Today, I want to take a few minutes and talk about the dark valley of your home business, traditional business or network marketing business. This is a concept that few people ever talk about, but I think it’s very important to understand.
It’s not something that will apply to every entrepreneur, but it will apply to most entrepreneurs, regardless of their industry.
Let me start out by telling you that it takes time to build a successful business of any kind. Most traditional business owners don’t expect to make even ONE DOLLAR OF PROFIT for AT LEAST their first three to five years in business! They realize that it takes time to get established, build up a reputation, find customers and develop market share.
In the real world, you will seldom, if ever, hear an entrepreneur complain about not being profitable during their first couple years in business. They realize it’s part of paying their dues and getting their business built. they expect it and embrace it.
Network marketing is the complete opposite. Many people quit and complain after just a month or two in this industry, if they’re not making the big bucks. This always makes me laugh, and sometimes even frustrates me, because most people in our industry really have no clue about how to think like an entrepreneur.
Most people who complain or quit our industry haven’t even invested 10 hours per week to build their business for any period of time. They haven’t taken the time to develop their skill-set and mind-set. Most of the people who quit or complain haven’t even contacted 100 people or given themselves a fair chance to succeed.
Most people in our industry have an employee mindset or lottery mentality, both which will ultimately lead to failure.
In any business, there will be a dark road. For most businesses, this stage begins at the end of year one and can last another two to three years, assuming the business survives. Some businesses never even make it to this point, and most businesses that close down normally do so during this “dark period.”
I would define the dark period as the time where you don’t see much return on your time or money investment, even though you’ve been working hard for a couple of years. Perhaps, you’ve been working your butt off for a couple years, but you just can’t seem to figure things out or make a profit.
It’s during this time that most people throw in the towel and say ENOUGH. Some people just grind it out because of their pride or work ethic. A select few figure things out and get over the hump, but most people do not make it.
This same stage happens to a lot of network marketers. Many people who make it to this stage have been diligently working their network marketing business for a couple years, yet they are still only making $200 to $1,000 per month, if that. As a result, they think that they are wasting their time and would be better off just getting a job.
Because they’ve never owned a business before, or no one has ever given them realistic expectations, they end up thinking our industry is a scam, or just isn’t worth it.
Once again, all businesses, in every industry go through this dark period. It’s a valley. Let me put things in perspective.
- It took me about three years of trial and error to build up a profitable eBay business
- It took me about four years to build up a successful blog
- It took my dad about 10 years to build up his successful antique business
Just about EVERY business owner I know who became successful went through a similar experience. No one achieve quick success.
The bottom line is that you need the vision and mental toughness to make it through this dark period. In any business, you will work very hard in the beginning and typically see little financial results for your efforts. But if you stick with it, develop your skills, improve your mind-set and keep plugging along, you will figure things out and get good results (in most cases anyway).
Just be prepared for the dark valley so when you reach it, you know what to expect. Knowing is half the battle.
What do you think about this concept? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you.