Where Do I Start?
Have you ever embarked on what seemed like an insurmountable task either in your personal life or in your small business? Something that seemed so big and daunting when first starting out?
Maybe it was an athletic achievement like running a marathon or climbing a mountain. I saw a profile a few months ago about a young man who was diagnosed with cancer twice and survived. He became the first cancer survivor to summit Mount Everest. As if that wasn’t enough, he went on to summit all 7 of the highest mountains on each continent.
So where do I start? This is a question we hear from our clients and prospects all the time.
Here are a few tips for how to figure out where to start.
1. Figure out what you want to accomplish. Now, as simple as this sounds, many people can’t clearly explain what they want to do. Something as easy to understand as “I want to run in the Boston Marathon” or “I want to grow my company to $3 million in sales and sell it.” The more clear and concise you can be the better.
2. Do some research. Chances are you’re not the first person who has set this goal to accomplish. Certainly other people have run the Boston Marathon or grown their company to $3 million in sales and sold it. So start with some basic research. Things like reading books and searching the Internet. Try talking to some people you know to find people who have done what you’re looking to do. You’d be amazed how much information you can get from people if you are focused on what you want and you just ask for some help!
3. Write it down. Write what down? Your goal and a basic outline of the key milestones to reach it. This should be pretty easy after completing steps 1 & 2. Why write it down? Because it’s easy to get confused, overwhelmed, frustrated, you name it. Writing things down provides a road map to anchor you. Something to come back to when you aren’t sure what to do next.
4. Pick something to start with. What’s the most important thing? Usually a couple of things will pop up as a good place to start. So pick one and get started. If it’s running a marathon, it may be changing your diet or starting to run a certain amount each week. If it’s growing your sales, it may be getting better definition to your market or tracking the number of leads you receive from your various forms of advertising.
5. Don’t be afraid to adjust. Just like any journey, you’re going to have to make adjustments along the way. The key is that you’re out doing things, not paralyzed by the fear of making the wrong move! If you’re going to drive from Cleveland to Los Angeles, chances are you will have to adjust your course at some point. Take great comfort that even if you make a wrong turn, while it might take time to get back on course, you can get back on course. And, hey, who knows what you might bump into during those wrong turns. That’s how Columbus discovered America!
Many times simply getting started can be the most difficult thing. Once you get started though, you usually build up some good momentum. Don’t be afraid to ask for a little help along the way. Now get out there and start!