Thursday Jun 01, 2023

Consistency in Business: Be Smart about It

During my work from home experience (which started part time in 2014 and went full time later that year), I learned two things:

  1. Consistency is key in building a business of any kind.
  2. Most people still believe that business is easy, they are the anomaly to the statistics, and they will be an overnight success.

They quickly learn that business is hard…and they quit much sooner than they should.

Consistency is absolutely the only way to succeed in business, even if you already have one or more corporate jobs (I worked two other jobs while starting my business and I had three children at home). But…you have to learn to be smart about it.

Related: 3 Things No One Tells You about Success

Honestly, you have the same 24 hours in a day that I have, that Elon Musk has, that Jeff Bezos has, that Beyonce has, that [insert business mogul you admire] has. I know, I know, some of you are screaming about how they are millionaires / billionaires, but they weren’t always that way. They worked to get to where they are. I worked to get to where I am…and I am fine with not being a millionaire or a billionaire. Because…let’s be real…

More money = more problems

While I do strive for more and I have objectives and goals, I am also content with my financial lot, by and large. I make more now than I did teaching college. I make more now than I did working as a paralegal. I say that to tell you that it is okay to have a goal of just being able to be in a better place financially and to be happier because you are home or to [insert your goal here]. It is equally okay to want to make it big as long as you are not a douchebag and trample people on the way or once you get there. Isn’t making money to make your life easier the American dream?

It is okay to have whatever goals you want.

I wanted to say that again before I begin harping on consistency.

I Didn’t Wake Up One Day and Have a Roster Full of Clients

I didn’t wake up one day after deciding to become a freelance writer and suddenly have a roster full of clients. I woke almost daily with a load of anxiety and wondering why people would want to hire me since I had no feedback and no professional writing experience. See, now you know that everyone goes through that. You are not special in that regard.

Every single day, regardless of whether I worked both jobs (I taught Monday through Thursday in the mornings…and for a few terms, I taught in the evenings. I worked as a paralegal Monday through Friday in the afternoon), I took consistent action to find writing jobs I had the skills to complete and send in a proposal…against experienced writers. I fit this in when I could every single day. I took advantage of RSS feeds from the freelancing sites I used at the time and used an RSS feeder to compile all of them.

It did not matter that I was tired, frustrated, busy, or whatever. I knew that if I wanted this business to work, I had to be consistent. It was my job to look for clients until I had clients…and even then, you still look to add clients to your roster.

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Set Up a Consistent Schedule for Creating Content

You can use a free WordPress account to set-up a blog or you can buy a domain. The choice is yours. When I first started, I created content on a website that was similar to Medium (but the idea wasn’t quite as popular). My objective was two-fold:

  1. I wanted to create writing samples that also included my name that showed up on a site that looked professional. I also had some stuff on a free Wix site for an online portfolio. That also worked, but I wanted something more.
  2. I had a situation involving an ex-husband whom I had a VPO against for domestic violence and stalking (this is public record and I am allowed to discuss it, yes, but I often choose not to discuss it for various reason). He attempted to put some not so nice fallacies out once the court issued the VPO. I decided to take online reputation management into my own hands…between reporting blatant lies, filing DMCA complaints to remove content that did not belong to him, and writing content that was attached to my own name, it made it fairly fast and easy to knock things down off of page one. Now, when a search is ran you find me, you find a doctor by the same name, and you find some other high profile Robin Bulls. And that is a-okay with me! This would not have been fucking possible without consistent action on my part.

Regardless of what you do in business, if you want to rank in the search engine for anything, you must be consistent in the production of content.

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Be Consistent in Your Work Schedule When Possible

I am sort of a mix between a lifestyle freelancer and a digital agency. My hours are generally part time. I earn more in that time, as I said, than in my previous profession(s) working full time. I could make more if I worked full time doing what I do. One reason I work part time is our 11 year old son. He’s non-verbal and has autism. This year, we are virtual schooling. Even before that, there was school, OT (which he graduated from), speech therapy, and ABA behavioral. I damn sure was not putting him in daycare, before school care, or after school care. I love what I do, but I love my kid more. That does not mean this shit is always easy, either.

Related: No One Gave a Shit about the Struggles of Working from Home Until COVID-19

But…the one thing I’ve always tried to do is to be consistent in my work schedule. I do this for several reasons:

  1. It helps my clients know what to expect. They know when I’m available. My long-term clients even know my son’s therapy schedule in the event they need to get in contact with me on those days and don’t immediately hear back.
  2. It creates a feeling of legitimacy. This isn’t just for me. I know what I do is legit. As I state in my book, there’s this issue with people who learn that you work from home…they think you don’t really work or that you can do it later so you can do shit for them instead.
  3. It protects your time. This is something else I discuss in my book. You are literally giving yourself time to be consistent and work on your business. Why? Because proper planning (and execution) prevent piss poor performance. You cannot expect to get anywhere in your business if you do nothing.

Granted, finding the right schedule isn’t always easy. I know. Mine often changes during the year. Hell, I thought that because of virtual school I’d keep the 5 am schedule to have most everything of mine done by lunch. Just one problem with that…the software required by the virtual school won’t allow my kid to log-in if a web cam isn’t detected and my laptop is the only one with a web cam. So. Yeah. I end up using the desktop…there’s no real reason for me to keep getting up that early except to have some quiet time for myself (which is also okay except on days when the rheumatoid arthritis has kicked the shit out of me and I’m super tired…the fuck it – I’m going back to sleep until about 40 minutes until the kid needs to get up!).

Just Be Smart about It!

I know that building a business can be hard. I did it. You can do it, too. The frustration, the fatigue…all of it is just part of it. Be consistent and be smart about how you do it! Schedule time to work on your business and fucking stick to it. Remember your ultimate objective.

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Consistency in business is the only way to succeed.

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