One of the first questions that I ask soapers when we talk about their business is what their dream is. Where they want to business to be in 3-5 years.
Most of the time, I am told a version of:
“I want a successful business that provides income but also gives me time to spend with my family”
As a working mom, I understand where that dream comes from. It stems from this desire to resist being pulled in many directions, and to feel some sort of control over one’s financial situation.
Here’s the thing. I have gotten to know and watch the journey of many soapers who have that dream. I have watched them learn the skills to take a business from hobby-that-makes-money to actual business, and to the point where the extra income supplements the household income.
For some, reaching that point means “mission accomplished”.
And then I watch the spark go out. The passion fades. The drive takes a rest.
And growth slows down, or in some cases, completely halts.
The pursuit of building a remarkable business STOPS.
I have thought long and hard about why this happens. I have studied goal setting and drive and have come to understand the importance of setting HUGE goals.
Let’s change the subject for a moment so that you can understand where I am coming from. If you have ever struggled with your weight (I have continually so this is a good analogy for me), this story may sound familiar.
- Set goal to lose X pounds. The goal is not actually the total amount that you really should lose, but a “reasonable” goal that will get you on your way. Let’s say you really need to lose 40 pounds, but set the goal at 15 because that feels easier to accomplish
- Day 1: You are STOKED! DRIVEN! You get all the healthy recipes in order, buy veggies & protein at the store, find a workout plan and GET GOING.
- You are going to do this! You are ready to take on this challenge, and the results start to come in. First you lose 5 lbs, and after a few weeks, hit the 10 lb mark.
- The success slows down because the easy water weight is gone, so you have to really work to lose the next 5 lbs. But you do it. YAY! You lost the 15 lbs.
- And then, this is where the fairy tale ends. You reached your “goal”, but that was not the actual goal, however, you feel this sense of accomplishment.
- AND then the drive eases up. A few more “cheat” days when there were none before. A few workouts skipped. I have been down this path so many times it sounds cliche to even write about it.
- This point in time it is difficult to set a second goal because that would require going through this whole process again, and it is tiring (and more importantly I did not change my identity as a snacker, emotional eater or overeater but I will save that topic for another blog post).
- Sadly, this is the end of the weight loss chapter for me usually. I relapse into bad habits, slowly regain the weight and after a year restart the process.
- Lather, rinse, repeat.
While building a business is not the same as losing weight, there are similarities. One is the commitment to NOT give up even when it feels like it is not working, when the struggles are getting harder and the thrill has worn off. It is really tough to persevere through the plateau – in both weight loss and in business.
Want to know how to push through this?
Set a HUGE goal. The real goal – the one that you actually want to achieve and focus on that, NOT the mini/interim/realistic goal.
It may feel daunting to set a goal that feels so insanely out of reach, but do it anyway. Fixate on a life changing goal. That does not have to be building the next Bath & Body works, but it should be something that makes it all worthwhile. Something that changes you, and forces you to become a better version of yourself. Something that makes you immensely proud, more mature, more resilient and full of an amazing story.
That is how you keep the fire alive. The drive burning. The mission front and center. By getting your heart (and subconscious) set on something so truly remarkable that you will be disappointed if you give up. Correction – you will be devastated if you give up.
Here are a few ways to tell if your dream is big enough:
- People tell you that you are crazy
- People tell you that the dream is impossible
You are on the right track if your dream scares you, and other people.
If building a bath & body product business that exceeds your wildest dreams is not something you truly want, that’s ok. But I highly suggest that you find a dream, a different dream, that will propel you out of your comfort zone, will force you to learn new skills, grow up, become fearless and a version of yourself that you are proud of.
Because small goals are easy to give up on. “Realistic” dreams are quickly forgotten once distractions come along, or resistance is felt. There are a lot of expenses required to build a soap & bath product business, so for many of you, it won’t be worth if if your dreams are safe, tiny & forgettable.