The Art of Starting Today: How to Shun Complacency and Get Things Done
It’s common to reach a point as a small business owner where you know you have to do something to improve your marketing. You realize that your logo needs to be redone. You feel like your website looks like one of those homemade websites (because you made it at home). Your business cards have a different color scheme or design than your logo and it doesn’t even have your website address on them and don’t even start on your advertising efforts that you haven’t paid attention to in months or the thousand other things you’ve thought about but just didn’t have the motivation for.
Why aren’t I Motivated?
Maybe you don’t really “get” why these things are important. It feels like there’s always something that could be done, but hey, you’re not going out of business. So you don’t need to do those things today, right? Ab-so-frickin-lutely WRONG!
First of all, the reason you feel like you need to improve your marketing, is because you do! The problem is, for whatever reason, you don’t want to start what feels like is going to be a long process today. The major problem with that way of thinking is if you don’t start today it will get perpetually put off until tomorrow, which means it will never get done. The trick is just getting started on tasks that you don’t want to do.
A Real Trick
Well I’m here to tell you that 50% of getting those little tasks done is just starting on them. Starting is quite often the hardest part of a journey. Once you’ve gotten started on a task, such as upgrading your website, it has a way of building on itself and motivating the person doing it. Make it up in your mind that you are just going to start today. You’re not necessarily going to finish the task but at least decide that you are going to get the ball rolling today. Make a list of the things you need to do and start taking them on one at a time. Each item might break down into several smaller tasks, make another list for those and start knocking them out. The point is to make the decision that you are not going to waste another day just knowing you need to improve your marketing, you’re going to start today.
The magic of “starting today”
The real magic trick for motivation like this is to make up your mind to take on each task one at a time. Get excited about new and fresh ideas and lay out tasks to turn those ideas into action. Know that if you don’t ever take on these seemingly small tasks, they will never get done. Try not to look at the tasks as a great big group of things, instead just make a list and take them on one thing at a time. Try not to set goals that are larger than needed. Lay out tasks for one day at a time. Remember, starting today really is the key. Once the ball gets rolling on these various goals it will become easier to motivate yourself to finish them.
There’s always a reason not to do something if you look for it. We are good at setting up barriers for ourselves for things we really don’t want to do. We say “that won’t really help” or “it’s not worth it” but we know it will. Solidify in your mind the idea that you will not let barriers be the reason you don’t start something. Understand that this is a natural human reaction and let those negative thoughts come and go. Do not let barriers take you out of the mind-set that you are going to start today on improving your business. If it doesn’t work, so be it, but its better to try something with a noble cause and fail than to never have tried at all.
Read material on avoiding procrastination, such as this article: 11 Practical Ways to Avoid Procrastination
Breaking out of your routine and taking on new tasks can be challenging, but for small business owners it is an absolute must. After all, if you would’ve never opened your business in the first place, where would you be now? It was the act of starting today that got your company going and it will be the art of starting today that will advance your business onto the next thing it needs to stay relevant and profitable. Shun complacency! Make a list of things you can do to improve your marketing and start today.