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JUST START. I give this advice all the time.
JUST START your business. JUST START your website. JUST START your blog. JUST START doing what you love.
What are you waiting for? JUST. START.
Recently a family member was talking to me about her desire to start her own business, but she’s not sure what she wants to do. She has some ideas, but she just can’t decide on one. She doubts her abilities and talents even though they’re obvious to everyone else.
Does this sound like you?
Well, the answer to her dilemma seemed so simple to me. JUST START. MOVE. MOOOOOOVE! You’re not going to accomplish anything until you do SOMETHING.
But later I felt like a bit of a hypocrite. Here I am saying it’s so easy. Here I am judging her on the inside for not taking action for so long. And what am I doing? Sure, I’m doing okay. But just okay. I have all these ideas to grow my business, ideas I give my customers, peers, and friends every day. But I have implemented very few of them myself.
JUST START, ERIC. Yes, it’s that easy. So why does it feel so hard?
Well, it’s easier to stay where you’re at. It’s easier to keep doing what you’re doing. Or not doing what you’re not doing.
In what’s sort of a letter to myself, here are a few roadblocks that may be keeping you from starting and some thoughts on how to overcome them.
Maybe you started one time and failed. So your brain believes that starting is bad. But think of all of the things you’ve started and succeeded. At under a year old you took your first steps and were walking only several months later. At six you rode your bike without the training wheels. You made your way through high school and perhaps college even though you thought you felt like giving up at times. You got your first job when it seemed like no one was ever going to hire you. Are you seriously going to tell me that you have less ability and determination than you had at 25? 18? 6? Even at 1? I don’t believe it and you shouldn’t either.
If you fail at first, you’re in good company. If you fail again, you’re in even better company. Milton Hershey was fired from his apprenticeship with a printer. He then failed at starting three other candy companies before he succeeded. Henry Ford founded two other auto companies before finding success with Ford Motor Company. Steven Spielberg was rejected from film school three times, but he got to work and found success anyway. Failure doesn’t mean anything if you learn something from it.
Believing things can change. Sometimes we feel like a situation is just the way it is. That is often a result of PAST FAILURES. Now that we know past failures shouldn’t matter to us, we can create new beliefs. Circumstances change. Other people change. You can change too.
I don’t like to dwell on limiting beliefs too long. If you spend your time just thinking about all the reasons you may not be able to change something, you might start to have further doubts. Think of just a few of the top beliefs that may be holding you back. Come up with good reasons why that belief is untrue. Write those reasons down and review them when you feel the limiting belief creeping in again.
Our day-to-day lives just don’t leave us time for change. Sometimes it feels like we barely have time to keep our daily affairs in order, but everyone has the SAME amount time. There are people in very similar situations to our own and they’re doing amazing things. Success is really all in our priorities and goals. Here’s a process to clarify both.
First, identify your priorities. Make a list. What’s most important to you? Your priorities may surprise you once you see them on paper.
Second, write a goal next to each priority. I like to use Michael Hyatt’s S.M.A.R.T.E.R. framework for my most important goals, but you can start this process with a simpler goal as well.
Third, write just the next step to achieving that goal. Keep it simple. It should be fairly easy.
Fourth, START. Do the step.
Then repeat until you’ve accomplished the goal.
Here’s a simple example.
GOAL: Run a 5K within 6 months.
STEP ONE: Walk around the block today.
Walking around the block is a simple step. For many it may not seem like much, but for someone who can’t remember the last time they exercised it’s a very important step.
After returning from that walk, do it again.
GOAL: Run a 5K within 6 months.
STEP TWO: Walk around the block twice tomorrow.
You get the idea. I like numbering the steps because each step will motivate you further. At STEP 25, you’re NEVER giving up on this goal!
Recognizing what obstacles stand in your way is the first step to overcoming them. I’ve been planning to start this blog for months. It’s time to JUST START.
What are some other obstacles that keep you from starting? Real or imagined. I’ll list a few that I didn’t discuss in this article in the comments below. I’d love to have a discussion with you.
Thanks for reading.