When I first started this business and brand, I did what everyone does. I started off by building a website. I went around the Interwebs and looked at all of the successful people in my field, and looked at their website. Of course, that was the worst thing to do as a newbie. I saw all of their amazing professional spick and span websites, and I looked at my starter website and I faltered.
This made me think, I am never going to get to where these people are at. I will never catch up. After I had that debilitating thought, I started working day and night trying to “catch up” with people who didn’t even know they were in a race with me.
Of course, I burnt out long before I got any further ahead. The lesson was, of course, to never compare. But also to take it as slow as a baby. Especially when you are starting out something so big.
Businesses Are Behemoths That Can’t Be Built In A Day
Rome might have been built in a day, but your business certainly will not. It will not be built in a day or a month or even a year. In actuality, it will take a whole lot longer than you ever imagined. In this case, the turtle is always going to beat out the hare.
Most newbie business owner take on the pace of the hare, and start rushing through all of the different things they have to do. In the process, they kill their health, their relationships, their marriage, and everything else non-business related.
If we remember that our businesses are going to take years to build, then we can slow down and take it easy.
I am in the process of building a membership site right now. It is a huge project. I could go crazy and work on it night and day. But I actually want to enjoy the process of it. I want to be in the moment and take my time with it. I want to remember and savour every step. It is my passion project, and I want to build it in a manner that is close to my heart. I want to take my time with it. I want to be a tortoise.
When We Go Too Hard, We Lose Our Passion For The Project
I have seen this tendency in myself way too often. I go really really hard on a project for a few days and then, I kind of lose steam, energy, and passion. And that project sits on the back burner for years on end, and then finally gets tossed out with the garbage.
Such a waste.
Nowadays, I follow a different route. First of all, I am extremely careful with the ideas that I let into my sphere. There are a hundred thousand ideas on this planet that I should be or could be following, but I am not going to. I am being extremely picky with the projects that I say ‘Yes’ to.
I say ‘No’ more often than I say ‘Yes’.
This way when a project gets through my strict standards, then I know it’s important to me, and I am going to spend the necessary time on it.
But, it doesn’t mean that I go crazy hard on it, because it is my passion project. With this membership site I am building, it’s going to be a slow burn of a project. I know it’s going to take me a few months to set it all up, so I am not going to go really really hard on it. I am going to build it, slowly but surely. So slow that sometimes the tortoise is going to pass me by, and think, “Why the hell is this lady moving so slow?”
Do Something Every Single Day For Your Projects
Okay, so we are saying no to almost everything, except perhaps 3 or 4 prime things that we are truly interested in. So, then what? The next step is to figure out what is the smallest step that you can take for your projects every single day.
For example, I am writing a novel, so I write a 1000 words for it every single day. That’s the smallest step I have broken it down into. I take this step every single day so in a few months, I have a completed novel. Another thing I do every single day is practice videos, by recording a YouTube video every morning.
With my membership site project, I am going to do something small for it every single day. Every single day.
That is how we built momentum in our huge projects. It’s not by giving up on our health and sanity. But by doing something really small for it every single day. Every project is going to have a different small step.
Your small step for your fitness goals will be different from your business set up. And that will be different from your relationship goals.
Figure out that separate item for each of these goals or projects, and resolve to do it every single day.
Don’t Miss A Single Day – And I Mean This
Our brains and bodies are lazy. In fact, they would be happiest sitting around, eating icecream, and watching cat videos all day. Even though they like to be stimulated, they do not like getting to it. Once, they are working, they are happy and into it. But the first step of actually starting is the hardest.
Here’s where momentum comes in.
When you’ve been doing something small every single day for your projects, then you will see the snowball rolling down the hill and the project building slowly but surely. It is such a satisfactory thing to look at.
Every single day when I write my words or do my business stuff, I can see that in the future I am going to have a completed novel or a membership site. I mean, that’s a great vision to hold to our hearts.
But, and this is important, do not miss or skip a single day. There are two reasons for this. First, our brains and minds are always watching us for signs of slacking. They want to slack off, and so if we give them even a tiniest opportunity to do so, they will on that challenge and run with it. Do not let them slack off. Second, even missing a single day, makes it more likely that you will skip a second or third or fourth day. It’s like skipping one day gives you permission to just give up on the whole thing.
