I wanted to launch my business last year. The thing is, though, I didn’t really do much after that because I told myself I wasn’t ready. I was studying for exams, had a full-time job and told myself I needed to concentrate on that – which wasn’t wrong. The problem I ran into, however, is that I wanted to think about my business and how it could grow, to the point where I wasn’t focusing properly on the task at hand, and so everything suffered and my progress stalled. I held myself back from exploring the possibilities because of the fear of failure but what good did that do? I was miserable and went through an existential crisis about once a month questioning if this was truly the path that I should be on because I wasn’t reaching the goals that I outlined ( and that were outlined for me) in order to be successful. Whenever I talked about it, I would always say ‘I’m at point A, and I’m too distracted with seeing point Z to focus on point B’. But why hold myself back from thinking about point Z if that is my driving force? Point Z is my “why” – another concept that comes up a lot in the countless business webinars I’ve attended. I think the key hear is balance. The approach to patient care and treatment planning taught in Naturopathic medicine is to ‘meet the patient where they are at’ and move forward from that point; I think that applies nicely here. While I’ve spoken to many lecturers at the business webinars I’ve attended, their main advice on where to start is usually “Just do it”. While that’s a great slogan (#notsponsored), for a person like me, it’s not that simple, so I’ve outlined a few steps that can be taken to help you get started:
1- WHAT: List out your top 5 lifetime goals. They can either be career, personal, financial – anything. If you’re anything like me, you know what they are in detail. I find the best way to list them is either in order of desire or in order of when you want them accomplished by. Remember, this is the motivational phase, so when you are thinking about them, envision yourself at its most successful point – what is your life like, who is with you and what does your day-to-day look like? You are building your dream life in this vision and using it to motivate you to start, and to keep going.
2- WHY: Establish your WHY. Now you know what you are trying to achieve, why do you want it? Ask yourself the meaning behind the success you want to achieve and what feelings you will gain from them. Is it building generational wealth for you and your family? Maybe it is proving to yourself that it is possible. For me, I want to help a community that I know is regularly underserved and inspire people to pursue their dreams, no matter how big or small. Once you know the overarching theme behind your motivation, break it down: what is the feeling that EACH OF THE TOP 5 will give you. Write down a separate feeling for each. This gives you your motivation and the reminder why those are the goals, and not anything else.
3- HOW: 90-day planning. Now we know our motivation for building the life we want, let’s start talking about how we are going to get there. I’ve already told you that I’ve gotten into manifesting this past year, and this comes into play in my 90 day planning. You are going to write down everything you want accomplished for each of your top 5 in the next 90 days. For each of those 5 goals, what CAN be accomplished in the next 90 days. Ideas for your smart goals can include the type of social media strategy you’re going to use and dedicating 90-days to really focus on it or taking a course to understand the product or service industry you want to get into and how you’re connect with an audience. The task can be as big or as small as you want, just make the SMART.
Specific – I want you to write down exactly what it is going to be with as much detail as possible
Measurable – Numbers are your friends. For example, you can say you want to have 10 patients, or making $2500/month. It gives you a mark that you’re headed for (and that you can surpass)!
Achievable – The goal you have must make sense to attain within the 90 days. The most important thing is that you feel it is 100% BELIEVABLE you can achieve this goal in this timeframe. If it is too outrageous, you’ll feel discouraged because you won’t get close. We’re making sure to give ourselves little wins to keep that motivation alive for the big Top 5!
Realistic – Thinking of your skillset and resources, this needs to be something that is not fantastical. Keep reminding yourself that this is a micro-goal you are creating leading you towards the big top 5, so it must be something that makes sense along that timeline. For example, if I am looking to run my own naturopathic business, realistically I’m going to need to start seeing patients consistently to properly understand their needs.
Timely – within 90 days
Between the Top 5 SMART goals you create, the focus will probably change after each set of 90 days and balances will shift, but you’ll at least feel like you are moving forward in all your goals every quarter (1/4 of each year = 90 days, get it?).
4- WHO: Who is on your team? This one is a bit of a mixed bag, because more likely than not, you are starting solo. So a better question might be who do you have to become? Do you have to take on multiple roles at once to get things off the ground? I’m realizing that, if you don’t have the money or resources to hire or outsource certain tasks, then you are learning to become multiple members of the eventual team you will need to build. For instance, the CEO, the scheduler, the social media manager, tech advisor and of-course, the service provider. This isn’t forever, but it is also important to understand how each part of your operation works before handing off the role.
5- WHEN: Time Blocking. If you are like me and juggling a full-time job as you start your own business, figuring out when you will be tackling all these tasks and SMART goals is important in order to keep you moving. Setting out specific chunks of time in your day for your business seems to be the most well known and effective method. Don’t do blocks any less than 2hrs, or else you might not get anything done. My golden block is 4hrs and creating a 3-4 item to-do list to complete in that block. I start with the most pressing at the top and don’t move onto the next until it is complete. You can also start with an easy task that you know will only take a short amount of time; it can also get you in the zone to start strong.
6- WHERE: Office space or at home. Finally, let’s think of where this is all going down. I have a hybrid work-from-home/ work-in-office situation going on with my full-time job right now, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Creating a dedicated space for you to do the work for this business can help you stay in the right frame of mind for such business tasks. Maybe it still is your pandemic at-home office that you’ve created, but adding in a little nod to your new business venture might help you mentally shift. I have a specific pen and notebook I use for all my ideas. I only pull that out and it stays on my desk while I do everything related to Bourne Unbound. Some might call it compartmentalizing, I call it my way of being focused on the task at hand.
These are, by all means, not NEW strategies, but they have been and still are the strategies that are working for me, and hopefully for you too. I might not be ready for point Z, but my education and experience has properly prepared me for point B, so I can go there now while still keeping the end in mind. I don’t know what the other 23 letter points are going to be, nor when they will arrive, and that needs to be okay. They will reveal themselves on the path when the time comes. It’s not about “just doing it”, but about breaking down the steps to get it done. I know what my desired end goal is, I have the expertise to get there and the resources to help fill in the gaps.
Love and Wellness,