It’s normal to think that big goals require big actions. But, actually, the opposite is true. Your best bet is to start small.
When you hold an intense desire for something – like a thriving side hustle or a new career, for example – it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the enormity of it. You might feel a little stuck: “when am I going to find time for this?”
The vision you have for yourself and your growth is big and ambitious – as it should be. But, the trouble is our bias for instant gratification. You want it now and you want your schedule to bend to accommodate it.
It won’t, of course.
No, the key is to flip it around. See your day – your schedule – for what it is. Then, take small, thoughtful steps to move forward.
You have time. What you might lack is a belief in progress over perfection.
START SMALL TO MOVE THE BALL FORWARD
Vince Lombardi, the former head coach of the Green Bay Packers, who led the team to five consecutive Super Bowls over a seven year period, would tell his players: “Football is a game of inches and inches make the champion.”
Even if, like me, you are not the biggest sports fan, you can appreciate Lombardi’s mindset.
In football, there are constraints, like rules and physics. There’s a limited amount of time to complete plays. There’s an opposing team, who’s job is to push you in the opposite direction of your goal. You could never expect to get to the goal at the end of the field in a single run unimpeded. So, you don’t focus your attention there.
Instead, you do what you can, right where you are. Move the ball forward, inches at a time if necessary.
Our lives and our goals are the same.
There are always obstacles in our path and constraints that we need to acknowledge and work around.
But, moving forward when and how you can is still progress.
IT’S PRACTICAL TO START SMALL
Just because you can’t do everything you want to do in the limited time that you have, doesn’t mean you should do nothing. In fact, it’s counterproductive to your goal and will keep you right where you are for a lot longer.
All or nothing is the wrong mindset if you’re hoping to make big changes to your life.
You don’t always need to reformulate your day. You don’t always need to make new time in your schedule. Instead, you might just need to make better use of the minutes you already have.
Instead of, for example, scrolling Instagram for 5 minutes, open your notes app and create a rough outline of your business plan. Or, open your journal and make a list of career questions you have.
Don’t have time for that long hike you wanted? It doesn’t mean you can’t get up and move today.
Pausing to take 1 deep breath is better than struggling in vain to find time to meditate.
Reading 1 page is better than not reading at all just because you don’t have time to read a whole chapter.
Writing for 1 hour today is better than waiting forever to take a magical retreat to finally write that manuscript.
What’s the alternative? Zero. No progress. Pushing the dream out further and further until it’s just that – a dream.
A MINDSET OF SMALL STEPS
You need to see your business and life in the same light. Start small.
Growing your profit by $1 is better than zero.
Adding 1 new healthy habit to your day is better than none.
Selling to 1 customer is better than zero sales today.
Small steps add up. Progress happens when you invest over time, not all at once.
Don’t be discouraged by small steps – celebrate them. In them, you’ll find the seeds to keep growing. One small step at a time.
So, what can you do today, right where you are?
Share some of your reflections in the comments or send me a message.
ONE MORE THING
Starting and growing a business is not a straight line.
It can feel messy – it zigs and zags, it starts and stops. It can feel frustrating even for the most seasoned business owners. And, that’s ok.
It’s also an exciting challenge. It’s going to stretch you. You’re going to learn a lot – not just about business, but about yourself.
And, that’s why it’s worth it.
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