The E-Commerce business is in its teenage years, I believe. I touched on that in another article.
To me, this means that selling our wares on the internet is now a bit like parenting a teenager. I'm an expert in this area because I was a teenager.
We have to deal with the hormone flare ups (brand-gating, category restrictions, etc), acne (accidental suspensions and account throttling), and getting hair in new and weird places (sellers worried about what is next, uncertainty, and my favorite fear mongering).
In my opinion, we have a few choices. Let this be the worst of times (like my parents said my teenage years were), quit, or get comfortable being uncomfortable.
This last option is my choice, and honestly, as entrepreneurs, it should be our only option. We are supposed to thrive, innovate, and prosper when we are outside our comfort zone.
If being in a constant state of discombobulation isn't what you're used to, that’s OK. I'm going to share how to make it your wheelhouse.
- Don't Quit – Obvious, right? Winston Churchill said, “If you're going through hell, keep going.” You may not be seeing results at the moment, wondering if you were nuts for stepping into this e-commerce game, or even feeling like this is just too much of a challenge. Keep pushing forward.
- Push – Try something new. Don't ever let that small voice hold you back when you hear say “I've never done this before” or “I don't know what I'm doing.” Learn, adapt, pivot, and fake it until you make it!
- Welcome “the suck” – At times things get tough. That is when it is time to fortify our attitude. Select our position. Dig our heels in. Reach out and grab “the suck” by the throat and beat it into submission. Then celebrate when you have completely brained your problem(s) into solutions. Maybe the problem you face has taken a team to beat, this may result in bonding and better cohesion as a unit. If nothing else you will learn a lesson or two.
- Hang with similar people – Hang with like minded people. People who may face the same issues as you can be a great sounding board. They may have an angle you haven’t thought of. Perhaps they have been through a similar situation. You also might be able to just swap old war stories. Four of my favorite places to hang around other e-commerce business owners are the Clear The Shelf group (obviously), the FBA Today group (Nate is wise and witty and he has a Bver), the Amazon FBA Rockstars (Charles is all about positivity, kind of like listening to jock jams), and the FBA Master group (they have a bunch of supremely smart guys at the helm).
- Realize you have improved – You must internalize this to solidify your confidence for the bumps ahead. When you must push the envelope in the future you will be assured by the fact that you have conquered obstacles in the past. You may even find yourself wishing for “the suck” to show up again. Just because you want to pummel it again.
- Repeat – Robert Collier said “Constant repetition carries conviction.” The more you overcome the more confident you will be in the future. Confidence comes from that repetition.
If you hit a rough patch this year in your e-commerce business I hope that having read this helps. I really do believe that using the steps above can help us beat back any adversity you may face in 2017.
If you would do me a favor and let me know what ways you overcome obstacles below. I would love to make this a repository of information and inspiration for those who may be facing a setback.
Here’s to a bright 2017!
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