As entrepreneurs, our lives are full of projects, whether it is starting a new business, achieving yearly goals, or expanding into a new market segment. For folks who are looking to make the transition from a 9-5 job and into their own venture where they set their own rules, the projects can seem even larger, especially if it’s the first time you’ve made a big leap like this. Even outside of the business world, we face projects all the time: creating work carpools, children’s school projects, wedding planning, and so on. For most people, getting started can be the hardest part, and for them there is one simple rule that we’ve found to be tremendously helpful, which is simply to just do a little bit each day.
This may sound like generic advice, and it is true that many online business coaches will say a variation of the same thing. But that’s because it really works. The main thing that you need to focus on is what your end goal is and then take one step every day toward achieving it. For example, pretend your goal is to launch an online store selling fishing gear. Ask yourself: “What is the first thing that I should do to start selling fishing gear online?” Is it setting up a website? Is it creating a Facebook business page? Is it buying products?
If you think you know where to start, then take the next step. Let’s say you decided to setup a Facebook business page to promote your online fishing store. You would go to Facebook and start completing the process, but you would quickly realize that you also need a business name, you’ll need to define your business, perhaps you should focus on a specific segment of the fishing industry. You’ll likely find more questions that need answers which will lead to more things to be done. To keep track of these items in a list. We recommend using something like Trello to organize the tasks that you need to complete (don’t worry, its free and very user friendly!).
As you dig deeper and deeper into your goal, you’ll add more questions to your list. As you do so, weigh the value that each one brings to your project. Will it realistically help move you toward your goal? A good way to help determine this is to think if any of the other items on your list are dependent on having that individual item completed. For example, if getting a custom car wrapper to promote your fishing business is on the list, you could look at that item and think ‘If I remove this, can all of my other objectives be reasonably completed?’ If the answer is yes, then you should likely strike it from the list or add it to some backlog if ideas.
Creating a quick list of items to get you started should only take about 30 minutes. Once you have that first list, visit it each night and either complete an item, or add additional items to help break it down into smaller tasks that are easier to complete. Even if you only spend 30 minutes or an hour each night on this exercise, the sum of these nights will eventually equal an amount of work that really is substantial.
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At the end of the day, the biggest challenge in everything is mindset. Don’t let feelings of anxiety about starting a big project deter you. Keep focused on what your end goal is and just do a little bit each night to help push towards it. Also don’t rush yourself, you don’t need to wait for a whole ‘working day’ to get things done. Spend some time after dinner, or during your lunch break, or during some downtime at a soccer game and knock out a couple of tasks. With the power of smartphones, we can really work from anywhere these days. Make the most of it and start taking steps toward freedom in your financial and personal life.