Entrepreneurial Quote of the Day:
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.” ~Plato
Hello Fabulous Women!
Seems like a number of people I’ve spoken with lately, my business coaching clients and others, are experiencing some area of life where they are feeling very STUCK. I don’t know, maybe it’s this rainy weather that sure seems to be stuck in place here in Rhode Island!
So I’ve decided to re-post something I wrote on the subject a couple of years ago – if there really is a general “stuckness” in the air maybe this will hit a few nerves and help people get out of that rut and into action. Enjoy!
I’m Stuck! Stuck, stuck, stuck! (Originally posted in Sept 2007)
We all know the feeling. It comes in a lot of different flavors – being stuck, in a rut, paralyzed, no forward movement, don’t know what to do, don’t know what you want, know what you want but have no idea how to get started, afraid to do the wrong thing, second guessing, how do I know it’s the right choice, feeling trapped, don’t have the time, don’t have the money, don’t have the time or the money – yuck, I’m feeling all squished and stuck just talking about it!
So how do you get unstuck? Well, of course all stuckness is not the same, but I’d like to talk about a very particular kind of stuck that is easier to get past than you might think.
Is there something that’s really important to you, some project you want to create, or some area of your life that’s not working the way you want, but you just feel stuck and stopped in trying to get anything going, or creating the change you want? Like maybe you have a great idea, at home or work, and you’ve had that idea for, oh, I don’t know, years, and you just never seem to get started. Or you keep saying you want to create more romantic time with your honey, but somehow you just can’t seem to create it and make it happen. Or, of course, you want to start your own business, (I know who I’m talking to!) and you get a few things going and then you hit a place where you just can’t move past it.
For a lot of things in life – probably most of them – what’s missing to get you in action is very simple. You just need to break it down. Yeah, really, most of time that’s what it takes, and even when it takes more, breaking it all down into small steps is still a huge part of the process.
So, how do you do that?
Try this: Pick something you want to accomplish, where you’ve been stuck, something that just seems so big or so new to you that you don’t even know where to start. Got one?
Okay, let’s go: Ask yourself, what’s the first step? What’s the first, little baby step that you could take? For some of you, the answer was obvious, you do actually know at least one step you could take now. (For you guys, okay, so either go do it or, if you truly can’t do it now, go schedule it in your planner or system.) For some of you, though, the honest answer is, “I don’t know! That’s the problem, I don’t even know what the first step is!”
Okay, when you don’t even know what your first step is, and that is what’s stopping you, then here are some other questions to help get you going:
What would I need to find out – what info do I need – to be able to figure out what my first step is?
Who could I talk to or where could I go to get that information?
For example, let’s say you have an idea for a business, you’ve done a bunch of research, you have some idea of what it’s going to take, but you’ve also concluded that you don’t want to do this alone, you want a business partner. And you keep thinking how great it would be to have a business partner, but you don’t have anyone in mind, and you don’t know how to find a business partner for this business that doesn’t even exist yet, so you keep thinking it would be great, but you don’t know how, but it would be just great, but how can you find them, and it would be so much easier if you had a partner, but you have no idea how to find them … and around and around and around it goes in your head, getting nowhere, and you are – STUCK!
So how do you get unstuck with that? You break it down, like this:
Project is: Finding a Business Partner
Problem is: You don’t know what your first step is, so you are taking no action.
Solution is: Break it down like this: First, you ask yourself, “What information do I need to be able to figure out what my first step is?”
Answer (Well, this is how I would answer the question!): If you want to find something, you need to define what it is you are looking for. So first, get really clear about who this partner would be – what kind of qualities they would have, what kind of skills, what kind of working relationship will you have, man or woman (if you care), what kind of experience, what will they bring to the table? Create your ideal business partner. Can you do that? Of course! That alone will start to get you unstuck!
Once you know what you are looking for, then you ask yourself again, what’s the next step? Well, it’s obvious that the more people who know what you want, the faster you will find it. So you need to get the word out. For some people, that could mean advertising or going on Monster or something like that, but for everyone the obvious next step is, just start talking to people!
Tell people about your business and what you are looking for in a business partner – be specific, get in conversation with all kinds of people, and see what comes your way. You will be amazed at what happens just from clearly telling lots of people (at least several people a day) exactly what you want.
As a result of those conversations, you are going to have a whole lot more information, other peoples’ perspectives and ideas, prospective partners, even prospective customers and employees – there will be so much energy and excitement as you focus on and talk about what you want, that you’ll wonder how you ever could have been stuck about any of this.
Still keep asking yourself, “What’s the next step?” Once things have started, you’ll no longer be just slowly creating one step at a time – they’ll be so many steps popping up in your mind the problem will be keeping them organized and on track, not coming up with them!
So we took what seemed like a big problem and, instead of trying to find the whole solution, we just created a couple of very do-able, sensible first steps, and voila, bye bye stuckness, hello action! Is the whole project – finding a partner – handled yet? No, but you are in action about it, you are excited, you are networking and connecting and – most importantly — you are not stuck!