Thinking about make a drastic change in your life?
Maybe this means FINALLY, starting on that personal project you thought would be a good idea years ago – that podcast, blog, or book.
…Maybe this means starting that business.
…Maybe this means quitting that job because your heart is no longer in it.
Whatever the goal, sometimes taking the very first step can be daunting. It can fill you with anxiety. When you are starting at the bottom of the mountain looking up at the 10 year vision you have yourself, it can feel overwhelming and this feeling alone can freeze you in your tracks.
Want to take action?
Here are four strategies you can utilize before making the first step:
- Identify Role Models – One of the greatest advantages of our time is that we live in the information era – and we have access to so much information at our fingertips! Also, as I discussed in my post “Are these two types of fear holding you back?” there is no such thing as a “personal problem”. If you are struggling with building an app and starting a new business, or want to know how to become a digital nomad, or how to tell your boss you want to quit your job, chances are there are people out there in the world that have already done this. They may not have the same exact business idea (let’s hope not) but they have mastered a skill set and are familiar with a process that would be beneficial to your journey.
Use the internet to identify who these people are and then determine?:
- What was THEIR first step?
- What is the process they’ve mapped out? Is this a roadmap you can follow?
- How much time did they invest daily?
- How much did they invest?
- What challenges did they face along the way?
- What mistakes do they wish they could avoid?
- What advice would they give to their younger selves?
Sometimes the people you identify are international authors, tv personalities, self-made billionaires etc. and they are challenging to get a hold of. Sometimes, this may not be the case. Either way attempt to find out the following:
- Do they live in your state/city?
- Are they reachable by email, phone, or video call?
- What are their schedules like? Is it possible to connect with them?
Next – reach out. There is no harm in this! If your role model is hosting an event, it’s probably a good idea to go. When you do, muster up the strength to go to his or her event and grab their business card. Don’t feel pressured to make a lasting impression on them at the event – everyone will be attempting to do this – sometimes grabbing their card and following up to see if you can schedule a one on one meeting will set you apart from the rest, as most people grab business cards and do not follow up believe it or not. But do your research, go to the event with some background knowledge on the person and think about the ways you can add value to a project they are working on. Often,these are how the best relationships are forged.
- Create a supportive community – Once you’ve identified a leader or role model to learn from, the next step is to find people who are beginning their journey like you and to create a supportive community. Where do you start building community? Here are some suggestions:
- Sign up on Meetup.com and find a group that is relevant to the topic you are interested in. There may not be a group that has been created that is specific to the problem you are looking to solve, thats ok, this is a good place to start. Join a group with an overarching/ overlapping theme. For example, maybe that group is for “Entrepreneurs in NYC” or for “Bloggers.”. If there is absolutely nothing related to the topic you’re interested in, maybe you can start your own group.
- Attend relevant networking events – say “yes” to the possibility of meeting new people in person as much as you can – you never know what it can lead to. Smile, be open, and talk to people you don’t know. Come to the event prepared with an “elevator pitch” about what you’ve been working on (or want to work on) and what your interests are.
- Online Forums – Google the topic you are interested and often times you will find a book or blogger who has chosen to focus on the topic. Many times you will stumble upon facebook groups with a whole bunch of people who are passionate about the same topic – connect with them.
- Workshops – Attend free workshops and invest in paid workshops to learn more about the topic of your choice and to build a community. If you can’t afford to pay for a workshop, see if it is possible to negotiate a discounted rate by making a deal with the organizer. (Depending on the event – Maybe they will reduce your rate if you bring two other paying attendees – doesn’t hurt to ask!) Sometimes attending a paid event is a good way to find/meet a group of people who are serious about taking action about a particular idea and that would be good to collaborate/partner with.
- Social Media – Instagram hashtags make it easier for you to search certain topics and find users that are posting about it. Utilize this function to find your community!
- Create an Action Plan – Whenever you have a goal, it is best to create a SMART goal (learn more about SMART goals here). This will help you to ensure your goal is clear and can take some of the pressure off by helping you break your goal into smaller bite sized chunks over time.
- Knock small tasks off daily – Once you have your goals written down on paper, you just have to take action. Start small. Ask yourself – what is ONE thing I can do everyday to get my closer to my goal? Track your progress as this can be motivating when it comes to taking consistent action. Before you know it, a month will have flown by and you will be shocked about the progress you’ve made!