When I graduated from junior college in 1998, I was ambitious and ready to conquer the world with my Associates Degree. I had a Paralegal Certificate and a plan. The goal was to build a world class paralegal service that offered forms preparation, court runner services, and field collection services for small companies. Since this business was going to be funded by me, I had to keep by employment in the call center environment. One other thing, in 1998 I have birth to my 3rd son. So, I was going to build a company from the ground up with my own money and raise 3 sons. What was I thinking?
Express Professional Services remained in business for almost 15 years. There was no way I could afford to hire employees. I didn’t want to bother with loans and credit cards. There just became a moment when I realized, I needed to choose employment or self-employment. I chose employment.
I often ask myself was I overwhelmed, or just distracted. When I look at other successful small businesses, I can unequivocally say I was distracted. Running a business takes all of a person. Working an 8-hour job and giving 100% to clients is impossible. In addition, what kind of mother was I being to my 3 sons. I took them with me to client’s houses, to the office, and to court. I made more than enough to support myself with my self-employment. I was just distracted by work, new shiny things from the combined income, and my own guilt as a mother if I was unable to provide for them.
Here is the thing, once you establish a goal you must stay focused on the prize. This will require tunnel vision and lonely days perfecting business plans and platforms. Even when I started Communications Camp, I listened to some of my prospective vendors and clients. I decided I needed to refine the branding and establish the product.
It is easy to become distracted right now especially in this economic and political climate. It is just as important to understand your goal and why it is important to you. This way you can eliminate distractions that can diminish the longevity of your brand. Small businesses begin with a dream, then move on to a goal, and end with a true-life reality. This reality can be yours if you understand what your distractions are and eliminate them, stay positive and pursue your dream.
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Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor