A woman had a dream to swim the English Channel. After two years of stringent training she was ready to reach for her dream.

The day was unseasonably warm, a good sign she thought, as she prepared for her take off from France, heading for England. Not worrying about beating any records, her plan was to complete the swim in 12-14 hours. Nine hours into the swim she was still feeling positive. The boats continued to provide encouragement and support as she continued towards the English coast.

Suddenly a dense fog settled in and the waters became cold and choppy, taking their toll on her body as she continued to push beyond her limits, rounding into hour twelve. By the time she began her 13th hour, her pace was decidedly slower, and the fog just a bit denser than it had been for the past several hours.

It was totally impossible to see anything now; the fog was so thick, as she tried hopelessly to keep her arms and legs moving. Worn out and totally spent, she just didn't think she could go any further. Reluctantly, she asked the boat to pull her out; she just couldn't go any longer.

As they headed for the shoreline, she was surprised to find that she had quit only 200 yards from shore. Because the dense fog had prevented her from seeing land, she just felt like there was no end in sight. How disappointing that must have been for her.

This story has always resonated for me. I'm a very visual person, so sometimes not being able to see the finish line can cause me to hesitate or back away from completing something that could easily have taken me to the next level in my business.

I've taken steps now to ensure that when I make a plan, it's not open-ended; it has a beginning, middle, and an end, one that I promise myself I will reach, no matter what.

I started a new marketing plan last year, and when I checked in on the progress mid-year, I hadn't seen a significant increase in attaining the goals I'd hoped the plan would help me achieve, but I didn't change direction, I didn't abandon the original plan. I was determined to follow it through to the end of the year and see how it really performed.

Today I had a little extra time to take a peek at where I am and how I'm doing - hey, things are starting to look up - the new marketing is reaching the target I had in mind, and I'm starting to increase exposure and dialog in this arena... so finally, I can see land, or the hint of land, and I'm happy to keep the new plan in place.

So take a moment to consider what you've done better this year, maybe what you haven't yet completed, and what changes you may want to incorporate in the coming months. Although the economy may have dealt us some lemons, I'm anxious to begin making lemonade, how about you?

Don't give up on your business' look for ways to streamline processes and expenses in a way that doesn't compromise your marketing initiatives, or the way you connect with current and past clients. Check into new technologies and ways to increase productivity and encourage and acknowledge your staff and those who have direct contact with your clientele.

Author's Bio: 

Jeannine Clontz, IVAA CVA, MVA, EthicsChecked™, provides marketing and social media support, training and consulting to busy entrepreneurs. For information about finding a VA, download her FREE 10-Step Guide to Finding the Right VA, or to learn why Social Media should be an important part of your marketing plan with her FREE Report, Social Media Marketing Benefits, visit: http://www.internetmarketingvirtualassistant.net, or contact her at info@internetmarketingvirtualassistant.net