Your Story, Your Words

SHAWN MCCLENDON: ENTREPRENEURIAL ADVICE – PERSEVERE, DO YOUR BEST

My small business journey has taught me many lessons over time.  While each lesson has been important for my growth as an entrepreneur, two lessons in particular stand out to me.  One, perseverance is absolutely crucial to the success of a small business.  Two, opportunities will come, but instead of trying to guess when the opportunities will manifest, it’s better to focus on your mission and on doing your best.

I’m Shawn McClendon, owner of Back to Basics Bodyweight Fitness LLC.  My business includes blogging, personal training, writing a fitness column, and most recently, publishing my first book.  The overall purpose of Back to Basics is to show (and remind) people how to take full responsibility for their health.  In today’s highly scientific and convenience-based world, I feel that it’s far too easy for us to give all responsibility for our health to our doctors, while discarding much of the old wisdom and health intuition that our grandparents and great-grandparents had.  My mission is to change this trend with my business.

I’ve truly learned how important it is that small business owners never give up.  Perseverance is vital, because there will be times in the life of every business where nothing seems to work, and where quitting seems like the most viable option.  Case in point, my first endeavor into blogging could be described as a total failure.  In early 2013, I first found out about blogging, and got excited about the potential of having such a platform to reach the world.  The problem is, I had zeal with almost no knowledge.  I started a free wordpress.com blog, and shortly after, I became inconsistent with posting.  After losing all of my steam, I finally I deleted the blog.  Several months later, however, the desire to blog returned.  This time, I was determined to post no less than once a week, and a year and a half later, I have held to that commitment.  The benefits include a steadily growing subscriber list, an increasing number of visitors to my site (480% increase since July 2014), and also, my writing ability has greatly improved.

Another lesson in perseverance came from my first attempts at guest posting.  Anyone who blogs knows how great guest posting can be for helping you to reach your target audience.  I began sending guest posts early on to other blogs and websites.  You can imagine how disappointed I was when every single submission was rejected.  In particular, I submitted three posts to a popular Christian website that I just knew would immediately appreciate my message of healthy living.  Instead, two posts were turned down (nicely), and a third never got a response.  I was discouraged but didn’t quit asking around.  Eventually, I began receiving opportunities to guest post, and also received the opportunity to interview a popular YouTube fitness personality, which caused a delightful spike in visitors to my website.

The second main lesson for me has been to always do my best, because I’ve found that as I stay committed, opportunities will come.  However, the opportunities come unexpectedly.  For example, I never could have anticipated the fitness columnist opportunity.  A simple inquiry to the regional paper to see if they would publish one of my articles turned into a job offer and the beginning of my freelance writing career.  Had I not been consistent with blogging, I would not have been as prepared for the opportunity God opened to me to reach more people.

As my business continues to grow, these two lessons play out over and over again.  With the release of my first book, 13 Things to Stop Believing to Become Healthy and Lose Weight, I’ve found that the hardest part of selling a book is not the writing, but rather, it is the marketing.  No matter how much I believe the book will help the masses, it won’t sell itself.  So what do I plan to do?  I plan to do my best with promoting my book, knowing that at some point, God will open another opportunity to me to impact even more lives.

As you pursue your small business idea, I challenge you.  Don’t give up, and don’t worry if the opportunities aren’t coming now.  Trust me, as long as you’re consistent, opportunities will come.  In the meantime, focus on your mission and on doing the very best you can.

 

 

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Shawn McClendon is a health/fitness blogger, ACE Certified Personal Trainer, 2015 Larabar Ambassador, and the health and exercise columnist for the Macon Telegraph.  He is also the author of the book, 13 Things to Stop Believing to Become Healthy and Lose Weight, available on Lulu.com.  His mission is to encourage others to live healthily and to effectively empower others to take responsibility for their own health.

Shawn can be found on Facebook, Twitter and of course sharing his tips for healthy living on his own website:

http://www.facebook.com/ShawnB2BFitness

http://www.twitter.com/ShawnB2BFitness

http://www.yourhealthatthecrossroads.com/

To contact him, email him at:  shawn@yourhealthatthecrossroads.com

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