We’ve all been there. It starts with a thought that turns into an idea and expands into a dream.

The lifestyle, the flexibility, being your own boss, those fancy head shots for your fancy website that paid for itself with the money you made while you were sound asleep the night before.

And then you take the leap.

Maybe you have a net. Maybe you have faith. Maybe you have both.

But do you have a strategy?

Is it written down? Do you have measurable goals with deadlines? And most importantly, do you follow it?

I’ve managed, coached and mentored hundreds of people who are dedicated, hardworking, and smart. They have great ideas and dreams about what they want (and that’s a great place to start), but when it comes to doing the work, that’s when things get sticky.

Think about when you first started your business (or maybe you’re there now). You probably had an idea of how much money you wanted to make in your first month and then an idea of how much you wanted to make every month – and it was probably considerably higher than your first month.

Now, maybe you made or exceeded your goal in the first month. But if you’re like most people, you’ve watched your monthly income fluctuate where some months are great and you think, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this!” and then there are the months where you say, “I can’t believe I’m not getting paid to do this!”

Being an entrepreneur takes work – a lot of work. But even a lot of work and an unlimited amount of heart isn’t enough to get you on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. It takes a strategy, discipline and a whole lot of follow through.

You may be thinking…

“I have a plan. I know what I need to do. I just need people to know about me.”

Great. You have a plan. Is it written down with goals and deadlines? When was the last time you looked at it and completed one of the tasks? And if it’s just about people needing to know about you, I get it. I’ve been there. But you know what? If you don’t take action, people are not going to do it for you.

People will support you, but no one will promote or care about your business as much as you. I repeat, NO ONE will promote or care about your business as much as you.

Let’s try another one…

“But, I don’t have the budget to hire people.”

Building a business can be a lonely road. But you don’t have to invest $20k to get a business started. And here’s something to consider, even if you have an unlimited budget for investing in your business, it doesn’t guarantee success. You need a strategy and follow-through.

There are lots of available resources and a number of them are free. In fact, it’s the very reason I created The Money Maker’s Guide to Strategies That Sell. It’s full of strategies and tips that cost little to no money to implement and additional resources to help you learn how to step in and rise up as the leader you aspire to be. These are all tools and strategies I use with my clients and in my own business – and they all work…if you do the work.

Or this…

“I got a download from the Universe! I KNOW I’m meant to be famous,  have people read my books and invite me to speak on a stage.”

Terrific. Guess what? If I got paid every time I read or heard those same words from other entrepreneurs, I’d probably never have to work again. Few of them make it and those who do always have a strategy and follow through. Those who don’t  share another version of the same story every time I ask how things are going.

Last one…

“I’m have things to do. I can either work three days a week or 4-5 hours per day.”

If this is what you’re willing to put in, get smart about those strategies and timelines so you can be clear on what the three day work week is going to bring you and how long it will take to get there. Also, make sure you have a safety net or little to no expenses. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but it may not happen in the way you think.

Here’s one more thing I want to add and it’s important, so pay attention…

[tweetthis]When creating your business strategy, make sure you consider your ROI.[/tweetthis] So many times we think, “Maybe I should sign up for this class because I may need it later and if I sign up now, I’ll get those bonuses.” If you said you may need it later, then sign up later – when you need it and have the monthly revenue stream to support it.

Look at everything you’re doing in your business as it relates to your strategy and ROI and you’ll always know what’s going on in your business. If things start to go off track, go back and look at it. You’ll  see exactly where it started to shift so you can get it back on track and prevent it from happening again.

Want that link again for The Money Maker’s Guide to Strategies That Sell? Here it is!