Most businesses don’t survive for 5 years. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, one-third of all new ventures won’t survive their first two years and more than one-half won’t survive through year four.
I love to sing. In years past, I was in choir and actually had a lead in my high school musical. So at this point you might hear me doing a rendition of “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor! Can I get an AMEN? I have survived. This is my year #5 of being in business. My business got started exactly half a decade ago while sitting in a Starbucks outside of San Antonio, Texas. In spite of having no background in business, a recession or 2, and numerous mistakes of my own choosing….my business is still alive. Here are the reasons that I believe I have made it 5 years and beyond!
Reason #1: I move fast….
I take action right away and keep the forward momentum. I am not one to wait too long or let any grass grow under my feet. I would rather try something and see if it will work for me. Then I can either keep it going or be done with it. Now this does get me into trouble sometimes, but most of the time, it allows me to make the same mistake other colleagues are making. I just make it 6 months sooner and get it over with.
Reason #2: I won’t give up….
I am a tenacious chic. I won’t stop. I might take a break here and there to rest or get more fuel for the journey, but I am in this for the long haul. It really reminds me of running a marathon, which is 26.2 for those of you that have not had this adventure yet. I can proudly say that I have completed 4 of these “little buggers”. I was slow, but steady, moving along down the trail. Not willing to give up. That is what I have done in my business too. I won’t stop or give up.
Reason #3: I have a purpose
Yes I have a mission and a purpose and it relates directly to my business. I am not quite sure how I could have moved forward if it was not such a passion of mine. Here is my official mission statement for 2010: “My mission is to inspire women to dream big, catch on fire, and change the world”. I am living my mission daily each time I answer an email, speak at an event, or meet with a coaching group. My mission has changed and grown and evolved over the last 5 years, but it is exactly right for each season.
Reason #4: I take out the garbage…
I stop doing things that are NOT working. I have learned to let go. I have learned to say NO. I can and will throw it OUT to the garbage. I have learned to “chuck it” as my mom would say. Much of this has been learned the hard way….why does it always seem like we have to do it the hard way??
Reason #5: I ask for help…
Of course I ask for help, over and over again. Don’t you? I am not sure how any business could stay open without getting help from mentors, consultants, advisors, friends, colleagues, clients and family members. I ask for what I need. I ask for feedback. I am willing to invest time, money, and effort in getting the help I need. And I do ask for forgiveness from my poor husband for talking about my business so much. I am totally un-ashamed of asking for help!
So that is my story.
But there is so much more to share, so I am planning to continue this Fabulous Five series over the next few months. I will be sharing everything from “5 songs on my nano playlist” to “5 books that I have on my nightstand” so it should be an interesting journey!
Come join me! Let’s survive together!
Diane Cunningham is the CEO of Diane Cunningham Companies LLC and the president and founder of the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs (www.nacwe.org) and the Life Inspiration Center. This is her 5th year in business and thus she is writing the “Fabulous 5 Series”. You can visit Diane, access her free reports, and stay connected through www.dianecunningham.com and www.lifeinspirationcenter.com. Diane lives in Wichita Falls, Texas with her husband Robert and her dog Bear.