It takes 10 years to become an overnight success

This blog was first seen in Business Chicks.

As someone who’s bootstrapped three successful businesses, I would love to say that running your own business is easy, but I’d be lying.

Building a business or taking over an already established business is super difficult. It’s hard work, all of the time. Forget about shortcuts, this is nose to the grindstone stuff. You’ll be working hard, every single day. Gone are the days when you can sit at your desk and ‘pretend’ to be switched on at work while staring at a computer screen blankly. If you don’t work, your business doesn’t – it’s that simple.

The great news is that if you get it right, running your own business will be one of the most rewarding things you’ll do in your lifetime and for me, it’s been life-changing. But I’ll let you in on a secret: there is no luck involved with being successful in business. Why do I say that? Recently, I was nominated for a business award and a colleague said to me, “You’re so lucky!”

Inside, I was riled up because I know luck had nothing to do with my nomination. Loving the work that I do and committing to do it, each day – even on the days when I’m not really feeling it – resulted in that nomination. Simply put, getting results in business is about a four letter word and nothing else: work!

For those of you who are prepared to forget about luck and do the hard yards, I’ve got three key tips for you:

1. Be intentional and get real

What are you trying to achieve in business? Set your goals for the next 12 months and if they don’t frighten you in any way, you’re not thinking big enough. Reverse engineer your success by dividing the 12 months into quarter blocks. What milestones do you need to smash and how are you going to proactively make things happen?

2. Position yourself strategically

Based on your goals, you need to map out how you’re going to position yourself and your brand. When people see you, what are they going to know you for? When they think of you, what will automatically come to mind? Make every decision count – every speaking gig delivered, every blog posted, every social media post uploaded – it all adds to your positioning and will determine whether you meet or even exceed your goals.

3. Find your tribe

I cannot stress this one enough! There are plenty of brilliant groups out there like Business Chicks where you can connect with other like-minded women and people. Reality is, to play with the high rollers, you need to be in the same room as them. So figure out what groups you need to join, who you want to mentor you, what books and podcasts you need to be reading and courses you need to take yourself to the next-level. Your tribe is going to pick you up when business knocks you down (and I guarantee that at some point, you’ll feel like you’re limping along in business). Find your tribe and get in that room!

Above all else, consider whether entrepreneurship is something you really want to do. Pay zero attention to the glam news headlines or the perception painted by others because business can look sexy as hell from the outside. Realise it’s a difficult journey and that when the going gets tough, you’re going to need to push through and be patient. As I’ll continue to say: overnight successes you hear about are really 10+ years in the making.

Jemimah Ashleigh is a Business Chicks Premium member and one of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs. Having built three successful businesses from scratch, she is a highly sought-after business consultant, mentor, speaker and will be releasing her first book in 2018.

Connect with her here.

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