Thursday, March 1, 2012

Finding It Hard to Stay Motivated?

I read on her Facebook page today that Kathy Sweeney started her resume business, The Write Resume, 25 years ago today. (Congratulations, Kathy!!) My resume writing business was founded in 1996 (15 years last year!). Longevity in the resume writing business isn't rare -- there are hundreds of resume writers who have been in business for more than 10 years -- .... but staying motivated can be a challenge.

In the beginning you were likely gung-ho about starting your resume writing business. Maybe some of that fire is starting to flicker out. (It can ebb and flow...) So, how can you stay motivated?

When times get tough, you may decide that you want to throw in the towel. Confronted by a PIA client (think: pain in your keister!) you might think to yourself, "Wouldn't it just be easier to go get a job?" After you've spent the last 14 hours writing resumes, handling client emails, doing all the financial paperwork and recordkeeping that goes along with keeping your business running, and squeezing in some marketing activities so the phone will ring tomorrow, you might be both physically and mentally tired.

Before you give it all up, however, consider a few ways that you can help yourself to regain your zest for running the business.

First, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Why did you start the business in the first place? Don't underestimate the power of your memory. Were you working for someone else but wanting to be your own boss? If you don't want to return to that way of life, then donĂ­t give up when the chips are down. Was it because you had a desire to help others? (Most resume writers have a little "social worker" in us.) Who did you help today?
  • How are things looking for other resume writers? It could be that everyone is having a slow season. Evaluate your growth compared to others in the careers industry. 

There are two things that can motivate you to keep going here:

One: Other resume writers are doing better than you are. A little friendly rivalry is healthy. You can opt to step up your game and learn from whatever others in the careers industry are doing to make financial gains where you are not. (For example, LinkedIn profile development writing is a growing area. Would learning some new skills and expanding the types of services you offer rejuvenate you?)

Two: If other resume writers are in the same boat, you can rise above the mediocrity. Remember what you started your resume business for. If you are going to make a living and reach your goals, keep the big picture in mind.

  • What are your goals? Every resume writer has to remain focused in order to move forward. Your goals set the path along which you will travel. But, if your goals are non-existent, or they aren't strong enough to support your business, then it is time to re-evaluate and change them to become the appropriate platform to help you gain success.

Now that you have asked yourself some questions, here are a few suggestions to help you continue to push forward.

  • Get sage advice. Consult a trusted advisor. The leaders of the professional resume writing associations can give you perspective. (Frank, Laura, Wendy, Louise, Maria.) They can help you to regain your focus and also set a new course for your business should you need that.
  • Partner up! Reach out to another resume writer and team up to form a support group for each other! If you're stuck while writing a particularly difficult resume, you can reach out for inspiration. You can post encouraging notes on each other's Facebook walls. (Or use Facebook's "Poke" feature to let him or her know you're there for them.)
  • Gain camaraderie on forums. Visit and become a participating part of professional association e-lists and online forums. You can find out tips to help you move forward in your business. Consider attending a conference offered by one of the major associations or taking online training.
  • Get access to tools to make your work easier. Don't reinvent the wheel! I use an inspiration book to help me when I get stuck in writing. And you can use tools from -- like each month's unique Pass-Along Materials to help your clients (and market your business).

It's natural that you're going to have times when you struggle in your careers industry business. Taking it one day at a time (hoping and planning that tomorrow will be better than today) can keep you going through the difficult times.

1 comment:

  1. Ultimate post by Bridget Brooks....Thanks for sharing such a informative post..