As entrepreneurs we face a constant barrage of hurdles, challenges, setbacks, disappointments, screaming euphoria, comparable levels of despair, a thrilling ride, great meaning, huge amounts of learning, stress and pride put on their families who are on the ride with or without prior discussion and the occasional success. Successes are rare. We make heroes from successes.
But, guess what? We're all entrepreneurs. We’ve all been entrepreneurs since the day we popped out* and asked Where am I? in a language and tone that anyone listening heard as screaming and crying.
We have no choice but to be lifelong entrepreneurs, too. Our whole life is a series "of hurdles, challenges, setbacks, disappointments, screaming euphoria, comparable levels of despair, a thrilling ride....” And like business entrepreneurs we’re pushed and pulled to invent and re-invent ourselves each and every day...or suffer the same fate as businesses who refuse to change: close our eyes to the world.
Inevitably, there comes a period when the setbacks mount, the challenges find no solutions, the doubts creep, our questions remain unanswered. Progress ceases. Our day is reduced to finding a to:
Just one way. Today.
Over the past bit (too long to want to tally it up really) I needed that answer. Regularly.
With the help of a few friends, old and new, and with what’s called persistence here but stubbornness there... I found a few.
I wanted to share them with anyone. Maybe one of these will help you Keep....Moving...Forward, sooner and faster.
Here’s my first 5. Call them answers, ways or steps. Call on them when you need them.
Take a Break.
Rest is the basis of activity.
We’re on a long journey. The journey will not go away. It will be here tomorrow. I promise. So will the challenges. And new ones are on the horizon.
Take a break. Rest. Recharge. Spend time with family. Spend time with friends. Spend time enjoying something: a movie, a walk, music, sports, a good book, silence.
There's a practical aspect found here. Solutions, answers, resolution, understanding...they all choose to arrive here. Not sure why. Maybe, when we relax, when we choose to not focus so intently on a problem...we offer them a chance to dance for our attention. All those threads of awareness can form a dance line and we'll see it, hear it and applaud it.
We’ve earned both: the break and the answers. . We’ll earn some more, soon.
We’re climbing our own mountains. And even those who attempt Mt. Everest take a break, rest and recharge, at certain points on the journey. If they do it, it makes sense for us to do it as we attempt to summit our own Mt. Everest.
* Keep a daily routine.
- Prepare for tomorrow by the end of today. My success today increasingly is built on what I planned for it. That's done yesterday.
- Use a to-do list
- Keep the list short. I list my 3 most important goals.
* Turn off digital media at night. Stay out of The Shallows. I tend to graze digital media more as the evening progresses. Reasons for this are few; accomplishments are fewer. It is the mental equivalent of grinding your engine's gears. Eventually the engine or the gears or the clutch give out.
* Go to bed early.
* Sleep as much as you need. Don't use an alarm.
I will post 5 each Monday, moving forward. I'll post them before noon, Central.
I will expand on one of them. And answer questions about any of them in comments.
There will 53 such posts, with 263 steps in all. Why not 365? One for every day? Well, because even in a journey we take breaks. Those breaks are important for a long journey. Breaks for family, breaks for the mind, breaks for the body. And 263 are the number of days in the year minus the weekend or 2 days each week.
Keep. Moving. Forward.
This theme for this year came to me first in a radio show with Deborah Shane. She kindly invited three guests to join her for an end of the year, wrapup show. The other two were JT O'Donnell of Career Realism and Michelle Villalobos: She asked us what themes we saw for 2011. I answered
Keep. Moving. Forward. The recession's not yet over; some areas are worse off than others. This is a key theme for all entrepreneurs in all times.
Later on, Chris Brogan asked if we had three words for 2011. I answered:
Keep. Moving. Forward.
Is there a choice? Again, I hope this list, this project, will help more understand that A. no we don't have a choice; B. I have the means to keep moving forward without pausing on the next step.