If you feel like you are expending effort with no results in your business, then this post is for you. That is actually the definition of spinning your wheels that I found online. So if you are spinning your wheels (or expending effort with no results), then keep reading.
What feeling stuck in your business looks like
So, what does it really mean to feel stuck in your business?
I want you think of what that looks like with a car. If you have been in a carwash you know you put it in neutral while your car is automatically pushed through the carwash. When you get to the other end of the carwash and the little light turns green, you press on the gas and you don’t go anywhere – because you’re still in neutral. You haven’t actually put yourself in drive.
Have you ever gotten stuck in sand, snow or mud? I have. Once as a college student, I borrowed my dad’s truck and took my friends out four wheeling in it. I got stuck in the mud and had to be pulled out. And I remember this panicking feeling of just, “Ohhhhhh No!” Are you there?
Or what about hydroplaning? I don’t think your wheels are actually spinning in this case. I think it’s actually the opposite. Years ago, I had my two little girls in the car, we had just dropped my husband and my sons off at the airport. The girls and I were going to stay with my parents for a few nights. There was a horrible rainstorm. I was on the freeway and I started hydroplaning. I was still moving forward, but I knew I was not in control of my car.
Is that where you are in your business? Where you’re moving forward, but it feels like you just really don’t have any control and you don’t know where you’re going to end up? At any moment, you could be thrown off the road and end in disaster?
A real life example of feeling stuck
What does this really look like in business? What am I hearing from you? Well, recently I had one of you contact me via email. You were talking to me about how you work all day long, but you still have no followers. You’ve been doing this for three years, but you still aren’t making money. You are questioning yourself and God.
Thinking to yourself, “He told me to come here. He told me to do this, but I’m not going anywhere. I’m just spinning my wheels. I’ve tried everything. I’ve tried to everything all the experts have told me to do and nothing works. And I’m just stuck.”
If that is you, I have five things for you to try to get yourself unstuck.
5 Things to try to help you stop feeling stuck and get your business moving forward
#1 – Reassess Your Goal
What is success? Do you even know? Have you ever even thought about that? Is success having 10,000 followers on Instagram? Is success making $1,000 per month, or $100,000 per year? What is success to you? I want you to consider that maybe it’s not what you think it is.
For instance, is it having a lot of followers or is it actually making money? Which one is your goal? Which one are you actually working towards? Is your goal to get more Instagram followers? Well, okay, but is that going to actually do you or your followers any good?
Here’s an example. I’m going to be a little bit vulnerable – actually a lot vulnerable here. This business, Designed For Goodness, started just over a year ago in March of 2020. It’s currently April of 2021 and right now I have 200 people on my email list. Does that surprise you? I’m guessing that it probably surprises quite a few of you.
I have had 450 people join my email list total since I started. Some of those have unsubscribed and many of those I have manually removed because they weren’t interacting. I clean my list often. So right now I have just over 200 people on my email list.
I also have less than 1,000 Instagram followers. I think I’m just over 900 right now, but guess what? I will make nearly $5,000 this month. So just focusing on the size of your following, the number of people who visit your website, the number of people on your email list, I believe your focus is in the wrong place. Are you just focused on having followers or are you actually focused on helping those followers solve their problems, changing their lives for the better?
A lot of times, I think we jump into this online space and hear the experts talk about how to get more people on your email list and how to get more followers and how to get more traffic. So that becomes our focus. But I believe that actually blinds us to our real purpose here, especially as Latter-day Saint women.
Our purpose here is to change lives. It is to solve problems. It is to help people. You can focus on going really broad and having 10,000 or 100,000 Instagram followers, or you can focus on going deep with the few people you do have. That’s been my focus since I have started.
I want to help the people who want to be helped because that’s where I can make the biggest impact. Not everyone who follows you really, truly wants your help or really, truly wants to change. They’re not all ready to change in the way that you know, and think, that they should.
But when you focus on those few people in your larger audience who really want to be helped, that is when your business will change because you will begin solving problems for people. That is gratifying. That is so much fun. Even if you don’t make any money, that is fun when you have changed someone’s life in a real way.
I promise you that working that way is actually going to earn you more money because those same people, the ones who really want to change, who really want the solution you’re offering? Those are the people that are going to be willing to pay for it. That’s why I can have just a few hundred people on my email list and still make thousands of dollars per month. It’s because I am focused on really helping them. I’m not just focused on having a large following.
#2 – Create a business plan around your goal for success
If your goal for success is to solve people’s problems, a problem that you know they have and you know you have the solution. If that’s your goal, then build your business around that goal. That’s what your business plan should focus on. How do I solve my people’s problems?
When you can really answer that question and start putting out that type of content on social media, on your blog, on your podcast, on YouTube – that’s when your business will change. So your business plan needs to focus on that.
So two things:
- How are you going to help those people solve their problems?
- And then how are you going to make money? What are you going to give away for free? What are you going to charge a little bit for? What are you going to charge a lot for?
You need to have a plan. So many of you, and I know this because I interact with you, but I also know this because I was you and I did this. We jump into this all excited. God told me to be here and I’m just going to be here. And I’m just going to start typing away in my blog or my podcast and my Instagram feed. And, and, uh, now what? You jump in without a plan, and you’re just going to spin your wheels.
I promise you need a plan.
#3 – Make a list of everything you do in your business
Now, this might seem a little bit overwhelming, but as you go through your week, I want you to open up a Google doc and write down everything that you do as you do it. So, if you’re making an Instagram story, write that down on your list. If you are editing a picture on Canva, write that down on your list. Anytime you do something, for the next week or so, write it down on your list.
