Working for free is never fun, but it’s a big part of entrepreneurship. Marketing and pursuing your vision despite silence and rejection is even more important now, as businesses freeze budgets and banks withhold funding.
How do you stay motivated? Consider these stories from successful entrepreneurs:
Patti Webster thought all her public relations clients would follow her when she left a major PR agency to start her own business in 1987. Instead, she found herself living on $750 a month for the two years it took for her business to gain traction.
Did she get tired? Sure. But something told her this was where she was supposed to be.
She redoubled her efforts. She jokes, “If a turtle said it would meet with me, I was taking the meeting.â€
It paid off: Eventually, a contact gave her a big-name client at MCA Universal, and former clients came back on board. Today, W & W Public Relations is bi-coastal, representing athletes and musicians.
HOW SHE DID IT:
“I had the cushion of moving back in [with my mother].â€
“I just knew that God had positioned me in this place and that if I just kept at it I would get a break.â€
“I don’t have any entrepreneurs in my family, but there are a lot of persistent people in my family. I still do surround myself with persistent people.â€
Even though freelance writer and author Damon Brown has published four books as well as articles in SPIN, Playboy, AARP, and The New York Post, he still pursues clients for years.
He’s currently in talks with a prospective client to write a lengthy feature after pitching the editor more than 20 stories over the past four years.
“Here I am, with a tough publication, pitching in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and they’re heavily considering a major feature that’s probably worth $5,000,â€ he says.