If there was ever an incentive for me to get my business sorted out, it was that question.

A couple of times last month I helped out a lady who runs a local paper shop, whilst she was recovering from having her cataracts removed. My niece had stayed over recently whilst I was getting up at 4.30am to go to ‘work’ – so when I explained to her recently that I now don’t need to do it anymore she asked “but wasn’t that your job?”.

Another niece recently asked “so what exactly do you do?”

Since I left my last ‘proper job’ at the end of 2011 it’s fair to say I’ve made a few wrong turns; or it may be more accurate to say that an inconsistent focus has led to an inconsistent income. I’m embarrased to admit that, after five years of self-employment, I’m still relying on Working Tax Credits to top up my income.

For all the faults of the UK benefits system, thank God it exists; it allows people like me to risk taking the leap from employment into self employment and to gain experience by making mistakes and learning from them. It’s great to know that I now have a clear path that I’m happy with; the Partnership to Success programme and my computer repair and tuition business; a path which I am fully confident will see me relying less on state benefits during the 2017 / 18 financial year and not needing them at all by the end of it.

In my blog post The One Thing, I wrote about the importance of focussing on just one item at a time; Once I learned that lesson about managing my tasks, I quickly realised the same level of focus was vital to my business success. Previously I kept switching from one business idea to the next, wondering why I was only having a few successes here and there, instead of taking just one business model and developing it.

My no.1 daily priority now is to make progress on the Partnership to Success programme, because that is the business model with the most potential to give me the biggest payoff; however, that currently gives me an income of zero, nada, zip.

So, once my daily Partnership to Success goal is complete each day, I turn my attention to my computer business, which does give me an income right now; and, what’s great about this model is that I can apply what I’m learning from the programme to my computer business, to help grow its income.

If you’re in business for yourself and struggling to make a success of it, take a look at your business model; do you have one clear business idea to focus on – or are you constantly ditching what you were working on to go in a different direction?

If you can answer the question “What exactly do you do?”, then chances are you have a clear path to follow. My advice – stick with it for at least the next 6 months and see where it takes you.

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