We live in an “Instant Gratification” society. We want things so immediately, that we’re willing to bypass simple human contact: I can leave my house and drive through the car wash, go to the bank, check my balance, make a deposit and withdraw some cash, stop at the gas station, grab some lunch and then go to Wal-Mart and do all of my shopping…with minimal human interaction. Instant Gratification.
I don’t have to get out of my car at the car wash, not even to pay – there’s a credit card swipe machine at the entrance; push a few buttons and I’m good to go. I don’t have to get out my car to do my banking, either – there’s a drive-thru ATM machine on every corner. I don’t even have to worry about what hours the bank is open anymore: The ATM is open 24/7. I’ve been able to pump my own gas for forever, it seems. And imagine – it was a “good” thing when I could pay at the pump – it meant I no longer had to walk into the gas station or convenience store to have them swipe my card – I could do it myself. Fast food? Doesn’t get any faster than ordering from a board, shouting into a speaker, paying through a window on your way to someplace else. And even at Wal-Mart I can check my own self out: I don’t have to talk to a soul if I don’t want to, and I don’t have to wait in a line. Instant gratification.
At home, I don’t have to spend time at chores that would have eaten up hours of my grandmother’s day. I have a washing machine and dryer so keeping my clothing clean is pretty easy; I have an iron, so keeping my door open is easy too! The vacuum cleaner makes keeping the floors clean a snap, and let’s remember the stove, the oven, the dishwasher, the sewing machine. Oh…and the biggie for instant gratification? How about the refrigerator/freezer and the microwave? I don’t even have to prepare food and cook it anymore. I can buy it pre-made, nuke it for a couple of minutes and Viola! Instant Gratification!
And the media? Don’t get me started! I just had Time Warner Cable disconnect our television – the plug in drug. At the push of a button I’m wired for sound, my brain waves are visibly changed and I’m zoned out: “Entertain me!” I beg, “Give me some more of that Instant Gratification!” The house is on fire? I’ll be right there, it’s getting to the good part.
So what does this have to do with building a home based business? Everything!
Tools that provide us with instant gratification are a convenience, but they are not reality. The reality is that a LOT of work went into creating the systems and tools that allow us to go through the drive-thru, to do our banking online or at an ATM, to use the microwave or to be entertained by a television program or a movie.
That “star” on the silver screen didn’t pack her bags, head to Hollywood, audition for a blockbuster, get cast on her first try and hit mega-stardom overnight. That “star” paid her dues, put in the time, studied and practiced her craft, acted in plays throughout grade school, high school, maybe even college – worked odd jobs while she went to countless casting calls hoping for a bit part. We missed the blood, sweat and tears behind the mega-stardom; we’re simply dazzled by the fame. We imagine that it happened instantaneously and we want some of that for ourselves: Instant gratification!
Not surprisingly, when we first get involved in the direct selling industry, we see the top earners smiling from stage, smoothly meeting and greeting the crowd; they make it look so easy! Their stories sound so simple! They were down and out, they landed on company X, they knew they had to get to the next event, they dug money out of the couch and broke their son’s piggy bank to cobble together enough money to “get there,” and it made all the difference in the world – totally turned their lives around. Now look at them! They’re a multi-millionaire; a jet-setting, mover-and-shaker in the industry…and you can be too!
And you CAN be, but it’s not likely to happen overnight.
You’ve got to rid yourself of the “Instant Gratification” delusion with regard to building a home based business. The superstars in your company EARNED the right to be on stage. They started right where you did (everybody does!) and they struggled to figure it out. They dealt with the same insecurities, they pushed past the same barriers that you will have to push past if you’re going to reach their level.
And that’s the difference: They worked on their businesses and they worked on themselves – longer and more consistently than their competition did; they laid the foundation, they got some momentum going and they maintained the momentum: They didn’t stop. Like the energizer bunny, they kept on going. No one handed them their success on a silver platter. And no one is handing it to them now. They’re still going.
You don’t often get to hear that side of the story because it doesn’t “sell.” It’s not sexy. “Instant Gratification” is sexy; it’s what the people want; it’s what sells. The testimonial gets shortened into a 30-second “no guts, no glory, if I can do it, anybody can!” inspirational sound byte that pumps the masses up into a motivated mob. And that’s all well and good, but when folks get home and they realize that it’s not happening as fast as they thought it would, they get discouraged and quit.
My husband has watched me work from home for many years. He’s had a ring-side seat as I’ve faced the challenges and successes of building a home based business; he’s sat through countless seminars and conventions, he’s heard many speakers and trainers, he knows a number of the top earners in the industry personally. And even at that, my husband looked at me the other day and said “I thought this was supposed to be easy!”
I was shocked!
Even after all these years, my husband, like most folks, was confusing easy with now.
“It is easy,” I said. “And it’s not that you expect it to be easy, you expect it to be now.” It’s the same mistake that most people make. They expect it to be NOW, they expect that if they pay a little money – or sometimes even a lot – they will magically be turned into an online money-making machine. Instant gratification at work in building a home based business.
Building a business – whether it’s a home based business or a brick and mortar business – isn’t hard. The actual steps, the daily income-producing activities that must be done by any business builder – are simple things that can be done by anyone. Doing them every day, day in and day out, over and over again, whether you’re seeing an immediate return or not, is what is hard. And that’s where most folks get tripped up. They give up before they get going.
Building a home based business and instant gratification are mutually exclusive: Unless you enjoy the work of building something from nothing, there’s not much “instant gratification” involved.
I have learned and I teach my coaching clients that building a business is a lot like pushing a large boulder up a hill. If your business is the boulder, it takes an enormous surge of energy to start the boulder rolling; it takes continued effort to keep the boulder rolling. If you let up on your effort, even for a minute, your boulder will start to roll backwards, and unless you’re very careful, it will roll right over you on it’s way back down to the bottom of the hill.
However, if you maintain the momentum you’ve created and you roll your boulder consistently, you will crest the hill and begin the journey down the other side. Now, your boulder will begin to roll with its own momentum, gradually gaining speed until you find that you’re chasing after it, trying to keep up.
The superstars? They’re all chasing after their boulders! That’s when YOU see them…as they’re dashing across the stage in mad pursuit! Trust me, every single one of them had to push his or her own boulder up the hill first.
If you want to build a successful anything – whether it’s a home based business, a brick and mortar business, a relationship, or anything else – forget about instant gratification: Put your shoulder to the boulder and push!