I’d been putting it off and putting it off…
It was there on my to-do list; sometimes at the top, sometimes at the bottom, but never getting done. I’d started a few times and, when I wasn’t sure how to move forward, I’d Googled – and become overwhelmed by the results. I can’t even tell you how long it took before I asked for help.
For me it was budgeting and forecasting – what is it for you?
For a lot of people it’s bookkeeping, chasing invoices or blogging – what do they have in common?
We know we need to do them, but they’re just so hard
I’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about why people don’t blog – it’s where my Blog Planning Workshop came from. So many people I spoke to told me that they wanted to blog more; they understood the value that comes from sharing knowledge and keeping their website updated, but they struggled when it came to putting the words together.
The things that stopped most of these people blogging were the same concerns that stopped me in my forward planning.
- Not enough time – at least not the kind of time I imagined it would take to get my head round things.
- Not enough ideas, or knowledge – I knew I had all the information I needed but I wasn’t sure how to use it to get the right results.
- Not enough confidence – even with the information I had, I was worried I’d make a mistake which would put me on the wrong path and then I’d look stupid.
For most small business owners there will be something that makes you squirm, whether it’s networking, sales pitches or business development. You went into business to provide a product or service you feel confident about – but there are parts of that business journey that make you want to go and hide under a duvet.
The problem is that, often, those things you don’t want to do aren’t negotiable, they’re fundamental to building a successful business – so what are your options.
1 Just do it…
Often the first step in handling these painful jobs is just to keep trying. This isn’t a bad thing, if you lack confidence then practise can make it easier and more comfortable to handle. And maybe there are ways to ease those worries.
I was recently listening to Ed Gandia’s High-Income Business Building podcast on procrastination (Ed’s a successful business-building coach and author). He talked about the concept of gateway activities – an idea he took from the book The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. Rather than jump straight into the task you’re struggling with, approach it with a simple, short activity which will help you in.
Those of you who have done my Blog Planning Workshop, might recognise this. In order to help you get started with your blog writing, we takes some smaller steps which make it seem less daunting – creating a plan, a list of topics and some structure. From there, the writing isn’t such a big leap.
2. Build your knowledge to build your confidence
Sometimes we’ve tried everything we can do on our own and get to the point where we feel stuck. This is how I felt when trying to complete my business forecast. I’d looked everywhere I could for the information which would help me into the task at hand, but I couldn’t find the answers I needed.
In my case, the next step was to find the person who could give me the right support; a coach who would explain those next steps and give me the tools and structure I needed.
Recognising the need for guidance is very important, the help is out there if you look for it and know what you’re looking for – whether it’s coaching, workshops or courses. If the thing you’re avoiding isn’t going to go away – get the help you need so that you feel confident doing it without the stress.
3. Get someone else to do it
There is another option – find a professional who will do the job for you.
Don’t let important tasks become neglected because you can’t face them – it may put other areas of your business at risk. If you feel unable to make the progress you need, consider whether you should ask an expert.
While there are bound to be considerations before you outsource business tasks, not least financial concerns, think realistically about the time and energy you need to invest in these areas and maybe the financial cost won’t seem so steep.