The first step in any new project is often the hardest. At the beginning, the idea exists only in your mind with no tangible manifestations of it, and therefore no “proof” that it can be achieved. Our human nature is vulnerable to self doubt and fear, making our seedling idea susceptible to “it’ll never happen” or “it won’t be successful” types of thought patterns.
This is what makes our first steps so important. The first step marks a decision, a new direction; it declares that we will go forward despite our fears or self-doubt. The first step gives us momentum and belief in our project, whether its starting a personal hobby blog or an entire new business. I work with a lot of new bloggers and hopeful online entrepreneurs who come to me because they have a gap in their technical knowledge and that is preventing them moving forward. For some people the act of contacting me and setting up an appointment is an important step for them in signifying their commitment to their idea, and getting the knowledge they need in order to implement it. The lack of technical knowledge is often one of the first blocks people come up against and fortunately it’s one of the easiest blocks to remove, but often lurking behind it are mental blocks that are more entrenched.
So it’s important that the first step in your new project be small, easily identifiable and quickly achievable, and that it is followed with some equally small and manageable next steps to maintain momentum.
This is really productivity 101 – your to do list needs to be small, specific bites, not big fluffy ideas.
“Start a blog” is not a good first step – there’s so much that goes into this, that having that phrase staring up at you from the to-do list is likely to paralyze you with overwhelm
Here’s what your to – do list for starting your website could look like:
1) Purchase domain name
2) Purchase webhosting
3) Install WordPress
4) Choose a theme
5) Write a blog post
6) Write an About page
7) Set up Google Analytics account
It’s crucial to keep taking small next steps. You may need help from a friend or professional to keep you on track. I work with lots of people to provide support as they get their ideas in motion. My assistance is not only technical, but personal. I help make the project real and I provide them with the next steps which gives them a clear path forward. Once they see that they can do it, that they are now a (cue angelic music and shining lights..)…Blogger, they gain momentum to move forward independently. In my experience, dogged consistency and persistence are the biggest indicators of success that I see – the willingness to take next step after next step.
Whatever your idea or project – if you are not making progress, identify that manageable, small next step and get support if necessary. Your tiny next steps are what will get the idea out of your head and into the world, and make your vision a reality.
What step do you need to take next?
**header image courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/lonnypaul/5906770832/