“Denise, I’ve been working on my business full time for several months. I work very hard and I am very passionate about my work but I feel like I am stuck. My business isn’t going anywhere and I am not making any profit.”

Does this sound familiar? I hear this from a lot of women I coach who are frustrated that their business is not growing in the way they want it to (or even expected it to). When I dig deeper, I usually find that there are some deep-seated, common issues that are holding them back from unlocking their full potential to achieve the success they deserve in the workplace.

1. You’re not telling people how great you are!

What separates excellence from average is not just talent or opportunity. It is approach. You can work long days, late nights and weekends but to get your business off the ground, you need to market yourself. Marketing yourself isn’t just about handing out some business cards. You really have to think about what image you want to put out there of your business. Go to networking events and follow up with people you meet, write blog posts and keep an active social media account, which means posting several times a week. This will help you to keep in touch with your audience too; people who may want to get to know you a little bit before working with you.

2. You aren’t spending time on income-generating activities.

Everything that happens in our lives is a direct consequence of our own actions and attitudes and we are all guilty of getting distracted. We waste many hours on Facebook or checking emails when we are supposed to be working or spending time with our families. And after wasting all of that time, we complain that we don’t have enough of it! In actuality, we have had plenty of time we just haven’t used it in the best possible way. So how can we start using our time properly? Plan your days ahead of time and schedule in some “me-time” so you keep yourself away from Facebook during the day unless it’s business-related. You can download my hour-by-hour planner to help you.

3. You’re not making the most of your weekends.

Sure the weekend is great for relaxing but it’s also a great time to work on your business, whether it’s emailing clients, updating your website or writing a blog. You might have limited time but you can use the time you have available to honour your business goals, which brings me to another point …

4. You haven’t set business goals

You need to understand the ins and outs of your business to be able to generate a profit. Grab a pen and paper now and write down your business goals. Clearly outline your target market, your business’ values and your business’ purpose. Review who pays what, how long it takes and whether there is further opportunity for repeat business. Lastly, write down the steps you need to be taking to achieve your goals. They may be out of your comfort zone but the only way to be truly successful is to step outside of your bubble.

5. You’re charging peanuts

This is the issue that I see most often and what it comes down to is that women are selling themselves and their businesses short because they don’t know their own worth. They let their inner critic (or chimp) take over and tell them they cannot charge such and such an amount because they are not worth that much. If you charge cheap, you’re going to attract cheap.