Starting a business is one of the toughest things you can do in your life.
Often, you’ll find that the key to starting a business is just getting a little momentum going. But how do you build that momentum?
The key is consistency in business.
You might work hard, but do you stick with it? When I was interviewing James Clear, who built Passive Panda into a massive audience incredibly quickly, for the first issue of HustleLife, he had some great words about consistent work versus hard work:
“There’s a difference between hard work and consistent work. Being consistent may be just as hard. You could send one email a day, and you’d be consistent, but that’s not hard work. Working hard consistently is what gets you there, and the only way to do it is to jump right in and get going. You’ll create your own luck along the way. Lucky breaks come from doing the work.”
Consistency in business is key, and I know because that’s how I built my little empire. More specifically…
I built my SEO copywriting business by sending out emails.
I sent emails out every day for three weeks – it was a very clear, simple system that I knew would work, because I had done it once before, with great results. I hung in there with the system, without making a dime for three weeks, and then in two days, I was able to snag 4 big clients. Those clients are still with me, months later, and paying me handsomely.
When I say the system was simple, I mean it.
I kept a very basic spreadsheet of who I had contacted and when. If I got a response from them that I should follow up on, I put in the date of the follow up in the spreadsheet. So, every day, I’d check the spreadsheet and see who I’ve emailed and who needs an email. It was basically a somewhat primitive method of CRM (customer – or client – relationship management). But it was all I needed, and it worked.
Patience and confidence in your system will result in momentum. My cousin wanted to know how to do what I do, so I explained to her the whole system. Two weeks later, she emailed me, complaining that she had been doing this for two weeks and didn’t have any clients yet. She didn’t know what else to do.
I calmly told her, “Trust it. Give it time, and keep being consistent. You’ll get it.”
A week later, she emailed me to celebrate that she had gotten a handful of clients.
How do you know what is the right thing to work on?
Don’t get me wrong – if you are just throwing darts at the wall, you might be consistently doing the wrong thing. But if you are working on something that you know will work, because the facts show that it will, then be consistent and work hard at it.
How can you tell? Pay close attention to the facts: what are the direct results of your efforts? Has somebody else done what you are doing and had success with it? In my case, I learned the system I used from several people who had done it with great success. Once I got those results, I was able to determine that it was a system that worked. I kept records of how many emails I was sending and how many were turning into leads.
I have a spreadsheet named “The Boss”. It is the main cog of my business – where I keep all my leads and active projects. Because I set up “The Boss”, I always have a quick, easily-reviewable snapshot of where my business is and how it is performing. If it is not performing well, I need to revert back to some of the strategies that brought me success in the first place.
Be patient. Trust the system and let it build some momentum. You might just be shocked at the results.
This is doubly important for you as a startup company, because you start with absolutely zero momentum. But remember that every company that has ever existed started with zero momentum. Success comes from a combination of momentum and hard work – and the momentum comes from consistency. If you combine the hard work with consistent action, you’ll go places.
Just remember to give it time. It will likely take longer than you are comfortable with. But you’ll breathe a lot easier once that work starts paying off – and it will.