I see it happening everywhere. Entrepreneurs know what they need to do, they get inspired, but when it comes to taking action… they freeze. This got me inspired to write a blog post in hopes of spreading awareness, then offering some solutions to get you back on your feet again.
I have been one of the lucky few that wasn’t dramatically affected by the swift change in the economy (don’t throw eggs at me!). I haven’t missed any mortgage payments, my work is steady and my ambition is strong as ever. Let this be the best news you’ve heard all day so far. Why? Because maybe I can help you see a new perspective – one that loosens up your stiffness and gets you on the track you know you want to sprint on.
So what did the economy really do? It injected high doses of FEAR into our bloodstream. We fear we will lose our house, our job, our spouse, our children, our health, our cars, our things, even our sanity. Watching the news enhances this fear: “record job loss”, “the stock market took another plunge”, “disease”, “foreclosures at an all-time high”… no wonder why so many people feel paralyzed and scared.
There is another way… and that is precisely what I am here to tell you today.
I’m going to start by telling you what I’m up to right now. My priorities are: My health, producing high-quality work on time, improving awareness and romance in my relationship, saving money, helping others through writing, paying off final pieces of old debt, making positive decisions, getting plenty of rest and soaking up my downtime, and last but not least, pushing myself a little each day.
I don’t have enormously high expectations of myself, but I strive on setting goals. I’ll make a goal to work out for 45 minutes, edit my upcoming book for an hour, or find 2 tasks that aren’t due for a few days, but getting them done now so I feel ahead.
If the economy has taught us one thing, it’s to start RE-focusing on the things that truly matter most. Many luxuries got stripped away – for everyone. Doubt and depression came in. Now more than ever, it’s important to increase your awareness of the feelings that suck the life force out of you.
Below I have a quick list of 5 ideas that will bring you inspiration and give you the energy to take action once again. Your life needs you to take action.
1. Sit down with a blank piece of paper and write a list of how things are now, compared to how you want things to be. This can involve a way you are feeling (such as I feel like something’s missing now, but I want to feel empowered), a word that describes your situation (such as now I have debt, but I want to save OR now my marriage or business is suffering, but I want it to thrive and start making a profit again), etc. By using short words to describe your experience, you open up the world of possibility once more. You admit there’s something missing, and you identify what you want. Now you have a starting point.
2. Push yourself a little farther every day. I know it can be really hard – I also live it every day. Forcing yourself gets the ball rolling and gets you feeling much better, really fast. Every day we make a hundred decisions – and some of those are “options” and we feel like we’re on a teeter-totter. We could go either way. In this moment ask yourself, “Am I getting closer to my goals or further away from them?” Procrastination is a killer. You don’t have to do everything for everyone all the time – I would never suggest that. What I am saying is that you should pick one or two things that normally you would have “put off”, force yourself to do them, and then bask in the glory you feel afterward knowing you made the right decision.
3. Dust off your ideas list and to-do list. Get them started again. Crossing off tasks is a quick, easy way to build your confidence and get you excited about taking more action!
4. Start spending again. No, I’m not advocating spending on all the unnecessary luxuries you were spoiled with before the economy hit. But, if you are contemplating a purchase that will help you get closer to your goals, get your business more exposure, and give you that boost you’ve been needing – DO IT. Sacrifice something else to make it happen if you need to. The economy put fear into business owners and made them think they had to stop all spending and hide. The lesson isn’t to stop spending, it’s to learn how to spend wisely.
5. Help others – help everyone around you. I believe in karma, treating others the way you’d want to be treated, and I believe in doing the right thing. If someone emails you asking for help, spend the time to write a response that will really help them. I’ve written email responses that took me 45 minutes before, and you know what? It was worth every second for the inspiration it gave others to take action. Spread the wealth – I really believe it comes back in a bigger more positive way.
If you take nothing else from this post, I hope to plant a small seed in you to consider taking action again.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)