Starting your own travel business can be a great way to make income and have a more flexible career. After all, there is ease in entry, and the products you can sell are both attractive and available. There is one big problem with being your own boss though: you are responsible for holding yourself accountable. This means that if you’re not the most disciplined and dependable person, you’re probably going to have problems running a consistent business. But, there is hope.
The biggest problem with inconsistent work is inconsistent income. If you get a lot of work done one month and not a lot done the next, your income is going to change drastically from month to month, putting a strain on your budget and financial security.
You may also be inconsistent in your communication, sometimes responding quickly, other times putting things off. Or not being consistent in the way you communicate expectancy and what you’re going to do. This not only makes you look unreliable and undependable, but can also result in misunderstandings between you and your clients, further worsening the problem.
When you think of inconsistent work, you often think time-wise. An inconsistent worker often doesn’t meet deadlines or sometimes can or cannot be available for work. However, you can always be prompt and available and still be inconsistent. You can vary not only in when you do work and how long, but also in the quality of work. You may provide excellent work sometimes, or sloppy sub-par work at other times. This can make people leery about hiring you. They know you can provide quality work, but they don’t know that they can count on it.
So, it’s easy to say “I’m going to be more consistent”, but if it’s not in your nature, actually becoming consistent is a much more difficult task. Here are a few tips for getting yourself back on track.
– Make a plan. It’s hard to stick to a specific plan when you don’t have one. Take some time to sit down and make a plan detailing exactly how you want to conduct your business. This can include anything from how long you take to respond to prospect requests, to the minimum quality of work you will accept from yourself. Try upgrading a few of your weakest points, but don’t ignore your strengths. Otherwise you may begin slacking on those areas as you improve elsewhere.
– Set up checks and balances. If your problem is being late with work, set up specific mini-deadlines within projects and make sure you meet them. If your trouble is varying work quality, look into your situation, find the root cause of the drop in work and set up a check to make sure work quality doesn’t suffer when something is different or goes wrong. You can even set up reward and punishment systems for when you do well or poorly. Who says you can’t celebrate when you achieve a particular goal or arrive successfully at a designated benchmark?
– Call for back-up. Have you tried to improve your work with no luck? Why not ask a friend to back you up. You can have them call you at scheduled times to see how you are progressing, double check your products before they go to customers, or help you work out a plan to better communicate with your customers and run your business. If you don’t have somebody you can trust, you can always hire someone to help you get your life and business in order.
Remember that you can’t change your whole work ethic overnight, it takes time and dedication. The key is that it can be done, and you can soon become more dependable and much more successful.
Mike Marchev has plenty of stories, strategies and tactics to keep you on top of your game. Ask to be placed on the distribution list to receive his periodic Motivational Memo. Click Here to Join Now.
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Mike’s daily column is made possible by AmaWaterways.