I’ve been contemplating a bit on milestones and trusting your path quite a bit lately. As with any start-up effort, there is some agita to break the inertia and get things rolling, as well as some necessary learning of new things like business bookkeeping and taxes, how to “sell” and so forth. There is quite a bit of testing and tracking what is working and what isn’t.
Whether your business is providing on-the-circuit coaching, or running a tack shop, or manufacturing the world’s best optics, there are growth milestones to be celebrated. Your first client, your first sponsored rider, your first mistake. Yup, I said mistake. You goof up and learn from experience and if you are a smart cookie, you don’t repeat it. You also don’t beat yourself up about it either.
Learning to let go of control. You have very little control over outcomes in many situations and if you are a certified Type-A personality, you know of what I speak. There are times where your bid might not win against a larger group with more experience. Or maybe there is just some unidentifiable stuff going on in the background with your client that is getting in the way. You can’t take it personally and you have to chalk it up under $hit you can’t control.
There are more fun things to celebrate, like finding amazing people to collaborate with. I’ve met or reconnected with some talented people that push the level of what I can offer alone.
Being able to do the introductions, instead of receiving one, is so much more fun. Anytime you can add value as part of your relationship, do it.
Watching followers on social media return. Watching my site metrics grow. These are small wins, and I try not to get too caught up in those.
Being selected as a speaker to present on the topic of selling sporting equipment to women to a largely male audience at a major industry conference. Being asked to give gold standard marketing advice to a group of eager riding instructors. Getting comfortable with public speaking is not something I expected, but now I enjoy the opportunities when they arrive.
Celebrating new business and attained sales goals with a glass of champagne with the husband is always a pleasure for both of us!
Remembering it’s the long performance that counts and not the sprint.
Getting paid to do what you love, for the kinds of business that you also love, doesn’t really fit into the milestone category. It’s just the best.
P.S. Since this article was originally crafted a few years ago, I’ve continued to build an ever-widening group of incredible creatives that I partner with, sharpened my SEO skills, and enhanced my project management skills. I’m grateful to continue to work on behalf of some fantastic people. I’m also incredibly grateful to have some key support people that tolerate my whining when things get tough. It’s also one of the most difficult things I’ve attempted, but most days it’s 100% worthwhile.