How many times have you said to yourself, “I feel like a flake. I start way more things than I end up finishing. Nothing gets done and I feel like I’m not making any progress at all.” It can crop up in “life” or “business” or a combination of the two of them. When I hear this coming from a client, I immediately know that there is a problem with their systems, planning, and support that we need to navigate through.
In order to get things, you need to have a compelling “why” that’s keeping you focused. It’s the thing that you want more than anything. It’s the big, hairy, audacious goal that you’re aiming at and moving toward in your lifetime. But that isn’t enough. You also need the processes and structure behind it to get it done.
The vision is the why and the what. The structure and the systems are the how. So back to feeling like a flake. People who like to move and implement quickly like to start things. They have plenty of vision (why and what). The how (processes, structure, systems) could use a little boost at times. Here are a few of my favorite ways to finish what I start.
There’s a tendency to put the cart before the horse and jump into project management before all of the ideas are down on paper. Often, I work with business owners who want things to be right from the very beginning. And I get that! They’re also worried about wasting time redoing something, so they think they have to design the perfect system before the ideas are even fully formed in a way that anyone can take action on them.
Although, why waste time putting tasks into Asana and delegating to your team if you don’t have everything fully formed yet?
That’s why I love a good “brain dump.” Getting everything down on paper helps you see what tasks can be combined, what isn’t essential to worry about now, and what you may want to take the very next step toward working on right now.
From this place of clarity, you can then start to give it order and meaning in a way that allows you to create clear action steps and finally finish what you’ve started (instead of just starting a bunch of new boards that sit half-finished in Asana)!
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Okay, hear me out. I’m not saying “Spend money to spend money!” What I am saying is to use your resources wisely. If you buy a slightly more expensive version than what you’d typically get, you’ll definitely use it. For example, I purchased a Peloton bike last year. I could have gone with literally any of the other options out there, but I chose one that I knew would encourage me to use it.
Investing in a membership, trainer, or piece of equipment is the first step in accountability. It becomes the reason why you get up and start moving. Then, eventually, it becomes a habit without you thinking about it.
It’s the same when it comes to working with a business coach. Yes, it is an investment of money. It’s also an investment in encouraging yourself to do the work. Pretty soon, you’ll easily be finishing what you started — not only because you want to sit down at the nicer computer (and feel all the things it brings up in you), you’ll have accountability and the habit of doing so.
You have to lead, especially if you have a team. That means putting your butt in the chair and doing the things you know you must do. It isn’t the “sexiest” or a “life hack that saves time,” but it is a tough love way to remind you “Hey, if you want this, you have to put in the effort.”
I’d like to invite you today to look at the areas of your business where you feel “flaky.” It’s the area where you keep saying, “Can we do this another day? I’m tired.” Or the task that moves from to-do list to to-do list.
Set a timer, tell yourself you’re going to keep that date and finish (or even just start!) whatever it is you’ve been flaking on, and then bask in the glow of satisfaction when you keep your promise to yourself and your business.
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Especially if you’re a creative or the type of person who likes to move quickly, you may have no problem getting started. I certainly understand that! You may feel like you could use some guidance navigating the stumbles around what comes next. How do you follow through so you finish what you started? Certainly, doing the work is not the easiest thing, but that is also part of being a leader of your business!
The best thing is to just get started. It doesn’t matter where, just do it. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” It took a series of steps to create something sustainable, but the vision of what they were building was always the end goal they were shooting for. And that helped them to take action and do the next right step. With practice (or perhaps guidance and accountability from a business coach!) you will easily be able to finish what you started and build your Rome.