I have the pleasure of being a resource for a number of people who are starting their first business and as I answer their questions, I'm seeing a few patterns which has prompted me to share a few pieces of advise that I've shared with each of them.
Most of your decisions aren't final. A lot of people get stuck on a decision because they think it's a major decision that's going to change the course of their business. Often it's their name, or their logo, or another aspect of their branding but it's also been things like is my product perfect, am I pricing my service correctly, etc. A lot of people get caught up in decision making and the truth is, most decisions are not absolute. If you name your business something now, you can still change the name of your business down the road or use a DBA. Pretty much all of the biggest brands you can think of have had many logos over the year. A quick Google search can show you the transformations that Apple or Coca Cola's logos have gone through over time. Speaking of Coca Cola, I'm sure you know they used to use cocaine in the product - so product formulas can certainly change over the years as well. Hopefully what you're gathering from all of these examples is that you can make a decision now and change it later and that's ok. Just make a decision and keep going.
Lean into your strengths during times of uncertainty. Entrepreneurship is like a rollercoaster. Inevitably there will be times that are not going as expected. These are your times to show up. Identify what traits make you kick ass at what you do and think about how you can use those traits to help you in whatever you're facing. Negative self-talk can be the most destructive thing for an entrepreneur. Whether you have people around you to support you or not, the things you say to yourself are without a doubt the most important. So remind yourself what you're good at. Make a list of the things that make you good at whatever you're doing. In times of doubt and hardship, look at that list and feel empowered by it. believe me, you'll need it.
You're going to make time for whatever you set as a priority. Have you heard the saying "If you need something done, give it to someone who's busy?" Of course there's a fine line that those who are really busy struggle with, but I can tell you at least 9/10 people who tell me they're too busy to do something are not busy, it's just not a priority for them. Make sure that your priorities align with your goals and your actions will follow suit.
Time block your life away. make sure that your time blocking allows for productive chunks of work hours. There are different models in which you can structure your day in order to get the highest level of productivity. Three popular models are: complete life model*, where you structure work periods by project/meeting/admin, as well as meals, fitness, social activities and leisure all into your calendar so that you may be working at 8am and 11pm but still only put in 8 or so hours of work; a school day model, where you section your day into 3 or 4 projects and work on each project for 1 hour 45 minute work periods followed by a 15 minute break, and; a modified model where you have a fairly set start and finish time for work, but you take an extended break mid-day for fitness, social or leisure.
*this is the model I personally use
Take time for yourself! Pretty much the first things one of my mentors said to me when I first started my business was "take back your weekends" and it was ultimately one of the most powerful things anyone said to me. At the time, and for a long time after he said it, I worked tirelessly and would continuously drain my battery until I was on empty, recharge and repeat. This is a terrible way to function. The more time I take to concentrate on things other than work, the more creativity my brain has when it comes to thinking up new solutions and innovative strategies. Running yourself to the bone doesn't help anyone.
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