Making A Start
This month’s article is inspired by a series of inspiring conversations with interesting people I’ve met and some I’ve know for much of my life.
For many of us it is the “getting started” that is the challenge. I know it wasn’t until I was out of the comfort zone of my nice well paying job that I was able to stumble upon the business that is just right for me (Creatively Belle that is). When I was working the standard corporate hours I didn’t have the resources emotionally, physically or mentally to start a new business. What I needed was space to start. I also needed to learn to be kinder to myself about what constituted a start.
That may sound strange but it really means recognising it is baby steps that make a start, make something happen.
You know that old saying “a journey of a 1000 miles starts with one step”? Well it’s true. You don’t get anywhere if you don’t take a step. So what if the step turns out to be in the wrong direction? The lesson of direction is the right lesson.
So when you want to change something, to start something, just make the first step. This could be anything from setting up and attending a meeting with someone who is doing what you want to do and asking them some basic questions. Don’t hesitate about doing this, keep in mind most of us like (love) to talk about ourselves!
Other first steps could involve reading a subject appropriate book each month, subscribing and reading a regular industry magazine, sketching out a business plan (keep in mind it is the process of doing a business plan that is most important, not being spot on accurate with every single figure), outlining the primary purpose of a website, map out a path of tasks to reach an achievable goal (very important to have goals that you can actually reach) or join a business network club.
The key to success is really simply doing.
Start with a first step. Be realistic about the time and resources you have available so you can reach your goals and then pat yourself on the back for reaching your goal.
This self-congratulations is very important as it helps keeps you motivated and it is a lesson in itself about being kind to yourself.
Figure out what motivates you and work with that. For instance I’m achievement motivated so I have to feel like I’m achieving something to feel good about what I’m doing. I’ve learnt over the last three years that I have to celebrate my successes for myself so I reinforce the message of achievement.
Since I’ve realised this and taken affirmative action with it I’ve achieved a whole heap more – notice all the changes to the website? – and am much happier with myself.
So you need to figure out what motivates you and what is realistic to achieve. Yes, there will always be more to be done because each time you get to another station on your journey you’ll see more and new opportunities will present themselves but that’s good, that in itself is an achievement.
Constantly berating yourself for not doing something just reinforces a negative message about failing, there is nothing constructive in such messages. Let go of that and just make a decision about starting something, follow it through (even when you think you can head off and do something else, just finish the task at hand) and then praise yourself for finishing it, for doing it.
After doing this the first few times you’ll find your self-discipline improves, your motivation is stronger, your faith in yourself is stronger and you’re happier.
So follow that shoe slogan and Just DO IT!
Then celebrate it!