If only this small business thing came with an owner’s manual, it would be so much easier, right? We’d know exactly when to build, what parts to include, which ones go where, and how everything fits together to create a successful and thriving operation.

But if there were such a “cut-and-dried” manual, all our businesses would be the same. Boring! That’s because trial and error, learning from failures in order to succeed, and finding one’s own path make small businesses great, and not only that, but greatly unique, interesting, and insanely useful.

I’ll admit though – that’s not much consolation, when you find yourself in a heap of uncertainty about how to get your business idea off the ground, or how to get from one level of success to the next.

So if you find yourself still wishing for that owner’s  manual…to smooth out the ride on your (unique, slightly-bumpy-at-times, but still totally AWESOME) business journey and get you to your next big goal sooner, just follow this simple formula.

Three Stepping Stones to Success:

  1. SET OUT TO LEARN: Take classes, read books, and attend seminars on topics related to your business. But, don’t do it just for the sake of acquiring new knowledge! Aim to learn the specific skills and technologies that will help you get farther in your business (like how to write sales copy that actually sells, how to get clients through speaking engagements, or how to grow your business by selling wholesale).
  2. TAKE PURPOSEFUL ACTION: When you finish absorbing the learning material, get out and apply it! Keep tabs on what works best for you and your business (for example, what you enjoy doing vs. things you could outsource or have your virtual assistant do for you). Also pay attention to what your target clients and customers like/want/respond well to and do more of those things.
  3. AIM TO PERSEVERE: Remember J.K. Rowling, famed author of the Harry Potter series? Her first book got rejected 12 times before she finally got a publishing deal! (If you’re a fan of the series like I am, you know how crazy that seems, for such a mesmerizing, fantastic book.) So don’t give up on your business, your product idea, or your latest new marketing technique, just because it didn’t work out after one try. If you believe in it, then stick with it, and keep pushing the envelope to reach your goals.

Let’s review: Gather knowledge that will help you make strides in your business. Apply said knowledge to your business. Don’t give up without a fight.

Owning one’s own business is a journey like no other…you will (inevitably) stumble and fall, and success won’t come without hard work and perseverance, but if you stick with it, in the words of Dr. Seuss, “Oh, the places you’ll go!” Now, get out there and build your dream business!

{Featured image via EatFitLive.com}