My friend David insisted that I read Playboy. Apparently, it has good articles. Specifically, he was referring to the recent Playboy interview with Tony Robbins. It’s definitely worth a read so if you have a chance, head on over to the site and check it out. Just be prepared for a few pictures of pneumatic blondes to flank the text.
One thing Tony mentions struck a chord with me. Tony is often pegged as a motivational speaker, but in the interview he says: “I’m a strategist, not a motivator. I’m obsessed with finding strategies that create real results in the shortest period of time.”
That’s something we all need to remember.
It lies at the heart of why we don’t take action.
You might have a great idea for a business. You talk to your mates about it over Friday night drinks. They love it too. But one year later you’re still talking about it. You haven’t taken any action.
Or perhaps you know you need to go to the next level in your business. But it’s such an overwhelming concept that you just don’t know where to start.
We all love motivational quotes. You see them shared on Twitter all the time. Pinterest is full of them. But do those quotes really do anything?
Sure, they might bring a smile to your face – and that’s important too – but they’re not enough.
And that’s the fundamental factor that most of us miss when we are faced with a huge task or goal. We might have all the motivation in the world. But that won’t matter if we don’t have a strategy to get where we want to go.
Whether it’s to double the size of your business, lose 10 kilos, or create an online store, you need a clear path. Or you simply won’t start.
So how do you create the right strategy? Obviously this depends on the task at hand but, at a basic level, consider this:
1. Accept that it feels overwhelming. It’s a big goal. But remind yourself that it’s not impossible and that all major projects feel overwhelming at the start.
2. Break it down into actionable chunks. If you don’t know where to start, mindmap it. Think of every possible thing you need to do and write it on a whiteboard. Then group the actions you need to take into logical chunks. One the biggest obstacles to getting over feeling overwhelmed is that we don’t WRITE DOWN what’s ahead of us. Instead, we let it swirl around our brains and cause us sleepless nights. Invariably, when you identify and write down what you need to do, it’s never as scary as you think. This is one of the best approaches I’ve found to getting things done.
3. Determine if you need support. Do you need to engage a graphic designer? Or an admin assistant? Or a temporary sales person. Figure out what you need to do yourself, and what you can outsource or delegate. This is where I see many business owners fall down. They think they are crucial to many steps in the process when they actually need to get out of their own way. Get your ego out of it. Embrace the fact that someone else might actually do a better than you – and let go!
4. Timeline it. Plot out what needs to be done when. This gives you structure and a deadline. If you leave it open-ended, you risk never getting it done. I’m a big fan of creating timelines and sticking to them. If I’m launching a new product, I may even publicly commit to a date the product will be available, well before the product it finished. This forces me to ensure it gets developed and done within a specific time frame. Alternatively, create an arbitrary deadline and celebrate with rewarding yourself. I’ve used holidays, designer handbags and outings to fancy restaurants as rewards!
We all have dreams. We all have big goals. And sometimes we wonder if we’ll ever reach them. Just remember, you can read as many motivational quotes on Pinterest as you want. But while it will give you a temporary “warm and fuzzy”, it won’t necessarily make a difference.
You need to be practical, you need to create a realistic strategy – and you need to follow it. Make it happen.