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Start From Wherever You Are

Oct 12, 2007
Many people wait for things to be "perfect" before they pursue their dreams and goals. They wait for the perfect conditions, the perfect attitude, and the perfect time of year. They really want to achieve their goals ... but the time just isn't right.

In business they wait to take action on things they need to do to grow their business until they have their strategic plan in place, until staff turnover settles down, until they stop being so busy, until they get a few more clients. They really want to get around to taking the actions they need to do to grow their business ... but the time just isn't right.

When managing people they really want to tackle the poor performer, the rude staff member, the tardy employee. They want to give recognition to the high performing team member and take time out to plan their team's projects or tasks... but the time just isn't right.

Are you seeing any patterns?

Waiting for the right conditions is another name for procrastination which is an excuse for not achieving your goals. By waiting for the "right" time before acting - people accept mediocrity.

People often procrastinate because of fear - fear that they won't be able to handle the results of their action (either good or bad). They may be afraid that if they have that hard conversation at work the person may cry (or resign). They worry they may not make a difference at work if they try and change things or they may go broke and cause embarrassment to themselves and their family.

They end up paralysing themselves into place, numbing themselves into inactivity.

So if you recognise yourself in these patterns what can you do about it?

... Start from wherever you are.

By that I mean, look at one just thing that immediately needs doing and start there. Don't try and change the world ... just do one small thing which, in the process, will also help you to clarify your direction and goals.

In business, if you need to revamp your brand for business cards ... start there. A great graphic designer will ask lots of questions to help you clarify your business direction and goals before they put pen to paper. The act of re-designing your brand will in the hands of a skilled designer, help you to focus on your business goals (and if it doesn't - find another designer).

If you need to manage staff performance ... start there. Part of managing performance is having clear and open discussions about future directions and objectives. The outcome of those discussions is greater and shared clarity about your business direction and goals.

If you need to get some direct mail or marketing out there to draw in customers ... start there. A good writer will place your writing in the context of your business direction and will help you to articulate precisely what that direction is.

If you need to get a handle on your finances ... start there. A good accountant or book-keeper will do more than process your accounts; they will help you work out your financial goals and targets.

If you need to change a bad habit ... start there. Bad habits come about from a past response to a usually stressful situation. The habit was helpful at the time as a way of helping you deal with the circumstances. Changing the habit needs to be seen in the context of your broader life goals and direction.

To start from wherever you are, sometimes you need a hand to help you get moving.

The easiest way is to always surround yourself with people who will help you to take that step up and get a helicopter view of your situation - bigger than waiting for everything to be just right.

Find yourself business mentors, coaches, consultants, friends or executive teams who will tell you when you are procrastinating ... then who nudge you off your self imposed limitations. People who won't join in on the "feeling of being stuck", but who will prompt you to see the actions and the choices available to you that you maybe didn't see before.

A great support team that gets you moving is one of the best predictors of success for any business owner.

You don't need perfect situations to get started. You just need the courage to take the first step (even if it isn't a big one or perfectly executed!) or the right support team around you to help you run.
About the Author
Ingrid Cliff is a Freelance Copywriter, Business Development and Human Resources Consultant to Small and Medium Businesses. Ingrid has just published Instant HR Policies and Procedures for Small and Medium Businesses www.heartharmony.com.au
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