique challenge. You can be overwhelmed with so much business that you’re drowning in it!
2. SLOW AND STEADY – Many successful businesses are more like an endurance marathon, building momentum over the long haul. This is a more commonplace experience than the overnight success. As long as you can see the gradual progress you’re making, this pattern can be a more comfortable one.
3. ROLLER COASTER RIDE – Some people discover that making it on their own is a series of peaks and valley, ups and downs. One month you may be exceeding all your projections, then the next it seems like you can’t give it away. When you’re having a business peak, it’s tempting to think the peaks will last forever. Enjoy them while you can, but also plan ahead for the down times. And when they do occur, just remember that ‘this too shall pass’ (Hopefully, your business isn’t in serious trouble). Use those down times to prepare for the next plan or climb.
4. THE ENDURANCE TRIAL – Some successful businesses only come about after years of perseverance and determination (or sheer stubbornness). If you’re experiencing this type of situation, it’s extremely important to be highly motivated and focused. If you don’t want to do what you’ve set out to do, it’ll be difficult remaining positive and continuing on. Several years can pass before your business will break even. It’s also important to keep your eye on the ultimate goal and not get bogged down in your current reality. Focus instead on the progress you have made and keep taking steps forward to where you want to be.