Success in business comes from the result of making consistent forward motion toward your goals. But there are many times when this forward motion may be slowed or stopped completely because you simply don’t know which step to take next.
This lack of clear direction can often feel overwhelming: Where do I go? What should I do? How do I do this?
To move past indecision and being overwhelmed, when it happens – and it happens to everyone – try one of the following strategies:
1. Embrace the idea that this might be a mistake.
What are “mistakes” really? Aren’t they just learning opportunities? Learning to walk took thousands of “mistakes” before you got it right. Embrace the idea that you need to take baby steps – and to occasionally fall on your a** — on your way to the success you seek.
2. Start with the end goal in mind.
If you were setting out to learn to walk, that would be your end goal. But what happened right before that? You took your first step. And before that? Pulled yourself up by hanging on to furniture. And before that? Crawled. And before that? Keep going backwards until you reach the point where you stand today. Then, take the ONE STEP that is right in front of you.
3. Focus on high value tasks.
Each day, there are literally thousands of things that you could do for your business. But what should you focus on? High value tasks are those items that are going to have the biggest long-term return on investment for your business. But these tasks are often the most time consuming and difficult to schedule into your busy day of taking care of your business. So pick 1-3 and put them on your to-do list each day. Even if you only have 15 minutes, you’ll be surprised at how much progress you can make when you apply that time consistently.
4. Get support.
Making all of the decisions for your business on your own can be overwhelming and stressful. But you don’t have to do it alone. Participate in a mastermind group so you can benefit from the greater wisdom of the group mind. Or take advantage of resources at the Small Business Administration to find a mentor who has been there and done that who will advise you for free.
5. Make friends with your fear.
Building a business is more a journey of personal growth and development than you likely realized when you started. You are constantly being asked to learn, grow, and change as your business grows. This process can generate a great deal of fear on occasion. Instead of seeing your fear as your enemy – as something out to hurt you – see it as your friend. Your fear is there to protect you from harm. But is often also a beacon pointing you in the direction you should go.
6. Focus on your clients.
Your business isn’t about you, its about serving your clients. Imagine your perfect client is standing in front of you. What does he/she need in this moment? How can you give it to him/her? Being of service to others is a great way to get past our own indecision. But what if you can’t decide what your clients need most? Ask them! Call them up on the phone or send them a survey. You don’t have to pretend you are a mind reader.
7. Reconnect with why you started the business in the first place.
Not everyone is called to start their own business; it takes passion and courage to embark on this journey that you write for yourself. That passion got you through a lot the challenges that you faced when you started your business and it can be a source of inspiration to you again. Write a mission statement for your business that reflects this passion. Or find an inspirational message to hang on your wall. Or create a meditation that brings you into the emotions of your original passion. Find something that works for you to reconnect you to your passion often.
The most important step to take is the one right in front of you. Success is the result of consistent forward motion. Keep moving and you will reach your goals before you know it.