🚨 SPOILER ALERT 🚨
This post was inspired by my new clothing company VT Black Label because friends are wondering:
With everything else I have going on, how do I have time!?
How do I just go for it?
How the hell do I know what I'm doing?
Keep Reading to find out!
Do you have an idea and daydream about starting your own business? Maybe you work for someone and love what you do but dislike the people you work with. This can leave you daydreaming about finding a new job or having your coworkers disappear. I've been there! So this may come as no surprise as to why I've worked for myself since my early twenties.
Perhaps, your work environment is less than desirable, AND you'd like to open your own business. Or maybe you're a new-ish mom whose previous business burned in a fire, then got knocked up, and as soon as that baby was born, the world went into lockdown mode, lost its freakin' mind, and you were forced to stay home. Oh, that's just me? Haha! I'm so grateful for a happy and random series of events! It's funny how things work out. I've been so incredibly blessed to have this time with my son Cash, and I wouldn't change anything! On the other hand, some weren't so blessed over the past couple of years, and my heart goes out to them. ❤️
So, what's stopping you from achieving your goals?
Is it fear? Is it finances? Is it judgment? Is it responsibility? Is it the lack of resources or knowledge?
I've had many ideas and dreams that I've turned into reality. Because of this, I'm often asked how I decide to do something and go for it with no fear. To me, it's as simple as Nike's slogan, Just do it! I can't say there's never fear involved because there ALWAYS is, but I do it anyway. I take one step at a time and just go for it.
Growing up, I was always taught to find my own path. This meant getting a job, buying my first car, finding and paying for my own auto insurance, etc. My parents taught me if I wanted something bad enough, I'd make it happen. This was also during the rise of lawsuits and people suing for any reason to make a buck. So I guess they also didn't want to risk losing everything over the ill discretions of a naive teenager. I can't argue that. Valid point!
As difficult and frustrating as it was to do it independently, it provided me with many tools and resources for not putting all of my eggs in someone else's basket. It distilled in me the value of a dollar, an appreciation for the fruits of my labor, and the understanding that no one owes me anything. Isn't this how parents are supposed to raise their children? With the tools and resources to function independently and live a purposefully driven life? The answer is yes, yet this often isn't the case. That's a topic for another post, though. But for now, we all do what we can with the information we have.
Here's my "Just Do it" Guide:
You have to have enough passion to move mountains. This passion will create momentum and keep inspiring you. It will create a continuous flow of ideas and everything you need for the following components.
Understanding your motivation to act on something is one of the most critical steps. You need to dig deep and ask yourself why you're doing what you're doing? This is what will keep you going when you have setbacks, roadblocks, and challenges. This is where my slogan "What's your ammo?" was derived. Ammo needs a driving force to propel it forward. Without a bow, an arrow has no driving force. So what's your driving force? What's going to propel you forward? Keep asking yourself why until it strikes a cord and you have an emotional response. I generally don't encourage acting out of emotion. However, it's a great thing when backed with a positive charge!
Create an action plan. This entails creating a list of steps involved in reaching the finish line. If it's starting a business, that means putting together a business plan with market research, projections, timelines, ideas, etc. If you're not familiar with this, Google it, do the research, take a class, figure it out! The information is out there! If it's finding new employment, that means researching new jobs, interviewing, and brainstorming your needs. If it's starting a new business while you're still employed, your projections and timeline will be crucial to estimate when you can quit your job. Once you have a completed plan, you can move forward with ease.
4. One step at a time:
Focus on the task before you rather than the big picture. Remember that action plan? Breaking down your overall plan into smaller steps creates more attainable goals and prevents you from getting overwhelmed. Of course, the big picture can be just as important, so brainstorm it and then put it away for a rainy day.
5. Goals - Write down a list of goals:
Check them off as you go. Make new goals. If they change, modify them. Sometimes we get so focused on the opinions of others that we deem unmet goals as failures. I've been there! However, if something isn't working or you change your mind, it's okay to modify it. So change them and move on. I have to emphasize the importance of writing goals down on paper. There is power in writing them down. Trust me. Every goal I've written down has been accomplished, except for becoming a Victoria's Secret model… but that's beside the point. I was 17, and that quickly changed! It was fun to find that paper a decade later, though!
6. Remain Flexible:
It's important to understand that most things in life don't go as planned. Instead of getting frustrated, figure out another way. This is where your plan of action comes in again. If you plan for every possible outcome, you'll already have a strategy. This also means planning your exit strategy. Whether your new place of employment is not working out as intended or the business you started is tanking. How will you exit gracefully? These are all things to consider. We can't all be lucky enough to have our business burn to the ground. I'm kidding!! There's a little 3-year anniversary joke for you! Don't ever wish that. What a nightmare that was!
7. Focus on you:
I repeat, focus on you. Ignore what anyone else is doing. Having owned businesses and competed in many competitions, I can give you this advice with certainty; Focusing on what others have, focusing on what others are doing, and focusing on the opinions of others are 100% grounds for distraction from your goals or even worse, failure. Remember, what you focus on grows! This statement can't be more accurate. I learned this precious lesson the hard way as a teen while competing for Miss VT USA.
8. Faith and Instinct:
These two go hand in hand. You've got to have faith, my friend! And you have to know what to act on. You know that gut intuition I talk about all of the time? It's key here. It's important to know what to act on and when to act. So if you're having a hard time following and trusting your gut, read my other posts to learn how to quiet the noise.
Here's the deal. We learn through trial and error. I can give you great advice, but even if you follow it, you'll learn your own way, in your own time, and that's a great thing! The best form of learning is through experience. You can read books and study as much as you want, but I guarantee you won't learn a damn thing if you never act on it!
Whatever path you're looking to go down, I hope this post inspired you to move forward with encouragement.
What's your ammo?