Once you’ve got that done, I want you to rate everything on your list by two different criteria:
A) Good, better, best
How well does that thing help you accomplish your goal? Whatever it is that you believe success is. I believe it should be how well does it help me solve my people’s problems and how well does it help me make money?
There are some things in your business that don’t really help you do those two things. And then there are other things that really help you do those two things. There are good things in your business that have to happen just for it to function, like accounting, but they don’t actually help you make more money and solve people’s problems. Those things are in the good category.
There are other things, like best, that really help you do those things. For example, interacting with your followers helps you figure out what their problems are or creating a product helps you solve their problem and helps you make money. Those are the things that belong in the best category.
So I want you to look at everything on your list and rate it as good, better, or best.
B) Dislike, like and love
I want you to rate things as ‘I dislike doing this’ or ‘I kinda like it’ or ‘I love it.’
Once you’ve rated everything on your list in that way, I want you to focus on the things that are in the best and love category for one month. Can you do it? I want you to just work on those things that are in the best and love category and see how it changes your business. It will get you closer to your goal. You will stop spinning your wheels. I promise.
I also want you to consider hiring out those things that are in the good and dislike category. If you’ve got things that are in both the ‘good for my business, they need to happen but I don’t like doing them’ categories – those are the things you need to hire out.
Tips for hiring help for your business
Hiring somebody does not have to cost you an enormous amount of money. Here are a few options. If you aren’t ready to pay a virtual assistant $50 an hour, which I don’t pay mine $50 an hour, I hope to get to that point as my business grows, I will continue to increase what I pay her, but you don’t have to start there.
- You could trade with someone. For instance, I just traded with Heather, from Heather Cluff Creative. She took a bunch of videos and photos for my business. That’s something that’s good for my business, but it’s not something I can do very well. It’s not that I dislike doing it. It’s even worse than that. I don’t know how to do it. So I traded with her, I’m designing her website and she’s giving me videos and pictures.
- You could also hire a teen in your neighborhood. Maybe there’s a teenager who wants to be online. They want to learn how to be a virtual assistant. They want to or they have great skills. You can hire them, train them and pay them a whole lot less.
- You could also hire your kids. My kids do things for me in my business. On occasion, they help me and I pay them for that. The best part about that is that it’s typically not extra money. It’s usually things that I want to buy for my kids anyway, like a summer pass to Splash Summit. They have to buy that pass, so I give them ways in our family to earn money. And one of those ways is to work for me. So I get some help and they get money and they learn how to manage that money and spend it in the ways in ways that are wise.
#4 – Pay attention to your analytics
Then make decisions based on what they tell you instead of just other people’s advice. Experts advice could be a great place to start because they’ve learned a lot. I have been doing this for 12 years now and I have experience that I can share with you. But every audience, every person, every niche is different.
While you can use experts advice as a starting point, you must watch your analytics. When you post something, go back through your Instagram analytics. What are your most popular posts? Create more of them, create more content around those topics or in that format.
Go back through your blog posts, which blog posts are doing the best? Create more content around that topic. Pay attention to your analytics and then make decisions in your business based on those analytics instead of the most recent trend or idea from some expert that isn’t even in your niche.
#5 – Be patient and have realistic expectations
This might be most of the most important tip of all. You knew nothing when you started this. You felt prompted, you got online and you took a leap of faith. You knew nothing about online marketing. You didn’t know words like blogging and WordPress and SEO and website and IG and Twitter and groups and community, and analytics, and blogging and podcasting – they were all completely foreign to you. You have learned so much and you will continue to learn, stop comparing yourself to the experts.
Stop comparing yourself to me or to Michelle Gifford or to Sarah from Sarah Grace Live. Yes, our businesses are going to look different. You’re not going to get there overnight. Hopefully with our help, you will get there quicker than we did. But your business is not going to look like mine or like theirs overnight. It just isn’t. You must be patient with yourself and with your Heavenly parents as they help you.
Use the Compound Effect to help you keep from feeling stuck
Let’s talk about what it looks like when you double $1 every month. Now I know that there is no investment you can make where you’re actually going to double your dollar every single month, but the concept is easier to teach you by simplifying it this way.
If I were to put $1 in a bank account and it doubled every month, the first month I would have $2 the next month I would have $4. The next month I would have $8. See how slowly it’s growing? By month 10, I would have $1,024. So just over $1,000 at month 10. It takes 10 months to go from $1 to $1,000.
But guess what happens in the next 10 months? I go from $1,000 to just over a million dollars. This is how online growth happens. It feels exceptionally slow at first. You’re going from 1 to 2 to 4 to 8 to 16 to 32 to 64.
It feels painfully slow. I know it does, but if you are patient with yourself, if you apply the other four tips here, you will grow. And eventually it will start to grow so quickly that you might feel like I did when I was hydroplaning. Like you are moving forward and you really don’t know what direction you’re going.
That’s why you must have a plan, because it will happen. And I wonder sometimes if the reason why Heavenly Father is waiting to give you that fast success is because you don’t have the right plan in place yet? And he knows that if it starts taking off, you’re going to hydroplane and you’re going to end up in the wrong place.
So, let’s go over them again.
- What is your goal? What really is success?
- Create a plan around that goal.
- Make a list of everything you do in your business and rate things according to good, better, best, and dislike, okay, love. Focus on those things that are best for your business and that you love doing.
- Hire out some of the things that you dislike, that aren’t quite as important to your business goals.
- Pay attention to your analytics and make decisions based on those.