Here's week 5:
Let’s talk about those baby-steps. Did you ever see the movie What About Bob with Bill Murray? It’s not an oscar-winner. It’s uneven. Somewhere the director and actors realized...we have to end this movie somehow.
But...there’s some scenes in their that still make me laugh and in particular...ring true. That scene that rings true, keeps ringing in my head, is baby-steps.
Baby-steps. Small steps. Achievable steps. Steps where you don’t fall down, don’t fall back. Momentum builders, some might call them. Firm-footing. They are the lay-ups a shooter needs to get their confidence back, get a little mo’ going, in basketball (Yes, this is a sports analogy and tomorrow is March 1. )
Baby-steps are a great way, even a daily way, to keep.moving.forward. Let’s use the basketball shooter’s analogy one more time. It is applicable for entrepreneurs*. Every day is our shot at life. We get up; we take our shot. Maybe we take big shots or long shots. But every day we work to get open, get a clear view of the basket. And take our shot.
Some days...weeks...months...ok, years....that shot, those shots...miss. We still have to get up the next day and take our shot.
But, now we’re doubting ourselves. We’re hesitant when our opportunity comes. That innate enthusiasm, excitement and passion, has ‘left the building’ with Elvis. The building is our heart.
What do we do? We take baby-steps. Little steps where we won’t fall back, can’t fall down. Take them one a time, one-day at a time. Take them in order or jump around. Take one 5 times in a row. Take 5, once each. Just take them until you those baby-steps are ...a shuffle. That shuffle becomes a jog. The jog becomes a run. Those shots are made and now you’re on a streak. That’s a streak of making shots.
Here’s 5 baby-steps...to keep.moving.forward.
Invest 30 Minutes.
- Read about your goal. Challenges, solutions, resources, who's doing what.
- Write about your goal. This is just a step. It's not written in stone. It's a step to clarify.
- Clip some online articles for later reading. I find just reading the title is like planting a seed. I use Evernote . It's easy, free, private.
Create a Google Alert for Your Goal.
Find out what’s been said, what’s being done, by whom. Make it a daily alert. Read them daily.
Create and Use a Hashtag for Your Goal on Twitter.
(You are on twitter, right? Tweets, microposts, are the ideal baby-step. 140 characters. Come on.) Find and connect with others who use it.
Work in 90-Minute Blocks
Matthew E. May, wrote a great post (ok, I haven't found any post he's written that wasn't....excellent), over at OPEN Forum on the logic and physiology of working in 90-minute segments. (Now, I can't find the post. Matt? )
I take it one step further, as I remember from his post. I set up 3-4 projects to work on during a 90-minute segment. When I hit a writer's block or a solutions block or my attention dulls on a project...I can jump to the next one.
Sometimes, I work back and forth all the time being productive.
Sometimes I sustain the focus on one.
And, sometimes it's enough to know that I get a break in...x more minutes, as opposed to thinking 'oh, crap, I'm stuck here....all day'.
Talk with someone.
Tell them your goal. Tell them your challenge. Listen to theirs. Find a story to share and laugh about. It is so easy to feel you are alone:
- No one faces the same challenge. These challenges are insurmountable....
- We’re afraid. We’re a failure.
They remain our reality as long as we live in isolation, remain disconnected. That is why we keep.moving.forward.
This is a great baby-step that allows us to relax (which always helps a solution or a perspective reveal itself) and connect with those who have gone before us or maybe walk beside us, right now.
And, who knows? Maybe we can help them, having already taken these baby-steps to walk ahead of them.
* Just a reminder: we're all entrepreneurs.
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.
And like entrepreneurs in the business world, sometimes we get stuck. Sometimes, we need a tip, a reminder, a flashlight, a life buoy...And in this economy, we all need all the help we can get.
I hope this helps.
Feel free to share your tips, resources or means you have found help you keep.moving.forward.
Disclaimer: I'm a work in process with each of these steps, especially that last one. I'm getting better at the 2nd one. I overlook them all at different times, I handle them or have handled them poorly at others....But I Keep.Moving.Forward. I think you can too, if you take one of them today.
** Matt May. Mat's the author of two excellent books, The Shibumi Strategy and In Pursuit of Elegance. He's also generously shared his time as guest on my radio show, twice. Listen here (June, 2009) and here ( November, 2010).