Born of Frustration: How To Channel Pain Into Small Business Success
I see you there. Full of optimism and happy dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. You've got ideas of how you will become your own boss and enjoy your newfound freedom. You'll be financially sound and living it up on golf courses and trips. All the things you hated about working for someone else will be gone and your world will be grand.
And then you wake up.
The truth is, owning your own business is a master class in pain. Not the discovery of customer pain points to make the sale of your product (although that's a part). I'm talking about YOUR pain, and it's a daily pain. It's a constant pain. It is an all-consuming pain. You will experience pains you didn't even know you could have. Growing pains, financial pains, the pain from failed partnerships and failed product ideas. So...much...pain.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of U.S. small businesses fail within the first year. By the end of their fifth year, roughly 50% are struggling.
So how do the success stories overcome the odds and succeed?
They embrace their pain.
Pain is the perfect motivational tool for an entrepreneur if they can channel it. When I write a sales page, I am trying to move customers away from their pain. I show them my copywriting skills will solve their issues with customer conversions. The benefit of my services will solve their pain. The trick for us as small business owners is to identify the pain that WE need to move away from for our own success.
A desire to be our own boss isn't enough. Having one great idea isn't enough. You have to be resilient enough to take every problem that pops up and turn it into an opportunity.
Pain in the Beginning
Often times a problem or a frustration is a great idea for a product or a service. For me, I had skills in writing, sales, and storytelling, but couldn't stay in the career fields I had found success in. I have a daughter with special needs that needed my attention. I needed to be accessible for her. Then when I thought I was at a place where I could start getting back into the business world, Covid hit. I needed something that could showcase my talents while still being home for my daughter. I needed to resolve the issue of being under lockdown and unable to meet with people. Those were my problems. Launching this copywriting and content creation business was the solution to my frustration. It gave me the flexibility to work from wherever I needed to be for my daughter. It resolved the problem of how to reach potential customers when talking in person wasn't an option. It allowed me to showcase my skills and solve issues for my clients on how to reach their own customers.
Finding that problem for yourself or someone else, that pain, is your opportunity. Solving it through a product or service is how you turn that opportunity into success.
The Pain Within
You've jumped the first hurdle in identifying the pain your new business will solve. Now we move to fun part. Imagine trying to run a marathon and having a hurdle thrown at you from out of nowhere at any given time. An entire race of hurdles being flung at you from all directions. You either have to jump, get hit, or trip and fall over them. That's daily life as an entrepreneur.
Pain comes from every direction. How do you finally make a profit, or even break even? How do you find customers? Do they even want your product or service? Those are the pains we KNOW we have to solve in oder to find success. But it's the pain WITHIN that we didn't account for that is more key than anything else.
There's anxiety 24/7. Entrepreneurs have to think about their business and making it run even when on "vacation." If you don't keep juggling all the plates, they drop and break. Often times we stop focusing on ourselves or others because we are so invested in our business. Relationships fail. People you thought were your best support system will bail on you or even hate you for no reason. Our health, both physically and emotionally fails. We lose our sense of joy and don't love what we do any longer. The business becomes a "job" instead of a passion. You will doubt yourself and lose your motivation. You will fail...a lot. Those pain points cause a lot of small business owners to walk away from their business. It's hard to embrace something that hurts so much so often.
But that's when you NEED to embrace it.
Pain is what moves you forward. No one likes to be uncomfortable and unhappy. That pain forces us to make changes to become happier and more comfortable. That's when the next pain comes.
Once we become TOO comfortable, we have the pain of lacking motivation. The pain of boredom.
That's when pain can be a motivator. You search for new opportunities and ideas to give you a purpose again. You look for ways to become satisfied with what you are doing. That's when your business starts to grow. You find new things to add or better ways to change up your products and services. You change as an owner and your business changes right along with you.
What about the pain of failure? Well my friends, that type of pain is experience. The pain of failure is that tough teacher you were never a fan of, but they taught you more than anyone else. Pain from experience forces you to change how you operate. You learn what works, what doesn't, and you fine tune your business to take the paths of success.
Finally, pain is the great motivator. When you find yourself dissatisfied and unhappy, it's time to look at what is causing that pain.
Your friends are nagging you or being unsupportive? Time to surround yourself with like minded people that will build you up and help you out.
You don't like working 18 hour days? That pain forces you to find new ways to do things, and how to become more efficient with your time. You create ways to work smarter, not harder.
You're stressed or gaining weight? Feeling sluggish and unhappy? You find solutions to improve how you do business, and how to take better care of yourself.
No matter what is causing you that discomfort or pain, THAT is what you need to focus on for growth or success. Pain is the little voice inside showing us where we need to turn next to evolve as entrepreneurs. Pain should be a business owner's best friend and mentor. Listen to that voice, focus on the solution, and watch your business (and your spirits) soar.
~Sheral, Owner/Founder of C3 Specialties