Monday, July 8, 2013

Great growth lies in small victories

In today's fast-paced society, we have become accustomed to wanting everything yesterday. It's normal to get caught up in the hectic lives we lead, but taking time to give yourself a pat on the back is just as important as going full steam ahead - maybe even moreso if you are an entrepreneur. 

 When I started The Rogue Pea Marketing, way back...last month, I had grand visions for the way my business would develop and grow. I was ready to start taking on clients, poised to help businesses define their goals and set up marketing strategies. Although I've made progress, there have been times that I feel like I'm not doing enough or it's taking too long. I am impatient!! But to reassure myself that things are moving along just fine, there are a few things I do to keep that nagging voice in check, that I think are worth sharing:

1. Check the calendar: When it comes to having a vested interest in something we want to see thrive and succeed, we often feel like we've been working away at it a lot longer than we really have. Being focussed day in and day out, working on the same project or goal can give the sense of time passing more quickly than it actually is. My solution: mark key dates on a calendar (ie. start of  a new cycle in your business or introduction of a new service or product) and make sure you check your expectations against the time that has really passed. This is an eye-opening exercise that I recently did for myself. I was becoming a bit anxious about the progress I've made since launching The Rogue Pea, but a quick look at the calendar made me realize that it's only been a few weeks and to temper my expectations accordingly.

2. Make progress reports for yourself: This need not be time consuming nor complicated. In fact, the simpler the better. I keep a note file on my iPhone to which I add weekly or bi-weekly updates whenever I have a moment (like before bed, waiting to pick up kids at their activities or while drinking my Sunday morning coffee). I add new updates to the same file so that I can refer to my last entry, which helps kick start the reflection process. This is a simple and easy way to force yourself stop for a moment despite all the hustle and bustle, and to spend a couple of minutes thinking back to what you have done in the past week or two. Take some well-deserved time to really acknowledge the progress you have made. I find this a really excellent way to both ease my anxiety about 'not doing enough' as well as being a great visual tool to see what I've done and then set goals for the coming week. It is a great opportunity to pause and pat yourself on the back, in addition to helping you gather your thoughts and plan for what's next.

3. Be realistic with the timelines for your goals: This is where a lot of us fail, myself included. We are too hard on ourselves about accomplishments and set unrealistic timelines for achieving our goals: a double-whammy of self-sabotage. Success comes from experimentation; seeing what works or not, and then adapting and moving on until we find something that clicks and drives things forward. Building a business, setting up a Facebook page, creating a marketing plan, or diving into social media - this concept applies to it all. The key is to know where you want to go and to not be put off by the lack of immediate success. This doesn't mean there is no success to be had at all, just that it is taking a longer route to get there. Going through steps 1 and 2 can really help keep this step in perspective.

Summary: Setting smaller goals, checking your real progress along the way and taking time to pat yourself on the back are key to keeping things in perspective, which perpetuates forward momentum. This approach will help keep you on your game rather than feeling discouraged and overwhelmed. Stay positive, be creative and keep your eye on the prize!

Interested to learn more about marketing your business? Register for the upcoming Work & Learn session on July 31 in Kanata, or drop me a line to discuss affordable, scalable solutions for small business:

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