This post is part 2 of the Why My First Attempt at Business Failed series.
As I mentioned in part 1 No Product, I started off wanting to be a freelance writer for magazines, newspapers and websites.
I had a clear direction.
As many freelancers do when they want to break into the market, I started pitching to publications.
Smooth sailing so far.
The problem was I wasn’t pitching as regularly as I should have been. I seriously underestimated the number of pitches I needed to be sending out. While there may not be a ‘magic number’, I know that I wasn’t sending out anywhere near enough.
Instead of being fully focused on sending out pitches and securing assignments, I was busy blogging, updating social media, checking stats, working on affiliates, doing updates to the blog design and spending far too much time on the technical side of my blog (which I have to admit was completely overwhelming to me at first).
Pitching when you first start out can be brutal but to be honest I was expecting that anyway. It’s a bit like cold calling with a lot more work involved. You often never hear back from people. Feedback was practically non-existent.
While I did get some work writing for websites (mostly through online friends and contacts), it took me a long time to realise that I didn’t enjoy pitching. More to the point, I wasn’t enjoying the whole freelance writing process.
After all of the sacrifice, hard work and time, it came as a massive shock to discover that my ‘dream job’ of being a freelance writer wasn’t what I wanted.
I had worked so hard to make the freelance opportunity happen only to discover it wasn’t for me. I was confused. I felt lost.
I wasn’t exactly sure what to do next. What I ended up doing in reality was a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
I had lost my direction.
There is no harm is your business changing direction.
The key is to do it quickly with a clear plan on how to move forward. Unfortunately I struggled letting go of the ‘old dream’ and I wasn’t 100% sure what my new one would be, so I sort of floundered hanging onto the pitching idea while still blogging and trying to work out what to do next.
Eventually I decided I wanted to create my own products but as mentioned I failed to actually launch any! I’ll cover the failure to launch topic in a separate post.
The takeaway from this mistake.
- It’s okay to change direction but you need to make a decision on what your new direction will be. You then need a revised business plan and clear goals on what you want to achieve.
- If you do decide to change direction, do it quickly. Focus all your energy on your new direction, let the old one go.
Can you relate? Have you ever had to change direction and felt completely lost in business or in life?
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Read the other posts in this 4 part series – No Product, Writing for Free and Self-Doubt