What if they laugh at you?
What if they reject your idea?
What if you’re ridiculed?
What if you fail…
Amazing how the power of what if can either propel us to greatness or keep us from that very greatness.
I hosted my first business breakfast last week.
After the event I was told what a success it was.
One guest told me the event had rekindled the fire in her.
I met another guest days later and she told me she could hardly eat or sleep because she was SO excited by all the amazing business ideas that were flying around in her head – as a result of attending my event.
Another guest sent me an email with a list of the lessons he’d learned from the people who spoke (I’ve included his list below).
Yet another guest said they’d gained much from our keynote speaker. Being in the same industry they’d approached him to give them the advice they needed to take their venture to the next level.
Another guest told me he’d made contact with one of the other guests who was experienced in the kind of work he wanted to start a business in.
The list goes on…
Yes our event was a roaring success!
I felt I acheived what I’d set out to do: inspire budding entrepreneurs and facilitate meaningful connection between like-minded people.
But here’s what my guests didn’t know: Just days before the event I’d been SO tempted to cancel!
All but two of the people who had told me they’d attend the event had paid. As the time ticked by closer to the day of our breakfast – we received no more confirmations.
At first I was a wreck. I tried hard not to think about how I would tell the two people who had paid that we’d failed to draw enough guests and we’d have to cancel – give them their money back and… well many things went through my head.
Boy was it stressful!
One evening as I lay in bed wrought with panic – I told God “I’ve done everything I knew how to do to make this work. I’m going to relax now. There’s nothing more I can do. Please help me.”
I decided to give myself a break – and for the first time in weeks the anxiety disappeared. I knew with all my heart I’d done my best.
In the week of the event – with only my two guests paid – what kept playing through my head was “Faith like potatoes.”
I thought of Angus Buchan planting those potatoes in the middle of a draught and trusting God.
No rain. But Mr Angus planted.
As my mind kept thinking on this man’s faith I knew Father was telling me something. I had to plant.
Just like Angus did the work in preparation of a miracle I had to do the same.
So I stopped worrying about how many people would come – or not – I focused on the content of the event.
I went back to why I’d wanted to host this particular event in the first place and I worked at making that happen.
I knew stressing would change absolutely nothing. So I did all I could do – prepare what I wanted the event to deliver.
Come Saturday, the day of the event, the venue we’d booked was populated!
One of the comments on our feedback forms from a guest was: “Event was well attended.”
They had no idea the scraggly numbers we’d started that week off with.
In all this here’s what I learned:
1. Don’t make the focus of your business about who will buy and who won’t – make it about the gift. What is that remarkable thing you want to share with us? Focus on that.
2. Do the work required for success. Plant. And prepare for a successful harvest.
3. Work at finishing what you start. One friend told me “Hannah it’s not about the outcome. Don’t focus on the outcome. Focus on the process.” It’s easy to start. It’s really hard to finish. Anyone can start. Very few finish. And this is what separates those that make it and those that don’t. If you believe in the worth of what you’re offering don’t give up on it. Even when you want to abandon ship – give the ship a chance to get to shore.
4. When you’ve done all you can applaud yourself for it and then rest.
5. At the end of the day business is about sales. But know this: sometimes the numbers won’t be what you want them to be. But if you really believe in what you have to offer – do the work and then trust. Develop your idea. Make it WOW. Eventually the people will come.
6. I can’t leave faith out of my business. The same way I trust God about so many areas of my life – I’ve got to trust Him with this.
So I can tell you that even after all this I’m still a little nervous about our next event. But I’m holding Mr Buchan’s testimony (and now my own) very close to my operations. I know what I have to offer is wonderful. I’m working at making it WOW. And I have faith that those that need it will come.
As mentioned earlier here’s what one of our guests wrote to me about what they took away from our Triple V Business Breakfast:
1. Safe business is Risky business
2. Design is free
3. Very good is boring… Be remarkable
4. No man is an Island in business world and in real life
5. Quality vs. Quantity
6. Be Aggressive in business and don’t take NO for an answer… Persistence
7. Be Honest / Don’t let your clients down
8. Use what you have
9. Word of mouth is a powerful tool / Referrals
10. Web and Social Media are the Future
11. Make sacrifices
12. Take a short course if you are not proficient in a field related to your business
13. Go in person and meet the prospective client
14. Define your business : ask ‘What are we & what do we do ????’ as a company
15. Make sure your paper work is in order when applying for tenders… 100% correct
16. Do not second guess yourself
17. Happy, satisfied employees are very good customers. Employ and retain the best of the best
If you’d like us to keep you posted on our upcoming events email us at firstname.lastname@example.org