Running a small business is an act of heroism. You're on your own. You're out there, starting your own thing that nobody cares about and your goal is to let them know you are here, doing your best, trying to convince them to give you their most valuable hard-eared asset in exchange for your products and services - Their Money!
Achieving your ultimate goal is a tough job - you must know and clearly understand your priorities and keep your business discipline in the best shape possible. You must read people around you well, be an expert (or at least a semi-expert) in multiple disciplines, be a diplomat, be tough and at the same time be a pleaser. Some of these things you can earn or gain during your time when you're preparing yourself to be in a business, whilst others will need to be learnt on the go when you're already in a business.
But what is the most precious and unrecoverable resource you have? You cannot borrow it, you cannot gain it or build it and sharky people are always trying to steal it from you. That resource is your Time!
In my own mind, I often compare business with an active or competitive sport. You must make decisions on a spot, you're under pressure, and only moments separate you from an absolute disaster, a glory or a lucky escape.
You probably have read those articles suggesting you to "plan your day", "set your goals", "track and audit your time", etc, etc. But what are the most time influencing factors in any business? The answer is You and People around you.
Any issues with yourself can only be sorted through the self discipline, precise time management, setting the right goals and the rest of it. But this part is easy - you only deal with yourself, with just that one person who you love, always treat great, can make to work hard or allow to enjoy those lazy times. The relationships of you with your beautiful self are always perfectly smooth and free of stress.
On the other hand, there is the rest of the population of this planet. You're always trying to do your best presenting your business to them, explain your products and service in the best possible way, please them, etc. Does it work? Not always.
A good contact requires one or two meetings, and then a proper business answer should arrive - "Yes" or "No". We love the first answer. The second one might seem to be a bit disappointing, but I always look at it as it's their business, their money and we must respect their decision due to the fact that at this moment it's all about them investing their resources into what we are offering - whether they are right or wrong is not for me to judge. It's their life, their business and their family they are taking care of.
The other side of the coin is the category of your contacts who keep getting in touch, never provide a straightforward answer, can't make a decision and turn the whole process into an endless and pointless game. These are the free loaders of your most precious resource - Time...
The bottom line is - read people better. The people I mentioned are time thieves - stealing your most precious unrecoverable asset that you can have. They are not convicted criminals, they are not publicly whipped for their unconscionable behaviour... but they can cause more harm than you can imagine.
Treat your time wisely - Your Precious...