When you were a kid did you play “house” or “school” or “teenagers”? (I’m not making up that last one, we used to play teenagers because they looked so cool from the lowered height of 8). We’d make believe, dress-up, sometimes pull our mom’s shoes from her closet, find shawls and sunglasses. Chairs became driver seats, bedrooms became classrooms, dolls were children, and stairs the in-between world that would take us from “work” to “home” and back again.
As a kid it was easy to imagine what life would be like as an adult. Glamorous, with careers that took us to the top of glass towers, and to the business class section of airplanes that flew across the world. And for some, that imagery became a reality. For others that imagery became a catalyst to dream of something different. Regardless it was play. It was pretend. It didn’t hurt anyone, and it didn’t help anyone, it was just how we spent our time with friends.
I began to wonder the other day if some people who go into business are just “playing” business. Because as long as you stay in the realm of imagination and dreaming, not only is anything possible with your business, but also – no one can get hurt. However, it is quite likely, then, that no one can get helped either.
You might realize you are “playing” business if you have a comfortable safety-net, you aren’t putting the time into it that you planned, you lack the energy and desire to schedule the things that need to get done and then actually do them, you find Netflix more compelling, or you haven’t become clear on your offering.
So what do you do?
- Make sure you are in the right business for you, and that you actually want to be a business owner. This can be a hard realization for some people. The idea of having a business was exciting, you were fantastic in your career and now you are going out and doing it on your own, and you didn’t realize how much work a business actually is. It is ok if you decide that being a business owner isn’t right for you, but don’t give up just because it is hard, be sure.
- Plan, plan, plan. This isn’t just about planning out what your business is going to be about, it is about planning the different activities and projects that need to happen in order to make it happen. Invest in project management software. There are a number of online programs out there, and most of them have a free version available. I happen to be a fan of Asana – I like the way it lays out my tasks, I like that I can color code things, and I like that I get random celebrations for completing tasks – like a unicorn flying across my screen. It really is the little things in life. And no I am not affiliated in any way to them, I just like them.
- Schedule, schedule, schedule. Seriously, if you didn’t get the message there, you really need to schedule your time. It is one thing to organize your tasks by project, but if you don’t actually set time to complete them then what’s the point. Set a date with your business in your calendar and get cracking.
- Celebrate the wins. All the wins – big and small. Celebrations don’t have to be cork popping all the time (see my note about the unicorn flying across the desktop above.) But when you complete something you need to appreciate yourself for making it happen, for learning from it, for growing from it.
- Get a mentor or coach. It’s easy for me to suggest this – it is what I do. But look, even I, as a coach, need and have mentors. These are people who have blazed trails before you, who have a skillset or area of expertise that you lack, or that can help you determine when to scale and by how much. There are a number of different programs out there, and you need to figure out what is going to work for you. Can you be a part of a group, or do you prefer one-on-one support?
Once you start to take these steps in your business you will start to realize how to capitalize on all of those dreams and ideas you came up with when you were “playing”, and everything will become a lot more clear, and a lot less imaginary.
There is still time to take part in the 30-30-30 Challenge! This is your opportunity to gain growth – personally or professionally. A FREE 30 minute coaching session with myself. Secure your spot now in my calendar now!