Do not skip days.
When You Are Working, Do Not Multi-Task
This is another great tool to keep in your back pocket. Do not multi-task, when you are working on your baby step or task for the day.
Here’s why. Think about the last time you were working on something important. And then you email beeped or your phone piped up with a message. You said to yourself, “I’m just going to take a quick look. A quick look and then I’ll come back to work.” What happened in reality was you got distracted by the video that your friend sent you, and you went on a spiral of video hunting where you got lost for 3 hours. By the time you realized you had to come to your work, it was too late, and you were too tired.
Do not do that to yourself, and moreover, do not do that to your project.
Small Enough Steps Can Be Completed In One Easy Go
Make your steps small enough that you can complete them in the space of 30 minutes or less. Once you get down to doing that step, forget about the entire universe. You have to finish this task in one sitting and one go.
For example, when I sat down to write this blog post, which is about 2000 words. I switched off all of my notifications, put my phone away somewhere where I can’t see it, put on some techno music in the background, and wrote this post.
I wrote it straight through. No interruptions. I write and I write and I write. I write until I finish the blog post. No excuses.
I also make sure to go pee beforehand, and have water close at hand, so again, there’s no reason to get up at all!!
Distractions are hard to get away from, so make sure that your life is laid out in a way that distractions do not manifest. No one knows where I live, so they can’t come visit. My phone is always on silent, so no one can call me or text me and disturb me. There are no notifications set up on my computer, so I don’t get beeping noises distracting me.
Once I get to something, I sit and finish it. I don’t look up until I am done. I do whatever is necessary. And then I allow myself a little break.
Give Yourself Breaks Throughout The Day As Rewards
It is absolutely crucial that we don’t spend the entire freaking day working on stuff. Our brains need to rest and our bodies need to move. Thus, once you are done with one round of work, please take the time to get up off your chair, and go for a little walk, or do a burpee or a pushup off the wall.
I usually do a few pushups off the wall, or I will sit down in a squatting position and stretch out my hips. Or I will walk around and play Clash of Clans on my ipad – attach a few villages and let my brain switch away from the previous task. Maybe I might even go and grab some food, if it is lunch or dinner time.
Take the necessary mind and body breaks throughout your day. They are set up as reward checkpoints for our psyche. We know that a break is coming where we get to chill out and have some fun. So we try to finish our work quickly and get our stuff done.
That is a great motivator.
Don’t Call Yourself Names For Missing A Day
I know that we live in a world that can be quite cruel to each other. We spend more time saying negative things to ourselves than we do positive.
“You are so stupid! Can’t do anything right. You are always so lazy. Are never going to get anywhere. You are going to be a loser for the rest of your life. I’m so disappointed with myself. I am never going to get this stuff done. Etc. Etc.”
We’ve all done this to ourselves. Been mean to ourselves, because we missed a day or skipped a day.
What is done is done! Forget about it. Life happens. If you missed a day due to extenuating circumstances, or just plain laziness, then forget about it. It has already happened and you can’t change it.
Forget about it.
What you can control is your behaviour right now. What you can do right now is focus and get your task done for today. Do not let yourself skip another day, because you’ve already missed one. Don’t let the streak die or let the missed streak build.
Be kind to yourself, and believe and trust in your ability to keep on going.
Little By Little, Your Behemoth Will Get Done
As I said, I am building a membership site right now and I am super excited for it. But I know I am going to have moments in there that I am going to hate the project because it’s so big, and taking up so much time. Or I am going to have moments when I will want to skip my daily task, because I am just being lazy, or temperamental, or moody.
The main tenet with all of this to keep on going, slowly but surely every single day. Create unstoppable momentum that sticks with you forever and ever.
It’s amazing to me how the little steps don’t seem like much when you are in the moment. It seems like inconsequential tasks that are not going to result in anything. But one day, you arrive to the end point and realize that all of those little steps that you did without thinking, actually ended up finishing your behemoth project.
That’s what I am doing with everything that I do.
I don’t worry or think about the end result. Thinking about the big projects makes me feel scared and afraid. I don’t want to do that to myself. I come back to the moment and think about what is the one baby step I can take today that will move me closer to my big behemoth goal?
That is all I can do right now and that is all I need to do. And the same applies to you.