The only thing more frustrating than your business not making money when you (deep down) know you’re not doing all the things you should be is a business that isn’t working when you are doing all the things you should be.
You have a plan, you’re learning mad new skills, you’re being productive and focused, you’re tracking your results but.. nothing is changing. Why aren’t your mad new skills paying off? Why do your hapless competitor’s inferior products sell out when you’re lovely goodies are gathering dust?
There is one small, sneaky, yet totally business crushing reason you might not get results from your efforts. It has nothing to do with not manifesting hard enough, lack of worthiness, bad luck or some horrible curse the universe placed on you for stealing that sweetie from the supermarket when you were 10.
It’s the gap…
Huh? The gap? What gap? Who has a gap? The gap is the chunk of time that sits smuggly between action and result. I have strong feelings of distaste for the gap. I like everything to happen today. I want to know now what works and what doesn’t so I don’t waste precious nap and Dr. Phil time on stuff that doesn’t create a result. But the gap doesn’t work like that.
The gap favours consistency and perseverance. I eat a salad and take one long, high energy, sweaty Bikram yoga class (express because who has time for a 90-minute class?) and expect my Rubenesque like physique to be whittled down to Insta-famous swimwear model overnight. When I haven’t dropped the weight equivalent of a medium-sized pet in less than 24 hours I am flummoxed. How could this be? I put in so much effort? I ate the damn salad, I did the exercise, now where is my massive pay off?
The salad of the business world
Commonsense says my expectations are totally unrealistic and would happen only with the assistance of a knife, a surgeon and one of those vomit-inducing vacuum cleaners used to suck fat from the bloated bodies of humans. Even with the fat-sucker-vacuum-thingo, I am not getting the toned bod of an Insta-model anytime soon. I need to cross the gaping chasm of the infamous gap to see knife free results. This is where businesses fail to gain traction. Eating salads for a week isn’t going to produce epic results, neither is 99% of the new things you try just a few times to improve your business. You need to wait out the gap. Something many women in business aren’t prepared to do.
How big is the distance between action and result?
Who knows. There is no one simple answer to this question. Seeing a small shift in results should happen in a few weeks but most of us aren’t impressed by the small shifts. We want fireworks and popping champagne bottles but small consistent actions are the ones that create big long-term success so we all (yes, me included) need to suck it up and do the work every week for months before we claim defeat. It takes time to see results!
Want to start tracking your results + your see your persistence paying off?
Tracking your progress
As if I wasn’t going throw this golden gem of a suggestion into the mix yet again. Even I am sick of hearing myself say “track your results!” but I keep repeating it for one very important reason. It works. If you want to know if you have lost weight you either jump on the scales each week or you take your measurements. You track small changes in your weight or measurements to keep you focused on your end goal because motivation is easier to find when you can see progress is being made. Tracking your business results is the same.
There is a reason I created the Profit Lovers Plan and Track. It shows me what actions create a small but worthwhile result and I can record the weeks where I did nothing to improve my business. It provides the you-ate-a-freaking-family-sized-cake-and-did-zero-exercise reality checks that we all need in business.
So have you given up or given in too soon?
One Facebook live video is unlikely to generate hundreds of sales #shocker. One Facebook live video might get you 10 views, after ten facebook live videos you might reach 100 views and 10 click-throughs to your website.. we’re getting closer to a sale… Maybe 200 views and 20 click throughs is the magic number that tips the sales scale. The important numbers are small to start and may seem like their not making a difference but over time they help you and your business gain momentum.
Likewise, one email blast is probably not going to net you enough to cover a fancy mocha latte icy almond milk frappe thingo from the local hipster cafe. Wait out the gap between consistently sending emails and you will see results. It might take 3 months to travel the distance between action and result, it might take longer, but it will pay off.
How do I know when its time to stop sucking the empty wine flask? (the saying “flogging a dead horse” would usually fit here but it makes me sad…)
Once again I can’t give you a fixed time frame or point of reference so you know when it’s ok to give up. Usually giving up isn’t the answer anyway, its changing course slightly not leaping off the boat entirely that is the best solution. Look for changes or tweaks you could make and see if they influence results.
I ran three intensive and exhausting (for me) challenges before I figured out how to convert to sales. The most interesting point is that people who participated in the first challenge become group coaching members after the second challenge and both first and second challenge participants joined the program on the third time. I wanted to give up after the first challenge because I saw zero results. I assumed it had failed. I just hadn’t bridged the gap yet. The action of giving awesome interactive content and the result of seeing sales took some time. Giving up would have cost me somewhere in the region of $40k.
So now back to you. What have you tried a few times then abandon because your results weren’t what you expected? Will you go back now and try again?