I hit a wall last week. Figuratively speaking that is, not an actual wall. You may have noticed there was only one post last week? That wall was one that I’d been warned about, that I’d been told to look for around the six month mark of having the site going and blogging constantly.
I thought I’d missed it. Yay me! After all, I’d been running a coaching business, complete with website, for over four years, why would ‘this’ six month mark be different? And besides, it’s been eight months. I must have missed it, right?
Man, I didn’t even see it coming. That wall just up and hit me right between the eyes last week. Totally unexpected, and frustratingly solid.
It’s the wall of “this is damned hard work” and “I’ve written more in the last eight months for this site than I did in the entire four years of the other website” and the “I’m so sick of sitting down to write/market/tweak/network”. And since it was a busy week in other ways, that wall felt even heavier than it should have.
It’s not that I’ve run out of topics, goodness knows I’ve got topics listed for the next two months and I’m adding to them faster than I’m writing posts. It’s not that I’m not getting results from the website, I’ve got a higher readership than I expected. I’ve got coaching clients contacting. I’ve had people contact me for Joint Ventures, guest posts, links etc. Business is good.
It’s simply the fact of the day to day ‘stuff’ of writing a blog. The glow of initial excitement has faded and gone, it’s no longer a novelty to have a business blog, it’s become the ordinary way to do business. The joy of writing a new post every day or two has disappeared, to be replaced by the mundane-ness of business as usual.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it happens to every business owner, and apparently it’s usually around the six month mark. I guess I’m lucky that I made it to eight months before hitting the wall. That was probably simply the fact that I had so much going on in my personal life around then – my husband came home from a six month deployment in the Middle East – that I was able to keep going for a bit longer.
It’s not a bad thing, this wall, in fact it’s a good thing, it’s a significant milestone. This wall is a barrier that filters out the serious business people from the wanna-be’s. If you’re not serious about your business, if you’re not prepared to keep on going long-term, if you were expecting it to be easy, then this wall will stop you.
However if you knew from the start that it was going to be hard work, if you planned your business growth over a long period of time, then like me, you’ll get through this. Or you’ll get over it, under it, around it, whatever it takes. That wall won’t stop you more than momentarily. Or, as in my case, for a week.
I spent that week, apart from writing the one post, looking at what I’m doing and going over my business plan. Was this really what I wanted to keep on doing? Was I doing it the best way, or could I make it easier for myself? It was a real wake-up call, this feeling of hitting a wall, to make me look closely at what I’m doing and what I plan to do.
WAHM Biz Builder has evolved constantly over the last eight months, and it’s still changing. We’ve gone from launching in mid January, a major site redesign in April, another site change in July. I can track the changes and development in my writing from my first post to now. (And I’m so thankful it’s developed, because that first post is really badly written! Ugh!) I’ve run a survey of my readers, who basically said keep going in the same direction, that what I was writing about was what they were interested in reading. I’ve trialled Value Based Coaching. It’s been a great eight months.
I’ve been told there’s another wall that hits around the 12 month mark, and then again at 3 years. This time I’ll be ready for them, and not so surprised when they hit. Apparently this happens to every business, from the A-Listers at the top downwards. They’ve all gone through this and come out the other side stronger and more secure.
Last week is over, the wall is behind me now (thank heavens!) and so it’s on with business as usual. And thanks to last week and taking the time to look at what I’m doing, I now have an even clearer vision for the next year.
Melinda is the founder of SuperWAHM.com and started the site to share her learnings to help other Work At Home Mums become more independent and able to spend time with their families