As you're building your business, it's easy to become overwhelmed by the number of things you have to do reasonably well to be successful. This can be debilitating, causing you to shrink back from accomplishing your goals, or even setting them in the first place.
But the truth is that, if you are not regularly doing things that in your business that cause you to summon courage you didn't know you had, then you will never be able to take the strides needed to propel yourself forward. Here are some specific things you can do right now to get out of this kind of rut so you can move confidently in the direction of your dreams.
1. Know what you want.
Being courageous is hard work, so the first step I recommend is that you know exactly what you want. After all, why go to the trouble of summoning courage unless it's to get something you really want? Make a list of the things you really want in your business — get on TV, make six figures a year, get your products into a specific retail chain. Whatever it is you want, write it down. Now, you can see in black and white what is really meaningful to you. This will help you take the next step.
2. Identify what you're not doing to get what you want.
Once you know what you want, you can identify what you are not doing to get it. For example, you want to get your products into retail stores, but you're afraid of doing sales calls. What next? Learn how to do sales calls.
3. Learn what you don't know.
Often, we are afraid of something because we don't understand it. In the above example, you want your products on retail store shelves and you know you need to call on buyers to make that happen, but the thought terrifies you. Why? Maybe because it's unfamiliar territory. Now what? Familiarize yourself with the territory!
Read a book on sales, take a class on sales, go hear a sales guru speak, hire a sales coach, reach magazine articles on sales … The point is to remove the unfamiliarity so there's one less reason to be afraid.
4. Take baby steps.
Once you know what you want and have familiarized yourself with the process, you can start taking baby steps in the direction of what you want. In the example here, you might follow the advice you learned in Step 3, and put it to use on very small local retail stores. In this way, you can learn as you go with little risk. If you fall flat on your face, that's OK — you will know what mistakes to avoid next time around. I love this advice form my friend's mom:
When you fall flat on your face, it's good because it's about 5 and a half feet forward.
Practice what you have learn, eliminate the mistakes one at a time, and do better each time. If you keep doing it and don't give up, not only will you begin to get what you want, but you'll be slowly conquering your fear and creating the courage you need to keep moving forward.
5. Make it happen!
Start slowly, and remember that doing scary things comes with the entrepreneurial territory. There's no escaping it. But when you know what you want, you don't waste energy conquering fears that you don't need to be bothered with. Additionally, you don't have to take humongous steps. In our example, you don't have to do what it takes to get into Target if all you want to do is get into a local boutiques in your area. Focus your energy on the things you really want so you don't waste energy unnecessarily.
Your Turn To Fly!
These 5 steps are not complicated, but that does not mean they will not be difficult. Everyone is different, and you may find that you need a support partner to help you move through these small steps one at at time for a particular issue to get started. If so, then do that. Don't let anything hold you back.
Start now, so that a decade from now, you're not wishing you had.
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Author, entrepreneur and award-winning small business advocate Donna Maria Coles Johnson teaches Makers and Artisan Entrepreneurs around the world how to start and grow profitable businesses that change lives. Subscribe to her updates to get complimentary weekly entrepreneurial mentoring and training.