Tuesday, June 07, 2011

What Shape Is Your Safety Net?

One thing all new business owners and entrepreneurs have in common is the fear of the unknown. Despite all their resolve, all their research and skills, that first year in business for themselves is a leap of faith.

So it makes sense to have a safety net, be it a financial reserve that will cover essential outgoings for a year or a series of signed contracts that guarantee business income for the first few months.

When a new team member joins a network marketing organisation, they too are encouraged to have a safety net - usually expressed as "Start part-time". Team leaders are aware that many new recruits to their team will not have the skills or the personal resilience to cope easily with the hard work required to build their own business. Learning those skills whilst under pressure to replace a lost income is a prime cause for newcomers to quit the business building and go back to a 'real job'.

Eventually though, those fledgling business builders will feel the pressure of juggling two 'jobs'. At that point, all sorts of excuses are created to justify slowing down their efforts. Chief amongst those is the need for a pseudo-safety net, be it social (friends and family aren't supportive enough), financial (not enough money to build the business properly) or chronological (need a 48 hour day to do this properly).

We need to be aware of this tendency, in ourselves as well as within our team. A pseudo-safety net is nothing more than a ball and chain shackle, slowing us down and wearing us out. Real safety nets are there to cushion our unexpected descent before allowing us to get back on that tightrope.

We should make sure that we have our own social, financial and chronological safety nets, so that our team members can look, learn and copy.

Social - block out "us time" and "me time", then don't allow your business building efforts to impact on that valuable area.

Financial - tithe for profit and tithe for the future. Tithe your retail profits to cover business building expenses, and put all your bonus payments - that's the income you get from your company as you qualify up the payment plan - in a savings account.

Chronological - get organised, block out business time and stick to it. Don't allow anything else to impede your productivity during that essential worktime. Treat your timekeeping as though your employer was watching you.

Don't let your safety net be the wrong shape - make sure it's there to catch you, not hold you back or imprison you in your comfort zone.

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