So you're building a new online business.
You’ve got nothing up and running yet. No website and no product. No one knows anything about you or your great idea. The Internet doesn’t know you exist. You are just in pure creation mode.
You are exhausted and sleep-deprived. A few people have given you uncomfortable nods when you tell them what you’re doing. Someone tells you that Mike Michaelson tried to do that and he’s had to go beg his old boss for an entry-level position.
All you’ve got is faith in a great idea and months of work ahead of you.
How do you stay the course?
There are probably a million articles on setting goals. But that’s because it’s really important. But not just the big goals, it’s the tiny goals in between.
I want my website design finalised by May. I want to have testing commence in June. I want a prototype of my product by Monday. Whatever it is, you need the goal. And you need the plan to get there as well.
Creating smaller goals along the journey is what will keep you motivated. This elusive goal of ‘have a successful online business’ is not very tangible when all you have is scribbling on some notepaper.
The reason for short-term goals is to keep you engaged. If you are up every single night recording video after video to package as an online course, you are going to be very tired. The hours you will spend filming and editing, re-filming and re-editing are going to be arduous.
That sort of endless repetition with no foreseeable pay-off is what can knock many people off the online business horse before the race has even started.
Get yourself a whiteboard or similar visual aid so that you can write your short-term goals up. Have it there in front of you all the time. Then you can cross each achievement off with vigour. If you are crossing off a small goal every week, it will create momentum within you. You’ll feel like you’re moving forward every day.
It might not seem like much to write ‘film video 4’ on the whiteboard, but once you’ve done it, you’ve done it. Scrub it out, and put ‘film video 5’ up. Progress is progress and you need to acknowledge it for yourself. A new online business is hard work, and it is vital for your morale to feel the forward motion.
If you are the only one with confidence in your idea, don’t allow that to deter you. If you’ve done your research and you know you have a market, then there’s nothing to stop you from moving forward except yourself.
We know not every new online business is going to succeed, but we do know that every business that stays an idea is a failure.
This is a mind technique that you can use in two ways. You can chunk big or chunk small. Sounds dirty.
Both methods have a purpose to help you manage your new online business goals.
For example, when you get up in the morning it’s easy to lie there in bed thinking about the fifty things you need to do before getting to the bus for work. Get out of bed, get breakfast, turn on the coffee machine, get in the shower, wash your hair, exfoliate, find some clothes, check your email, get some shoes on, find your keys…the list goes on and on.
It’s true that all those things might need doing, but the way you group those tasks together in your head can affect your ability to achieve them. Most of those things above could be grouped under a single task heading: Get Ready For Work.
When you break that single job into a million tiny jobs you overwhelm the mind and make it seem harder to achieve the same outcome. But really, all you need to do in the morning is get ready. One item.
Grouping tasks into large chunks in this way is useful in helping you get through mundane parts of your day and can help alleviate anxiety. This form of chunking is great for making molehills out of mountains.
But breaking things into tiny chunks can also be useful depending on the context.
When you are building a new online business, all those little steps you need to do to get your product out there need special attention. And that mountain is high. And when you’re on the bottom it can be hard to visualise the top.
So this is when chunking things into smaller bits is the wiser option. Sure, you have a million things to do over the next 12 months to get this new business launched, but you don’t have to do them all today.
So break it down.
What are you working on this week? Have a long-term plan, but try not to obsess on what you need to do in the months to come. This week might be product design. So focus on that one job, and deal with each new little chunk as you get to it.
Having too large of a chunk, like ‘design website’ can overwhelm you just as too many small chunks can seem impossible. Breaking that big job into small easy steps like ‘logo creation’ and ‘write bio’ gives you easily achievable tasks.
Consider how you are chunking your daily tasks, both in your personal life and your new business life. Do you need to create bigger chunks to get through the boring daily stuff? Maybe you need smaller chunks for your new online business goals.
TAKE A BREAK
Don’t forget to find time to relax. Distract your mind for a while. Don’t allow yourself to get so bogged down in the work that the rest of the world disappears.
Down time will renew you. Recreation will improve your mental and physical health so you can give your best when you get back to work.
STAY WITH IT
When all is said and done, you’re still going to get tired. Motivation will wax and wane. You aren’t going to be enthusiastic every second of the journey. Trying to put a new business together in the competitive online world, is a tremendous feat. What you’ll need is your belief in your idea and a rock-solid work ethic.
If you can find a way to make sure you keep setting small goals each week and try not to sweat the small stuff, you’ll reach the finish line.